Cleat Geeks

Tough Enough Review: The Princess and the Pea Brain



Before we begin this week’s review of Tough Enough, let us bow our heads in a moment of silence for our fallen competitor.
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This week’s episode started off live in the Full Sail Tough Enough studio with hosts Chris Jericho and Renee Young introducing our panel of judges.


Tough Enough judges Daniel Bryan, Hulk Hogan, and Paige, AKA “Brother”

After a somewhat choppy premiere, fans are hoping that this week we will be seeing more competition and  more barracks shenanigans.   As for the judges, Daniel Bryan is hoping to see the competitors step up and out of the shadow with Paige paralleling that sentiment, “With the exception of a few, most have blended into the background.”

Those that have created a name and persona for themselves need to be mindful about the type of attention they are receiving.  For guys like ZZ and Patrick, they are known for their positive attributes: zaniness and dedication to the WWE.  Gabi, Dianna, and Alex seem to have stepped into something different all together; something sticky and smelly.

The reaction to Hank’s elimination spurred a whole new “savage” attitude in the barracks.  The anxiety and reality set in as the realness of being kicked out, your time in the competition coming to an end was palpable.  This may be what initiated a verbal sparring between Daria and “Princess Dianna,” but lines were drawn as one-by-one, all the competitors named Dianna as the one they would most like to see go home.  Perhaps there is only room for one “diva” in this crowd, and the title is up for grabs between “Barbie Doll” Amanda and Dianna.  It will be interesting to see who falls onto which side of this cat fight everyone will end up on.

In another part of the barracks, a debate was sparked between Patrick and Alex as to the merit and necessity of knowing the history of an industry that you want to break into.

Patrick and Alex debating knowledge versus power:

“If you really want something, you have to educate yourself about it” – Patrick

“Knowledge means nothing.” – Alex

(Judges writing down Alex’s name for elimination)

There were two competitions this week, both built on the concept of courage.  The first was perfectly aligned to ZZ’s world: a swimming relay in murky, dark, gator-filled water.

Billy Gunn Gator

The contestants would need to retrieve their own NXT championship belt and bring it back to the starting line.  A pattern is beginning to be created as we see the big guys struggle with endurance challenges as both Mada and Alex struggled to even make one leg of the route.  Patrick struggled with the simple task of swimming, let alone enduring the distance.  The second pattern was that the one person everyone wanted to see fail and be eliminated from the competition ended up winning: Dianna utilized her high-school-swim-team background to smoke the rest of the competition, which is odd because she was the one who also claimed to be afraid of dark water…interesting…CIznrVbXAAESVg0

At the conclusion of the contest, all those who had finished proudly displayed their NXT title belts, that is with the exception of Daria.  Somehow she had managed to complete the relay, but dropped her belt in the water.  Coach Billy Gunn left very little on the table as he chastised her for being so sloppy, so neglectful, and so disrespectful to the title.  He paralleled it to not taking care enough as actual champion, bringing the Jersey Devil to tears.  When she was called out later about this by the judges, she guaranteed that she would learn from her mistakes and it would be the last time anyone would see her make one.  Let’s hope that she’s around long enough to prove herself right.

Roman Reigns

The second competition brought the contestants back to the Orlando Performance Center where a slicked up Roman Reigns greeted them in the ring.  Of course the ladies had to make their obligatory comments about his attractiveness, but that would soon end when he announced they would be learning how to take a bump, when you come in this ring and you fall flat on your back.  It is attacking the mat.  A demonstration from Bull Dempsey was enough to silence the crowds and bring down the smiles.

A montage of the competitors taking a bump from the standing position played, and at the end, the most successful and impressive athlete was Patrick.  Is this due to his years of studying WWE footage?  Well, it couldn’t have hurt, at least not as much as the next phase of the competition: taking a bump from the top rope.

Taking BumpsAgain, the top performance went to Patrick, and Dianna’s fear of heights or close competition came out in her reluctancy to take her own tall tower bump.  This added more fuel to the already hot feud between “Princess Diana” and Daria, their sidekicks not excluded.

Back at the Tough Enough barracks, tempers flared amongst the ladies and new alliances were being formed.  While last week it seemed as though Dianna and Gabi had the makings for a bitter hatred, they found common ground in their dislike of the Jersey Devil.  It was encouraging to young Patrick that Dianna and Gabi had found this new peace, encouraging them to even kiss and make up because “it’s now legal in all 50 states.”  Instead of taking his suggestion, Dianna sought assistance in easing the tension through ZZ, requesting a bedroom switch.  At this point, I believe that most viewers, including myself, were hoping that this was where the manipulation of ZZ would end.  He’s a good ol’ boy, young, and naive.  Dianna has the makings of a true diva, Bella Twins style.


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Bottom three  for the second week of Tough Enough:

  •     Daniel Bryan: Alex due to a lack of knowledge
  •     Paige: Sara because of a lacking personality
  •     Hogan: Dianna and her inconsistencies and her inability to get along with people



After the fan voting, it would be time to say goodbye to Alex.

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Final Thoughts:

  • Clearly we were going to have drama on this show.  It’s a reality show, it’s a competition, there are females involved.  The men have it too, but their drama centered around finishing the relay from the same place as where you started and proving yourself despite your smaller stature.
  • The women tend to leave the physicality and winning of competitions on the sideline as if they were non-factors to determine who is the “better woman.”  As a female, I find this disheartening, and as a fan I can understand why someone like Dianna would get heat, but not an elimination.  People like her and Gabi, Tanner, and even Alex are needed to keep the intensity high.  It’s just like inside the ring: you need a hero to cheer for and a heel to hate.

  • Alex is a moron.  He’s a moron because he didn’t make those REEEEDICULOUS statements about the acceptability of being ignorant of the industry’s history or that knowledge was unnecessary because he was trying to build up the drama and create a persona for himself. He said them because that’s what he truly believes!  And even if that wasn’t an issue, why would you think saying something like that wouldn’t immediately bring you to the bottom three???  You have multiple legends working as coaches, judges, and hosts!  
  • Finally, I need Paige to back off Sara Lee just a little bit.  Her analysis of Sara as a competitor was a bit overly aggressive and completely uneccessary.  Thankfully fellow Michiganander, Sara, was able to let Paige and the rest of the judges and viewers know that she doesn’t have to lower herself to starting dramas to get attention.  She may not be highlighted quite yet in the video packages, but I have a feeling that she will be the one to watch.  I called it after viewing the Tough Enough Preview special two weeks ago, and I stand by my prediction. Speaking of reviews of Tough Enough, you can check out those reviews at the following two links; Recap of Tough Enough Season 6 Preview Special and Recap of Tough Enough Season 6 Episode One Review.

And look who will be here next week:

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