WWF Tough Enough ain't your father’s reality TV show. Instead, it's the story of people who are going to find out what happens when wrestling stops being fake, and starts being real.
This is the true story of a few hundred people, most of whom are out of shape and un-coordinated, picked to travel to New York, audition in front of wrestlers and MTV producers, to find out what happens when wrestling stops being fake...and starts being real.
The Real WorldWWF TOUGH ENOUGH The Casting Special
Picture it. New York City...2000. The WWF is holding auditions for their new reality TV show, Tough Enough. There are two things that need to be stressed right away.
1. This ain't your father’s reality TV show. It's not like Survivor or Big Brother, where people prostitute themselves on TV for fame and money, and it's not like The Real World, where MTV digs up seven of the most obnoxious people that they could find just to discover the next Puck. The contestants on Tough Enough are there to fulfill a dream. They're not going through this to win cash and prizes. They're competing for a contract with the World Wrestling Federation. In other words, they're looking for a job.
2. The contestants have no idea what’s in store for them. Unless you've actually trained in a wrestling ring you have no idea what that ring does to your body. Many WWF wrestlers have established that their ring is not a trampoline and many young wrestlers have had their careers cut short by, literally, back-breaking surgery. The house may look nice, but the next nine weeks will be hell.
We open at WWFNY in the heart of Times Square. Auditions are being held to find out who the lucky thirteen contestants are. There are four trainers from the WWF who are part of this, two of which were featured in the Casting Special.
One of them was Al Snow. Al has been a professional wrestler for close to twenty years and has trained other wrestling hopefuls in his native Lima, OH. He stressed all the different aspects that went into choosing the contestants, and wrestlers in general. Having a great body helps, but personality and coordination are just as important.
The other was Tazz, a fifteen-year veteran who used to train wrestlers for the now defunct Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW). Tazz is looking to illustrate in nine weeks what it takes a wrestler over ten years to do. In other words, he's looking to put them through hell. It was only the auditions and already he was cursing people out and running them down.
Then there were the contestants. I believe it was Obi-Wan Kenobi who said, "Never before has there been a more retched hive of scum and villainy." In keeping with Star Wars theme, lets start with the guys and gals who looked like Jabba the Hut. When Tazz stated that there were tons (pun intended) of people who had no business being shirtless in public thinking that they could be a professional wrestler...he wasn't kidding. Tazz was even insulted that people would audition in front of them as unprepared as many of the contestants were.
The personalities ranged from the girl who's life ambition was to pose for Playboy, to a guy who's brothers has fallen on the wrong side of the law...to an evil custodian and someone claiming to be Vince McMahon's bastard son. When it came down to choose the finalists, you saw the division in the judges. The WWF judges were looking for people who may actually have a shot at becoming a wrestler, or in one case a guy that Tazz really wanted to stretch in the ring. The MTV folks were looking for compelling TV drama. In other words...the next Puck.
In the end the thirteen finalist were chosen. They were (drumroll):
Darryl from MI
Nidia from TX (my pick to win)
Bobbie Jo from MA
Jason from MD
Victoria from CA
Shadrick from TX
Greg from PA (my other pick to win)
Chris Ni. from NC
Josh from IN
Maven from OR
Chris No. from MA
Taylor from WA
Paulina from CO
Hell begins next week.
John Brodigan is the Editor-in-Chief for Wrestling Bytes. For more great articles on wrestling, make sure you check it out!
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