Dave on Demand: 'Total Divas': Lady wrestlers in soapy, romance reality

As real as WWE gets: The Bella Twins, Nikki (left) and Brie, are two of seven "Total Divas" pursuing love and pins and wins and premiering Sunday at 10 on E!
As real as WWE gets: The Bella Twins, Nikki (left) and Brie, are two of seven "Total Divas" pursuing love and pins and wins and premiering Sunday at 10 on E! (TIMOTHY WHITE / E!)
Posted: July 28, 2013

Finally, this weekend brings a summer series I can really get behind: Total Divas on E! (Sunday, 10 p.m.). The series captures the tangled professional and personal lives of seven of the WWE's most exciting lady wrestlers: Cameron and Naomi (a tag team known as the Funkadactyls), the Bella Twins, Natalya, and newbies Eva Marie and Jo-Jo.

"This is just basically the first time that the WWE has allowed cameras behind the scenes," said an E! publicist. "We really follow these seven divas both out of the ring and in the ring."

Hurry Sunday!

I have to admit, my chest cavity has always been easily bruised by women wrestlers, going back to the greatest of them all, the Fabulous Moolah. (That ring name, which, by the way, was an understatement, was given to Moolah by Vince McMahon Sr., which tells you how long ago it was.)

There's a line I love from the movie Arthur, when Dudley Moore's dipso millionaire is assured by his fiancee that "A real woman could stop you from drinking." He responds, "It'd have to be a real big woman." Moolah could stop you from drinking. She could stop you from breathing.

Moolah reigned as women's world champion for 28 years. She came out of retirement in 1999 to reclaim the title. At age 76.

The only reason I watched Laverne & Shirley was that Penny Marshall always reminded me of Moolah. But I regress.

Total Divas is a mashup of TV's most appealing tropes: ludicrously implausible reality show/sports/soap opera/romance.

That's right, I said romance. Male and female pro wrestlers are irresistibly drawn to each other, much like the gods and goddesses of Greek myth.

Nikki Bella is dating John Cena; sister Brie is hot and heavy with the American Dragon, Daniel Bryan; Naomi is engaged to Jimmy Uso (the grandnephew of tag team the Wild Samoans); Natalya is getting married to Tyson Kidd on/for the show.

The flame-haired Eva Marie, who is rapidly becoming my favorite WWE personality, can have any man she wants.

There's only one thing Total Divas is missing: Jersey girl AJ Lee. She's not only the reigning women's champ, she's also had rocky romances with Cena, Bryan, Kane, CM Punk, and currently Dolph Ziggler.

AJ clearly merits a series all her own.

They're coming for you, big fella. This month Anger Management star Charlie Sheen flew to Scotland on a private jet for an overnight, inebriate jaunt to locate the Loch Ness Monster. Surprisingly, he was unsuccessful.

(His companion on the trip, in case you were wondering, was Todd Zeile, who among other credits on his resumé was the starting third baseman for the Phillies in 1996. Where have you gone, Ricky Bottalico?)

As if fabled reclusive creatures didn't have enough to worry about, now they have to avoid celebrities?

Apparently so, because Spike just announced a new series, 10 Million Dollar Bigfoot Bounty, hosted by actor Dean Cain, who played Superman on Lois & Clark. It's a bird; it's a plane; no, it's Sasquatch.

The channel has described the reward as "one of the largest cash prizes in television history." Boy, I guess.

If you're a hiker in the Northwest, this might be a good time to take up another hobby, because those woods are about to get crazy.

Now batting. I wish I could make it through two innings of a baseball game on TV without seeing one of those incessant MLB promos featuring an array of all-stars detailing their motivations. "I play for my team . . . my city . . . the league . . . the fans . . . October." You'd think at least one of them would cop to playing for the money.

The weirdest tableau in this campaign has to be Pirates centerfielder Andrew McCutchen posing with a barbell while wearing his game cap.

In most of the world, wearing a brimmed hat in a weight room is considered overdressing. Of course, maybe it's different in Pittsburgh. It usually is.


Contact David Hiltbrand at dhiltbrand@phillynews.com, read his blog at www.inquirer.com/daveondemand or follow on Twitter @daveondemand_TV.

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