Tough Enough Recap: August 11, 2015: Telling stories
Gathering in the kitchen to toast the final six competitors, Chris Jericho welcomed them with pizza and a moment to air their gripes. Amanda and GiGi struggled with finding the right way to resonate with the WWE Universe as Sara and ZZ — frequently in the bottom three — can count on fans to survive. ZZ defended himself, saying that being relatable is part of what makes a WWE Superstar great. Jericho dispelled some valuable advice about the storytelling behind in-ring competition.
After a night of partying with Jericho, it was time to hit the ring to learn how to tell stories. Having imbibed a little too much the night before, Tanner struggled a bit to find his groove. However, the coaches had no sympathy and were ready for the competitors to take part in the Storytelling Challenge.
Broken up into pairs, the contestants had an hour to come up with a story to tell in their match and then perform in front of a live audience. As each team came up with their game plan, the coaches interjected — offering suggestions and ideas to maximize the opportunity. When it came time for the challenge to commence, the live audience was revealed to be the NXT roster.
Josh and ZZ’s match was up first and the live audience was really into their bout. The judges concurred with the live audience and gave the match a thumb’s up. Next up were Amanda and Sara, and it was clear from the opening bell that the judges took issue with Sara’s constant smiling. A frustrated Booker T wasn’t the only one to notice as Tanner commented that it took him out of the story of the match. While the judges were hard on Sara’s ever-present grin, they praised Amanda’s in-ring ability. The final bout saw Tanner face off with GiGi. GiGi felt Tanner’s charisma was lacking, and the judges agreed, saying that even though Tanner completed all the basic tasks, he lacked the storytelling the judges were looking for.
Reviewing their performances, the judges unanimously singled out Josh as the top competitor —noting that he had the feel of a WWE Superstar. As for the worst performance, the judges against singled out Sara, commenting that she didn’t feel natural inside the squared circle and her demeanor has to change with the match.
With the Storytelling Challenge passed, Josh commented that he was surprised how well Tanner performed considering his activities the night before. Tanner acknowledged the lack of sleep but still felt he had no problem in the ring. Amanda and GiGi took some time to review their social media feeds and Amanda pointed out the number of mean tweets and comments she received — certainly showing the uglier side of social media. GiGi was shocked by some of the comments, but Amanda stressed that the only thing to do is to keep going, despite the critics.
Back in the Tough Enough studio, United States Champion John Cena made his first appearance since his nose was broken by WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins. Cena offered words of encouragement for the Tough Enough contestants, explaining that their journeys are part of their stories. He respected them for putting their successes and failures out for everyone to see.
Chris Jericho then asked the United States Champion if he would accept Seth Rollins’ challenge for SummerSlam. Cena turned to Daniel Bryan for the decision, who led the Tough Enough audience in a “Yes!” chant, and the United States Champion accepted the challenge.
After reviewing each competitor’s storytelling ability, Daniel Bryan, The Miz and Paige made their picks for the bottom three. Daniel Bryan chose GiGi, feeling that her ability to remain consistent and capture the audience was lacking. The Miz chose Tanner for what he felt was a lack of charisma. Finally, Paige again selected Sara, citing that she did not believe Sara has what it takes to be a WWE Diva.
When the final tally came in, GiGi was the lowest vote getter and her tenure on WWE Tough Enough came to an end — leaving only five competitors.