WWF Tough Enough 2: Post-Finale Updateby Mike DeGeorge & Dale Sherman -- 07/10/2002
I wasn’t planning on doing a news update this quickly, but there have been some MAJOR developments for the Tough Enough winners that I feel you need to know about.
First, the Tough Enough 2 winners Jackie and Linda are wasting no time in getting into the ring. Both made a brief appearance in the first hour of Smackdown this Thursday. It amounted to setting up a match between Linda and Ivory on this week’s WWE Velocity, which airs on TNN Saturday at 10 Eastern. Skip the next two paragraphs if you don’t want to know what happens.
Linda was accompanied to the ring by Jackie. Linda appeared to have the match in hand when Jackie interfered, pushing Linda off the top rope and costing her the win. After the match, Ivory and Jackie run up the ramp together while Al Snow comes to Linda’s aid.
Personally, I’m hoping that they’ll make Jackie’s character pissed off that no one thinks she deserved to win the contract, and determined to prove herself. Of course, this being wrestling, that would mean cheating and taking every shortcut imaginable. It’s not the best angle, but I think it’s the best way to turn around the bad situation that choosing Jackie has placed them into.
In other news, as I suspected, Maven’s leg injury (which will keep him out of the ring 4 to 6 weeks) will not stop him from appearing on Smackdown in non-wrestling capabilities. The WWE has acknowledged Maven’s injury as occurring in the match, but they claim it happened when Tajiri knocked Maven off the top rope at the end. Hey, Steve Austin didn’t cause Chris Benoit’s neck injury either, but they worked it into the story.
Anyway, on Thursday’s Smackdown, Torrie visits Maven in the hospital. Oral sex is heavily implied, and the segment ends with Tajiri bursting into the hospital room (after any activity between Maven and Torrie is completed, incidentally) and beating up Maven.
Considering we’re enduring puke and urine angles on Raw, I think Maven got a pretty good angle for himself. Incidentally, Maven’s appearance got a thunderous response from the audience.
Also on Smackdown, we see the reappearance of Nidia! Her role comes into play with an ongoing storyline for wrestler, Hurricane Helms. As mentioned in a previous TE2 report, Helms is established on Smackdown as a superhero (or so the character believes himself to be). During the past three weeks, Hurricane had been stalked by an unknown party who kept leaving him clues. This week, it was revealed to be Nidia. Furthermore, it was established that Nidia and Helms had been involved in a way that wouldn’t surprise Torrie and Maven, if you catch the drift, before he became Hurricane Helms. Nidia makes fun of his superhero role, states that she’ll never forgive Hurricane for dumping her and swears that her new boyfriend, incoming WWE wrestler Jaime Knoble, will take the Cruiserweight Belt away from Helms soon. Upon saying this, Knoble jumps Hurricane. Nidia and Knoble passionately embrace and then run off as Hurricane lies in a painful heap in the corner.
From the standpoint of Dale Sherman (who wrote about Nidia’s match in April at OVW), this was a tremendous leap forward for Nidia. Not only has she finally made the jump to the WWE, but she is appearing in a “heel” role that Dale believes suited her talents more than the “babyface” role she was using when working in OVW. Both of us wish her luck in the new role, especially as there are hints she may be facing off against the new TE2 champion soon as well.
Finally, one of my sources attended the final episode of TE2 LIVE at The World restaurant in Times Square, and here’s a little exclusive information from the scene.
First off, you weren’t imagining those boos when Jackie’s name was announced, but most of them came from Jake’s table. Most of his family and friends assumed it was his name Stacey was announcing, not Jackie’s. Jake obviously thought the same as he started to get up before he realized what happened. The cheers from Jake’s table quickly turned into loud boos, which may have explained the stern face on Al Snow as he interviewed Jake shortly afterward.
I should also point out here that Jackie got a LOUD round of boos from the live Dallas crowd when the Tough Enough finale recap was shown at the live Raw event. According to some live reports I’ve seen, they had to have turned off the house mics because Jackie got some of the loudest boos of the night.
After the TV cameras stopped, all the attendees (mostly trainers, production crew, WWE writers, staff, contestants, and friends and family thereof) stayed at The World for a long night of pigging out on a huge buffet and partying. Even though Kenny and Jake didn’t win, they stayed and partied hard until the wee hours right alongside Linda and Jackie.
There’s a lot more to the Tough Enough 2 story… at this point, I’m not sure how much of the story I can tell. So please, keep checking in with RealityNewsOnline (and sign up for the free email updates) and I’ll hopefully have a LOT more juicy stuff for you in the coming weeks.
E-mail Mike at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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