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WWE: Booker T’s Thoughts on Tough Enough & Its Future

The professional wrestling reality series WWE Tough Enough returned for its sixth season (second season on the USA Network) this past summer. The television series has been on and off for the past fourteen years. Before this past June, it’s most recent season aired four years ago with Stone Cold Steve Austin as host. This year’s Tough Enough was met with largely negative reviews. Complaints regarding the show mostly centered on its voting system and awkward semi-live format.

The Wrestling Compadres Slamcast recently had Booker T as their special guest. Booker T was one of three trainers on the most recent season of Tough Enough, along with Billy Gunn and WWE Hall of Famer Lita.

Booker shared some of his thoughts on the voting process and how we would change it:

“Let the host or whoever the judges (are) actually vote the guy off because we are actually looking for the next Tough Enough winner, not the next reality (show) superstar.”

From the guys, Booker T talked about how he hopes Patrick Clark gets another chance in the WWE:

“Patrick is the guy I hope I see come back. He’s an independent wrestler. He’s still out there doing his thing out there on the independent circuit trying to make his way to the big time, so hopefully the hard work for him will actually pay off.”

He goes on to talk about how he thinks the competition in NXT would have been too much for ZZ to handle and how Giorgia should have been the woman who won. In regards to the future of the show, Booker T sounded very confident that if the USA Network didn’t pick it up for another season then the WWE Network would.

To listen to this interview in its entirety you can click here. Booker also talks about the New Day being the hottest act in wrestling and the possibility of a Harlem Heat reunion match against the Dudley Boyz at WrestleMania 32 in Dallas, Texas (his home state).

Mark’s reaction:

This past season of Tough Enough was really bad and it reflected in the ratings. The best part of Tough Enough was its after-show called Tough Talk on the WWE Network. The after show gave the judges more of a chance to open up about their thoughts on the competitors and the show itself, something that they didn’t have the chance to do on USA. The fact that the show could be moving to the WWE Network excites me for the same reason why I liked Tough-Talk, it will give the WWE more freedom to do what they want. In being on the USA Network, I think the WWE felt a lot of pressure to make it into a more reality based television program, like Total Divas, to try and appeal to a larger audience. The higher-ups in charge of the WWE Network know that the people who subscribe to their network are the more devoted wrestling fans. Therefore, to make the show successful while keeping it exclusively on the network means that they’d have to make sure they cater to their subscribers, who again, are the more loyal wrestling fans. In keeping the show on their network, they can make it more wrestling centered rather than entertainment centered. What the heck does swimming in a lake have to do with making it in the WWE anyway?

I agree that Patrick should have won for the guys as it seems that he has the passion, skills, and work ethic to make it in professional wrestling. However, I think Giorgia’s elimination was the correct choice. Daniel Bryan was right in saying that she complained way too much when it came to the physicality of the business. She seemed like someone who you would have to baby in a match to make sure she came out 100% unscathed.

There were too many things wrong with Tough Enough to get into for this forum, but I like Booker’s criticisms on the show and his comments about improving it. I really like the concept of Tough Enough and would love for the show to fix its course. Are you interested in another season of Tough Enough if its repackaged to being more wrestling oriented? Did you like its most recent season? Will you continue to watch if the show moves forward on USA/WWE Network? Keep the conversation going in the comments below.

Side note: For those interested the WWE Network is coming out with a show called WWE Breaking Ground looking at NXT performers. It’s another reality show that is being described by the WWE as the Hard Knocks of WWE. It debuts this fall. Maybe this can be a cool alternative to Tough Enough.