Tough Enough Stuff, Episode 2: Gator’s Game

Last week, the field of Tough Enough competitors survived awkward hot-tub encounters and other obstacles on their path toward potential WWE super-stardom. Last night, Roman Reigns paid a visit and the cast of 12 was narrowed down to 11. Who was sent home? What Cajun aphorisms did ZZ drop on us? Find out with this recap of Episode 2, “Swamp Stories.”

Bayou a Drink

Recoiling from the harsh reality of the first elimination, the remaining 12 competitors are on edge. The consensus seems to be that Dianna clearly doesn’t want to be in the running as much as she says she does, so she’s really playing defense from here on out. In any sane world, she would rightly be the subject of the most scorn, but then Alex has to go and open his giant Russian mouth. He gets in an argument with Patrick regarding the necessity of knowing your wrestling history, and I think I need to quote him verbatim here just to make sure you don’t accuse me of sensationalizing.

“You don’t have to know history, you don’t have to know wrestlers, you don’t have to know matches, I don’t have to know anything about this sport… Knowledge means nothing.”

[protected-iframe id=”3e2f8e7fa478abb0e5ba7744f48d8524-60970621-19917426″ info=”” width=”650″ height=”400″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen=””]

Daria reacts correctly and calls it the dumbest statement she’s ever heard. The challenges begin when the cast members take an airboat out to some random spot in the Everglades, where the judges tell them they’ll be testing bravery. Their job is to swim back to the boat, grab an NXT championship belt, and return to the judges. By the way, Kenny, what is today’s mystery fluid? (“It’s Florida swamp water full of alligators and snakes, which the USA Network legal department have forbidden from attacking anyone!”) Patrick says he can’t swim. I’m not touching that one. Dianna says she’s terrified of murky water, but she was apparently a swimmer in high school and she ends up soundly beating everyone. Is anybody else having trouble figuring her out? Is she pulling Twin Magic on us or something? In the meantime, Mada, Patrick and Alex do so poorly that Professional Bayou Lifeguards are summoned to make sure they don’t die on TV. Josh and Tanner nearly get in a shoving match as they accuse each other of cheating to win. Daria gets chewed out by Billy Gunn for dropping her championship belt and finishing without it.

I Hope Roman-Senpai Notices Me

Back at the barracks, alliances start to form between the women. Giorgia and Daria get on the same page and agree that Dianna needs to be taken down, while Gabi and Dianna form Team No One Likes Us. Patrick decides to make it awkward and suggest that Gabi and Dianna literally kiss and make up. Remember, he’s still a teenager, and we were all awful people when we were teenagers. Still, gross. Mada elects to FaceTime with his wife and child after his miserable performance at the swamp.

The next day, Roman Reigns pays a visit to the Performance Center and we’re treated to a montage of the ladies instantly becoming Tumblr. Seriously, why is this not Roman’s gimmick by now? Just have him be a handsome Samoan god-king who gets women pregnant by merely standing in the general vicinity. I’m sure Dean Ambrose could still find a way to bounce weird comedy off that. The next challenge involves the cast taking their first back bumps in the ring, eventually enduring a bump off the top turnbuckle. Thankfully, it’s the crash-pad training ring rather than the real deal. Coming off the top isn’t something you should even consider in your first month of training, but I guess hammerlock counters aren’t exciting television. Patrick takes his licks like a natural and wins the challenge, while Giorgia turns in the best performance for the women.

Upon their return to the barracks, there’s an almost immediate argument between Dianna and Daria. Giorgia literally does the sitcom cup-to-the-wall trick to eavesdrop and are you kidding me, that is adorable. Patrick and ZZ follow suit, with ZZ not even putting his cup against the wall. This show is full of idiots and about half of them are great. Dianna pulls something kind of underhanded when she starts flirting with ZZ just to get him to switch rooms with her. Dianna, I hope you’re reading this, because that boy is a delicate Louisiana flower and so help me God if you manipulate him out of his innocence. He has only ever known the scaly touch of a gator, so of course he’s going to cave in when a pretty blonde calls him cute. Vietnam couldn’t break Forrest Gump, but I’m worried that one of these women will break ZZ.

I Regret Everything

Switching over to Full Sail, it’s time for eliminations. Daniel Bryan grills Alex on the “knowledge means nothing” comment, leaving Alex to try and explain how he’d rather be the gym rat than the history nerd. Paige calls him a moron, and Hulk Hogan seems downright insulted. Paige also has problems with Sara and Amanda not standing out from the crowd. Hogan decides to focus on the issues that Alex, Mada and Daria had during the swamp challenge. I understand why they’re not happy with Daria, but dropping an NXT replica during a swimming race doesn’t exactly seem like a common occurrence, even for the WWE. That’s like being mad at your accountant for losing focus on the one random day when bees suddenly start pouring into the office through the vents. It’s a weird variable to throw in the data set, that’s all I’m saying. The bottom three for the week are Dianna, Alex and Sara. Predictably, Alex’s stupid comments come back to bite him and he’s eliminated. Knowledge is power after all.

Week 2 MVP: Patrick. Swimming’s not his thing, but he was right to call out Alex on his ignorance, and his bumps looked super smooth. Let’s see if his stock continues to rise.
Week 2 Jobber: Mada. He looked downright relatable when he was on the phone with his family, but everything else was garbage.
Week 2 Dark Horse: Giorgia. She was doing great with the bumps, and I feel like she’s finally starting to let her personality show through. Plus, look at this interaction with Billy Gunn.

[protected-iframe id=”06fb0dfea4e411e28c681ad33f9c9b8a-60970621-19917426″ info=”” width=”650″ height=”400″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen=””]

Australia, just send us all the wrestlers. Put ’em on a plane with Shane Haste and Mikey Nicholls, because you are killing it right now.