It has launched the careers of former Intercontinental, United States, and Tag Team Champions. Even WWE and ECW Champions. So why did WWE bring back Tough Enough in 2011 only to pick a winner currently under a developmental contract then disappear? Many wondered about this, and WWE had no answers really. The ratings for the show were solid which meant that WWE might work on getting people they had not signed on the show. USA Network was all for renewing the program, as the ratings were there. It seemed like a WWE decision to end it and not bring it back. This after Tough Enough had not been seen for years prior.
WWE then began to get feedback on what fans wanted on the WWE Network. Tough Enough was even mentioned in Network calls and meetings, which was confirmed by the Wrestling Observer as well as stock holders. The idea was to bring it back as a WWE Network exclusive this fall with a similar staff from the last one. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin was set to be the host and final say once more, meanwhile the WWE would most likely have the show filmed at the Performance Center. Word has it that filming was set to start very soon even.
A few different ideas were being thrown out regarding the show, which could have been its undoing. The idea before was to bring random people off the street who wanted to be wrestlers and put them through a reality show. When WWE brought the show back, everyone on the show as either a new developmental signing or an Independent wrestler. So an idea WWE was throwing around was putting new NXT talent on the show and the winner gets a straight move to the main roster and the other concept was going back to the routes of signing people with no real training, but physical ability for the show.
So WWE had options regarding the show. It was simply down to them wanting to do it or not. Steve Austin mentioned numerous times that he wanted to do it and that there was a lot of people in WWE who wanted to see it too. Sadly, it comes down to business and WWE decided to pull the plug on bringing the show back.
Would it profit WWE to do this show with the budget cuts they are going through? Potentially not.
This makes many wonder if WWE dropped the Tough Enough moniker but might be planning something similar to it focusing on NXT. Anything behind the scenes with WWE seems to always draw good numbers for them, as fans like to get a peek behind the curtain. WWE is willing to show things as well, as they are more than open about the business being entertainment.
When Tough Enough first began years ago, many wrestlers were not for it as it “exposed the business,” as if it was not already exposed. However, due to it’s success on MTV, the WWE ended up doing several seasons of the show before leaving the Viacom banner and rejoining NBC Universal’s banner.
Whether WWE brings back Tough Enough one day or something similar is up in the air. For now, however, a lot of WWE fans will be disappointed the show is not coming to the network.
[IMG Credit: Google]