The People’s Column: Will WWE’s Tough Enough Return?

Rumors are swirling around the Internet about WWE and the USA network bringing back the Tough Enough reality show. In fact, some sources are even saying that it’s a completely done deal. The show running as a lead in, or a post-show for Raw is also being discussed.

But first, let’s look at what Tough Enough is. As reality TV started to take off, WWE decided that they wanted a piece of that pie. They launched a show on MTV that became the inspiration for The Ultimate Fighter (which I’m sure WWE is kicking themselves for). They recruited wrestlers with open tryouts and put them up in a house to train together. The show featured WWE main eventers showing up at their training facility and explaining to them the harshness of the WWE lifestyle.

For the first time, it really pulled the curtain back on the business and people at home got to see the basic training that goes into a wrestler’s career. It was an interesting time in the business. WWE was completely open to exposing everything about wrestling, angering some in the business, but winning new fans in the process.

Now we have to wonder what will happen in Tough Enough is brought back. The first hint is NXT. This show has been pretty bad from beginning to end, especially season three. We all expected this sow to feature some of the elements of Tough Enough and were disappointed when we didn’t see it. Although reality TV is expensive to produce, NXT would have been better of it included moments where the wrestlers were training and being mentored. The way the show turned out made it look like a scripted reality show, which no one wants to watch.

This show could be a great way to create some new talent while not exposing them as extremely limited in the ring and in front of a crowd. WWE was able to use Tough Enough to build up to the in-ring debut of the talent on the show. It made appearing in front of the WWE crowd for the first time a huge deal for the fans and talent. It also allowed fans to know the talent before they actually had to see them in the ring. Their personalities were well established, which NXT did not provide for us.

The problem would be if WWE made Tough Enough like NXT in format. The worse thing WWE could do would be to put these unproven talents in front of a live crowd without preparing the crowd. It would also be a very bad idea to do any portion of the show live until the finale. WWE needs to look at the first season of Tough Enough and replicate that.

Of course pushing the stars afterwards is also important. Hopefully we will get more John Morrison than Maven (or any other winners).

Let me know what you guys think about Tough Enough’s possible comeback.

All of this content is from, where you can currently read some candid thoughts on the Stand Up for WWE campaign. Check it out!

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