Stone Cold Steve Austin sent two members of WWE Tough Enough home this week, leaving only six. With only six Tough Enough 2011 cast members remaining, it is time to break down the final six and see who has the best chance of winning a WWE contract and the title of Tough Enough.
Let me just start by saying how much I really enjoyed this season. Steve Austin has been tremendous and has elevated the series to a new level. I know a lot of people criticized the decision to bring Bill DeMott back, but even DeMott has been great on the show this season. Overall the show has done a terrific job of bringing out everyone’s personalities and providing an exciting hour of weekly television. What more could you ask for?
[adinserter name=”366 right”]With that said, it certainly isn’t perfect. The biggest criticism from people inside the wrestling business is that the kids really aren’t being taught how to wrestle. I think that is valid, although it appears that most of them had some kind of basic training. It would certainly appear that they are being judged more on athleticism at times than their actual ability to wrestle and perform an entertaining match in a WWE ring.
The Tough Enough cast is down to six and it should be of no surprise to anyone that all six have some kind of pro wrestling experience. Let’s break down the final six and see who is Tough Enough.
Martin Casaus – Donnie Osmond has gone from joke to favorite in my opinion. Casaus continues to shine in the ring and on challenges. Over the last few weeks Casaus has become a favorite among the trainers, leapfrogging Luke who was the show darling during the first few weeks.
Martin’s success thus far on the show shouldn’t be that big of a surprise. As a stockbroker he is very smart and detail oriented, and he also happens to have six years of experience. At this point in the competition it appears to be his to lose.
Jeremiah Riggs – At this stage of the game I would put “MMA” right up there with Martin as a potential winner. Being an MMA fighter has definitely given him an advantage over someone without that background coming into professional wrestling. In addition, he was also trained by the great Dutch Mantell as a pro wrestler so he certainly has all of the tools to win the competition.
In addition to what he has done on Tough Enough, he really shined on RAW when all of the contestants came to the ring. He was the best promo of the bunch and had more charisma inside of the ring that night than any of his peers. Right now the only thing prohibiting him from being the favorite is Martin yet in terms of personality, he is far and away the best in the house.
Luke Robinson – Viewers were ready to shut off the show after the first two weeks when it appeared that Luke was a runaway favorite to win the show. Heck, he was paid the biggest compliment of the group when Steve Austin laced up the boots and picked him as a workout partner inside of the ring. Unfortunately for young Luke, his arrogance got the better of him.
Luke certainly has the tools but it would appear that he is taking Martin and even Jeremiah a bit too lightly. Luke seems more insulted than inspired whenever he loses competitions to Martin and comes off a bit too trusting of Jeremiah. There is certainly a fine line between arrogance and confidence and unfortunately for Luke, he appears to be on the wrong side of that line. I don’t think he makes final two.
Andy Leavine – If I walked into that room knowing nothing about the cast and had to pick one guy to sign for my independent wrestling company it would probably be him on looks alone. He certainly has a marketable look as an athletic 6’5” giant and has shown flashes of charisma. But has he shown enough?
Tracy Smothers’ former student will be one of those losing Tough Enough cast members who wind up returning and achieving more in pro wrestling some past winners. I just don’t think he is quite at the level of Luke, Martin, or Jeremiah just yet. He has done everything well, but he hasn’t done anything great inside of the ring. It’ll come with time which unfortunately he doesn’t have on Tough Enough.
Christina Crawford – Christina is the sister of Alicia Fox and is the only remaining female on the show. Christina was one of the younger members of the house, although she seems fairly mature given her youth. I’d say out of all of the females, she definitely has the most potential to be a successful WWE Diva.
As athletic as Christina is, she is not in the league of the above mentioned competitors inside of the ring. She certainly has potential, but she just seems too sloppy and awkward during drills to go much farther in the competition. Like Andy, I expect she’ll get a developmental deal and wind up as a successful Diva on the main roster at some point. It just won’t be as a result of winning Tough Enough.
[adinserter name=”366 left”]A.J. Kirsch – I look at this guy every week and while he seems nice enough, I have no idea how he even got on the show. He is certainly athletic enough to do well inside of the ring, but he just has zero marketability or charisma. You could see the guy walking in the door the first day and know he would never make it to the finals.
A.J. has five years of experience and certainly seems comfortable in the ring. He just hasn’t done anything impressive. Quite frankly I forget he is even there half of the time. He could probably be a solid hand on the independent circuit, but I don’t see a WWE career in his future. He can run the ropes but he is just missing that “IT” factor.
Only four weeks remain and the competition will most definitely heat up over the next four episodes. The Tough Enough finale airs June 6 at 8 PM/EST on the USA Network.