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The 7 - Guest Columns - Tough Enough [#309, 12/12/02]
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#1 Posted on 13.12.02 0142.09
Reposted on: 13.12.09 0159.02
Note: I'm not here from next Thursday till the Thursday after that, so the next couple Tough Enough (MTV doesn't appear to be pre-empting this show during the holidays) recaps won't be for a while. I'll catch up when I get back, but they might be even more boring than this!

Open - TV PG L (must not be a lot of wrestling!) 

Previously: They cut Kelly. Jonah and Eric aren't big fans of Jamie. Eric had sex with a girl.

Big explains they're in Iceland, because the WWE life is living on the road. "Iceland oozes toughness!" I'd have that checked on. More montage of Iceland - all sorts of activity they did that we have no real interest in, apparently.

Jamie explains that Eric met a girl the second night. Jonah complains about Jamie bringing it up - they're eating a meal and Jamie says what Eric does is his own business, which everyone is fine with, and that she thinks Eric is a pig, which Eric doesn't take quite as well. "That's not something I would personally do." We cut away from Eric's defense to John telling us Jamie can dish it but can't take. Back at food, Jonah says Jamie is hypocritical, because she was kissing "every single guy" at the cowboy bar a few episodes ago - he's right, but Jamie takes issue with the "every single guy" part. Jamie is pretty sure Jonah hates her. John says 'others' resent her for getting special treatment because she's the last girl.

Jamie says she may be the last girl, but she thinks she act more like a guy. Eric says Jamie burps more than any guy in the house - montage of Jamie belching, nice. Eric also says that every time Jamie burps, she says "I'm gonna be a diva", which we saw earlier but we get more flashbacks of it happening. Eric says it was kinda funny the first item but now it's just disgusting and repulsive.

Some other meal later at night. Big tells all the guys that they have to take care of Jamie - "you have an obligation as men to take care of her", which seems kinda sexist. Jonah tells us that Jamie should be treated the same as everyone else - no special treatment - but they're holding back because that's what big wants.

Ring work. Bumps hurt. John says the ring is rock hard - it's a boxing ring rather than a wrestling ring (with four loose ropes instead of three tight ones). While the corners have a lot of give, the mat does not. Justin and Eric are spiced together to explain they worked for two or three hours, but the corner bumps were moving the ring off center and eventually, one of the ropes snapped off after a Matt corner bump. Jonah explains the ring was in shambles, so they had to rebuild. Building the ring montage. Bill and Al explain that's Wrestling 101 - if it's broke, you just fix it and go on. "[burp] Diva." Big is proud of Jamie for working as hard as the guys on rebuilding it. Somehow, they rebuild the ring but don't use the posts or lift, so the mat's only a foot or two off the actual floor. I wonder what happened there - maybe they figure it wouldn't move as easily this way? No one explains this.

After they're done setting up the ring, "the Icelandic News" shows up to interview them. Jonah hypes himself up as probable winner and claims he was doing it sorta in character: "you know, I'm the Big Chooch, I'm the best." Jonah is asked who his hero is: "My favorite wrestler is Bill DeMott [someone off camera "You're dead" - Bill, Al and a couple others are working or a corner nearby] He's the best wrestler I've seen [clip] He's very old, but he still does it." Bill gives Jonah a look like he really is about to be dead. For no reason we can see, Jonah and John do "hiya!" screams to the camera. Jonah explains that they weren't as serious as they normally were with interviews, and Bill was ticked at them. Jonah claims to Bill that he acts nice in public, Bill says he acts like "a jackass" and Jonah disputes it, which is a really dumb move. "You're embarrassing [...] You acted like a jackass!" Bill explains that he wants the kids to act like professionals in and out of the ring. Jonah is scared that Bill's gonna kill him. Bill: "I'm pretty sure if it was Vince sitting in front of you asking questions, you wouldn't be answering them like that, no matter how he put them to you." Al: "Jonah Jonah Jonah." Break.

Hey, I thought they weren't allowed to show the HLA on Heat last time but it's here. I guess the new Heat ad is just to not run the old one into the ground over the holidays?

At yet another meal, Jonah says something along the lines of "you can't rib me, you can't get me", because he heard Al's a good ribber and Jonah's a moron. Al promises that he'll get in Jonah's room and get him. Jonah is sure he'll be able to stop him. Matt explains that he, Eric and Jonah roomed together at the hotel. They just now discover that they've got a door that leads to Al's room next door. Al peers through menacingly, while Jonah and Matt realize it doesn't lock. This doesn't bode well for Jonah.

Later, they EAT SOME MORE. It's a Lobster house, but I don't feel the need to get the name - it's not like you're going. Eric says it's REALLY getting like a family with less and less, but Jamie still is annoying everyone. They leave.

Big and Jamie have a conversation about Jamie getting along okay even though she's the only female - it's the first time there's been only one female. Big tells her if she feels uncomfortable at all, it's important that she talk to Big. 

Elsewhere, Jonah is booby trapping the doors so that if someone comes in, he would hear them come in. And that way, Al can't prank him. 

Later. Obviously someone is in the room because the camera is on Jonah. We see Matt leave the room (no booby trap - did he take it off?) and knock on Al's door. Matt explains that they decided to team up to work against Jonah - Al gives Matt an autographed picture of Al, and Matt lays it Jonah's bed, as if Al snuck in and left it there.

Morning. They're EATING. Bill and Al are having a conversation. Al: "Yea, I figure I got five or six more." "Five or six left?" "Autographed pictures." Jonah says that Al was smiling big time at breakfast - it's not clear that Jonah is actually aware of Al's picture being left on his bed, though Jonah is smiling when Al is talking about them. Al: "Most people are thankful that I autograph a photo for them." Jonah tells us it'd be impossible for Al to get in last night (I think he might have a clue that he got turned on) but tells Al that he got him, though it kinda sounds insincere. I was hoping this would led to a plot with Jonah being stalked by Al Snow autographed glossies but this is the last we hear about them.

Sometime later, everyone gets to ride a Viking Ship. At one point, they have to row. Al ears a Viking helmet, chain mail and cape: "Row well and live. Row poor and die." Al looks hilarious, and they row hilariously bad. We see footage of them knocking the paddles into each other. Al:  "You're nothing but fish bait"

Now, let's EAT. They got to a Viking Restaurant, where they're greeted by a Viking fight over Jamie. Jonah: "They said they're gonna fight for Jamie, we're look - 'You can have her!'" Jamie gets picked up and carried away, never to be seen again (for a couple minutes.)

Jonah was aware enough to know that they were going to eat something nasty at the restaurant. Your waiter is wearing a full face covering helmet. They give a plate of old traditional Icelandic food - the high/low point to the kids was a piece of "rotten shark". Matt had never smelled anything quite this bad. Jamie explains that they bury it in the ground uncooked, then some people urinate on it to give it flavor. Everyone has to eat the shark or be a wimp. Guess who's the wimp? Matt eats, Jamie eats, Jonah - says the first moment they turned away, he slipped it in his pocket. We see him drinking some beer and encouraging Justin to just swallow it, then acting like he got a bad aftertaste from eating the shark. Jonah explains that eventually they took away the plates and went on with the rest of dinner, but everyone was still smelling the tell-tale rotten shark. Everyone knows it's coming from Jonah too, and ask him if he put it his pocket or threw it on the ground, which he denies because he thinks he can get out of this with his dignity. Of course, he ruins that by saying he'll get naked to prove he doesn't have it hiding on him. Jonah even takes off his shirt and his pants to prove it - but Bill calls him on getting naked. "When are you going to learn?" Al and Bill: "You said naked!" Jamie: "And then he stripped naked!" Thank god for blurring, that's what I say. The female bartender behind them cracks up, and later the waiter threatens to "cut this thing off!" Matt says Bill was trying to teach Jonah a lesson, but Jonah took it the wrong way.

Matt explains that post-dinner, they managed not to each for a scene by going to a campfire. Oh wait, they have beers, never mind. John explains that Bill had been talking about respecting the business, respecting where they came from, and Jonah completely missed the point (as usual.) Big: "Jonah, what's the lesson learned tonight?" Jonah: "Respect, Big, Respect, to go through this bulls[bleep]-" Bill: "This bulls[bleep]t!?!? This bulls[bleep]t!?!? This is our lives!" "But it's a bulls[bleep]t game!" Jamie: "oh my god" John smiles as he explains that it wasn't what Bill was taking about at all. Bill is disgusted and walks off to another camp fire. Bill: "We said it from the first day I was out here, it's about respect." Jonah: "At that moment, my stomach dropped." Break.

You ever notice how Jonah only starts thinking when he realizes he's about on the edge of being cut?

Campfire. Jonah presents Bill with a beer. Bill just looks at him. Jonah explains his comments away by being stupid. They have a heart to heart where Jonah tries to explains he didn't mean what he said and Bill affirms that what he said wasn't bulls[bleep]. Jonah has three weeks to prove himself (and a big hill to climb, at this point), but Bill has three weeks till he goes back to do what he does back. Will Jonah go with or stay behind? Altogether, Bill doesn't kill him and is nice to him, which is surprising. Bill says people get left behind not because they're not good people, but because they don't get it (and Jonah needs to get it already.) They shake and Jonah walks back to the group. Bill: "[burp] Diva." Okay that was funny.

Big explains that Iceland if famous for the World's Strongest Man, so they're gonna do a mini-World's Strongest Man competition with their special guest, Hjalti Árnason, 1999 World powerlifting champion. Hjalti explains it's all about strength and endurance. Looks like there's a wood chopping event, a "lifting a heavy ball onto a table" event, a "carrying logs a distance" event and a "hold a heavy bell up for a long time" event. Montage. Eric does really well on the events - he reveals that he watches this on TV actually and he was really into it (more than everyone else.) There's also a cylinder press that I don't see before. Though they don't draw attention to it, Jamie noticeable has less daunting tasks (though perhaps proportionally even as compared to the guys) - a smaller ball to lift, only one log to carry - for some of the tasks. Jamie says although she's always been competing with the guys, she's more conscious of it now since she's the only girl left.

The last event is that cylinder lift. Before Jamie goes, Hjalti pulls her aside for a piece of advice. Jamie is all ready to hear it, and Hjalti slaps her with the flats of his hands on both sides of the face. Jamie remarks on how huge his hands are and he was slapping her hard. Jamie lifts - and does a good job with the lift. If this is lighter we can't tell - anyway, she does good and she's competing against the guys, right. Hjalti gives the trophy for the competition to Eric and Jamie to share. Jonah says they gained respect for Jamie because of how she did. Eric says the trainer was really impressed with Jamie, and he almost wondered if there was something there. In her interview, Jamie says Icelandic guys love her - and then "[buuurp] I'm so sorry. Diva."

Back to the lowered ring. Jonah explains that there were 40-50 2nd to 3rd grade age kids there, which was cool. Justin asks if they've seen wrestling on TV, they say yea. Al tells John and Jonah that they'll have an exhibition match (no one else?) and gives them a pep talk to hopefully get them off the nerves.

Jamie does ring introductions for this match. "In the red - it's the Big Chooch!" The kids, perhaps spurred on by Justin and Matt, chant "chooch!" This is vaguely disturbing. His opponent is "Johnny" - he's the hell. Match clips - crowd is into the Chooch. From what we see (not much), they sells the match to the kids very well. Jonah milks a slam, and gets the pinfall of it. That's a weak finish! Jamie and Jonah led the kids in a "chooch!" chant post match. Al and Bill are cracking up - Al's proud that they got a chance to do it into front of a live audience.

Hotel. No one's eating! This is the longest we've gone all episode. Anyway, Jonah "has had it with Al" which makes me think that Al kept pulling picture related pranks on Jonah and we didn't get to see them. Jonah's big plan: take his rotten shark smelling shoes and put them onto Al's bed (with a taunting note). I wonder at Matt for getting talked into this. They get a door key, Matt opens the door - and Al is standing right there waiting for them. Hahaha - they try to make a run for it but it ain't happening. Jonah says Al's got them figured all out. Al says what fun is it to get just Jonah (which doesn't appear to be that hard) - why not go for them all? He's got a plan, but he's waiting to get back to LA to do it.

Farewell to Iceland shot - everyone jumps off the top of a small waterfall to the pool below and talks about how much they've learned - Jonah and Jamie are getting along better, they're trusting each other more, blah blah blah blah. This wasn't my favorite episode, can you tell? They come back to LA, but they're to work. Not much time left.

Next On: Bill and Al are raiding the house! Jonah is out of control in the ring and thinking about quitting it.

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#2 Posted on 13.12.02 0654.19
Reposted on: 13.12.09 0659.02
Good recap, Cubs.

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#3 Posted on 13.12.02 0710.20
Reposted on: 13.12.09 0729.01
Is it me or did it seem like this episode was about looking for the next Scott? They presented Jamie and Jonah as candidates but neither fits the role. Jonah just seems to obnoxious and was getting on my nerves by the first commercial break. Scott's excuse was that he came from a sheltered background, although he quickly became annoying as well. As for Jamie, while I don't dislike her as much as other people on the 'Net (the 'Net's attitude probably has a lot to do with how American fans on conditioned regarding the looks of women wrestlers although her body type is closer to the elite women wrestlers of the world than the WWE Diva look), she just seems too jaded for that role. Either way, neither of the two could be a substitute for Scott in the eyes of viewers.

What this show needs is a good villain like Darryl or Harvard Chris or even Alicia.

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#4 Posted on 13.12.02 1112.23
Reposted on: 13.12.09 1113.16
Maybe I'm missing the point, but what the heck is Bill talking about, respect for the business means getting force to get naked in front of everyone just because you said so, even though you were clearing Sounds like bullshit to me. Jonah better be glad he never said anything about being willing to give an arm and a leg for something.

I think I can see why the WWE has gotten into hazing problems in the past. And I found it hypocritical on the one hand to want the TE kids to be 'professional' for the interview (and what they said, "At all times, in and out of the ring"), but then pull a juvenile act of forcing a kid naked in public. You can't have it both ways! You are either professionals or not.
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#5 Posted on 13.12.02 1133.39
Reposted on: 13.12.09 1159.02
I was thinking the same thing. You gotta see the hypocracy in talking about taking the business seriously while pulling ribs on people which would be considered harrassment in any professional business environment.

I can see it mirroring a few years back when referees would be stripped naked and poked fun at. Bill was a little too interested in seeing Jonah naked if you ask me.
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