‘Total Divas’ Season 9, Episode 4: “Damage Control”

LaToya Ferguson
Ronda Rousey (source: NBC.com)
Ronda Rousey (source: NBC.com)

After the issues with the “hobbyist” comment about Sonya Deville last week, this week’s Total Divas saw Ronda Rousey unintentionally offend another Superstar in the WWE women’s division: Nia Jax.

This particular issue technically also stemmed from the “hobbyist” comment. Well, more specifically, it stemmed from the combination of the entirety of that entire Ronda on the Road Q&A and a particular Ronda Rousey promo from Monday Night RAW back in March. (Never forget: Screw the Woo. Damn The Man. No More Mrs. Nice Bitch.) That combination set Nia off, frustrated by Ronda “flying off the handle” and “talking a lot of sh** online.” As Nia noted in a talking head:

“It doesn’t just take one person to make you a star. You are not the only  person in this world. But for some reason, you think that you can just walk on water and that nobody can touch you. … After all the hard work it’s taken for, not only me but every woman in this division to build her, to teach her, now she just does and says whatever she wants?

That might have worked in UFC, but that doesn’t work here. In the WWE, we’re a family. How dare you disrespect all the women who have laid the groundwork for you? No. I’m not gonna stand for this.”

This was certainly in contrast to Ronda’s earlier talking head, where she said, “I’m really excited, cuz I’m finally getting the freedom to be a bad guy.” Clearly, she was talking about in character, but that was definitely not how Nia took it, especially when Nia interrupted a backstage conversation Ronda had with Natalya—about how much fun she’d had cutting that aforementioned promo—to call her “disrespectful” and bail. Ronda tried to talk to her, but Nia didn’t want to hear it. In a talking head, Natalya said she doesn’t understand what Nia’s problem is lately, with this “mean streak”: first telling Carmella that she’s a bad wrestler, then telling an emotional vulnerable Natalya that she didn’t need to be part of WrestleMania. “I don’t think that Nia’s as supportive as she used to be.”

Meanwhile, Trinity (WWE Superstar Naomi) decided to throw her “first-ever girls trip” in Pensacola—filling the role Brie and Nikki Bella used to fill on Total Divas—and invited Nia, Liv Morgan, and Charly Caruso. The guests of honor were The IIconics, in Trin’s attempt to help them feel less homesick for Australia. (It failed because this was a boozy weekend and The IIconics do not drink. And then Nia broke a vase—in a rented house, not owned by any of them—to prove a point about not being able to control things? I mean, you can control destroying other people’s property and respecting their space.)

Also, Carmella and Corey Graves spent time in Corey’s hometown for the first time since their relationship was outed, and it was a mixture of Carmella’s insecurities and some poorly-timed (or maybe even perfectly timed, when you really think about it) rando calling her a “homewrecker” that made it all very awkward.

Anyway, back at Browsey Acres, Ronda talked to Travis about how she’s been “so tired” once she gets home from the road. “I feel like I’m not even really here when I’m here,” she told him. Especially since, “It just seems like I’m constantly offending people ’cause I’m not, like, living by rules that I don’t even know.” She brought up the Sonya issue, then the Nia issue—noting that Nia is one of her “favorite people to work with”—and Travis tried to comfort her by telling her to think about “the bigger picture,” and how she’s the “catalyst” for the division, bringing more eyes to the product.

Travis also brought up an athletic clothing line in Las Vegas that’s interested in working with Ronda. And viewers, it worked out quite well. As Ronda said in a talking head, “I don’t like being involved in something unless I’m completely 100% passionate and all about. I don’t want to just put my name on something just to make some money.”

“I love WWE, but I know that just on the other side is my happily ever after with my husband.” That was what kept Ronda’s spirits up in this issue with Nia. And Nia realized during the girls trip—after repeatedly bringing up the issue when they were supposed to be relaxing—that she needs to concentrate on herself, not what Ronda is doing.

Later, backstage at RAW, after Travis told Ronda to do what she does best—”Piss everybody off.”—Ronda explained in a talking head what her thought process had been upon turning heel, as well as how she didn’t want that to onscreen turn affect her real-life relationship with the locker room:

“[Some] of the people that I really care about are the girls in the locker room. Nia’s my friend. She feels like she’s been disrespected. I want them to know that I’m not trying to talk down on the industry that they all care so much about. I’m trying to do everything that I can to make myself into this big villainous mountain that they have to climb.”

But thankfully, the girls trip did bring some clarity, and Nia finally confronted Ronda to let her know there weren’t really any hard feelings. Nia admitted to being “super heated” the other night and that it was all due to how “it’s hard to get recognition” in WWE, as Ronda was getting so much attention. But Nia decided she was going to worry about what she can control, specifically her own in-ring work and going to the WWE Performance Center in Orlando to practice a top rope move to debut at WrestleMania 35. Nia and Ronda resolved the issue, and Ronda gave Nia permission to dump her frustrations on her in the future.

cartchevron-leftchevron-rightemail-share-iconfacebook-share-icongoogle-share-iconlinkedin-share-iconlocked megaphone play-signshirtstartvtwitter-share-iconunlocked user-signuserCrossed Legs Ronda Rousey Pointing