Welcome one and all to episode three of the TJRWrestling Tough Enough review, where we hope there’s less drama and more wrestling training. What a concept. Last week we said goodbye to Alex who said one of the most boneheaded things in Tough Enough history and ended up getting eliminated for it. Let’s see what the 11 remaining, along with special guest WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins, have in store for us tonight.
After our intro video, we go to Chris Jericho, sans scarf for the second week in a row, and the lovely Renee Young. Renee has completed the American Beauty trifecta: red, blue, & white this week. The judges are announced and my girl Paige is looking fantastic yet again. This format may suck, but I appreciate the efforts of Paige and Renee. The judges are asked about what they’ve seen so far and Daniel makes a point to say how impressed he was with Sara Lee’s final plea last week. I agree with that. Renee goes over the rules, and it’s time to go to the barracks.
The competitors return after seeing Alex eliminated. Sara immediately goes off about how she didn’t like the judges saying she had no personality, and now she needs to show it. Dianna says half the women are bitches and half the women are boring and now she wants to go home. Everyone wants her to go home, and she doesn’t feel like she needs to say goodbye to anyone, so she packs her bags and is out of the Performance Center at 2am that night.
Billy Gunn gives the competitors his special wake up call and the competitors start their day with running and squats. Billy informs everyone that Dianna has quit, and if anyone else wants to quit, let him know so he doesn’t waste his time.
After the workout, everyone gathers round and makes their opinion known about Dianna quitting and no one is exactly broken up about it. The final 10 now meet up with the coaches and their next challenge is inside a prop house. Booker tells them that they know about one side of the business, now it’s time to show them the other. To help them with that, they’ve brought in WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins. Seth is here to talk to everyone about character. He says you can be big or beautiful, but if you don’t have a character that connects, you’ll never get over. You need a character that the fans can invest in. The characters may not fit who you actually are, but that’s what developing a character is all about.
Billy has some hats that have character themes in them, they have to pick out a theme and act it out. The competitors reveal all their selections, and then they have an hour to go through the prop house and find what they need to bring that character to life. Seth goes around and gives out advice to anyone who’s willing to listen. This is already more productive than what Roman Reigns did last week. As I type that, Seth takes off so nevermind. Booker sends them back to the Performance Center.
We go back live to Jericho and Renee who confirm that Dianna has left the competition. Jericho asks the judges their opinions. Paige says, “It sucks to suck.” They all agree that she wasted their time and Hogan says he’s just bummed they didn’t have the ability to vote her off themselves. For what it’s worth, there’s a video on WWEToughEnough.com where Dianna explains why she really left. In a nutshell, they run a bar and a friend that was running the bar was apparently attacked and choked out by the attacker. When he hit the ground, he broke his neck and ended up paralyzed from the neck down. There’s a lot of hassle that comes with that incident, being that it’s her and her fiance’s business, so they felt she needed to leave the show and take care of the issue. You can check out the video below for the full story and more details.
Back from commercial, it’s time for the competitors to finish their character challenge. Lita says that Paige put Sara Lee and Amanda on blast last week, so they should go first. Sara Lee agrees to go first and her character is “Jayde: Queen of Mean”. The judges don’t exactly look impressed with Sara. Unfortunately, I don’t think she can play mean. It’d be like asking Bayley to play Queen of Mean. By the way, all these characters are going to be generic. Sara does herself no favors with her explanation on her character.
Next is Josh who is “Bronson: The British Brawler”. His accent sucks, but Billy says he’s on the right track with it. Next is Daria who is “Angels Have Horns: The Fallen Angel”. Christopher Daniels does not approve. I don’t know what the hell she’s doing. The coaches were confused. Awful. Tanner is next as “Wildman Wayne: Stud Muffin”. Stud Muffin tries to jump over the top rope and trips himself, so Booker cuts him off immediately. The coaches ask Patrick his opinion, and it’s not favorable.
Now it’s Gabi who is “Gabby Lynn: Farmer’s Daughter”. Let me remind you that Gabi is from Brazil, so this ought to be stunning. Gabi does a hooker version of the Farmer’s Daughter. Billy Gunn actually seems like he likes where she’s going with it though, as he gives her some solid advice on how to walk the line between being eye candy and an actual sports entertainer. Patrick walks out as, “Rick Powers: Evil Intellect”. He wins already because he brings out a tiny dog with him. Who wouldn’t hate a guy who comes to the ring with a poodle? Awesome. Come to find out, it’s Lita’s dog. Billy says the presentation was awesome, but say something along with the entrance to really give the crowd something to be wowed about. Next is Amanda who is “Candy Rose: Barbie Doll”. Gabi calls her a fake bitch. Coaches approve of her entrance, but that wasn’t exactly hard for her considering she actually looks like a Barbie doll.
Mada now comes out as “The Pharoah: King of The Ring”. It’s actually the most impressive of the group so far and the coaches are impressed as well. Giorgia is next as “Miss Victoria: Bossy Bitch”. She basically is ripping off Lana’s gimmick. But the coaches are impressed, so that’s all that matters. ZZ now comes out as “M’erica Zane: American Hero”. It’s not pretty. Billy says that ZZ needs to take it more seriously, it’s almost disrespectful with what he pulled out. ZZ tries to defend himself, but he fails miserably. I like ZZ a lot, but that was just a pathetic effort.
The coaches decide that Patrick and Giorgia are the winners for the guys and girls. That is back to back weeks for them. They are sent back to the barracks as we go to commercial.
Renee welcomes us back and shows us the way to vote and then we’re right back to the barracks. ZZ looks visibly bummed about his efforts. He discusses what he did with the other guys in the competition and defends his reasoning for why he did what he did. The guys don’t really bash him, but they don’t agree with him either. Gabi is now shown talking to Sara Lee to try and get Sara on her side, as she thinks she’s the new target now that Dianna is gone.
Tanner calls out Patrick for being negative towards him when asked about Tanner’s character. Patrick says he can kick Tanner’s ass in a fight and they argue that fact. Patrick dares Tanner to come after him as he says that he will whip his ass right now. Tanner charges Patrick and we have our first fight in the house. Cue Joey Styles, “HOUSE FIGHT!!!” Either the fight was mediocre or Josh is way stronger than anyone realizes as he easily pulls them apart singlehandedly.
Back live to introduce the competitors on stage, and then we go to commercial.
We see some tweets between Gabi and Amanda as we return to the show. Jericho turns it to the coaches for questions and comments. Daniel Bryan says that as tough as Tanner says he is, that was the worst fight he’s ever seen. Bryan calls Sara out and talks about how she’s supposed to be mean, but wasn’t. Paige jumps right in the conversation and steals the scene as she tells Sara she sucked at being mean. She then asks if Sara thought ZZ’s package was real during his character segment. Paige says she liked Gabi’s entrance, but she’s got a new name for her, “Hooker T”. Ouch. Paige does not pull punches. At least someone offers something to this show. That’s my girl.
Hogan calls out Gabi for saying that Amanda is fake everything, but then Hogan asks Amanda about ZZ’s package. Seriously? That’s what we’re going for right now? This show format is awful. It’s time for the bottom three, and Daniel starts us off by selecting Daria. Paige puts in Sara Lee again this week. She says she will put Sara in the bottom three every week until she steps it up. Hogan says he hates to do this, as he actually sees shades of himself in ZZ, but he needs to step it up and learn to be a winner and a leader, so ZZ is his pick. Jericho says that when we come back from break, the three of them will get to do their entrances again.
As we return, the bottom three are in the exact same outfits as they were in originally. Each get 30 seconds to redeem themselves. Sara Lee comes out and she just cannot be mean. It’s the most forced entrance ever. ZZ is next and I get where he’s coming from with his attempt, but just being funny isn’t enough. Although it works for Santino Marella, so what do I know? Daria is supposed to be a Fallen Angel, I don’t know, I don’t get it. The coaches were more impressed with her, so good for her. This show is a disaster.
Jericho gives them an additional 30 seconds to do their final promos for why they should stay. Daria gives a good speech about how she brings legitimacy to the ring with her MMA background. I like Paige, but she interrupts Daria during her speech and doesn’t let her finish the full 30 seconds. Not a cool thing to do. Let them sink or swim, don’t cut them off and make it about you. ZZ is second, and is really focused on how it’s important to make people laugh, especially children. Sara Lee goes last and gives another good speech, much like last week and admits that she’s not the best right now, but she’s feeling like she’s getting it in her head, so she just needs to keep learning from everyone and she’ll get to where she needs to be.
My Take on Who Goes Home: Daria unfortunately in my opinion is between a rock and a hard place this week. ZZ got 52% of the vote when he was up for elimination and Sara Lee got 50% when she was up. Will the public opinion of those two change drastically this quickly? I doubt it. If I had to pick, I would send Sara Lee home, as I really liked what Daria had to say at the end, and also despite how bad his character was, I get where ZZ is coming from. He’s coming from a good place, he just couldn’t translate that to an actual character right away. Plus this challenge sucked, so I don’t want to hold that against him too. Sara didn’t seem to learn from last week’s bottom three placement, and as Paige said, did nothing to stand out despite getting far more opportunity this week.
Time to find out who is going home, but before we do, Jericho asks some of the other competitors who should go home this week. Everyone except Tanner says that Sara Lee should go home. Paige asks, “Wow, what did Sara Lee do?” Well apparently nothing Paige, that’s why you put her in the bottom three. That was dumb. Stop trying too hard Paige, you’re awesome as is. Jericho asks if the judges want to use their save this week, and none of them do.
The results are in and the votes come in exactly as I predicted above. ZZ gets another 52% of the vote and Sara Lee gets 34% of the vote, sending Daria home with only 14%. Daria looks shocked and you can hear Paige laugh incredulously off camera. Renee interviews Daria and Daria admits that she was shocked that she’s going home when there are many people more worthy of going home (not going to argue that). Renee presses her on the support of the LGBT community, and Daria says the support has been great. Our show ends this week.
This new format sucks and Paige is really trying to hammer the fact that she’s the “tough one” of the show, ala someone like Simon Cowell on American Idol or something. I don’t know what else to say. It’s clear that the fans that actually do watch this show love ZZ and it was never in doubt that he was staying. Daria didn’t deserve to go home, but Daniel put her in a tough spot this week by putting her in the bottom three.
I said last week the format works for the most part, I was wrong. The judges were on for all of two minutes maybe in the first 30 minutes of the show. Jericho really is useless, Renee Young can do everything he’s doing on top of what she does. I can’t tell if Daniel is genuinely just happy to be there, or just doesn’t care and plays the happy go lucky judge. Hogan seems genuinely invested in the show and wanting to make something out of it, and I’ve talked about Paige at length. This just is not what Tough Enough should be about. We’re three weeks into the show and we’ve literally only seen everyone take two bumps.
Another thing I want to know is, are the judges basing their opinions strictly off seeing what we see for the hour? Do they get extra footage during the week to watch? What are the competitors doing for the other 167 hours of the week? WWE just really jumped the shark with this one.
Until next time when we come back for Episode Four, keep staying away from the scarves Jericho.