Trivia / WWE Tough Enough

  • Channel Hop: Went from MTV, to UPN, to USA Network.
  • Contractual Purity:
    • It's theorized that one of the reasons Luke Robinson was not offered a contract was because videos had been found of him in a fetish wrestling league.
    • Similarily, Gabi from Season 6 had been banned from being offered a contract due to her past as a stripper and an escort, the latter she may have been doing up until she got onto the show. She'd later show up in TNA as the new Knockout Raquel.
  • Creator Backlash: Ivory wasn't too fond of doing the show. She joked that whenever she went off to do it, there would always be bad luck backstage when she returned.
  • Deleted Scene: There were a handful in Season 5:
    • The first episode features Matt bumping into CM Punk while working backstage. The two are good friends from their years in the indies together.
    • Matt claims he set himself on fire while in the house.
    • Trish Stratus took the contestants for a Yoga practice. Luke notably struggled with it while Christina was noted as a stand-out. This explains why Trish and Christina were practicing privately in a later episode.
  • Fan Nickname: Diva Dirt liked to give Rima a new nickname every week. This included "Miss Ghetto USA" and "Miss Late USA".
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: Thanks to WWE's Unpersoning of Hulk Hogan due to revelations of him making numerous racist remarks, the first half of Season 6 suffers from this. Only the full episodes of Week 6 onwards are on WWE's YouTube channel and only clips from the previous episodes that didn't have Hogan in it, namely the non-studio segments, have remained.
  • Name's the Same: Eric Watts is the contestant who competed in Season 5 of Tough Enough. Erik Watts is a wrestler who is best known for his appearance in WCW in the early '90s. No relation.
  • Paying Their Dues: There are a lot of rants on the show to the contestants about how doing this competition means they're bypassing this, which is why it's so hard. None of the trainers will sugarcoat it, and it's a sentiment shared by everyone who visits. Even after the show, you're not guaranteed a spot on the main roster and are still subject to locker room etiquette.note  Josh Bredl, the male winner of Season 6, got massive heat from both the fans and the locker room for a deleted tweet tagging the Social Outcasts (Heath Slater, Curtis Axel, Bo Dallas, and Adam Rose) as "#SocialJobbers". Regardless of their position on the card, those men spent years in developmental and earned their spot, while Bredl had only won Tough Enough, has been in the Performance Center for all of six months, and hadn't even debuted on NXT yet. Several wrestlers chastised him on Twitter and Cody Rhodes outright told him that he was banned from the locker room.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot:
    • Matt Cappotelli, who was a heavyweight champion for WWE's then indy brand, OVW, had his career cut short due to him being diagnosed with Astrocytoma, and the surgery and chemo that followed. He had been at OVW from 2004 to 2007 and released from his contract in 2009, never even reaching WWE again.
    • During a routine kick-out drill, Martin (Season 5) fractured his foot, and was ordered by his doctor to withdraw from the show. Up to that point, Martin had won three skill challenges in a row, and was unquestionably one of the favorites to win the show. It's also worth noting that Martin was pointedly never forced to give Stone Cold his belt to signify his elimination, he was instead asked to hang up his belt on his own, with Stone Cold noting that he was indeed "Tough Enough", save for this unforeseen injury. Ivelisse, who was also injured, was not given this distinction when she was eliminated.
    • Dianna (Season 6) left the show in what initially appeared to a Screw This, I'm Outta Here! moment because she missed her fiancé. In a follow up interview, Dianna revealed that the real reason why she left was due to one of her friends being paralyzed during a fight at her bar.
    • Hulk Hogan was fired by WWE after his racist remarks became public. As a result, he was removed as one of the judges of Season 6. Going one step further, Hogan's appearance on the show, as well as his removal, was not mentioned or referenced at all.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Ariane got this once she gained a spot as one of Brodus Clay's dancers, eventually graduating to a wrestling role and landing a spot on the hit reality series Total Divas.
  • Role Ending Misdemeanor:
    • Lisa was dropped from the Season 3 cast after suffering a psychotic breakdown. None of this was shown on TV and the rest of the contestants were just told she decided wrestling wasn't the right career for her.
    • Hulk Hogan was fired as a judge on Season 6 and replaced with The Miz after racist remarks he made years earlier became public.
  • Sequel Gap: After the 2011 revival, a follow-up season was proposed as soon as that one ended. However, it didn't happen until 2015.
  • Star-Making Role: For Ariane (see above) and Ivelisse - who was in the company for several months as Sofia Cortez but enjoyed more high profile bookings after her release.
  • Troubled Production: Season 2. The training was going so badly, fans theorized that "these kids aren't ready" should have been the show's tagline. And that's not to mention the debacle that was the finale.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Michelle McCool filled out papers for the first season but chickened out and never sent them. Three years later, she was hired after taking part in the 2004 Diva Search. Additionally, McCool was rumored to be one of the trainers for Season 6, as she had just retired from wrestling. Likely due to the four year gap between seasons, the role went to Lita instead.
    • Jessica Kresa tried out for Season 1 and made it to the top 25. However, she missed the final cut. Kresa would later wrestle in TNA as ODB.
    • Tom in Season 1 made it to the final thirteen but refused to sign the MTV contract, and was replaced by Greg instead.
    • Kia Stevens auditioned for Season 2 but was turned down, and so she went to Japan to further her training.
    • John Morrison tried out for Season 2 but was rejected due to "attitude problems". He ended up winning Season 3.
    • Shad Gaspard, who would eventually join WWE as part of Cryme Tyme, was chosen as one of the final thirteen for Season 2. However, he failed a physical and was replaced.
    • Melina tried out for Season 3 but missed the final cut.
    • The Boogeyman auditioned for Season 4 but was rejected after lying about his age.
    • Drew Hankinson tried out for Season 4 but missed the final cut.
    • Chris Jericho was at one point in talks to host Season 5, but eventually turned it down to appear on Dancing with the Stars. Jericho admitted that he wouldn't have been Drill Sergeant Nasty as "Stone Cold" Steve Austin had he hosted. He would later host Season 6, albeit more in a Game Show Host role than as head judge.
    • Jeremiah Riggs was given a tryout after Season 5. However, officials were unimpressed with him, he didn't like the environment, and opted not to continue with wrestling.
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