Maria Menounos Turned Down 'Tough Enough' Opportunity, Pitched Sonya Deville Instead

Sonya Deville first popped up on WWE TV as a cast member of the sixth season of 'Tough Enough.' Though Deville was the third competitor eliminated from the competition, she signed a developmental contract shortly after.

But her spot on the show nearly went to TV host Maria Menounos. The same Maria Menounos who does have a WrestleMania victory under her belt, but wouldn't strike many fans as being a potential full-time wrestler given her status in Hollywood.

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"I was in a meeting with USA Network and they were asking me to do Tough Enough at the time," Menounos explained on WWE Backstage. "'I don't think I can do this, but I know who can and who would be amazing.' We pitched the idea of her coming on. [Maria's husband] Kevin Undergaro had the call with Sonya and say, 'I know you're in MMA, but I think you need to get in wrestling.' That was the start of it. She went on Tough Enough, killed it, found a huge passion and love for this, and took off from there."

Deville had previously worked with Menounos on Afterbuzz TV, where she hosted UFC Afterbuzz.

When asked about her joining "Tough Enough," Maria commented, "I might think I'm tough enough, but I don't think I can hang with them."

Deville is now a featured player on WWE SmackDown and currently involved in a storyline with Mandy Rose, Otis, and Dolph Ziggler.

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