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Hank is gone, long live Hank. But for the rest of the WWE Tough Enough competitors, the toughest trials have yet to come and elimination is always around the corner.
The way to outwit said fate, apparently, is for the contestants to wheel and deal (woo!) behind each other’s back and weaken their enemies to provide a more ample pound of flesh for the lurking eliminators. In other words, the house is dividing against itself, and fast. If anything unites them, it’s a shared disdain for the newly crowned “Princess” Dianna, whose dedication to her fiancé has the rest of the crew questioning her character and commitment. Despite a tentative alliance with Gabi, Dianna quickly finds herself on the outs with the entire female population of the house, not to mention more than a few of the men. Meanwhile, Alex’s lack of familiarity with wrestling history raises the ire of Patrick, who questions Alex’s respect for the industry he’s trying to enter.
Luckily for her, she’s more than pulling her weight in the challenges, which are designed this week to test the competitors’ courage and fear. Dianna handily wins the first, a swimming race through the gator-infested Florida Everglades (cue maniacal grin from ZZ) where the competitors must retrieve an NXT Title from a moored airboat and carry it through the water to the judges. Despite her crippling terror of both dark water and “Lake Placid”-style monsters of the deep, Dianna smokes the competition while the rest of the outcomes are somewhat grisly: Daria drops her title in the lake, Patrick can’t swim and needs to be rescued, Mada and Alex end up stranded at the halfway point, and Tanner and Josh get into a shoving match over a technicality.
While the bad blood continues to simmer between Tanner and Josh back at home base, Daria finds an ally in Giorgia, and together the two ladies begin a scheme to take Dianna out. If there’s one thing the ladies do agree on, however, it’s the good looks of guest instructor Roman Reigns. As soon as the swooning stops, however, The Big Dog imparts his lesson of the day onto the competitors: that wrestling hurts, as illustrated by NXT Superstar Bull Dempsey putting a hurtin’ on a warm body wrangled to demonstrate the pain of taking a finishing move. Whoever’s got the stones to take Bull’s move, says Roman, might just be the most worthy of winning the whole shebang.
Exit Roman, and enter Challenge No. 2: Falling off the top turnbuckle to prove one’s courage, with the added caveat that this one is optional. Nobody exercises that option, though Dianna proves as bad at this challenge as she was good in the original when she takes the sloppiest fall of the bunch. On the other side of the coin, Patrick shows his stuff with a textbook plunge that elicits a round of applause from “Mr. Reality Check” himself, Billy Gunn. (Giorgia reps the ladies with the best fall among the females.)
When it comes time for the judges to choose the bottom three, Daniel Bryan selects Alex for his lack of wrestling knowledge. Paige picks Sara Lee for staying mired in the middle of the pack and Hulk Hogan, in a shocking move, picks Dianna for failing to acclimate to the locker-room mentality of the house. When the judges opt not to use their save, the moment of truth arrives and it’s Alex who gets the axe. Two down, ten to go.
On the bright side: Dianna convinces ZZ to switch rooms with her after a particularly brutal berating from the other girls. That should shake things up a bit.