Tough Enough

In case you haven’t noticed, reality TV has taken over our airwaves. MTV’s The Real World and Survivor started the craze way back when, and today, if you’re watching TV, chances are it’s reality TV.

American Idol, Wipeout, Dragon’s Den, Hell’s Kitchen, The Bachelor, The Ultimate Fighter, Jersey Shore, The Apprentice, Fear Factor, The Amazing Race, Dancing with the Stars, and the list goes on and on and on, and will never cease growing. I know there are plenty of guys out there who have been subjected to train wrecks like The Hills or anything with the word Kardashian in it, in order to make a girlfriend happy.

Some reality TV is obviously better than others, and often times it’s questionable as to just how “real” certain reality shows actually are. Often times a full week is stuffed into an hour of television, in which case the producer is clearly in control of what we’re seeing, and the message we’re receiving.

My favourite reality show of all time is WWE’s Tough Enough.

Whether you’re a fan of professional wrestling or not, Tough Enough is a reality show that can be enjoyed by anybody out there. The show follows aspiring wrestlers who are given the opportunity of a lifetime to be trained by the best in the business, and find out whether not they can hang in a WWE ring. Most come in with little experience, and almost no exposure, and are pushed to the absolute breaking point, as they try to achieve their dream (the ones with other dreams are quickly weeded out).

Not only does Tough Enough offer an intriguing reality aspect that is captivating, it is simply the best way to truly discover the harsh, unforgiving reality of professional wrestling, short of lying down on your back and taking a Hulk Hogan-style leg drop from a 350-pound behemoth, smashing your face open in the process. I’m not bitter, it was a learning experience.

The first season of Tough Enough was my favourite of all of the instalments, but the show recently made a return after being gone for nearly seven years. And this season has been absolutely fantastic.

The trainers this season are Bill DeMott, Booker T, Trish Stratus, and the one and only ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin. Appearances by John Cena, The Rock, Rey Mysterio, Big Show and others really help to keep the show interesting to fans, and allow people to see another, much more professional side to a lot of their favourite wrestlers.

I definitely recommend checking this show out for absolutely anybody who is looking for a show to watch these days, and for non-fans it will be a truly eye-opening experience. Unfortunately, Tough Enough is not being broadcast in Canada this time around, so only those who are savvy with downloading torrents will be able to get their hands on the episodes.

In closing, I’d like to share with you one of my favourite quotes of all time, from the very first season of Tough Enough:

“If you have a question, it had BETTER be a good one, because if it’s a stupid one I will kick your ass in more ways than one.”-Taz

Advertisements

Poetry In Motion

"Trust me!"

This past Friday night, on WWE Smackdown!, Sin Cara put on his best performance to date, going one-on-one with Daniel Bryan.

This was Sin Cara’s longest match to date, and quite possible Daniel Bryan’s as well. But what took place in the ring between these two was nothing short of poetry in motion. An absolutely stunning display of technical precision, acrobatic prowess, and and unrivaled in-ring ability.

From start to finish, this was undoubtedly the single best wrestling match I have seen in many, many months, and definitely a breath of fresh air from what I was used to seeing from WWE programming. It has always been the standard that Monday Night RAW is the “entertainment” side of the WWE, while Friday Night Smackdown! is the “wrestling” side, with 15-minute matches and not a lot of focus on storylines. And this past Friday night was proof, bringing out a side of both of these performers that we’ve not seen in the WWE.

Without further ado, enjoy Daniel Bryan vs. Sin Cara from Friday Night Smackdown:

P.S. Shut UP, Chavo! Isn’t the height of your high-flying resumé a hurricanrana? Try getting the Frogsplash down before claiming you’re on the same level as Mistico.

I’m a Journalist, not a Therapist!

A couple of weeks ago I had my first really interesting experience working as a Journalist.  I’ve yet to be yelled at, still waiting for that rite of passage.

I was working on an assignment for the official publication of the Georgia Association for Pupil Transportation (GAPT), and needed to contact four people who were sitting on the board of directors, interview them, and write a personal profile for each.

I remember specifically picking out this one fellow to call first, because he looked like he was friendliest, and I was really just looking to get my feet wet at this new position.  Don’t ask me why, but there’s also just something intimidating about calling someone in Georgia, from your desk in Winnipeg, like they would just completely disinterested in speaking with you.  Baby Journalist jitters probably.

Anyways, he wasn’t in that day and he actually ended up being the one I called last.  And it’s a good thing.

By the time I got in touch with him, I had already talked to the other three people working for the GAPT, and they were dee-lightful!  One thing you find out quickly as a Journalist is that people do love to talk about themselves; “Whaaaat?? A personal profile on little ol’ me?  Oh, I could never, I’m just not intere- Well alright, I was born in 1959….”

So I finally get to this friendly looking man, give him a dingle, and a half-hour later somebody give me my Ph.D. 

The guy literally wouldn’t let me get a word in edge-wise for a solid fifteen minutes of the conversation, as he vented to me about just how much he hates his job.  And I do mean hates.  Some memorable quotes (that didn’t make the final article); read with a thick Georgian accent for full effect:

“I come home from work each and every day, and I literally feel like I’ve been run over by a steam roller.”

“I don’t even normally pick up the phone, you’re lucky you got me today.  I hate it when everyone goes out for lunch and leaves me here all alone, because then I can’t dodge people.”

“This job is the worst.  The worst.”

And so, there I sat, fingers still and unmoving at the keyboard, as I certainly wouldn’t be able to use any of the information this man was giving me.  All I can say is thank God the minimum word-count was 300, because that was about the amount of positive-sounding quotes I came away with.

The guy had to have known that everything he was saying would never end up in the article I was writing, but he just kept talking!  He definitely had a lot to get off his chest. Reminded me of Peter Gibbons from one of my all-time favourite movies, Office Space.

“So I was sitting in my cubicle today and I realized, ever since I started working, every single day of my life has been worse than the day before it. So that means that every single day that you see me; that’s on the worst day of my life.”

Welcome

Welcome to my new and improved blog, Journo JT!

I have officially severed ties with my old hub, Wrestle-Writing in Winnipeg, and have decided to evolve into much broader spectrum of topics and interests.  The reason for this switch is simple: Wrestling doesn’t define me.  My passion defines me.  And so this blog will serve as a much more enjoyable (and readable, in my opinion) medium on which I will shout to the world.

I am currently employed as an intern editor at a magazine publisher, where I will work for the remainder of the summer, before heading back to Red River College for my second year in the Creative Communications program.  As this is my first real step into the world of Journalism as a living, I plan on documenting my experiences as I dive head first into my field of choice; the good and the bad.

While I will still be frequently blogging about Pro Wrestling, I will now be able to focus on a much wider variety of things; my interests, my life, my goals, my dreams, the people who try to crush them, and their inevitable failures.  Newcomers are welcome and invited to subscribe to the blog, and can also feel free to check me out on Twitter, Facebook or YouTube.

My Red Wings were snuffed out of the NHL Playoffs last night, after suffering a crushing Game 7 defeat in the Western Conference semi-final.  Now we’re down to four, as Tampa Bay/Boston will take play tomorow evening, and Vancouver/San Jose will face off on Sunday.  With the Wings gone, I think I must now align with Tampa Bay, as this year they’re headed up by a new GM in my favourite player of all time, Steve Yzerman.  Would be nice to see him win the big one once again.

Any hockey fans out there?  Who are you betting on this weekend?