Monday, June 2, 2014

The Past Is Prologue: Total Divas Season Two Finale

This wedding is where Trey gets off the Total Divas train
Photo Credit:
Halfway through the season 2 finale of Total Divas, I began to realize my most substantial reason for ending the column series about the show. It has begun to remind me of everything I hated about filler video segments on RAW. I completely get why WrestleMania would be the ending arc for the season, because of course this show is ostensibly a commercial for the WWE brand and the WrestleMania event is the pinnacle of that brand's awareness. I also get that if I'm criticizing wrestling for being a long commercial for itself, then I'm kind of being naive about the model of professional wrestling. The entire show is a commercial for whatever purchase you would want to make, whether it be a streaming network or a live event ticket or a relatively overpriced t-shirt.

However, as blatant as advertising in wrestling is, the story also comes first. The story of this episode of Total Divas is everyone saying WrestleMania is great, the Streak ending, and oh yeah a big fucking wedding that everyone actually gives a shit about. And I don't know what it is that fully annoys me, but I do know that when wrestling shows have to fill time to tell us that there is a big event, they get to play on the crutch of a long wrestling match. Total Divas plays on the crutch of Eva Marie being shocked that those weird species known as the humans would ever relate to a gorgon princess like herself. And repeat. And repeat. There are stories on this episode, but they're barely a blip of conflict. Ariane doesn't say "I love you" but then she says "I love you." Everyone realizes they're in a position to fail, but then they don't address how evil the company that set them to fail is. Even Nikki's super big "I was married once" story just sort of peters out. Conflict is literally the only thing that keeps the narrative medium together and somehow Total Divas can't even get that right.

With all that said, the Danielson-Garcia wedding is nice. Weddings on Total Divas are genuinely pleasant spectacles, albeit way understated. They just look human and allow the pleasantries like wedding vows to shine through. And those wedding vows were hella good. Again, if Bryan Danielson and Brianna Garcia do not actually love each other, then Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella are the best actors in wrestling history. You get the sense of their own fondness for each other, which is even weirder to think when they appear on wrestling television as a couple and feel stilted but on the ostensibly "real" show, they have the perfect chemistry. It's weird how actual relationships work like that.

So as we say "Godspeed" to Total Divas, let us revel in the weddings, the Sandra, and the random wrestling cameos that inexplicably kept us watching, even when we whined about doing so. And maybe season three is crazy good and I'll miss it entirely and just come back to these columns with the worst mea culpa in The Wrestling Blog's history. Who knows?