Hundreds of superstars have come by means of WWE through the years, but a select few got their toes within the door by means of the aggressive avenue of reality tv. The idea of WWE reality TV started over twenty years in the past by means of a partnership with MTV, to see who could be dubbed “Tough Enough” to develop into the newest WWE famous person.
It was the year 2001 and the Attitude Era had ended, which means the World Wrestling Federation was the one place to be for aspiring fans and athletes. If you wished to make it massive on the planet of wrestling, you had to impress management in to supplying you with the chance. With that said, I’ll be splitting this in to two halves starting with the women, because there’s so much that may be said and to embody everybody would make it significantly bloated.
Tough Enough (2001)
The winner of Tough Enough season 1 was Nidia, but most fans who weren’t watching before 2004 will know of her existence. This is because Nidia was released after having fun with a three-year career in WWE; so she impressed sufficient to be kept on past her preliminary 1-year contract. Nidia is best known for her time managing Cruiserweight Champion Jamie Noble, as they adopted a “trailer trash” gimmick.
She wrestled within the women’s division in 2004, but by no means got close to successful the title. The greatest angle she partook in, involved taking Tajiri’s Black Mist to the face. This form of mist was particular because it was supposed to completely render the sufferer blind. Noble garnered heel warmth by utilizing her as a human protect, but after this died down it spelled the end for her.
The subject was that WWE had so much expertise and she grew to become expendable. However, this was a massive win in contrast to the runner-up Taylor Matheny. Despite getting so close to successful the competitors, WWE selected not to sign her (she was the one winner/runner up to be left out) to a deal and the publicity didn’t translate to success elsewhere. She got married to Brian Kendrick to 2008. It’s protected to say that Nidia was the true winner right here, but 2001 didn’t produce anybody who would stick round for the long time period.
Tough Enough 2 (2002)
The second season didn’t do much better than the first, though it’s the one competitors the place two women won while two men have been runner-ups. One WWE star was made although, as Jackie Gayda proved her worth and spent much of her career as a supervisor for her husband Charlie Haas. She wrestled occassionally, but by no means gained the talents wanted to impress management sufficient to push her towards the title. Nine years within the business is a success story, and now she runs a diet & smoothie store in Texas.
Other expertise on this season embody Shelly Martinez, who grew to become known as ECW alumni Kevin Thorn’s supervisor Ariel, and as a member of LAX in TNA Wrestling.We might say that the true winner of this season was Awesome Kong. She didn’t get wherever close to the ending line (apparently Jim Ross said she was “too fat”), but the loss motivated her to go to Japan to prepare. Kong grew to become an unbelievable power in establishing the TNA Knockouts Division a number of years later.
The different winner nonetheless… former basketball player Linda Miles AKA Shaniqua, didn’t truthful as effectively. Shaniqua played the “dominatrix” of The Basham Brothers, and was paired with Shelton Benjamin as his girlfriend for a brief time. She had all of the attributes to make it, but wrestling wasn’t for her. She explains why within the shared video below.
Tough Enough III (2002)
WWE grew to become so excessive on Tough Enough they had two seasons in the identical year. This time nonetheless, no women earned the right to be referred to as a winner or a runner-up. It produced one of essentially the most profitable women’s champions in WWE historical past although, Melina Perez. She made it to the last 25, but was minimize before they made it to the finalists. She joined the winner and boyfriend Johnny Nitro (Morrison) as half of the tag crew MnM.
After having fun with nice success as their supervisor, she transitioned in to wrestling and claimed the Women’s Championship, doing a arduous job of following Trish Stratus, Lita, Mickie James and Molly Holly. Melina went on to declare the Women’s Championship thrice and the Divas Championship twice. How many can say they’re a five-time women’s champion in WWE? Very few. She’s nonetheless wrestling to at the present time as half of the NWA roster. The rumor of a WWE return turned out to be fully false.
Diva Search (2004)
Instead of having Tough Enough for everybody, WWE cut up the genders by having feminine prospects compete within the Diva Search. This grew to become the default for the next few years. Christy Hemme won the competitors, but grew to become more of an announcer than a wrestler. Candice Michelle didn’t attain the final, but nonetheless found success as the Women’s Champion and for a brief time, Mr. McMahon’s bit on the side.
I’d say the 2 most profitable divas from the list of finalists have been Michelle McCool and Maria Kanellis. McCool won more titles than anybody, and Maria remains to be half of the business right now. Let’s face it, solely McCool loved any affordable success, but injuries mounted and she was pressured to retire before her time. The success of the Diva Search was such that WWE took on more potential stars than they might’ve had they kept to the unique Tough Enough format.
Diva Search (2005)
It is protected to say the Diva Search of 2005 was the least profitable reality competitors ever produced. The solely famous person to come out of it was Ashley Massaro, who noticeably struggled to get over and enhance her abilities within the ring.
The solely different divas WWE signed up embody Kristal Marshall (Lashley’s spouse for a while) and Trenesha Biggers; better known as Rhaka Khan to anybody who knew her from TNA. All I can say is it was probably the largest moment of Ashley Massaro’s life, which makes her the one winner from this contest. She was found dead last year in her home. No official cause of death was given, but it was believed to be suicide. RIP.
Diva Search (2006)
This year was extroadinary. Not solely did we see the first British winner in Layla El, but many others succeeded too. In reality, The Bella Twins and Brooke Adams (Tessmacher) didn’t make it to the final 8! Maryse was eradicated in seventh place. Rosa Mendes bowed out in 4th place. It was maybe best known for the way in which The Miz fully bombed as the Diva Search host.
2006 produced 5 future women’s champions (in the event you embody Brooke’s Knockouts title reign), which is a far cry from the previous year. The greatest winners are The Bella Twins, as they achieved monumental success with Total Divas; and now Total Bellas. Maryse may be having fun with more publicity now on the Miz & Mrs than she ever did as WWE Divas Champion. Of course, it helps that she spent a lot of time on Total Divas and is partnered along with her reality TV star husband.
Diva Search (2007)
The last Diva search was becoming because once more, like these which got here before (minus 2006), not much got here from it. For a change, the winner Eve Torres found unbelievable success as a three-time Divas Champion before disappearing fully in 2013. Taryn Terrell (AKA Tiffany) ended the competitors in 4th place, and is better known as the ECW General Manager and former TNA Knockouts Champion; she has since moved on to appearing and being a stunt double in motion movies.
The solely different main success consists of Savannah. She spent her time in WWE as a valet and ECW interviewer, before shifting on to the indie scene in 2010. Just a few years later, she joined Lucha Underground as a wrestler referred to as Black Lotus, that includes in a number of storylines. As far as I do know, nobody from Diva Search 2007 remains to be working in wrestling.
Tough Enough 5 (2010)
Six years separate Tough Enough’s fifth season from its fourth, and three years from the last Divas Search. But this time was extra particular, because Stone Cold Steve Austin was the principle host and so they represented both genders. Pushing for equality, there’d be just one winner who might earn a contract. What is especially unusual about this season although, is that the one contestant who ended up on the principle roster is also the first to be eradicated.
The solely different contestant making a name for herself is Ivelisse Velez, who might be best known for her work in Lucha Underground before making her recent debut in AEW. There are not any true winners from this season, apart from Austin 3:16 fans. To find some actual winners, we have to flip to the previous incarnation of NXT. Watch Stone Cold Steve Austin rip these three potential superstars in to the bottom.
The unique NXT was nothing like it’s right now. It was some sort of hybrid of a commonly occurring Tough Enough; with rankings, mentors, and infrequently slotted in wrestling matches. Overtime it remodeled and dropped its reality TV show roots, changing into its own model by delivering to a full-blown wrestling show by 2012.
Out of the first 4 seasons nonetheless, solely season 3 included women’s wrestlers. Crazily sufficient, Kaitlyn was the winner over future women’s champions Naomi and AJ Lee. This was determined after Michael Cole brutally buried Kaitlyn and Maxine’s match; going as far to ring his Mother on his cellphone. You can watch the match within the video below, but you have been warned! Naomi is the one unique feminine member of NXT to nonetheless be with the corporate.
Tough Enough 6 (2015)
The last model of Tough Enough was hosted by Chris Jericho and co-hosted by Renee Young. It reverted to the old faculty format the place there could be one male, and one feminine winner; with Runner-ups introduced for every gender. Again, this was one other stable year for bringing in new expertise, but the precise winners didn’t get wherever.
After impressing and successful the competitors, Sara Lee was assigned to NXT. But she lasted little over a year, as it was decided she hadn’t improved sufficient within the ring. She later married Wesley Blake, who’s a member of The Forgotten Sons steady. The actual winners right here embody: Runner-Up Mandy Rose, eleventh positioned Sonya Deville, and seventh positioned NXT (former Knockouts Champion) famous person Chelsea Green. None of these women have but to win championships in WWE, but I imagine it’s solely a matter of time. If Chelsea doesn’t get past NXT, she’s already confirmed herself within the Impact Knockouts Divison as Laurel Van Ness.
I really feel like the largest motive WWE ceased producing reality competitions is because they have been hardly ever profitable. After NXT grew to become its own model, WWE had a better approach of bringing in new expertise to see if they might adapt to the type. The Performance Center is a proving floor, and in the event you can’t impress sufficient in coaching then there’s no approach you’re getting airtime.
There’s also the truth that too many winners both weren’t adequate, or used WWE as a stepping stone. Considering all these contests, solely Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville and Naomi stay under contract as wrestlers. Tough Enough, Diva Search and NXT have been supposed to find the next Trish Stratus, the next Lita; but it by no means lived up to what WWE hoped for. The Bella Twins and Maryse are most likely WWE’s greatest success stories, simply because they have their own TV reveals and have a platform to market wrestling to a informal viewers.
The true stars in WWE are the wrestlers: Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, Asuka, Bayley, Sasha Banks and so on. Women who didn’t need to win a game to show they’re the best on the planet. And with that said, you possibly can draw your own conclusions on the first of two items highlighting the polarizing nature of the WWE reality TV show. I shall return quickly with the male equal. Thanks for studying!
Also Read: 72 Real-Life Wrestling Relationships In Pictures (1/3)(2/3)(3/3)