Beth Phoenix looks back on her attempt to be featured on WWE Tough Enough.
During an era of Diva searches, Beth Phoenix stood out by earning her place on the WWE roster after grinding on the independent circuit. However, Beth Phoenix did try to make the cut on WWE Tough Enough season 3, the season that would eventually be won by John Morrison.
Speaking on her WWE Icons documentary special, Beth Phoenix recalled being disqualified from the show after it was discovered she had a heart condition.
“I continued to work the independents, and then lo and behold, Tough Enough appears. I watched Tough Enough 1, I’m like, 'Oh my God, this is the fast track to getting a contract with WWE.' Tough Enough 3 comes along. They’re doing the casting for that and I applied. Sure enough I received a letter that said, 'You’ve made it through the first round of cuts.' I was like, 'Oh, wow. Meanwhile I have graduated from college, I’m working at the US Probation Department with a career path that could essentially land me a Federal job where I could work and retire at a very nice age with a very cushy retirement. Then finally they’re like, 'We’d like you to go to Chicago.'
“I drove, after work, 10 hours. I get ready for my interview after the whole day of waiting in this big green room. I walk in the doors, and there’s Al Snow and MTV judges. They’re like, 'Well, we want you to cut a promo. Just boom. Go.' I took a deep breath and I closed my eyes [proceeds to cut promo]. I just took a risk. Either they absolutely loved me or I’m going to get security dragging me out of here. Al Snow said, 'Thank you for your time.' I was like, 'Well, I’m done, I’m cut.' Then the next day I get a phone call, 'We’re going to send you some plane tickets to Hollywood.'”
Beth then learned of her heart condition after making it to Hollywood, a moment that, at the time crushed her dreams.
“I fly all the way to Hollywood and they say, 'Beth there was a problem with your EKG. We’re going to put this heart monitor on you and then we’re going to talk to the folks at MTV.' I said, 'Okay.' Then they drive me back and I rejoin the group and Al said to me, he goes, 'This is really hard to tell you.' He goes, 'But you know, we don’t know what’s going on with your heart. We have to send you home. You can’t stay.' I had had to resign from my job to go to Tough Enough, so I said, 'Wow. My dreams have just completely dissipated, completely flown out the window. You have a heart problem and you’ve got to go home, and you don’t have a job.' I was on medication for a while, but as I got older, I grew out of it. In that space and time, it disqualified me from pursuing Tough Enough.”
Of course, Beth would go on to join WWE and have a Hall of Fame career, taking her rightful spot in the hall in 2017. Now, Beth works full-time as a commentator for NXT. One of the main superstars on NXT, Shotzi Blackheart faced a similar issue when she tried out for Tough Enough in 2015. Shotzi goes into detail about the scare during a podcast with Taylor Wilde. Learn more here.
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