it seems like when something works on television, everyone scrambles to copy it in hopes of
cashing in on the fad. Vince McMahon, like any executive, decided to tap into
"reality" craze by creating "Tough Enough". This amalgam of
"the Real World" and "American Idol" is in its fourth season
and follows contestants as
they compete for a contract to become a superstar in the WWE. While there were
two contracts given away during the show's first three seasons, for the fourth there's only one.
Unlike the first season, which was a 3 disc set, the WWE has opted to
release the fourth season as a single disc. They've compiled the nine
regular episodes and one special episode into an hour-long clip show.
Personally, I think one of the
the WWE's greatest strengths is putting together a good promo during the
weekly shows, and this clip show is a great example of this. However, if I were a fan
that actually took the time to watch this show as it aired, i'd be pretty
upset. See, while I am a fan of
the WWE, I am not a
fan of reality shows. However, I think watching nine half hour shows
would have you more emotionally invested in a contestant that an hour clip show
that doesn't really allow you to get to "know" them.
That's not to say the WWE shortchanges the fans. In addition to the hour long feature, they've included a slew of extras
listed below. When the feature starts, we cut the contestants from 50 down to 8
thanks to an obstacle course on the beach. From there, we follow the contestants
as they're tested by a variety of challenges designed to show them what they
have to look forward to as a WWE superstar. Since this season was part of the
SmackDown! broadcast, a multitude of WWE wrestlers make an appearance. Besides
show regular Al Snow, who serves as their "mentor", Kurt Angle, the
Basham Brothers and Big Show also show up to challenge the contestants. In fact,
there's also a special appearance by Mae Young and the Fabulous Moolah that will
warm your heart.
The main feature didn't annoy me as much as I thought it
would, though I still think it's unfair that the people who compete are
essentially taking a spot away from someone who's been wrestling their entire
life in hopes of hitting the big time, especially taking into consideration what
became of past Tough Enough winners. As of this writing, only two of the
previous six winners (Maven
& John Hennigan) are still in the ring. Jackie Gayda, makes an occasional
appearance on SmackDown! - but as a valet. Matt Capotelli is training in OVW,
while Nidia and Linda Miles no longer have contracts.
the WWE has jammed packed this disc with extras. From the original audition
tapes to the SmackDown! challenges, there's close to 2 1/2 hours of extra
Activities - A collection of the group's
appearances on the weekly SmackDown! show.
- Big Show Body Slam [SmackDown! 10.28.04]
- Kurt Angle Invitational [SmackDown! 11.4.04]
- Torrie Wilson Sex Test [SmackDown! 11.11.04]
- Bashams - Capture the Flag [SmackDown! 11.18.04]
- Why Should You Vote For Me? [SmackDown! 11.18.04]
- Arm Wrestling [SmackDown! 11.25.04]
- Who Would You Vote Off? [SmackDown! 12.2.04]
- Dress Like Women [SmackDown! 12.2.04]
- Joust [SmackDown! 12.9.04]
- Dixie Dogfight [SmackDown! 12.12.04]
- Winner [SmackDown! 12.16.04]
- Brian Dahnovich
- John Meyer
- Nick Mitchell
- Chris Nawrocki
- Ryan Reeves
- Daniel Rodimer
Ryan Reeves 12.2.04
Justice Smith 12.9.04
Mike Mizanin 12.14.04
The REAL treat, however, is the inclusion of
WrestleMania Recall. This 50 minute show was originally called "WrestleMania's
Ten Greatest Matches Ever" and hosted by "the Nature Boy" Ric
Flair. Broadcast on SpikeTV before WrestleMania XX, it was also a part of the 3
disc WrestleMania XX DVD set. It's been repackaged here as a separate disc, this
time hosted by "Mean" Gene Okerlund and is six minutes longer. It
features ten of the greatest WrestleMania matches, chosen by the WWE superstars
themselves. Unfotunately, they're not the entire matches, but it's just enough to give you
that warm and fuzzy feeling of nostalgia.
For the amount of content on the disc, this was an fairly good transfer. It's
presented in the full frame 1.33:1 ratio and the majority of the time, the picture is sharp. Colors
are bright and the blacks were deep.
Audio: The Dolby Digital 5.1 sound was crystal clear and enveloped my
living room while I was watching it.
Conclusion: Tough Enough wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be,
but that doesn't mean i'd pay for this. That's not to say that the WWE didn't
put together a great package for this release. They did. I'm just not a fan of
reality shows, so I really couldn't get into it. I'm sure if you're a fan of the
WWE you'll enjoy this, making it a Recommended disc. However, for the
casual viewer, i'd say Rent It.