Total Divas Season 6, Episode 11 Recap: Draft In Love

Awww Cagesiders! Don't you dare be sowahh!

You thought the Ultimate Thrill Ride was over but now Total Divas is back for the second half of season six. This is going to be long like a Nikki Bella title reign because I've had time off and there is a ton to cover here. Oh my.

Where did we leave off from January?

Nikki has been cleared by her surgeon but not by WWE. She's set to start bumping around in the Performance Center under the watchful eye of a trainer. And...

Yes (yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!) the 2016 WWE draft cometh and our divas were a wee bit nervous.

We revisit when the GMs were announced for each brand. Nattie laughs at Shane McMahon and calls him "cocky" saying that he reminds her of her cat before he goes into the litter box. Need details. Which cat, Nattie! Speaking of cats, Nattie greets a crowd at Monday Night Raw by inquiring if they follow 2Pawz on Instagram because he has a new shirt.

When Daniel Bryan emerges onto the ramp as the Smackdown Live GM, Nattie and Renee clap backstage and express how happy they are for him. Nattie explains that the GM sets the tone for the brand.

Eva (talking head): I'm really nervous about the big draft. Fingers are crossed I get drafted to a brand because the last year and a half in NXT has been extremely tough and to not get drafted will be pretty heartbreaking.

Backstage discussing the draft...

Dana Brooke: They obviously can't do everybody, right?

Paige: I mean, I'm not a part of it because I'm injured, so....

Dana: Your name is listed online.

Paige: Yeah, I don't know.

Paige is basically in limbo, still out injured, unsure what at all her future entails.

Paige (talking head): I'm just waiting for a call right now to follow up with my second MRI which hopefully comes out really good, because if it comes out bad, I have no idea where I'm going or how long I'm even gonna be out for, and my relationship with Alberto isn't at its best right now, it's just like, give me a break.

Naomi and Renee are backstage fretting about being split from their men in the draft. They corner Mark Carrano, VP of Talent Relations, who is basically like ‘yes it could happen' but he throws out there they will take couples into consideration. He reminds them that there's a business and they're trying to build 900 storylines. Renee counters that they have to take into consideration that it could ruin performers' lives.

Nattie: Is this entirely up to YOU though?

Carrano: Yes. Yeah, I'm the creative genius.

Nattie & Carrano interactions are always fun.

He teases that Naomi will be happy and Renee will not, and to his departing back, Renee calls him a "wild man. You are a beast." After his exit, Naomi calls "Frenchie" (Maryse) over and Maryse also repeats how much it would suck to be separated from their men and they'd see them four days a year. I find it interesting Maryse even thought this might happen for her.

Naomi (talking head): if it came down to Jon and I being split up, I might have to consider not wrestling anymore, because there's no way I'm gonna see my husband once a week. That's insane.

Renee declares that if she is split from Dean, she's going to start taking some [expletive] meetings and she can go work elsewhere. WWE you better think this through, playas.

Fearful Nattie and Fearless Nikki

Nattie is the chosen hand to get back in the ring with Nikki. Nattie tells the cameras in a talking head about her special relationship with Nikki and that they started in WWE together. She even visited Nikki in the hospital after surgery! I can't wait for the "Say Positive Things About Natalya" post so I can talk more about this. Hint, hint @Eddie Mac.

Nattie (talking head): Nikki is definitely expediting her comeback but her injury is not a broken ankle. Nikki's injury is game-changing.

The two lock up in a ring at Performance Center, and Billie Kay (with her name misspelled on screen) is standing off to the side as well. Nattie doesn't want to push on Nikki too much and keeps pausing to ask the trainer what's okay to do to Nikki. The trainer at one point says, somewhat exasperatingly, "Honestly she should be fine."

In the maze that is backstage @ TV, Paige encounters Stacy, wellness program manager, and they call the doc for her second MRI results to find out what another doc said. Paige says WWE is her life and for it to be taken away from her will be one of the hardest things to deal with.

Dr Robinson: On the right, he said there's a little narrowing of one of the parts where your nerve will come out. But he said nothing is actually really any different than what we saw on MRI before. But at this point if you didn't have symptoms there, he wouldn't even have noticed it, he wouldn't have known to look, because it's so minor. I think we just stick with physical therapy and hopefully everything will take care of itself.

Paige is excited and exclaims "no surgery!"

(Ah but what is to come)

Is There A Draft In Here?

Naomi attempts a Serious Conversation with her hubby Jon (Jimmy Uso) backstage about what would happen if they got split up. He, interestingly enough, repeats the line Maryse said about seeing each other four days a year. I guess this means the big 4 pay per views?

Jon: "Phone bill is gonna be high as hell because we're gonna be facetiming all the time, skype all the time, calling all the time, texting all the time."

Naomi is frustrated he's not taking this conversation seriously and he sums it up with

Jon: If anything happens, we're gonna be alright.

Naomi: No we're not. We're not going through that.

Power of positivity!

Eva Marie is going out to lunch with her parents, husband, and hair stylist. Her dad brings up her recent appearance on Raw and Eva brings up her journey.

Eva: Talk about a journey right there, the last eight months. I don't really think anyone else has gone, you know, through the ringer as much as I have with everything that's gone on.

Jonathan gives her an encouraging speech about how her "repertoire of wrestling has increased ridiculous" and the physical and emotional toll it's taken on her but she never quit and he's so proud. It's a sweet speech in theory but this guy's delivery just never clicks with me.

Her mom chimes in to tell Eva how proud she is of Eva for not quitting

Mother of Eva: "You've taken so much crap, and have taken it, and taken a beating from everything, everybody. I would have already said ‘you know what? I don't need this.' It's been a long journey but you really have made us proud."

This makes Eva teary-eyed at the table and Eva reflects in a talking head that not being drafted in the looming draft would be devastating.

Nikki (rocking a You Can't Stop Me tank) has invited legit badass MMA fighter Shayna Baszler to come train with her at the Performance Center. Nikki notes how Shayna's really inspiring her.

Spoiler alert: Shayna gets credited for helping Nikki find that badass af Fearless Lock.

Nattie shows up and Nikki tells her "we're going to practice neckbreakers next!"

Nattie: I think you guys should stick with submissions only

Shayna: She's coming back from a neck problem; people are going to wanting to attack her neck.

An almost parent/toddler esque back-and-forth with Nikki urging Nattie to come into the ring and Nattie being hesitant occurs. Nattie expresses how seriously she's taking Nikki's injury and she doesn't want Nikki to get hurt and it was so hard to see Nikki on the day of the surgery and it was traumatic for her.

Nikki: The thing is I'm not gonna get any better and I'm not gonna know where I stand in that ring if I don't push the limits. Like I'm choosing to have a comeback. We did scans, we did testing, and you know the journey that I've been through, like it was taken away from me, all of this was taken away from me, and I have a chance to get it all back, and actually decide when my last day is, and I want that and I won't let anyone stop me from that. Nattie I hate to say it, but if you don't want to be my opponent I honestly will find someone else to work with.

These scenes are hard to watch because Nattie's emotional and most of us know -€ but the show can't actually say -€that she's having shades of her husband Tyson Kidd's career-ending neck injury and miraculous surgery.

Nikki (talking head): I'm feeling very frustrated right now. I wanted Nattie to train with me because I trust her. I'm so sick of people holding me back or thinking that I'm not healthy. I'm healthy! And you know what; I'm never going to be able to know what I can do in that ring, if no one lets me. I want to be better then when I got injured because I'm going for my comeback.

Draft Day Play-By-Play

Seriously this was fun. I'm just going to rapid fire it in the order the show presented so we can get all #hyped and stay hyped as we prepare ourselves for Superstar Shake-up. Come along. Let's make Mojo proud.

Miz and Maryse have pulled into the arena and before they can leave the parking garage, they stop for a selfie.

Miz narrates that "Here we go. Take a selfie. It's my favorite part of the day."

The lighting is not favorable for their Hollywood blessed faces so they find new lighting closer to the door, where the peasants are soaking up the A-Lister's perfect light. He yells at them "we're taking selfies and we need to concentrate or else this won't go good."

Nattie runs into Carrano and tells him how nervous she is for the draft. He teases her that he knows all the answers and could tell her right now if he felt like it but he doesn't.

For her part, Lana is going to ~manifest~ that she and Rusev will stay together.

Renee tells the cameras she found out ahead of time that she was going to Smackdown Live but she still doesn't know where Dean's going.

Paige (talking head): Me and Alberto, we've been hearing rumblings that maybe we're not going to get drafted together, but hopefully everything works out.

It was SO cool to see the superstars all congregated backstage, sitting in rows like at a school assembly, waiting to hear their names be called. Seriously I loved this like I love the Fearless Lock. They skipped over Seth Rollins being drafted #1 and showed Dean getting drafted. By the way, when he heard his name get called, Mr. Cool DA did a nice little fist pump, as he predictably stood in the back, next to Cesaro who was eating a sandwich. I hope that last sentence wins me a Pulitzer.

Bae-omi comments on Dean's draft: "Well, I got that one wrong."

Paige (talking head): you wanna be with the people you love, and maybe some of them might be taken away from you.

(Dun dun dun dunnnnnnnn)

It's kind of odd but they show Mick reminding Shane and Daniel that women are available, and then we see Sasha get drafted. Next they show Natalya getting drafted. Aight then.

When Natalya got drafted, Sasha, clad in her Raw shirt, hugged her and exclaimed "Yeah baby!"

When Lana and Rusev get drafted to Raw, Lana exclaims "Wait! I'm on Raw? Huh? Oh my gosh, Nattie is on the other side. NO!"

In her talking head, Lana expresses disappointment because Nattie is one of her best friends and like a mentor to her.

Eva, still sitting and waiting, pipes up with "I don't think I like this feeling."

Next, in my favorite part, they show Daniel very plainly say they were drafting Miz and Maryse in a tone that was the vocal equivalent of "I am going to get a colonoscopy now and I will do so without drugs."

Upon hearing Daniel draft him, Miz stands up and declares to the room of superstars: "You could have a little bit more excitement! I made him a goddamn champion! I made that guy! Unbelievable! Took you long enough! That's right! Thanks! It took that long to get the IC champ on the show!"

Ah how fun it was to revisit this and see how this laid the groundwork for the brilliance that followed.

It is at this point that Uso leans over to Naomi and predicts "We're gonna get split up."

We see Dolph get drafted to Smackdown Live and he proclaims jokingly "Fifteen years later! It's my big break!" He's here to show the world, dudes and dudettes.

Summer Rae is filming Nattie for Snapchat and Nattie light-hart-edly accuses Summer of taking footage of her in the bathroom on the phone with her mom.

Naomi and Uso start walking through the schedules of each brand and when they'd see each other if they were on different brands. They concluded they would have one full day together and that day would be Thursday.

I have zero insight why they do this bizarre as all hell order, but next we see John Cena get drafted. His commentary to the room of superstars upon hearing his name called: "As the 4th round pick, I get a very small signing bonus. I'll have to rent. I can't buy anything yet. I'll work my way up to the top, I promise. Good luck to you Raw guys." Always nice to see a young up-and-comer with a good attitude! We'll be rootin' for ya, John Boy.

Summer Rae: I feel like this is kickball when they pick teams and I'm gonna be the last one to get picked.

Eva Marie: Bitch, stop! Well, what if they don't pick us at all?

Big E is in the background wearing a "The Elite" shirt.

Eva Marie (talking head): I'm sitting here, waiting to get picked, and girls are getting called left and right, and I'm still sitting with my fingers crossed, like ‘damn I really hope I get drafted.'

Carrano comes in and clears out those who have been drafted and says those who are still waiting need to remain in their seats.

We see del Rio get drafted to Smackdown.

Paige (talking head): Alberto just got drafted to Smackdown, so that means now I have to be a part of Smackdown, because I need to be with my boyfriend, I need to be with the rest of my friends that are going to Smackdown.

Seriously the order here is weird because we saw Nattie get drafted but she's just chilling in her seat again like nothing happened and says to Paige: "Do you know if you're on the same brand as del Rio?"

Paige with a nice sliver of foresight: "Probably not."

We see the Usos get drafted and Naomi hops out of her seat in celebration and says "Am I with you?" He has to tell her not yet, she has to wait to get drafted and go back to her seat. She is still freaking out.

But not for long!

She stands up and throws her arm up in the air when she hears her name called for Smackdown. She hugs her husband and brother-in-law upon hearing the news.

Lana, upon hearing Naomi's news, wails "ALL MY FRIENDS LEAVING ME!"

Paige gets drafted to Raw. She stands up and goes "[expletive]. I knew they were gonna do that."

Paige (talking head): "It's one thing after another. It's my neck injury and now I'm getting drafted to a different brand than my boyfriend. I don't know what this means for me and Alberto but I'm not feeling good about any of this right now."

Dana Brooke comes back from her match, also still waiting to be drafted, and Eva commends her: "That clothesline. Yasssssss bitch."

Eva Marie (whispers to Dana): Yo, look at Paige. She's like a puppy dog.

I guess this means sad and lost after finding out she's on a different brand than her papi.

We see Nia Jax get drafted.

Eva (talking head): Oh my God. Girls from NXT are getting called up and I'm starting to kind of realize, like ‘Damn, that's it. I'm not getting drafted.'

Nattie comes over wearing that #SmackdownBlue and high fives Eva and Naomi.

Eva: Why are you high-fiving me? I ain't drafted yet.

Nattie: Oh, I thought you were saying you were drafted.

Eva: No, I'm not. Sit your ass down.

She doesn't wait much longer because we hear yelp of delight from Corey Graves and then we hear the words: "Eva Marie, all red everything."

Eva stands up and pronounces to the room of superstars (I spy Mikaze!): "Thank you, thank you, thank you. It would be a SHAME if I did not go to Monday Night Raw, Miss All Red Everything herself.

Man (I think Apollo Crews): You're on Smackdown though.


Eva wails: Oh, oh, I thought I was on Rawwwwwwww!

She finds Sasha who is laughing at her and wails "I thought I was with you!"

Some dude in the background: You got to read, girl! Read!

Summer comes over to tease her about her mistake.

Eva (talking head): Oh my God. I'm such an idiot. Like, I was just so excited that I heard my name, but at least your girl got drafted. All Red Everything is now All Blue Everything.

Lana (talking head): Are you kidding me? Eva's on the other side, Maryse, Trinity, Nattie. It took me a long time to get close to the girls I work with. I don't want to make new friends, I like my old friends.

I feel for you girl.

She tells Handsome Rusev: "I'm literally about to cry. All your boys are on Raw. Well, what about my people?"

Rusev: I'll be your people.

(My God how I have missed this man)

Alicia and Eva are hugging their forever goodbye and Paige drifts by. Eva yells for a hug and Paige keeps walking, turning back only to say: "I'm gonna go slam my head in the trunk." Ok.

Back in Orlando, Nattie's concerns are screwing with Nikki's head so Nikki calls Brie for a consultation. Nikki throws out the theory that maybe all the girls on the main roster feel the same way as Nattie about being fearful of breaking the Fearless One's neck. Nikki says for the #ComebackofaLifetime she needs people around her who will lift her up and support her. Brie advises she talk to Nattie.

Well it turns out Nikki doesn't even have to, because Brie beats her to the punch. She happens to be in Tampa and Nattie invites her over.

Nattie: I've never wrestled anyone who's come back from what Nicole's coming back from and I take injuries very seriously

Brie reminds Nattie the doctors said it's a go and they all have to be on Nikki's side and to remember that Nikki knows her body best. If Nikki doesn't have confidence and she sees that Nattie doesn't have confidence in her either it'll mess up Nikki and that's when she'll get hurt.

Nattie admits in her talking head she can't let "her past" affect Nicole. Again, shades of Tyson Kidd and it is all sad.

Nattie: Here's to Nicole and here's to being the best women wrestlers in the world.

Brie: I love these mugs.

Nattie: I love being full of myself.

It is the first Monday Night Raw, post-draft, taking place in Pittsburgh.

Lana: That's a nice suit. It kind of reminds me of the suits I used to wear on Monday Night Raw.

Carrano: That's what inspired me to wear it.

Then she asks him when she can go back to NXT again.

Carrano: Right now there's no storyline or vision of you working full-time in the ring as you're back with Rusev, so I think we can kind of hold off on it for a couple weeks.

(That sounds like "A couple weeks" should be translated as "couple months" to me but ok. Maybe I'm just drunk with my knowledge of the future from when this was filmed. Mwaha!)

In her talking head, Lana says that even though she's alone, this is her chance. She passionately declares she wants to be women's champion one day.

Lana notes the first Raw after brand split is super weird, she doesn't know who to talk to and there's all this extra space in the locker room.

Lana runs into Nia Jax, new NXT call-up, and congratulates her and tells her she's going to do amazing.

Lana: All my friends are on the other side, so let's see. Summer's here, which I love Summer. Fox is here, and um, who else? Oh yeah how could I forget, Paige. She doesn't talk to me much, but that's fine. Um, we get along and then we don't get along, and then she will have a blow-up, and I'm not gonna deal with her blow-ups. I'm sorry, you're not two years old. Grow up right now.

Nia plays diplomat and wisely says "Girl, I'm gonna stay out of this."

Lana wanders off and Facetimes Nattie. Nattie doesn't answer. She tries Trinity who does not answer either. She wails that she has no friends at Raw.

On the blue brand, Nikki is backstage doing a photoshoot, even though she is still not an active member on any roster.

Nattie finds Nikki and expresses she never wanted to make Nikki doubt herself, and she knows that Nikki took all the right steps for a comeback. She says how this is all personal for her, and she just wants Nikki to be safe, and starts crying again. Gosh, this is sad.

Nikki gets it and tells Nattie what a good friend she has been. Nikki stares at the ring pensively to end the scene, reflecting how badly she wants to get back in the ring and how much wrestling means to her.

Tear The Hearts Out

At a live event in Little Rock, Paige finds Alicia Fox (Faaawkkesssssss) and they go for a walk. I am going to transcribe this because anything else would just be lame for this scene and not accurately convey it.

Paige starts to cry about how she's only been in love with one person and "I completely lost him."

Alicia: What do you mean you lost him? Is he gone right now?

Paige: No, like we broke up because of everything with his work, because of personal [expletive].

Alicia: You guys have only been dating a little bit of time.

Paige: I know, isn't that crazy? And we freaking lived together and everything. I've never, like, wanted to be in a relationship like that, be committed like that, ready to settle down like that, be a stepmom, like you know, it's heartbreaking. I just went up to him and I was like ‘okay, you tell me there's not a chance [expletive] hell we'll ever get back together and I'll go right now and you'll never see me again. And he was like ‘There's not.' Oh God. I've never [expletive] felt pain like this before. I'm so [expletive] miserable. I want to try and get the [expletive] out. I just need to be away from everyone. I need to re-evaluate everything in my life."

Paige (teary talking head): Me and Alberto broke up. It makes me really sad because he's the only guy I ever loved in my life. You can't really ask him to have a long-distance relationship where you maybe you're only gonna see each other for one day a week, maybe not even that. It's like ,done. You know you finally settled in, you finally settled down with someone that you really love, and it all just gets taken away from you like that, so..../end

Oh girl. I just want to hug her and make plans for a Morissette and margarita night... plus sweatpants.

It's weird and sad to watch this with what we know is ahead.

Buckle up, pals and perros.

Welcome back Total Divas.

Is Renee Young my BFF yet: No.

Who was Lana's best friend this episode: Rusev

Who was Mark Carrano's best interaction with: Renee

Best Cameo: Whoever off-camera told Eva Marie to read.

Grade: A

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