As the Divas of World Wrestling Entertainment return for their third season of Total Divas on the E! Channel, the emphasis was focused more on their personal lives than on the drama that makes life in the squared circle one of the most unique in all of sports entertainment. From three Divas each coping with marriage in their own unique way, it was a key focus in the season opener.
The Bella Twins, Nikki and Brie, are both on opposite sides of the marriage spectrum. Brie is engaged to fellow colleague Bryan Danielson (known in the ring as Daniel Bryan), while Nikki’s relationship with WWE champion John Cena is one defined by struggle. After walking out on her sister Brie and future brother-in-law Bryan during their wedding registry, the tension between Nikki and Cena is worse than any in the ring.
Fellow diva Eva Marie is also coping with her own struggles. In the final episode of Season 2, her father flat out refused to provide his blessing to Eva Marie’s fiance. Despite the tension that emanated, Season 3 begins with Eva Marie flaunting her wedding ring.
As one of the rising stars in the entire promotion, Eva Marie (who has also appeared in Maxim Magazine) is certainly breaking a lot of hearts with her marriage. Whether it affects her status as a fan favorite will be sure to follow. In the dying minutes of the season opener, Eva Marie’s father discovers her marriage secret and throws a tantrum worthy of the best heel in WWE.
Added to the mix is the newest Diva on the roster, Summer Rae. A former competitor (under a different name) with the Chicago Bliss of the Legends Football League, Rae is ambitious and not afraid to get what she wants. With a desire to be the top diva in the promotion, signs of an early rivalry with fellow blonde-haired wrestler Naddie Niedhart are rising to the surface.
When Mark Carrano, member of the Talent Relations department introduces Rae to the group of Divas, a suggestion of having Eva Marie as Rae’s tag team partner is discussed. As Carrano suggests a possible program with the Bella Twins for the newly formed tag team, the claws quickly come out. Niedhart takes a jab at Rae by discussing her lack of talent.
Considering that Rae began in the WWE as a valet to wrestler Fandango (the two were a spoof of ballroom dancers), resentment stems on the part of Niedhart as she sees her getting a chance to compete in the ring. Promotional material for the program indicates that later in the season, Rae would actually slap Niedhart. Considering Niedhart’s grandfather is the legendary Stu Hart, she can probably stretch and torture the headstrong Rae in ways she could not imagine. Fans can only hope that such a rivalry carries over into a great in-ring program.
Oddly, this is not the only wrestler that Niedhart displays tensions with. From Eva Marie stating to Rae that Niedhart has trouble getting along with others, controversy follows Niedhart at an event featuring other wrestlers.
With the Bella Twins celebrating their 30th birthday party in Austin, Texas (where several wrestlers are attending Wizard World for an autograph session), an inebriated Niedhart begins to gyrate with Vincent, one of the other Divas’ boyfriends.
After a slight pushing match and the F-word, tensions follow outside the bar. Confronting each other in the street, a police officer prevents what may have been an impromptu street fight.
Ironically, Niedhart’s father, former WWE tag team champion Jim the Anvil had a reputation as a partyer. While Niedhart considers herself wholesome, the reality of television is that it can sometimes portray another picture, even if it is not a fair perception.
Wizard World does nothing to alleviate tensions between Nikki and John Cena. Despite Cena not in attendance at her birthday party, he takes a break from his autograph session to visit them. Unfortunately for Nikki, the tension dates back to Season
Two when Cena was adamant about his refusal to marry or have children. Having moved back to San Diego, it has forced Nikki into some soul searching. Just like the ending of Season Two, the tensions between the couple provide the cliffhanger for the end of the third season opener.
Flying into Nikki’s current residence at San Diego, Cena offers to meet her at a designated spot and if she does not meet him, he knows that the relationship is over. The scene evokes memories of Sex and the City when Miranda meets her lover at the Brooklyn Bridge. In true dramatic fashion, Nikki is seen walking towards Cena when the screen fades to black with the infamous To Be Continued flashing onto the screen.