|Tough Enough Report for August 23, 2001
Wow--what an episode..It focused mainly on the problems, both starkly real and imagined, of the guys of the house..and had a surprise ending, to boot.
It opened with the obligatory re-cap, revolving around Maven's mother, Josh and his homesickness for his girlfriend, and Psycho Chris' ineptitude in the ring (we hear the others admit that they are almost afraid to wrestle with him)..and, of course, with the departure of Greg last week.
The show begins with Psycho Chris on the phone--we learn that he has a new nickname in the house--"CK", standing for "Career Killer"; and hear him talk about all the mistakes he has made, and the injuries he has caused. We hear Harvard's thoughts on this,and I cannot blame him--he deems it 'unnacceptable' for 'CK' to 'screw up his chances'--and see what appears to be Tazz giving them both a talking-to in the ring.'CK' actually says that he is 'relaxed' with it (!)..and that he guesses that the nickname will stick.
At the Trax,in the middle of the action, who saunters in but..Mick Foley! There is a slo-motion look at the expression of wonder on Josh's face..can't blame him; and we hear the others' reactions to his visit. There is the usual little introductory montage--Foley looks good, I gotta say.
Tazz introduces Mick to all the kids with a little good-natured ribbing, and I cannot help but hope that Al gets in a good one or two..Tazz says that Mick 'came up the hard way', that 'nothing came easy' for him, and, of course, Foley says that was because 'he roomed with Al'--har, har..
Foley says that he heard that Triple H was pretty hard on them, about the business in general--and that he decided to take a different approach--'that he would be nice about it'..Good 'ol Mick..He goes on about it being a difficult business, and that there is 'nothing fun about being slammed and beaten', and he oughta know. He says that he remembers thinking 'what did I get myself into?'
CK pipes up saying that there are a 'few things that he hasn't mastered yet', and Mick very nicely puts him in his place, saying that it is not about how many moves you know, but how you use those moves in the ring..and tells him not to say that he doesn't need to learn anything, because he will be up against guys that DO know all the moves, hahah..
Al then suggests that they get into the ring, and that Foley doesn't actually have to 'do anything'--and that 'he will be happy that he doesn't have to do anything'--splat!--which is a fact he is sure is in Foley's new book (Al picks up the book, conveniently lying next to him on the apron)--which is 'on sale everywhere'--splat again!
We then hear the contestants' reactions to Mick, interspersed with some ring action, and some advice from Mick.
Then the bell rings..and it is time for Mick to go, and the contestants all hug him and thank him for his time, and off he goes.
Then, the really scary thing happens.
Al calls Ck into the ring for some practice, and we hear Ck talk about how Al has told him time and again to slow down mentally. They mix it up, and all seems to be going okay (if not a little sloppily on Ck's part), until CK totally flubs a move, and dangerously so.
In excruciating slow-motion, we see him too quickly anticipate the move, and his head sickeningly slips from Al's sure grip--and he ends up just sort of sliding down Al's back onto the mat.
It is then that Al snaps. Just snaps. He loses his temper (and rightfully so, although not pleasant to witness) and forces Ck's jaw into the mat and twists his arm and shoulder painfully around and up, all the while telling him in no uncertain terms--in a stilted, halting voice--what he has done wrong, and why it was wrong, and 'we will not do that again', because if Al had gotten hurt, he would have been 'a lot more upset then he is right now'(he does not let up on him, as the others silently watch), because 'how many weeks has Al told him not to do that'..CK whispers 'Six weeks', and AL repeats it.
We hear Al say that he lost his temper because of the fact that Ck is 'obviously' not listening to him, and that he risks injuring someone, namely him. He lets him up finally, and Ck walks away, shaken.
Al tells him not to make him have to tell him again.
We see Ck standing outside the ring, wincing in pain. Whoa...
Back at the house, we then see Josh on the phone with Jamie, and hear her asking him if he can 'still smell her in the room', to which he answers yes...he says he loves her.
We then see Maven receiving an email from his aunt, saying that his mom is not doing too well, and that she has been in the hospital for a week and a half..He says that his aunt won't sugarcoat things in regards to his mom's condition, so it must be pretty serious. We then see Maven and Josh sitting at the dining room table, talking it out--what an unenviable position for this kid to be in, what a horrible choice to have to make. Josh say that if Maven makes up his mind to leave, to let him know, and that he will pack his bags and go with him...we soon see how serious he really was.
Maven talks to his father, and then to 'Big' and Al, we find out that he has the option to leave for a couple of days to see how she is doing. They all agree that the most important thing to him is family---I agree, Maven. We see him then at the airport, on his way to see her.
The next day is apparently Friday, and 'Big' arrives at the house, for 'Scare Tactic Friday'--and they all are unsure of what is coming up.
It turns out to be indoor 'rock climbing at 'Go Vertical'--the first challenge on which they will be judged is to see who gets furthest up this outcrop on the wall..the second was to see who could scale a wall the fastest--we see them all doing this (it looks hard), and the winner is Josh--who gets two free pairs of Nike tennis shoes for his efforts. Nidia says how much his confidence has grown.
Then it is off the the Augusta Medical Center in Va--where Maven arrives to see his mother, bouquet of flowers in hand. She seems a sweet woman, made frail by the disease that is trying to claim her; and it is obvious how close they are, and how much they love each other.
Back at the house, the others are all saying how bored they are, and how much they miss Maven...and how they all had to adjust to his absence. Later, at a restaurant, they all make a slew of sweet and goofy cards for him-to be left on his bed for him to see upon his return.
Back at the housse, we see CK on the phone, rehashing his mistake and its consequences--and hear him say that he just does not feel that it is 'his time'...
We then see Josh saying how homesick he is, and hear him on the phone with his girlfriend. Amazingly, she tells him not to quit, and to talk to Maven when he gets back, and that Maven will 'settle him down'...
Then, back to the Medical Center with Maven, and we learn that there has been a 'situation', that his mom has taken a turn for the worse..and has been re-admitted...'Big' assures him that family is the most important thing, and to take all the time that he needs.
Then, it is back to the house, and more whining by Ck--that he is just not ready--and that they are trying to cram thirteen years of training and experience into a few short weeks..the girls stress that there is only three weeks to go..Josh says then that he just wants to go home...
We then see 'Big' arriving saying that he is starting to worry about Ck's and Josh's outlook, and decides it is time to talk to the house. He gives them all a pep talk, saying how they all have grown as men and women, and that negative things happen all the time, and it is how they react to it that determines what kind of men and women they truly are. Wise words, and you can see that they are sinking in.
The next morning, at the Trax, while they are all getting in their gear, AL pulls CK over to talk to himself and 'Big'. Ck says that 'he has lost something' since he has started, and---surprise! He quits! Al doesn't seem too broken up by it (neither was I), and says that if that is what he feels he must do, then that is what he must do, and that he has made the choice that is right for him..He tells him to say his goodbyes..he does just that, and we see him leaving, saying that he feels 'really clear in his head right now', and that now, 'he can smile'--along with a little annecdote about Shawn Michaels losing his smile...
Then--good news! Maven's mother has one more treatment, then is leaving the hospital that night, and we find out that the doctors have already signed her out(I knew that he was doing the right thing)--the chemo is finished and she can go home!
Maven arrives back at the house, and finds the letters from the other contestants.
Meanwhile, at the Trax, we see Al teaching them all a back body type of pin--over and over--no wonder he was injured while training them...
The others arrive home, and find Maven waiting on the steps..they all fill him in on CK's departure, and tell him how much they all missed him. He thanks them for their thoughts and prayers, and he and Josh have a little talk on the steps.
Maven stresses how his mother is not doing all that good still, and yet he came back. The show closes on them promising each other to stick it out, not to quit because of each other, no matter how hard it gets...That it is only two more weeks, only two more weeks...
We shall see.