The first episode of Tough Enough spotlights yelling, mud, a runny nose, and lots and lots of falling. Who will be the first contestant voted off? The answer will surprise you!
We enter the house to see the contestants relaxing. Some are on the phone. Chris is giving wrestling advice to whoever will listen, since he’s had a few months of training already. Darryl claims that the contract is his to lose, but it seems he’s caught a cold, probably from a baby on the flight to Connecticut. But he’s not going to tell anyone, he’s just going to work through it. Others show off their muscles in the hot tub. People are being awfully chummy. We need to see some back-stabbing and name-calling, or this might get kind of boring, right?
Day #1 – on the way to training, they discuss Victoria’s stunt career. She’s been thrown through a window and set on fire, but she’s mainly here to have fun. I don’t know about anyone else, but nine weeks of grueling training doesn’t really sound like my idea of fun.
Short video clips introduce our trainers; of course, I’ve already introduced you to them, so you’re a step ahead: Al Snow (complete with JOB Squad shirt), Tori, and Jacqueline (complete with attitude) “You will call me MISS JACKIE. There will be days where you won’t like me, but I don’t give a damn.” Well, that will just make it that much easier to make fun of her.
Training begins each day with calisthenics. After that, we get our first lesson: how to fall. You keep your chin tucked and throw your hips forward and your shoulders back at the same time. Al: “This will hurt. A LOT.” Darryl complains that Chris has an advantage with his experience, and while Chris falls perfectly, Darryl looks like a sack of potatoes. Victoria keeps hitting her head (keep that chin tucked!) and Al offers her a crash helmet. He notes that it will either come together tomorrow or she’ll be a vegetable.
Commercials. I only bring this up because my girlfriend Maria and her son Jon laugh hysterically at the Guitar Center commercial with the tagline “Next time don’t fall in love with a musician.” That’s good advice, kids, as Maria can attest to from her first marriage.
After training, they drive to WWF Corporate Headquarters to work out at the fitness center. John Gabruick insists that everyone follow his training program. If they want to do their own program, that’s fine, but they’ll have to do John’s program as well. Jason wants to improve John’s workout for him.
Back at the house, the word “pain” is mentioned a lot. And Darryl is still sick.
Day #2 – No one wants to get up. Darryl is sick. Maybe he caught it before he left, but he bets it was that baby on the airplane.
Today’s lesson is how to lock up “collar and elbow”. If you’ve seen it, you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, it’s impossible to explain except that you lock the other person’s collar and elbow. Chris keeps trying to show Maven the ‘right way’ to do it. Tori is understandably a little upset. They will do it the WWF way, and she’s not going to tell him again. Chris admits that she’s right, he’s been “dull headed.” Come on, Chris. I picked you to win, don’t wash out on me already.
Next the trainers take turns throwing the contestants down to the mat, as opposed to the contestants throwing themselves. Victoria can’t seem to keep her chin tucked, and hits her head pretty hard. She’s too dizzy to stand up. In the confessional (a locker room set), she admits she’s afraid she might hurt herself. No, really, you think?
They go to work out at the fitness center, and this time Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley is there. Maven nearly slips on a puddle of his own drool. After the workout, Steph finds Victoria and asks about her rough day. Steph tells Victoria not to worry, that she did the same thing when SHE was training. Quite a nice little segment there.
Day #3 – They now do a front somersault-handstand and fall on their back. Victoria keeps trying, and finally, she gets it right and everybody applauds. Various trainers and contestants testify to Victoria’s strength and courage. Al ends the session by asking if they feel good. You do? “You won’t tomorrow.”
Oh, in case you were wondering, Darryl is still sick. They go to eat at Druid’s Restaurant, where apparently they have steaks, but no baked potato or fat-free salad dressings. Good choice for dinner for people in training.
Day #4 – No training scheduled. Jon points out that the key word here is “scheduled.” Sure enough, Tazz drives up to the house, causing Jason and Chris to wet the bed in fright, “Oh, crap. He’s gonna kill us.” Tazz tears through the house, waking everybody up and trying to get them to dress as quickly as possible. He throws the sheets off of already-made beds and, for the coup de grace, rips a poster of WCW wrestler Goldberg off the wall. We never see whose poster it was, but that was a pretty stupid move, seeing as how Goldberg is seen by most wrestlers as a wanna-be.
Tazz has to go back upstairs to get Darryl, who complains that he’s sick. Boy, for someone who didn’t want to tell anyone he was sick, he sure whines about it a lot.
They all assemble downstairs, dressed in long underwear. Before leaving, Tazz gives everyone a pep talk, telling them that he will give exactly as much respect as he gets. If anyone mouths off, it will be the worst mistake they ever make. “If you don’t believe in God, start.” We love Tazz.
We arrive at the Stamford Museum and Nature Center, where we get to see our thirteen contestants wrestle in a pig sty. No, really. One person will protect an orange cone in the middle of the mud pit, the other person will try to get to the cone. No punching, kicking, eye-gouging, or hair pulling, and it’s all done from the knees. We see quick cuts of various contestants failing to reach the cone. Bobbie Jo beats Victoria to the cone, and Tazz advises Victoria to go for the legs. Victoria then beats Bobbie Jo with ease. Tazz screams at Darryl, who isn’t showing much effort. I wonder if he’s sick or something. Pauline falls onto a rock and hurts her knee.
It’s time to clean off and take a nice, brisk walk back to the house. Of course, Darryl lags behind, and we get a tremendous high-quality dressing-down from Tazz; “You want to be a star, but you wanna half-ass it, huh? You’ve got no respect for yourself, the WWF, for me…don’t give me that hard look. You think you’re a bad-ass? You can’t even run a mile! Just TRY ME, Darryl, I’ll kick your ass!”
Greg goes into the confessional. Darryl is getting to him because, while he’s the oldest one in the house, he’s acting like a three-year old. To prove the point, Darryl starts kicking at the ground like a baseball manager fighting with an umpire, throwing a tantrum on the way home from the mud pit.
We end the episode with some reaction from the contestants. Nidia is upset. She thought they were supposed to work out and come home and relax. Poor thing. Jason has a huge pus ball just under his knee. Eww. Darryl is – wow, you’re not going to believe this, but Darryl is sick. I’m just as shocked as you are. You think he would have mentioned it to someone by now! Pauline is worried about her knee. And to close out the show, Victoria can’t believe how hard it is. She’s not sure she likes it.
So…nobody got kicked off? That’s different. Although I kind of like it, it gives us a chance to see everyone a little bit, as well as giving all the contestants a little time to get used to the routine before someone gets booted.
Next week: Triple H (Hunter Hearst Helmsley)! Will he kick Maven’s ass for the way he looked at his ‘wife’ Stephanie? Tune in and find out.
I’d like to thank everyone who gave me feedback last week, and I’d like to hear from EVERYBODY this week. Who do you think will be the first contestant kicked out and why? The obvious choice is Darryl, but I’d like to think they aren’t making it quite that easy to figure out. Send your predictions to email@example.com. I’m sticking with Bobbie Jo, for no good reason, although something is telling me that the first person out will quit rather than be voted out.
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