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The W - Pro Wrestling - Total Divas 1x15 "Ready To Ride" / "Natalie Nelson's Nuptuals Nixed"
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JustinShapiro
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Since: 12.12.01
From: Pittsburgh, PA

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.97
"Take away Total Divas and WWE is seven figures deep in losses this past quarter."
- Dave Meltzer

This is our season finale, a jam-packed 75 minutes that doesn't even have any Funkadactyl plots. It seems like it could've pretty easily been stretched into two separate episodes, but instead we have wall-to-wall action comprised of the most consequential events possible in the Total Divas universe.

Tonight!
Natalya: drunk dials Stephanie McMahon
Eva Marie: reveals secret fiance to her family
Brie: the proposal!
Nikki: confronts John Cena about marriage and children
JoJo: [footage not found]

{in grandiloquent organ major key}
AIN'T GONNA STOP ME NOW

So much happened that I really don't know where to begin, so thankfully the beginning features what I think was the show's very best cold open: Nikki takes a pregnancy test underneath her cold open.

The Bellas discuss their periods, which are usually synced up according to a small almanac Nikki carries with her. Nicole tells us her nipples are hard (that's "dog bites man"-level news) and asks Brie to help her take a pregnancy test. Brie won't hold the test under her, but she will join her for moral support in a lavish public bathroom at some arena.

N: [reads] "'Put the tip of the test into urine for 5 seconds, wait 3 minutes*.'"            * did someone say ... 3 minutes?
B: "So you gotta pee in the toilet and then poke it in?"
N: "You're fucking kidding me, right?"
B: "..."
N: "You PEE on it."
B: "'Put the tip of the test into urine.' O...h."
N: "Oh my god, you're so dumb." [walks into stall] "Okay, let's see if the water in here is pregnant."
B: "It should say 'Put the urine on top of test. For 5 seconds.'" [nods assuredly]
N: [from stall] "No! In! Like urine stream, like you're putting it in?"

Nikki emerges and sticks the urine-enriched stick in Brie's face.

And now we wait.

It'd be somewhat significant and concerning news if Nikki has been wrestling these matches in her first trimester, but hey, let's see.

"NO-"

N: "That's crazy how it just straight up says 'No.'"

She's right. I didn't realize pregnancy test result technology had advanced to magic 8-ball communication.

Nikki is relieved. "Can you imagine if I couldn't have wine for 9 months?" And yet ...
~*~*~*~*~fOrEsHaDoWiNg~*~*~*~*~

Our episode is introduced with The Hangoverian storytelling elements, Natalya waking up (barely) after a Brie Mode Mardi Gras with no memory of the night before. Stephanie McMahon has left her a text: "I got all of your voicemails last night. We will talk about them at Raw."

She gets to the building, where Mark Carrano carra-knows about everything. Stooge. Nattie decides to try to avoid Stephanie for as long as possible in order to extend her storyline until the end of the episode, but I'll skip ahead.

Natalya tries to get the details filled in with Ariane, Brie, Eva, and the wonderful Alicia Fox, series regular. Allegedly, Nattie was calling Stephanie deep in the a.m. to pitch booking ideas. When Ariane tried to take her phone away, "she called me a prostitute and said I danced like a stripper."

ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT CUTAWAY
Drunk Natalya: "I'm sorry I don't dance like a prostitute." [chuckle]
Ariane: "Excuse me?"
Natalya: "Go back and work at Hooter's."
Brie: "I worked at Hooter's for two years."
END CUTAWAY

Eva Marie: "She gettin' that muthafuckin pink slip."

Nattie consults Fandango, series regular, about her indiscretions.

Natalya: "Have you seen Steph? I did something I shouldn't have done."
Fandango: "Did you make out with her?"

Dirty Curty rides again.

The moment of truth. Stephanie thinks it would be better if we responded to each voicemail individually.

Message 1: "Hey Steph, it's Nattie calling, I know you're probably busy, but I just wanted to talk to you about some ideas that I had. I feel like, you know, with my lineage and with being, you know, a Neidhart, I deserve to have a Divas Championship!"

Message 2: "I'm frustrated and I don't want to go to work and feel that pent up anger that's building and building and building. So I just don't understand why I'm not the Divas Champion right now."

Message 3: "I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHY IT'S SO HARD FOR YOU TO GET BACK TO ME."

Message 4: "First of all, I'm not wearing any underwear, and I'm ready to ride."

That one was meant for TJ.

Message 5: "I have done everything I can to make you guys like me, and I'm just so fucking frustrated. Obviously I don't mean anything to you, so I'm done. I quit. I don't even care anymore, Steph!"

You may have recently read that Stephanie McMahon got a lateral promotion to serve as the company's brand ambassador and work with WWE's business units to support key growth initiatives. Her new role is to be the public face of the company, with her and Paul assuming the Linda and Vince dynamic, Steph taking on the kind and trustworthy Linda McMahon business side of things.

So fortunately for Nattie, Stephanie is on the show to be in full Vince McMahon: Father Flanagan mode, the gregarious queen of the wrestling empire. Nattie can come to her any time, she's open to any kind of communications and wants to hear from her. She and Nattie have a special connection and bond growing up in this business. "We love you and you belong here. Just give me a hug. Now get outta here! :D"

Aww.

===

We get footage of Natalya, Eva Marie, and JoJo teaming up, but they only show Natalya and Eva in (something resembling) action. JoJo is just lucky they didn't blur her out like the WWF scratch logo.

Then Eva hits the road with her fiance Jonathan Coyle, who appeared in one scene in episode 2, proposed, and was never seen nor heard from again. UNTIL NOW. He's joining Eva for a family visit to meet her parents like in that movie Meet The Parents and ask their blessing for the already-engaged engagement. "I'm getting nervous for ourselves," Eva says in an algorithmic approximation of Earth speech.

Take the goddamn hat off, Jonathan.

All I can say about Eva's visit home is that, befitting her Randy Orton circa 2003 push, she finally got over once they brought in her dad. BARRY NELSON is goddamn John Wayne incarnate, the patriarch of the Nelson family and all of Eva's fat brothers. Quotes really don't do him justice.

The Nelson family does a good job of acting out the awkward dinner, which is probably not as easy as it seems with cameras filming and all that. Barry is a bellowing revelation. Jonathan wears no shirt and a half-zipped jumper to dinner. It goes without saying that Eva and Jonathan first met at a CrossFit. Jonathan tells them the tattoo on his arm says "Eva." I went to Wikipedia to see if Eva is actually a part of Natalie Marie Nelson's full name. It doesn't appear to be -- is Eva short for Natalie somehow somewhere? -- and if that's the case then I'm Afraid I've Got Some BAD NEWS.

The best part of Eva Marie's Wikipedia is definitely this:

    Originally posted by Eva Marie's Wikipedia entry
    Signature moves
    - Cartwheel evasion[25]
    - Schoolgirl[19][25][20]


Breakfast with the Nelsons is even worse. "You guys all love Eva extremely much," begins Jonathan poetically, and his request for their blessing goes over about as well as expected. But TWIST! Eva's brother reveals that she was previously engaged, to a much older gentleman at that. "Clearly this is completely different," Eva says. Clearly. And they've already got a ring? Barry's had enough of this shit.



"NO-"

That's crazy how it just straight up says 'No.'

Eva cries! Breakthrough! EVA MARIE IS BORN OF MORTAL BIRTH!

Oh yikes. All the shots of Eva's crucifix necklace and the family prayers before both meals pay off: Eva's mother tells her if she gets divorced, she will never set foot in their house again.

Dang.

Eva and Jonathan storm off and make plans to elope. Then they decide not to. See you in 15 episodes, Jonathan.

If only Eva still had JoJo to confide in.

This whole deal was Mick Foley-esque in terms of finally getting over the underachieving overpushed. Just promise me there'll be more Barry next year.

===

Daniel Bryan finally has time off from his schedule as WWE Champion, so he and Brie take a hiking trip to Big Sur, CA. It's been two years, seven months, and ten days since the first time they kissed. Was this it?



At the top of a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, he takes a nervous breath and proposes to Brianna Monique Garcia-Colace.

She says yes. \o/

Introducing, for the first time, Mr. and Mrs. Bryan and Brianna Danielson. Wait. That's gonna be a problem.

Later, Bryan takes Brie to a surprise engagement party in the idyllic woods with a string 3MB and each of their families: Nikki, the implanted mother, the estranged father, Bryan's sister from the Wrestling Road Diaries, etc. In a Memento-style flashback, Bryan gets Nicole to help him plan everything.

It's all very beautiful, but talk of marriage and children is bittersweet for Nicole, who's got her own arc going on. Let's back up.

===

At the Cena Estate, John has flown in eight of Nikki's best friends from college/Hooter's for a wonderful weekend. After meeting these girls I can sort of see why Brie apparently isn't friends with them.

In a scene out of The Bachelor, a tuxedo-clan Cena escorts all nine women to dinner in a limo. One of the friends is almost as good as Eva Marie's brother at being an unsung hero and directing the conversation to the required talking points: when is Nikki going to have a baby?

John is point blank about it. No kids. I knew it -- we the WWE Universe are all John Cena's children. John doesn't think his schedule would allow him to be a father. Furthermore, John has met the children of people in the business who are products of this lifestyle. Damn, John, that is no way to talk about Natalya.

Tossed in here is that Cena doesn't think he could have enough of a presence in his child's life until s/he was 10 years old, so everybody buckle down for another decade of rising above hate.

"You always give such politically correct answers," says a friend. Well she's done you in there.

Nikki squirms through her friends' extended line of questioning. Cena is resolute: no kids, no marriage, no changing his mind. "I won't make that same mistake twice."

In an interlude at the arena, Nikki gets cleared to return to the ring from her shin injury after a hopping up and down test that is shot from a shameless angle.

After exploring her true feelings about marriage with her mother at the engagement party, Nikki returns to Cena Manor to flaunt her newfound "cooking in the kitchen" privileges. Then, the angle of the year is on. Four straight minutes of a Sartre play performed by John Cena and Stephanie Nicole Garcia-Colace.

Nikki does want to be a mom.

Cena: "I'm going to choose my words carefully. I can't give you that. If you want to be a mom, this is where this gets difficult."

Nikki: "Right. Because I make all the sacrifices, and you make none."

Virgil punching DiBiase.

Nikki: "Have you not given me hope at times?"

Cena: "No! Have I ever told you that I was thinking about marrying you, or even entertaining the idea?"

Nikki: "You said you were open to the future."

Cena: "There's been a lot of things that I've been willing to change, to amend about my home, about my life. There are two things that I won't budge on. Marriage and kids. That's the absolute reason that I've told you since the first time we saw each other that that's where I stand. And if I have given you false hope between now and then, right now, I am correcting that mistake."



Nikki: "I just feel like I have to rethink things, because some of me feels it was a mistake to move here then."

Cena: "I'm sorry you feel that way. Now what?"

Cut to the exterior, where LIGHTNING STRIKES THE STORMY SKIES ABOVE THE GROUNDS OF CENA MANOR!!!!! It's a Bronte novel.

TO BE CONTINUED...
MARCH 2014

That was "JYD getting blinded"-level execution of a bigtime angle. The good news for Nikki is, I think The Wedding Of John Cena would be a pretty lucrative endeavor for World Wrestling Entertainment. So yeah. This is bigger than both of you. Strong long-term booking at play here.

This series is a towering achievement.

Season MVP: Ariane, John Cena
Breakout Star: Jon Uso, Vincent

Dedicated To The Memory Of
Joseanne Joseanne Offerman
2013-2013
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JustinShapiro
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Since: 12.12.01
From: Pittsburgh, PA

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 22 min.
#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.97
P.S. thanks to MIKE ZEIDLER for our alternate title, which I promptly misspelled.
CRZ
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Since: 9.12.01
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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.48
Bravo! And thanks for letting me fall progressively further and further behind in watchig this show with pretty much no hope I'll ever catch up. ('cause I get exhausted after "Treme")



Mike Zeidler
Pepperoni








Since: 27.6.02

Since last post: 10 days
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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.27
    Originally posted by JustinShapiro
    P.S. thanks to MIKE ZEIDLER for our alternate title, which I promptly misspelled.


Well honestly, who pronounces it nuptials, anyway? I could have sworn there was a second U in there somewhere.

Nathan and Neil Nelson were a little too on the nose with the questions to be unscripted, bringing the Nelson Rating down a couple of points.



"Tattoos are the mullets of the aughts." - Mike Naimark



"Don't stop after beating the swords into ploughshares, don't stop! Go on beating and make musical instruments out of them. Whoever wants to make war again will have to turn them into ploughshares first" - Yehuda Amichai
Dr Unlikely
Frankfurter








Since: 2.1.02

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.32
    Originally posted by JustinShapiro

    Cena: "There's been a lot of things that I've been willing to change, to amend about my home, about my life. There are two things that I won't budge on. Marriage and kids. That's the absolute reason that I've told you since the first time we saw each other that that's where I stand. And if I have given you false hope between now and then, right now, I am correcting that mistake."

This right here is proof positive that Cena personally crafted the amazing "The President has just announced that we have caught and compromised to a permanent end Osama bin Laden" speech, right? And that, whatever else anyone thinks of him, he would be the greatest statesman and orator the current world could ever hope to have?

Tremendous work, Justin. You truly are the Mitch Hurwitz of Wrestling Discourse. The Brian Hurwitz? The Mitch Gewirtz? Yeah, let's go with that.
I Breastfeed John Madden
Head cheese








Since: 13.4.04
From: Des Moines, IA

Since last post: 117 days
Last activity: 74 days
#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.00
Okay, so I get that this whole thing is scripted and stuff - but are we to believe that no one in the Eva Marie household witnessed the prior episode where that meathead proposed?
dwaters
Lap cheong








Since: 16.10.02
From: Connecticut

Since last post: 4 hours
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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.49
Gotta respect Cena and his stand on having kids.

I wish more athletes/performers would understand that a job that involves traveling 300 days a year is not conducive to being an involved parent.
Greymarch
Boerewors








Since: 24.2.03
From: Toronto, Canada

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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.94
    Originally posted by I Breastfeed John Madden
    Okay, so I get that this whole thing is scripted and stuff - but are we to believe that no one in the Eva Marie household witnessed the prior episode where that meathead proposed?


This is taped some time ago.
JustinShapiro
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Since: 12.12.01
From: Pittsburgh, PA

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 22 min.
#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.97
    Originally posted by Mike Zeidler
    Nathan and Neil Nelson were a little too on the nose with the questions to be unscripted, bringing the Nelson Rating down a couple of points.


I felt like Neil did some good invisible work carrying the convo to allow Barry to blurt out awesome stuff. Nathan didn't rise to the occasion and tried to make up for it at the end by yelling at them as they left. Mom was overwhelmed but got her one big spot in.

There were too many of Nikki's friends to keep track of except of course for the one who bragged about shitting in the sink.

    Originally posted by Dr Unlikely
    Tremendous work, Justin. You truly are the Mitch Hurwitz of Wrestling Discourse. The Brian Hurwitz? The Mitch Gewirtz? Yeah, let's go with that.


I can't think of two more antithetical comic sensibilities, and I love it. I'd rather be Brian Gehurwitz than Dan Harmonaitis.

    Originally posted by He Breastfeeds John Madden
    Okay, so I get that this whole thing is scripted and stuff - but are we to believe that no one in the Eva Marie household witnessed the prior episode where that meathead proposed?


YOU JUST RUINED CHRISTMAS FOR ME.

Now wait. Episode 2 aired in August. Filming for season 1.5 started after SummerSlam.

Damn it.

I am left to pretend this was shot during the first run when they thought they were going to do more with Jonathan (only to have Vincent completely steal his spot by 100% merit) and then pulled out of storage.

But wait. It was supposedly Eva's birthday weekend. And her birthdate is ...

...

...

boy it feels bad to have the link to Eva Marie's Wikipedia already lit up in a Google search

...

September 19, 1984.

Is a dream a lie if it don't come true, or is it something worse?

The only thing that can make me feel better is oh my god Total Divas scoops in the Observer.


    Eva is her middle name, full name is Natalie Eva Marie Nelson and the Eva Marie name she uses was her modeling name.


Gamechanging news. But do I believe Jonathan's tattoo says "Eva" in Arabic? or does it actually say "Natalie"? or is it just a picture of a sick as hell fireball that is at most a metaphor for lean muscle mass?

Slow on the uptake: I put together that Jon Uso was named Jimmy based on the William Regal/Gregory Helms Rule right away, but it wasn't until just now I realized why Stephanie Garcia went by her middle name. New question, did Nikki always go by Nikki, or is it weird for her twin sister to call her that.

EDIT: Nikki went by Nikki? http://www.socalbeachmag.net/​nicolebriana.html

This has been exhilarating research.


    There is talk of a talent change for season two of Total Divas where one of the women on the roster will be replacing another. Obviously if someone is dropped, it would be Jo Jo, who was phased out significantly in the final few episodes of the season.


My god. Foxy is the Ed Helms of Total Divas.


    The storyline of Nattie getting drunk in New Orleans and sending Stephanie messages about how she’s frustrated because she should be Divas champion was obviously a work. Apparently it was taken from a real-life incident where one of the male wrestlers actually did get drunk and texted or left phone messages doing essentially the same thing about being frustrated and deserving a better position to Vince, which happened a long time back. And no, it wasn’t Ziggler.


(edited by JustinShapiro on 19.12.13 0339)
Moss
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Since: 23.9.10
From: Calgary, AB

Since last post: 8 days
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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.12
I love the "TO BE CONTINUED" at the end, like it's shocking a renewed reality show following the lives of people who are still living would continue. It should have ended with "JoJo died on the way to her home planet."

In the classic "nature vs nurture" debate, Eva Marie's origin story points clearly in the nurture. A terrible person was raised by terrible people. "So you came to tell him you're marrying his daughter?" Yes, that's generally how people learn about other people's personal lives. In case you can't tell, I hate the whole "ask permission to ask to marry" bullshit. Unless Eva Marie is an actual android and not an adult human, she's totally within her rights to make her own decisions, even if they're obviously terrible.

(I'm assuming this was real and they made up the "birthday week" in post because I can't be bothered with the work vs shoot of reality TV.)



BORK LASER PLS
Tenken347
Boudin blanc








Since: 27.2.03
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Since last post: 2 days
Last activity: 4 hours
#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.61
    Originally posted by Moss
    (I'm assuming this was real and they made up the "birthday week" in post because I can't be bothered with the work vs shoot of reality TV.)


If it's on TV, it's a work.
DJ FrostyFreeze
Knackwurst








Since: 2.1.02
From: Hawthorne, CA

Since last post: 4 days
Last activity: 3 hours
#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.59
Read it and weep, fella


    Originally posted by Tenken347
    If it's on TV, it's a work.
Too many people get that saying wrong. Sorry to be so anal about this, but it's "If it's NOT on TV, it's NOT a work". Lots of real-life-shooty stuff makes it to TV.

DISCLAIMER: Pretty sure most of Total Divas is Total Phoney Baloney.





CLICK OR DIE
Prolly time for a new sig :(
Tenken347
Boudin blanc








Since: 27.2.03
From: Parts Unknown

Since last post: 2 days
Last activity: 4 hours
#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.61
    Originally posted by DJ FrostyFreeze
      Originally posted by Tenken347
      If it's on TV, it's a work.
    Too many people get that saying wrong. Sorry to be so anal about this, but it's "If it's NOT on TV, it's NOT a work". Lots of real-life-shooty stuff makes it to TV.

    DISCLAIMER: Pretty sure most of Total Divas is Total Phoney Baloney.




I'm pretty sure you've got the wrong saying (Adjudication, anyone?). Anything that makes it to television is severely massaged, if not outright scripted. Nothing short of a catastrophic error on a live broadcast will go through untouched, and even that gets dealt with in the aftermath. I guarantee you that anything that aired as part of Total Divas was scripted, whole or in part, well before any cameras started rolling.
DJ FrostyFreeze
Knackwurst








Since: 2.1.02
From: Hawthorne, CA

Since last post: 4 days
Last activity: 3 hours
#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.59
Read it and weep, fella


    Originally posted by Tenken347
      Originally posted by DJ FrostyFreeze
      DISCLAIMER: Pretty sure most of Total Divas is Total Phoney Baloney.
    I guarantee you that anything that aired as part of Total Divas was scripted, whole or in part, well before any cameras started rolling.
We both agree here.

I think where we DISagree may actually be a slight misunderstanding. The old addage "If it's NOT on TV, it's NOT a work" definitely applies to any and all wrestling related shows, newz, gossip, etc, because lots of real-life stuff makes it's way to TV all the time.

I now see that maybe what YOU said ("If it's on TV, it's a work") applied specifically to the Total Diva's 'reality' program, in which case you are 100% correct.



CLICK OR DIE
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