Nine days ago Patrick Clark, the only person on the Tough Enough cast with an intimate knowledge of wrestling and an ability to work in the ring, went home from the show. This week Mada, a man that clearly has passion for wrestling if not the training, and a man with easily the best look and charisma of the other guys, went home.
Meanwhile, on the women's side the show seems more like an audition for Total Divas then it does for an active wrestling competitor. In fighting and back-stabbing is everywhere, and it is hard to find a genuine love for wrestling among any of these women.
Basically the show has come down to a bunch of folks that shouldn't be professional wrestlers. Josh is somehow still here with only size, cool hair and nothing else. Tanner is athletically gifted but clearly seems to be there because he's not comfortable making his career in MMA. And America is absolutely in love with ZZ, an out-of-shape weirdo from Louisiana, despite his clear lack of physical ability to accomplish much of anything at all.
That leaves WWE facing yet another season of Tough Enough without a successful winner as its very likely future. With fans already tuning away from the show, the experiment can now officially be called a lost cause. Through five previous seasons of production, only John Hennigan found any substantial success from the nine men and women in the winner's circle. Of course, several non-winners have went far. The list is a long and brutal one in a list of people that didn't get far.
- Season 1 winners Maven and Nidia both had limited careers before retiring young. Josh Mathews went on to a broadcast career with a decade at WWE and now serves as the voice of TNA. Chris Nowinski had a short but strong career in WWE ended by concussion syndrome and has since become a major voice in helping WWE and NFL through the horrors of frequent concussions.
- Season 2 winners Linda Miles and Jackie Gayda accomplished next to nothing in WWE. The best thing that can be said about their time there is Jackie met her future husband Charlie Haas. Matt Morgan went on to a short WWE and a very solid TNA career while Kenny King is still an active competitor first in ROH and now in TNA (where he is a two time X Division champion.)
- Season 3 gave us Johnny Nitro a.k.a. John Morrison a.k.a. Johnny Mundo, easily the biggest star from the winners after several successful tag title reigns and a run as ECW champion. Co-winner Matt Cappotelli never wrestled on WWE television, but did survive brain cancer, an equally impressive feat.
- Season 4 gave us Daniel Puder, a star that could have been much more than he was in WWE or during his short ROH run. He has since returned to wrestling, but probably will never find the level of success of a Johnny Mundo. But the losers of the season gave us two active WWE stars in The Miz and Ryback as well as a Spirit Squad member and an American Gladiator.
- Season 5 gave us Andy Leavine, the almost forgotten winner in only a matter of years. Drug issues caused Andy a suspension and then a termination. The only cast member still with WWE is Cameron. This was easily the worst season of the show for finding WWE stars despite being the only one built mostly around active independent wrestlers. Three of its roster currently wrestle on Lucha Underground as Son of Havoc, Ivelisse and Marty the Moth, while veteran A.J. Kirsch now runs the incredibly successful California indie Hoodslam.
With that pedigree, it is proof that Tough Enough brings a decent number of ratings. Otherwise it would make no sense to repeat a failed experiment over and over again. For the first time, fan voting becomes a major part of the show this season and that seems to only intensify the problem as WWE's editing team seems set on making the better players look like complete dicks or fools.
|I challenge anyone to say this man doesn't look like a pro wrestler.|
Image credit: USANetwork.com.
So please WWE, let this be the last of Tough Enough. Declare the experiment dead and offer Mada Abdelhamid and Patrick Clark the developmental contracts they deserve.