The Spotlight On The Week Ahead In WWE

Hello everyone, in an effort to consistently improve the content of this site we’re always looking for different features that we can add to this site.  Thus, we figured we would start a new feature beginning today (the first week of July) looking at the week ahead for WWE.  This feature will focus on all things WWE for the week ahead so that if you’re a fan you now have your one stop source for all things to look forward to in WWE.  Without any further ado, let’s take a look at some of the highlights in the week ahead in WWE.

Highlights: 

  

1- A Jam Packed Week- This is the first week I can remember where there will be a new WWE live event style show on five different days of the week.  On Monday Night, WWE Monday Night Raw will emanate live from the Verizon Center in Washington DC and air live on the USA Network.  Immediately following Raw there’s an additional hour of programming on the WWE Network featuring a new episode of swerved followed by a first look at the new WWE Monday Night War DVD.  Tomorrow night, the second episode of Tough Enough will air live on the USA Network (Obviously from the content on here you can probably tell that I’m quite a big fan of the series) which is followed by Tough Talk, hosted by the Miz, on the WWE Network. Wednesday night on the WWE Network, there will be a brand new episode of WWE NXT which is the final show before the epic match between Finn Balor and Kevin Owens for the NXT World Title from Japan.  Thursday night Smackdown will air on the SYFY network and then at 10:30PM on the WWE Network there will be a 30 minute documentary on Finn Balor entitled “The Demon Revealed” which should be a fun preview for the Japan show as well.  This all leads to way early Saturday morning where WWE will emanate live from Japan and air on the WWE Network at 5:30 in the morning.  Tons of content should make for an exciting week.  

2- How does the Beast respond?- Last week Monday Night Raw ended with Brock Lesnar being laid out by Seth Rollins, Kane and Joey Mercury.  This is actually the first time that I can remember Lesnar being laid out like that since his return to WWE in 2012 so I’m interested to see what type of response we get tonight.  If Lesnar is not there tonight, I expect that Paul Heyman will be in the house to address the authority.  Unfortunately Jamie Noble got injured pretty bad last week on Raw but in doing so, has set up a storyline where Brock can take out each member of the authority until he gets Seth one on one at Battleground.

3- Nothing says Americana like WWE-  When I think about WWE and the 4th of July I’m immediately brought back to 1993 when Yokozuna was aboard the USS Intrepid for the stars and stripes challenge.  This was the day where different members of the then WWF and athletes from the sports world took turns trying to bodyslam the mighty Yokozuna.  Everyone tried and everyone failed until a helicopter showed up with new american hero, Lex Luger, who saved the day, bodyslammed Yokozuna and went on a summer tour aboard the Lex Express leading into Summerslam. There was also a famous episode of Raw from July 4th, 2005 in which Shawn Michaels turned on Hulk Hogan following a tag match victory setting up their program for Summerslam of that year.  Fast forward ten years later and WWE returns on the 4th of July, this time emanating live from Tokyo, Japan.  The special will air throughout the day on the WWE Network, however if you’re like me you’re getting up super early, brewing a fresh pot of coffee and kicking off your fourth of july at 5:30AM with WWE action.

All in all it promises to be a fun and exciting week for WWE.  What event are looking most forward to this week?  Is there something I forgot or didn’t include that you’re looking forward to this week? Let me know in the comments section below and be sure to continue to come back here to thedailyspotlight.com where we’ll have continued coverage throughout the week. 

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?

The Spotlight WWE Tough Enough Power Rankings for Week 1

Hello everyone and welcome to the first edition of my Tough Enough Power Rankings where each week I will update my list of where each one of the final contestants on the new season of Tough Enough stands. My rankings will be based on progress, likability, fan interaction, trainer feedback & intangibles. Of course with tonight being the premiere episode of this season of Tough Enough, my rankings will be based mostly off background, what we saw on the competition special as well as some of the social media aspects surrounding each individual. Remember, at the end of the day, these rankings are my opinion (they’re no reflection of WWE) so if you agree or disagree I’d love to hear your opinion. Hopefully we’ll have a little bit of fun with these power rankings each week for WWE Tough Enough. With that bit of a disclaimer out of the way, let’s get into this week’s Tough Enough Power Rankings.


1- Joshua Bredl-

 This may come as a bit of a surprise but Joshua Bredl, The Yeti is my top ranking going into the first episode of the show tonight. Joshua is 6-8, 275 pounds and just turned 24 years old, he simply has all of the intangibles and actually bears a striking resemblance to Roman Reigns. Joshua also comes from a good athletic background having played as a defensive end for the Green Bay Packers. While I don’t personally think that “The Yeti” is a character that has legs in WWE, it’s getting pretty over with some of the fans as evidenced by some of his interactions with the fans on Periscope. This bit of likability will only help Joshua if eliminations are really determined by a fan vote.


2- Amanda Saccomanno-

If there was a girl who stands above the rest heading into the show, for me, it’s Mandy Sacs. Amanda was the winner of that WBBF pro world bikini championship that they continued to reference during the competition special as WWE did some scouting for Tough Enough at that show. Amanda also seemed to be really passionate about wanting this opportunity and seems to have a good support system at home as evidenced by her phone call with her supportive, presumable, boyfriend and his support of Amanda’s father. Let’s also not discount that Amanda is a beautiful blonde, which WWE is actually lacking for the first time in recent memory.


3- Patrick Clark Jr-

Patrick is admittedly a little young, at only 19 years old, but I like the kid a lot. Not only is he a lifelong wrestling fan, who has even ran trivia contests with fans on Periscope to prove what a true fan he is but he’s been able to show a bit of his personality during these episodes. Patrick also has a bit of a leg up on the competition being that he’s already been through six months of training to become a wrestler and is the only member of the finalists who is a trained wrestler. He also seems to be determined to make this happen and I don’t see any reason he can’t.


4- Mada AbdelHamid-

I gave Mada the bump here over the others because he has a completely different look than everyone else with his bleached blonde mohawk. He’s also Egyptian so you figure he can be a great embassador for WWE in that regard as he’s made it clear he wants to be an Egyptian representative for WWE. He’s also a 6’6 245 pound former professional basketball player. I would like to see Mada show a bit more personality but I’m sure over time, it will come.

5- Daria Berenato-

Perhaps a little high for Daria but she made an impression on me both with her character of the Jersey Devil and also showed a lot of trust in WWE by coming out on national television during the competition special.  Daria is also a professional MMA fighter and the host of UFC Afterbuzz TV so you figure she has a good amount of fan support from that.


6. Giorgia Priscina-
 Giorgia is someone who really made an impression on me since the competition special when she revealed that she has a full face birthmark that she has been a bit self-conscious about. Giorgia revealed the birthmark on Periscope and has since gained a ton of support across social media platforms. Aside from that she’s also a 21 year old bikini competitor from Austrailia so, like Mada, I believe this can only help her cause.

7- Tanner Saraceno-
I don’t recall too much about Tanner from the competition special but he seems to be the only Tough Enough finalist with an amateur wrestling backround. Aside from Brock Lesnar and Dolph Ziggler, I’m unsure if anyone else on the WWE roster currently has an amateur wrestling background but using those two superstars, Shelton Benjamin and Kurt Angle as role models, amateur wrestlers tend to pick up the WWE style fairly quickly. I do question with Tanner though, just how bad he wants this based on the fact that he’s chosen MMA as a career over pro wrestling. He’s another one that I’d look to see him develop his personality a bit more.
8- Zamariah Loupe-  I’m sure many of you aren’t too happy to see ZZ way down at number 8 on the list and if its turns out that fan voting is the determining factor here, he will jump up to number one as he’s far and above the most popular contestant amongst fans.  Hoever, if it goes to a judge’s vote, I can see ZZ voted out tonight.  I’m a ZZ fan as well but there are three things to consider with him: he’s already been cut so there’s something WWE already questioned about him, he’s the youngest contestant on the show at 18 years old and he’s never been away from home so it’ll be interesting to see how he holds up. One other thing, and I know we’re in a new era where Bray Wyatt, Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe are all focal points of WWE television, but ZZ is the one contestant who isn’t in the greatest of physical shape.
9- Diana Dahlgren-
Another contestant that I really don’t remember from the first competition special but based on her past success she may move up the power rankings as early as the next edition. Diana is a very accomplished bikini model who has won several IFBB competitions. I had also heard from f4wonline that she was already down training in the performance center prior to the show which would indicate that she’s already on WWE’s radar. She could end up doing very well in the competition.
10- Gabi Castrovici-  I’ll go back to what I said about Mada and Giorgia, Gabi is Brazlian with a ton of Brazilian pride. This is something that WWE will only like as they used to headline South Africa with Justin Gabriel. Likewise, if you follow the tough enough trends on twitter, you can definitely sense a big Brazlian contingency really coming out to support Gabi. With that said, Gabi has already been cut and was cut because of her attitude and her making fun of the other contestants. That’s obviously a pretty big red flag on her but the saving grace for her could be that her biggest supporter, at least from the competition special, was Triple H, who’s the guy who brought her back.
11- Alex Frekey-
By the looks of it, Alex Frekey looks like he could have just what it takes to be the next WWE Superstar as he’s got a bodybuilder’s physique and an athletic background. My issues with Alex are that he seemed to really struggle through the drills during the competition special and I haven’t seen much from Alex in terms of personality. Furthermore, from some of the videos I saw of Alex on Periscope, it doesn’t seem like he’s too familiar with WWE. If you remember the winner of tough enough 3, John Hennigan (Morrison) didn’t make it on to the Tough Enough Season 2 cast based off not knowing what a spinarooni was because he didn’t follow the product.  For example, when asked what his favorite WWE moment was of all time on Periscope, Alex said Goldberg’s streak, which obviously took place in WCW.
12-Hank Avery Jr.-
From the fist look, Hank looks like a good ole boy who’s probably a lot of fun to hang out with as most of his appearances on Periscope have been him singing country music. Hank’s also responsible beyond his years (23) as he has a wife and kids. However, Hank was only on screen during the Tough Enough Competition Special when he was being criticized by the trainers and Triple H. He was even one of the names being considered during the first round of cuts, so I was very surprised he even made the final 13 and that’s why he finds himself towards the bottom of the list.

13-Sara Lee-

I like Sara, as a matter of fact for my personal taste, she’s the most attractive of the female contestants. I just didn’t really get anything from her during the competition special and she hasn’t established herself amongst the different forms of social media available to the contestants. She also seems to be the only female contestant who doesn’t have a bikini modeling or mma background. While I appreciate that she comes across as down to earth and a girl next door type, I do believe she starts as a notch below the other female contestants due to all their respective backgrounds.
In the end, it’ll be interesting to see how close I was with my pre show power rankings or if perhaps Joshua or Amanda will be the first cut tonight. Regardless, it’s bound to be a fun show when WWE Tough Enough debuts on the USA Network at 8PM EST tonight!