Tough Talk Recap: Come To Jesus, ZZ & Updates On The Eliminated

And, here we are at week 9, the penultimate episode of Tough Talk. Charisma trumps Physicality, thus Tanner is vanquished. However, the Yeti Nation is strong, with Josh (again) garnering more votes than ZZ.

I'm gonna be a little more brief tonight, as I want to do something a little different with my post. So, let's get to it!

  • We lead off with Tanner. He basically goes over what has been his weakness throughout the challenge, his lack of charisma (or at least the inability to express any in the ring). It eventually turns to a familiar theme: This is a popularity contest, and ZZ is lazy.
  • This leads to a face-off between ZZ and Tanner, and it pretty much covers the same ground their face-off last week went. But before ZZ can get on a roll and start spouting more ZZisms, Daniel Bryan speaks up.
  • Remember when I said ZZ has his Come To Jesus moment back in episode 7? Boy was I wrong! First Daniel puts ZZ over for being funny and coming up with his finisher, but then he says he's been watching ZZ at the Performance Center the past 2 days, and tells ZZ that he doesn't work half as hard as anyone left in the contest. He goes on to describe Tanner doing 50 inch box jumps, and Josh doing 54 inch box jumps, but ZZ would do a 20 inch box jump, walk around, do another, walk around, and so on. It's clear to him, as a judge, that ZZ isn't taking the cardio seriously. He understands Tanner's frustration, because he has the same frustration with ZZ: he has so many good qualities, but hasn't put in the necessary work to improve.
  • This is like that moment when you think you've made one of your parents mad, and you're expecting to get yelled at, but instead, they speak calmly to you and express their disappointment, and that ends up being so much worse to take. Paige basically says as much at this point.
  • Miz asks ZZ what he thinks about what Bryan just said. We start getting the same ZZ excuses regarding the gym and how the level of effort was more than he expected. Bryan goes overs what Jason Jordan goes through in a day at the Performance Center, and asks if ZZ really has the discipline to do that every single day.
  • ZZ says he does, and starts into his spiel, when Miz cuts him off and tells him flat out he's lying. He's lying to himself about what he needs to do to be a wrestler. Say he wins, then he goes to the Performance Center, where he'll have to work hard 7 days a week. Then, he'll move on to Raw and Smackdown, and the added hassle of travel is heaped on top of the hard work. Miz compliments him on coming up with his finisher, saying he has a good mind for this business, but it frustrates all of them that he doesn't improve himself physically.
  • Bryan pops back in and references the Dusty Rhodes comparison that He Who Shall Not Be Named, and points out that Dusty could go in the ring. ZZ has the personality, but he can't go.
  • He then goes on to say he really likes Tanner, and see he came from a similar background, and knowing how hard Tanner worked and trained for MMA, that he'd be able to live a wrestler's life. He goes on to say the reason he didn't save Tanner is that, because his own popularity with the WWE Universe got him to Main Event WM 30, he put his trust in them (to a certain extent).
  • The conclusion is all the judges telling ZZ not to take the voter's trust for granted.
  • From there we move on to the women. Apparently, Amanda has a bald spot. Also, apparently, she's not really a female dog, she just plays one in the barracks.
  • Catty Moment Of The Week: Amanda calls out Sara for not really being a nice girl, and outs her as a Ring Rat (which Paige goes over the moon for). Sara denies this.
  • Sara gets the lite version of what ZZ just went through. Basically, the judges grilled her on her slowness to pick up what she's being taught. When asked about what kind of character name would be, Sara said she'd just keep Sara Lee, to which Paige quips "You can't keep that, that's a cheescake!" After some more grilling, she finally says she'd be "Smyle" because everyone keeps giving her crap about smiling.

You know, ever since I've taken over doing the recaps, I've noticed that I've used ZZ's name in every single title. Either he's putting on a show for everyone to enjoy, or he's coming under fire for coasting through on his personality. I share the judges frustration with him. It's almost like he's a baseball pitcher who has AMAZING stuff, and all through high school and into college or the minor leagues, he's been able to get by on that stuff. But then he gets to the big league camp, and finds out that he can't "stuff" his way through anymore, but doesn't really put effort into learning how to pitch, even though combining that "stuff" with knowledge and control would make him a superstar.

This week, I thought I'd do something a little different. Since most of the people we liked and favored to win are gone, I thought I peek in on their Twitter accounts and see who is continuing to pursue becoming a pro wrestler.

Let's start off with Mada and Daria. Seems The Pharaoh & The Jersey Devil have teamed up and are training with THE Brian Kendrick!

Daria also works at, where she has been doing the Bar Rescue after-show podcasts recently. Looks like Mada will be doing their TE after-show podcast this week as well!

Gabi, who I thought was the least likely to actually pursue this post-elimination, is training, too!

Hank Avery seems to be doing some kind of training, but what exactly, I don't know. He's relatively inactive on the Twitter Machine

As we all know, Patrick and Chelsea both have Indy careers, which they have jumped back into. Here's a tweet from Mada, showing a little reunion happening in New Jersey in October.

As for GiGi, she has been making the rounds of various podcasts giving interviews. She's says she's been contacted by several schools in the US, but until she gets a visa worked out for that, she found a wrestler in Brisbane willing to help train her.

Finally, we have Alex. Alex has dropped his Tough Enough Twitter name in favor of @TheRussianFreak. His current handle isn't very active, but there's a tweet with a link to an interview he did for a podcast after his elimination.

So, it seems that all of the eliminated contestants have at least paid lip service to continuing to pursue a career as a wrestler, with Mada being the clear forerunner of those without previous experience. Again, completely surprised to see Gabi giving it a go, here's hoping she learns what a promo is! Alex and Hank's relative inactivity lead me to doubt if they're actually pursuing this very hard. With GiGi's elimination being only a week old, it's hard to gauge, but she's telling all who listen that she wants to do this and seems to be taking the first steps towards it.

Well, folks, I'll see you back here one last time to break down the aftermath of the Grand Finale! Until then, enjoy SummerSlam!

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