Wednesday, August 21, 2013

On the Air: Total Divas (2013)

12 years after their first plunge into reality TV, WWE tries again, this time with Total Divas, airing on the E! network (USA repurposed the first episode only).

One of the criticisms lodged against Tough Enough at the end of its MTV run (2001-3) was that it supposedly exposed the wrestling business. Now, I can't judge that for sure, but don't you think Total Divas, by revealing the private lives of some of the women, does the same thing? When you stop and think about it, Chairman-CEO Vince McMahon, a frequent winner of our Weasel of the Week award, lives in his own pocket universe. How else to explain the misguided direction of WWE's two linchpin shows?

Speaking of Tough Enough, 2011 runner-up Ariane Andrew was brought back and repackaged as Cameron, 1/2 of the Funkadactyls, the cheerleader/dancers for Brodus Clay and his partner, Sweet T (Tensai). Viewers will be familiar with her and the other girls, particularly the Bella Twins (Brianna & Nicole Garcia), who did most of the media rounds before the series premiered last month, but are presented in the ring as a pair of cactus snobs (they're from Arizona, you see). Even more interesting is the fact that each twin is dating a prominent male wrestler. Nikki is dating former champ John Cena (now on the DL with an elbow injury), and Brie with Daniel Bryan (Bryan Danielson). Oddly enough, 2 years ago, they did a storyline on TV where both twins flirted with Bryan, only to discover he was seeing someone else at the time. Funny how things work, eh?

But some premium attention is paid to Nattie (Natalya) Niedhart, daughter of 80's star Jim "The Anvil" Niedhart, and her fiance, TJ Wilson, better known to WWE fans as Tyson Kidd, currently on the DL himself with a knee injury. Judging from a recent episode, I'd say TJ scored a prize catch.

Here's a sample clip:

8 episodes were ordered for the first season, and now comes word that six more have been ordered. What did you expect?

Rating: C. If you've seen one reality show, you've pretty much seen them all.

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