Nikki Bella’s defining characteristic as a competitor, entrepreneur and a person has always been that she throws herself full-tilt into whatever she’s pursuing at any given moment. So it’s not exactly a surprise on the Total Bellas Season 4 finale when she decides to keep her comeback going by signing up for WWE’s European tour in the wake of her big match with Ronda Rousey. As Brie points out, the Bella businesses have already taken a hit during their return to the ring, Nikki has worn herself down over a long career — the twins celebrate their 35th birthday this episode — and given that the Bellas have already attained their desired successes, she could stand to say no to something once in a while.
Nevertheless, she persists, and it turns out Brie’s right. The tour is much harder to get through, physically, than Nikki thinks it’s going to be, and she decides to officially retire from in-ring competition upon her return to the States. (In an interesting contrast, this is all happening at the same time that Daniel Bryan breaks bad, revitalizes his career and gets his dream match against Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series.) Hanging over all this is the question of what, exactly, Nikki is going to do next: She’s no longer a wrestler, she’s still in the wilderness of single life (the episode features a pointed visit to Napa Valley, where she was supposed to be married once upon a time), and Brie is still relocating to Phoenix and leaving Nikki to her devices in Los Angeles. The idea of a driven woman having nowhere in particular to go weighs heavily on Brie, who openly wonders after moving into her new house whether Nikki will be able to find a sufficient love and support system.
Turns out, she needn’t have worried. Foreshadowed by an offhanded line about Nikki possibly seeing someone that Brie shoo-shoos away, the season closes on the revelation that Nikki is having the time of her life in L.A. — thanks, in no small part to the fact that she’s dating her “Dancing With the Stars” partner Artem after all.
The Bellas’ comeback is finally reaching its apex with a main-event showcase at WWE Evolution — but if you ask Brie, it’s just one last obligation she has to get through before heading to Phoenix for her well-deserved retirement. The various ups and downs of Brie’s return run have left her less than excited for the historic pay-per-view event, which leads to a wide enthusiasm gap between the two Bella Twins: While Nikki wants to organize a pep rally to thank the Bellas’ fans for supporting them throughout their last ride, Brie instead busies herself with trying to find a way to restore John Laurinaitis’ original voice after pulling up an old clip of him as a wrestler in The Dynamic Dudes. Continue reading Total Bellas Recap
It’s been a tale of two comebacks on Total Bellas, and it’s quickly becoming a tale of two Bellas as well. On the one hand you have Nikki, who is so laser-focused on preparing for WWE Evolution that she’s deliberately burning the candle on both ends. She’s overworked, tired, and incapable of having fun (she’s dismissive of an otherwise-amusing axe throwing jaunt because it doesn’t count as training), but with the pressure on to deliver in a once-in-a-lifetime environment, she simply chalks all that up as the cost of doing business.
Brie, meanwhile, is still somewhat confused as to what her next move should be after being relegated to valet duty. Now that Evolution is getting closer and closer, she’s becoming more and more convinced that this might be as good a time as any to close the book on her career. The only issue remaining is where she and Daniel Bryan will live, as their adventures have taken them all over the West Coast and largely prohibited them from settling down in Phoenix like they had once planned. Brie ultimately announces to the family that she will be retiring after Evolution and her family will relocate back to Arizona, much to the delight of everyone — except Nikki, who isn’t sure why Brie is so intent on stopping after a successful comeback.
When looking back on the history of the Women’s division, the Women’s Evolution and the current crop of female Superstars, it would be disingenuous at best to write off Brie Bella’s accomplishments. So, understandably, she finds herself somewhat taken aback on Total Bellas this week when she finds out she’s being relegated to valet duty for Nikki at WWE Evolution, despite having finally gotten her sea legs back in the ring. Brie isn’t sure if the new assignment is a passive-aggressive way to nudge her towards in-ring retirement, and Nikki’s refusal to say she would be Brie’s valet if the roles were reversed doesn’t do much for her confidence. A well-timed prank with Johnny where they pretend the roles have been reversed knocks Nikki down a peg, but this seems bound to boil up again as the pay-per-view draws closer.
It’s hardly Brie’s only issue this week, as she finds her and Daniel Bryan’s attempt to live eco-friendly, sustainable lives has been more or less derailed by their need to balance parenting with a grueling professional schedule. Bryan all but throws up his hands and admits defeat, but Brie arranges for Bryan to help pick up some trash to soothe his conscience. It works!
Oh, and by the way, Nikki’s night out with Peter takes a twist when she turns down his kiss, and she’s not sure if there will be a Date No. 2. But Peter’s big move — he delivers a care package of Nikki’s favorite candy, black licorice — ends up winning him so many points that a follow-up date is no longer out of the question.
Continue reading Total Bellas Recap