Welcome to WWI's recap of Episode 9 of "Tough Enough."
After a rash of ankle injuries, the hopeful list was considerably shorter after last week's episode. Christina Crawford had sprained her ankle in the ring. While she might be able to compensate for the injury, she had a hard time overcoming her timidity when it came to doing promos, and Stone Cold eliminated her. Then, although A.J. Kirsch had won the promo challenge, Steve Austin was still down on him, so A.J. was told to pack his ability to be glib and leave his Tough Enough belt behind.
For the moment, those still eligible to be Tough Enough are:
* Andy Leavine
* Jeremiah Riggs
* Luke Robinson
So three are left, and by this time, we know them all pretty well.
Andy, the most mature of the three, has a wife and family at home. He also seems to have a short temper, as I could have sworn his big mouth was going to cost him his spot on the TE roster last week.
Jeremiah Riggs is the plucky Southern hopeful who makes up for his lack of experience in the ring with charisma.
And Luke Robinson, who carries himself like God's gift to the wrestling business, has the in-ring talent, but lacks, shall we say, humility.
The three remaining candidates were told there would be no theme this week. Instead, Trish Stratus told them, they would be "fine tuning."
As the trainers watched them in the ring, Andy was told it was too late in the game to be making "boo boos." Jeremiah was called out for his continual in-ring mistakes. He knew he had to step it up.
The following day, they continued to work on putting it all together. The Miz would be this week's guest, and they were told that he had worked his way into wrestling during a stint on MTV's "The Real World." The Miz told them the training had just begun.
I can still remember The Miz on the Real World sharing his passion for the wrestling business with the other house guests.
During this fine tuning week, they would be shooting the cover of a WWE magazine. Luke cleaned up really well.
As for Andy, although he was wearing a suit and tie, he could not get out of his shell. The Miz said he'd get eaten alive if he could not. Andy began to call himself Silent Rage.
Jeremiah looked great, then opened his mouth to show his missing teeth.
Booker told the contestants that they were all in the bottom three now.
During the practice session, the height of Luke's drop kick surprised Bill DeMott to the point that he introduced himself to the "new" Luke.
Jeremiah had also begun to stand out in the eyes of the trainers.
Stone Cold took them to a children's hospital, as WWE likes to give back when and where it can. Each got to pay a visit to a sick child and Stone Cold told them how proud he was of how they had handled it.
Then it was time for the final Skills Challenge. They would be judged from the minute they stepped into the ring, and one would be sent home. Trish recalled that Andy was very quiet at first. She coached him about breaking out of his shell and he finally did, but it might be too late.
Luke tackled the final Skills Challenge and did well.
Jeremiah had glimpses of "impressive stupidity," according to DeMott.
Stone Cold told the group to go back to the house and pack their bags. One would be going home.
The three said their goodbyes to each other, then went to the gym to hear Austin's decision.
All stood in the ring, Stone Cold took this opportunity to question the group about their real lives.
Jeremiah had been in the Army, was divorced and has a 7-year-old at home.
Austin told Andy he thought he was too weak as far as missing his family.
When challenged that he brought little to the table, Luke said he felt he was the total package. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't somebody else already the Total Package?
Then it began to turn into a bit of a bitch fest.
Andy was told he lack charisma by Luke.
Andy called Luke a weasel.
Austin called Luke twitchy with a nervous laugh.
Luke said Andy had had a stale day as far as charisma.
Austin said they all had their strengths and weaknesses. But in the end, it was Jeremiah, who remains green in the ring, who was eliminated. Austin stressed how proud he was of Jeremiah.
Stone Cold told them that the next time they would meet would be at the WWE Development Center in Florida, and whoever has the best performance would win the contract.
The show ended with Austin, Andy and Luke popping open cans of beer and swilling them in the ring to celebrate.
Luke, characteristically, said he was going to be the superstar and the rock star.
Really, Luke? Really?
Tune in next Monday night to see who really becomes the next WWE Superstar.