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WWF Tough Enough by The Cubs Fan




TV PG L open

Previously on: Danny was cut - and cries. Matt thinks he's going to the contract, "no doubt about it." JR spent three days pushing for him, but we only get the and "if he's going to do it, he's got to do it now" bit. Hawk is wacky. Jake is scary.

Running the mile. Everyone back in. We're picking up right after the cut. Pete misses Danny - his in-ring ability was really good, and he was a good runner. Matt says Danny got cut because he lacked charisma, and the WWF is looking for that certain something. "Who knows what that certain something is?" Jessie notes that everyone is more athletic then her, but maybe they're looking for a certain quality that they can make into the best character. Here's the "shoulderblock bumps meld from one to each other" montage again. 

Pete says Matt stands the best chance of winning - big, and has a good personality. Matt says he doesn't like to count his chickens before they're hatched, but he hopes his perseverance will get him through. 

Hawk doesn't know what it is that makes Jake stand out - the physique, his quietness, the haircut. I'd definitely say the hair cut. "Without even trying, he just grabs everyone's attention." Jake says the WWF isn't looking for the average Joe and he does have an advantage with the way he looks. He's been mistaken for a WWF wrestler before. 

Hawk says he's just having the time of his life right now, and when it comes down to the cut day, he'll be nervous then. Hawk and Jackie have a sequence - Jackie gets Hawk in headlock and Hawk's head gets his head shoved into Jackie's breasts - you can tell he's not sure of the proper way to deal with such a situation and it's making him tight. Perhaps I should find a better way to say that. Bob says Hawk's a good example of someone with a lot of charisma - when he first showed up, he was goofy, but that's just the way he is. He's got something there if he'd just let it out. Bob takes Hawk to the side and tells him to show the camera his Mean Face - Hawk has trouble keeping a straight face for a long. Bob tells Hawk that when he goes home tonight, he should go into the mirror and practice his psycho face. Hawk says Bob is tough on him, but that's because he sees something in her.

Matt takes bump - oh no, not in slow motion. Yep, it's in injury - we go back to a (the first? - Robert's still there) beach day, where Matt landed badly after going over a wall and went down. Turns out, he hurt his knee and didn't tell anyone. "As soon as I frigging hit the sand, it was a like I got shot on the right side of me knee. It was like I just got shot in the left side of my right knee. It was a burning sensation." Matt says the trainers saw that he was protecting one leg - he didn't want anything to ruin his opportunity, so he kept on going. He didn't want to loose this opportunity, but he might have messed himself up more in the process.

Big and Matt talk about the knee. Well, actually, Matt wants to say how much how he wants to win, and that he wants to do the best he can for his knee so he can get back in there. Big tells him to take the rest of the day off, and then they'll deal with the doctor tomorrow morning. Big tries to assure him that the doctor could possibly have okay news - just take some medicine and you'll be fine, but Matt has watched this show and knows that doesn't happen. Also, he's probably got a better idea about how bad his knee is. Matt does hope that doctor can get the knee better. "The only way I'm getting out of this contest is if I can't walk." 

Driving. House. Hawk goes straight for the mirror - he's going to practice his psycho face. Matt, Pete, Kenny watch, distract and critique. Hawk believes this is a test from Bob to see how far they're willing to go. That bathroom looks like it's out of a some chain sit down restaurant. Perhaps a Chilli's.  Hawk says they all think he's crazy, but that's good. "If making an idiot out of myself is what I have to do to be successful in this , then that's so be it. I'll make a complete moron out of myself." 

Night turns to morning. It's Friday Morning, and they have a physical challenge. They don't what they're doing, or where they're going, but they know what they mean because Aaron failed his, and that's why he was cut. Jessie asks if Matt's coming, but no he's headed to the doctor instead. Linda says Matt wasn't upbeat. Matt says that you can't get a grasp on who they're gonna cut or when they're gonna cut -he's afraid missing this day (or any day) will be it for him. If the doctor clears him, he'll keep going - he's praying for it.

Driving. Santa Barbara City College. Track/Football Field. This is their second physical challenge - two laps around the (half mile?) track, then they're going to run up and down all the steps in the bleachers and then sprint to the finish. They have to touch everyone, which sucks because I'd be going two at a time to save energy. 

Hmm, Alicia isn't at the starting line - is she not running? And they're off. Hawk is the only guy wearing a shirt. Jake (who the caption people like calling Jacob for some bizarre) reason takes "touch every stair" literally - he touches them with his hands as he runs till Big tells him not too. Jake's in the lead, Hawk's behind, then it's Jackie. Figuring everyone else out is tough, but it does appear that Jessie is a solid last. Big is really pushing Hawk to catch up to Hawk throughout (even when it looks like Jackie passes him) - I think they'd really like to have Hawk close in on Jake in the physical category, because they like so much what he brings in the charisma one. Either that, or they just want someone to push Jake a little bit now that Danny is gone. Big thinks Jake is tough - but he's not sure if he's got that aura of a WWF superstar. Jake says it would have been real competitive if Danny was around, but he wasn't so it was kinda easy. Jackie's the first woman across the line - she was neck and neck with Linda (here, it looks like Linda still has another set of stairs to go and Big's telling her that she's got to go on every step) and she slipped and slipped down a couple steps on her butt, but she still won. Jake and Anni win - they get a day off Optimum Fitness, a massage, and two tickets to WrestleMania. That's cool.

Lunch. Big tells Hawk to pretend like he's never met Linda and try to pick her up. He does and does so horribly. You know, I never really considered the power Big has over these kids - like they dare to say no to him.

In another part of the universe, Matt is at the doctor's office - it's yet another doctor. Matt: "The doctor just told me you screwed yourself up pretty bad." After a full, and painful, examination of the knee, Matt says he wants to be able to work out tomorrow. The doctor - James M. Fox, M.D. - is worried about what rushing back would mean to his ability to do things for the next seventy years. Doc Fox told Matt that he's pretty close to tearing all the ligaments in his knees. Break.

I got my 7-Up Team Xtreme cup today, but I'm not keeping it. I didn't notice until I was in 7-11 that each Cup also hypes a show - RVD's cup for RAW, the Rock's for Smackdown, Team Extreme for Heat. (Make all the jokes about the Hardyz and Heat here.)  I found it shockingly on the ball that the wrestlers actually make up with the shows they'll still be on - either that's some good planning (because these cups had to be made well in advance of the split) or some real dumb luck. Good job not screwing up, WWF.

Whoa, a "this week on Sunday Heat, you'll see" ad! They never do this. Scott Hall "versus a feisty Crash Holly" - you know, I'm trying not to make jokes about that show being like Thunder but c'mon. Also, (a replay of) Austin's contract singing.  

Everyone arrives for the next day - wait, Saturday or Monday? Oh who knows. Matt doesn't know what's going to happen. He's hoping that there's they'll still let him stay. 

Inside, Big asks Matt what the doctor said, while Al listens. "Six to Eight weeks." Big: "Okay" Al: "Six to Eight Weeks!?!" He's shocked and sad, because he knows what that means - JR's gonna get mad at him! AL: "Is there some physical limit to what you could do?" I guess not, because Matt doesn't say so. Al can't think of another way for him to stay. Big, rather calmly and bordering on coldly, (I keep wondering if he knows something that we don't here) points out that there's other ways to get to the WWF, this just not his time. Al says that Matt had the physical, the heart, the intelligence to be a WWF superstar, but does he the drive to pursue that road." 

Matt has no doubt that he's going to pursue that road and will be signed by the WWF. Matt (now really limping - did we not get a good shot before, or is he not trying to hide it because he's done) walks over to the kids and starts to say his goodbye. Matt: "You have paralyzed wrestlers out there right now, how am I gonna boohoo about a frigging knee that's gonna be okay in a six weeks?" We zoom in on Alicia - she wonders about the point where it goes from being tough enough to being smart enough about yourself. Hug for Jake. Jake things Matt had a good chance, but if he's out, it just leaves him or Hawk, in his eyes. Jake's assuming that they'll give a spot to a woman even though they don't have to, I guess. "But, I don't think he's got the look for it. Hawk's like, different." I think "he" is Hawk there but I'm not sure - they cut it up weird. Matt says this is just the start of the fire - he's learning and knowing he has the ability to do this stuff. It's not gonna stop here. Matt walks out. Al folds up the chair and puts it on the wall - he thinks it's too bad, because Matt had a lot of potential, but it just wasn't his time. 

Hey, it's Tazz. I guess that's why the kids wearing staring forward before and not milling around. Last time we saw Tazz, he was making them run and calling them names. Anyway, he's here to give them a reward for that - they're going to RAW, tonight in Anaheim.

Driving to RAW. This is actually the 12/10/01 RAW, if I'm remembering right. >From inside the car, the kids notice the people lined up outside. and freaking out for Al Snow. Pete is a dork. You know, I'm looking in the cars (all the girls are in one and all the guys in another) and they really should've let Matt at least come to RAW before he had to go home, but it doesn't appear that's how it worked out. 

Backstage. WRESTLERS. It's Ivory in the red and black cutout outfit. Everyone meets Molly Holly (but she wasn't that then) and D-Von Dudley. There's Bob. William Regal. THE ROCK, who apparently had some words for the kids but we don't get to hear them. Jackie talks about meeting so many wrestlers - hey, who's Hurricane Helms. Hurricane is his last name and his first name is THE. Sgt. Slaughter. Edge. Edge to Jake: "Hey Red Rooster what's up?" Hawk talks about them all marking out for everyone. "Just like, wow. Like kids in a candy store." There's Miss Jackie (it's not a Tough Enough wrestler montage if we don't watch WWF people eat, you know.) Test is next to make fun of the Jake 'do. Faarooq and Bradshaw ask Jake if he actually went into the barber's place and asked for that haircut. "And that's what you wanted?" "Yea." "So when you left, you said [thumbs up] 'That's the bomb.' That's what you wanted?" "That's exactly what he was looking for." Kurt Angle, Albert and the Big Show eat together. Linda was impressed how everyone was eating and chilling together. Hey, Booker T. Some guy standing at catering complains to Chavo: "See, that's the problem with the business today. Too many people eating chicken breasts, broccoli, sh[bleep]t like that. You eat junk food - look, that's part of an egg roll, I'm gonna pile up a bunch more sh[bleep.] That health food will lead you down the wrong path. This is the World Wrestling Federation, pile on the calories, you'll burn them off." Some dude was Stone Cold Steve Austin, of course. Alicia was scared to cross his path for food, which was funny. And Debra gets food but goes unmentioned. 

Hawk narrates that they go back into a locker room where all the production stuff is, and he starts to get a feeling about what's next. Because he watched last season, of course. It's Coach and Brooklyn Brawler explaining the purpose, but you and I know already that's not what's this is about - they're gonna cut a promo. Big: "It's time for these kids to see if they have what it's take. The pressure's on." Coach says you have to be entertaining. Brawler says that they'll know within ten seconds if they're going to be a superstar or not. He does have a point - the only person who was any good at these last year was Maven and he turned out all right. And everyone else... Anyway, Hawk says everyone was like "oh no" when the promo on the spot was mentioned, and Jake says he's scared of promos. Break. 

"check it out! That's me on there!" That last line makes the commercial. 

I reiterate my earlier claim - the kids cutting the promos is the most awful thing in the world to listen to, because they're very horrible at it. It's me in a spelling contest. I fear what's coming after this break.

Who's going first? No one wants to be first. Linda goes first and hey, Michael Cole's sitting awful low in his chair, I wonder what's that about. Oh, he's leaning back in it, never mind. Luckily we get this in montage form. In case there's a quiz later, Linda (or, as she likes to be known "Hot Sexy Mocha") challenges Lita, Alicia picks Molly, Jackie who knows, Kenny talks to trash Al (while Al stands behind him to mock him - and do a great take on "old man"), Anni who knows, Jessie says Ivory I think, Pete's still generic and who knows, Linda makes a hissing sound, Kenny is not so good. 

Jake goes - he wants his character name to be Chisel but Brawler makes him change it to Goofy. They are near Disney World and it's a small world, after all. Jake hypothesis that maybe they know they can't screw with him physically, so they're messing with him mentally. I think Jake is a smart man. Jake manages to say uh twice in the first two sentences, then takes off your shirt (Wordly Advice: when all else fails, take off your shirt) and falls into a "you know" habit. He's the opposite of comfortable and good. Big says they're really worried about his character development - they wanted to see him make something out of Goofy, but he dropped the ball. I think Jake needs to stretch his limits - he basically did the same promo he did last time, except his name was goofy. Jake said he thought it was stupid, but he hopes they get a chance to practice it more. After what just happened, I hope he's practicing it on his own after that. I mean really, if they're giving advice about doing something to one person - like Bob did to Hawk - they should all be trying to follow it if they can. Physically, I think they know they have to do as much as they can but mentally I'm not sure the same level of work is going in.

Hawk's turn - he thought to himself "don't try to copy the Rock, don't try to copy Kurt Angle, just try to be yourself." Hey, Hawk listens! Oh yea we knew that. Hawk gets SCSteve Austin. Hawk's rather good, though he still needs work of course. Jake says Hawk surprised him, he did really good. Hawk thinks he probably shocked everyone - they probably thought he was going to do something weird or corny or goofy but he was serious yet natural. Big says there are a lot of "badasses in the WWF, but Hawk is out there - he's crazy." It could make him money some day. He's happy with Hawk's progression.

Al leads the kids down the path the wrestlers take for the ring. On the way, we stop at a white board - the half we see has a lineup of the early matches tonight, with the referee name by it (except who's MS? and it looks like Charles Robinson pinch hit for Jim Korderas). Hmm, Tajiri (Torrie) - R. Constantino is your dark match, and the winners are always on the left side. If your a WWF talent you get your nickname, if you're someone else you get First Initial Period Last Name. I wish we got to see the RAW side too. He takes them past the gorilla position and through the curtain onto the ramp. "Wow." "A little different from this viewpoint, isn't it?"

RAW. In the commercial, they showed Angle and the Rock talking to the kids again, but we never get to see that. Highlights from RAW - this one had Rikishi dancing with the top hat and Jericho vs Stone Cold in a cage. Jessie points out how they're showing emotions and that's what the kids need to do.

We mess around with chronology to go back and see the Jakked tapings also out of order, if the board is to be trusted. I did a recap of all this action way back when, but I was really in a grouchy mood. Jackie sees Miss Jackie vs Ivory as a Tough Enough 1 vs Tough Enough 2 battle and Ivory wins. Al. Hawk: "We're all like little girls with at an *NSYNC concert." Linda believes that Al did that match just for them, just to show how all they've been teaching comes together. Next one to wrestle was Bob Holly, and Pete brings up that it was his first match back since the injury - and not how he wasn't supposed to be wrestling yet since he hadn't really got cleared. They felt bad for the guy that Bob was beating up. Big things they were all awestruck, but they still have a long way to go.

Next week: Jessie says her heart is getting through it. Kenny is forced to the mat while Bob asks if he thinks he's a star. Anni says you have to suck it up and get through it. Alicia says her back is hurting her really bad and that she's dreading getting in there.

Duh: It's a pretty safe assumption that the Tough Enough kid getting a look at a WWF tryout camp JR was talking about last Friday was Matt. Hope he made the most of it.

Tough Enough episodes air Thursdays on MTV at 9pm CST, give or take three minutes and rerun a few times during the week (including right before Sunday Night Heat). Tough Enough's website is The WWF clearly leans to the left.

The Cubs Fan
[slash] wrestling

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