Just what do people within WWE think of new reality show Total Divas?
The show has so far garnered decent ratings and appears to cater well towards E!s target demographics. But really, apart from that, it doesn't have that much to recommend it.
Everything comes off as woefully scripted and contrived (probably because it is) and most of the girls—especially the laughably wooden Eva Marie—are not conveying any real charisma or personality.
Nikki and Brie Bella, who the show is largely built around, are fine and come across like nice girls but lack the presence of a Kim Kardashian or any other major reality star. (As popular as it is to trash Ms. Kardashian, for all her flaws, she clearly has something that has made people keen to watch her going about her life for the past seven years.)
Do any of the girls come off as a big deal ?
Third-generation Natalya is a warm, likable presence and seems like the only genuine person on the entire show.
Sadly, she's been placed in the background and cast in the insulting “ugly duckling” role, which makes no sense whatsoever since she is, by any standard, a very beautiful woman.
In this week's (subscriber-only) F4W Newsletter, Bryan Alvarez notes that the reaction to the show within the company has been overwhelmingly negative:
While it's successful reality TV so far, every single solitary person within wrestling who has commented on the show to me—including, I should note, people who were involved in the production of it—hate the show passionately.
He also went on to note most are keeping quiet about their criticism, due to Nikki's high-profile relationship with John Cena (Cena has been featured heavily on the show): "There is the feeling that you don't speak out about it because it's the Bellas' vehicle, and Nikki is dating Cena, and if it gets back to Cena that's the end of your push."
Interestingly, this isn't the first complaint about the Bellas' burgeoning political power.
Former WWE Diva Maria Kanellis has famously claimed that the twins got her return in April nixed, and that they also sabotaged the deals of two other former Divas too.
Of course, it's worth noting that this may very well be overblown.
While there is probably some truth to the claim that Kanellis' heat with the Bellas cost her a deal—she really does appear to detest them and there have been problems between all of them for years—it's also very possible wrestlers in WWE are just being overtly paranoid.
Come on, would someone like Cena really be petty enough to wreck someone's career because they dissed his girlfriend's TV show? It seems a stretch.