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'Total Divas' recap: No retreat

This week, Dean Ambrose makes his "Total Divas" debut. A Sedona retreat for the ages.

The cold open is a kid on the street giving Nikki flowers. He shows her a John Cena lunch box ... inside of which is a Nikki action figure.


I'm like 70 percent convinced this wasn't a set-up, but only 50/50 on whether it's sweet or creepy.

Elsewhere, Paige and Foxy meet with Dustin, who is apparently a fan who needs help coming out to his family.


I'm surprised this is just a fan, given we learned about this storyline on last week's preview. Paige says she's very "social" with her fans, though. Probably because her and Foxy are the best. You know, in certain ways.

We get a flashback to the time a fan burst into tears telling Paige about how she helped her get over her eating disorder. Hey, that was an awesome moment! Paige IS the best!

Mandy catches up with Nattie backstage and says she'd love for them to get in the ring on television sometime. I have no doubt about that! Nattie says her and her family are going on a vacation together and for NO REASON WHATSOEVER she invites Mandy and HER family to come along. Even Nattie is stunned by what she's done in a talking head interview.

nattie confused

On SmackDown, Brie is excited that she gets to wrestle in front of her hometown crowd in Arizona. All of her friends and family are in the crowd. Even JJ is representing!

jj shirt

Nikki is taking a week off for physical therapy, so Brie is taking the week off, too. Brie is excited to go to Sedona with Bryan for a detox. JJ gives her crap about her and Bryan being hippies. Then Nikki calls attention to how Brie's top is "not PG." Then there are like a billion close-ups on Brie's top and bra.

not pg

Elsewhen, Mark Carrano pulls Mandy and Eva Marie aside. He says they need to start thinking about ideas for when they make it (back) to the main roster, if they are still thinking about being a tag team. Carrano suggests Eva might want to try blonde hair again. Eva is ... not pleased.

eva not pleased

Paige, Renee Young and Summer Rae are hanging out in craft services. Nattie joins them. Paige is telling them her idea for helping Dustin come out is to have some WWE Divas come to his family's house under the guise of him having won a contest. I mean, you'll have to explain it away somehow.

Renee and Summer say they're surprised she's getting so involved in the life of someone she's only met once. Natalya says they all have to be careful about how close they get to their fans. This is kind of weird, but Renee rightfully points out that Dustin still has to live his whole life with his maybe-not-understanding family once Paige takes off. Paige starts getting a little freaked out by the naysaying and is a little surprised her friends aren't being more supportive.

Brie and Bryan and JJ and ... Mrs. JJ are on their way to Sedona and Bryan is running down their trip itinerary. It involves teepees and probably like sweat lodges and vision quests and whatnot. Sadly, it probably doesn't feature ayahuasca. It would instantly be the best episode ever if it did.

Backstage, Nattie talks to Foxy and says she's flipping out because Mandy is coming on her family vacation and has invited "half of New Jersey." Nattie, you made your bed and now you can lie in it.

Elsewhere, R-Truth gives Mandy and Eva Marie a free idea: dance moves. I love you, Truth. Eva and Mandy dancing goes EXACTLY how you picture it.


The Bella-Danielsons arrive in Sedona and they've rented an absolute mansion, complete with meditation room. And then Renee and DEAN AMBROSE show up and OMG DEAN AMBROSE HAS A DRUM.

dean drum

They all sit down for dinner and then tell a sad story about having to leave their dog behind when they left. Uh, you guys are legit on the road 250 days a year. Still, yes, dog. Sad. Got it.

Paige and Foxy are hanging out and Paige is now trying to talk them out of going with Dustin to help him out. Foxy isn't convinced they shouldn't do it and says they should call Dustin and tell him now. She calls and finds out his mother just had a minor heart attack. He tells them how much their support means to him and Paige is now too guilt-ridden to NOT help him. She's scared they're going to screw everything up.

At TJ and Nattie's house, TJ says their cat was so upset he thinks it peed on itself. Nattie checks.

cat sniff

Nattie explains to TJ about Mandy and her family. TJ isn't even mad, because he's a perfect angel. He jokes that he's going to go ask the neighbors if they want to come on their vacation, too. I love you, TJ.

tj face

Bryan takes the Sedona group to their vortex retreat in the teepee. It involves gongs and bells and relaxation meditation. Brie sort of falls asleep at one point.

nod off

The guy leading the thing plays a horn. Dean Ambrose -- and everyone else -- are quite tickled by all of this.

Mandy and Eva go out to lunch and a fan comes over and tells Eva how inspiring she is. Mandy is jealous because she wants some of that fan admiration for herself.

mandy tea

Eva says she's excited for her NXT title match against Bayley. Mandy then shows Eva some fan art she saw of Eva as a blonde.

blonde eva

Eva isn't interested in hearing any of that bunk. Nor should she be.

eva irritated

Back in Sedona, everyone is dining on a lovely Mexican meal. Bryan is grumbling because he thought this was going to be a total detox trip. Dean gets reprimanded by Renee for loudly stirring his drink while Bryan is talking.

dean drink

Bryan then gets extra-snippy because everyone is drinking, but he feels that is a crutch for modern persons. He even refuses to take part in a Dean Ambrose-led toast.

Paige and Foxy are in Portland to help Dustin. Foxy says the place they're staying looks like the Brady Bunch house and then ASKS WHAT THE BRADY BUNCH'S LAST NAME WAS.


A NEW HIGH POINT FOR THE SHOW. They run into an older gay man who says he came out to his own family about 40 years ago. They ask how that went and he says, "Not well." He explains that it's fine now, but it's easily the hardest thing he's ever done. He wishes them good luck.

Everyone in Sedona is having breakfast and making nacho cheese jokes. Bryan lays out what he has planned for today. The others say they'll just meditate around the house instead. Brie ALSO says she's staying behind and asks if Bryan will be upset. He deadpans, "If you want to stay here with them, that's fine. I'll just be very disappointed in you. And in our life together."


Paige and Foxy meet up with Dustin, who is understandably a nervous wreck. Paige is starting to feel like a big fat phony because she doesn't feel qualified to help him out with this.

In the Performance Center, Mandy and Eva are hard at work training. Hey, here's SARA DEL REY AND SARAH STOCK.

sara and sarah

Mandy and Eva ask for advice based on what Mark told them. They say that Eva's character and gimmick are pretty locked in, so Mandy needs to focus on her stuff. Mandy says she doesn't want to just ape what Eva does, even if they're in a tag team together. Sarah says Mandy should focus on attire and entrance from now and go from there.

Mandy says this is stressful and Eva says yeah, everything is stressful, just like how she's got a main event title match with Bayley coming up. Eva catches up with Sara and Sara says to make sure she wants to be in a tag team with Mandy, because given Mandy's experience level, it could result in her regressing or taking a step backwards. Eva has a lot of thinking to do.

In Sedona, everyone is hanging out in the hot tub and pool.

It turns out Brie DID go with Bryan and had a good time meeting with a monk and doing monkish things. Brie is bummed that Bryan is just upstairs lying in bed while everyone is downstairs having fun on their last night.

Brie goes upstairs and says he should come down. He instead says SHE should stay and they should DO SEXES.


She puts her foot down and says he should be social and not go to bed at 8 p.m. like some gross old. She heads back down and a few minutes later Bryan arrives, in wonderful board shorts.


Brie is super happy and Bryan is being a good sport and agrees to be the judge for a jumping contest. AND THEN THINGS GET SUPER THE BEST.

jj backflip

renee 450

dean leap


Eva Marie, Nattie and Mandy are meeting with some troops at a base visit. In the mess hall, Nattie tells Eva that she's been watching all her NXT stuff and it's great. Nattie also wonders whether it's the right time for her to be in a tag team with Mandy. She says Eva has real heat now and the mistake that she made when she was in Eva's position was saying yes to everything. I guess Eva still has a lot to think about.

eva think

Paige and Foxy head with Dustin for the fateful encounter. Appropriately, it's raining heavily. Dustin's whole (immediate) family is there and his dad shares how much of a wrestling geek Dustin has always been growing up. Finally, it's time. It's some pretty raw stuff here as he comes out to his family.

Seriously, it's really emotional stuff. But as soon as he tells his family that he is gay, his dad immediately stands up and gives him a great big hug. He tells him not to stop being Dustin.

dad hug

His "super-religious" mom is also totally understanding and gives him a big hug. She's surprised he would be scared to tell them. Paige and Foxy are blown away by all of this and once again bowled over by their fans.

foxy paige touched

Finally, it's MAIN EVENT TIME. Eva Marie is getting her first-ever main event. Michael Hayes gives her a pre-match pep talk and tells her how far she's come. Once upon a time, he didn't think she had what it takes. Now he knows she's the real deal. She heads to the ring for her match.

Mandy watches backstage as Eva has her perfect title match against Bayley (I don't care who you are, that match was impeccably booked). Mandy congratulates Eva when she comes backstage and Eva says the timing for Red and Gold is "premature" right now. Mandy understands and agrees. AW FRIENDS. Eva promises Red and Gold WILL take over one day.

red and gold


And our last thing this week is a very good thing:

trevor project

See you next week, everyone!

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