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WWE Tough Enough

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Country of origin
United States

No. of episodes

Latest winner
Sara Lee, Josh Bredl


Created by
No. of seasons

Camera setup
Multicamera setup

WWE Tough Enough wwwgstaticcomtvthumbtvbanners11731707p11731

Opening theme
"Getting Away with Murder" by Papa Roach (season 4)"Champion" by Chipmunk feat. Chris Brown (season 5)"Blaze of Glory" by Kevin Rudolf (season 6)

USA Network, MTV, WWE Network, UPN, Universal HD

Presented by
Stone Cold Steve Austin (season 5), Chris Jericho (season 6)


WWE Tough Enough is a professional wrestling reality television series produced by WWE, wherein participants undergo professional wrestling training and compete for a contract with WWE. There were two winners per season for the first three seasons, all of which aired on MTV. A fourth competition was held in 2004, with only a single winner, who was integrated into (at the time) UPN's SmackDown!. As revealed in October 2010, the USA Network, revived Tough Enough to air it immediately prior to Raw, starting on April 4, 2011, a day after WrestleMania XXVII. The first three seasons were co-produced with MTV, while the revival is a co-production with Shed Media. Repeat broadcasts of the revival series are shown on Universal HD and have also aired recently on Oxygen and G4.


WWE Tough Enough WWE Tough Enough Wikipedia

Past episodes of Tough Enough have been re-aired on WWE Network since January 2015.

Al snow on wwe tough enough

Tough Enough

WWE Tough Enough WWE Tough Enough Departure Explained Cast Responds Who Got Voted

Maven Huffman and Nidia Guenard won the first season of Tough Enough. Only two contestants were actually cut from the competition; the others eliminated voluntarily exited. Of the final five contestants, four would eventually join the WWE. Nidia was released from WWE on November 3, 2004, while Maven was released on July 5, 2005.

WWE Tough Enough 8 Reasons Why The New WWE Tough Enough Failed Goliath

Though they both survived the initial cut from 230 contestants down to 25, eventual season two winner Jackie Gayda and future TNA Women's Knockout Champion ODB (Jessica Kresa) were not selected among the final 13 contestants who appeared in season one. Future WWE ring announcer Justin Roberts sent in an audition tape, which aired in a season one teaser on the January 25, 2001 edition of SmackDown!.

The first season of Tough Enough was released on DVD in 2002, along with its soundtrack.

This season became available for viewing on the WWE Network on January 12, 2015.


  • Al Snow
  • Jaqueline
  • Tazz
  • Tori
  • Contestants

    WWE Tough Enough Are you tough enough Tough Enough

  • Bobbie Jo Anderson
  • Chris Nifong
  • Christopher Nowinski (runner-up)
  • Darryl Cross
  • Greg Whitmoyer
  • Jason Dayberry
  • Josh Lomberger (runner-up; eventually signed to WWE as a broadcaster under the name Josh Mathews)
  • Maven Huffman (winner)
  • Nidia Guenard (winner)
  • Paulina Thomas
  • Shadrick McGee
  • Taylor Matheny (runner-up)
  • Victoria Tabor
  • Order of elimination:

    WWE Tough Enough Are you tough enough Tough Enough

  • Episode 1 Tom, after being selected to the final 13, refused to sign the MTV contract and was replaced by Greg.
  • Episode 3 Jason quit because he could not handle the road life.
  • Episode 4 Bobbie Jo and Victoria quit together because they could not handle the physicality.
  • Episode 5 Darryl was cut for poor ability and attitude.
  • Episode 6 Shadrick was cut due to ring struggles.
  • Episode 7 Paulina dropped out due to severe leg and knee injuries sustained in the second episode.
  • Episode 9 Greg was forced to quit due to three herniated discs.
  • Episode 10 Chris Nifong quit after feeling it was not his time.
  • Episode 13 Taylor, Chris Nowinski, and Josh were runners up after Nidia and Maven were declared winners.
  • Tough Enough 2

    WWE Tough Enough 8 Reasons Why The New WWE Tough Enough Failed Goliath

    The second season winners were Linda Miles and Jackie Gayda. The result offended members of the male finalists, who claimed that when they signed forms to compete on Tough Enough, the forms spoke of one male winner and one female winner. Eventually, Linda and Jackie were released on November 12, 2004 and July 5, 2005, respectively. Gayda later married wrestler Charlie Haas.

    Former WWE wrestler, Shad Gaspard, former member of the tag team Cryme Tyme, was chosen to be one of the final 13 contestants on the show but, according to the show, failed a physical (reportedly, he actually failed a drug test); he was subsequently replaced by Danny. Eventual season 3 winner John Hennigan (who went on to compete for the WWE as John Morrison) auditioned and survived the first cut down to 25 contestants, but, despite displaying well-tuned athletic ability, Hennigan's arrogance irritated the judges. It would be another year before Hennigan would make the show. There were several other well known faces in the crowd who didn't make the cut, but, eventually made a name for themselves in the business, including model and former WWE Diva and TNA Knockout Shelly Martinez (known as Ariel in the WWE and as Salinas in TNA), former TNA Knockout and former WWE Diva Kia Stevens (known as Awesome Kong in TNA and as Kharma in WWE), former fitness model and WWE and TNA valet/wrestler Kim Nielsen (who was known by her real name in WWE and as Desire in TNA, and who competed on season 13 of the hit NBC show The Biggest Loser) and former TNA superstar Gunner.


  • Al Snow
  • Hardcore Holly
  • Ivory
  • Tazz
  • Chavo Guerrero Jr.
  • Contestants

  • Aaron Lewis
  • Alicia Martin
  • Anni King
  • Danny Carney
  • Hawk Younkins
  • Jackie Gayda (winner; competed as Miss Jackie and was manager/valet for the tag team of Charlie Haas, who is now her husband, and Rico)
  • Jake Sokoloff (runner-up)
  • Jessie Ward
  • Kenny Layne (runner-up; later in his career, he competed at TNA and ROH as Kenny King)
  • Linda Miles (winner; competed as Shaniqua, the dominatrix/valet of The Basham Brothers)
  • Matt Morgan
  • Pete Tornatore
  • Robert Savhalet
  • Order of Elimination:

  • Episode 3: Aaron was cut because he could not physically catch up with the rest of the group's speed. That caused him to pass out on the beach while exercising.
  • Episode 3: Robert was cut because he was struggling with all the physicality in and out of the ring; thus, he tired out more easily than others.
  • Episode 5: Danny was cut because he lacked charisma while trying to perform an interview for the trainers.
  • Episode 6: Matt left because he tore a ligament in his right knee, and his doctor told him it would not be safe to continue wrestling in the ring.
  • Episode 7: Alicia was cut because she had an injury which it hindered her from continuing to wrestle in the ring.
  • Episode 7: Jessie left because she was diagnosed with a heart condition. Jessie later credited the show for essentially saving her life, as the heart condition would have gone unnoticed had she not been diagnosed
  • Episode 11: Hawk left because he became concerned about his performance in the ring.
  • Episode 12: Pete was cut because he couldn't keep up in the ring as well as the others.
  • Episode 12: Anni was cut because of her hesitation in the ring.
  • Episode 13: Linda and Jackie were declared the winners of Tough Enough 2, with Jake and Kenny being joint runners-up.
  • Tough Enough III

    The third season was won by John Hennigan and Matt Cappotelli. Hennigan, who wrestled for two years under the name Johnny Nitro before changing it to John Morrison, is the most successful Tough Enough winner being a former ECW World Heavyweight Champion, a three-time Intercontinental Champion, and he has held both the WWE World Tag Team Championship and the WWE Tag Team Championship. Cappotelli was developing his talent further in WWE development territory Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW), but was diagnosed with a brain tumor in December 2005, forcing him to step away from wrestling and relinquish his OVW Championship. The tumor was removed in 2007, although it is unknown whether Cappotelli will ever return to professional wrestling.

    Former WWE Diva, Melina Perez, tried out for Tough Enough III and made it to the final 25, but was cut from the competition. During the tryouts, however, she met John Hennigan, and they eventually began a romantic relationship. She eventually received a WWE contract and worked for the company but was released on August 5, 2011. She worked as Melina on the Raw brand and became the first Tough Enough contestant to win the WWE Women's Championship, a title she has held three times making her the most successful female Tough Enough contestant to enter WWE. Both Shawn Daivari and Daniel Puder are seen on film during audition episode. Both made it to the final 75, but were cut before they could make it to the training facility. Both men later went on as performers for WWE.


  • Al Snow
  • Bill DeMott
  • Ivory
  • Contestants

  • Chad
  • Eric Markovcy (runner-up)
  • Jamie Burk (runner-up)
  • Jill
  • John Hennigan (winner, eventually wrestled as Johnny Nitro and John Morrison)
  • Jonah Adelman (runner-up)
  • Justin
  • Kelly
  • Lisa
  • Matt Cappotelli (winner)
  • Nick
  • Rebekah
  • Scott
  • Order of Elimination:

  • Episode 2: Jill quit after the very first day of training. The trainers were all annoyed and labeled her as a "quitter" because she never put forth her best effort.
  • Episode 3: Lisa left because she decided wrestling wasn't the right career for her (see below).
  • Episode 4: Chad was cut because of his lack of ability to keep up the pace with the rest of the group.
  • Episode 5: Rebekah left because she had a family emergency back at home and could not continue in the competition.
  • Episode 6: Nick was cut because he had a bicep injury, and he lacked the ability to perform certain tasks in the ring.
  • Episode 7: Scott was cut because of his lack of ability to keep up with the rest of the group.
  • Episode 8: Kelly was cut because she had a serious back injury, and she was beginning to fall behind everybody else when learning new moves.
  • Episode 11: Justin was cut because he lacked aggression in the ring as well as a competitive spirit.
  • Episode 14: Matt and John were declared the winners of Tough Enough III, with Jamie, Eric and Jonah being the runners up.
  • In the cover story from the October 5, 2002 issue of the Pro Wrestling Torch Newsletter, it was revealed that contestant "Lisa" was removed from the show after what was referred to as a "psychotic breakdown." After being left at the house while the other contestants went out to dinner, she began throwing herself against the walls of the house, eventually breaking into the hidden MTV control room and working her way onto the roof. After being talked down by producers, she was committed to a hospital facility to receive psychiatric treatment. Her parents flew in from New Mexico to pick her up, but she physically attacked them, claiming she did not know them. She then escaped custody inside LAX, shutting down a wing of the airport until she was located. Again, she was hospitalized, but she was able to check herself out shortly after. She then contacted Tough Enough producers, claiming she was ready to return to the show. Producers informed her she had been removed from the competition due to her actions. The other contestants (and, subsequently, the audience) were initially told that Lisa simply decided wrestling "wasn't the right career for her." Lisa then reemerged in Louisville, Kentucky at the Ohio Valley Wrestling training center, claiming that trainer Al Snow and producer John "Big" Gaburick had sent her for additional training, both in the ring and to learn further about the structure of the developmental territory system. At a series of shows in California in September 2002, she managed to talk her way backstage and was even allowed to assist with the pyrotechnics for the wrestlers' entrances at a TV taping. One source claimed that she had a face-to-face conversation with Vince McMahon, who was apparently unaware of her status with the Tough Enough program. Soon after, her photograph was circulated to security personnel, and she was barred from any backstage areas.

    $1,000,000 Tough Enough (season 4)

    The fourth Tough Enough competition was conducted as part of WWE's SmackDown! brand between October and December 2004 in response to Raw holding the first annual Raw Diva Search contest. The prize was a $1,000,000 professional wrestling contract split evenly over four years with only the first year guaranteed. The winner of the fourth series, announced on December 14, 2004, and televised on December 16, 2004, was Daniel Puder, an American professional mixed martial artist. Puder competed in his second WWE pay-per-view event on January 30, 2005 as the third entrant in the 2005 Royal Rumble match. Soon after, he was sent to OVW before eventually being released in September 2005.

    On November 4, 2004, episode of SmackDown!, taped in St. Louis, Missouri, during an unscripted segment of Tough Enough, Kurt Angle, a former American amateur wrestler and 1996 Olympic gold medalist, challenged the finalists through a squat thrust competition. Chris Nawrocki won the competition, and the prize Nawrocki won was a match against Angle. Angle quickly took Nawrocki down, breaking his ribs, then made him tap out with a neck crank. After Angle defeated Nawrocki, Angle challenged the other finalists. Puder accepted Angle's challenge. Angle and Puder wrestled for position, with Angle taking Puder down, however, in the process, Puder locked Angle in a kimura lock. With Puder on his back and Angle's arm locked in the kimura, Angle attempted a pin, one of two referees in the ring, Jim Korderas, quickly counted three to end the bout, despite the fact that Puder's shoulders weren't fully down on the mat, bridging up at two. Puder later claimed he would have snapped Angle's arm, thus making Angle tap out on national television, if Korderas had not ended the match. Dave Meltzer and Dave Scherer gave these following comments:

    "It was real. If you don't follow fighting, Puder had Angle locked in the Kimura, or keylock as Tazz called it, although Tazz didn't let on the move was fully executed. Not only was Angle not getting out of the move, but most MMA fighters would have tapped already. Angle couldn't tap for obvious reasons. The ref counted a three even though Puder's shoulders weren't fully down, trying to end the thing, because the reality was Angle would have been in surgery had it gone a few seconds longer or had Puder not given up the hold." ― Dave Meltzer

    "As you would expect, Kurt Angle was less than happy backstage at Smackdown after almost being forced to tap out to Tough Enough contestant Daniel Puder. Downright ticked off would probably be the best way to describe his mood. The unscripted nature of the contest was the main reason that Angle was made to look so bad since Puder just reacted to the situation and could have forced Angle to submit had the referees not thought quickly and counted a pin that wasn’t there on Puder." ― Dave Scherer


  • Chris Nawrocki
  • Daniel Puder (winner)
  • Daniel Rodimer
  • John Meyer
  • Justice Smith
  • Mike Mizanin (runner-up, eventually signed by WWE and wrestles as The Miz)
  • Nick Mitchell (signed by WWE as Mitch)
  • Ryan Reeves (signed by WWE as Skip Sheffield, later as Ryback)
  • Aftermath

    Mike Mizanin signed a developmental contract with WWE and later worked as The Miz in WWE and became the first and the only Tough Enough contestant to win the WWE Championship and to headline WrestleMania.

    Ryan Reeves signed a developmental contract with WWE. He later participated in the first season of NXT in early 2010 under the ring name Skip Sheffield, and became one of the original members of the faction The Nexus. He resurfaced on the main roster in early 2012 under the ring name Ryback, and headlined five pay-per-view events, three of those for the WWE Championship. He is also a former WWE Intercontinental Champion.

    Daniel Rodimer signed a developmental contract with WWE, and later wrestled on Heat as Dan Rodman.

    Nick Mitchell signed a developmental contract with WWE. He made his debut on the main roster in 2006 as Mitch, a member of the male cheerleader group The Spirit Squad. As a member of the Spirit Squad, he is a former World Tag Team Champion, which he won under the Freebird Rule.

    Marty Wright, who lied about his age during the auditions and was disqualified, later signed with WWE and competed as The Boogeyman.

    A DVD of this season was released in 2005.

    Season 5

    On October 18, 2010, the television website Deadline.com reported that USA Network was considering expanding into reality programming with a revival of Tough Enough. The website also reported that the show was expected to "run in tandem with USA's WWE Raw series." On January 3, 2011, both The New York Times and WWE further confirmed the revival, revealing that the revived series would begin airing Monday nights beginning on April 4, 2011, following WWE Raw, and a day after WrestleMania XXVII. The following week, Tough Enough aired during its planned time slot before WWE Raw. The revived series is a co-production with Shed Media.

    Stone Cold Steve Austin served as the show's season 5 host while Booker T, Trish Stratus, and Bill DeMott served as trainers. According to USA Network's episode guide, the 2011 season is referred to as "Season 1", therefore making no reference to its prior runs on other networks. In addition, although the premise of this show is similar to that of WWE NXT, Tough Enough season 5 ran concurrently with NXT and did not replace it.

    Ariane Andrew was the only person cut from the competition but ultimately wound up being the sole contestant to wind up on the main roster of performers for the company. She has appeared on WWE programming as Cameron, one half of The Funkadactyls, as well as Total Divas as herself.


         The contestant won the Tough Enough competition     The contestant performed best in the skills challenge.     The contestant was safe from elimination.     The contestant was at risk of elimination.     The contestant was selected to go into the finale.     The contestant was eliminated.     The contestant left the competition.     The contestant was forced by injury to withdraw from the competition.     The contestant won the skills challenge but was eliminated.     The contestant was the runner up.Episode 1: Ariane was eliminated as Steve Austin and the trainers felt she did not have passion for wrestling. She later signed to WWE and competed as Cameron.Episode 2: Matt was eliminated for not breaking free of the pack even though he has 9 years of experience.Episode 3: Michelle quit so she could be with her daughter. Mickael was eliminated when Ryan performed a better promo.Episode 4: Rima was eliminated after showing no improvement during the past month.Episode 5: Ryan was eliminated because of his performance and for being in the bottom 3 three times in a row.Episode 6: Ivelisse was eliminated due to an injury. Eric was eliminated for not improving.Episode 7: Martin was forced out as he fractured his ankle and was not allowed to continue.Episode 8: A.J. was eliminated because of his performance prior to charisma week, even after winning the skills challenge. Christina was eliminated for not showing any charisma.Episode 9: Jeremiah was eliminated when his inexperience caught up to him.Episode 10: Andy was chosen as the winner of Tough Enough with Luke being the runner-up.

    Season 6

    On January 15, 2015, season 6 of Tough Enough was announced at the Critics Association Winter Press, Daniel Bryan, Hulk Hogan, and Paige serving as judges, while Billy Gunn, Booker T, and Lita would serve as trainers/coaches. The show aired live from the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida - home base of WWE's NXT developmental territory. The winners, Josh and Sara, each received a $250,000 contract with WWE. On September 9, 2015, it was reported that Amanda was also offered a contract and would appear on the Total Divas reality television show. On October 28, it was confirmed that Amanda, ZZ, Mada, Patrick and Daria signed to a WWE contract. A year later, Chelsea and Gabi signed with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling.


    * Amanda Saccomanno and Sara Lee were immune from elimination in episode 9 to ensure two female competitors advanced to the finale.

         The contestant was one of the winners of the Tough Enough competition.     The contestant performed best in a skills challenge.     The contestant was safe from elimination.     The contestant was at risk of elimination.     The contestant was saved from elimination by a judge.     The contestant performed best in a skills challenge, but was at risk of elimination.     The contestant was selected to go into the finale.     The contestant was eliminated.     The contestant left the competition.     The contestant was not in the competition during this time.     The contestant was one of the runners-up.


    WWE Tough Enough Wikipedia

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