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By Mallory Mahling Apr 4, 2011 - 10:27 PM print

Welcome to WWI's coverage of the return of "Tough Enough." Once a staple of WWE programming, "Tough Enough" brought us such fan favorites as Nidia, Maven, John Morrison, and The Miz.

But as WWE began to cut corners and quality, fans lost interest in the show and it eventually disappeared. However, as reality shows began to gain in popularity, WWE reconsidered the concept and turned to the creators of "The Real Housewives of New York City," and "World's Strictest Parents," to put a real one together for them.

Hosting "Tough Enough" this season will be "Stone Cold" Steve Austin (which is reason enough to watch the show), and Trish Stratus, Booker T and Bill DeMott will be putting the fourteen contestants through their paces. The list is an impressive one and even includes a beauty queen.


* Ariane Andrew

* Martin Casaus

*Matt Capiccioni

* Christina Crawford

* Michelle Deighton

* Rima Fakiah (Miss USA)

* Ryan Howe

* A.J. Kirsch

* Andy Leavine

* Jeremiah Riggs

* Luke Robinson

* Ivelisse Velez

* Eric Watts

* Mickael Zaki

Stone Cold started the show by saying he was on a mission to share his legacy in the business. Which one of the fourteen will it be?

The contestants walked into the arena du jour and were awestruck at the size of it. Stone Cold warned them that some were as close to a ring as they were going to get. To get to the top, you have to start at the very bottom. The first lesson they were going to learn was about commitment. They were given overalls and told to set up the ring.

Ariane said it was too much like janitorial work for her.

And Rima cut her finger. Ah, too bad.

The group finally got to move into the posh Tough Enough house. I have a feeling that it had better not be treated as poorly as the houses on these shows usually are. Stone Cold seems to have little patience for that kind of stuff.

Also, they were given a Tough Enough title belt to keep as long as they were on the show.

The next day, the contestants were back at the gym and DeMott was determind to find out who had lied on their resume. The first order of business was learning to take rolls and bumps, then run the ropes as hard as they could for three minutes. Stone Cold was looking for those who were in shape and could attack the ropes.

Ariane's pants started falling down, so she ran the ropes holding them up. That, she would learn, is one of Trish's pet peeves.

Rima cheated by using a pad on her butt cheek and she was ordered out of the ring.

Austin called the coaches into his office to discuss the possibilities of the group. Luke seemed to have the most potential, they decided, and Michelle, with her 11 years of experience and nothing to show for it, was at the bottom. Trish still had a bone to pick with Miss Universe for padding her butt.

Stone Cold told Michelle, Ariane and Eric to go to the house, pack their bags and return to his office with their title belts.  Michelle didn't take the news well, and whined about being misunderstood. She was determined to throw whomever she had to "over" the bus in order to stay.

Austin gave each of them time to convince him why they should stay. Eric said he wanted to use the money to help his family and told of the handicapped brother whose diaper he has to change. Nonetheless, Austin told him he was too dumb to show up in shape.

So what was Michelle's excuse? She said she was self-trained, had had baby, got married, and had a modeling career. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Ariane is apparently a newby to the world of wrestling, although she said she has a passion for it.  Actually, what she seemed to have a passion for was being a diva.  Austin tripped her up by asking which was her favorite match. She said the first two divas' names she could think of. Whoops.

By that time, it didn't matter how bad Eric and Michelle were. Ariane was out! (Remember, the coveralls and janitorial work earlier?)  Buh bye, Ariane!

* * * * *

Next week, look for "Tough Enough" at its new time, immediately before Raw.

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