Cleat Geeks

Tough Enough: Out With the Old, In With the New

It would be difficult to not let the controversy with Hulk Hogan and his racist/homophobic remarks that caused him to be banished from the WWE overshadow this week’s episode of Tough Enough.  The number one question on everyone’s mind is: who will replace Hogan?  Another legend, perhaps Rick Flair? Move the Miz from Tough Talk to Tough Enough judge? Rotate Jericho from host to judge?  Those questions would be answered at the top of the show.  The word “shocking” was thrown around quite a bit, but not in the Hogan context; it was all about Patrick’s elimination.  Deflection is the name of the game.

I don’t know if it was more sweet or naive on ZZ’s part, but the way this guy looked up to Patrick, mourning his elimination and absence in the barracks made me want to see him use the motivation to improve himself.  Does that mean I want ZZ to win this competition?  Nope.

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At the midway point of this competition, the coaches remind the contestants that it’s important to stay focused, and who better to talk about keeping your eye on the prize than Cesaro, the Swiss Superman and pound-for-pound one of the top athletes in the WWE who gets the a weaker push than he deserves.

The first challenge brought the competitors to another obstacle course, but this time they would be required to remember a series of numbers as they reached another platform.  At the end, the contestants would earn a prize that would keep them “focused for the remainder of the competition.”

 

This competition really impressed me because it was both physical and mental.  Coach Billy Gunn was yelling commentary and asking number-based questions the whole time the competitors were trying to climb, balance, remember, and survive.  In the end, the winner was our naturally-talented and quick-footed Tanner with a time of 6:10.  A round of applause was given to ZZ who came in second-to-last, gaining respect for not bringing up the rear of the competition like usual.  That “honor” would be bestowed to Mada, a shock to me that he would come in dead last.  The women’s winner was technically GG with a time of 7:18, but because Chelsea didn’t remember the code, her faster time of 7:10 caused her to lose.

What was in the prize?  A copy of Chris Jericho’s book, Best in the World at I Don’t Know What with a special inscription on the inside cover.

The second phase of the competition was another exercise on keeping focused: a pair of wrestlers would complete a series of maneuvers as called by Coach Billy Gunn while outside distractions occurred.  Speakers set above the ring screamed out a series of crowd noises, cheers, and chants.

It was all about the luck of the pairing for the guys.  We know how impressive Mada is, but his partner ZZ was difficult for him to keep focused.  It made Mada look less than, which is not what he needed as he came in last in the previous challenge.  Coach Booker T declared Josh as the winner.

Last week, The Big Show applied a gigantic chop to the chests of each of the male contestants.  Back on the campus of Full Sail University and in front of a live audience, team B.A.D. arrived to put the female competitors through their own physical challenge.

Naomi announced that there was no room for weakness because they would be required to give 100% in each of their in-ring performances.  To test this, Tamina Snuka would be delivering a slam and top-rope splash to each Sara, GG, Amanda, and Chelsea.

How did the women do?  They were all “terrified,” yet they took the punishment like champs.  There’s nothing like a little newbie initiation.

But the fun and games would end soon as each judge would nominate their choice for the bottom three:

  • Daniel Bryan: Amanda because her in-ring work wasn’t as good as it has been
    • This is also where the controversial comment that “She’s hot!” came from the Miz
  • The Miz: Mada because he is both one-dimensional and lost focus in the ring
  • Paige: ZZ because he seems lazy and not as dedicated; also stated that he doesn’t think he can actually win

As in each week, the judges are reminded that they are given one save per season.  Neither Daniel Bryan nor Paige wanted to use their save, but in a crazy twist, the Miz, in his first week as judge, chose to use his on Amanda.  He stated that WWE Divas have a look and a feel, and therefore Amanda deserved his save.  After the fan’s vote, we sadly must say goodbye to Mada who only brought 39% of the votes, the second lowest next to Amanda.  The Miz’s save paid off.  Two weeks in a row, the wrong person went home.

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