With Daniel Bryan in tow, The Bella family is headed to Sonoma, Calif. this week for both business and pleasure: The twins are about to launch their wine, Belle Radici (“beautiful roots” in Italian), and they decide to get a little family vacation in while they’re at it. (John Cena and JJ’s family stay at home for this one, though they both drop in via FaceTime.)
All this business talk is a little too fussy for JJ, who decides to liven up the mood by playing an increasingly disruptive series of pranks, and his first target is Mama Bella (more on her in a bit). Nikki gets the better of JJ by shoving him in a pool, but baby brother’s grand finale — he literally jumps out of the bushes and yells — ends up going too far when Nikki tumbles down the steps and hurts her hand. Everyone’s annoyed at JJ, and he’s left to give an embarrassed apology, making him, like so many others, both the winner and loser of the prank war he started.
The launch of the Bellas’ wine is a triumphant occasion for everyone except Brie Bella, who is pregnant and unable to give herself a taste. While some say she can try it without worrying about the baby, Bryan is having none of that idea, and Brie decides this isn’t the hill to die on. It does lead to a fun social experiment where Nikki straps on a fake baby belly and has a drink at a winery to see how people react (they’re wary but admit to dabbling themselves once Nikki explains the situation). Thus, Brie decides not to try the wine and leave quality control to everyone else for the time being, a pleasantly low-key move for such a drama-filled episode.
It’s been a long time since Mama Bella got the spotlight on her daughters’ show, but Total Bellas casts its eye toward the matriarch, and we get a very stressful insight on what it’s like to be her. For one, Kathy attempts to give her kids business advice before the Belle Radici meetings, only to be met with dismissiveness, if not outright sarcasm. Bryan, who’s debating a business venture of his own, is the only one who considers what she has to say.
Sensing blood in the water, the kids bust their mom’s chops for the duration of the trip, and while some of it is all in good fun (a Mama Bella rap gets rave reviews), Bryan and John Laurinaitis point out that it starts to cross the line at a certain point. Which, of course, it does, and Kathy breaks down in front of the whole family. The kids back down and insist their jokes are all in good fun, and everyone settles down and gives Kathy three cheers by way of an apology. Of course, five minutes later, JJ pranks Nikki and she hurts her hand, but, you know, you take the wins when you can get them.
Brie and Daniel Bryan’s baby shower is coming up, and they’re registered at Babies ‘R’ Us … only Bryan (who’s resolved to miss WrestleMania if it looks like the baby will come early) is putting his foot down when it comes to some of the more extravagant gifts, like a $400 baby monitor. His point is that they shouldn’t ask their friends to drop hundreds of dollars on their behalf, and plus, he’s worried his daughter will take luxury for granted.
Brie counters that they might end up needing the monitor and that the baby shower is supposed to be fun, adding that Bryan’s anxiety tends to suck the joy out of these experiences. She floats the idea that maybe he shouldn’t come to the baby shower if he’s going to be in a bad mood, but he rallies by showing up with Josie, Winston and the baby monitor, which he purchased himself after a talk with Mama Bella. And, as a bonus, they’ve finally landed on a name: Birdie.
As you may have heard, Nikki Bella is not expecting to get married or have children anytime soon on E!’s Total Bellas. Brie Bella, as you also may know, isn’t the biggest fan of her sister’s compromise. That’s doubly true this week, since she realizes she’ll never get to repay Nikki for the incredible bachelorette and baby showers she’s put together. So, Brie decides to throw a “Women’s Empowerment Party” to celebrate Nikki’s status as a career working woman, and it goes … terribly.
For one, the idea is barely out of her mouth before JJ spills the beans, and the general consensus among the family, John Cena included, is that it sounds like a pity party. So, Nikki kiboshes it, but we do get a glimpse into how she has compartmentalized her feelings about family when she reunites with Winston, the dog from Season 1 whom she had to give to Brie and Daniel Bryan once she got back on the road.
Nikki, who splits time with Brie caring for the pup, sees Winston as the only child she’ll ever have, but Brie and Bryan call her out on her parenting skills when she leaves the dog with her mom while accompanying Cena to the Kids’ Choice Awards without telling them. Nikki admits that she feels lonely without Winston and Cena around, and the dog helps alleviate that, so the sisters decide their joint custody arrangement can proceed, as long as everyone communicates a little better. Things perk up, however, when Nikki gets involved with Cena’s SmackDown LIVE rivalry with The Miz, leading to an exciting new chapter in her career.