Recapping and Grading WWE Total Divas for Aug. 11: "Planet Funk Is Funked Up"

David BixenspanFeatured ColumnistAugust 12, 2013

Total Divas cast (Photo by E!/WWE)
Total Divas cast (Photo by E!/WWE)

This week on Total Divas:

  • Brie and Bryan decided to move from San Diego to Phoenix to be closer to Brie's dog, but they didn't tell Nikki until the last minute.  Shenanigans ensue.
  • Jojo questions if wrestling is for her since her boyfriend is frustrated by their time apart AND she proceeds to suffer an injury.
  • Trinity and Jon keep arguing about her refusal to make any kind of wedding plans, much less set a date, even though they've been engaged for two years.  Even more ridiculous shenanigans ensue.
  • Eva Marie doesn't really do anything.  Thank God.

After a fascinating discussion between the Bella Twins about what you call the guys who cut down palm trees, we cut to Bryan and Brie in a hotel room while on tour, where they are video chatting with "Josie."
Josie is, in fact, Brie's dog.  Bryan Danielson has the patience of a saint.

Anyway, since Brie is sad that Josie always has to stay with her and Nikki's mom in Phoenix all the time when they're on the road, Brie and Bryan are moving to Phoenix.  Apparently they have no friends in San Diego who can watch the dog.  On top of that, the move is days away and they haven't told Nikki yet.  I am somewhat suspicious of these developments.

On the bright side, Bryan suggest Brie break the news to Nikki by saying "Bitch, we're moving to Phoenix!"  That dude is awesome.

Unfortunately, she didn't do that.  She decided to spring it on Nikki out of nowhere at the gym and it didn't go well: Nikki was angry about the whole "moving for a dog" thing and left the gym in a huff.

Moving on, the Bellas make up temporarily because they have an important meeting scheduled about a movie they are going to be in.  They're joined by their manager, director Paul Bunch, and producer R. Scott Reid. Brie is late to the meeting and Nikki is worried this could tank the deal.  

Brie finally shows up after 15 minutes.  There's some goofy talk about whether the Bellas would do their own stunts and that's it.

Since the Bellas are in San Diego together, they go to their personal trainer to do some kind of exercises that work better with them together.  Or something.  The theoretical point of this scene is that Nikki is annoyed when Brie tells her she and Bryan found a townhouse in Phoenix, but it was weirdly reminiscent of those porny "Aerobicise" segments that aired on Showtime in the '80s.

Nikki brings a single box to Bryan and Brie when she comes to help them pack.  Somehow a conversation about Nikki's implants causing "camel toe" in her old outfits ensued, but that was just a humorous interlude before Nikki stormed off, angry over Brie's tardiness at the fake meeting and the whole "moving for her dog" thing.

Nikki and John Cena were driving somewhere when the arguments came up.  He calmly and lovingly told her she was being selfish, and that led to the twins making up.  Well, that was inane.

Next up, Jojo finally got a storyline!  We got some clips of her and Eva Marie training and it was obvious that Jojo was taking to wrestling much faster.  NXT head trainer Bill DeMott is explaining to Eva Marie that she needs better body control when, off-camera, Jojo forgets to tuck her chin when taking a bodyslam and suffers a concussion.

Wait, she's green enough for that to happen but has advanced past the stage where she wears a helmet while bumping on crash pads?  And this happened off-camera with the suspicious timing of it coming EXACTLY when Bill is telling Eva Marie she needs to control her body better?  I call shenanigans.

Jojo is cheered up when her boyfriend Sebastian shows up to visit.  Sebastian, who doesn't look old enough to shave, is apparently Jojo's first "real boyfriend" and they've known each other since they were little kids.  Aww.

They don't get to be adorable, though, because Sebastian gives her an ultimatum: Him or WWE.  That was...sudden.  Jojo goes to Nattie for advice and doesn't really get anything constructive, just that she might not make it in WWE with Sebastian as her boyfriend.  I guess he'll grow up to be Vincent.  Jojo eventually decides to break up with Sebastian.  Sadness ensues.

Finally, we have Trinity and Jon.  They're goofing around at home when he brings up that she's not wearing her wedding ring and she doesn't want to talk about it.  Later, they're out at dinner when he brings it up again.  Trinity explains that since WWE wants the Divas to appear available, she doesn't wear the ring at shows, appearances, photo shoots, etc.

Trinity is saying this to her boyfriend on a reality show that is built around her and the other Divas' relationship drama.  Think about that for a minute.  Anyway, she implies that once they're married she'll wear her ring(s?) all the time.

At the NXT training center, Trinity being hesitant about trying a slingshot legdrop on Jon somehow leads to Jon talking to Bill DeMott about her hesitance to set a wedding date.  Really.  Bill's sage advice is that "indecisive people get their [TV] segments cut."  Trinity hits the legdrop perfectly but isn't committing to anything marriage-related yet.

This leads to the argument at home that we saw in the previews and the sample clips: Trinity thinks Jon wants marriage and babies RIGHT NOW, while Jon feels she's more committed to work than she is to him, so he throws a glass and storms out of the apartment.  Trinity looks sad while she cleans up the broken  That seems like a bad idea.

The show climaxes at the May 20th Raw taping in Kansas City.  When we see Ariane for the first time this week, she explains she's been sick for days.  First she contracted tonsillitis, but then she got worse, as she claims the antibiotics she took somehow caused both a urinary tract infection and a yeast infection.  Everyone feels this is too much information, and I agree, but their reactions were hilarious.

When asked why she showed up to work if most of her orifices are infected, Ariane explained that Jane Geddes told her that she and Trinity have a match for once: Tons of Funk and The Funkadactyls vs The Usos and The Bella Twins.  DUN DUN DUNNNNNN.  Trinity begged Mark Carrano to change the match (that's not even his job) because of the drama with Jon but he tells her to check the personal issues at the door.

The match is so important that it's on Superstars, but I think the show wants the audience to believe it was on Raw.  And that Nikki was caressing Jon before the match to screw with Trinity in real life.  They left in some of the commentary but carefully edited out references to "Naomi," which was amusing.

The match builds to an awkward moment when Jon and Trinity are in the ring together.  Since it's a mixed tag match and not inter-gender, they're not supposed to interact.  It gets more and more awkward until Trinity hits Jon with a shoot hurricanrana to take out her frustrations.

I will repeat that: According to the narrative of "Total Divas," Trinity was so angry at Jon that during their match, she performed a hurricanrana on him without his cooperation.  This show is amazing.

After the match, Ariane asks Trinity why she won't take the next step with Jon.  Trinity finally explains that her previous boyfriend of five years cheated on her and she's petrified that if she makes a real commitment to Jon, the relationship will fail.  Ariane points out that Jon is not her ex, so she goes and makes up with Jon, who notes that her ex is an idiot.  And that's it for this week.

Random observations:

  • The readout on Brie's treadmill was blurred out, which was weird since normally reality show limit that to ads, logos of companies that aren't sponsors, etc.  I guess it showed her weight? 
  • Mark Carrano's streak of inexplicably being one of the best actors on the show ended this week.  He wasn't exactly convincing in his scene with Trinity.
  • Ryan Pike at had the presence of mind to look up the IMDB profiles of the guys that the Bellas met with, and it appears that movie in question does not actually exist.  Paul Bunch has never directed a feature film (only shorts) and hasn't directed anything since 2009, while R. Scott Reid hasn't produced anything since 2009.

Overall thoughts and grade:

The intentional wackiness was not at the level of the previous two weeks.  As unintentional wackiness goes, though, it may be hard for the rest of this season to top Trinity talking to Jon about the Divas' facade of availability on their own reality show and later hitting him with a shoot hurricanrana.

As a guilty pleasure show, it's always hard to figure out exactly how to grade it.  This episode was probably the weakest overall so far, as even though Eva Marie was thankfully absent, most of the episode consisted of fairly monotonous relationship drama.  There wasn't anything quite as inspired as last week's plots, which gave us the wood-chopping contest, the "real life" version of Fandango, or the Funkadactyls' costume drama.

I can't hate an episode that gave us the sheer insanity of the aforementioned Trinity/Jon moments, but it was definitely the least interesting outing so far.  "Official" grade: C.