The revival of Tough Enough, wherein fourteen participants, selected by “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, undergo professional wrestling training as they compete for a WWE contract, debuted on USA Network directly after WWE Raw. Yet, starting next week, Tough Enough will air in its regular time slot before Raw.
Welcome back to The Wrestling Times, finally checked out WWE’s revived Tough Enough. It was better than expected, but it was also disheartening. Let’s get right down to it and discuss… you guessed it… reality television.
The reality is aspiring wrestlers do not get the luxury of living in a mansion, or toting around a replica championship belt to symbolize their goal. The life of wrestlers hustling, trying to break into the business, is anything but glorious. Want to see what real wrestlers actually go through? Check out The Wrestling Road Diaries starring Bryan Danielson, Colt Cabana, and Sal Rinuaro.
Tough Enough is basically a glorified professional wrestling boot camp, with some special treatment. And that of course is a direct shot at Miss USA Rima Fakih, who wants to win Tough Enough so that she can prove that it is possible to be both beautiful and tough… What kind of hot garbage is that? WWE is already filled with women who are both beautiful and tough and don’t know a damn about wrestling, but hell, at least they know the basics. Rima was unable to execute the moves asked of her, and she used a pad to protect her when she ran the ropes. She’s proving that she is not even though enough to run the ropes. But yet she survives not only the competition, but being singled out for the Bottom 3?
Out of the Bottom 3, Michelle Deighton, who claimed to have eleven years of professional wrestling experience, has the most potential to at least make it to the finals of the show. The way she directly insulted Ariane Andrew, eliminated from Tough Enough, about what pursing a wrestling dream means to her, is exactly the passion that is lost on so many of the current WWE Divas. Yet, the reason why she was sent to the Bottom 3, was because Miss 11 Years was poorly performing basic wrestling tasks. She couldn’t run the ropes, or do the front bump. So obviously she did not wrestle full-time throughout those eleven years, and was either a valet, or modeling consumed most of that time. Which, by the way, does not constitute as eleven years of experience in professional wrestling, despite the fact that 75% of WWE Divas are models.
Now… Ariane may have looked “bootylicious” from head to toe, but she was the wrong kind of Diva. Surprisingly, she was the most offended by Mickael Zaki’s comment that as long as women “got booty,” then they would make it as Divas, but she personified that stereotype. Who pulls up their pants as they run the ropes? She admitted to being new to wrestling, not having any experience, and here’s the kicker… by answering Melina versus Alicia Fox as her favorite wrestling match of all time, from all the wrestling matches ever done in the WWE, proved to Austin that on top of not having experience, she lacked simplistic wrestling knowledge. My only regret, that Trish Stratus did not Chick Kick her.
Then the last Bottom 3 was Eric Watts, the typical 6 foot former football player. Let’s play a quick game of “Is it racist?” Recall from Raw when The Miz shouted, “Move, Buckwheat!” Yes, he has an afro, but is it racist? The answer is no, because the crowd in Atlanta, Georgia, found Miz’s outburst hysterical, and we all know how liberal the south can be. Eric was completely out of shape throughout the episode, his knees were about to buckle from the intensity of hitting the ropes for three minutes. But what sold me on this guy was not his potential due to his size, but his reaction to when Ariane started shedding the fake tears about wanting to become a Diva (you are a Diva, just not for wrestling). He started rolling his eyes, but does he have the passion? If he did, he would use the thought of having a developmentally disabled brother, Sean, to motivate him to come to Tough Enough in shape and ready to grab the business by the throat.
So far, my early favorites are Jeremiah Riggs, if anyone can continue to run ropes after dropping their tooth in the ring, has what it takes to get to the next level, and Ivelisse Velez. The only info we are given about Velez is that she spent six-years on the independent circuit, and is well known in her native Puerto Rico. But from the intensity that we do see of her kicking a punching bag, and getting back up after she collapsed in the ring from running ropes, shows grit and determination.
That’s it for this post. I’ll most likely continue to watch Tough Enough from the comfort of my DVR on Tuesday nights, as opposed to enduring another episode of NXT, which I have given up on, and tweet about it.
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