WWE Weekly 5: Andy Leavine Released; Looking at Every Tough Enough Winner
The winner of the most recent season of WWE Tough Enough, Andy Leavine has been released from his contract, according to PWInsider.com.
This is not the most shocking release, as we have heard almost nothing about Big Andy since he won Tough Enough, except for some rumors.
With WWE putting a lot of risk behind making Leavine the winner, it must be disappointing to both WWE brass and Leavine that the investment will not end up with a run on the main roster.
This is definitely not the first time a Tough Enough winner has been told to hit the bricks. In fact, it is more common for them to flop than succeed.
I thought it would be a good idea to look back at the winners of each season and see how their career panned out.
Season 1: Maven and Nidia
Season one of Tough Enough featured a male and female winner. Maven Huffman won the male side, while Nidia Guenard won for the female side.
Both went on to make it to the main roster, but neither had a very long run with the company.
Nidia was released in 2004 after putting in over two years with the WWE as both a face and a heel. She never won the Women's Championship, but she did have a couple notable feuds with top names like Trish Stratus and Stacy Keibler.
Maven saw a bit more success, as he had a four-year run with the WWE which saw him hold the Hardcore Championship on three occasions.
His most notable feud might have been with the Undertaker after Maven surprisingly eliminated Taker from the Royal Rumble, only to have the dead man beat him all the way to the backstage area.
Neither of these names are high on anyone's list of people who should return, but Maven did pop up in the news recently for being arrested. Any press is good press, right?
Season 2: Linda Miles and Jackie Gayda
When it was announced that two women had won season 2 of Tough Enough, it upset all the male contestants who were told that it would be one male and one female winner.
Oddly enough, the person who found the most success out of season 2 may be current TNA star Matt Morgan, who did not win the competition but is now a well-known name in the industry.
Both Miles and Gayda had very short runs in WWE, but you can look for Gayda on the upcoming VH1 reality show Wrestler Wives with Booker's wife, Sharmell, and The Kat.
Season 3: John Hennigan and Matt Cappotelli
Season 3 produced another two winners, but one of them would end up being the most successful Tough Enough winner in the history of the show.
Matt Cappotelli was one of the winners, and he was going to be something great in WWE before he was diagnosed with a brain tumor and forced to take a hiatus from the business.
John Hennigan went on to be Johnny Nitro, and later, John Morrison. Morrison found a lot of success in WWE by holding numerous titles, but the major belts in WWE always eluded him.
This was also where Melina and John Morrison met each other and began their relationship.
Season 4: Daniel Puder
Daniel Puder could have been something in WWE, but for one reason or another, he was released less than a year into his contract.
When he won the competition, it came as a shock to me, as I was sure he would be buried by Kurt Angle, who was furious that Puder almost made him tap out on national television during a special competition.
Puder was a talented MMA fighter who wanted to make a career in the industry, but suffered from a lack of charisma and knowledge about the business.
Puder is still in the MMA business and also runs an anti-bullying foundation called MyLife MyPower.
Season 5: Andy Leavine
I will keep this short since he is already released and never made it to the main roster. Andy Leavine should not have won Tough Enough.
It is not because he did not have the drive or dedication, or even the potential, it is because he was up against a few people who were more suited for the business.
WWE did not bring in as many Indy stars as I would have expected for the show, which is probably why no one stuck out as being a great wrestler.
Big Andy may end up in TNA or finding his way back to WWE someday, but until he does, he may end up as the least successful Tough Enough winner ever.