|WWF Tough Enough by The Cubs Fan
WWF Tough Enough
HEY! It's the ROCK! Oh, wait, wrong show.
HEY! It's the Gorillaz! Oh, wait, 15 second preview of a video I saw three months ago.
HEY! It's Tough Enough!
FIREWORKS! 4000 Contestants. 13 Finalists. 2 winners - the prize, WWF Contract. Are you Tough Enough?
MORE FIREWORKS! And clips of WWF action. Kurt Angle: "Have you every wondered what's it like to be a WWF superstar?" More clips, between each line. Matt Hardy (w/Jeff) "For most of us, it takes several years for us to earn the right to call ourselves WWF Superstars." Chris Jericho: "On WWF Tough Enough, 13 very lucky men and women will be given a chance to see if they have what it takes." Chyna: "Two people will actually WWF Superstar contracts." Triple H: "This is a hell of an opportunity. These people better not take it lightly - we don't, and that's why we'll all have a hand in their training." Undertaker: "And it all started by sending in a three minute video."
Josh Lomberger starts to tell us why he wants to be a WWF superstar, but he's cut off by a clip montage. Poor Josh. Anyway, 4000 people sent in video tapes and if this sample is any indication they're all wackos and they're all cutting wrestling promos. Which is odd, because the WWF didn't really ask/want them too. (Make a note of that.) Someone of them are way out of shape, some of them look incredible muscled. Others look like they have had a lot of work done. Hey, you're not the real Cham Pain! I feel very sorry for those who had to screen these tapes.
6:00am, WWFNY. - Actually, out of all 4000 those videos, 230 are chosen to audition live for our talent panel. Nicholas (20 years old/from Texas) got here at 3am. A girl doesn't get a graphic so I don't write anything down. Jamie (22/Tennessee) says he's here because God sent him here - he's the wrestling pastor. The participants stand in line and fill out paper work. Lots of people say where they're from - the idea is that they're from all over. Robert (23/Mass.) says he's here to be the next WWF Superstar. Robert is a big fellow. Shot of (some of?) the participants sitting around in a lounge. Dustin (26/Maryland) wants to be a role model - he wants to be the last wish of a dying kid. Dude's got some issues. Everyone gets numbers - that's what they're mostly referred to throughout the day. Some people do push ups to get ready, others show off their not-at-all-medically-inflected body.
We're shown the panel of judges: Unnamed MTV people, WWF Wrestlers Al Snow, Tazz and Jacqueline, WWF Producer Kevin Dunn and WWF talent manger, John "Big" Gaburick. Different shots of the panel sometimes show WWF Commentators Jonathon "Coach" Coachman and Michael Cole and WWF Wrestler/Best Selling Author Mick Foley - I think they (as well as the other people, but more so) came and left during the day. Al: "What I'm looking for, when I'm evaluating this people is a number of things. Do they have charisma, determination, their dedication to this (clip) personality, energy and most importantly, their physique." That last word cues off another montage - people's physiques. Some are good. Some are not. But nothing horribly bad.
In the ring, we see contestant #48 jumping side to side over a punching bag. Jackie complements him on his body and asks how often he works out - he says he tries for five times a days. #48 is actually Chris (23/NC), who describes himself as a Christian born in the Bible Belt. He's a Southern Baptist and says it's quite a challenge to keep that up, but he does. Back in the ring, Jackie's asking him if he does squats and stuff with his legs - Chris assures her that he does. Jackie asks him to prove it by taking of his pants. Good place to note that this scouting is going in front of a somewhat busy restaurant, because the camera scans the people hooting for him to do it. Chris does - Tazz: "Last time I saw legs like that, they were hanging out of a nest!" After he leaves, one of the MTV guys (Ken Mok, the executive producer - I guess he's somewhat important) leans over to ask Al what he thinks - they both agree Chris is good.
The panel starts talking to our next (shown - they're skipping around order to make this easier, I'm sure) contestant but she's kinda awed by being in the ring. Nidia (21/Texas, parents couldn't spell) says she wanted to spin around and take it all in. She does jump rope, and is tired after thirty seconds off it. The problem is, she actually says that and Tazz gets on her: "You didn't know you were going to get in the ring today?" Nidia: "No, I have no shoes (she's in socks), I would've worn my tennis shoes." "You're telling me you did not know-" "Not today, I just told you." "Oh, you already told me, I'm sorry for pissing you off." Nidia says nothing in an interview and when we get to the ring, Jackie's upset for some reason and asking Nidia if she thinks she can hang with her, with that pot belly - Nidia says that once she loses the pot belly, it's on.
Next up is Craig (22/Pennsylvania) - as he takes off his shirt, he describes himself to us as the bridesmaid: "Always second best." His brother was a great high school baseball player and he had to try to live up to that. He thinks wrestling is something he can do very well.
Montage time. Time for people who can't do anything too well. Let's watch people run side to side - some very slowly, some very fast and out of control, and one really fat guy who falls down running. Tazz questions the fat guy, Robert (23/Mass) - he's got the drive and determination, and the endurance. Tazz points out that he just fell down touching the bottom rope. How could he come so unprepared, especially if he's got that drive and determination.
Al says that they've got a lot of dreamers - a lot of people who sit on the couch and watch professional wrestling and dream that it's something they could do. There's nothing wrong with dreaming, but they stand out for coming completely unprepared. And that touches off another montage, this time of people who can't manage to jump rope for whatever reason. Being out of shape or uncoordinated is probably is. (Admission: I'm part of both, but I wasn't silly enough to try out, and if I did, I'd try not to be.) That guys shaking the ring by jumping! Look at these people do a better job. Look at that person's wig falls off. Look at that guy say "I can't jump rope!"
Moving on, this is Paulina (oops, didn't write this down). "You know what the WWF needs? You know what New York needs? More women kicking guy's ass." Paulina is 6' 3" - she was short and fat and then she grew three inches one summer. We see her walking around on a college campus somewhere - I'm thinking her chances of making it just went way up if we have all this footage of her. Paulina says she's tried of the big girl always supposed to be playing basketball.
Our next contestant, who's doing fine with the jump rope but seems a bit nervous, says that when he started watching wrestling, everyone was 6' 5" and 280 pounds, but lately, that's changed and he's really got into it. Lots of smaller guys - guys like his size. Daniel (25/Texas) has a chance to earn that token minority shot (asian.) Unfortunately, he's cutting a promo when talking to the panelists ("I'm the combination of western strength and eastern thought") but maybe it's not too hard. Daniel says he's different, he's Asian and he wants to do his race proud. Man, now I feel sorry for making that token crack. Tazz: "I've been doing this 13 years, and I was told in the beginning that I was too small. I'm 5' 9", I'm 240 pounds. (clip - this is annoying) I'll be damned if I'm gonna look at someone in that ring, trying to impress us and say 'ha, this guy's too small.' (clip) What I'm looking for in a potential student, uh, contestant, if you'll say, for Tough Enough, who #1 has the right attitude.
#13 might have the right attitude - of course, using the top rope to flip in the ring probably didn't help out his cause. This is Josh (20/Indiana) and he has the same size problem Daniel does. But he is white so we don't care. Somehow, we just happen to have footage of his dad - see, Josh and his friends bought a wrestling ring two years, and "unfortunately", it ended up in Josh's backyard. Josh's mom is happy for him getting a chance, but doesn't think he's going to make it - that's a supportive parent. A realistic one, though. "I don't think he's gonna be a Stone Cold whatever his name is, but who knows?" Big (the WWF talent guy) asks if Josh is worried about the physical pain he'll have to endure if he's in the ring with Al Snow and Tazz. "I don't think so." That ticks of Tazz (it takes so little), who makes sure Tazz knows that he can hurt him and hurt him good. Josh interrupts Tazz a couple times and it just angers Tazz more - "If you don't like what I'm doing to you verbally, than that's to [bleep]ing bad. Watch your smart-ass mouth!" Josh was thrilled to have Tazz yelling at him - Tazz is his favorite wrestler, and now he can tell all the people at home that Tazz got mad at him. Back in the ring, Josh says again he doesn't think he's gonna get hurt. Time for a break
I sure hope my words per minute of the show goes down a heck of a lot because I'm gonna be here all week at this rate.
Here's a good way to work on that: In the lounge, lots of people talk to kill time.
Next in the ring is #77 - Victoria (21/California), who says she's willing to do anything. We see part of her tape, where she talks (like a normal person) about taking stuntman/women training for movies. "While I was there, I was lit on fire." Alrighty. Anyway, she doesn't like losing and wants things her ways. She tells Al a story about keeping bottle caps in her swimsuit during high school water polo to cut their girls on the other team, because they weren't aloud to have long nails to do it. Al is suitable disturbed and Victoria laughs. She leaves, and everyone's pretty happy with here. Al: "Yea, she's cutthroat."
Let's meet Tara (18/Penn.) "My nickname is Terrible." She tells us that she felt inadequate - all these women with their breasts out to here and she's not endowed as greatly (or hasn't seen the same doctors they have, whatever.) Though she seems to more than make it up for it with her mind - she cuts a promo: "I have no problem intimating people, I have no problem being bitchy, I have no problem being nice, I have no problem being naughty. [audience laughs] And quite frankly-" Tazz: "Don't lean on the ropes" Tara: "You all would be losing out if you didn't pick me. And the WWF is missing out one thing - and that's a big bitch like me!" Everyone claps. Tara says that whole audition process was like a roller coaster. Al: "Physically, she's terrible. But personality wise, she's terrific.
William (23/Illinois!) doesn't have that problem, because William has a six pack and many other well defined areas. This is the first time he's met a WWF person in person and he tells us that he almost turned back in to a little kid about it, but managed to hold it together. We also learn that William's dad passed away and he was a father figure to his brother. His brother got into gangs and William got him up. Mick Foley (he gets IDed here) asks if he's looking to be a role model for his brother - William says he's looking to be a role model for everyone. Tazz likes him.
People who don't quite have the physical ability - unfortunately, Tara's included in these clips. Also are two women who don't quite understand what's going on here - instead of jumping back and forth over the punching back, they step back and forth of the bag. Here's the black women with huge breasts that's in all the commercials, and she's very slow back and forth. Other people. Someone falling down. Someone losing their pants. Some people showing off while doing it.
Jason (23/Maryland) has a girlfriend. How's are they gonna deal if he's off in the house training and she's elsewhere? Jason says it's his dream and she knows it, so, they'll deal with it. We see him with his girlfriend - he says he loves having emotions. I hate him.
Shadrick (20/Texas) isn't sure if he has a girlfriend. He hems and haws about it, coming up with "I dunno." Tazz asks if he plans up hooking up with a girl if he makes it. Shadrick says it's nine (long) weeks and they got there's and he's got to get his.
Kristy (26/NC) is having problems remembering what she has to say, and keeps looking at her wrist. Al catches her - she's got her speech written on her arm. She manages to pull it together but feels stupid. Here's a whole bunch of people who aren't going to make it. They don't say it, but you know. Tazz makes a "gun shot to the head" motion after one too many stupid person.
Al: "Charisma's an important factor, it's not that something that you necessarily can learn. You can learn and develop a personality, you can learn and develop personally, but to have that innate charisma - " and he gets cut off because we're more interested in Maven (24/Oregon), and he takes of his shirt. Camera shots show that Jackie has taken a very special interest in Maven, and he winks at her. Too bad everyone notices and makes fun of him. Maven's rather proud of himself, anyway - he asks us when else is he gonna have Jackie checking out him, and smiling at him. Al likes him.
In the lounge, people are still waiting. One guy says Bret Hart saved him from suicide, but they don't bother giving him a name. At another table, a guy tries to guess which woman has the real breasts - he guesses right and she tries to deny it but then they laugh about it.
We care, because one of the women, Stacy, (27/Australia, real) is up next. She tells us that this WWF deal is very important to here - she flew 22 hours to get here. She really wants the chance. The panel debates - Al thinks she's good, but some of the MTV guys think she's old (perhaps older than that 27 indicates.) She thinks she's gonna make it - kiss of death right there.
Our other women in the guessing game, Bobby Jo (23/Mass, fake) brought a cheering section, I think. She tells the panel that anything she's ever wanted in her life, she's got. Her brother is a big WWF fan, it doesn't sound like she's a big one. She tells the panel the her biggest goal is to do Playboy, it's what she's always wanted and she feels nothing wrong with the human body. She gets bleeped but they totally miss what they were going for. Bobby Jo tells us that she's the package deal, she has looks, she stands out (she's a blond) and she's willing to take that that extra step. Break.
7:00pm and we're still going. Darryl (25/Michigan) is next, and while's he's big in height, he's also big in weight. He says he's 330 pounds. Despite his appearance, he seems agile enough when doing the jump rope. Tom (21/NY) and here's his video - he says he's been a rock star, a model and a movie star. He cuts a narcissists promo. Al: "You like yourself a lot, don't you?" Tom: "Oh yeah." Tazz, after he leaves: "I can't wait to get this guy in the ring and break him." Al says the 30 second character evaluation is to see if they're able to step out of themselves and see if they can be another personality and capable of connecting to the announce.
Here is the Evil Custodian. Really. He cuts a promo talking about it. He feels unloved. Maria (28/NY) is the black women with the huge breasts that we've come to know so well in these commercials - she has trouble saying more than three words without dramatically pausing and impresses no one. Here's a montage of people cutting character promo's that aren't maybe too into them. Sharbel (20/Illinois) says that he's actually Vince's long lost son and embarrasses himself, but everyone laughs. Tazz tries to explain that people come out to the ring here portraying a character, and then when they get to a promo, they're not really one. And then the guy howls "You think, in your right mind, you get signed by the World Wrestling Federation and that the World Wrestling Federation is gonna call him the Wolfman and howl? Absolutely not."
In the lounge, people are bored and tired. Someone has been there since 2am. Tazz says he's looking for someone who's been sitting around for hours, but isn't pissed about it (because they're getting this opportunity.) Brian (25/Penn) does his speech about being pissed of for waiting, and Tazz doesn't seem too happy. Back there, people are sleeping and drifting.
Perhaps right after, perhaps before, perhaps who knows when, Tazz goes to the lounge and yells at the students. People are complaining, so Tazz invites them to use the door and leave. If they're pissed, they're screwed - this isn't gonna be a cakewalk and they're gonna have to earn their shot, not complain about the small things like waiting around. One girl is resting her head and not paying any attention and Tazz starts throwing [bleeps] at here. Tazz leaves and everyone's like "wow."
Tazz (different shirt) explains : "This kids, they get an opportunity that someone like me, someone like Al Snow or Jacqueline, that we never got. You know, they're gonna get a chance to be on MTV, be a star, and get trained by the WWF and possibly get into the WWF. It took me ten years just to get in the WWF - TEN YEARS. So if you don't think I'm hostile and bitter about that, and if you don't think that I'm going to exploit that physically on these people, and verbally and emotionally, I'm gonna break them down." Break.
9:00 pm. Taylor (21/Washington) Al sarcastically talks about how exciting this has been. Taylor says she came here without the support of her parents - they think the WWF is about "uneducated working-at-McDonalds" but she's gonna show that they're wrong.
Chris (22/Mass) is cutting his promo by running down his resume - Harvard grad, Ivy League honors, 400 pound bench. Chris says it's a different challenge than Harvard, which isn't all that special to him. Chris has been trained for three months by Killer Kolwaski, and Tazz asks if he can be deprogrammed, and he says yes. Al asks if he thinks there's stuff he can still learn - Chris says of course, they're the best. Al appreciates the brown nosing.
Here's people coming as characters. Watch as every guy uses the same voice tone and gimmick for their promo and just imagine all we didn't see. "Shut up!" Al: "This business has a bright future that we saw demonstrated here in WWFNY! Was it excruciating? No way, it was absolutely sheer orgasmic joy!" Then he collapses.
10am the next day. There's a line outside, as some of the 230 chant to see the list which will knock them down to 25. Hey, there's Josh! I'm shocked I know anyone's name right about now. People rate their chances. I'm not paying attention to anyone we didn't meet yesterday. Paulina doesn't want to be cocky, but she hopes her name is there. Inside, they're making the final cut - Darryl is the last guy on the (wrong side) edge. On the outside, Darryl is feeling pretty good. His size gets him on the list. We never get a good shot of the name of the person who gets taken off, though I bet 100 people are thinking their name was there.
The list is posted. Everyone checks their name - some shout the names to the back of the line. Those who made it start filtering in a back entrance. Bobby Jo. William. Tara - "Oh my god!" Maven's there. I lose track. Daniel's in here somewhere. Paulina made it. There's Josh. Some people we didn't actually meet before. Craig.
Now, here are the losers consoling themselves and trying to get out of there. Craig is hoping this is his fifteen minutes of fame, and he's gonna give it his best shot. We see a casting directory trying to stop Stacy from crying anymore - she tells Stacy that she did a great job, but all Stacy see is that Bobby Jo is in, and all she really wants is Playboy.
The 25 are back in the lounge and they introduce themselves to each other. The WWF Talent Manager Big (he has a name, but why not use the three letter nickname?) runs down the plan for the second day - physicals, drug/blood testing and one on one interviews with MTV staff. "Be yourself."
Medical stuff. They fill out forms and everything. We don't see them give blood, thankfully. At lunch, they discuss how not fun that was. Like it's junior high or something, the girls all sit together and the guys all sit together. William sits apart for everyone - he seems to be worried about something. He just found out today that his little brother is back in trouble, and if he's in the house for nine weeks, he can't come back and bail his brother out every time he's in trouble. He's stuck - his dream or his brother? He's learning towards the latter.
Final interviews. Jessica (22/Minnesota) says the one physical thing she would like to change is to get a six pack. Nidia says tried dancing for a couple months but the dancing she days, no one gets to see you unless you pay and that's not what she wants. These same sit down interviews were sometimes spliced into the earlier day. They start going rapid fire interviews and let's see who I remember. Maven: "I like to go out and watch the stars at night." Bobby Jo: "I wanted to have to big breasts and that was all there was to it." Darryl: "Not everyone will always like you, and it's okay for not everyone to like you." Victoria: "Went to clown school and was a clown, hated it." Daniel is working as a tax consultant. I see team up with D'Lo. Guy I can't remember says he's hyper all the time. Girl I don't remember says something. Maven says he used to be a player. Tara: "I'll kick your ass, right here!" Chris talks about using his size to intimidate. Paulina does something weird with her hands. Josh gets goofed on: "I don't know how much I master-" Tom: "Ugly people. Fat people." Josh: "Maybe four, is that a lot?" We end with Craig but I don't care any more.
Panel (Al, Tazz and Jackie aren't around any more - but Dunn and Big are) meets to pick the final 13. 8 guys, 5 girls. Chris is huge. Maven reminds Dunn of Kurt Angle. Paulina - like no one in the WWF. William - impressive yesterday, not today. Dunn likes him, though. Daniel and Josh are brought up at the same time - the WWF has 5' 9" guys, but they're special guys and Big isn't sure these two are. Split opinions on Tom. Sharbel (the Vince's son one) got here on his gimmick, going home now. Shadrick - let's talk to him. They like him because he's built. No other people quickly. Craig says if he makes it that far, he's not laying down for anyone. Break.
The next day. 12 go home, 13 move on. Some people check out, but everyone moves on and talks about how much they want it. Everyone gathers in WWF NY and says their last words to everyone else. Paulina to Josh: "How do you feel?" Josh: "Um, short." Maven thinks he'll make it, but even if he doesn't, he had this experience. Nidia says either the biggest day in her life is gonna happen right now, or it's not gonna happen. Darryl thinks he's gonna hit a home run when it counts. Daniel fears being average. Tom is confident that he's gonna win - he thinks he's better than everyone here and everyone everywhere.
Big introduces the people who will announce this - Stephanie McMahon-Helmsely. Everyone is happy to see her. Steph cuts a promo but we can all safely ignore it because it's Steph. "Who's Tough Enough." The 13: Josh. (Josh is like: "Wait, she said MY name?") Josh is slow to realize he's supposed to come up the stage. Jason. Victoria. Maven. Taylor. Chris. Shadrick. Bobby Jo. Chris (another one). Paulina. Nidia. Darryl. Tom. That's it.
The guys left on the floor are happy for those who made it and happy to make it this for, for the most part. We talk to Greg and Tara - she's happy for all of them, but if anyone gets hurt, she'll be happy to take their spot. William is happy - he tried, it didn't work out, but now he can go back home to take care of business knowing that.
Steph talks about being in the WWF and wishes them all good luck. They take a group photo.
1 week later, Mavin's getting ready to go, so he's got laundry to do. Elsewhere, everyone gets ready and says goodbye.
Stamford, Conn.. It's winter. Snowy. Ice. You get the idea. The house, in true MTV style, is very nice. And, in MTV style, they can't get in till all 13 are here. Paulina narrates - they count, and realize that it's 12, they're missing Tom. A hummer shows up - it's Big, not Tom. They explain the situation. Big explains that Tom's not gonna be on the show - when it came to signing the contract, he had second thoughts and backed out. But, because we had to have 13, Big found a replacement - Greg. He talks about going up and down. He felt special, because he was the last person to arrive.
Big opens the door and they check out the place. Big says the house was used by the Underground Railroad and is a very important house, so they need to treat it properly. Tomorrow, 8:00 am, the training starts. 9 weeks of training. Only one man, and one women. Cuts will be given with 24 hour warnings, and decided on how well they perform in the ring, and the physical and mental training. This is a competition. And then he lets them unpack. They all like the place very much and feel at home quick.
Big: "I'm thinking, beautiful house, beautiful rooms, cars to drive around in, hot tub - they have no idea how tough this gonna be." "Who wants doughnuts?"
Next week - they take their first bumps. They get in a lot of pain. They mud wrestle, apparently, and Tazz gets on Darryl. Tazz says his "If you don't believe in God, you better start" line.The Cubs Fan
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