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Monday, August 26, 2013

Total Divas 1x5 - "Feuding Funkadactyls"

The Funkadactyls Explode! Ariane is a Diva in the diva sense of the word. Trinity is more interested in, you know, wrestling. It's like oil and vinegar. And yet, their marriage works. But not this week. This week, Ariane's motor mouth and her abundant pride in winning a go-kart race between her, Trinity, Eva Marie and Jojo was finally the straw that broke the camel's back and tore the Funkadactyls apart! Name calling, yelling, shoving in public (Trinity shoved first, a detail that is semi-important) and soon, Trinity declares to Talent Relations that she no longer wants to work with Ariane. (As Total Divas tells it, Brodus Clay and Tensai, the male half of this unit, have no interest in resolving the tension between their dancing valets.)

The friction between the Funkadactyls was enough to involve Stephanie McMahon herself, who gave them a stern McMahon corporate talking-to about unprofessionalism. Neither of them are a *solid* B+ in Stephanie's eyes. But she gave them what they wanted: singles action on the WWE's B and C shows. Trinity was delighted to work with Alicia Fox but her delight and over-enthusiasm caused her to badly miscalculate a flying bodypress that E! presents as the single worst botch in the history of the five weeks E! has been covering WWE. Meanwhile, without saying it bluntly - as the watching Divas' facial expressions told the story - Ariane can't wrestle so well, and falls to the expert mat tactician that is Aksana.

Finally, the Funkadactyls saw the error of their ways and reconciled that together, they are stronger than they ever could be apart. (Until the day comes Trinity gets a solo push, then it's Girl-Bye to Ariane.) But for now, let us feel the warmth in our hearts that the Funkadactyls remain united. We never knew until now just how close we all came to losing the Funkadactyls forever.

Meanwhile, it's Natalya's birthday week and Nattie, as she said to the camera several times, wants "to celebrate me." Foiling her attempts to celebrate herself are the obstacles as follows:

1) WWE, her employers, who booked her to lose by pinfall in Calgary (Alberta, Canada) to the Bellas and cry about it on RAW. A moment I remember distinctly because I found it hilarious. Nattie was the latest victim of WWE's policy of embarrass their employees in their hometown.

2) Tyson "TJ" Kidd, Nattie's fiance, Calgary's biggest mama's boy, indifferent to Nattie's obvious and obviously stated dislike for his mother and family. TJ loves family, puts it above everything. He's the kind of guy who'll bail on his woman and leave her alone in her hotel so he can stay overnight on his mom's pullout couch. He's the kind of dreamboat loverboy who invites his mom and sister to romantic birthday dinners.

What's weird is that Nattie is in her hometown but doesn't seem to know anyone. Doesn't she have her own family and friends to spend time with and "celebrate her"? Total Divas says nay! Well, not entirely. Nattie does have one friend, another rooster in the henhouse, at it were. Jaret, her one time trainer and tanning salon friend who spray tanned Nattie (if you like Nattie in bikinis, this is the episode for you) and took her to a private romantic dinner, just him, Nattie, and the camera crew, in order to declare his love and make his play for her hart.

As for the Bellas, this is A Very Special Episode of Total Divas because we learn a lot about Nikki and Brie's lives growing up. Their addict father abandoned them when they were fifteen and their father figure was their late grandfather Pop-Pop (in the attic) whom the Bellas mourn. Nikki has no interest in a relationship with her father, but Brie's announcement that she's returning to their hometown of Brawley, California to see dear old dad caused Nikki to launch into Every Kind of Displeased Facial Expression Nikki Bella can make.

But it was a talk in the opulent CeMansion with John Cena that changed Nikki's mind to give her father a chance. I tell you now, WWE Universe, if the John Cena of Total Divas were the John Cena of regular WWE programming, no one would boo him. John Cena is a man's man, a great man. Patient, understanding, insightful, with a calm, soothing voice delivering just the right advice. As Zoidberg would say, "Such a man, he is!" Cena is so patient and amused as Nikki walks over to his framed photo of the WWII Allied Powers and fails completely to accurately name Stalin, Churchill and FDR. But more important than the cute butt Nikki just wants to bite, it's the (sometimes Chinese) words that come out of Cena's mouth that move Nikki the most.

And so it was that the Bellas and Brother Bella go to Brawley to meet with their estranged father. Honest words are exchanged, tears are shed, and the first steps to the Bellas reconciling with their father, who promises to do better, are taken. Heart. Warming.

TOTAL DIVAS REVELATION: Eva Marie and Jojo wear bronzer to work out, because "you never know who [will be there for them to hit on]." (Roman Reigns, in this case.)