It was a Friday night just like any other Friday night. I was on my computer, talking to my friends and watching WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) Friday Night Smackdown. I suddenly felt like Santa’s Little Helper, the family dog on The Simpsons. On that show, there’s one episode where the family is trying to train the animal. The dog obviously doesn’t understand at first. Everything everyone says to him is interpreted as “Blah blah blah”. Until finally, Bart continues to talk and finally the dog hears “Blah blah blah sit”. The dog finally understands and sits.
On a cold Friday night, I was that dog. I was browsing the Web, talking to someone on Skype and watching Smackdown. All of the sudden, from the mandating tone of Michael Coles blah blah blah, I hear “WWE Tough Enough coming to the USA Network.” What? Could it be true? Could one of the most successful reality shows ever actually be coming back? This is genius! WWE Tough Enough was the Survivor of Professional Wrestling or in Vince McMahon’s twisted little world, Sports Entertainment. They took average Joe’s and Jane’s, trained them and eventually gave one of each gender a WWE contract. It was also like WWE’s very own farm system. Taking people that no one’s ever heard of and make them into Superstars. This is pure genius on WWE’s part. Why? Here’s a little secret that WWE doesn’t want you to know. THEY DON’T HIRE ONLY THE WINNER’S OF THE COMPETITION.
In fact, they’ve held on to men who haven’t won the competition longer than the actual winners. Guys like The Miz didn’t even make it to the finals. Now, he’s not only in the company, as of this writing, he’s the WWE Champion. What’s even more absurd is that Josh Matthews, who didn’t even make the competition, is now one of WWE’s commentators. This ridiculous practice will not only help the WWE, it will also kill TNA (Total Nonstop Action) Wrestling. You see, ever since Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan took over TNA, the company has become nothing more than wrestlers either past their prime or old WWE leftovers. Meanwhile, in WWE, they are getting younger. Between the evolution of NXT, which is the showcasing of WWE’s talent from their minor leagues in Florida and now the rebirth of WWE Tough Enough, I believe WWE is set for the next ten to fifteen years. Now, WWE has their own version of a major league baseball team. They have not one but two streams of young talent at their disposal.
I was on the Pro Wrestling Illustrated blog the other day and someone was complaining about the return of Tough Enough. The person’s argument was that the show would be compared to American Idol. My thinking is what’s wrong with that? Isn’t that the American dream? To take people that no one has ever heard of and make them into superstars? That’s what we live for. That’s what we thrive on as a people. To go after our dreams as anything we believe we were born to do. What I believe WWE is doing in a sense is keeping the American dream alive for people who want to become WWE Superstars. If they are hired by WWE, great. If it doesn’t work out….. Hey, there’s always TNA.