The Spotlight On Sam Roberts Live From Caroline’s On Broadway

 This evening I attended a live recording of the Sam Roberts Show (yes with my eyes dilated so if you saw the guy at the event with sunglasses, that was yours truly).  The show was taped for tomorrow’s Sam Roberts Show on Sirius XM and so if you don’t want the show to be spoiled (though I won’t really go into too much detail) stop reading now.

The event itself was a lot of fun and lasted over two hours.  The show for the most part was focused on wrestling almost entirely with guests including Paul Heyman, Corey Graves and Katie Linendoll.  I’ve been a fan of Sam’s for a few years now, subscribing to his videos on YouTube and enjoying all of his interviews that he kicked off with his trademark “What’s The Haps?”.  I’ve touched on his wrestling podcast a couple of the times on the Spotlight On Wrestling Podcasts section of the site in the past and have continued to enjoy those as well.  This particular live show, however, was not the Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast as much as it was a taping of Sam’s daily radio show on the Opie station of Sirius XM Radio.  Let’s get right into some of the highlights from the taping.

Highlights- 

Mike Cannon-  Comedian Mike Cannon came out for a standup routine to get the crowd warmed up and really got the crowd going.  He was hilarious and did such a great job that Sam invited Mike back up on stage to do his open with him.  The two continued to talk about Deez Nuts, which Sam has really been at the forefront of even before Deez Nuts became such a big overnight sensation.  They also discussed this insane Josh Duggar-Ashley Madison story with Cannon joking that most of the wrestling fans in attendance were probably wondering if Ashley Madison was a new NXT Diva.  Good stuff all around.


Katie Linendoll- Really good to see Today show correspondent, Katie Linendoll on hand for Sam’s live show.  She has been a great addition to Sam’s wrestling podcast and seems to be a true fan of the wrestling business with a good amount of knowledge.  You can tell that Katie was really excited for Summerslam weekend and i think she also did a great job in asking questions to Paul Heyman.

Corey Graves-  For those who don’t know, Graves and Roberts have developed quite the friendship over time and Graves has made multiple appearances on Roberts’ podcast.  What I like about Graves’ appearances is that they’re always a little different and it seems that Sam is able to get a little more in depth with each interview.  For an example, they explained that while Corey can’t wait for NXT in Brooklyn this weekend, part of him really misses being in the ring and he would have loved being in the ring on the show.  He explained that it’s a little weird for him to be in NXT right now because he was one of the members of that old guard for NXT with guys like Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Bray Wyatt.  He explained that the time period for someone who first enters NXT to the time that they get to the main roster has really changed since he was competing in NXT. He explained that it used to be that you would come into NXT and then if you were good you would go through the system rather quickly and up to the main WWE roster and if you weren’t good you would get cut quickly.  Nowadays, however, with the invention of the performance center, guys are able to stay down in NXT for a long period of time provided that there is consistent improvement during that span.

Paul Heyman- The main event of the evening was Paul Heyman who came across fantastic on this show.  Paul started off by singing another rendition of “Glory Glory Brock Lesnar” which got everyone singing along.  He then asked one of the fans in the middle of Caroline’s to join him on stage so he can take her seat and proclaimed that he was sitting exactly where he belonged, in the Cesaro Section (a bunch of fans in the middle two tables had brought the Cesaro Section posters into Caroline’s and were holding them up throughout the show) which got a huge reaction.  When Sam asked Paul if there was another star that he wanted to align himself with if and when Brock Lesnar retires, he said all of NXT.  He equated it to if he would ever take over the Yankees back in 2010 the first two things he would have done would be to trade A-Rod and Derek Jeter for about five or six 21-24 year old players who could be the future of the team, which is what he would like to do with some of the NXT talents.

 

At this point Paul went on to mention that if he could draft one guy from NXT it would actually be Corey Graves.  He said that Corey is the best color commentator in all of wrestling because he succeeds in, not only getting one guy over, but in getting the entire NXT Roster over.  He said that Corey Graves is like WWE’s Joe Rogan but is so good that it’s only a matter of time before everyone starts saying that Joe Rogan is UFC’s Corey Graves.  From here Paul was asked about his plans in 1993 to try and take on Howard Stern by becoming a morning radio host.  Paul confirmed that their was in fact plans for him to become the morning guy for Hot 97 but people wondered how you could put a jewish guy on a hip hop radio station.  Of course, years later, Peter Rosenberg is now the morning host for Hot 97.

 

From here Sam wondered what happened when the Undertaker went to a UFC show years ago and if that was part of some plan.  Paul explained that their was no plan but that Brock Lesnar was really pissed because he felt that when he was finished with wrestling, he never had any interest in going back and wasn’t showing up at WWE events and sitting front row.  Whereas, here’s the Undertaker showing up sitting front row at a UFC fight, Brock felt that he had no right to do that. Paul also joked that Brock lost that fight due to diverticulitis which was a spell cast on him by the Undertaker.  When Paul was asked if he believes that he’s the greatest talker in the history of the business, he explained that you’ve never seen Paul Heyman hit a dropkick off the top rope because he knew he would never be able to do that better than anyone else, however, there was nothing that was holding him back from being the best talker in the business and so that is where he focused his energy.  He also added that one of the advantages he has is that he’s one of the few guys who is able to write all of his own promos.  The interview then ended with Paul handing out “Paul Heyman Guy” and “Paul Heyman Girl” shirts to members in the audience.

Q & A-  One of the things that i really enjoyed about this show was that Sam then opened up the room for questions for both Corey Graves and Paul Heyman.  This was great as both of them didn’t shy away from any of the questions that were asked of them, in particular Paul Heyman.  When Paul was asked about what he would do in ECW when different wrestlers would leave and if he ever considered a guy like Sakuraba, he explained that he was always looking for ways to do something different with ECW.  He mentioned how he was able to turn the Sandman from a beach bum to beer swelling hardcore legend and he was able to get the most out of guys like The Public Enemy.  He continued how when technical wrestlers like Benoit, Guerrero, and Malenko left ECW, he knew there was no way to replace them so he looked for something different by bringing in some of the high flyers like Tajiri and Super Crazy.  He added that at one point there was a big idea he had to bring in Frank Shamrock.  When Paul was asked about the success throughout his career, he attributed it to his ability to reinvent himself.  He explained that when he used to work for the NWA and he would walk down the streets of New York City people would ask him where his big phone was, then during the ECW days, people would chant ECW at him and now people chant “BBBBBRRRROOOOOOCCCCKKKKKKKK LLLLEEEEESSSSSNNNNAAAAAAARRRR” at him.

Probably the most interesting thing to come out of this show was when a fan asked Paul why it didn’t work out with Cesaro since he was such a fan of his work.  Paul explained that period of time as a catch-22 for Cesaro as he said that the original plan post Wrestlemania 30 was for both Brock and Paul to take time off.  However, once Brock broke the streak, WWE felt that Paul needed to remain on television so that he can continue to remind fans about Brock breaking the streak.  Thus, he chose to work with Cesaro so that he can stay on television and, on every single show, say that he was ” The one behind the one in 21-1…” and so on.  He explained that the problem was that this relegated Cesaro to a background player and in doing so, the hope of transferring some of Brock’s heat onto Cesaro didn’t really work out.  He added, however, that because Vince was so invested in what Paul was doing (with every intention of building to the inevitable rematch), this gave Vince the opportunity to notice Cesaro, who he claimed Vince had never really noticed as much of anything, prior to this program.  He also attributes these promos that he cut as the vehicle that lead to the rematch at Summerslam because it made Brock’s victory over The Undertaker a bigger deal than if Paul had been taken off television for an extended period of time and the streak being broken was never mentioned for months. He ended by saying that to him this rematch really is the match too big for Wrestlemania because they needed a main event focus and would get lost in the shuffle as a part of the big Wrestlemania card.

Closing Thoughts

Overall, there was so much more to this show and you should go out of your way to listen to the Sam Roberts Show tomorrow when it airs Sirius XM Radio on Opie 103 at 12PM EST.  It is a great way to get excited for Summerslam and NXT Takeover being that both Paul Heyman and Corey Graves are such big parts of those shows respectively.  In the end, this was one of the most enjoyable live radio shows/podcasts that I’ve attended. A great job by all of those involved.

That’s going to do it for me but tomorrow will begin our dailyspotlight rankings of all of the Summerslams in history and I’ll be back Saturday with coverage of the Live NXT Panel.  Until then thanks for reading and have a good night.

The Spotlight On WWE Night at MCU Park

 Last night I was able to attend WWE Night at MCU Park, the ballpark of the Brooklyn Cyclones (The Single A Affiliate of the New York Mets). It was the first time I had been to the Park and it was a really great night for a baseball game. MCU park is a nice atmosphere for a game, located at the center of Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York.  This gives you the chance to can see some of the landmark roller coasters going right behind the game as it is going on.  WWE night was obviously in conjunction with the promotion of Summerslam week here in and around the New York City area. The event was presented by Tapout which is now being heralded as the official athletic apparel of WWE.

Photo Courtesy Of WWE

The game started with a celebrity softball game featuring local disc jockeys like WFAN’s Craig Carton & Z100’s Skeery Jones, newscasters Rosanna Scotto & Greg Kelly (who actually both had their bobble heads given out prior to the game), New York Mets legends John Franco & Edgardo Alfonzo and of course WWE Superstars Fandango & Intercontinetal Champion Ryback as well as WWE Divas Eva Marie & Charlotte.

 Following the game Eva Marie, Charlotte and Fandango (who was accompanied by Ryback) each threw out a ceremonial first pitches and there were giveaways from both WWE and Tapout throughout the night.  There were even 8 tickets to the, impossible to come by, sold out Summerslam event on Sunday, given out at random to fans who attended the event.  There was also autograph signings with the WWE superstars and MCU Park was smart to separate out the Superstars and Divas so that there were more opportunities for the fans to meet the Superstars and Divas.  At one side of the park Ryback and Charlotte greeted fans while Fandango and Eva Marie signed for everyone else.  Here are some quick observations from the event in general…

  • Interesting to note that Ryback did not participate in any of the baseball related activities.  Ryback did not play in the softball game and did not throw out a first pitch like the rest of his peers.  I’d assume that this is likely due to Ryback having a big match on Sunday and also recently recovering from his staph infection on his knee.  That said, it was great to see the big guy and the people really seemed most excited to see him as their was a fear that his injury would hold him out of the event.  Their were many fans who lined up on the Ryback/Charlotte line from the second they entered the park. 
  • Charlotte is someone who is really gaining a following especially from her father, “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair.  There was a big “wooo” chants every time she came to the plate.  This was nice to see and a sign, to me at least, that the Divas Revolution continues to gain a following throughout WWE.
  • Eva Marie was booed quite heavily at times by WWE fans throughout the event.  I’m a firm believer that when you pay your money to go to a WWE live event, you should be able to cheer or boo whomever you’d like.  However, this was a charity event.  This was not the time or place for fans to boo Eva Marie, or anyone for that matter.
  • It has to be stated that a lot of fans spent upwards of 2 hours waiting on line to meet the superstars and walked away with nothing.  The falls on the shoulders of the event planners.  It’s completely acceptable to cut off a line once you get to 100 people and I know the event planners wanted as many fans to meet the superstars and divas but when you allow people to get on line, they expect to get autographs.  This also led to people getting upset with the Superstars and Divas for leaving prior to the fans getting to meet them but it really isn’t their fault.  At the end of the day the Superstars and Divas only signed up for a limited amount of time and couldn’t sign for the never ending line of people that were allowed to line up.  What they could have also done was separate each and every one of the Divas and Superstars to create four lines and more opportunities for people to meet the Superstars and Divas. 
  • At the end of the game, MCU Park donated $5,000 to the New York Police and Fire Widows and Childrens Benefit Fund.  A really classy event all around and it was for a really worthy cause.

In closing, this was a great start to Summerslam week.  It reminded me of those really old school WWE softball games that you would see clips of during the 1990s.  It was a fun night at the park and it was a great deal to boot.  MCU Park does this promotion called “WayBack Wednesdays” in which tickets at only $10.  This means that for $10 you got admission for the celebrity softball game, autograph signings with the WWE Superstars and Divas and admission into the regularly scheduled Brooklyn Cyclones game after that.  It doesn’t get much better than that.

That’s going to do it for me but I actually just returned from the Sam Roberts Live Podcast Event In New York City this evening and will have coverage for all of you upcoming.  Until then be sure to hit subscribe so that you can get all of the Summerslam coverage on the site all week.

The Spotlight On Triple H’s NXT Media Conference Call

Embedded image permalinkPhoto Courtesy of twitter.com/tripleh

Earlier today Paul “Triple H” Levesque met with members of the media for an NXT Media Conference Call to preview WWE NXT Takeover: Brooklyn.  This has been a tradition that Levesque has kept going prior to every NXT Takeover Special and, to his credit continues to do so to this day.  The call, which lasted a little over 30 minutes, featured a very proud Levesque who was rightfully boasting over the recent success of NXT and WWE in general.  Levesque said it best in this call when he proclaimed that he couldn’t think of another entertainment entitity that could sell out the Barclays Center for three straight nights like WWE has this upcoming weekend.  Let’s get right into some of the highlights of the call.

Highlights-


The NXT Takeover Brooklyn Card- 
One of the main points that Triple H was quick to touch on prior to his conference call was some clairfication over how long the NXT Takeover Special was going to be and which matches were going to be on the show so here’s what we know.  On this Saturday’s NXT Takeover Special, the event card will feature a double main event of WWE NXT champion Finn Balor vs. Kevin Owens: Ladder Match & WWE NXT Women’s champion Sasha Banks vs. Bayley, as well as WWE NXT Tag Team champions Blake and Murphy vs. The Vaudevillians, Jushin Liger vs. Tyler Breeze, Samoa Joe vs. Baron Corbin and the debut of Apollo Crews vs. Tye Dillinger.  The rest of the matches will be taped for next week’s episode of NXT on the WWE Network in what will be a special 90 minute edition of NXT on the WWE Network.  The matches taped that night for NXT are Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte vs. Dana Brooke vs. Emma, Bull Dempsey vs. Elias Sampson, Chad Gable & Jason Jordan & Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson vs. Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady & Zack Ryder & Mojo Rawley and Eva Marie vs. Carmella.  Thus, if you’re attending the NXT Takeover show live, you can expect 3 and a half hours of NXT action but only two hours, from 9-11PM will air live on the WWE Network.

Embedded image permalink

WWE Performance Center: All Access Pass- Triple H had been teasing this idea of an all access event to the WWE Performance Center for a few days now and went into a few more details as to what WWE is planning with this venture.  For the first time ever the WWE Performance Center will open it’s doors to the general public and allow fans unprecedented access to the performance center.  For fans that sign up for the day- long event, that will take place on September 28th, 2015, it will include, according to a press release issued by WWE , “share breakfast and lunch with NXT Superstars and Divas (meals provided), participate in a Q&A and orientation session with NXT coaching staff, attend a Q&A and autograph session with NXT Superstars and Divas, sign a one-day WWE booking contract, granting admission to a private NXT Live Event at the WWE Performance Center that you will help produce, manage and watch alongside your favorite NXT Superstars & Divas, take an all-access Tour of the WWE Performance Center, which has never before been opened to the public, get an inside look at a private NXT training session, learn the ropes during a promo class and then create your very own unique promo video.Plus, you’ll be able to take the experience home, with exclusive keepsakes like: a commemorative WWE Performance Center: All Access credential, photo opportunities to capture and share your once-in-a-lifetime experience with friends, WWE Performance Center gift bag, limited edition event chair personalized promo video; available post-experience,  and downloadable highlight reel; available post-experience”.  The event will be open to the first 40 people on a first come first serve basis. While this is no doubt a dream experience for any WWE fan, it does cost $1500. Tickets go on sale monday August 24th on NXTTickets.com. 

Future NXT Plans- While Levesque did not confirm anything specifically when it comes to the NXT brand, he did mention that their are plans for NXT to head to the UK. He also said that while he likes that NXT is able to piggy back onto some of the bigger WWE events like Wrestlemania and Summerslam, he’d like to stop there for right now. He said with Wrestlemania and Summerslam, NXT is able to take advantage of some of the international fans who were coming in for that mega event. Levesque also said that he likes that NXT continues to be an alternative brand. He said he does not want NXT to be like Raw or Smackdown and likes that the brand is consistently forced to reinvent itself when the NXT stars go up to the main WWE roster.  Levesque ended by saying that he remains open to talent from all over the world, adding that it doesn’t matter if the talent come from independents or from the NFL or wherever. He finished with a great line about how Kurt Angle never toiled around on the independents and he ended up doing alright.

Closing Thougts

In the end, I always really enjoy these calls and this time was no different. I feel they make each one of the Takeover specials feel like a big deal. I continue to say it, and don’t expect that it will happen, but I’d like for WWE to do these calls before their pay per views. I also liked how honest Paul Levesque came off during the interview tackling questions about the, rather silly in my opinion, claims that WWE is coming after Ring Of Honor. Levesque pointed out that for years other companies have been making money off Wrestlemania so it would behoove NXT to not do the same thing. As Levesque said, I really don’t think that he’s even all that aware of what Ring Of Honor is doing. I like Ring of Honor, been a fan of their product for years, but the fact is NXT can sell out 13,000+ seat venues and no matter what ROH does right now they aren’t on that level. Perhaps it’s because NXT has the WWE brand recognition behind if but whatever the situation, NXT right now is a success in and of itself and a lot of that is because of Paul Levesque’s hard work. 

That’s going to do it for me right now but I just returned from a fun night at MCU Park, dedicated to Summerslam and will have the highlights from that event tomorrow afternoon. Until then be sure to subscribe below so that you can get all of the Summerslam week coverage right here on the site delivered right away to your email.

The Spotlight On SummerSlam Week in New York City

 Hello everyone it is officially SummerSlam weekend!  I have been pretty busy this past weekend as I was a part of a wedding and then literally had a vacation day yesterday in which I spent the entire day catching up on my sleep as I know this is going to be a long and exciting week in the New York City Area and so I am committed to bringing the best Summerslam coverage possible.  I work here in Brooklyn and there is definitely a Wrestlemania esque buzz (and a Wrestlemania esque traffic) in the air.  There are many different events going on in the New York City area as well as television appearances and autograph signings all over the place.  We are lucky enough here at thedailyspotlight.com to be attending several of the different events associated with Summerslam week and will have you covered from pillar to post. Whether it be live coverage or coverage from one of our correspondents, we will have a packed week of content for all of you guys right here.  If you are attending any of the events this week and would like to be a correspondent for thedailyspotlight.com (After all I am only one person, I work a full time job and only have so many hours in the day) you can do so by sending me an email at thedailyspotlight2@gmail.com.  We welcome live event coverage and perspectives and will give full credit your way if you’d like it (you can choose to remain anonymous as well).  With that said let me get into the different Summerslam themed activities and coverage you can expect this week on thedailyspotlight.com

Wednesday: 
 
The Spotlight On Triple H’s NXT Taker: Brooklyn Media Conference Call-  Later today there will be coverage of Triple H’s conference call that he hosts before all of the different NXT Takeover specials specifically for members of the media.  I will be back later today from the biggest highlights from the call this afternoon.
SummerSlam Night At MCU Park- Tonight I’ll be attending the Brooklyn Cyclones’ MCU Park for Summerslam Night.  Prior to the start of tonight’s Brooklyn Cyclones game, there will be a celebrity charity softball game between a host of celebrities and the NYPD and FDNY.  Ryback, Charlotte, Eva Marie and Fandango will all be on hand both playing in the game and signing autographs at the park.  There will also be different prize giveaways and contests from both WWE and Tapout.  I will be back late tonight or early tomorrow with pictures and highlights from that event.
Thursday: 
 
Thursday is an absolute packed day of different events going on for the WWE Superstars and Divas.  Obviously Thursday night is the final stop for WWE before Summerslam but aside from that John Cena will be hosting the 9:00 hour of the Today show and also appearing on the Tonight Show.  I saw some of the highlights from John’s first appearance on the Today Show and thought he came off like a real natural in the role.  I know that Paige and Seth Rollins will be signing autographs at Toys R Us Times Square and Kevin Owens will be signing in New Jersey.  Aside from all of that…
Sam Roberts Live-  On Thursday night in New York City, Same Roberts will be hosting a live podcast and q & a with Corey Graves and Paul Heyman. I’ve been invited to attend and plan on doing so (though I will getting my eyes dilated earlier that day so this will be interesting to say the least).  Sam’s shows are great and I’m looking forward to the event at the famous Caroline’s Comedy Club.  Look for pictures and highlights from that event on Thursday night .
WWE 2k16 Press Conference- Also Thursday night in New York City is a media event for WWE 2k16.  There isn’t much more information that that is out about it but we will also have the highlights of that event, likely Friday morning .
Friday-Sunday-  
 
During Summerslam weekend there are a number of superstar appearances going on at the Barclays center.  Priced at $150 per session you can meet Randy Orton, Shawn Michaels, Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns Sting, Paige, Charlotte and Becky Lynch as well as a host of others.  I’ve never done one of these VIP signings but I’ve heard great things.  The Superstars and Divas spend a bit more time with each person who’s paid to meet them and also include a nice professional photo.  If you go check out any of these appearances, drop me a line.
Ranking The Summerslams-  Beginning Friday morning and continuing throughout the weekend, I’m going to be ranking all of the WWE Summerslams in the history of WWE.  From 1988-2014 all of the summerslams will be ranked by yours truly starting from 27 and going all the day down to number 1, the greatest summerslam event of all time.  I’ll also give a first hand account of several different Summerslam events that either I attended live or I remember being around for.  The countdown will kick off this Friday morning.
Predictions-  Summerslam isn’t the only big show this weekend, Saturday night NXT:Takeover comes to Brooklyn.  On Friday I’ll be running down all of the matches scheduled for NXT:TakeOver and giving predictions for that show.  Then on Saturday, I’ll be back to run down the complete Summerslam card with predictions from all 10 of the matches.
Saturday- 
 
NXT Panel-  Saturday morning at the Barclays Center there will be an exclusive NXT Panel Discussion featuring Triple H, Seth Rollins, Finn Balor, Sasha Banks and many more.  The panel is said to last for 90 minutes and will include a Q & A.  This should make for a good prelude to the NXT Takeover special that same night as the topic is NXT.  I’ll be on hand and will have highlights from the event.
Ultimate Warrior Day-  This Saturday afternoon 3-5 there will be an Ultimate Warrior book release convention in Brooklyn.  Dana Warrior (The widow of the ultimate warrior) will be on hand for a meet and greet and it’s also being promoted that many of the Warrior’s memorabilia including the official Ultimate Warrior Statue will be on display.  I’ll be attending that event and will be back with photos and highlights from that event as well.
NXT Takeover: Brooklyn- Not only am I attending NXT: Takeover live on Saturday night but I’m doing so on a double date. Anyway for the first of three nights I’ll be at the Barclays Center this time, for NXT live.  Be sure to check out my live event highlights and photos.
Sunday-
 
Summerslam– Not since my very first live pay per view (Summerslam 2002) have I been this excited for a Summerslam live.  I’ll be on hand for the four hour mega event so you can expect the usual highlights and photos from a live perspective on Sunday night.
Monday-
 
Monday Night Raw- Gotta Give WWE credit for selling out the Barclays center three days in a row.  Kudos to them for making Summerslam into such a massive event filled with as many events as you would often find solely during Wrestlemania week.  I actually took a half day from work so that I can catch my breath before heading back to the Barclays Center for a third straight day.  I hope this Raw is similar to those post Wresltemania in that it also has that must-see feel.
Closing Thoughts:
 
This is going to be a very fun and long week filled with a number of events.   This is really like a surprising wrestling paradise normally only reserved for Wrestlemania weekend.  Being in New york City, I can tell you that it really feels like Wrestlemania around these parts.  As pictured at the top of this piece, WWE has a number of Summerslam posters hanging throughout the Brooklyn area and the Barclays Center has been decked out with a number of WWE Superstars and Divas featured prominently.  WWE has done a good job in making sure that Summerslam has that big event feel and I’m hoping it stays in New York for the foreseeable future.  That’s going to do it for now but stay tuned for all of the coverage coming up this week on thedailyspotlight.com

The Spotlight On WWE Tough Enough Episode 8

 Last night the final five of WWE Tough Enough were revealed when Giorgia Priscina (GiGi) was sent home by receiving the lowest amount of votes from the WWE Universe. From the beginning, I would say that Gigi had to be considered one of the favorites to win the show. Gigi won many of the different physical competitions and also showed a good amount of personality and character development. That said, she also began showing signs, over the past few weeks, of being overly arrogant. As seen in past weeks with Patrick and Gabi, it’s obvious that the WWE Universe is turned off by arrogance. In the end, the Universe gets the final say here and they chose to save Sara and Tanner over Gigi. I believe that Gigi was someone who really wanted this and if she works hard can make it to WWE someday as it was obvious that the judges and trainers liked her. With that out of the way, let’s get into some of the highlights from the show.


Highlights

1) Y2J Baybay!!!!!- Chris Jericho is one of the biggest stars in the history of WWE and so when I heard he was going to be the host of this season’s Tough Enough, I felt he was a natural fit. Honestly, I feel he’s done well in his role but I felt that he could offer so much more to the show. Well, that really happened this episode as Chris Jericho was awesome last night.  Right from the start of the show when Jericho greeted the contestants with pizza and alcohol as a reward for making it this far Jericho was just on fire. I loved when Jericho challenged the contestants to a drinking contest and drank the 20 something year old contestants under the table only to then show up looking chipper to wake up the hungover Tanner the next morning.  From here, Jericho was great in actually getting in the ring with the contestants to show them how to put together a match. Chris has one of the best minds in the business and I feel that if he wasn’t so busy with his in ring career, his podcast, Fozzy and all of his other endeavors, he’d make one helluva trainer. I was glad to see Jericho prominently featured and I hope it continues the rest of the series, he’s such a valuable asset.
 2) Big Match John Is Back-  From a WWE perspective, the biggest news to come out of Tough Enough is that John Cena returned to WWE television for the first time since his injury.  Cena , honestly looked pretty good as he delivered a passionate speech to the Tough Enough contestants. He actually made a great point in saying how we’re able to see each contestant from the beginning of their careers all the way through. Then the big news was revealed when John Cena confirmed that he will be back for Summerslam. The title vs. title match between Seth Rollins and John Cena is a go! I was surprised how many people across the internet were actually questioning whether or not Cena would be able to return.  Let’s not forget that this is the guy who made it back from a broken collar bone in a few months back in 2008 so that he’d make it back for the road to Wrestlemania.  John Cena is truly as tough as they come.

3) And Then There Were Two-With GiGi being voted off of the show tonight, this now means that the finals of Tough Enough for the females is down to Sara Lee and Amanda. One of those two women are going to win the $250,000 contract to be the next WWE diva. I expect that this means that one of the 3 male contestants, ZZ, Joshua or Tanner will be going home next week to set up the finale. While it hasn’t been 100% confirmed that the final vote will be determined by the fans, I would assume it would be since every other vote has been. If that is the case, I think that Sara Lee will win that fan vote in a landslide. Sara has been the one female contestant to realize that in order to do well in this competition you really need to be likable to the fans, Amanda hasn’t done that at all.

Closing Thoughts

In closing, I again enjoyed this week’s Tough Enough. I’ve felt that the show has really picked up steam over the past few weeks (It may honestly have to do with the addition of the Miz as a judge). Next week will be really interesting as it will likely be one of the male contestants going home and I feel each one of the remaining three contestants have their strengths. The wildcard in everything is that Daniel Bryan still has a save, he looked so tempted to use it tonight but he has been able to keep it until the end. It’ll be interesting to see if that save will dictate the result next week.

Well that’s going to do it for me for now but I’ll have a spotlight up later today on this week’s newsworthy Total Divas. Until then, who’s your picks for the final five contestants left on Tough Enough?

All Photos Courtesy of WWE and The USA Network