A few months ago it was confirmed that WWE would be bringing back it’s always popular reality series Tough Enough to the USA Network for the first time in five years. Up until this point all we really knew about the series would be that it would be returning and that members of the WWE Universe have already been sending in their audition videos to WWE with the hopes of getting that call to join the show. From there, questions came up about the show throughout the wrestling community. Would Stone Cold Steve Austin be returning as host? Would the winner be getting a guaranteed contract? How would the live voting be factored into the show that was discussed during the WWE’s quarterly conference calls? Well here are some highlights from the official Tough Enough Press Release that will hopefully answer some of those questions.
1) Tough Enough will debut live on the USA Network on Tuesday night, 8PM EST and will be broadcast from the WWE Performance Center as well as Full Sail University (Where NXT is taped)
2) Chris Jericho will be the brand new host of Tough Enough this season and will be joined by an expert panel including Daniel Bryan, Paige and “The Immortal” Hulk Hogan.
3) The trainers on this season of Tough Enough will be “Bad Ass” Billy Gunn, Lita and, the only returning trainer, Booker T.
4) Tough enough contestants will be competing to become the next WWE Superstar or Diva by winning a one-year $250,000 contract with WWE.
5) Fans will be encouraged to send in their votes and feedback by downloading an official Tough Enough app (to be launched on May 25th, 2015) and by interacting on Twitter @WWEToughEnough
I’m pretty excited for the return of Tough Enough as by the time it debuts there will be five straight nights of original WWE programming on television. On Sundays will be Total Divas, Mondays will be Raw, Tuesdays will be Tough Enough, Wednesdays will be WWE NXT, and Thursdays would be Smackdown. I know some fans are worried about whether they will have the final say or not but remember that fans never had a final say, or any real say, in who was eliminated or who should stay. In all honesty, I’d like to think that the collective minds of Chris Jericho, Daniel Bryan, Paige & Hulk Hogan could make a more well informed choice for who should be a WWE Superstar than any fan. I also like the fact that this will get Chris Jericho and Hulk Hogan (Not to mention Lita and Billy Gunn) back on WWE TV regularly and also give Daniel Bryan a chance to be on WWE television if in fact his inkury is worse than originally thought. The only thing I question would be the $250,000 contract. I feel like it’s a bit unfair to the guys who have been at NXT for years and aren’t making close to that (I assume the winner would report to NXT and not be put immediately on the main roster but could be wrong) but I understand that it’s a reality show and the prize money is part of the competition aspect. Regardless, I’m glad that Tough Enough is back and hope that it becomes an annual tradition. If you are interested in checking out the entire press release you can do so below.
HULK HOGAN®, CHRIS JERICHO®, PAIGE™ AND DANIEL BRYAN® HEADLINE NEW SEASON OF WWE TOUGH ENOUGH® ON USA NETWORK LAUNCHING JUNE 23
Series Features Live Voting with Immediate Results
NEW YORK and STAMFORD, CONN – May 7, 2015 – USA Network and WWE announced today that WWE Superstar Chris Jericho will be the host of the highly-anticipated series, WWE TOUGH ENOUGH, and will be joined by a panel of experts comprised of WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan®, WWE Superstar Daniel Bryan® and WWE Diva Paige™. The high-octane reality series premieres LIVE Tuesday, June 23 at 8pm ET/5pm PT on USA Network and around the world.*
This season of WWE TOUGH ENOUGH will combine the can’t-miss excitement of live television with reality-show drama, as WWE hopefuls vie for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to become the next WWE Superstar or Diva. Unlike anything on television today, the lightning-fast hour of entertainment and competition will include live results every week, giving fans worldwide the power to decide who stays and who goes the very same night. Each week, one cast member will be eliminated until one man and one woman are considered “Tough Enough,” with each earning a one-year, $250,000 WWE contract.
Throughout the competition, the contestants will be trained by WWE Legends Booker T™, Billy Gunn™ and Lita™. Contestants will also come face-to-face with WWE icons including WWE Chairman & Chief Executive Officer Vince McMahon; Executive Vice President, Talent, Live Events & Creative, Paul “Triple H®” Levesque; Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon; and WWE Superstar John Cena®, among others.
“These athletes, each with varying skill sets, will be put through a grueling boot camp that will test their physical, mental and emotional limits in a way that the series hasn’t done before,” said Jessica Sebastian, Vice President of Unscripted Series, USA Network. “Each week, their training and experience culminates in a spectacular live event where they will be put in front of their WWE heroes and an audience of fans. In this reimagined version of WWE TOUGH ENOUGH only the best will survive.”
“This season of WWE TOUGH ENOUGH will be the most innovative, unique and engaging series on television,” said Kevin Dunn, WWE Executive Producer. “A live global telecast, real-time voting with immediate results, and unprecedented use of digital and social media during and between telecasts will all lead to a groundbreaking viewing experience.”
To date, entrants from 113 countries have submitted videos, which have been viewed more than two million times on YouTube. To view play lists of entrants’ videos or to submit a new audition video, go to WWEToughEnough.com. For a compilation of entrants’ video submissions, click here.
On Monday, May 25, the WWE TOUGH ENOUGH App will be available for free download, giving fans even more opportunity to engage with this cutting-edge reality competition series. Through the App, viewers will receive access to exclusive content, learn more about the contestants, take part in social conversation between live telecasts and vote in real time. Fans around the world can also vote live each week for who stays and who goes via text (U.S. only), on Twitter @WWEToughEnough as well as on the WWE App, WWEToughEnough.com and USANetwork.com.
WWE TOUGH ENOUGH will emanate live from both the state-of-the-art WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Fla., home to WWE’s developmental division NXT, and the innovative professional production studios at Full Sail University located in Winter Park, Fla. This launch will mark the inaugural use of the University’s latest high-caliber, on-campus production facility. In 2012, WWE and Full Sail announced an innovative partnership, which created a student scholarship fund, and also allows students of the university’s entertainment-focused degree programs, including Film, Show Production, Digital Arts and Design, Internet Marketing and Entertainment Business, to gain real-world experience alongside WWE’s professional production staff during WWE NXT tapings.
WWE TOUGH ENOUGH is produced by WWE, USA Network and Left Hook Media. Matt Odgers and Scott Teti are Executive Producers for Left Hook Media. Jessica Sebastian is Vice President of Unscripted Series for USA Network. Kevin Dunn is Executive Producer for WWE.
Be sure to join in the conversation at @WWEToughEnough @WWE @USANetwork and engage with your favorite WWE Tough Enough personalities @IAMJericho @ReneeYoungWWE @HulkHogan @WWEDanielBryan @RealPaigeWWE@BookerT5x @AmyDumas @BillyGunnWWE.