NY Post Tough Enough Article



June 21, 2001 -- SORRY to say it, but I'm not on board with the wrestling craze that has apparently swept up everybody in the country but me.

That's because when I was growing up, admitting that you were a pro wrestling fan was the same thing as announcing that you were an idiot. Now, I doubt if you could make me a wrestling fan if you forced me at gunpoint to watch "Smackdown"every Thursday night for 30 consecutive weeks.

But this new wrestling series -- "WWF Tough Enough" --is a different story.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if I went out of my way to watch each and every episode.

That opinion is based on the quality of tonight's one-hour premiere --a co-production of MTV and the World Wrestling Federation.

First, the concept: Thirteen aspirants --eight men and five women --are chosen at tryouts held at the WWF restaurant in Times Square to participate in weeks of training toward becoming real WWF wrestlers.

Two of them will emerge from their ordeal with actual WWF contracts. They'll be revealed in a live episode of "Tough Enough" that will air following the series' 13-episode run.

Next week, the training begins at a special camp established on the grounds of an estate somewhere in Connecticut.

Tonight's episode, however, is all about the selection process, in which more than 200 contestants parade shirtless before a panel of judges who include MTV producers and WWF Superstars Tazz, Al Snow and Mick Foley.

Don't look for the pyrotechnics, costumes and choreography you're accustomed to seeing on the WWF. Instead, this show plays like a gritty documentary about the nature of fame and the lengths some people will go to get it --a subject that never ceses to astound.

When the hour was over, I decided I want to know what happens to the 13 contestants who were picked. And I hope to be watching their progress all summer long.