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Total Bellas S2 E4 episode recap: Power Struggle

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I have been writing reviews and commentary for Wrestling-Online for a little while now, and have seen one entire season of Total Divas and Total Bellas while providing you, the readers, with my summary and color commentary. Also, prior to writing for the website, I had become quite a bit of a reality television junkie.

So, I thought that I had pretty much seen it all when it came to wacky reality show storylines. However, this week on Total Bellas I think that Brie, Nikki, and their fellows as well as the rest of the Bella family won the award for what is quite possibly the strangest topic ever discussed on a reality television show.

The major topic I was up for discussion this week was end-of-life decisions. First of all, I would just like to point out that the whole reason that the family has decided to all live in Phoenix for this season of Total Bellas is that entire family wants to be around to witness the birth of Brie and Bryan’s new baby. Does anyone else find it ironic that at a time when this family is gathered together to celebrate a new life, they end up talking about death…or the time just before it?

To make this conversation even odder, it initially began over brunch. I personally don’t think that discussion of death and life support would help me digest my eggs and bacon very well, maybe that’s just me. Further, I think that Brie put her brother on the spot just a little when she asked if he had to make a split-second decision regarding who would become his daughter Vivian’s legal guardian in the event of he and his wife’s untimely demise who he would choose. Those types of decisions are not meant to made second, and it almost seemed as though Brie was fishing to have herself and Daniel chosen.

Of course, they were which isn’t surprising given that JJ and Lauren’s only other option would have been to leave the care of Vivian up to Nikki and her boyfriend, John Cena, which would not be prudent considering that John has expressed multiple times that he doesn’t want his kids, therefore why would he want to take responsibility for anyone else’s?

Astonishingly, however, when Brie and Bryan decided after much discussion that it would be better to make JJ and Lauren the legal guardians of their daughter, Birdie if anything should happen to them; Nikki was crushed. Brie rightly stated that while Nicole would be her first choice for being Birdie’s legal guardian, she was concerned that John wouldn’t want to take on a paternal role. Nicole continued to insist that if confronted with the actual deaths of Brie and Bryan he would willingly jump into the role of substitute parent. I am not so sure, while I certainly don’t think he would encourage Nikki to abandon Birdie, I do think that he might decide to end his relationship with Nicole rather than take on the role of father to her orphaned niece. Hopefully though, Brie and Bryan live to be 100 and the decision never has to be made.

However, the end-of-life discussions didn’t end with the discussion of legal guardians, but went even further.

On the way home from brunch, Nikki asked John if he would be her medical power of attorney if she found herself incapacitated. Once again, I would just like to point out that this isn’t exactly cheery Sunday drive conversation, especially when like Nikki you’re asking someone to have the strength to take you off life support if you become brain-dead.

Surprisingly, John said that he didn’t want to be involved in any of Nikki’s end-of-life decisions. He reasoned, that it would be too much of an emotional burden for him to bear to be a part of the decision of whether or not to end Nikki’s life. Further, he said that he didn’t want Nikki to be part of his end-of-life decisions either.

Nikki was extremely hurt, and while I understand that John was trying to shield Nikki from the pain that will come from making such an important decision, it also seemed to be another way in which John was excluding Nikki from plans for his future and avoiding making a commitment to her.

Adding insult to injury, John even refused to tell Nikki who has power of attorney was. So it appears that when John Cena joins the ranks of the wrestlers in the heavenly wrestling federation, he could do so without his life partner ever knowing if the person who took him off life support was even authorized to do so.

This doesn’t seem like good planning on his part, but it makes great television.

Dorsey Schroeck is the Total Divas and Total Bellas reporter for Wrestling-Online. She also writes the T&D Indy Top 5 monthly article.

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