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WWF Tough Enough by The Cubs Fan




Pete's a Dork: I mean, he does make a great case that they've been unfair to him and they're not showing enough of the ring, but when he said Danny, Kenny and himself nicknamed themselves "the Triad", I can't help thinking that. Sorry.

Slipping: Does someone else remember the default Inside page for saying something to the extent of "we'll tell you who was REALLY hooking up?" Because it sure looks like they just still have the interview with Matt up. the WWF: big stinkin' liars.

TV PG L open

Previously On: Al thinks the kids suck. But they were better when Nidia and Maven got there. They're going to Sun City, Africa - Mike was the first person who yelled "STEVEN VAN ZANDT" at me, so there's your musical correction of the month. 

Packing for South Africa. And cleaning up. Anni is excited - she's excited about meeting the animals, and "I'm hoping we get to put on a little wrestling show or something." You know, for centuries the white man has treated Africans harshly, but that's just going too far. Pete (the Dork) almost burns himself starting the gas grill. Hawk explains: pool party at the house with Big and Al before they go to South Africa. I forget to mention the big cabinet of chips in their house; someone paid good money for people to notice it, at any rate. 

Anyway, it turns out more than just Al and Big - also, Stacy Keibler and Torrie Wilson. Cue highlights (very short highlight package, actually) - this seems like a lot of Alliance footage when they didn't hate each other. Handshakes - no, hugs for everyone. Al taunts Jake because he can. Jake explains that they're hot. Thanks Jake. Hawk says it was a big thrill - for the girls, because they got to meet some female WWF stars (sorry Ivory.) The guys were okay too, for different reasons. Al gets a hug from Pete the Dork. "I do what I can."

Moving on, people make fun of Hawk while eating. He's goofy, so it's easy, and it's supposed to be good natured, but Hawk doesn't take it that way as much as he probably should, and it starts to bug him. He doesn't argue back or ask politely not to do that, though. Stacy asks about their trip and talks about how awesome it was to go to Australia (with "the WCW".) Hawk talks about going to Australia, but trips up his words and says "national wildlife refugee", so everyone makes fun of him for that and he doesn't get to tell his story because Al's making "these ennui were in Bosina" jokes. Al's wearing a Spiderman T-Shirt; hmm, the advertising is becoming overwhelming. Hawk says they don't know the true Hawk, but that's how it always is. I think he starts crying - Kenny and Pete think so too. Hawk calls home and complains about life. They don't know the real him - "I'm a lot deeper." Sometimes he wants to correct them, but he does not.

Pool. The guys do dorky dives into the pool, but eventually everyone settles into the hot tub - Stacy and Torrie included. (Big not included.) So, for those of you wondering what exactly Stacy and Torrie could add to this show, here it is: wearing bikinis in a hot tub; they're using their strengths. Kenny pretends to care about what Stacy's saying (about being a Ravens' cheerleader.) "It's so much harder than it looks!" Torrie says it's hard to build a character as a face girl. Anni says she wants to be like Torrie, except she'd also like to be a good wrestler. Torrie goes off on a rant about relationships being really important, because it doesn't matter how fun it is if everyone doesn't like you. I think this is supposed to be the relevant to the Hawk thing but I wonder what she's really talking about.

Later. Tickets for everyone. Big calls Jake "Jacob" just to further that confusion - Hawk is still Hawk, though. Also, Samsonite luggage - everyone's like "oh wow, cool luggage." Jake thought it was pretty cool, since he'd never been out of the country - "I was like 'Do they have weights over there'?" Jake theories about lifting trees in the jungle.

Plane ride (hmm, this seems familiar.) Took 18 hours. And then they left the Africa. Dork Pete and Dork Kenny try out their South African accents. Looks like Ivory came along too. On the bus ride (hmm, this also seems familiar) from Johannesburg to Sun City, Al reminds that they're going to work while they're here, it's not a vacation. Pete figures they'll just be doing cardio. I guess he didn't see the previews. Pete promises to gamble and "get really f[bleeped], which I'm going to do." 

Palace Hotel in Sun City - it's a real nice hotel. Everyone's awed. Flower petals on the bed. Kenny's impressed by his name being on the video screen in his bedroom. Hawk runs down the list of activities at the hotel (already in progress): "Health spa, horse riding, hot air balloon trips, parasailing, royal salon, squash (my personal favorite)..." Pete gets everyone to hurry and go downstairs so they're not late for dinner.

They are not late for dinner. Big toasts them and their experiences here. Kenny explains it was "a Taste Of Africa dinner" - Ivory's eating the ostrich. Kenny says everyone's having fun, it's a good time. Big says that they're meeting at 4 (tomorrow morning) and going hot air ballooning. Big: "The first surprise here is that one of you is going home early. We're gonna make a cut here in South Africa." Anni and I both think he's a buzz killer. Hawk tells us (while wearing a bandana on his head) that everyone was surprised. Big reminds us that this is a competition, and one of them are going home. Break.

This Sunday Night Heat Ad has Subtitles (hmm), all of which are goofy: "All Thumbs" RVD vs Justin Credible, "Cloud 9 Clash" Dreamer vs Perfect, "Hard Time" Boss Man vs D'Lo and "Diva Dispute" Trish vs Molly. Really, it was the lack of a good two to three word summary of the action that's kept you watching all along and not the totally irrelevance of it all. Ooooh, "Grave Danger" for Hogan! 

4:30AM. On a bus. Safari. Lions and Zebras and you've seen this documentary on PBS before. Hot Air Balloon - those "still shots look like postcard photos" they keep doing are really dumb. Linda's a little scared of heights but everyone seems excited - it's a big standing area. They sees more animals. Yes, Big is in the balloon carriage and it's in the air, how dare you make such a joke. Jake says it's a nice break. 

Hawk says it's difficult to go from sightseeing to working, but that's what the business is all about. Except that sightseeing part. 9:00 AM - they're at a super mini coliseum set like structure, more ore dug into the ground to anything else. Linda compares it to Gladiator. There's a ring in the middle of the (small) arena floor. Big drops Andre the Giant's real name (because he's INSIDE, you see) when telling the kids that he wrestled in that very ring in September '72. There's a lot of history and tradition to the ring and this is a content and only two can win and blah blah blah blah. Hawk worries about being cut.

Al decides now's a good time to teach bodyslams. The real deal with the ring, as far as the kids are probably concerned, is that it's old and hard and so taking the bodyslam bump hurts even more than usual. Bodyslam montage, while everyone explains how the ring hurt a bunch. Also, it's very hot in the sun. Al supposes the ring apron is 120 degrees. And everyone's screwing up because they're hot and tired. Al has them run and up down stairs. Kenny suggest moving the ring in to the shade and gets shot down.

Ivory and the girls have a random conversation about the woman's place in the WWF. Really, this came totally out of nowhere and had nothing to do with anything, as far as we were shown. Ivory: "I'm a fan of women in the ring being WOMEN in the ring, not just women who can wrestle." I think she was talking about Chyna there, but I dunno. Anni talks about the character she wants to be, like she gets a choice in that.

1:00PM. Lunch. Big and Al get to alone, while Ivory babysits (I assume.) Al knows the kids are tired and wants to cut a deal with Big to get them off for the day. Big, who has a large gambling problem (and that's why they're in Sun City, surely), makes up a bet on the spot: He'll ask the kids if they want to work out, or if they want to rest. If most say they want to work out, they'll actually get the rest of the day off. If they say they want off, they work out. It's reverse psychology, but also a message about the kind of person the WWF wants from this, and how they want that person to act. Al is sure none will say they want off, and if they're that stupid to say they want it off, then they deserve the training. 

Let's go to the kids. Big questions. Kenny tells us he wondered if this was some sort of trick. Big asks who wants to work out - only JAKE is smart enough to figure out what's going on. MORONS. You can se Al get mad in the shadows. Jackie says everyone realized how dumb they were (right after the real stakes were revealed.) Hawk suggests a revote. Jackie: "That was a big blond part of me coming out, I guess." Al promises revenge on the kids for making him look dumb - they're going to train extra hard today. Break.

Say it with me: MORONS.

Hawk says Al promised death in the ring (more or less) so he remembered that you could always make a deal with Big. "I'll shave my head!" He'll shave his head to get EVERYONE out of training. Kenny says he's thrilled for someone to give themselves up so he can get out of work. Hawk explains to us that he saw this as a chance to show his serious side (by getting his hair shaved off) and to show that he's got leadership ability inside of him. 

Arena. Al brought the shaver, Hawk brought the clippers. Big tells Pete to do something special for Hawk (since he's the one doing all the work here) and it looks like Pete and Kenny lifted Hawk up on their shoulders for a second or two. The girls all give him a peck on (or close to) the mouth - I bet that sent someone towards their local post office, with music lyrics in hand. Al asks Hawk if he's sure - he's sure. Hawk says that in the WWF, you have to make big sacrifices, so he's showing that he can do that. This IS a great strategically move (something we haven't really seen on this show) - his willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty will surely give him a free pass out of Africa, and probably even further (provided he doesn't screw up some other way.) Hawk says he's very in touch with his share, but you must give up all to embrace the WWF. Or something. Hair cut montage. Jake gives the hair cut his approval, for what that opinion is worth. Jackie thinks Hawk's very insecure and is trying to get respect - not bad observation. Hawk (and now we get to see him without the bandana, so we can see his baldness) says everyone thanked him and told him how much better he looked (almost like a young Bob Holly), so he wondered if maybe he should've done this sooner. 

More stuff to do. 5.00PM, they go visit a lion park. Lion cubs. They get to hold some cubs, and they're all like "how cool." One of the bites Big - he's got some big chomp bruises on his arm but he seems alright. Jake: "That was pretty funny." And then they get to see a big lion, from the safety of a cage.

9:00PM. They go out to eat - Hawk tries the mean look; they think it looks even better bald. (But what about his inaccurate action figure? Maybe the hair will be detachable.) Pete says they made fun of him as much as they did before. Hawk says he expected a new level of respect from them - and they treated him the same as always. Awww, he wanted people to like him so he shaved his head, but people still make fun of him anyway and now his hair is GONE. Big reminds us that the kids need to be focused on one thing - working in the ring.

The next day, Al says he decided to see how far he could push the kids, and how much he could test them - on every level, physically, emotionally, mentally. Sadly, not mathematically. Al decided to be Really Mean Al (with Triple H's hair.) Al says he's going to work with the kids, to see how they work in the ring. Al scares them about the cut, and then is harsh on everyone in the ring. Wrestling montage. They try to make it look like Al's corner whip on Jake was so harsh that he collapsed in pain, but I think he was just selling there. Jake looks perfectly fine in this montage, you know. Jake figures Al was trying to see who would crack, and who would toughen up. Linda sees it as a mental challenge and great for them. Pete says he did as well as he possibly could, and realized then that it wasn't a vacation. Anni is not good again in the ring - she's tentative and passive, and twisted her ankle in the body slam. We see it - Al tells her not to hang on during a body slam before noticing that she's laying on the and clutching her ankle. "You alright?" "Yes." THEN WHY ARE YOU GRABBING YOUR ANKLE? Al tries again and gets the right answer. Kenny postulates that Anni could get cut. Hawk - really sucks in the ring. He's not following all, he's not feeling it, he's just kinda sucking. Al says when Hawk's singled out, it's never cruel or mean-spirited, he's just not strong enough. I think Al's somewhat testing if Hawk will act a little stronger in the ring at least. Hawk complains to us about a mental wall. Haha, he might lose his hair AND get sent home. Al tells Hawk that he carried him and he looked awful. "I expected you to have a clue - if you don't, I suggest you get to the stairs and start walking." Hawk says his wall cracked, and he figured he had to fix it - "I do not want to do this." Huh.

Next: Al reminds us that there will be a cut this week. Al's in Hawk's head. Linda: "Kenny...becomes King Kenny of Africa, all in one night." Let's see - Kenny dances at a bar, goes into a room with a lady, and we see Linda rushing out of a room and laughing, hmm. Bob says they came back different people from South Africa. 

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

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