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   September 18, 2014



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Total Divas: Fall finale is just the beginning
By BOB KAPUR- SLAM! Wrestling


While this week marked the end of the first batch of episodes of Total Divas, it was full of new beginnings. The beginning of Nattie and TJ’s wedded life, the beginning of a new chapter in the life of Nikki Bella, and the beginning of Eva Marie’s life on the WWE main roster. Let’s take it from the beginning, by heading to the recap.

Days before Nattie and TJ’s wedding day, Nattie is busy planning for the wedding by tying her cat up in a bow. That’s not a euphemism for anything either. Her sister Muffy is in town to help out, and her parents come to visit. Nattie’s mom has brought her wedding dress and presents it to Nattie as a gift. It’s right out of the 1800 nun collection, and fits Nattie like a tent. Nattie hates it and breaks the bad news to her mom, who is visibly upset.

All of the Divas head to the opening of the NXT Performance Centre opening. There, Jane, one of the WWE Executives, tells Eva Marie and JoJo that because Nikki is on the shelf, there are some spots opening up on the roster. Jane tells them to be ready because they will be looking for a Diva to act as a valet on Raw. Eva Marie thinks it’s her job to lose, but JoJo aims to prove her wrong.

At John Cena’s house, John looks very sad, and tells Nikki that he has a problem. His family is all getting together for a reunion, and he wants to introduce Nikki to them, but his gathering is the day of Nattie’s wedding. Nikki doesn’t want to bail on her friend, so Cena says she can make up her mind and let him know – either way, he’s going to visit his family.

It’s Raw, and Eva Marie is excited to hear the results of her valet audition. Mark, another WWE executive, tells her that she will be accompanying Nattie to the ring for her match. JoJo is disappointed, and Mark tells her she will get her chance someday. The Funkadactyls try to console JoJo, and Eva Marie says she has to contain her own excitement for the sake of JoJo’s feelings.

Backstage, Nikki breaks the news to Nattie that she won’t be able to attend her wedding. Nattie feels betrayed by her friend’s decision and storms off.

At catering, Eva Marie confronts JoJo and asks why she’s not happy for her. Eva tells her that she’s getting negative vibes from JoJo, but JoJo denies anything is wrong. Eva Marie effectively tells JoJo to F-off for not supporting her, and walks away in a huff.

Backstage, Nattie lets Brie know how upset she is by Nikki’s decision. Brie tells her to forget about Nikki, and to focus her attention and energy on the wedding, herself, and TJ.

The Bellas join JoJo backstage to watch Eva Marie’s ringside debut. She doesn’t really do much, but gets kudos from the Bellas afterwards. JoJo is less enthusiastic about Eva’s performance, but stays quiet.

After the show, Nikki and Cena head off in their bus to visit Cena’s family.

In her hotel room that night, Trinity calls Jon (Jimmy Uso), but has to drop it to take a call from Ariane. Ariane is crying, and tells Trinity she’s feeling major stomach pains, and is feeling nauseous. Trinity goes up to Ariane’s room to find her doubled over in pain in her bed. Ariane is wailing in pain, so Trinity calls for an ambulance. The paramedics come in and take Ariane away on a stretcher while Trinity can only look on in concern. Six hours later, Ariane is released with a diagnosis of endometriosis, and Trinity takes her back to the hotel.

At a live taping of NXT, Eva Marie tries to talk to JoJo and hash things out once and for all. She asks JoJo why she’s feeling a distance between them, even though they started off so tight together. JoJo tells Eva that the two are competing for the same spot, so Eva shouldn’t be surprised by her being envious of Eva’s success. Eva basically tells JoJo that if she can’t be happy for her, then perhaps they should go their separate ways. JoJo angrily agrees, and leaves.

It’s Nattie and TJ’s wedding day, and all of the girls are there to help her celebrate. Nattie lets the girls know that her friend Jaret is coming to the wedding, but she still hasn’t told TJ about it. Meanwhile, her cat is scared and hiding. Again, not a euphemism.

About two hours before the ceremony is set to start, the wedding planner lets Nattie know that the stormy weather may mean that her outside beach wedding will have to be moved indoors. This upsets Nattie nearly to the point of tears. And just when it looks like things will get bad, enter Jaret.

About an hour to go, and Nattie has accepted the fact that her wedding will now be indoors. She and her mom make up over the dress, and her cat is resplendent in a bow tie. Eva Marie and JoJo are putting on friendly faces for Nattie’s sake. And the surprises continue when Ariane shows up with her pet goon Vinnie in tow. Ariane reveals that they’ve gotten back together after he showed up to visit her after hearing about her recent hospital visit.

At the Cena family reunion, Nikki is happy to be there with the entire Cena family. Nikki is very taken with his family – including the one that did a great Stewie Griffin impression – and feels even closer to John than before. She’s still a bit guilty about missing Nattie’s wedding, and says she hopes her and Nattie’s friendship will not be affected.

Before the wedding, Jaret joins the rest of the wedding party, and drops the bomb on TJ that he’s been invited. That he and Nattie had been in touch since they reconnected in Calgary, and that’s why he’s here. TJ is taken aback by this news, and goes off to discuss things with Nattie.

TJ breaks a wedding rule and barges into Nattie’s room while she’s still in her dress. He blows up at Nattie for hiding the fact that she’s been communicating with Jaret. He asks if she still wants to marry him. Nattie reassures TJ that she loves him and only him, and she wants to marry him. She apologizes, and he forgives her. The wedding is on.

Jim Neidhart walks his daughter down the aisle, and he looks absolutely huge. The cat seems completely unimpressed by the event – he obviously missed all the drama from earlier in the day. They exchange vows, and the deal is done. Introducing Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Wilson. The Divas and their men look on as Nattie and TJ dance. Nikki calls in and apologizes to Nattie for missing her wedding. Nattie forgives her, and all is good again. Brie catches the bouquet, much to the chagrin of Daniel Bryan. TJ runs a video package of the two of them together, and that gets the waterworks flowing. Even Jaret gets a dance, and it seems that all is well in Nattie’s world.

Meanwhile, Cena and Nikki are reflecting on their relationship, and all seems well there too. They agree that they are both happy together, and Cena wants to take things to the next step. He says that the long distance thing isn’t working for him, and he asks her to move in with him. Despite Nikki’s personal rule that she would only move in with someone after they were engaged, she realizes that he’s too good a thing to give up on a technicality, and she agrees.

After the show came a Total Divas after-party recap show, with the cast of the show in a talk show interview style program hosted by Renee Young.

Renee asked Eva and JoJo about their friendship fallout. Eva Marie said that being in the business alone is hard enough, much less trying to take care of “a child”. Nikki compared their situation with her and Brie’s – that sometimes sisters fight.

Nattie tried to duck a question about Jaret, but Renee persevered. She asked about the physical connection that she had with Jaret stemming from the days when he trained her. Nattie admitted that she had needs and that when TJ was focusing on coming back from injury, she may have felt like her needs were being met. Brie and Trinity chimed in on the situation. TJ came out and dissed Jaret.

Next up was Ariane who said that she was still going through her endo issues, and that she may not be able to have kids as a result. Ariane was asked why she got back with Vinnie, and she basically said that she felt that she couldn’t live without him.

Sandra, the WWE Seamstress was asked about the Funkadactyls, and she lectured them about their fashion sense and why she shouldn’t show off all the goods all the time.

Brie was asked if she was in “Brie mode”, and she admitted to having drank some champagne before the show. Brie said that with Bryan now main-eventing, their relationship was being affected. But she still defended his beard.

Out next came Jon, Trinity’s boyfriend. Renee asked him about their relationship, and they cuted it up for the show. Like on the show, he showed off his sense of humour and fun personality, and came across as very likeable.

Then came out John Cena who professed his love for Nikki, but flatly said he would not propose to Nikki. As disappointing as that news might seem to be, she’s seemed to have accepted it. Cena apologized directly to TJ and Nattie for his part in Nikki missing their wedding. He then took on the elder statesman role like he does on the actual show, praising the cast for being so brave to allow their personal lives to be shown on camera.

Out next was the show’s special guest, Jaret, who received a chorus of boos from the studio audience. TJ said he didn’t actually confront Jaret at the wedding, saying that he didn’t want to “waste his time” then. Jaret admitted he still had feelings for Nattie, but he’s accepted that she’s with TJ. TJ said he was more upset with Jaret for talking with Nattie behind his back. Jaret kept trying to drive a wedge between the couple, saying that in his view, he felt TJ was not the right guy for Nattie.

The show concluded with a series of clips from the next batch of episodes that will start airing on November 17. To be prominently featured are the ascension of Daniel Bryan and John Cena’s injury and what that means for the Bellas, and all sorts of other relationship and professional drama from the rest.

Bob Kapur is looking forward to the next batch of Total Divas, because he doesn’t get out much. In the meantime, he has plenty of time to check e-mail at bobkapur@hotmail.com.