Total Bellas S3 E3 Recap: Nikki Bella And John Cena Split Up, And Everyone Loses It

By now, it's obvious to everyone with a pair of eyes that the Nikki Bella-John Cena "split" is nothing but a super-elaborate "work" to drive ratings to Total Bellas. It worked like a charm, of course — ever since they announced their split, ratings for Total Bellas have never been higher, though ever since the "work" was revealed, the ratings have been on the steady decline — but it's a bit of a cheat for the rest of us who are fans of wrestling to have to waste our time with something that's little more than an obvious work meant to "lure in" the unsuspecting public.

Whatever. Let's get to this Total Divas Season 3 Episode 3 recap.

When we first kick off the episode, Nikki and John have called it a day on their relationship — in a nutshell, she wants kids, and he doesn't — and Nikki spends the rest of the episode wangsting about why it finally ended.

Yes, she was trading in motherhood for marriage — and marriage to John Cena, no less, which is a punishment in and of itself — but she also realized through some pseudo-deep thought-type thing that she wasn't happy, in general, for reasons that had nothing to do with her man.

To John's credit, he takes it upon himself to notify everyone of why the wedding won't be taking place, and agrees to give Nikki the "space" she needs to process this decision. So...yeah.

Despite the fact that "Total Breakup" is a "Total Work," and the show is paying for it in spades, ratings-wise, this is the first time we've seen Nikki without "her man" by her side since she first entered the reality television arena five years ago. It's a bit of a strange thing to see, both as a viewer and as a wrestling fan, and Nikki seems just as bewildered by it as the rest of us are. But, to her mother's credit, she rallies behind her daughter with a show of support, and encourages her to work through her feelings and find her strength without John by her side.

Even Brie shows that she's the best sister ever — and the soul of unwavering patience — as she and hubby Daniel Bryan go house-hunting in San Diego to be closer to Nikki as she deals with the breakup.

Despite this, Nikki prefers to be alone, and concludes that being known simply as "the girlfriend" to a "big-time movie star" is an insult to her accomplishments as a wrestler and a celebrity in her own right. This writer hesitates to inform Nikki that Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is a bigger wrestling celebrity than John Cena will ever be, and not only is Johnson's ex-wife his best friend, but his business partner who couldn't be happier with her association to her ex-husband. On the other hand, Dwayne Johnson has a career that John Cena only wishes he had, and Dwayne Johnson is a genuinely nice guy as opposed to being an insufferable jerk, so maybe that has a lot to do with it.


So Nikki wangsting about Cena couldn't come at a worse time, especially since the Bellas are in full gear. Brie, for her part, is almost ready for her big return into the ring, and Bryan is literally one doctor's visit away from his own big return to the ring, as well. This, of course, means that something's gotta give as far as baby Birdie is concerned (maybe they can rename the show Total Birdie and get rid of this whole "we're broken up but not really" work between Nikki and John), but no one's focusing on that because Raw 25 is just around the corner, which means that Nikki and John will totally — dun dun duuuun! — confront one another backstage.

And oh, look. They just can't seem to keep their hands off each other. And oh, look. Brie looks totally lost. How interesting. How shocking. How...boring. Yawn.

So Nikki and Brie get on stage and act completely professional during Raw 25 — they always were a good team, after all — but it seems the rest of the wrestling world doesn't know about Nikki and John's big split — yet — so they have to play it up for a little while. The pain, of course, becomes too much for Nikki to deal with, so after she does what she has to do, she leaves and doesn't look back.

Next week at 9:00 p.m. will feature more Total Bellas hijinx — hopefully we'll see more of Brie, Daniel, and Birdie, and less of this ridiculous storyline.