After nine weeks during which I repeatedly wondered what the hell I was watching, the finale is upon us. To be fair, the last two episodes where somewhat better, containing less drama and more actual wrestling training and this one should be interesting with the 4 remaining contestants having to work a match as final exam. Still, everyone who managed to suffer trough all of it is at least as deserving as the finalists. Traditional opening with Chris Jericho and Renée Young presenting the judges and we switch to the barracks.
Josh, ZZ, Sara Lee and Amanda discuss the fact they’ve made it this far, with ZZ declaring he’s as poised as a bullfrog waiting to snatch a cricket. He just looks half asleep to me, as usual. Amanda continues her mind games, insinuating Sara Lee is trying to sleep her way to a contract and that she isn’t the “cute girl next door” everyone thinks she is. Sara Lee responds by stating Amanda isn’t playing a character, she really is a bitch. And then cuts off the drama for this week by completely ignoring whatever Amanda is saying. Thank you Sara Lee.
Chris Jericho joins the coaches, and, together with a WWE creative team (ohoh, that can’t end well), he will help the candidates put the final touches to their characters. Josh continues with the Yeti character and Jericho suggests Jon Snow-like furs for him. ZZ wants to be the “King of the Bayou” and will carry a crocodile head to the ring. Or something. Amanda just wants to play a variation of what she has done until now, while Sara Lee comes up with Hope as name, since that’s the town she’s from apparently.
Billy Gunn, and his beloved megaphone, then join the candidates in order to announce who they will be facing. Cesaro and Alicia Fox are introduced, with Alicia talking about the Diva Sisterhood (everyone sure that isn’t a porn-site?) and how they take care of each-other and Cesaro warning ZZ this isn’t the same as wrestling alligators.
Back live for the matches and Byron Saxton will play the role of in-ring announcer. Perhaps they should have a Tough Enough for Next Ring Announcer series one of these days because it’s clear Saxton sucks at this:
Amanda vs Alicia Fox:
Amanda comes out as Mandy Rose (and yes, I checked for you guys, and no, no porn-star works under that name) and is inexplicably playing face all of a sudden which doesn’t work at all for her. Forgettable promo and the match starts. Some very sloppy spots, which was to be expected, but overall not even that bad for a first match. Alicia kept the whole thing from falling apart and Amanda even attempted some ambitious moves like the top rope bulldog and the head scissor take-down before the inevitable Foxy win. Sure, there were flaws, but certainly acceptable for a first. Judges agreed, while pointing out the sloppy spots they commanded Amanda for the intensity she brought into the match.
Sara Lee vs Alicia Fox:
Sara Lee comes out dressed like Mick Foley’s baby sister and actually delivers a decent promo. The match was very basic with “Hope” not taking too many risks, but I thought that was smart. Some mistakes here also, most notably when Sara Lee fell down BEFORE Alicia had time to connect with her finisher, but this wasn’t the train-wreck many were expecting. Judges commended her on her promo but noted she still didn’t look very comfortable in the ring.
ZZ vs Cesaro:
ZZ’s entrance was marred by an enormous alligator head-gear he kept struggling to keep in place. His promo wasn’t very convincing. and to all the ZZ fans out there, you’re now officially his “Baby Gators”. Hope you’re all happy. Match reminded me of what William regal once said when speaking about a match he had against Goldberg. You can’t wrestle yourself. Well kudos to Cesaro for coming pretty damn close. ZZ had to be carried for literally everything and the only thing he did that stood out was a decent flapjack. He attempted the Gator Grip which Cesaro reversed into the Yes Lock. Miz called ZZ out on his questionable work ethic and lack of passion. Bryan was Positive for some reason but, I think he was just trying to be nice here.
Josh vs Cesaro:
Josh started badly with a so-so promo and some atrocious ring gear which gave the impression he was wrestling in his underwear. The match was easily the best of the bunch though. Sure Cesaro deserves the credit, again, but the simple fact was that the Swiss Superstar could do a lot more with Josh than with ZZ. Some mistakes here and there, but also some decent looking power moves and exchanges. Neutralizer from Cesaro for the win. Judges were impressed with Josh. So was I, once I got over what he was wearing.
And it’s already time for the results with, unsurprisingly, Sara Lee crushing Amanda with 64% to 36%. Amanda looks pissed, but with did she expect with her Bitchy Barbie act? Next Josh slaughters ZZ with an impressive 70% to 30%. ZZ seems to take his loss a lot better than Amanda. The winners are presented their contract by Triple H.
And that’s a wrap as everybody joins the winners on stage.
Some interesting things in Tough Talk with Amanda having little good to say about Sara Lee, while ZZ is a rather good sport about it all. Everybody says Amanda deserved to win more than Sara Lee until Triple H notes his own kids were talking exited about meeting Sara Lee at an event, in fact that was all they could talk about. Bottom line, for whatever reason, Sara Lee connected with the audience until the end.
It seems the ZZ effect is already over. While he lasted much longer than everyone was expecting, I’m predicting this is the last we will hear from him.
Amanda seems to be a cert to come back to the Performance Center. She’ll have to watch that attitude and drama seeking though, what works for a reality show will be blasted in the WWE environment.
Josh is a deserving winner and I think we will see him in short NXT matches in a couple of months. Sara Lee needs much more time, I’m still convinced they will not use her as a wrestler.
The finale was handled at a crisp pace and with a minimum of drama, which was for the best. The last three episode of TE were the most interesting, because they were more about wrestling training and less about silly disputes.
I though the show gained from having Jericho interact with the contestants outside of the live studio. Smething to ponder for the next time, WWE.
Speaking of next times, there apparently will be a next season, from what I hear. But I don’t think they will keep the viewers voting format for some reason.
Finally, it has been fun, sort of, reviewing all this for you guys… But am I glad it’s over!
Tags: alicia fox, Amanda, Billy Gunn, Booker T, Cesaro, Chris Jericho, Daniel Bryan, josh, Lita, Paige, Renee Young, sara lee, The Miz, Tough Enough 2015; WWE, Triple H, zz