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Total Divas: Finale centres on Bella marriages - both old and new
By BOB KAPUR - SLAM! Wrestling


May 25 episode

The show picks off where the previous week's ended, with Nikki telling her family how she got married ten years ago. Her brother is pretty ticked off about the bomb, so Nikki leaves his house, worrying that if her family reacted that way, what will John Cena's reaction be?

Brie and Daniel Bryan are having lunch together, and Brie reminds him of all the pre-wedding planning stuff that they have to do - select the decorations, the flowers, etc. She then tells him that her grandfather wants Daniel to trim his beard. Not her grandfather's beard, that's just be too odd, but rather his own. Naturally, this could be problematic, given that's his money-maker in WWE. She starts waxing his beard for a trim, but he says "No! No! No!". Well, actually, he just asks her if it's okay to not shave, and then his dog licks his nose.

Nikki's driving around and gets a call from Nattie, who tells her that she should tell John Cena about her previous wedding.

It's show night, and Trinity is back from her injury, and hoping to start right back where she was before her injury - on track for a Divas Championship match at WrestleMania.

Backstage, Nikki pulls Cena from catering with the intention to tell him about her wedding. But because this is only 10 minutes into the episode, you know that's not going to happen.

In the ring, Naomi makes her return against AJ, and - and there's yours truly sitting front row in the audience cheering her on excitedly. Best moment ever in the history of this show, as far as I'm concerned. I don't remember any wardrobe malfunctions happening, so don't remember why I'm so excited about the match, but I guess that doesn't matter. Anyway, Naomi won, so it looks like she's back on her winning track.

Brie, Nikki and Mama Bella are out dress shopping, and Nikki explains to Brie that she hasn't told John her secret yet. Brie is mad because she asked Nikki to tell John before the wedding so there wouldn't be drama on the wedding day. So, look for Nikki to tell John on the wedding day, since this is the first half of a two-part season finale.

But instead, there's pre-wedding drama to be had. During their dress shopping, they get a call from Brian, a WWE suit, telling them they're going to be part of a match at WrestleMania. A big photo shoot is scheduled next week, but this apparently conflicts with Brie's planning schedule. Nikki isn't sympathetic, telling Brie that their careers have to come first before work obligations. Brie says that her dream of a married life is more important than their collective dream of working for WWE. Then, Brie drops the b-bomb on Nikki, who leaves the store in a huff.

At the WWE Performance Centre in Orlando, Naomi is happy to be part of the group of exercisers being shot for Stephanie McMahon's workout DVD - well, now I know what to ask Santa for this Christmas. She makes it clear to Steph that she's back and ready to get back into the swing of things.

Later, Brie and Nikki are in New Orleans together, but there is still tension between them. Brie arranged for Mama Bella to do the wedding scouting on her behalf. They agree that this is the life of a WWE Diva and sometimes personal sacrifices must be made. Then they see a clown walking down the street, but unfortunately, it's not Doink the Clown. They talk about what advice the clown would give them, and my attention starts drifting to WrestleMania 9 when double-Doink came out and waffled Crush, and Bobby Heenan had a great commentary call of "it's an illusion!", and how much better would this show be with Bobby Heenan on it. Anyway.

During a break in the photo shoot, Brie starts writing up the seating plan for her wedding, but still manages to nag Nikki about telling John. Brie gets a call from Mama Bella who lets her know that the place she scouted for the wedding is a farm with no bathrooms.

Later, during a workout session, Nikki tells Nattie that Brie is thinking of inviting Summer Rae to the wedding. Nikki hates this idea, because of the way Summer Rae has been so disrespectful towards everyone in the past. Brie shows up, and Nikki and Nattie advise Brie to put her own feelings over anyone else's on her wedding day.

Backstage at a show, all the Divas are sitting in WWE suit Mark's office. He announces that Summer Rae will be the first Diva to be in a WWE film, the newest version of The Marine. To say the other Divas are upset by this news is an understatement - they pretty much all hate her. He then says that they will be announcing on the show which of the Divas will be participating in the Divas match at WrestleMania 30. This announcement is made during the show by Vicky Guerrero, as a multi-Diva match featuring pretty much the entire roster, first pinfall wins.

After the show, Brie and Bryan make the drive to check out their wedding location. Bryan also advises Brie to not invite Summer Rae if she doesn't want her there. They get to the location - a major resort looking place - and check into the on-premises cottage. Bryan nearly balks at the price of $700, and there's your WWE World Heavyweight Champion, ladies and gentlemen.

In Tampa, at John Cena's house - which, for the record, looks bigger than the resort - Nikki once again chickens out on telling John Cena about her earlier marriage. Instead, she tells him that she's worried that Brie is hurting her career by focusing on her wedding, so Cena agrees to talk to Brie about it.

Meanwhile, Brie and Bryan are out on a tour of their locations - the resort where they stayed the night before, and the place that Mama Bella said had no bathrooms, unfortunately not named Schrute Farms. Bryan loves one place that's a big field with a creek beside it, but of course Brie doesn't like it.

They then go to the ranch where they can choose from a big field, or a field where there are ducks, geese, and emu walking around, and, my God, I would love to see the finale end with an emu stampede that takes out half the cast. Brie has visions of shipping in specialty furniture and pulling out trees to accommodate the wedding, while Bryan has more practical thoughts - like the fact that there are no freaking bathrooms there for the guests. She also wants to spend way too much on this event, because apparently Bryan gave her a choice to either have a wedding or a house, which sounds controlling to the point of abusive to me, and I suggest that she run as fast and as far away from this controlling monster as she can, Sleeping with the Enemy style.

Instead, she gets back in the car where he lectures her some more about the value of a dollar, and complains about the escalating costs of her plans. Seriously, as the face of the company, he's really being painted to look like he's struggling financially. Honestly, if they want to portray him as not being able to afford a $700 room for the biggest night of his life, how can they justify selling house show VIP tickets for $600 a pop? Though, this is also the show that had Nattie squealing like a kid over her cat being selected to be in a cat magazine, so what can you do? On the drive back, they talk about how they both like the simple things in life, and think about just getting married on the side of the highway without all the pomp and circumstance. But they don't, recognizing that it's the presence of their family and friends that are most important. That revelation kicks in, and Brie realizes that she has been thinking more about how to impress her guests than her and Bryan's wants. They decide to go to the less-costly place, free of emus.

It's Mania week, and the Divas are at the press conference in New York City, then it's off to New Orleans. Finally, a Great Khali sighting on this show! He and me appearing on the same episode, truly this is Emmy-worthy. For those keeping score, I think I actually got more screen time.

The Bellas head to a coffee place to meet up with Mama Bella and their brother JJ. Nikki apologizes to JJ for keeping her marriage a secret, and he apologizes for over-reacting. But he and Mama Bella also remind Nikki that in their family, they should always feel free to confide in one another. Of course, that sentiment is thrown right out the window, when she lies to them all and says that she told John Cena about it, and he took it well. She's a horrible liar, but apparently they're all idiots for not being able to tell from her body language that she's obviously full of it.

Backstage, Brie pulls Summer Rae aside to talk to her privately and tell her to save the date... NOT. Because she's decided to not invite her to the wedding. She explains it's because she doesn't trust her, and feels that Summer Rae has talked behind everyone's back all the time, and she doesn't want that kind of poison at her wedding. Rather than saying "Who the F cares about your stupid emu-free wedding anyway?", Summer is disappointed by the news, not realizing how badly she has offended the rest of the Divas. She kind of apologizes for her past bad behaviour, and chalks it up to insecurities, and all of this onion theory has Summer Rae crying, and not realizing what a bullet she avoided by having to attend this bohemian hippie wedding. The two hug it out, and Summer Rae says she's going to try to change her ways, and this sucks because after the redemption of Eva Marie, they really need a villain on this show to make things interesting. Maybe Paige is a real b---- in real life and can show up next season to shake things up.

Before Fan Axxess, Eva Marie mentions to Nattie that she's nervous, because it's her first Mania, and Nattie clumsily reminds her that she'll be performing in front of 80,000 people, and millions and millions and millions more around the world, and if you screw up on that stage, it's something that will be remembered forever. "But you'll be fine," she says. And the moral of that story is that if you ever find yourself depressed and on the ledge of a building, call anyone else in the world before you call Nattie Neidhart. Heck, even start dialing random numbers and talk to people on the other side of the world before you call Nattie Neidhart. Even if Nattie Neidhart is the first name you have on your speed dial. Seriously. Thanks to that pep talk, Eva Marie is now worried that she's not sure she can do this.

Surely everything will be wrapped up in the finale...

June 1 episode

The episode starts off with two days left to go before Mania, and Vinnie comes into Ariane's hotel room, and the two are annoying together.

It's a celebratory week, so a few of the Divas and their men go out for dinner. There, Nattie - thinking that Nikki has told John Cena about her previous marriage - blabs to everyone about it. So, as Naomi points out, the moral of this story is to never share a secret with Nattie.

Meanwhile, Eva Marie is at a Fan Axxess signing, and all the chirping from fans about how she can't wrestle doesn't help her nerves in advance of her Mania match with the other Divas.

The company holds its Mania kickoff party, and Nattie is excited to get to host the red carpet ceremonies. Naomi, sans Jimmy Uso who's at a signing, meets up with Ariane and Vinnie and tells them how great married life is. Naomi can't help but notice, and bring up the fact that she's never heard Ariane tell Vinnie that she loves him. Ariane awkwardly ducks the question, saying she doesn't really say that to people.

Mama Bella and JJ, the twins' brother are at the party, and when JJ and John Cena are left alone for a bit, JJ lets it slip about Nikki's previous wedding. Cena is shocked by the news, but no-sells it like he's Randy Orton in a match. Immediately afterwards, Nikki comes back, but before anything can happen, Cena says that he has to leave, and does.

After the party, Ariane takes Vinnie and her mom out for dinner. Vinnie notices that Ariane tells her mom that she loves her, and resurfaces the discussion from earlier. Even Ariane's mother is surprised by the fact. Ariane says that she thinks saying it is as significant as marrying someone, and she only wants to say it to the right person at the right time.

Niikie and John go out for dinner, and she can't help but notice that he's acting cold and distant.

It's Mania day, and all the Divas are amped up for the show. Before the show, a few of them walk in and check out the empty building. Eva Marie shares with the Bellas that she's nervous about the match, not wanting to screw things up.

Summer Rae has latched on to her new BFF, newcomer Emma. Since having been not invited to Brie's wedding, Summer has done a lot of introspection, and realizes that she doesn't want to be known as the class b----. Emma provides Summer with advice on how to win friends.

The Bellas meet up with WWE suit Mark, who tells them that their match has been pushed to the second-last match, as opposed to being third on the card. That's the worst spot on the show, since it's possible if things go wrong, it can get cut short, or cut entirely, depending on how timing goes. Brie's ticked, because they got cut last year, and they're experiencing a bout of deva-vu. The Bellas spread the word with the other Divas, and none of them are happy wih the news. They sit in the back and nervously watch as the night unfods. We also get our first sighting of Sandra the Seamstress, who's backstage.

Okay, we get it already. Eva Marie is nervous, and having learned nothing from last week, she goes to get further advice from Nattie. This time, though, it pays off, as Nattie provides useful advice that actually doesn't suck for once.

The girls are scared that the Taker-Brock match may go long and they may get cut like they did the year before. And they're also upset about the streak being broken - not only are they completely shocked about it, but now they have to face a bunch of hostile fans.

Finally, the Divas Invitational is on, and everyone seems to be doing fine. Including Eva Marie, so her fears are gone. It's actually a pretty decent match, despite it being pure filler. The girls are thrilled with the outcome.

With Mania over, Brie and Daniel can now focus on their wedding. They start with everyone flying into Arizona where the nuptials will be held. Meanwhile, Naomi rubs Jimmy Uso's shoulders, while Ariane has to deal with a bout of food poisoning.

Things go well at the wedding rehearsal, until the dinner when one of the Bella's drunkles starts asking John and Nikki when they're going to get married. Rather than hit the guy with an Attitude Adjustment, Cena again no-sells the comment. Meanwhile, Vinnie is taking care of an ailing Ariane.

It's a couple of hours away from the ceremony, and the Bella Family meet up. There, JJ tells Nikki that he couldn't believe how cool John Cena was when he found out about Nikki's previous marriage. Of course, Nikki told John no such thing. So she's ticked that JJ said something to him. She's mad at JJ, but Brie is mad at her, since Nikki promised to talk to John about it before the wedding, then lied about having done so, and now she has to deal with the drama that she was hoping to avoid. The siblings put all their differences aside for the sake of the wedding, including Nikki promising Brie to at least wait until after the wedding before talking to John about it.

The wedding goes well and without a hitch. The two exchange homemade vows, and this has Ariane reflecting on her relationship with Vinnie. Even Cena sheds a tear, hearing Bryan read his touching vows. Funny moment where the wedding ends with the guests doing the "Yes!" chants.

Nikki then tries to talk to John about the secret that she knows he knows about, but he tells her that they need to defer the discussion for the time being.

Ariane pulls Vinnie aside at the reception, and finally tells him that she loves him. She says he's always there for her - including earlier when he took care of her when she was sick - and they are best friends on top of being boyfriend and girlfriend to one another.

Later, Nikki pulls John away from the dinner to talk. She apologizes for keeping her secret. He says that since marriage is the focus of most of their disagreements, he should have known her history in that regard. He tells her that he doesn't care about her history before they got together, and that he doesn't have to know her every secret. But, if she goes and tells people about her past, he wants to be among those people. Nikki realizes that her relationship with Cena is a strong one, and that she needs to trust that.

The episode ends with the guests all dancing and having fun at the reception in a big celebration. As for me, I'm celebrating the end of the second season of Total Divas, and thank you for reading my recaps. See you for season 3!

Bob Kapur, as seen on Total Divas may have broken his foot tonight. E-mail him your get-well cards at bobkapur@hotmail.com.