I’m sure I’m not the only wrestling fan that isn’t surrounded by fellow like-minded enthusiasts. I have a few friends who share my love of sports entertainment, but they’re few and far between. I’ve attended some live WWE events in recent years with my daughter and I hoped we’d both continue our love of the industry, however where she is concerned, WWE is out and has been replaced by Facebook, Instagram and an infatuation with Tom Hiddleston, who is sometimes referred to as ‘bae’ – whatever that is. I’m so not down with the kids these days. Sigh.

My son is too young to watch a whole WWE show, but has nailed his pronunciation of ‘Wowman Wains’ and is improving. Maybe we’ll manage to watch a few live events before his attention is diverted by a sub-culture or fad I’ll be too old or too disinterested to care about. Regardless, it was this past weekend that I heard the dulcet tones of the one and only John Cena on the TV in the living room. I glanced towards the sound and saw Mrs Sanchez watching the TV. Had she finally caved in after years of playing Candy Crush on her phone while I caught up on Raw and Smackdown Live? Was this the turning point? I entered the room, fully expecting to see Cena delivering a promo, only to find him suited & booted and holding a cigar. ‘What’s this?’ I asked in a confused tone. ‘Total Bellas.’ Came the reply. ‘It’s good, you should watch it.’ I did. The entire first season downloaded as a box set by my better half. What did I think? Let me tell you.

John Cena is very different outside of a WWE ring

To the casual fan, John Cena on WWE programming comes across as a loud, brash and confident man. He speaks with passion, integrity and shows a strong streak of determination and dedication few can match. Away from the ring, he could well be a completely different person. From what we see on Total Bellas, he’s rightly proud of his accomplishments and how hard he’s worked to get where he is today. He does have some curious mannerisms and routines though. As you can see form the clip above, he wants to introduce a ‘Downton Abbey’ style evening once a week for him and the family to endure enjoy.

I’m English. I was born in England and according to my ancestry, I’m from a very long line of Englishmen (stretching back at least 300 years as far as I can find). Ok, there’s a sprinkling of Irish in there, as there is for virtually everyone who was born in Liverpool, but I know of nobody who has ‘Downton Abbey’ evenings. Men & women don’t retire to different rooms of the sumptuous home to sip port and enjoy cigars. We just grab a couch and watch TV.

I have a new found respect for Brie Bella.

As a performer, I wasn’t impressed. She wasn’t even the best Bella on TV for a good while, and I really didn’t like Nikki. After watching Total Bellas, she now has my respect. It’s easy to see from watching just ten minutes of any episode that John Cena is way more successful than Daniel Bryan is, but Brie has a connection and warmth with this man that echoes something real, true and very deep. I’m not saying John/Nikki are superficial, but considering the girls are twins, there’s a marked difference between how each other talk, carry themselves and treat their significant other.

John Laurinaitis is a cool guy

Johnny Ace isn’t a major player in the series, but what little screen time he has is a credit to him. In case you didn’t know, in season one he’s preparing to marry the Bella Twins’ mom. We all know the series is scripted, and scenes are staged, but you get the impression Johnny isn’t playing a character and is just being himself. There’s a scene where he’s sworn to secrecy not to say anything about his fiancee’s worries about a lump she found on her breast. The first thing he does? Tell her kids. He didn’t do it out of spite. He did it because he cared, and risked the wrath of his bride to be. He comes across as a real stand-up guy.

I want to keep watching

Reality TV is everywhere these days. Here in the UK we’ve been subjected to Big Brother, Celebrity Big Brother, Dancing on Ice, Strictly Come Dancing (that’s Dancing with the Stars for you guys across the pond), The Voice, The X-Factor, Love Island, Celebrity Island and that’s just in 2017. There’s a tonne of tat out there to stare at, and I normally steer away from all of that (except for Strictly, because that’s good). When it comes to Total Bellas, and when Mrs Sanchez told me season two was being downloaded, I felt like I want to see it. I’ve watched some Total Divas episodes, but lost interest. Perhaps that was because there were too many ‘characters’ on show. With Bellas, there’s less people to follow and a simple story-line. As much as I scoffed at ‘Downton Abbey’ night, as Cena called it, I watched it. I liked it, in a weird, hypnotic kind of way.

So in closing, I’m being slowly converted into a fan. It’s good to see Daniel Brian on TV in more than just a GM role. It’s good to see John Cena not dressed as a Fruity Pebble. It’s good to see behind the curtain of these two uber-successful stars. If you get a chance, I’d recommend you check it out. Before I go, I couldn’t write this without including this Awesome clip of Miz & Maryse parodying Total Bellas on Smackdown Live. Enjoy folks.