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WWE Tough Enough Makes Return But Is It Good Enough To Keep Public Interest?

WWE Tough Enough returning to television.

The WWE started their reboot of the reality show Tough Enough on Tuesday night. In the past, the show began the careers of names like The Miz John Morrison, Nidia and Josh Matthews. They also began the careers of Daniel Puder, Linda Miles some other no-names who took the money and ran. The rebirth of the show had many thinking that with the NXT brand so big, the company would have legitimate wrestlers on the show in order to find good wrestling talent.

Once the 13 finalists were announced, it was clear that the WWE would not follow that logic and instead chose pretty women and big, bulky guys. There were some MMA fighters in the group but for the most part, the company just chose who they thought would look good on television for a reality.

The first episode of Tough Enough featured a live and taped component with Chris Jericho and Renee Young hosting the show along with the judges panel featuring Daniel Bryan, Hulk Hogan and Paige. The second part of the show showed clips of some of the workout competitions that the contestants competed in during their time at the WWE Performance Center.

Like many shows, there were good and bad things to take from the show. Let’s start with the good.


  • Having Daniel Bryan and Paige on the panel is great. You have two wrestlers who know the business, paid their dues outside the WWE and know what it takes to get to the top spot in the company. As the weeks go on, I think you will begin seeing both Paige and Bryan get more in-depth with criticism and the in-ring aspect of the training. However the way Paige went in on Hank for prior comments he made was awesome and just the tip of the iceberg.
  • Having the contestants live in the Performance Center instead of a swanky house is different. When shows like The Ultimate Fighter has their people living in a nice house, it takes away from the difficulty aspect of the show. Having the competitors living where they train makes them a little more intense and maybe on edge (from what we saw on the first episode, it’s working).

With reality shows, there are always bad aspects to them and Tough Enough is no different.


Unlike The Ultimate Fighter where the contestants are pretty much isolated from the outside, Tough Enough competitors can go out and drink and even have their fiancés come and take them out. Keep them in the house and away from the rest of the world. Make winning that contract to become a WWE Superstar and Diva their only focus and nothing else. Put booze in their area of the Performance Center and let them get nuts in house.

I know most reality shows have he public vote on who stays and who goes. On a show like Tough Enough, I think the public should not have any say on who wins. I sound like a miserable old man but for all intents and purposes, this is a wrestling show and you should want the best person to win who has the most potential to be a superstar and great in the ring. Competitions like this has the potential to turn into either a popularity contest or just a show where judges will be forced to save someone just because the network wants drama or someone who fits what they want. Let the judges and the judges alone make the final decisions.

I think my views on Hulk Hogan have been very clear since arriving at Double G Sports and it has not changed. Hulk Hogan is all about Hulk Hogan and still believes that he is the end all be all of the professional wrestling industry. Having him on the show is pointless because I believe that he really doesn’t add anything to the proceedings. He will be looking for someone who looks like him size wise and that’s it. This is where a Roddy Piper or a Ricky Steamboat would have been good to have in the “Legend” role but of course, you have to have Hogan in there for some reason.

The show focused on the internal strife of everyone in the house with not much focus on the training aspect. I know I’m nitpicking but the old version of Tough Enough focused more about the training and the speeches from superstars discussing the business than just everyone arguing over nothing. You have 13 people in one place for a period of time and things fall off the rails but last night was ridiculous and too much.

Will I continue watching WWE’s Tough Enough? Yes because I am a fool even though I see the show for what I hate…a train wreck waiting to get worse. And that’s what the WWE wants. They have members of the WWE Universe who will watch the show because they are programmed to do whatever the WWE tells them to do. Then you have others like me who may dislike the show but will hate-watch the program every single week. That’s what most guys my age do for Monday Night Raw and Thursday Night Smackdown. Here’s hoping that the right man and woman wins Tough Enough and we don’t get a nobody who stays a nobody after being deemed “Tough Enough”.

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Kahlil Thomas

Kahlil is the College Sports Editor for as well as a columnist, hosting the Bump 'N Run column once per week. He also co-hosts a weekly basketball podcast, The Box Out, every Thursday evening with fellow writer Jason Cordner.
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