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WWE Tough Enough 3, Episode 1: A Very Tough (Enough) First Few Daysby Mike DeGeorge -- 10/18/2002
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Before we start, a quick update:
Well, when Chris Nowinski said last Friday on Byte This he’d be back ‘any day now,’ he wasn’t kidding. Chris’ return came quickly, on Monday’s edition of Raw.
Chris was in the back preparing for his match with Tommy Dreamer, when Al Snow (who had wrestled and lost earlier in the show) congratulated him for making it to the WWE. Instead of the warm reception Al was no doubt expecting, Chris shot back with “No thanks to you! By the way, nice loss tonight.”
During the match, Chris found a Singapore cane under the ring, the same type of weapon that “injured” his jaw. He was attacked by Dreamer before he could use it, and Dreamer grabbed the cane. Before HE could use it, Al grabbed the cane from outside the ring and distracted Dreamer enough for Chris to get the win. Al stared at Chris as he backed up the aisle.
So, apparently, they’ll be doing a ‘respect’ feud between Al and Chris. I’m all for that. I like Chris, and ANY excuse to get Al on my screen is a good thing.
With that, it’s on with the show. Thanks again to Dale Sherman for his insights.
No other way around it, I just have to say it. I have misgivings about this show. I shouldn’t, but I do. I’m looking forward to it with almost a sense of dread. Can the season premiere change my mind? Let’s see.
Of course, we can’t have the normal opening, giving away the names of the contestants right away. So they open with a montage of the four previous winners, which is a really nice touch. We then see clips of the trainers.
Al starts by explaining the different concept behind this year’s casting special. This year, they want to make sure that the people they select actually have what it takes before they commit to their training. I assume this is to weed out any potential Bobbie Jos. It sounds like a smart move. Will it pay off?
As John “Big” Gaburick explained in my interview with him last week, the producers invited only 75 people to three regional tryouts, as opposed to hundreds of people to one huge event. Again, this would tend to give the judges a more intimate look at the contestants than the “parade o’ hopefuls” from previous years.
It’s mostly interviews and seemingly light workouts for the round of 75. The first standout is Wendell, who says wrestling has been a passion of his since he was “like, twelve.” But when Big asks if he would be willing to shave off his… umm, what do you call those things? Dangling cornrows? Braids? Dale described them as a “Booker T-Raggedy Andy type of thing.” Anyway, Wendell makes a face like a six year old who was just asked to eat his spinach. Great first impression there.
Chad, who immediately reminds me of William H. Macy, says he can still remember what colors Hulk Hogan wore when he saw him in the first grade. Umm... dude, yellow and red, maybe? Either that or black and white, but only if you’re 14. It’s not like the man changed his colors every week like Sting.
Shawn thinks this might be a little easier way to get there (meaning to the WWE, I assume). Thank you, drive through.
Eric says that just because he doesn’t watch the show regularly doesn’t mean he wouldn’t want to do it. Wow, someone needs to work on his sucking up.
Big comments that you learn a lot from these interviews. Sometimes, too much. Which leads us into the story of Jonah. Jonah has a girlfriend, and picked up a chick on the side. As it turns out, the chick, Jill, is one of the contestants! And she found out about his girlfriend when she called her cell. Ooh, I betcha they make the cut.
They narrow the field to 25, and the various trainers go around to the houses to give them their Publisher’s Clearing House checks. Oh, wait… no… they tell them they’re going to California. Much huggery and shrieking, most of which comes from Ivory. Yuck.
One other thing – they keep saying 25, but the press release said (and listed) 21. Something’s not right here.
As they wait outside Trax West (where there still are no tracks, which STILL bugs me), all the contestants are sure they will make it. Especially Wendell, who thinks he’s in the best shape of everyone.
The doors open… and it’s a Stacker 2 commercial! Oh, no, wait… it’s just very similar. By the way, I should point out that Stacker 2 now comes in an Ephedra-free formula. That strikes me as about as useless as decaffeinated coffee, but who am I to judge? I guess people take Stacker 2 for the taste?
Mandatory clips of the trainers, Al Snow, Ivory, and Bill DeMott. It occurs to me that I never wrote the trainer introductions this year. Well, for Ivory and Al, you can refer back to previous years as not much has changed (just click on their names). I’m sure most people don’t know who Bill DeMott is, so I’ll have to write up his intro this weekend.1 2 3 4 Next-->
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