clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Tough Enough Episode 8 Recap & Reactions: Save Us, Y2J

Tough Enough may have had its best showing tonight.  Sure, the voting system will always be flawed, and there was some time killer filler in this episode including the fractured face that runs the place.  But all in and all, this show has come the closest to what Tough Enough should be:  Working in the ring.  The theme of the night was supposedly story telling, but it really could have been "How we should have used Chris Jericho the last 7 weeks."

The contestants returned to the barracks after last week's vote to find the Ayatollah of Rock and Rollah, Chris Jericho hanging out.  They drank together before getting woken up by him bright and early the next day.  Then they all made their way to the Performance Center for their one challenge of the week.  And that was to put on a match with a partner, really focusing on telling a story with that match.

Josh and ZZ put a match telling the simple Big Guy vs. Little Guy story.  The coaches were big fans of Josh but also complimentary of ZZ for being able to really tell that story.  Daniel Bryan later gave him a compliment talking about how ZZ really used his face to relay emotion.  The lovable Louisiana boy had a good showing this week, though it's clear Josh is the favorite of all the coaches.

Sara Lee and Amanda paired up for a match.  Their story was about the heel Amanda playing up that she think she's better than Sara due to her looks.  While the coaches liked Amanda, they (and especially Booker) were not happy about the fact that Sara Lee smiled too much.

Tanner and Gigi put on a match where she was supposed to play up the scorned ex-girlfriend.  Unfortunately, the crowd, which was made up of NXT stars, didn't know she was supposed to be working face until Jericho told them.  That came back to bite her hard at the end of the show.

This was maybe the most fun I had watching Tough Enough.  Jericho was excellent in the role of teacher.  He really got in there and worked with them, explaining things clearly to them but also in a way, clearly to the viewer.  Finally watching the contestants plan out and execute a match was enjoyable.  Of course this isn't something they could have done week one because the contestants had to learn a bunch to get this far.  This was the culmination of their journey.  But that doesn't mean they couldn't have shown them learning the basics to get to this point more often in the weeks prior.

However, there was only one challenge so there was plenty of time to kill.  So of course they sent out the ratings popper John Cena to... try to get ratings.  He really said little of importance.  In fact the most important part was seeing that his nose had been put back in place.  Cena did put over all the contestants for being brave enough to do all their learning and their failing on live television, which is a good point, but the overall segment is a waste of time.

What's more disappointing about that as their filler was what they could have used instead.  Chris Jericho spoke about this episode on his Talk Is Jericho podcast.  He said that he sat down with all the contestants and they watched Shawn Michaels vs. Jericho in the World Title ladder match.  As they did, Y2J broke it down from a storytelling stand point, explaining why they did what they did.  Seriously, how cool would that have been to get a glimpse of?  Hell, I'd watch a WWE Network show that they break down one match weekly.  But no.  Instead we get to see Cena in his new outfit.

At the end of the show, the bottom three were quite predictable.  Giorgia was nominated by Daniel Bryan again, this time for not playing her role correctly in her match with Tanner.  Tanner was nominated by Miz for not having enough personality.  And Sara Lee was nominated by Paige for overall not being very good.

Daniel Bryan opted not to use his save, and Gigi once again got the lowest amount of votes and was eliminated.

All nominations made sense.  It's just a shame that we're still putting a girl in the bottom three that should have gone home in the first few weeks.  Imagine if we still had guys like Mada and Patrick still around and gals like Chelsea and perhaps Daria.  What an exciting last few weeks it could have been with every little thing counting, with the smallest mistake ending up in an elimination.  Instead, the biggest flaw is not being Sara Lee and ZZ.

This show benefited from really focusing on the teaching, match planning, and more Jericho, but it still suffers from the same voting flaws that's plagued this show from week one.


Quick Hits from this Episode

  • For anyone curious, I voted for Tanner tonight.  I feel a bit guilty because I probably should have voted for Gigi, but I've grown to like Tanner.  While he's still working on his personality in ring, I do think he can get there.  It is a travesty that Giorgia is going home though.  She was the best of the women.
  • It is kind of sad to me that Sara Lee will likely win this for the women.  The only way she doesn't is if they allow the judges to vote part of the final two.  I'll admit I was a fan of hers for the first 4 or 5 weeks.  I even voted for her once to stay when I should not have.  But those days are long over.
  • So it turns out Jericho is the guy who says "You're still drinking right?" and doesn't accept no as an answer.  Man that guy is annoying.  But then again, if Jericho asked "You're still drinking right?" to me, then answer would most certainly be "Yes."
  • Poor Renee Young.  Her role on this show is so useless since this show does not need two judges.  But then again, it's a payday, so maybe I should be saying "Lucky Renee Young."
  • Loved seeing some NXT talent in the audience.  Bull Dempsey took a break from getting Bull-Fit to check it out, as did Solomon Crowe, who likely took a break from trying to hack himself onto the card.
  • I felt bad for both Amanda and Giorgia when they were just sitting there and reading all the mean tweets they got from people.  That stuff still baffles me.  Why tweet nasty stuff at people?  Why is it so hard not to be a douche?
  • So next week, all the guys are automatically in the bottom three, right?  The girls are likely locked until the final in two weeks.  If Daniel Bryan doesn't use his save, Tanner gets eliminated next week.  If Bryan saves Tanner, it could be a toss up between Josh and ZZ.  Josh is the only person to get more votes than the Gator Wrestler.

Coach Chew Out of the Week

Booker T has had it with Sara Lee.  I bet all the judges have had it with people who shouldn't be there continuing to come back.  But he let it rip tonight.  It gave Billy a week off.


That's Tough Enough for this week.  Did you guys enjoy this more wrestling based episode?  Sound off below.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats