This week, we have Jakob Jager, Ben Guest, and Carlos Toro discussing the final episode of the latest Tough Enough season, where Sara Lee and Josh were announced as the winners of the 1-year, $250,000 WWE contract.
1. Did you feel Josh and Sara Lee were the right winners? Why or why not?
Jakob Jager: I feel like Josh was the right winner out of the two, as he looked way more dedicated, but I would much rather have had Patrick win the whole thing. As for the girls, we all knew that Sara was going to win from the time she was first put in the bottom three. I'd be happier if Amanda won out of the two, but even more, I'd much rather have Chelsea win the whole thing.
Ben Guest: I think Josh was one of the three best men in the competition (Patrick and Mada being the other two) and I wish we could have seen two of those three get to the finals for a better fight. I felt ZZ was nowhere near their standard and shouldn't have made it further than week five. But, overall, I feel that Josh was a good choice to win and have no complaints. I think he has the physical skills and the personality to make it in the business.
Sara Lee, on the other hand, was a poor choice as the winner, because I personally think Chelsea and GiGi should have been finalists and I would have had Amanda come in third, but had she won, I wouldn't have minded. I don't think Sara has the physical or mic skills of many other women in the competition and she should have gone home much earlier.
Carlos Toro: If we're talking about the finalists, the answer is yes. Sara Lee proved in her match against Alicia Fox that she has the potential to be mildly decent, but needs a lot of training—perhaps more than a year's worth of training. She was not the best out of the women, but I'm not going to judge her harshly and see what she does in the Performance Center
Josh was the best option remaining after Patrick was gone, and I'm sure WWE thought the same as well. I really liked Patrick and was sure he would win it all, but Josh is a good consolation prize that the company can get behind.
2. Where do you see their WWE careers in a year? Performance Center workers, NXT jobber, or Main Roster hopeful?
Jakob Jager: I see Josh doing something once he makes his NXT debut (kind of like a Solomon Crowe or Bull Dempsey kind of character—not a jobber, but he is not in any major storylines). I do see him going to the main roster one day if WWE decides to keep him. As for Sara Lee, I have no idea. I see her getting a very short run (like Alexa Bliss had around the time when they did the show in Ohio—gets the number one contendership, a title match, and then she kind of is forgotten).
Ben Guest: I can see Sara being released in a year unless she shows some serious improvement and I think the other women I mentioned in the first question may be given a chance in the Performance Center.
Josh could possibly be on NXT within a year, and if he improves the same way he has since the start of the series, he could make it onto the main roster within a few years. I also hope Patrick, Mada, and Tanner are given a chance to prove themselves.
Carlos Toro: I see Sara spending her entire year with the company in the Performance Center. I wouldn't be surprised if she would compete in a couple of NXT live events. If you had asked me before NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn, I would have given her an outside chance to appear on television, but that was before WWE reportedly signed a couple of women who are independent and international stars.
As for Josh, it's hard for me to gauge his potential. According to reports, WWE is very high on Josh, so for now I'll say he's close to appearing on NXT and getting some experience so that he can be a regular by late 2016.
3. Did you think that this season lived up to your standards?
Jakob Jager: I didn't like the "fans get to vote" concept of the show. As it was said again and again, it made it a popularity contest, not a superstar search. I really hope that if they do a new season, they do it differently.
Ben Guest: I enjoyed the series as a whole and think that the reality and challenge elements were very entertaining. The only problem, in my opinion, was the fact that the audience had the vote and that the coaches had no say on what happened. I think the coaches and the judges should have had much more of a say in who went and who stayed because they were complaining about the result most weeks and they know who was best.
Carlos Toro: To me, this season fell just short of my expectations, but I won't lie, there were some entertaining challenges (like having everyone swim a gator-filled lake to retrieve NXT belts). I wasn't happy with Patrick being eliminated at that point in the competition.
I can say with a lot of certainty that WWE didn't see this season as a success—so much so, that Vince McMahon has had to abandon SmackDown just to oversee Tough Enough. The ratings were pretty bad, the fan voting backfired terribly, and I don't think WWE wanted Sara Lee to win. Will they renew another season of Tough Enough? Only time will tell.
Are your opinions similar to that of this article's writers? What did you think of this season of Tough Enough? Do you think Josh and Sara Lee were worthy of winning the competition? Sound off on why or why not in the comments section below.