Reviews

WWE Tough Enough Finale Review – Who Won WWE Contracts?

Welcome one and all to the Season Finale of Tough Enough right here on TJRWrestling. We’ve managed to sidestep a lot of landmines and we’ve somehow survived the dumpster fire that is this show. So let’s all put on our best dress and best suit and get ready to award two people $250,000. Color me surprised that the last two episodes have been by far the best of the season since they’ve actually started learning how to wrestle. What a concept.

Tonight we’re getting the full entrance presentation for all four finalists and then we’ll see the women have a match against Alicia Fox and we’ll see the men have a match against Cesaro. Either Cesaro is going to take ZZ to school and it’s going to be glorious to watch, or ZZ is going to be his lazy, out of shape self and end up injuring Cesaro. If that happens, I’m burning Titan Towers to the ground.

Let’s get on with the finale!

We start with a video package recapping the last four months, all the way from Triple H announcing the show is coming back to all the video entries to the 13 that were finally picked. We see all the eliminations again and focus on the final four as their dream will either end or come true tonight. I miss Patrick and Mada. Leave the memories alone.

We are live with our judges and our hosts and everyone is dressed in their very best. Jericho is in a nice suit, which thankfully didn’t have room for a scarf. The lovely Renee Young is in a two piece dress. The Miz looking like only The Miz could and Paige is wearing a festive gold top. Daniel Bryan is Daniel Bryan. We go back to the barracks.

The final four talk about what they’ve got coming in the final week they will be there. ZZ says he’s poised and he’s like a bullfrog and will be ready for that grasshopper to come in front of him. Yeah, I don’t know what that means either. Josh is feeling really good and feels he has momentum on his side. Amanda apparently wants to bring up the fact that Sara Lee is a ring rat. That’s what she called Sara Lee on Tough Talk last week. She says now that Sara Lee is trying to sleep her way to the top. Unless Sara Lee is sleeping with her coaches, what in the blue hell is Amanda trying to get at?

The finalists wake up the next morning and go to the Performance Center where they see their coaches and Y2J Chris Jericho waiting on them. They tell the finalists that they’re going to be here along with a group of people that will be there to help them put everything together creatively for their personas. Jericho is in the ring with a group that’s shown as being from WWE Creative Design and asks them what they want to be labeled as. Josh says he wants to stick with The Yeti, ZZ wants to be The King of the Bayou, Amanda wants to be Amanda Sax, and Sara wants to be Hope. Next Jericho asks them about what they’re going to wear to the ring and all of them provide ideas of what they want to wear. After that, they discuss theme songs with the creative group. Funny moment when Sara says she wants something like Kid Rock, and the song they play her is NOT Kid Rock, so she has zero reaction and Jericho goes, “it’s the first thing that’s made you stop smiling.” Jericho thanks them all for their time and tells them good job for the day.

Back in the barracks and here comes the coaches gathering everyone to let them know who their opponents are for their live match on the finale. Cesaro and Alicia Fox make their entrances. Cesaro tells ZZ that he may have wrestled gators, but nothing will prepare him for wrestling Cesaro. The coaches tell them that the next time they will see the finalists will be at the finale, so it’s go time. Renee lets us know that Amanda vs. Alicia Fox is up first. We go to commercial.

Back live and Jericho is talking to Miz but I can’t hear what he’s saying as the live crowd is actually pretty loud. Byron Saxton is handling ring announcing tonight and out first is Amanda who is debuting as Mandy Rose. Is that Adam’s wife? I knew Rosa shouldn’t have gotten pregnant. Amanda gets in the ring and is time for her to cut a promo. She briefly talks about Tough Enough and how much she appreciated it and now it’s time for Mandy Rose to talk. She says if she wins Tough Enough, she’s throwing a big party and everyone is invited. Yep, she’s Adam’s wife. I knew it. Mandy says Miz actually isn’t invited, and he may have the “money maker” but she’s got the “money shaker”. That got a good reaction. Alicia gets to the ring and we’re underway.

Alicia starts off with a stiff slap to Mandy, which Mandy returns in favor. Mandy starts a couple catfight takedowns but then Alicia catches her with a sick looking side slam that Mandy kicks out at two and then proceeds not to sell at all. Alicia knees her in the gut and sends her face first into the mat. Alicia whips her in to the ropes and Mandy actually catches her with a nice headscissors takedown. Mandy then hits a sunset flip for a two count, but when they get up, Alicia lays her out with a clothesline that makes Miz gasp. Paige loves it. Alicia goes for an elbow drop, but Mandy moves. Mandy isn’t selling for nothing. It’s really bad. Mandy gets Alicia in a headlock and then takes her over in the corner and hits her running turnbuckle bulldog finisher, but Alicia kicks out at two. Mandy tries following up, but gets kicked and then Alicia nails her with her scissor kick finisher and picks up the win.

Mandy stands in front of the judges and Jericho and Jericho commends her for a tough match and really mixing it up. Miz said she had some good and some bad, but she did a nice job. Paige says she’s really impressed by the fact that Amanda looks like a Diva. She says the match as a whole was good. Daniel says that he saw a lot of sloppiness (I’m glad someone said it) but she hit some of the high spots really well and did a good job with that. Alicia vs. Sara is now up next and we go to commercial.

Back live to Alicia already in the ring and Sara Lee is introduced as Hope for her match. Sara Lee stealing from the Brie Bella collection as she’s wearing flannel. I really hope Daniel calls her on that. Sara cuts her promo and she’s actually got some confidence in her promo and tells Alicia she’s about to become a footnote in Hope’s career. Promo advantage goes to Sara/Hope, entrance and attire goes to Amanda/Mandy.

The bell rings and we’re underway. They tie up to start and Alicia sends Hope to the mat. They tie up again and Hope grabs a headlock. She’s shot into the ropes and then hits Alicia with a shoulderblock. She stomps Alicia in the corner and then chokes her with her foot. Little heel tendencies from Hope. Meanwhile Paige’s mic picks up her saying that Hope’s shorts do not look flattering on her. I concur. Alicia gets out from the corner and gives what I think was supposed to be a drop toe hold. Then she grabs Hope by the hair and sends her across the ring. She follows that up with a suplex and Hope is selling much better than Mandy. Alicia is showboating a bit and gets caught in THE ROLLUP OF DEATH, but only a two count. They get up and Hope hits her with a Russian Leg Sweep that gets a two count. Now she goes for her armbar, but they’re deep in the corner and Alicia is in the ropes. Alicia pokes Hope in the eye when the ref wasn’t looking and then hits her with the scissors kick and gets the win here as well.

Sara comes up to the judges now. Miz was really impressed with her promo and says overall it was not bad. Just needs to find something more flattering in her attire. Paige says she did pretty good in the ring and was impressed, but her entrance was flat. But she wants Sara to know that she’s giving her a compliment with what she’s saying. Daniel says the same thing about the entrance. He says she was a little hesitant in the ring, but she did a really nice job for her first match. Jericho tells us that voting is now open for the women and time to see who will win the $250,000 contract. Renee shows us how to vote and we go to commercial.

Who Should Win: Paige said it best, Amanda looked like a Diva. Which is half the battle. But she couldn’t sell to save her life. Sara would definitely need a new attire and something to help the entrance, but in ring, she’s got a little something. Just based on the popular votes when she’s been in the bottom three, I think Sara Lee will take home the contract.

Jericho says the voting is now closed and it’s time to find out our winner. No wait, Jericho just trolled them both and says we’ll find out the winner at the end of the show! HAHA, now that was funny. Instead it’s time for ZZ vs. Cesaro.

ZZ comes out as “King of The Bayou” and he ALMOST had it. He’s got a HUGE Gator head that he’s wearing that comes down as a cape and his theme song is actually really good. His wrestling tights are just brutal though. ZZ gets the mic and talks about he’s gotten way too good at wrestling gators, so now he’s going to wrestle people. Two reasons he’s here. All the baby gators that got him where he is, and the three awesome coaches here live. ZZ says he’s answered all the questions, but now it’s time to ask Cesaro a question. Can he handle getting bit by this gator? I think ZZ took too long to get in the ring as Cesaro’s music actually cut off the end of his promo. Not a bad effort though.

The ref calls for the bell and I can’t wait to see if this turns into a trainwreck. This is like the Ric Flair vs. Great Khali match we never got to see. They tie up and ZZ tries to get a headlock, but Cesaro just swats him away. Cesaro gets the headlock now and is sent into the ropes where ZZ actually manages a leapfrop. ZZ then drops to the mat again, and Cesaro decides to manhandle ZZ and gives him his gutwrench suplex. Cesaro hits a huge European uppercut and WE’RE GOING SWINGING!! Cesaro drops him and then gets a crossface of sorts and then gets sent into the corner. ZZ hits a forearm shot and then ROLLUP OF DEATH but not even a two count. ZZ then hits his flapjack and goes for the Gator Bite, but Cesaro slides out instantly, goes for a true Crossface submission and ZZ taps out immediately. Short match, but nobody died and ZZ didn’t look like a total fool, I’d call that a win.

ZZ faces the judges. Daniel Bryan says besides the fact that ZZ missed the drop down that ended up getting him manhandled, he did a great job. Paige says that ZZ dropped the ball with his entrance as he didn’t show any personality during it. Miz says that it was just a two minute match and he doesn’t think ZZ can hang in the longer matches. ZZ doesn’t work out and he doesn’t feel ZZ wants it like he says he does. Josh vs. Cesaro is next and we go to another commercial.

Josh comes out as The Yeti. I like his entrance, I’m not sold on the attire. The whole attire looks like someone that would be at your local Indy promotion as “Captain Caveman” that shouldn’t be allowed in a ring. His wrestling tights look like he’s legit wrestling in his underwear. It’s just not a good look. He can overcome that though. He cuts one hell of a promo though and gets his “Yeti Nation” on their feet. Why does everyone have to have a Nation as their fanbase? Just an observation.

There’s the bell and our last match has begun. They tie up and they they test each other’s power and strength to see who can get the advantage. Cesaro finally gets The Yeti in the corner, but gets a big boot for it and then a forearm shot. Cesaro fires back with a knee to the gut and a European Uppercut that was quite stiff. Cesaro then hits a double foot stomp as Billy Gunn and Booker T are shown laughing it up at what’s taking place. Cesaro is not messing around, that’s for sure. Good for him too. Cesaro goes for a suplex but it’s blocked. The Yeti tries a suplex himself, but it’s also blocked and WE’RE GOING SWINGING AGAIN!! Cesaro drops him and then tries to follow up in the corner, but The Yeti reverses it and hits his Avalanche splash in the corner, followed by his running powerslam which he didn’t hit cleanly. He landed on his knees first. Cesaro kicks out at two and then when both men get up, Cesaro hits a great dropkick. He picks up The Yeti and it’s Neutralizer time for the win. By the way, Paige has been ridiculously annoying with her sound effects during the matches. She sounds like that fan who’s never seen a match before and has to make a sound every time someone hits a move or takes a bump. It was really noticeable during that match so I had to bring it up.

Josh is the last one to face the judges. Jericho says that he looked a little choppy in the ring, but he looked like a star from the moment he walked out and looked like he belonged here. Miz agrees with me and hates his entire outfit, but he looked good in the ring and will only get better. Paige says he is definitely her pick to win it all. Daniel liked his promo, but he felt like ZZ might have actually been a little better in the ring. Daniel had another point, but Jericho cut him off. I think we’re running short on time. Voting has opened for the guys and now we go to our last commercial before we find out our winners.

Who Should Win: If you ever want to do another Tough Enough season, Josh HAS to win. ZZ made a valiant effort tonight, I’ll give him that. Josh has superstar written all over him. Sure he could be like Andy who won the last season of Tough Enough and quit shortly hereafter (and I’ve mentioned before I worry this is a legit possibility), but I also think he could be a big player down the road. If ZZ wins, this show is as big a joke as I’ve made it out to be all season long.

The votes are closed and it’s time to find out our winners officially. Jericho introduces us to who will be awarding the contracts to the winners and its none other than the CEO himself, Triple H. Hunter says he’s got a half a million dollars in his hands and he’s ready to find out who he’s going to be giving that money to. The women will find out their fate first. Our winner for Tough Enough is Sara Lee with 64% of the vote! I had a hunch it would be a landslide. Amanda did herself no favors last week when she basically slut shamed Sara Lee. I know I had a lot of negative responses about that in last week’s comments on my review. Triple H shakes Sara Lee’s hand and hands her the contract.

The guy’s time has come. The winner of Tough Enough is Josh with a huge 70% of the vote! WOW! I was actually sweating the fact that ZZ might win this, but the fans did the right thing and made Josh the commanding winner. All the coaches and judges come on stage and congratulate our winners as Triple H raises their hand to end our show and season.

Final Thoughts

For what it’s worth, Amanda looked hurt by the fact she lost, but ZZ looked like he couldn’t have cared less. I bet if ZZ was tied up to a polygraph machine, he’d tell you he’s relieved he didn’t win.

Thankfully the show is salvaged by the fact that Josh won. He really may turn into something big and it’ll be that funny note about him, “Remember how awful that season of Tough Enough was that he was on?”

That’s really all there is to say about the show and the finale. They tried a new concept and it failed from the get go. They started to get back on track these last three weeks, but it was too little too late. We’ll see if they come back to it again next year or if it’ll go away for a few years again, if not even forever.

I just want to say a huge thank you to every person who commented on my reviews, tweeted me, or hit me up on Facebook. When I realized how bad this show was going to be, I figured I’d get a lackluster response to my reviews and thankfully the exact opposite happened. So thanks for all the feedback. I hope you’ll all follow me to my work on NXT from here on out and I’ve got a few editorials in the pipeline that’ll be coming out in the next few weeks. Until next time, keep staying away from the scarves Jericho. You’re better than that.