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Total Divas Season 1 Recap: Episode 2 – “A Tango With Fandango”

In the first episode of Total Divas, “Welcome to the WWE”, we learned
that our Divas are opinionated women some of whom seem just as likely
to get into a street fight with each other as fight a match in the ring.

I’m joined on this recap with special commentary from
Matt Perri, who is able to put aside his feelings about this show
enough to sit through it with me and write his comments even though he’d
probably prefer listening to our cat yowling in pain after a
vaccination. 

Tonight’s recap will feature more direct dialogue as requested by ABeyAnce1 (thanks for reading and commenting, ABeyAnce1!)

Last time, on Total Divas:

  • We were introduced to The Bellas, Natalya, and Funkydactyls who use ring smarts and ass to win matches.
  • Cameron is jealous of the heirarchy.
  • I never knew JoJo Offerman existed until this show.

That’s about it, really. 

Monday Night RAW in Roanoke, VA


Ringside – JoJo and Eva Marie
JoJo
and Eva Marie are enthralled watching RAW live in an arena. JoJo says
every time she goes to RAW it is beyond words. All the reactions of the
fans make her think this is what she’s meant to do.

Eva
Marie is especially into watching and studying Fandago who she
describes as “one of the biggest superstars for WWE…who is getting a
lot of attention for his ballroom dancing”. (MATT: “One of the biggest superstars because he dances” — now you KNOW this is scripted.)
Cut to the crowd where one group of people even spells out Fandango in
letters. (This episode of course was filmed in 2013 when his gimmick was
much more fresh than it is now.)

“Every week I see him
with a different girl I think, I can do that, too,”  she tells the
cameras. She wants to get out of training development camp as soon as
possible (even six months is too long of a wait for her) and thinks she
can by becoming his dancing valet get into the main roster. “This is my
in,” she says, “because once he has me as his partner, he won’t want
anyone else.”

Backstage – Cameron & Naomi
A frustrated Naomi finally finds Cameron. Cameron is complaining they
have nothing to wear, (while pawing through dozens of outfits in a box).
She says one gold sparkly pair of shorts looks like a diaper and,
picking up the blue costumes they were supposed to wear at Wrestlemania
29 says it reminds her too much of ‘Mania. Naomi agrees and suggests
they burn the outfit. Cameron loves their seamstress Miss Sandra but
after what happened at Mania (when Miss Sandra was shown taking up to
the last second to get their costumes ready), she wants to use someone
new. Ironically, Cameron had said Miss Sandra is one of three
seamstresses the WWE has but, because we need a “plot” they have to find
someone completely out of the WWE payroll I guess.

Naomi
says Miss Sandra will “go hell on them if they do”. Both Divas agree
that Sandra often finishes pieces late and that they often don’t get
what they ask for, but still if Cameron’s plan goes wrong, Naomi is
putting all the blame on her.

Backstage – The Bella Twins
Brie
and Nikki grab some coffee backstage. Nikki actually calls the coffee
from the canisters “our saviors”. Coffee is a major plot-point in this
episode but I hesitate to claim “product placement” since I don’t see a
brand name on any canisters. The twins and their boyfriends (John Cena
and Daniel Bryan) are gonna hop on Cena’s private jet for a bit of what
she calls “a life swap” (MATT: WHAT?!) to check out their respective homes in Tampa  and Aberdeen, WA (MATT: Oh…). Cena’s home is opulent and Bryan’s is the more modest home he grew up in. (MATT:
Technically, he really lives with Brie in their apartment, as was
revealed last episode, but this probably makes for better television.)

Nikki
says John’s house is perfect (not surprising, as she thinks everything
about John is perfect), and that Brie will never want to leave. She then
compares it to being at a resort and tells Brie to “wash the sheets
when you’re done”. What Cena can’t afford a maid for his palace? (Methinks Bryan is gonna be making Brie scream “YES!” all night long…)

Backstage – Natalya, JoJo, and Eva Marie
Eva
Marie and JoJo are talking with Natalya over lunch. Natalya tells her
to stay out of the treats as they have to “wear spandex for work” to
which JoJo who is eating what appears to be a brownie on top of
chocolate ice cream and tells her, “It’s OK, I’m 19, I can do
it”. (MATT: This is like watching telegraphing the death of a Red Shirt on Star Trek.)

Eva
Marie wastes no time in directing this conversation by telling Natalya
that they had noticed that Fandango comes out with a different dance
partner every time and Natalya agrees that he does as “he’s very
particular and wants the best dancer he can get”.

Fandango comes to the table, calling them “single ladies” and kisses Natalya (MATT: After an uncomfortably long lean into it.),
then moves to do the same with JoJo and Eva Marie. He asks if they’re
staying out of trouble. Eva Marie flirts and says she is trying and he
tells her she looks nice. Fandango explains that he has a “different
girl in each city” (MATT: How this even still appeals to Eva, I will never know.),
however, if they could find him a permanent girl who was “good looking
enough and could move well”, he’d be in favor of it. The girls giggle
like their brains left their head. Eva Marie says she can dance and
wants to try out. Fandango flirts with her a bit more, saying he hopes
they can dance together soon, then leaves telling Natalya to “keep a
leash on her for me”. (MATT: I will NEVER know…)

Backstage – Brian James & The Divas
Producer
Brian James talks to the Diva and briefs them on the match between Brie
vs. Naomi (though Nikki and Cameron will be accompanying them to the
ring). Brian tells them they are the villains of the match and suggests
they do the Twin Magic move they are famous for.

Nikki
says their characters are “the biggest bitches you would ever come
across and the nastiest” but insists they’re far different in real life.
I believe this about Brie, I still haven’t seen sweetness from Nikki.

In the Ring  – Brie Bella (with Nikki Bella) and Naomi (with Cameron)
Brie
explains, on camera, that “Twin Magic” is their finisher move. It’s
comprised of one twin hiding under the ring, with the other twin rolling
out of the ring and under it to replace the hiding twin. (MATT: Somebody saw “The Prestige” and based the idea off that…) They
do this at the match with Nikki (still pretending to be Brie) is the
winner, but Naomi complains to the ref and the twins are disqualified. (MATT: I’m not getting how the ref didn’t realize that Nikki went from having enormous boobs to having nothing at all.) They have to get revenge Bella Style, so they both roll back in the ring and start beating on the Funkadactlys.

Backstage – Eva Marie and Talent Relations
Eva
Marie meets with Jane Geddes and Mark Carrano of Talent Relations and
they talk about Fandango and the dance partner thing. Eva says she might
be helpful as she has a dance background in ballet and ballroom
dancing. Jane seems surprised to hear this, but takes Eva Marie at her
word without asking questions like “How many years” or “Who did you
train under?”.  (MATT: Welcome to WWE: were everything is left to chance!) They say she can audition at the next RAW but stress she must take it seriously.

Backstage – JoJo, Eva Marie and Fandango
JoJo sees Fandango after his match and tells him that Eva will be out there with him. Eva Marie appears out of nowhere (MATT: What, is she a Wallmaster?!) 
and when he asks her how she thinks he did out there, Eva replies, “I
think you need me…we could make it work.” He leaves to take a shower.
And he’ll think about her. In the shower. Also to “hit him up in Tampa”.
Eva jokes with JoJo about how she should join him and scrub his back,
but she ends up staying there. Eva Marie tells JoJo that she thinks she
can do it — but then reveals that she can’t Ballroom Dance…and that
she has zero dance experience. Liar liar, hair on fire, this is not
going to end well.

Roanoke, VA


Airport and Bus Stop
John tells Nikki to take only what she needs to survive the trip. But
Nikki, being one of “those chicks”, has several luggage pieces and, in
contrast, Bryan appears to only have a backpack with him. Nikki gets on
the private plane, proclaming that she “never wants to travel any other
way.” Brie asks if she’s wearing underwear, because reasons, and Nikki
sounds shocked by the idea. She talks on camera about John’s hard work
and lavish lifestyle. (Not to slam my own gender, but this girl sounds
like a textbook gold digger at this point. Run, John, Run!)

Nikki
complains that Eva Marie shows off too much cleavage, even changing her
neckline, on the spot, to flirt and that she even mentioned working
with John in some sort of mixed partners tag team event. Nikki will have
none of that as she’s “a lioness” as she protects her own. “When I feel
like people are threatening mine,” she says “well, then, you see the
lion come out.” Assuming Nikki had confronted Eva Marie, that would have
been more interesting than hearing about it later, but this is what
they chose to show us. (MATT: Cena’s smirking through this just yells, “JESUS CHRIST, I’M ON A REALITY SHOW.”)

Despite
Nikki’s obvious dislike of Eva Marie, an oblivious John praises Eva
Marie (he doesn’t seem to know her name only that she’s the redhead) for
standing out in a business where standing out is how you get over.
Nikki gives him an angry look, and he looks sheepish. Nikki tries to
change the subject and John has them toast with champagne to “an
interesting adventure”.

Tampa, Florida


Eva Marie and JoJo’s hotel room 
There’s a knock at the door. Eva Marie answers to discover that it’s her
boyfriend, Jonathan, who flew out from California to surprise her. She
seems madly in love and claims to be shaking, seeing him there. PS:
they’ve been dating for only two and half months. JoJo had no idea Eva
had a boyfriend and goes to read a book to give them privacy while
Jonathan says stuff with Tony Scott subs again. Eva tells her to put on
music (so as not to hear them having sex). He brings her donuts, a tribute to their first date at a donut shop. The donut box has a ring box
in it. He says in just two hours of their first meeting, he knew she was
“the one”. “I used to have the idea of the perfect woman and you blow
all that our of the water. I love you so much it’s ridiculous. Then he
asks Eva to marry him. Eva Marie wipes away tears and accepts. They kiss
and not three minutes later, she’s running off to show BFF JoJo. JoJo
seems happy but skeptical.

Los Angeles


Vincent’s Car (Destination Unknown) – Cameron and Vincent 
Cameron
is in the car with her boyfriend, Vincent, and on the phone with
Designer Mike who is “the bomb.com” to get tag team outfits for her and
Naomi. She describes what she wants: something lime green and sparkly
with shorts with a rhinestone buckle that will get the crowd’s
attention, and she wants it in 2-3 days. Designer Mike is totally up for
this.

Tampa, Florida


Cena’s house
Brie and Daniel walk down a long staircase, hand in hand.  Brie is happy
to see coffee is made. Nikki, dressed like an Italian Countess, gives
them the Grand Tour. She and Daniel aren’t used to the extravagant
lifestyle or all the rooms in his house. Among other amenities, he has a
cigar room, a dressing room (MATT: A giant “dressing room”…REALLY?)
which Daniel refers to as a giant closet, an elevator to the master
bedroom, pool with outer grotto and a guest house. Brie and Daniel laugh
over the fact that the guest house is not only bigger than the
apartment that they share, it might be bigger than his childhood home
(for which they plan on living after they retire). Now that he’s injured
and she has quit – at least in kayfabe – I wonder if they spend any
significant time there.

Nikki is driving Cena’s Maseratti (MATT: Slumming it since Cena’s Batmobile is in the shop.),
but she’s driving it way too fast. She delights in telling Brie it can
go 200 MPH. When Brie asks what she would do if she was pulled over in a
car she doesn’t own, Nikki she says she will “show her tits and get out
of a ticket”. The twins are hot and don’t most men fantasize about
being with twins? I don’t think a cop would give them a speeding ticket
if they were pulled over together even without Nikki taking “the girls”
out of her shirt. Of course, they aren’t pulled over and we move on.

Brie says she and Daniel enjoys low key homes, but the extravagance of Cena’s place is very nice.

Eva Marie and JoJo’s hotel room
Jonathan leaves Eva Marie she immediately springs into action to prepare
for meeting with Fandango. She is wearing a very tight dress, stilettos
and fake eye lashes. She says on camera, “Jane and Mark said it’s all
about chemistry so I’m pulling out all the stops tonight.” Was she at
the same meeting I saw, or did production for this show chop out some
important pieces? The parts I saw seemed more they were interested in
her dancing abilities than on screen chemistry (which ironically, they
already seem to have).

JoJo correctly deduces that Eva
Marie didn’t mention the date (or as Eva Marie calls it a business
meeting) to Jonathan. Marie calls Fandango “her mission” and she takes
off her engagement ring, much to JoJo’s disgust. JoJo says, on camera,
“Last time I checked, you don’t take off an engagement ring for a business meeting.”

John Cena’s House
The
four are swimming and diving and having fun. Daniel is teased a bit for
doing the doggie paddle. Nikki is totally into it,  telling the cameras
“The thing about being at Johns’ house is, I feel like I’m in a rap
video. I have my bikini, I’m by the pool, I have my Christal, I love it!”

Los Angeles


Stage Hollywood Costume Shop
Cameron gets her costume from Mike, she loves it and it fits her perfectly.

Tampa, Florida


Malio’s Prime Steakhouse
Eva Marie jokes that she’s surprised he came. They reminisce that they
met at WM 29 and that Fandango lifted her hand to kiss it, but ended up
kissing his own hand instead. She lies to him that she can dance and
worries on camera that telling him the truth would probably be
detrimental. When pressed, she says she can’t do a split since wrestling
training has made her right hip tight. and he offers to massage her
before they go out, and she can massage him after the match. He invites
her to go out with the boys to a club and she accepts.

The nightclub, later that evening
He
tells her they’re gonna ballroom dance. On camera she muses, “You’d
think this would be the time to tell him my secret, not being able to
ballroom dance,” but of course, being someone who impulsively disobeys a
direct order to change her hair color and impulsively accepting a
proposal from someone she’s dated for less time than it takes to
complete most college classes, she isn’t about to see the wisdom of own
idea. Somehow, they end up just having him flirt more (saying she should
wear a black dress for RAW with an “I’m with Fandango” sign on it) and
she finally realizes she’s way in over her head.

Airport – The Bellas, Cena and Daniel
After spending three days at Cena’s home, they’re off to Daniel’s home
in Aberdeen, Washington. On the jet, John challenges them to a Battle of
the Sexes wood-cutting contest. The rules are these: the Divas only
have to chop one piece of wood for every three John and Daniel do to
win. The girls want “intimate massages” if they win. Daniel Bryan’s acts
like this is the worst thing he’s ever heard, but they accept. Stakes
are set at an intimate massage once a week for a month to the winning
team.

Aberdeen, Washington


Daniel’s Home
Daniel
asks Nikki what she thinks of the town and she says it’s cute. When
pressed by Daniel for honesty, she admits she couldn’t live there
full-time. Brie likes all the trees but admits she wishes it was sunny
more often.

They arrive at his house which, while
modest, many people could appreciate living in. When John notices there
is no TV, Brian replied, “Yeah, it’s not my thing…we do have antlers
though,” (there is a set mounted on the wall). Daniel gives them the
tour which includes many simple things owned by his parents.

Nikki,
however, isn’t impressed and complains on camera: “I can handle this
for a hot minute, but Brie is going to be living here…forever.” Nikki
further laments that while she thinks Brie living there will work for
Daniel, she thinks it won’t make Brie happy long term. Brie, Nikki and
John talk in the kitchen with Bryan absent as he’s trying to go get some
wood logs for the contest. John asks Brie if she really thinks the
place is big enough for the two kids she wants someday. Brie admits
she’d make some changes. Nikki suggests she should start by getting rid
of his parents’ furniture.

(MATT: Reason #73 to hate Cena and Nikki. That place does need work but it’s not bad at all.)

Tampa, Florida


Naomi and Jon’s apartment
Cameron calls Naomi, excited that she has the new costumes. Naomi
listens on speakerphone and Jon seems concerned that Cameron describes
the costumes as “sexy” and says that bits of Naomi will be hanging out,
so Jon might be mad. After the call, Jon mocks what Cameron said, and
Naomi seems genuinely worried about how much the costume will show.

Aberdeen, Washington


Daniel Bryan’s House
The twins come out in tight jeans and skimpy tops to help them win the contest. Brie cuts a few well (MATT: Wearing high-heeled Clogs for this sorta thing really helps her, I guess.) but Nikki fails dramatically. She hurts herself and actually says, “Ow, I actually just hit myself in the vagina!” (MATT: Dialogue by Vince McMahon.)
The girls get 8 so the boys need 25 to win. Nikki tries to distract
John with showing more cleavage and bending over, but he says that won’t
work because he “already has wood”. The cameraman, not content with a
wood joke, gives us the obligatory shot of his crotch in jeans. Brie
says she loves having a boyfriend who looks like a lumberjack. Bryan
makes a show of chopping wood ridiculously slow, he gets comes close to but doesn’t finish one and
John complains that even Nikki cut two. Bryan says that he was trying to
just get the tie, and ended up going so slow he didn’t event get that. It’s obvious he did this out of love for Brie, and
it’s sweet.

Nikki and John are cuddling in bed and,
instead of enjoying a romantic moment with her, John suggests she gets
more wine from the store. Nikki brings Brie because twins. Brie
describes them as Cali girls and seems uneasy with willingness to trade
sunny days for gloomy ones (as a CA transplant I empathize with this
one), as well as a life she loves in San Diego. Nikki is disgusted with
all the geese droppings around. Brie confesses to Nikki how hard it
would be for her to live there without the sun and into a house she may
not be able to change much. Nikki says she’d be unhappy without being
near boutiques and in fact the house should be demolished and a new one
put up in its place. (MATT: Boutiques! Bitches LOVE boutiques!)

Monday Night RAW at Bok Center – Tulsa, Oklahoma


Backstage – Eva Marie, JoJo and Fandango
Eva
Marie, wearing a sexy black dress with blue sparkly accents, is
freaking out about how she has to come clean and JoJo is little help,
mainly mocking the situation. Eva Marie confesses to Fandango that she
is nervous and he wonders why. Without trying to wait for a reason, he
just tells her not to freak out on him.

Backstage – Natalya, Brodus Clay, JoJo, Cameron, Naomi, and Eva Marie
Natalya
gives Eva Marie two sparkly blue rhinestone bracelets and matching
necklace that work with the dress perfectly and tells The Funkadactyls
that it’s a special night as Eva Marie is dancing with Fandango. Natalya
says she should ask them for advice if she needs it as they are
professional dancers. She sheepishly asks for advice on doing splits.
Cameron is appalled that someone could dance and not do splits. This
actually does make sense to me as splits also involve flexibility.
Growing up I took tap, jazz and ballet for years (most girls in my
neighborhood did) and even at my most flexible as a teen I could never
complete a full down to the floor split.

Luckily the
company is smart enough to have her audition with Fandango before the
show in front of the Divas and Talent Management, though again this is
the night of RAW. (MATT: NOBODY THOUGHT TO HAVE HER AUDITION DAYS BEFORE THIS?!) She didn’t consider taking a dance lesson or five that week? Google shows an Arthur Murray studio in Tampa! It’s RIGHT THERE.

Though
Eva Marie prayed for her feet to do the right thing, God’s clear answer
to her was “no”. She doesn’t use her arms in the entrance the way a
classically-trained dancer would and she isn’t even walking gracefully.
When paired with Fandango, she misses cues in the music and barely knows
which way to turn or move, even when he’s using hand signals to show
her. “Eva, if you’re a dancer, then I’m an astronaut!” Naomi says.

Jane
walks off, clearly pissed and Fandango balks at trying again, walking
to the backstage area. Mark confronts Eva, saying, “I’m not a dancer, and even I know that wasn’t good. Are you sure you’re a trained
dancer?”

(MATT: And that was my reaction to that question.)

Meanwhile, Cameron is excited to see Naomi’s costume
but refuses to take off the long coat covering most of it as it doesn’t
work for her body type. “All my cookies are hanging out,” she complains.
Apparently there’s a crotch blur because the costume isn’t tailored
right.

They are forced to go to Sandra, with their hat
in their hand, to fix this. Cameron claims she was told to have sexier
outfits. Sandra is appalled she’s been asked to fix someone else’s work
and claims there’s not a lot she could do with Naomi’s costume anyway.
An angry Cameron tells her if she won’t fix them, she won’t use Sandra
anymore. Sandra seems totally kosher with this, but Naomi is appalled.
Sandra makes them apologize for going behind their back repeatedly, then
won’t fix the costume to boot. Instead, she sets them up with tight
orange outfits with long pants with cutouts. This time, Naomi thinks
they look great (she’s right) and Cameron is bummed that it shows little
cleavage as her breasts are smaller than Naomi’s. Still, they make up
in a minute flat just like last week and when they go out on stage with
Tons of Funk, do a great job.

Backstage – Eva Marie
Eva
Marie is waiting in the “Authority Office” set. She realizes she let
the lie go too far. Stephanie McMahon walks in and meets Eva Marie for
the first time. “I don’t even know you, Eva Marie, but when you
embarrass yourself, you embarrass the company and this is not OK.” Eva
Marie confesses to the lie and says she will only be positive for the
company from then on. Stephanie tells her if she screws up again she’ll
be booted from WWE — and she won’t be back. She tells her she hopes
that’s not the case and to take care, leaving Eva Marie in tears.

That’s this week’s episode.

This episode’s punches go to: Nikki and Eva Marie (tie)
– Nikki seems more interested in what John can give her materially then
who he is, I don’t even believe she knows his favorite color or middle
name, she’s also trying way too hard to show off for her sister  – Eva
Marie – impulsively accepts an engagement only to be ready to throw him
under the bus to have the chance to be Fandango’s Valet, then does
absolutely nothing to prepare for the audition.

This episode’s hug goes to: JoJo – once
again, we learn nothing about her personal life or how she sees herself
professionally. She realizes Eva Marie is making all the wrong choices,
yet she doesn’t really try to tell her this, (preferring to joke around
and mostly hide her real opinions) and, other than that, she gets no
real storyline for the second time in two episodes.

That’s it. Tommy will take you into the weekend with the Smackdown Review. Andy PG will start your week off right with the PG Era Raw Rant on Monday.

Thank you to all the BoD’ers and, hey, if you wanna read more of our stuff, please visit WE HATE YOUR GIMMICK at http://wehateyourgimmick.blogspot.com and, of course, visit us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/wehateyourgimmick/.