WWE Tough Enough recap, August 18, 2015: Finding the finishers
With only five competitors left, the remaining contestants took stock of how far they’ve come. As Sara reflected on her continued presence in the bottom three — and the WWE Universe’s clear favoritism toward her, Amanda began a bit of psychological warfare to try to make her only obstacle to a WWE contract doubt herself.
Conversely, the remaining male contestants also accepted the fact that they are now essentially up for elimination as the field narrows to two men, but both Josh and Tanner vented their frustrations with ZZ’s lack of ability, failure to win challenges and consistent appearances in the bottom three. ZZ argued that the WWE Universe clearly sees something in him because he is, in fact, still in the running.
Before embarking on this week’s exercise inside the ring, the Tough Enough competitors made their way to the NXT arena to learn the ins and out of putting on a WWE event. Under the guidance of NXT Superstars, the final five Tough Enough competitors were tasked with setting up the ring. Nearly three hours of teamwork saw the ring put together and resulted in a new appreciation for the behind-the-scenes workers of WWE.
After the ring was ready, the coaches revealed this week’s lesson — learning finishing moves. The coaches took each competitor individually to discuss their ideas for finishers. First singling out Sara, the coaches were genuinely shocked that she believed her skill had been improving. Though she had trouble coming up with a move, Lita suggested an armbar, which Sara executed rather well.
The coaches expressed their concern for Tanner’s charisma, but he knew that he wanted to try out a high-flying finishing maneuver. Executing a cross body, the coaches took issue with Tanner’s failure to change his facial expression or show any range of emotion while executing the maneuver —even though he performed it well.
Josh told the coaches he wanted to do a variation of the powerbomb as his finisher. However, the coaches disagreed with Josh, feeling he’s not at the level of competition to safely perform a powerbomb. Instead, Josh performed a running powerslam — complete with his patented Yeti call — to the delight of the coaches.
Wanting to stand out from the crowd, Amanda said she wanted a finishing move that was “flashy.” The coaches took their time to stress the importance of Amanda’s finisher because one of her main disadvantages is the WWE Universe’s overwhelming support for Sara. Amanda’s running bulldog off the ropes impressed the judges.
Finally, ZZ hit the ring; ZZ told the coaches that he wasn’t quite expecting the physical demands of being inside a WWE ring. Coach Billy Gunn took exception to ZZ’s comment and explained that being a WWE Superstar is as much about being an athlete as it is an entertainer. However, ZZ’s unique idea for a finisher — The Gator Grip —definitely intrigued the coaches.
Back at the barracks, the contestants excitedly discussed their finishers and tried to come up with names. They each went over the judges’ criticisms of how they can improve, but it was ZZ’s embellishment of the coaches’ opinions of him that caught everyone off-guard. The competitors did share some of their thoughts about how great the overall experience has been and how they don’t want to return to real life.
Knowing they were all in the bottom three, the men pleaded their cases to the judges – Josh tried going the extra mile by delivering a sweet treat to Paige. Daniel Bryan chose not to use his save and when the votes were counted, Tanner was eliminated.
Heading into the finale of Tough Enough, it’s down to Josh and ZZ, and Amanda and Sara. Who will win the $250,000 contracts in the final episode?