A Tough Enough Contestant Says ‘Tough Enough’ Was Scripted, In Today’s Most Shocking News

In today’s most shocking news — seriously, you might want to be sitting down for this — reality shows produced by WWE are not on the level. I know, I’m fighting back tears, too. Next you’re gonna tell me all those fights they get into on Total Divas while driving cars without wearing seat belts aren’t legit.

In a conversation with Dave Meltzer discussed on Wrestling Observer Live, Tough Enough contestant Tanner Saraceno revealed that all the show’s sit-down interviews were scripted, and that producers did their best to make sure Josh Bredl and Amanda Saccomanno won the season. You may know Bredl as that guy getting heat from veterans on Twitter, and Saccomanno as “Mandy,” this year’s Total Divas random character addition.

The conversation is a testament to WWE’s love of micro-management. According to Tanner, he was made to do multiple takes of personal interviews to make sure he included certain terms the producers wanted, was told to make his name in MMA before trying to get a WWE job, and wasn’t hired like fellow non-winners Amanda and ZZ because his promos weren’t good enough. He also mentioned there being a priority on showing Josh succeed, to help influence voting. You know, basic reality show 101. Create the reality you want people to believe, good or bad. There’s also a fun bit about WWE not anticipating eventual women’s winner Sara Lee becoming popular and stealing Mandy’s thunder, which seems like a running theme in modern WWE.

I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to watch classic moments like this the same way again:

At least we’ll always have Breaking Ground, right? Right? It’s still real to me, dammit.