Welcome to WNW's weekly Tough Enough blog, Tough Stuff! Last week, we saw Hank get eliminated from competition thanks to his attitude alienating him from the fan base, and we saw some brutal strength and endurance challenges. And with an advertised appearance by Roman Reigns this week, business is sure to pick up. Honestly, I'm a little excited to see what challenges are in store this week! Let's get to it!
Opening Video and Judge Intro:
I like how they cut Hank from the intros! It gives the show the feeling that these eliminations really matter. I just wish they would have edited the "13 competitors" graphic as well, because it is now only 12. I like that the judges were already in the ring already, and I have to say I absolutely LOVED Paige's necklace! It really fit her style, and looked very classy. I do have to agree with her though. The competitors, for the most part so far, have really blended together, other than Dianna, Tanner, and ZZ. They need to show more of their personality if they want the fans to keep on the show.
I love the attacking of Dianna! She has more than earned it after the first two days of the competition. All she wanted to do is go home, even though she showed the best strength out of all of the prospective Divas. Honestly, at this point, I have to agree with Mada. She should be sent packing, no vote needed. But Alex really got under my skin with a single comment he made. "I don't have to know history. I don't have to know wrestlers. I don't have to know matches. I don't have to know anything about this sport." If you don't think you need to know and have an appreciation to be in this sport, you need to get the *censored* out of here, because you have no passion for the business. You are here to make money, be famous, and the fans be damned. That shows you are exactly what we don't want and need. I'll be surprised if he makes it through tonight. Patrick, though, has a massive amount of passion and dedication for this. His fight with Tanner last week and Alex this week shows this. I hope whomever in Talent Relations they have watching over this takes note, and if he is eliminated, they are smart enough to give him a developmental contract right after. I can see him as a megastar in about 5-7 years.
Swamp boats! ZZ must feel right at home here! But I have to say, a courage test this week seems like it would be a lot of fun to be a coach on! And I feel sorry for Patrick, since he can't swim! This has to be brutal for him. And I was right! ZZ is right at home! Dianna being first, yet again, doesn't surprise me. However, I am getting more and more ticked with every single challenge she does well in. She has the tools so far, yet her dedication is lacking. Why is it always the best ones don't really want to be there? (I'm looking at you Brock Lesnar!) Booker T cracking up at Patrick was absolutely one of the best things about this challenge! He has a goofy laugh, and it is just like Big Show, I can't help but be in a better mood after hearing it. Alex further sank his ship by nearly dying in the water. Swimming is different from other aerobic activities, in that the resistance is nearly comparable to a weight set while still being as hard as running full throttle. The fact that he has so much muscle on him makes him much more dense in the water, and it is that much harder for him to do it. It is little wonder he and Mada gassed out easily. But I also agree with Booker's shock. He gassed really early. It just shows how hard this competition can be. ZZ being second place in the guys was a nice surprise, but I had something really bother me. Daria did not finish with her Title!!! That is utterly disrespectful that she wasn’t careful and lost it. I love that Billy Gunn tore her apart, because in this industry that is truly unforgivable. And you had to know that it was much worse than what they showed for the camera.
Barracks Segment 2:
Tanner's cockiness is going to being the death of him in this show.If he continues to make enemies of every male in the house, eventually they are all going to find a way to sabotage him and get him eliminated. I like that they brought things back to Daria here, and showed a bit more of her personality. Also, I like that the other Diva hopefuls are doing exactly what I expect will happen for Tanner to Dianna. But sure enough, the next scene was her and Patrick. If there were two people I feel would be an odd couple, it is those two. Patrick though, was surprisingly lewd here! Maybe the clean cut guy we thought he was is still a bit of a horndog teenager after all!
I can't believe I am saying this... But Mada actually won me over a bit in his segment. I'm a dad, and I have to spend a lot of time away from my boys now that I am divorced. And it hit me right in the feels to see him talking to his son over Skype. Knowing he is fighting for this not just for himself, but his family... I can't help but root for the guy.
WHOA!!! I thought WWE was PG!!! Gabi talking about getting wet seeing Roman Reigns was a little much! And believe me, it made for a very uncomfortable question from my 8 year old. Poor taste and show WWE. I'm sure you could have done with ANY other footage than that.
So, Roman's whole point of this segment was to talk to them for a few seconds and introduce Bull Dempsey? Was it really necessary to fly him to the WWEPC then? I have to say, I have had someone Bull's size land on me just like he does, and believe me, it SUCKS. You really can't breathe for a few seconds after, and it is tough for a couple of minutes. Not only that, to mitigate injury chances, you need to exhale right before he hits it, so you feel the need to take that first breath even more than normal.
So, this challenge is all about bumps! I like that idea! and other than Dirty Dianna (music reference folks!), most of them looked moderately decent. Patrick's was absolutely beautiful, and you can tell he has had some good and proper training. ZZ's was a bit rough, but out of everyone there, he's probably the least experienced. But when they showed the real challenge was a top rope bump... OUCH! this is just week 2! They are getting some harsh training here. The women's bumps were all a bit rough, though Dianna really came close to seriously hurting herself thank to not wanting to admit her nerves. landing straight on your butt like that could have easily put her in the hospital if she had landed on her tailbone. She is dang lucky. And the guys were all pretty good, all things considered. Honestly, if I had to say someone was ring ready, it has to be Patrick.
Barracks Segment 3:
Dianna has completely alienated herself in the house, and it is getting really out of hand. Yes, I know the drama is manufactured some to influence the voting, but with as bad as this is getting, I think she may truly be a *censored* in a goddess' skin. And it is so bad that the rest of the house is wanting to listen in like they are viewers at home!!! And to add to that, she is trying to manipulate ZZ with her craziness! BAKA!!! I really hope she gets sent home this week.
I thought it was very appropriate that Bryan called Alex and Patrick up first, considering the heated exchange at the top of the show. Alex just essentially buried himself with a golden shovel trying to politic around Bryan's question. For once, I have to totally agree with Hulk Hogan. If you want to make it in this business, you need to know the history. You need to know what works and what doesn't, how the business has evolved, and what has driven it forward or held it back over the years. But to have Hogan go from that to talking to ZZ about gimmick infringement is absolutely laughable!!! Hogan is possibly the absolute worst case of gimmick infringement in the HISTORY of the business! He is very clearly a ripoff of Jesse Ventura, who ripped off Billy Graham, who blatantly ripped off Jimmy Valiant! So he isn't even an original crock of crap, he's like a kindergartener's drawing trying to be passed off as a Van Gogh! ZZ had a funny answer to Hulk's pie question, and his simple southern charm bled through perfectly. Sara Lee and Amanda both have been very lightly been featured in both of these episodes, and if the judges are basing decision off of the same footage that we are being given, then I think it is quite unfair that Paige is calling them out on blending in. You can't stand out if Kevin Dunn isn't putting you in the sizzle real. As for Hulk's callout of Alex, Mada, and Daria, it was more than justified, and I'll be surprised if the judges don’t rip into her off camera worse than they did on.
With elimination time looming, Bryan picking Alex was absolutely a correct pick. he showed throughout this episode he didn't care for the business, but was only here for himself. I think Paige's pick of Sara Lee was a bit premature, because she has just not been used at all in the videos. And Hulk's pick of Dianna was completely expected. She doesn't have her heart in being a Diva, so why is she there? And Hulk has it right again. She doesn't understand the Locker Room Mentality. It's a shame that only one person can go home. At this point, I question who I want more between the two of Alex and Dianna, which shows my point from last week even more prominently. They are clearly trying to sway the vote against certain people, and it is working extremely well. I'm glad none of the judges made a save tonight, because it will make the moment better down the line. But WOW! The vote was a lot more lopsided than I expected it to be against Alex. That goes to show that the people voting in this are most likely the hardcore, stedfast fans with WWE for every show. Alex disrespected the business, and the fans made him pay for it. But that makes me wonder if Daria had been up there, would she have been cut instead? I was surprised that Dianna got as much as she did, but that goes to show a bad girl attracts. I just hope if she is in the bottom next week, she gets the axe.
It looks like we will be getting Seth Rollins on next week's show! I hope they let the WWE World Heavyweight Champion do more with the rookies than they did Roman Reigns. And while they seemed to pace the show better with the challenges this week, it still feels like WWE is trying to place way too much emphasis on the barracks drama and swinging the vote than they are showing how these men and ladies are becoming WWE Superstars. I hope you all had fun, and please leave you thoughts in the comments below!