Total Divas third season ends with memorable moments

As the E! Channel reality show Total Divas finished its third season, the path for the Divas of World Wrestling Entertainment culminates with tensions over performances at a historic WrestleMania event and wedding jitters. Despite the development of the Divas division from its perception as eye candy in the late 1990s to strong, athletic women in the 2010s, hardcore fans cannot help but feel that this division still receives second class treatment.

With the entire Divas division earning the opportunity to compete at a unique battle royal for the Divas championship at WrestleMania XXX in New Orleans, a member of the management team approaches them with an ominous message. Originally slated to appear second on the card (line-up for non-wrestling fans), the announcement is made that the Vickie Guerrero Divas Invitational (name of the match) shall be the second-last match. While the Divas confront the member of management, it becomes obvious that he is just a soldier, bearing the bad news despite the potential injustice.

The impact of the decision is one that supplies haunting and saddening feelings to the beleaguered Bella Twins. Undergoing the stress of preparing a wedding and relationship woes, the rescheduling of a match reignites feelings from 2013. During WrestleMania XXIX in New Jersey, the Bella Twins tag-team match was rescheduled to the second last on the card. As other matches on the card lasted longer than their pre-allotted time, the Bella Twins match was sacrificed.

Fearing over another match possibly being cancelled, tensions rise for the Bella Twins and their colleagues. One of the subplots during the second season of Total Divas is the growing tension between Brie Bella and rookie star Summer Rae. While Rae is hurt over not being invited to Brie’s wedding over the fear of potential drama, the two encounter each other in the backstage area. While Summer is cordial enough to provide a wedding gift, it is obvious that their issues remain unresolved. Hopefully, the booking committee (group who stages the matches and determine which athletes wrestle each other) can translate such heat into an in-ring rivalry.

Nikki Bella endures her own relationship woes. Having disclosed to her family the revelation that she was secretly married earlier in her life, it created a rippling event. With her brother approaching John Cena and praising him for how calm he was in hearing the news, little did the brother know that he was truly the first revealing such information to Cena.

Another rookie also endures her shares of tensions. Eva Marie, named to Maxim Magazine’s Hot 100 for 2014 is extremely nervous as she has limited wrestling skills. Pacing frantically and expressing her fears to anyone who will lend an ear, she is afraid that she may have a bad performance at the WWE’s signature event. Nattie Neidhart attempts to console her, but it just comes across as a scolding, an example of her intensity.

As time seems to drag on for the impatient Divas, concerns grow upon the discovery of the preceding match. This even greater problem surfaces as the sixth match bears a historic impact. The Undertaker, who entered the match with a 21-0 mark in previous WrestleMania events, is facing former UFC champion Brock Lesnar. Not only is the match lasting longer than scheduled, but all signs point to the clash between these two ring gods becoming an instant classic.

Much to the surprise of the Divas, who are watching on monitors backstage, the Undertaker’s streak comes to a shocking end. With fans heartbroken and booing, it may have been better for the Divas if their match was cancelled. Instead, they are given the news that they shall emerge from the backstage area and work their match.

Forced to perform after a historic match, with an ending that will be talked about for years to come, it becomes obvious why the Vickie Guerrero Divas Invitational was rescheduled. Coming out to a group of upset, distraught and enraged fans, it becomes clear that said fans have no interest in this match. While nervous rookie Eva Marie (whose outfit alone makes her a fan favorite) attempts to steal the show by blowing a kiss to Tamina Snuka, it gets a roar out of the crowd.

Overall, the match fails to capture the imagination of the fans, still mourning the Undertaker’s biggest loss in his career. The concept of this battle royal is that the first Diva who earns a pinfall is named Divas champion. Adding insult to injury for the distraught Divas (who at this point are just happy to have bene able to perform) is the outcome. Despite every Diva on the roster being involved, the defending champion AJ Lee emerged as the winner, grabbing her belt to a chorus of boos.

Taking into account that the exposure and prestige of such a match could have been used to crown a new champion, it is somewhat surprising that AJ Lee retained her title. Considering the number of Divas featured on Total Divas, it would have only been seen as common sense had a Diva from the program been crowned as champion. With Naomi (whose wedding to Jimmy Uso was another highlight of the second season) having suffered a nearly career-ending injury with her eye injury, she is one of the most talented Divas to have never been champion. In reality, Wrestle Mania XXX should have been her coming-out party, a truly golden opportunity missed by the booking committee.

While the show will return for a third season (debuting on September 7, 2014) as Rosa Mendes joins the cast, it shall certainly represent a bold new chapter. Despite comprising only the final ten minutes of the broadcast, the wedding of Brie Bella and Daniel Bryan (known as Bryan Danielsson in real life) served as a storybook ending for the second season. Held in Sedona, Arizona, everything from the first season truly led to this moment. Loyal fans shall certainly be intrigued as to how their marriage develops in the upcoming season. The highlight of the wedding definitely came after the two exchanged vows, as the wedding guests happily cheered Daniel Bryan’s trademark “Yes! Yes! Yes!” chant.

Total Divas provides window into competitive world of women’s wrestling in WWE

Debuting on July 28, 2013, E! Television offers fans of World Wrestling Entertainment an opportunity into the world of its Divas Division with the new reality series Total Divas. Featuring seven Divas, ranging from veteran performers to several rookies, the pecking order is highly evident.total_divas_h_2013
Airing right after the popular E! series, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, it struggled to retain the lead-in audience of 2.8 million viewers who viewed the drama with the Kardashians. While Total Divas featured 885,000 viewers, it still made for the most watched premiere on the network in almost one year.

With the Bella Twins featured in several promotions for the series, there is no denying that they are the true attraction of the show. Along with Natalya (Nattie) Niedhart, they comprise the veterans of the reality series. Cameron and Naomi are members of The Funkadactyls, dancers who help introduce Brodus Clay into the ring. The rookies feature Eva Marie and 19 year-old Jo-Jo Offerman.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the episode “Welcome to the WWE” is the personal lives of the Bellas. Brie is involved with former champion Daniel Bryan, while Nikki is in a relationship with current WWE champion John Cena (who is divorced from Elizabeth Huberdeau). One scene in the episode shows Nikki in San Diego with a Range Rover that Cena supposedly bought for her.

As the main storyline of the program was the controversy regarding the Bellas getting a match at WrestleMania 29, one cannot help but wonder if their personal relationships with Bryan and Cena did not open doors for the highly desired wrestling spot. With Nattie Niedhart denied her opportunity to wrestle in the biggest event of the year, she cannot help but spout frustration over the fact that the Bellas were gone for a year.

The sad irony is that this marks the second time that a member of the world-famous Hart wrestling family was betrayed on TV. Bret Hart’s documentary Wrestling With Shadows was an unlikely witness to the infamous Montreal Screwjob, which was a blackeye in wrestling.

As the niece of Bret, the anguish and attempt to hold back tears with a brave face is all too evident. This milder screwjob features a meeting with Jane Geddes, the Vice-President of WWE Talent Relations. Featured in the annual Sports Illustrated Where Are They Now? special issue in 2013, the former LPGA golfer discussed her same-sex relationship.

With due deference to Geddes, while it is encouraging and empowering to see a woman as Vice-President in such a male-dominated field as pro wrestling, her position is one that should only be handled by a former wrestler (whether it be male or female), due to the sensitivity of the politics. While she has served as a Senior VP for Tournament Operations and Player Services in the LPGA, she just seems like an odd fit for the job. Having never wrestled, she comes across as cold and distant.

Truly adding insult to injury is the fact that Geddes asks Niedhart to be a chaperone for new arrivals Eva-Marie (whom Geddes asks to dye her hair blonde) and Jo-Jo. While Jo-Jo is a very humble individual who looks like she is willing to learn, Eva-Marie is highly ambitious and is not shy about expressing her desire to climb to the top of the ranks. Her ambitions are to be seen in greater detail in the second episode.

Although Eva Marie’s ambition and the Bella Twins visions of grandeur makes the 1980s rivalry between Cindy Lauper, Wendy Richter and the Fabulous Moolah look pretty tame, there is no question that the claws are out.

With the world of pro wrestling as one that is scripted, there is no telling how much of the content in this reality show truly is real. For now, it is an intriguing insight into a division of the WWE’s wrestling roster that hardly gets enough exposure.