Friday, May 8, 2015

Tough Enough returns, but is it for good this time?

4 years have passed since Tough Enough returned to the air, this time on USA, and now it seems WWE Chairman/CEO Vince McMahon believes the time has come for the series to return.

The format will be different, but while the cast will be populated by "contestants", some of whom have actual in-ring experience, such as independent star LuFisto, the spotlight will be on the veteran talent essentially "running the show".

Wrestler-singer-reality TV veteran Chris Jericho picks up the MC's baton from "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, who was in charge of the 2011 edition. Jericho is no stranger to hosting, having previously done shows for SyFy & ABC. Announcer Renee Young will be the co-hostess, having already likened herself & Jericho to Paula Abdul & Ryan Seacrest in the early days of American Idol. As for the judges? Hall of Famers Hulk Hogan and Lita (Amy Dumas) are joined by current stars Daniel Bryan and Paige. Clearly, McMahon & USA are hoping to reel in viewers of different generations.

Tough Enough began on MTV in 2001, and had three "seasons" there (2001-3). Season 4 was incorporated into Smackdown in 2004, when that series was still on UPN. It also marked the end for original head trainer Al Snow's association with the series (Snow is now with TNA). The '11 series was season 5, so this time, we're in season 6. Makes one wonder if McMahon should've done more to keep the series going after it left MTV. Like, for instance, moving it to USA when WWE began their current association with the network in 2005?

Tough Enough will air on Tuesday nights this summer, debuting June 23, as apparently using Monday Night Raw as a lead-in last time might not have been as beneficial as they thought. The series likely will be repurposed on WWE Network during the week, and almost certainly will be available On Demand from cable operators after the relaunch  Audition videos are airing on WWE programming until they decide on who will populate the cast for this edition.

Maybe this time, it'll stick, but knowing McMahon, maybe not. His loss.

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