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   November 24, 2014



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Total Divas: Summer breakout
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling


TD starts off this week with a stop in Austin. We start with Jimmy Uso macking on Trinity momentarily before we go to the full intro.

Eva and Summer are now off the Bri-Bry bus and they're driving out to the next show, talking about the photos that were discovered in last ep. Summer then talks about being new before the two start talking about Nattie. And there's our theme for the ep methinks.

Next up we get the arrival at the next show and Nikki and Brie go off to get ready and talk about the night before on the bus. Nikki then talks about being happy not being on the bus. Brie then runs into the Usos and has more talk about no 'boning' on the bus. Man, this bus is tearing the WWE family apart!!!

Next up we see the Xmas Total Divas vs Real Divas match, which was won by Nattie making Aksana tap out to the Sharpshooter. I do like how E adds this bit of context but they could stand to show a bit more of the storyline, even though it's art imitating art imitating art in a way.

We're back on the bus now and Ariane is trying to liven up the bus and we then see shots of her cutting her first tune. Bryan rips into her, nicely, but it's a decent spot. We then hear Nattie having issues in the bathroom, where Brie and TJ soon join her. We find out after the break that Nattie had an Icy Hot incident... that all the sudden becomes very Seinfeldesque.

Onto the next show, Nattie grants her virst wish which is a nice touch. She gives the girl she meets the jacket she wore at WrestleMania 25.

Next up, we see Summer Rae talking with the seamstress Sandra about making her costume more revealing. Speaking of, we see Trinity and Jimmy revealing something on the Brie-Bry bus when Brie walks in on the couple. No, I won't go there, but Brie does, telling Bryan what she saw. Bryan goes through all the rules that were part of the Roommate Bus Agreement (seriously, Bryan's more Sheldonesque than Cena was. Wow...)

Next up we get Nattie and the Bellas against AJ, Tamina and Aksana from The Main Event clipped. Nikki gets the pin with Side Sunset pin. Do I have to give match ratings here?

Back to the bus we go, and they're talking about birds pooping on themselves. Then it goes back to the sex on the bus talk, and Bryan goes Sheldonesque. Honestly, this doesn't surprise me.

We then get Brie and Bryan talking wedding planning before Nikki comes on and we get bus philosophy chatter before we find out that Summer Rae is talking with D-Bry and talk of a photoshoot with her next week. She's apparently also talking to Cena, which doesn't sit well with Los Bellas. Seriously, Summer's developed quite the character on this show. Why can't WWE program her properly on Raw???

After a break, Summer is confronted by Brie about her fun flirting. Seriously - THIS IS HOW YOU BUILD A DIVA'S MATCH WITH MEANING! Eva, of all people, thinks Summer's gone too far. Sigh.

The Bellas talk more about Summer before Brie talks to Bryan. Cena and Bryan ham it up a bit after.

Next up we see the Usos vs. Bray and Bryan and dear god I hope I remember this as we get to Angle of the Year talk. Everyone in this match was elevated from this moment, even with Bryan's concussion which we do get the backstage look at what happened, including revealing what caused the injury - the double back suplex from the 2nd rope by The Usos. It's unfortunate that this happened during TD filming, but at the same time we're getting that insider look we've all been craving.

Tension also builds between Summer and Brie while the match goes on. I'll beg one more time - PLEASE BOOK THIS MATCH!

Brie and Nikki talk about getting Bryan to a specialist to check out his head. Jimmy and Trinity then talk to Brie about it. Later, we see Bryan heading home after best wishes from WWE's staff.

We then get Nattie and Eva checking out the Mattel prototypes and figures when Summer walks in and starts getting catty with Natayla, and I'm loving her persona even more. It's like how she was with the BFF's in NXT, only amped up. Nattie pulls Summer aside and talks about how unprofessional she's being then says the two are done.

After a break we get the update on Bryan that he's still feeling the symptoms. Nikki brings back the bus crew to talk about everything going on. Summer apologizes to Brie and the two make up. Next Ariane apologizes to Eva. Nattie's up next and she 2wants to clear the air with Summer and goes off on her. Seriously, Summer is a total sympathetic heel here. It's a rare spot. TAKE ADVANTAGE WWE!

Next up, Nattie and Fandango talk while Fandango applies baby oil to himself. Summer walks in on the conversation and it quickly breaks up but Summer Rae gets the story relayed to her. This is getting good. summer then drives up to Nattie's place while talking about how she's not going to be a pushover. Speaking of Sheldon, Summer's dressed as the Doppler Effect to speak with Nattie.

The confrontation goes just about as well as one would expect, which is to say not at all good... unless you're a booker in WWE. The predictable argument insues, with Nattie going, admittedly too far and telling Summer there's a reason she's 30 and single. Summer then slaps her. Nattie threatens to call the police if Summer comes back ever again.

Like I said - Summer is now a sympathetic heel. Full reality, partial reality or fully scripted, TD has built Summer Rae as a fascinating character. Unfortunately with this being the go-home week for 'Mania, there's no energy to play off of tomorrow on Raw, but hopefully WWE plays smart and does something.

Until next week, see ya!