|WWF Tough Enough by The Cubs Fan
Open. TV PG. Jason seems so long ago.
Previously on Tough Enough: Back on the debut show, we only got one bit of info on Taylor: Her parents think "the WWF is all about uneducated hicks." In one of those coincidence that probably aren't, here's Chris Ni. screwing up and deciding to leave. Nidia and Taylor both say "three more weeks left" when actually it's more like two now, right?
Here's the wrestling montage, with the theme probably supposed to being "they're not getting anything right" but, to me, more like "wow, they're moving up to the midlevel offense!" Nidia tries a Northern Lights Suplex! Maven blows a leapfrog! (Okay, that doesn't count.) Chris tries either a high backdrop or press slam! Maven's head gets knocked into the camera! Josh dropkicks Nidia ('s breasts!) Miss Jackie says she gets kicked in the [mute - common slang for breasts] all the time. Al throws Chris out of the ring but Chris hits the ropes on the way over. I should mention Tori since she's always around but get to do anything.
Al sits the kids down and tells them that they've been learning how to be a wrestler in the ring for six weeks. This week, they're gonna learn how to be a wrestler on the road. He's taking them to the PPV, RAW and Smackdown. They're going to Chicago (HEY! I KNOW WHERE CHICAGO IS!) - Chris cuts in to say his parents live in Chicago, so he can stop by - then to Milwaukee, then Indianapolis. Al says that the kids are his responsibility, so (pained expression on his face as he wipes his brow) he has to be with them all the time. Al points at Josh and Josh points back.
Mansion. Everyone packs for the trip. Taylor (has an Astros T-Shirt) and says that she was the most talks on the phone to her dad. Voice over reminds us that she's trying this with really getting the approval of her parents. Taylor starts to explain her itinerary and Dad cuts her off to say that he tried watching the WWF last night but could only watch a few minutes of it. Her mom watched more. Taylor tells us that she was the most unhappy she's ever been before she came on the show. Taylor talks to her Mom - one more Monday left, one more Tuesday left (after the trip, I guess.) She doesn't know what she'll do when she gets home, and her Mom offers the TV. Taylor says she thinks she's going to win and her mom giggles. That's cold. Mom doesn't want her to win or to be a wrestler. Taylor says that sometimes trusting people with your emotions and having them let you down can hurt more than any physical pain - tell it girl. I really hope we had to cut the part where Mom and Dad said they'd support Taylor no matter what she did and it's the editors who are being evil her.
Day 1 - Chicago. I was there, right then. I went to this pay per view they're about to go to. They could've called me! Of course, I wouldn't have had a clue who the heck they were, but STILL. Big Tough Enough stars get a limo to go from the airport to the arena. I had to take two trains and one bus. Anyway, they get to the arena floor and Nidia explains that they got to help set up the ring. I hear this is what they make all new people do. The kids do help set up the ring and the surrounding floor barricade, as Tazz, Big and Al watch from a far. Kinda cool to see the ring get construction. Nidia says they worked really hard, but everyone there is so happy and so outgoing and it's all the big family that Big's told them about. Chris says everyone treated them like they belonged, they got to do some work and everyone treated them like they belong. Maven says the WWF really is a family.
Here's some clips of that show, Backlash, to Drowning Pool. So this is how it looked on TV. Meanwhile, up in a luxury box, the kids and Al watch the show, with Al pointing out some of the inside stuff. Al says someone lays it in for real when they kick or punch you and we see a shot of the three way match, but it's hard to who Al is talking about (and if that match was happening at the same time he was talking.) Maven says they moved from a fan to student and having Al explaining different spots in matches made him look at matches different. Al explains the concept of a hope spot as D-Von Dudley gets a DDT in on Justin Credible to stop X-Factor's run of moves, but D-Von's too out to make a tag. Here's more clips and Josh yelling.
Chris talks about Saturday night (which makes no sense because Backlash was on a Sunday), the kids went to the Funky Buddha Lounge. They got to sit in the VIP area and they were getting free drinks. Taylor says it was fun because she didn't have to worry about doing any workouts. Maven says that everyone had a few drinks and Taylor had a lot of drinks. Here's Taylor drinking champagne from a glass. Here's Taylor skipping the glass and going right for the bottle. Chris says that Taylor got completely plastered. When she gets in the car, Taylor was sitting next to Maven (here's a shot of Taylor snuggling up on Maven's arm) and Nidia and Chris started egging Taylor on to do more. Taylor tries to kiss Maven and Maven tries to move his head away but Taylor's not giving up that easy. Chris says that everyone had the impression that Taylor had a little crush on Maven (huh?) so they wanted to see how far she'd go. Here's Taylor giving another kiss on the side of the head. Here's Taylor slapping Maven. Now she's punching him. Now she's choking him. And then she bites him on the arm. If this isn't love, I don't know what is. Wait, I don't what is. Maven says he had a mark from the bite for a week, but he seems more amused by the situation then anything else. Josh is near passed out or really annoyed during all of this. Taylor says she acted silly - she's never been able to handle her alcohol that well - but she paid the price the next day. Here's Taylor stumbling out of the van. And a break.
Here's an etching that says "City Of Chicago." Also, the Illinois State flag and the American flag, just in case you thought we meant another Chicago. It's the next morning, and Taylor is insisting on a window seat. She's not doing so well. Taylor tells us that she was incredibly hung over and had a horrible headache. Chris says the only bad part about Taylor getting drunk was that they were going to his parents house the next morning.
Here's a shot of driving. We do get a quick shot of a Willow Road but no mention of where Chris' parents actually live, which is probably for the better. His neighborhood looks like my old neighborhood - and most slightly older suburb neighborhoods in the Chicago Metro area. Everyone meets Chris' mom. We see the house and the rest of the family. Maven tells us that Chris' family was really nice to them and they had a lovely home. Maven (in the house): "There's nothing more classy than dogs playing poker" and shows Josh the pictures on the wall. Nidia says it was all exactly like how she pictured his place to be and she wasn't really surprised. Here's Chris' room (or old room that still has his trophys? That's an awful frilly bedspread for Chris, to say nothing of the apron) and the kids checking out Chris' stuff. Nidia says it was the Brady Bunch.
Later, Taylor is almost out on the sofa, and Chris makes fun of her. Taylor says she tried hard, but... The rest of the kids wonder where she is and are told she's in the bathroom, so they start telling "Taylor was SO drunk last night" stories. Maven shows off his bite mark. She got some medicine from Chris' mom, and she was really looking forward to eating a home cooked breakfast (breakfast! I knew we were missing something) but "it just wasn't happening. I puked in Chris' parent's bathroom." Oh wow, that must've been so embarrassing. "Not very cool." Maven: "I thought it was kinda funny." Chris is surprised.
Driving. Taylor says it was cool going to someone else's house, because it was kinda like going to her own house and a different atmosphere. Taylor talks about how Chris' parents were wanting to know more about what he was doing and "it'd be cool if my parents would want to learn more about what I was doing."
Day 2. Indianapolis. (Odd, guess it was out of order to begin with.) This time, they seem to hang out backstage some more. There's Pat Patterson, Ivory, Matt Hardy, Test, Steven Richards, and Spike (no last name?) Josh says Al, the guy who trained them, also be the guy who's friends with all these wrestler types. Hey Chyna. Nidia is awe. Some point later, Nidia ask Al if they're gonna go backstage, and he points out that they are backstage before sighing. It's tough to be Al.
Al brings over someone - hey, it's the Brooklyn Brawler. Anyway, Al and him decide that it'd be fun to have the kids cut a promos and tape it. They all head over to the pre-tape room (a slightly larger than usual dressing room with a camera and a blue screen set up) but they all say they can't really cut a promo. I guess someone decides to see if they're right.
Brawler preps Nidia - just pretend she's sending a challenge out to Chyna at the next pay per view for twenty seconds. "Hi Chyna, how ya doing? So I hear in the back that you've been talking smack but it ain't gonna happen come Judgment Day it's gonna be me and you sure you got the muscles but, can you keep up, with, Nidia? Is that good?" Nidia, while talking really fast, managed both the hand on the hip and the finger point in :11.
Taylor's turn. "Chyna, currently in the WWF, yes, you are the WWF Women's Champion. You deserve it, you're huge, you're big, you're tall, you got big ol' muscles. I'd like to introduce myself: I'm Taylor, short, my muscles aren't maybe not as tall, but [short pause to realize what she just said and try to figure a way to save this] I got something you don't have and that's the wit and ability to win that darn women's title from you. So I dunno what you're going to do about but we'll come see come Judgment Day." Darn? Taylor goes to the Molly Holly school of promos. Looking over it again, I think they edited something her because we're looking away at a monitor (but more of Al and Brawler) at that pause and Taylor's pointing with her hands and we look back at her and her hands aren't in the right places. At any rate, Taylor runs from the camera and the blue screen at the first opportunity.
Josh's turn. Brawler dubs him the Sponge for this promo. Josh tries to suggest that he's the Human Headlock Machine, but Josh doesn't get a vote. "Not in my room, kid. You're the Sponge!" Hit the promo: "Me and you Rhyno, you're big, you're bigger than me, you got more experience than me, but Rhyno, I'm the Sponge and I suck up everything! Sunday, me and you, I'm gonna beat you, 'cause I'm from Europe and I'm the Sponge, and the European Title will be mine." From off camera, the voice of Kevin Kelly yells that the Sponge sucks the life out of this room.
Who happens to stop by right then but Rhyno? Josh tells us that he didn't think (and he hoped) they wouldn't mention the promo, but of course the first thing they do is that. Rhyno and Josh watch the promo together. We watch it again - Taylor cracks up at the "I'm from Europe" line and rightly so. Tazz has joined the group somewhere around here - I see Harvey Whippleman off in the background. Al says Josh really is a suck up. Rhyno says "that's not bad but still..." Someone tells Josh to keep his day job. Tazz gives him a high five. Josh says he didn't say anything bad about Rhyno and Rhyno didn't kill him, so it was all good.
Chris' turn. Brawler tells him that this is just as hard, if not harder, than the in-ring portion itself. "Undertaker. You've had a decade of destruction. One of the greatest wrestlers ever to grace the WWF. Six foot ten! Three Hundred and Twenty Pounds! My god, you're impressive! But guess what, I'm ready to take over. You know what? I've got one thing you don't have - I've been trained by Al Snow! [Al and Brawler crack up.] So come Judgment Day on Sunday, you're mine." Chris has studied Faarooq promos in preparation. Al tells the camera that he didn't train Chris to say that. Chris tells us that his weakest skill is on the microphone and it's something he could get better later but he's obviously worried about it hurting him now.
By Brawler's talking, Maven is winging it but: "Judgment Day. Theoretically, biblically, it's supposed to take a lot of people to paradise. It's supposed to take a lot of people home. Lot of people are supposed to meet their maker that day. Well, on that day, I meeting a man named Raven. And when I meet Raven, I think - nowaitIknow - Raven is gonna meet the man take him to his paradise. And if Raven likes it or not, he's gonna have to deal with it. One he deals with that browbeating he's gonna get, he may like or he may not. The only thing I can say to him is, sorry about his bad luck." Maven gets a round of applause. Except for that bit of pacing and kinda getting lost the end, he was sharp. Nidia says Maven rocked the house. Chris agrees and says that's where he's vulnerable. Break.
Driving. Josh explains that one of the rules of wrestling is that when a person is driving, they have to stay awake, so out of respect for him, everyone else has to stay awake. Chris drives and it looks like some of the kids (especially Taylor) are having a hard trouble with that idea. Josh says he didn't fall asleep, but it looks like Nidia is out.
Day 3, Milwaukee. The kids are walking around town to kill some time. They walk by a wig store and Maven and Josh spot an Al Snow-like wig, so Josh picks it up and starts wearing it. Maven says there's a bond between Josh and Al. They show Al. Al: "(laughing) I'm gonna find a way to torture you." Josh unties the pony tail and messes it up some, then ties it back so he can keep with Al's current look. Al tells us that it's become a contest between him and Josh to see who can push each other's buttons a little more. Al stands behind a clear plastic barrier, looking at Josh, and Nidia points out that it's like looking in the mirror - besides the hair, Josh has a similar blue shirt, a flannel shirt tied around the waist and jeans, just like Al. Al disputes the claim and everyone laughs at him. Al about Josh: "There's moments when you want to hug him, there are moments when you want to strangle him, there are moments when you want to do both at the same time." Maven says they're like big and little brothers. I'm starting to get the impression that Josh is like that with everyone.
Al Autograph signing session. Josh says that sometimes they forget that Al isn't just some guy, he's also a semi-famous wrestling superstar. Maven says that walking around with Al and have everyone mob him is an incredible feeling, one you can't get unless you're right there with him.
Cafeteria. Hey, it's Dean Malenko. I wonder what he's eating. Chris says one of the highlights of the whole trip was the luncheons, just because they'd see and sometimes even meet all these famous people. Hardcore Holly (Deadman Inc.) and Perry Saturn (WM X7 Jersey) eat lunch together. Josh is just amazed. Taylor tells us the same thing. Hey, it's Molly Holly! (She eats with Lillian Garcia.) There's the Dudley Boyz. Chris talks about Tazz and others stopping by to sit with him and Josh. Tazz complains that he's eating salad and a piece of chicken and they're having lasagna. Josh is advised to put on some weight, eat some ice cream. Maven asks how much he ways and Josh says 130. Wow. Tazz is aghast - he needs to start lying to people about it. Chris talks about how the relationship with Tazz has changed, from not even looking them in the face to telling jokes with them and goofing on people. Tazz makes fun of Josh eating fruit - he'll be down to 120 by tomorrow. Maven finds the whole thing unbelievable and so do I. Wrestlers! Eating! In Close Proximity! I'm not being sarcastic. Josh wonders about doing his Al shtick to impress the wrestlers . Nidia says that everywhere she turned, there was a wrestler and they were all nice. Bubba introduces him to the kids, and so does the Big Show. AND THEN HE EATS JOSH. Taylor was touched by Al referring to the kids as "his children." The Hardys stop by again. Nidia starts singing about how she's in love with Jeff Hardy.
Here's RAW. The funny thing is that if they're Milwaukee, shouldn't it be Smackdown? Holy crap, they show the Metal/Jakked tapings! I know this show - we get to watch Miss Jackie face Molly Holly. (Then: "'Tough Enough' is mentioned; I guess seeing Jackie means the taping is over for that?" Apparently not.) Nidia felt sorry for Molly, just knowing how it felt like when she takes bump for Miss Jackie. "She doesn't play!" There's the floatover DDT for the win. Taylor says it was pretty good - "I just like seeing small girls kick ass." Chris talks about Miss Jackie rolling out of the ring and giving the kids a thumbs up after the match - we were too busy looking at the announcers to get that. Nidia was very proud of Miss Jackie.
She also thought it'd be a surprise to see one of the trainers wrestling and didn't expect to see Al back in the ring. Oh man, you know who Al's facing? Yes, ESSA RIOS. This is the greatest show in the history of MTV. Nidia says Al wearing that Tough Enough T-Shirt was like he was representing them and we hear Kevin Kelly on Metal talk about Al being a trainer on the "upcoming" Tough Enough show. Nidia talks about the "We Want Head" chant. Everyone's in to the match. Maven and Josh stand up and clap for the Mexican Armdrag. Josh says he asked Al to do a Japanese suplex in the match (clip of the release Northern Lights Suplex he did) and Maven asked for a hammerlock and AL did it all. Chris say it was cool to see requested moves and moves that they've learned. We watch the final Snow Plow - the kids are so proud of Al and Chris is pounded the barrier in sync with the three count. Everyone's happy. Well, except Essa. Maven says the trip was the greatest four days since they've been there.
And 24 hours, it's Trax and they get back to work. Except this time, the montage shows everything hitting. Lots of dropkicks and cross bodies - even some top rope cross bodies. There's an elbow drop. A legdrop. They're doing better. Nidia say that after the trip, everything started to fall into place, everything started to click, as they say. Nidia understands what and how they put the moves together, as we see clips of Miss Jackie doing the same sequence she did with Molly Holly as she's doing with Nidia. Well, no DDT. Nidia says Al said in the beginning that everything they did is for a reason, it just wouldn't make sense till later, and it sounds like they've got to later. Taylor says the most important thing she's learned from this experience is not to give up on what she wants to happen. We see Taylor looking on at the ring as the tombstones of those who did give up lie in the background, and then her in an actual (empty) WWF ring as she says it's a great feeling. That's it.
In TWO WEEKS (stupid Video Music awards) on Tough Enough: Al says it's time to get serious. Ivory's in the neighborhood, so she might as well beat down Josh. Stone Cold Steve Austin and Debra stop by but no one's answering the doorbell. Josh says no one knows what they're being judged on (moonsault try - and miss the pad) and it'll be intense.The Cubs Fan
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