5 Things We Learned From The Total Divas Season 8 Finale
The season finale of Total Diva's eighth season surpassed any imaginable hype and should instantaneously go down as one of the show's most heartwarming and emotional all-time episodes.
The finale was filled with heightened drama including marital strife between Jimmy Uso and Naomi, historic women's matches along with the internal struggles that come with setting the pace of history, but the most memorable moments include the late Jim Neidhart's struggles with Alzheimer's & his sudden and tragic passing.
From the tear-filled goodbyes to more Bella gaffes, join us as we take as we examine 5 Things We Learned From The Total Divas Season Finale.
#5. Neidhart's health struggles were heartbreaking
He still looked like Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart, the goatee donned maniac that leveled through WWE's tag team division in the 1980s and 90s; but, there was something off, something just not right about the legendary WWE Superstar. For fans that watched Neidhart on Total Divas, the physical decline was obvious. Neidhart was obviously overweight, seemed out of breath, swollen, and red-faced. Perhaps more worrisome, Neidhart increasingly seemed to have difficulties with his mental acuity. Gone was the quick witted promo master we came to know and love during wrestling's golden era. Instead, Neidhart was there; but, not there. It was difficult to place.
When Natalya opened up about her father's struggled with Alzheimer's Disease, the puzzle pieces began to fall into place and the wrestling world began to make sense of Neidhart's obvious struggles. Neidhart had been declining mentally, purchasing the same pair of shoes over and over again that ultimately racked up a credit card debt of thousands. The family couldn't bear to tell him. They didn't want him to feel like a burden, although they braced for the time that he would require a full time care-giver and possibly be placed in a full-time care facility.
A shaken Natalya said, "I don't want people to think that daddy's not all there, but then the other part of me is like, 'Why are we hiding something like this that is really going on in our life?'"
Natalya was so burdened by her father's diagnosis that she insisted on being tested for genetic markers for the disease. Fortunately, she did not have the markers and will likely never suffer from the disease, as her future will, in all likelihood, look very different from her father's. Jim Neidhart; however, was less fortunate. He was only expected to continually decline, as Ellie (Natalya's mother, sister of Bret Hart) said, pouring out her heart & soul.
If "The Anvil" had lived, he would have likely forgotten his Hall of Fame worthy career, his days as an NFL football player, his impressive tag team accolades, and worse, his wife and daughters; Natalya, Kristen, and Jenny.
The weekend before his passing, Neidhart would rekindle his relationship with his sister, with whom he had been estranged for two decades. She brought him pictures and videos to see and he became a boy again, as the two reminisced over good times long gone by. Natalya remembered her father as having 'perfect clarity' in these simple beautiful moments and claimed that it was her father's way of somehow someway saying goodbye.
On this episode, an increasingly heart broken Natalya shared some of her very last hugs, smiles, and laughter with her father, her hero. Our eyes were all wet.