By Kenneth Nida wrestlingobserver.com
Last week’s Tough Enough saw the judges’ second of three saves used by Paige on Gigi. This meant Chelsea, who came second to Sara Lee in the voting, and the last competitor left who has any wrestling experience, was eliminated from the show. This week John Cena will make an appearance on the live portion of the show, and the competitors will have to put together a match as their challenge.
We start with each of the judges giving the contestants a word of advice on what they want to see. We go back to last week after the elimination. Chris Jericho is in the kitchen with pizzas. He prods at Amanda about her survival through the voting. We get the dreaded “What is your favorite match?” question. Gigi says Trish Stratus vs. Lita, ZZ says HHH vs. Brock Lesnar in a cage match, Sara Lee says Brock Lesnar vs. the Undertaker. Jericho reinforces that storytelling is vital to pro wrestling.
The contestants drink through the night with Jericho, and some have trouble waking up in the morning. Jericho joins the contestants to run drills. The first contest is for the contestants to tell a story in the ring. They get an hour to come up with how they are going to choose their stories. The coaches meet with each of them to offer advice. The NXT Superstars are the audience for the matches. The first match is Josh vs. ZZ who are telling the classic big man vs. small man story. The NXT Superstars get one loud “Truffle Shuffle” chant in at the beginning of the match. Josh wins, and they put together a pretty good match. The second match is Sara Lee vs. Amanda. Sara Lee wins, with Amanda getting high praise from the trainers. Booker gets really upset with Sara Lee smiling during the match, cutting a promo on her. The third match is Tanner vs. Gigi. Tanner wins, but their story gets muddled. Josh wins the challenge, with Sara Lee being the worst.
Tanner and Josh talk about the challenge while playing pool. Amanda, Sara Lee, and Gigi read mean tweets and laugh at them. John Cena is introduced. He offers a bit of advice, praising them for being brave for putting it all on the line. Cena asks Daniel Bryan if he looks like he should compete at Summerslam and Bryan offers a hearty “Yes!” The judges grill the contestants, with Miz saying Tanner is too robotic, Paige asking ZZ and Sara Lee if they feel safe in the bottom 3 because of their fans, and Daniel Bryan pointing out that Gigi was booed in her match with Tanner because of her attitude. For the bottom 3 Miz chooses Tanner, Paige chooses Sara Lee, and Daniel Bryan chooses Gigi. Each contestant gets 30 seconds to plead their case. Jericho asks the contestants who they think should go home, with ZZ and Josh saying Tanner, and Amanda saying Sara Lee. Daniel Bryan declines to use his save.
Sara Lee gets 43% of the vote, Tanner gets 35% of the vote, and Gigi gets 22% of the vote, eliminating her from the competition.
Two female and three male contestants remain. It will be interesting to see what they do next week when it comes to eliminations. They can’t nominate any of the women because we’d have a female winner early. Instead it would make sense if the bottom 3 are automatically ZZ, Josh, and Tanner. They are, seemingly, all well-liked by the fans, though we’ve only seen Josh in the bottom 3 one time. The week we saw him in the bottom, they showed him talking to his daughter, which I could see them doing again next week to build a bit of sympathy.