WWE Tough Enough Recap
by Hans Keller
— WWE Tough Enough — SEASON PREMIERE —
Hey there, everyone, and thanks for taking the time to read this! My name is Hans and over the next few weeks, I hope to help guide you through all the action that is WWE Tough Enough. Ever since Stone Cold Steve Austin was announced as the host, I know I at least was very much looking forward to watching this. If there is any guy on the planet that can whip people into shape, it’s Austin. Anyway, you guys didn’t come to this to see me ramble. On with the show! Next week, this little ramble will be taken out in place of a brief recap of the last episode.
The scene opens with Austin talking briefly about his career and his job on Tough Enough. Then the busses roll up and he introduces each recruit one at a time. He then describes he isn’t looking for someone just for the looks, he is looking for the complete package…who…is Tough Enough.
The recruits enter and look down at the ring. Luke describes how he felt and Stone Cold summons the group down. He tells them to look around their surroundings and imagine they are in a sold out arena. Austin tells them up front that not everyone is going to make it and that they are going to be judged. He then says he will not hesitate to throw anyone out if they cross the line. He then tells them they have a lot of lessons. The first lesson is in commitment and then tells everyone to go backstage.
Each competitor puts a set of janitor clothes on, one of which rips. They are charged with sorting through garbage and other menial tasks; including cleaning, setting up ringside, as well as teardown.
The recruits are taken to a nice looking mansion, where they are welcomed by trainers Trish Stratus, Booker T and Bill DeMott. The competitors are told they are home but if they mess up, they WILL be sent home. They are told to get their training clothes on because their training starts now. Each competitor is given their own “Tough Enough” championship belt courtesy of Stone Cold. If they get sent home, they will have to relinquish it to Austin. The recruits start to get to know each other when Mickael makes a sexist comment directed at Rima. This was after finding out that she is Miss USA. Ariane and Rima call him out and it then turns into a small fight.
Daily Training is next. The recruits are told to spread out as Bill DeMott and crew has them to calisthenics. Eric is yelled at twice for being on his knees during pushups. Stone Cold then arrives on a motorcycle and starts to eye the recruits. Stone Cold tells them to realize that they are in a competition and that only one of them will survive. The trainers have the recruits do rolls and flips in the middle of the ring. Martin is given the nick name of “Donny Osmond” and calls Mickael “Skid marks”. AJ is called “Tumbleweed” by Stone Cold and Luke receives nothing but high praise from the trainers. It’s the ladies turn and Ariane looked less than stellar. The same turns out to be true for Miss USA (Rima). Michelle claimed to be wrestling for 11 years but also admitted she did not know how to roll. Bill DeMott then makes her look like a fool.
It is now night time as some of the guys drink to their first night in the mansion while the ladies enjoy wine in the Jacuzzi. Andy told a story about his life, being 23 and a wife who is 7 months pregnant. He said he would do what it took to win and felt that the other guys drinking would come back to haunt them.
It is sunrise. Some recruits are snoring while Luke and several others were lifting weights. All are brought in for a Skills challenge. Stone Cold reminds the recruits that one of them will be going home today. Today’s challenge is “Three Minutes of Hell”. It tests condition and desire. Stone Cold says he is looking for the recruits to run the ropes as effectively and as hard as they can. Several of the recruits show promise. Eric shows wear and tear as he pisses the trainers off. Michelle does not impress at all, neither does Ariane. Miss USA shows a little potential, until DeMott discovered that she had padding in her tights. Stone Cold tells her to tell him whether or not she’s tough enough right now. She then says she learned her lesson and hopes for a second chance.
Stone Cold tells everyone to stay tight as he is going to his office with the trainers to determine who goes home. Booker T sees potential in Luke and says he can make it, which the other trainers agree with. Ariene kept pulling her pants up. Michelle did not impress the trainers with her “11 years”. The trainers think Eric didn’t show a lot of motivation, which DeMott called a shame. The trainers look down on Rema for cheating, except Booker, who says Eddie Guerrero’s famous line.
The trainers come back out to deliver the news. Stone Cold has the people whose name care called to come forward (Michelle, Ariene, Eric). They are the bottom three and are told to get their things and their belts, while the rest are to just leave. The bottom three chat with other recruits about how they want to stay. Eric talks about his family, Michelle talks about achieving even if it means throwing someone under the bus, Ariena said she would not accept defeat.
Michelle, Ariene and Eric come back looking at Stone Cold, who is looking for the recruits to convince him that they should stay. He asks Ariene first. She says the opportunity means everything to her. She gave up her job, her house, everything to get here. She knows she has no experience, but she has the desire to show it. Stone Cold calls her out for pulling up her pants and feels she wasn’t committed. Michelle is next. She said she trained herself but she went off track. She wants to get back on track and feels she can be on the road 300 days a year and mentions her daughter. Stone Cold tells her that if she has 11 years, she needs to start showing it. The last one Stone Cold approaches is Eric. Stone Cold said a guy of his looks shouldn’t even be here. But he is too out of shape. Eric said he needs to be in the competition. Stone Cold reverses the role and then gives him a major promo about passion. Eric talks about his family and his autistic brother. Eric admits he’s not in shape, but states he’s doing what he can. Stone Cold thinks it might be too late.
Ariene thinks she did better than Michelle, which causes heat between the two. Stone Cold asked what Ariene’s passion is: which she said wrestling. Stone Cold asked her favorite match: Melina vs. Alicia Fox. She apologizes and tries to tell Stone Cold that she can make him proud if he gives her a chance. But he says he is giving nothing. This does not save her though, as Stone Cold gives Ariena the axe. Austin tells the Michelle and Eric that they have work to do to not become “bottom feeders” again, because Michelle has too much experience and Eric has too much potential.
Stone Cold’s Rationale: He stated he can tell if someone wants to genuinely work for the WWE. He said he could not feel Ariene’s passion and that is why she got the axe.
I felt that the premiere of Tough Enough was reasonably solid. As a first time watcher of any of the Tough Enough shows (apart from what was shown on RAW and SmackDown during the Miz/Puder competition), I felt like I was given an easy run through of everything I could expect to see the recruits do. Seeing them do menial labor at a WWE event was good I felt because it was symbolic of starting straight from the dirt.
We were treated right away to a taste of what we can expect from the Tough Enough trainers. Eric did himself no favors by not preparing himself before he came to compete. Down on his knees not once but twice. I know I’m hardly one to talk, but if you enter a competition, you HAVE to be in shape for it. He is very lucky that he survived.
Michelle. Allegedly has 11 years of wrestling training. All that and she did not show me one damn thing. She was slow, very effectively schooled by Bill DeMott, and she did not finish the ropes challenge. At this stage of the game, even if she did take a break from wrestling, she should have known better. Like Eric, very lucky that she got sent home.
Ariene, or “powder-puff” as Austin called her. She showed absolutely no passion for the business, was lackluster, and she paid way too much attention to her pants during the ropes challenge. Austin saw right through her. She said she left everything to be on Tough Enough and that wrestling was her “new passion”. But her most favorite match of all time…was Melina and Alicia Fox. Not to discredit the work of those two divas, but that was not the answer Austin was looking for. When I think of favorites, I think of Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon in a Ladder Match at Wrestlemania X and Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels in an Ironman Match at Wrestlemania XII. The answer Ariene gave essentially proved her nearsightedness, and that is why she was the first to go.
I’ll be back here again doing this next week. Just a reminder to everyone that if you missed it this week, Tough Enough is moving to the 8 PM slot right before RAW. John Cena will be stopping by and paying the recruits a visit. I’d like to thank Steve for allowing me to do this and I’d like to thank all of you for stopping by.