Tough Enough Winners Josh And Sara Lee Discuss Their New Lives With WWE

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After 10 harsh weeks of competition, WWE’s reality competition Tough Enough on USA Network ended this week and welcomed two new members to their roster. Michigan native Sara Lee and former NFL prospect Josh Bredl each won $250,000 contracts and will soon join the ranks of the NXT stars at the WWE Performance Center. We talked to them about the Tough Enough journey and the exciting new chapter of their lives.

With Spandex: What have you been doing since the victory last night?

Josh Bredl: Just basking in it, man. Got back to the hotel room, got some good sleep, woke up, and now we’re doing some media. Just trying to keep the momentum rolling.

Alicia Fox is a former Divas champion, and Cesaro has been one of the best wrestlers in the world for years. What was it like competing with them in front of a live TV audience?

Sara Lee: It was an honor to be able to get in there, especially for our first live match. I watched [Alicia] on TV for years, and then to be told I get to work with her… I just wanted to really bring it so that I could live up to her expectations, the bar she set.

JB: Yeah, like you said, Cesaro’s one of the best wrestlers right now. He’s a bona fide technician, and the fact that I got to work with him and make my debut against someone of that caliber… it’s just awesome, man.

Sara, Paige was your harshest critic this season. Do you think that was coming from a good place? Was she tough on you because she wanted to see improvement?

SL: Oh yeah, definitely. No hard feelings to her for any of the things she said to me. It’s tough love, I view it as constructive criticism. Everything she said, she didn’t say it to be mean. She wants me to do well and show everybody why I deserve to be here. I’m ready to put in the work and show her why I’m here.

The consensus from the judges was that you still have considerable work to do. How do you plan on improving?

SL: Well obviously, we’ll be down there training all the time, so that’s going to help a lot. I’m a person that needs to learn by doing more reps, and on the show, we didn’t always have time to do that. I’m excited to have more time to stay focused and devote myself to practicing and putting in the hard work.

Josh, can you describe the transition from an NFL environment to the WWE environment?

JB: Yeah, they’re both very professional structures when it comes to the company itself. But at the same time, they’re both different beasts, man. If you come from the NFL, it’s more of an anaerobic way of training. [WWE] is more aerobic, you’re constantly going. Making the transition was huge, because I had to adapt quickly… I’m feeling good, I’ve got air in me, and I’m ready to continue pushing forward. When it comes down to it, you’ve got to have that passion. I had the passion to change my body in 10 weeks, and I have the passion to do this for the rest of my life.

ZZ got pretty far thanks to his natural charisma, but do you think he wanted this as much as he said he did?

JB: I’d like to think he did, man. But at the same time, when you say you want something so bad and you don’t put forth the extra effort behind closed doors, it’s debatable… I’m not going to knock him at all, but at the same time, I showed that I wanted it more than him.

We saw last week that someone found your old YouTube channel with all the prank calls. Is that a side of you we’ll be seeing more?

JB: No, that was probably something I had when I was in high school, just being a kid and doing some kid things… You can see the dates on those are pretty old. But no, I’m not going to be making any prank calls any time soon. I’m retired.

Now that NXT is in your future, is there anyone on that roster you’re looking forward to working with?

SL: Bayley, especially. I see her in the ring, she’s got the championship, and I can relate to her because she’s more of a nice character… I look forward to working with her. Dana Brooke too, because she helped us train in the ring. To get in there and have a match with her would be really awesome.

JB: I can’t really think of anyone I wouldn’t want to work with, to be honest. They’re all really good guys. But when it comes down to it, I really like the energy Mojo Rawley brings. I like Enzo and Big Cass, they’re pretty high-energy. And it’s a whole different vibe with the Vaudevillains, they bring some kind of vintage vibe… Honestly, I think the NXT roster is a diverse melting pot, and everyone brings something really special to the table, so I’m ready to bring my own sauce.

A quarter of a million dollars is a lot of money — are you already making plans for what to do with it?

SL: Honestly, no. I have a car, I have everything I need, so I’m just going to be smart. I have student loans, so I’ll put it towards that, and a place to live down here.

JB: Yeah man, that’s a nice piece of cash, and it’s something we both really worked hard for. I’m not sitting here thinking of how I can spend it… right now, one-year contract or not, I plan on doing this for the rest of my life. This is my career. So the money’s great, but moving forward, I definitely have my essentials. I want to make sure I have a place to stay down here, first and foremost.

Triple H is the big presence at NXT — has he been communicating with you two?

SL: He’s really busy, so we talked to him at the beginning of the show, and it was awesome to reconvene with him last night. We haven’t heard a whole lot…

JB: Yeah, there hasn’t been too much communication, except for the beginning of the show during the mini-camp. Like Sara said, he’s a very busy man, but now that this thing’s wrapped up, I’m sure we’ll have more communication with him moving forward.

So, what’s next for you?

SL: Going back home, but we don’t have much turnaround time before we have to get back here and start getting to work… I’m going to get my dog Ralph, since he’s been home this whole time. I’ll get him, come back down here, then find a place and get training again.

JB: Yeah, exactly. The turnaround time is very short. I think we have a nice head of steam going into this next step, so I definitely want to get back… We won and everything, now I’ve got to set a new goal. I was taking a shower this morning and thinking to myself, “Damn, I need a new goal.” I’ve got to think of the next step.