|Tough Enough 3--01/09/03
Hey, guys..Welcome to this week's Tough Enough 3..It is quite a show, so let's jump right into it. They begin with the recap/teaser, focusing on Justin's departure; reiterating the grand tradition of 'ribbing' in the biz..and hinting at ribs to come.
Opening at Trax W, they file in for a day of work, realizing that they are now down to the 'Final Five'. Ivory tells us that the main thing, as a trainer, that they have to bear in mind is--If they took one of the kids 'down the ramp' and in front of an audience-would they survive five minutes in the ring? The contestants are shown mixing it up in a big way--and you can see that it is really beginning to gel. 'Who decides who is tough enough? That individual decides', says Bill.
'Big' sits them down and tells them that he has a special treat for them that day. He has brought along some friends..First up is Miss Jaqueline, bursting through a black curtain. Then comes Chavo. Then Bob Holly. Matt says that when Bob came in (given his reputation), they all 'sat up a little straighter'. Bob tells them that he is glad to meet them all--and wants to see what they got. They are told that they are going to have a match..but not with the trainers..no..the curtains burst open again to reveal some past Tough Enough Alumni---Maven, Nidia, Jackie, Linda, and Harvard. Oh, my. Everyone is properly agog. Especially Jamie..who is introduced to Maven by Al..he asks her if she has something to tell Maven..and in a totally hammy-shy voice, she stammers, 'I like you.' Al is lovin' it, hahah...Maven good-naturedly hugs her. Eyes buggin'-a-plenty, she tells us how she was teased for being not simply red, but 'purple'.
Harvard tells the contestants that they actually have more in common with him than with the others, as three of them aren't going to win. Good point. (That has gotta feel great to the guy, last laugh and all that) He also tells the future losers that it will probably be the hardest day of their life, and that, 'I t'll crush ya.' Maven tells them that coming in, all he wanted was a chance. And that Chris was the same way. And now look--he won, but Harvard is on every Raw..every week. And even if it does not work out now, to keep up with it.
Next, they are divided into two teams..The Cast of Tough Enough One and Two VS. The Cast of Tough Enough Three (With Al in a Referee shirt). And the insanity begins. It looks like they are all having a h*lluva good time in there. I note that there is a lot of Harvard, Maven and Nidia shown..but um..not a whole lot of Linda and Jackie..Hmm. Harvard nails Jamie a good clothesline..and she is knocked a bit loopy, but recovers to fly off the top rope, landing a crossbody on Maven for the pin. Everyone is revved up, yelling and screaming, the adrenalin is a-pumping. Bill says that that was the best time he had watching the kids in the ring, as it was apparent that they enjoyed what they were doing, and got to see the kids that came before them. Many happy, sweaty hugs in the ring.
Next up is a Four Man Tag..With Bob Holly, Bill, Jonah and Eric VS. Al, Chavo, Matt and John. Now it gets REALLY crazy. Jamie tells us that she is watching the match..and it is going really well, and everyone is hyped up..until Bob Holly steps into the ring. They show him stepping into the ring in slo-motion, so you just know something is about to happen. Da-Da-Da-DUM. And it suddenly is not so much fun anymore, as he proceeds to beat the living daylights out of Matt. Really. (I guess, for Bob Holly, he went easy on him..) John gives us the play-by-play as Bob pummels, chops and kicks Matt, finally tossing his limp form into the corner. There is another slo-motion sequence, so we are sure to see Bob's boot go CRUNCH into Matt's unwary jaw..and then, SPLAT into his left eye. Ouch. The others are shocked as Matt is shown in a headlock; eye swollen and lip bleeding. Matt is shown being dragged up from the mat's surface by his hair. Then..right into a commercial break.
Whe n they return, the beating is replayed; this time with commentary from Matt himself and Eric. Matt just says that Bob was 'pretty relentless'. Eric stresses how confused they all were by this (Didn't they watch the second season? At all?). Good 'ol Bob comes on to defend himself, saying, 'I'm being rough for a reason. Not because I wanna be. Not because I can; but I'm trying to teach them that wrestling is not an easy game.' Uh huh. Matt comes on again to tell us that he was taken off-guard, but that he knew that he had to get through it; because he may be in that situation in front of 30,000 people some day, and will have to finish. Al is shown looking a little nervous, telling Bob to, 'Leave him alive!'. Matt is finally able to tag John in, and is shown crawling out of the ring, a bit worse for wear. Eric expresses the shock felt by all of them. Al gingerly touches the corner of Matt's eye, and off-camera tells us, that, 'Matt will hopefully learn what he is really made of, and will not let this break him..he will not quit.' Eric is eventually announced as the winner..Al does the job, of course.
As a credit to his character, Matt makes his way to Bob after the match and shakes his hand, thanking him. He says that he knew that he had to pull himself together and be responsible and act respectfully. Good man, that Matt.
Back at the house, night is falling. Jamie tells us that is obvious that Matt was still 'out of it'..meaning in a pensive mood, I guess. She tries to talk to Matt, to no avail; and she is at a loss as to how to repay his past kindness towards her. She admits that she feels lost in trying to 'take care of him'. They then all go out to dinner; but Matt does not join in, is still subdued. Everyone is concerned. 'Big' toasts everyone..a toast to the last week of the contest. Bill tells Matt that Bob did not try to 'turn it up to take advantage or take liberties', but that 'that's Bob..all day long.' Al nods sympathetically, then tells us very seriously, 'If Matt cannot learn to deal with this situation appropriately, then Matt doesn't belong in this business..Because he's gonna run into it..again..and again..and again..' All too true. After dinner, Matt begs off, saying that he is tired. He is shown climbing into bed.
The others, however, are all running around..on hyper-alert for pranks. They are shown looking repeatedly outside, tying doorknobs shut, and planting water balloons. Eric tells us that Al has repeatedly said that he will be 'visiting them'..and that they mean to be ready. They try to form a plan, and then go to sleep.
Next morning arives, and Matt is in no better frame of mind. He tells them that he felt that his trust was abused in the ring. Jonah tries to talk to him, but fails to connect. Fearing the worst, he calls Bill to have Bill come and talk to Matt. Bill arrives, and sits them all down, and drops the wall between trainer and pupil, and talks to them simply as a friend. (I like this side of Bill.) He tells Matt that when he stood up and shook Bob's hand, Matt earned his respect, 'that much more'. He also tells Matt that the next time Matt meets up with Bob--to RUN! Hahah, no---that Bob will shake HIS hand, and that it 'will be genuine'. He tells Matt, that, whether he understands it or not--he has just put himself at 'their level'. Matt comes in and counters that maybe he did (shaking Bob's hand) what was right for him 'in the business', but that what he did was not right 'for himself'. Bill tells him that there will be plenty of 'Bleeps' that will push your buttons, and that you will want to kill them, 'because, as a man--I've swallowed more than my share', and that it is the 'bigger man that swallows 'Bleep' that he doesn't wanna swallow'. The look on Bill's face is intense as he says this. He goes on to say that it can either beat one, or one can beat it. Big 'ol Bill pats the couch cushion next to him; Matt slides over and gets a heartfelt arm across the shoulder. Deep stuff. Bill tells us at home that when Matt he als up, he will have learnt the most important lesson. Matt finished. Matt shook Bob's hand. They are then shown in a little one-on-one, with Bob telling Matt, 'You stay with what you believe. You're the kind of kid that draws people to you.' Ending it all with a hug.
Incredibly, right in the midst of this emotionally charged scene, Bill receives an important phone call that he must take. He leaves the room, and when he comes back, the big man is in tears.
The phone call he had received was from Chavo; calling with the news that the man that had brought Bill into the business, one Rocco Rock..had died. In the ring. Of a heart attack, at a show. Bill is in pieces. The kids are stunned, and so was I. (I remember reading this..rest in peace, man.) He tells the kids, 'So you remember what you're doing, and the fine people that are with you, and you remember why you are doing it; because you don't know from one day to the next.' Just a humbling moment; and I feel a bit intrusive..watching it on television with the rest of the world. He gets a group hug, then says, 'I gotta get outta here, I got phone calls to make. But you remember.' He is shown driving away.
Next they are shown filing into Trax W, and are told that there will be another special guest. Bill is notably absent. It is Shawn Michaels. A suitable montage is shown; and he tells them that (God willing, of course) they will live a long life, and that wrestling is just 'that much' (pinching his fingers to show a tiny space) of it. He also says that God places people in one's path, and that sometimes they are aware of it..sometimes not. Mentioning his faith so many times, and stressing that there is 'so much more', as well as telling them to enjoy it (wrestling) and have fun with it--really gave Matt a fresh perspective. The others, too, I expect. He shakes their hands and leaves...??? Okay.
Next scene is nighttime...and a raid of the house is underway...It looks to be 'Big', Al and Bill. They are armed with Supersoakers..and it is a massacre. Jonah tried in vain to cover his head, and Eric is seen getting in a water balloon..and somehow gets ahold of a water gun, as well. He blows a whistle, the signal to awaken Matt and Jamie..Jamie runs outside to turn on the hose, and nails the perps as they try to escape. Eric lobs balloons *right* in Al's face, but Al keeps on soaking him. The house is a total mess, and it appears that Silly String is somehow involved. Jonah admits that they were 'killed' (poor choice of words), and that it lasted about an hour. They are laughing about it, when they notice that Matt is gone. Uh oh.
Ah-ha! It appears that he had planned to steal their car..but 'Big' had taken the keys...he is discovered hiding in the back seat---and he, too, is soaked to the skin. Good times. Al and Bill mock them, and the house is shown in all it's glory..Matt comes on to wrap, saying that he understands more of what being in the WWE is all about...Bonds that last forever. The contestants vow revenge, of course..but I guess we'll see..
Until next week (you know the drill)...fade to black