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WWE Tough Enough 3, Episode 13: Surprises!by Mike DeGeorge -- 01/17/2003
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OK, I have to touch on the biggest TE topic on the web and my inbox: Bob Holly’s beating on Matt last week. The internet has essentially been calling for Bob Holly’s head on a platter, demanding that he be called to task for his heinous actions. I think it’s been blown WAY out of proportion.
Folks, it’s simply not that big a deal.
Was Bob Holly a jerk? Yes. Was he wrong to beat on Matt like he did and abuse his trust? Yes. Do his actions deserve the rage and bile thrown up by the internet? No way.
Wrestling is a rough business. Have you seen Wrestling with Shadows? One of the greatest and most well-respected trainers in the business, Stu Hart, takes pleasure in describing in great detail how he would stretch the contestants until they screamed, and then stretched them some more. I’ve heard many wrestlers tell similar stories about their training, Bill DeMott himself telling a story recently on Confidential about his first session with Tazz.
I also like to think that there was a reason John and Matt were on the other side of the ring from Bob at that point. It’s just a hunch of mine, but I feel that this was a step in their training as the front runners.
As for the people who make fun of Matt for being a “crybaby,” all I have to say is that he had been in training for two months. All the former contestants I’ve talked to stress how physically and emotionally draining the training sessions are. And then he gets the crap beat out of him when he wasn’t expecting it? I’d say he held it together pretty well.
If nothing else, this whole situation has proved Matt’s worth to me. I hope the same is true of the trainers.
As a final word on the subject, isn’t it funny that the last two seasons, people made fun of the contestants for having it too easy? Now they’re raging at Bob for being a big fat meanie poopie head. Gotta love the internet, huh?
In other news, his hometown newspaper posted a good story on contestant Jonah Adelman.
Lastly, be sure to visit www.toughenough.com. As Big mentioned in our interview, the last cut will be made by the American people. That poll is now online. Make sure to make your voice heard!
As for the big announcement… I’ll save it for the end of the article.
We start the third-to-last day of training at Trax West. Everyone thinks the intensity is through the roof. Matt wants to get into the trainers’ heads to find out what they are looking for in a WWE Superstar. As an answer, Big tells us they need in-ring technique, personality, and that “it” factor.
We’re treated to some in-ring highlights (all right!) with trainer comments. I have to admit, as far as wrestling ability goes, the five seem to be very close. The final winners, I think, will come down to a simple judgement call by the trainers.
Al says Eric is a machine. I hope he’s referring to his ability and not his charisma. I think it’s the former, because he adds that he’s very driven and intense.
John certainly has the athletic ability. He actually performed a shooting star press (backflip into a splash landing position) standing on the mat. That’s something I (and Al) have NEVER seen. Just incredible.
Jonah has the talent, and definitely wants to do this. Hmm, not exactly a ringing endorsement.
Ivory says that Jamie can hang with the guys in the ring, so she has a leg up on the competition.
Matt gets the best endorsement from Al, being described as “a natural” in the ring, with great timing.
We switch gears as Jonah tells us one of his favorite memories of the show was the ribs they pulled on each other. Flashback to the various ribs – Jonah’s “injury,” the laxative incident, Al breaking into their rooms in Iceland, operation Snow Storm – intercut with Jonah saying “hello?” from the bathroom.
Al and Bill have no confidence in the trainees’ ability to get back at them, which makes Jonah even more eager. They come up with the plan to take the tires off Al’s Expedition SUV. During lunch, everyone keeps an eye on Big, Bill, and Al as Matt runs out to remove the tires as quickly as possible.
After lunch, they go outside for their run. Matt is trying really hard to keep his composure. Eric grabs Al in a bear hug, turning him toward the car. Al’s jaw promptly hits the pavement, as does Bill’s, which probably made the entire thing worthwhile. Bill says Al has been gotten. Al is speechless.
The next day, the penultimate day, no one really expects any special guests. Imagine their surprise when they walk into Trax and see the one and only, limousine ridin’, jet flyin’, kiss stealin’, wheelin’ dealin’ son of a gun, the man, the legend, the Nature Boy Ric Flair! There’s no WAY I could even BEGIN to say how much Ric Flair has meant to the wrestling business. This is the man who literally kept NWA/WCW in business during the 80’s.
Do yourself a favor and track down a copy of WrestleWar ‘89 for the match most consider to be the best ever, period, Flair vs. Rick Steamboat. Buy a copy of the HHH DVD if you must, since it’s on there, but try to find a way to get it that doesn’t involve an over-‘roided egomaniac.
In a low-key style that is the complete opposite of his on-screen persona, he talks to the gang about wrestling. The contestants simply look on in awe, and comment later about the glory that is Ric Flair. Flair obviously loves wrestling, and loves to talk about wrestling. I like to think he was excited about sharing his knowledge with the eager audience. Me, personally, I’d love to sit down with Flair and talk wrestling for hours. So I can imagine how the contestants felt.
Probably the most important point Flair makes is that if there is anything that separates any of them from the others (like, say, the ability to do a standing shooting star press) they need to show it to the trainers. That could be the difference between a contract and the indys. They’ve made it this far, so obviously they all have the talent to become Superstars.1 2 Next-->
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