|New trainers await 'WWF Tough Enough 2'
by Matt Duda
The contestants won't be the only fresh faces on the sequel to "WWF Tough Enough" when the show begins on MTV. Three new trainers are slated to bestow their knowledge of sports entertainment on 13 contestants vying for a World Wrestling Federation developmental contract.
Chavo Guerrero Jr., Ivory and Bob "Hardcore" Holly join the lone returnee from last season, Al Snow. Guerrero's duties on Tough Enough shouldn't be too difficult for him to master. After all, the Guerrero family has been in the business for years and knows a thing or two about training athletes for the ring. Federation Superstar Eddie Guerrero, is a second-generation superstar while his nephew Chavo traces his wrestling lineage back three generations. His family's vast experience will help come into play for Chavo on "WWF Tough Enough."
"It's almost like a second nature to us," said Chavo.
Snow said that his colleagues have a lot to look forward to. "I've been incredibly honored and proud to be doing this and to have been a part of it," Snow said. "I think it's one of the coolest things I've ever done, and I've done a lot of cool things."
By now, the trainers know whom they'll be working with. This year's selection took place Wednesday and Thursday at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. Soon, the newly picked contestants will move to Los Angeles to begin their instruction and filming of the second season.
Unlike Snow and Chavo, Holly has never formally trained future superstars.
"Jim Ross approached me and asked me if I wanted to do it - if I was interested in doing it," Holly said. "I told him, 'Yeah, I'd like to do it.' Because at the time, I wasn't involved in any storylines. And I thought to myself, 'Well, that's a good way to get myself on TV.' I think it's something that I would enjoy. It's something different anyway. I told J.R. 'I'd be glad to do it.' J.R. said, 'Consider it done. You'll be one of the people to do it.'"
Ivory will also get her first taste of teaching the craft, although she boasts of her effectiveness as a tennis instructor. Ivory expects that some of the contestants will come in with swelled heads, thinking they already own plenty of grappling skill. "It's like skiing," Ivory said. "People like to talk about how knowledgeable they are and about the slopes they've skied. When they get in the ring, we'll see if they're as good as they say they are or if they're still on the bunny slopes."
The new trainers each say they enjoyed watching the first "WWF Tough Enough." "I thought it was a really good idea," Chavo said. "I don't know why nobody thought of it before."
One thing, however, bothered Holly. "The only thing I didn't like was all that mushy bulls***," Holly said. "When somebody leaves, everybody has to hug everybody. I mean, it's 'Tough Enough' - come on! That's what it's all about. Forget all the emotional bulls*** and just get on with the show.
According to Snow, the second season will aim to give viewers more access to things that the first season did not emphasize. "We're going to start delving into other aspects of training that we really didn't get a chance to really develop with these kids -- character development, character portrayal, ring presence, more into the psychology aspect of it," he said.
"What's cool about this situation is that every one is them is going to be unique," Snow added. "Every one of them is going to have its own feel. Every one is going to have its own energy. I'm going to develop completely different relationships with these new people for 'Tough Enough 2' than what I did with the people with this 'Tough Enough.' That's what really neat is that, you can do it 100 times, and 'Tough Enough 100' will be different from 'Tough Enough 1.' None will ever be the same."
Holly has his own ideas of how to make the show different from the first season. He'll start by making sure his students don't drag their feet. "I'd tell them, 'Get your s***. Get going. You're wasting our time. Now lets go,' he said. "That's basically the way it should be. Hey, I paid my dues coming up in this business. Those guys are getting a damn break. They're getting an opportunity to be on national television every week. Nobody knows who the hell they are. All they have to do is go through a nine-week training, and then - boom! - next thing you know they're in the Federation.
I spent 10-12 years trying to get into the Federation -- working my ass off, sleeping in cars, starving to death. And here these people getting to come on a show - their house is paid for, all their expenses are paid for. It's not going to be easy. I'm not going to make it easy."