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

The Spotlight On Tough Enough Episode 1 

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This past Tuesday night the first episode of this season of WWE Tough Enough debuted on the USA Network. This season there are many different aspects to the show as in years past and I’m going to get into all of them down in the closing thoughts section but before then, let’s get into some highlights from the show…

Highlights

Hank Gets The Hammer- One of the things that we found out about this year’s Tough Enough is that the final say in who gets voted out will be the WWE Universe. This didn’t bode well for Hank who, as I said in my power rankings, really didn’t endear himself to the crowd & came off either timid or rude in the few times he was featured on screen. To make matters worse for Hank his comments about ZZ being the weakest contestant there, and that included the women, really rubbed Paige the wrong way as she felt the comment was a shot at women in general. It’s a bit of a shame as I do feel Hank should have played the “I’m an average Joe” card way before the final 30 seconds as that could have given him that extra four percent of the votes needed to beat Joshua. In the end, Hank is still young enough to give it a go in the wrestling business, it just won’t be on Tough Enough this season.

Tanner Scoffs At The Competition- Last night saw Tanner Sacareno blow away the rest of the competition en route to winning every one of the physical competitions. What made this all the more interesting is that Tanner isn’t as strong as some of the other contestants like Joshua, Mada, Alex & the departed Hank. Rather than taking the humble route, Tanner also then became the cocky villain of the season by telling everyone how much better he was than them and then backing it up! This was particularly surprising to see so much personality from Tanner because you didn’t see much from him at all prior to the first episode. The thing to watch with Tanner is his interactions and continued tension with Patrick. Patrick is the only trained wrestler on the show and, you can make the argument, wants it more than any of the other contestants.  Patrick has also called Tanner to task (while the two almost came to blows) for only being in this competition for the money and after he gets the money he’s going to run right back to MMA.  Patrick also vowed that at some point he will beat Tanner, which will be interesting to see if it happens.

The Ladies Bring The Heat– From a competition standpoint the most impressive candidate was Dianna.  Unfortunately, this was the only part of Dianna that I was impressed with.  This girl has gotten the opportunity of a lifetime to become a WWE Diva and win $250,000 and she’s already struggling to live without her fiancé and has openly complained about having to sleep on a twin size bed.  I have no idea how she wasn’t in the bottom three and despite her being physically more dominant than the other female contests, I don’t see her having much longevity in this competition.  The only other one of the female contestants to make an impression during week 1, for me, was Gabi.  Gabi went from dancing on the stripper pole at the club to causing more drama on the show by questioning Dianna’s injury and then shrugging off claims that nobody likes her.  The big knock on Gabi prior to the first episode, so much so that she was cut due to it, was her attitude.  It was surprising to see Gabi continue to show that attitude off.

The Miz talks tough- Tough Enough wasn’t the only event to debut on Tuesday night for WWE.  Immediately following the Tough Enough show, on the WWE Network, Tough Talk debuted and was hosted by the Miz.  The 30 minute program really did a great job in showcasing each of the tough enough finalists as they each faced questions from the judges and the Miz.  I was particularly impressed with the Miz who came off great and is such a natural in the role.  I also found that the interplay between the judges and the Miz was a lot of fun and much more relaxed than even the Tough Enough show.  Go out of your way to check this show out.

Closing Thoughts

In the end I really enjoyed the first episode of tough enough.  It is a good amount different than the previous seasons of tough enough in that the material isn’t recorded ahead, but rather, takes place live.  The show is set up in such a way that the live aspects of the show are intertwined with highlights that took place throughout the week which is cool because the viewers still get all of the drama and the major happenings from the throughout the week.  From there, each one of the judges choose one contestant to go into the bottom three for the week.  Each one of the judges also has one save that they can utilize at any point in the season.  From there, the fans have roughly 5 minutes to vote for the contestant that they want to see stay in the competition, and they can do this on wwe.com, twitter or via text message.  This means that the contestant who receives the smallest percentage of the vote is voted out of the competition.  I like the inclusion of the fan voting, and I’m actually a little surprised by it.  If it’s up the fans, I’d be really surprised if someone like ZZ were to ever get voted out by the fans based off his character and charming personality.  The one change I would make is that I would give the fans a full week to vote out one of the contestants because having only five minutes really doesn’t give those fans not watching live the opportunity to vote.

Well that’s going to for me this week but be sure to check back tomorrow where I’ll be updating the power rankings for this week and I can guarantee you that there will be a lot of changes to the list this week.  Until then what are your thoughts on the new season of Tough Enough?