|WWF Tough Enough!
Location:MTV - Stamford, Ct.
Date:Thursday, June 21, 2001
Report by:Mark Roth
TOUGH ENOUGH CAST NEWS AND REPORT
This is a break down of the cast for "Tough Enough": Darryl 25, 6'7 336 lbs (Michigan), Chris Ni. 23, 5'11 200 lbs (North Carolina), Josh 20 5'9 143 lbs (Indiana), Maven 24 6'2 215 lbs (Oregon), Chris No. 22 6'5 270 lbs (Massachusetts), Greg 22 6'2 225 lbs (Pennsylvania), Shadrick 20 6'1 212 lbs (Texas), Jason 23 6'1 240 lbs (Maryland), Nidia 21 5'5 123 lbs (Texas), Bobbie Jo 23 5'4 130 lbs (Massachusetts), Victoria 21 5'5 117 lbs (California), Taylor 21 5'2 125 lbs (Washington), and Paulina 24 6'3 185 lbs (Colorado).
It began with a vignette on WWF RAW IS WAR asking fans to send video footage in as an application method for WWF TOUGH ENOUGH.
Over 4,000 fans sitting at home watching the WWF Telecast plugging this show at that point decided they were TOUGH ENOUGH!
Out of the 4,000 video applications, WWFE narrowed it down to 230!! On Thursday morning, and video taped for the world on Tough Enough, MTV and WWFE further narrowed the 230 figure down to 25.
The judges for the show were MTV Executives, and WWF Superstars. Al Snow, Tazz, and Jacqueline amongst them from the WWFE roster.
AT the WWFNY facilities a narrow table was set up and the judge were all seated behind this table facing a WWFE Wrestling ring. The ring was set up so the 230 applicant's could be center stage for this new portion of the contest. It was to cut the field from 230 down to 25 applicant's.
"I'm looking at their dedication, personality and their physique," said Al Snow.
It became painfully obvious during the first opening minutes that an abundance of the applicant's had come unprepared and out of shape. A humorous moment or two eventually turned in to being annoying by the lack of preparation and dedication to their dream's.
"There are a lot of dreamers sitting at home on the couch watching TV, not doing anything about it," Al Snow added. "As a result of that, they come here and they arn't ready." Al Snow concluded. One very unprepared out of shape applicant fell during the exercises and Tazz was shown cracking up at the Judges table. Tazz then took center stage and asked why he thought he had what it took to enter a competition such as this (physically).
"I have the drive and determination, I have the endurance..." Robert McCarthy 23 answered but before he could conclude his answer, Tazz interrupted him, "You just fell touching the bottom rope. You are in atrocious condition. I just don't understand how you can come that unprepared."
Tazz's words set the tone for the next few moments of the show, with the Judges looks of humor turning to sour disgust at seeing more and more unprepared and out of shape applicant's. Some couldn't do most of the exercises or didn't even attempt too.
It was clear the Judges were not simply looking for great bodies and were also looking for Charisma. So each applicant was given the mic for 30 seconds to demonstrate what he or she could do with it. This wasn't designed to have the men and women breaking in to a character to impress the Judges, yet only to see if the applicant's had great Charisma and ability to get himself or herself over.
Most of the applicant's screamed and yelled and some even cried with this opportunity to explain why they were worthy to become WWF Stars and be amongst the final 25. Others decided to put on a show and to reveal their home made character's for the Judges and world to see.
Two that stick out in my mind which were great were Vince McMahon's illegitimate son and "The Evil Custodian". Those damned McMahon's! I knew they couldn't go one show without booking themselves on it!
"Charisma is a very important factor, It's not something you can learn. You can learn and develop a personality, but you have to have that innate charisma." said Snow explaining why this portion was a very crucial point in the contest.
Contestant Number 48 was up next. It was his time to shine and take center stage in front of the Judges. Christian Nifong was #48, and removed his shirt quickly to impress the Judges. Jacqueline was not shy about how she liked what she saw, but wanted to see more.
"You've got a nice body. Can you take off your pants? I want to see your legs," Jacqueline asked. The crowd hooted and hollered at this request of a young man dropping his drawers for Jacqueline. "If you want me to do that, I'll do it." Christian answer but seemed a little shaken by the request.
"Then take them off," Jackie called back. The pants were down around his ankles and soon Christian was posing! Tazz made a comment that he had not seen legs like that since he saw some hanging out of a bird's nest. All the Judges chuckled.
"You seem pretty out of breath after jumping rope for 30 seconds. You didn't know that you were going to be doing physical stuff?," Tazz questioned the next applicant Nidia Guenard.
Nidia began to snap back at Tazz but Jacqueline interrupted her, "Do you think you can hang with me? You and your pot belly!" Nidia put her hand to her stomach and pointed at Jackie and said, "I'll lose the pot belly, and it's on! Me and you!" This seemed to impress a couple of the Judges and the young 21 year old seemed to have captured the imaginations of the Judges.
Tazz made it clear he would be damned if he was going to disqualify men and women for having a lack of size, because he was told when he was breaking in to the business that he was 'too small'. They had a segment with another contestant Josh Lomberger, 20, his father said "He went out and bought a ring, Unfortunately for me, it ended up in my backyard." "He's probably the smallest guy out there," remarked Josh's mom about his chances of making the cut. "I'm a small guy; I'm 5 foot-9. All my career people told me that I wouldn't make it. I'll be damned if I'm gonna look at someone and tell them that they are too small," Tazz exclaimed.
Another star was born by chance which captured the eyes of the Judge panel. Maven Huffman entered center stage to demonstrate what he has the ability to do with the microphone and he paused and smile and he looked at Jacqueline who had smiled at him, and winked.
"He just winked at Jacqueline," Tazz exclaimed and began laughing. A video replay of Maven winking at Jacqueline was shown again and most of the Judges burst out laughing as well.
Maven smiled. His eyes flashed from Jackie to Tazz. "It's been a dream of mine for years," Maven explained.
"I'll tell you what," Tazz smiled. "You get picked, you might get more of Jackie than you want."
Out of nowhere, the miserable Tazz re-surfaced. This time with the world as his forum on MTV, and a very good reason to be miserable!! Tazz spent most of his career being told by promoter's that he would never make 'it' because he was 'too small'. Tazz spent years trying to get in to WWFE and it took him a decade to finally get to WWFE.
Now Tazz is a part of this show, which is going to give two talents WWFE contracts right off the bat. Tazz has made it clear that he is pissed off about this, and isn't going to make it "easy" for any of these applicant's. This was apparent with what happened next.
"You people are here for a reason, You are lucky to be here. From what I'm hearing, you are already bitching. If you're gonna bitch and your gonna moan, then get your stuff and get out! You wanna be a big star? You're gonna pay." Tazz informed the applicant's remaining in the "green room" waiting for their auditions. There was a girl sleeping on a couch which caught Tazz's eye and the sight set him off, "Hey honey," he yelled at her. "Am I boring you? Why don't you take your glamour ass and get out!"
"Some of these people think that we are here to cater to them. This is not going to be a cakewalk. Sure, the winner gets a Federation contract, but they need to work for it. It took me ten years just to get into the World Wrestling Federation. They are going to have it a lot easier than I did. If they don't think I'm gonna be bitter and hostile, if you don't think I'm gonna exploit that anger on these people physically, verbally and emotionally, I'm telling you now - I'm gonna beat them down."
The stage was finally set, and the auditions were completed. It's SHOWTIME!
After 13 hours of grueling auditions, the 230 hopefuls was set to be reduced to 25. The list was posted on the outside door of WWFNY and the applicant's all waiting outside in line were able to see if they were on the final 25 or not.
SECOND ROUND OF AUDITIONS This would consist of a complete physical given by a WWF Doctor, and an interview with a representative of the MTV staff. Each contestant was informed the best chance to make this cut was to be themselves.
After the interviews the Judges went back and forth over the choices for the 13 cast members. We saw the process play out for us, and a lot of the decisions made for the final 13 members played out before our very eyes on TOUGH ENOUGH.
Darryl a favorite of mine made it by the skin of his teeth barely!
But unfortunately my second favorite Greg didn't make the cut, and I thought he had the most Charisma of most of the applicant's. This showed how TOUGH it was to make the final 13.
Stephanie McMahon Helmsley was on next with the list of the 13 names which would comprise the first TOUGH ENOUGH cast. "You have no idea how far your bodies are going to be pushed in the next few weeks, You are going to be so bruised and beaten that you won't know if you can get up the next morning. You will find out just what you are made of. And we'll find out which one of you is tough enough." was a warning Stephanie gave to the 25 applicant's before announcing those final 13 members.
Those who were announced as being on the cast were to walk up to the stage. Some of them were surprised they had made it, and others at the same moment were perplexed and upset they didn't make it. This allowed us to see some of the rejected applicant's crying because it ended their 'dream' and the one's that made it celebrating.
Greg was on his way home, that was the breaks. He was upset and he commented on it being a let down but that was that. Actually he was upset about it, but wasn't going to let it end his life. Even when he was not selected he still proved he had more stability and had an abundance of "what it takes" to be a WWFE superstar in my opinion.
All of the 13 cast members were informed to meet at this house and given the exact date and time to be there. Next we get to see a few of them packing in preparation and saying goodbye to their loved one's and family members.
The morning arrived, and so did the cast members. They were greeted by a hand written note on the front door "Wait outside until all 13 arrive."
This was Stamford, Connecticut! This was SNOWLAND by now, and the cast members were cold and nervous. But they had to wait outside in the COLD until the last member arrived. They counted and twelve had arrived, but the 13th was missing.
Finally after a considerably long wait, a hummer pulled up. And it was met with the 12 members in unison cat calling the word "HUMMER!" expecting this was the final cast member arriving.
Instead it was "Big" John Gaburick WWFE Talent Manager in the hummer and he got out and asked them if they were all present. They all at that point informed him one was missing, and Gaburick informed them "Tom (the no-show) had second thoughts when it came to signing on the dotted line, so we needed 13, and we brought back Greg."
"I was the last one picked, and I was the last one to get there. It was a special feeling." commented Greg. Greg also said it was great being able to make an entrance like he did out of nowhere, because it made it seem that much more special. Greg is my odds on favorite with this contest, and I have a feeling he is the one who will win.
All the contestant's were brought in to the house, which is beyond just being NICE. These contestant's have it good. They were told it was a competition and not to forget that. They would be starting at 8:30 the next morning with their training and the next stage. They would be given 24 hours notice before they are cut and the training would last for 9 weeks. They would be taken for Physical and Mental tests the next morning. And they were given their room assignment's and the first show was in the books.
Female: Bobby Jo, Nidia, Paulina, Taylor and Victoria.
Males: Chris Ni., Chris No., Darryl, Greg, Jason, Josh, Maven, and Shadrick.