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What really grinds my gears. Ep. 2 - Attack of the Reality Shows.

Rating: 5 votes, 4.80 average.

"You know what really grinds my gears? Wrestling reality TV shows ... Why don't they get with the freaking program? Showing us all these desperate nobodies trying to get a contract ... and for what? Am I supposed to take them seriously? Am I supposed to believe they won't just be fired a couple of months later? ... Tell us, what we are supposed to do, I'm just sat here with my beer thinking ... Where's the wrestling? Why am I even watching this one guy get all pissed, because some girl disrespected him behind his back? Are we going to have the winner of these shows actually accomplish something? No! They will accomplish nothing, and to titillate us with any thoughts otherwise is ... is just bogus"


Episode 2 - Attack of the Reality Shows.

From the writer of such epics like, "Chris Benoit - The factual, Unbiased View" and "The Facts about John Cena - Good and Bad", comes the second installation of What really grinds my gears.

Last time I touched on the subject of pure hate and cynicism displayed by fans of today, but this time I want to move onto something which we can all agree, is something which really has no place in the wrestling business .. Reality Television shows.

Over ten years ago the UK was hit with the phenomenon that is Big Brother, and the US got Survivor. In the UK, we got to watch as people were put into a situation where they would share a house, and each contestant would get evicted either by the other contestants, or the public vote. This was in the year 2000, and it was an interesting concept.

However after a second season of watching other people sitting around, the novelty of this new concept wore off quickly. Hell, even I can admit to getting into the second season of the show, as I had never seen such a show in my life, and my friends were really into it.
After the second season, I didn't want to see anymore, it was just going to be the same thing, but with different people, so what's the point?

Just like anything in the history of the world, as soon as something becomes popular, you get tons of duplicates. American Idol, X-Factor, Dancing with the Stars, and so, so, so many more.

So the WWE decided, let's try it! They gave us Tough Enough, Diva Search, NXT, and even TNA with Gut Check.
What was the point in these shows? Why did they have to plug these shows to the moon? Well I suppose ... they wanted to look for some talent? Maybe the Winners could become Superstars and be absolutely huge?

Wrong! The winners of these shows, usually never made it far, there were some exceptions but ...

Tough Enough

The original show, Tough Enough, happened in 2001, and needless to say, can anyone remember it? Or even who won it? Let me remind you ... Nidia and Maven won the show, and where are they now?

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Nidia was released from her WWE contract on November 3, 2004 along with several other performers, in a routine purge of talent. She won no championships.

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Maven was released by WWE on July 5, 2005. He won the Hardcore title three times, and his biggest moment was eliminating The Undertaker in the Royal Rumble. The Undertaker completely destroyed him afterwards.

Other winners of Tough Enough shows include: Shaniqua (Released in 2004), Jackie Gayda (Released in 2005), John Morrison (The most successful winner of any WWE Reality show, he went on to win many titles), Daniel Puder (Released in 2005) and Andy Leavine (Released in 2012).

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"John Morrison, a true winner of Tough Enough."

Diva Search

The Diva Search was very similar in that the early winners didn't get very far. Also notice how the Divas division became a lot less relevant after all of these Diva Searches? That's because the WWE was looking for looks over athletic ability.

Winners: Christy Hemme (Released in 2005), Ashley Massaro (Released in 2008), Layla (Went on to have moderate success) and Eve Torres (3 time Divas Champion).

Just before the Diva Searches, the divas divison had just lost amazing wrestlers like Lita and Trish Stratus, and they were replaced by Divas who are used for extremely short matches, backstage segments and valet positions for celebrities.

So we move onto the famous WWE NXT, that replaced the appalling WWE version of ECW.

WWE NXT

The WWE already had development territories for the up and coming talent .. so why did they need NXT? And even worse then that, any wrestling fan who had ever seen Bryan Danielson in action, could tell you right now, having him on NXT with The Miz, as his "Pro" was an absolute joke.
Also I am sure everyone was under the impression that the "Winner" of NXT would get special treatment, and get up to the main roster.

The Winner was Wade Barrett, which aside from Daniel Bryan, WWE actually got that one right. However all of the talent from NXT would be used in some fashion after the show ended, as part of The Nexus.

Now the difference with NXT, it was a hybrid of Reality, and Scripted, and guess what? It actually helped to bring in some new fresh talent, and made a pretty neat group, lead by Wade Barrett. Seeing them belittle John Cena on a weekly basis was good TV in 2010.

Season 2 was correct, having Kaval (Low-Ki) on the show was already very silly, he didn't need any training, but he won the series. However the sad thing is, he was released at the end of 2010. Another injustice in reality shows, they kept the very talented Low-Ki on a "Rookie" show, and when they brought him up to the main roster, they had nothing for him. So what exactly is the point of NXT?


Season 3 and 4 of NXT saw the Winners of Kaitlyn, and Johnny Curtis, who lets be honest, are still drifting around, waiting for their moments to get used in a proper manner. Season 5 ended up becoming a year+ long series of episodes that saw wrestlers like The Prime time players (Although Darren Young and Titus had already been on these shows anyway) get some spotlight, and moved up to the main roster although they technically didn't "Win" anything. Derrick Bateman was never eliminated and still never won anything.

TNA Gutcheck

TNA Gutcheck made this concept a little more silly. taking the Gut Check seminars that initially didn't appear on Impact, and moving it onto the Live Impact shows with X-Factor style "Judges".

Needless to say, 87% can agree, Joey Ryan not getting a contract, while Alex Silva, Sam Shaw and Taeler Hendrix did (even though we ain't seen them since), is completely bogus. We all know it was a work, so how can we take this seriously anymore? Ric Flair spoiled it before it even began by saying "Yes" to Silva when he was not supposed too.

The Exceptions

Although the winners generally didn't go very far, it was usually those who got eliminated who ended up getting a contract, and making a big name for themselves.

These wrestlers include: The Miz, Daniel Bryan, Matt Morgan, Ryan Reeves (Ryback), Michelle McCool, Maryse and Brodus Clay.

Aftermath

With all of these, "developed" wrestlers who have gone through the grueling WWE system, it has made a lot of workers who are unable to adapt, and are unable to try something different, as they are not how wrestlers used to be.

In the past, wrestlers developed their skills on the Independent scene and in other big promotions. They never needed to go through "development", and were often thrown into the deep end. The cream would always rise to the top, and it was more of a risk for companies to try out some of these talent, but they had more of a chance of getting over at a young age.

With all the different shows and development conditions that the WWE offer now, it usually means a wrestler doesn't get onto the main roster until they are in the late 20's or early 30's. This is a problem because then they don't have as much time to get over with the crowd. Back in the older days, it was very common to see wrestlers as young as 18-25 years old on the main roster, and this taught them a lot more then any reality show could.

So when it comes down to it, reality shows were only cool ten years ago. Maybe it's just me, but I only watched the last Tough Enough because of Steve Austin, and I probably won't watch another show. There is no point, no one on that show got a proper main roster contract, so it was a royal waste of everyone's time.

Let's hope the wrestling companies realize that they don't need to find new talent in this way. The Undertaker, Steve Austin, The Rock, Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, and so many more, were never part of a reality show. I am sure if any of them had been, it would have done nothing to help their careers.

And that is what grinds my gears. Reality shows are not cool, if we wanted to watch reality shows, we would have tuned into Big Brother, American Idol or the X-Factor, lets hope that they all remain dead and buried.

The Attack of the Reality shows, is now over ... You may now leave your seat as we go to the credits.
*Insert Star Wars theme here*

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Updated 10-23-2012 at 01:23 AM by kylos

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Comments

  1. Vondraco's Avatar
    You do have a point. I tuned into NXT and Tough Enough when it was on TV, I'll admit, but I really really really really really (x1m) dislike most reality shows. It does seem like the "losers" (those who got eliminated) often do better than the "winners." Have to further agree with the Divas comment.

    I further agree about TNA, though with the caveat that obviously it is scripted. (Wrestling is scripted? Really?) I think they "eliminated" Ryan with the full intention of bringing him on. Perhaps the other guys were just random lead-ups to that. Though I really hope that Taeler gets some exposure, as their Knockouts division is suffering of late. (Still a bit better than WWE, but only marginally.)
    Updated 10-23-2012 at 01:13 AM by Vondraco
  2. kylos's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Vondraco
    You do have a point. I tuned into NXT and Tough Enough when it was on TV, I'll admit, but I really really really really really (x1m) dislike most reality shows. It does seem like the "losers" (those who got eliminated) often do better than the "winners." Have to further agree with the Divas comment.

    I further agree about TNA, though with the caveat that obviously it is scripted. (Wrestling is scripted? Really?) I think they "eliminated" Ryan with the full intention of bringing him on. Perhaps the other guys were just random lead-ups to that. Though I really hope that Taeler gets some exposure, as their Knockouts division is suffering of late. (Still a bit better than WWE, but only marginally.)
    Yes I think the Knockouts division has definitely taken a backseat since Prichard came in, and specially since Gail Kim lost the title. Hopefully Mickie James comes back soon and they rejuvenate it.

    As for the actual topic, I felt that TNA tried to make Gut Check seem real, but its lost all credibility now that they allowed Joey Ryan another opportunity. It sends the wrong message out there, it tells us that if a wrestler gets told no, they can keep coming back, and eventually they will be given another chance.

    I was under the impression that Gutcheck would be real, and not scripted in the slightest, but its not, so whats the point?

    I really hope that the WWE, and TNA move on from this kind of thing, they can evaluate talent in a much better way then that. I would rather see a wrestling match by established wrestlers, then by nobodies we will probably never see again.
  3. Darkside Ron Garvin's Avatar
    Hey Kylos, can you do your next "Grind my Gears" as a "Top Ten" list of why "Top Ten" lists on the blog page is more over-exposed than the 10 hours a week of WWE programming?

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