WWE released Tough Enough 2015 winner Josh Bredl. Bredl joins an ever-growing list of names that have been let go by the company recently.
As demonstrated by their current obsession with social media, WWE loves to try and take advantage of mainstream phenomena in any way that they can. Past the turn of the century— and sporadically ever since—they attempted to do that in a variety of ways with their own take on reality television. It was demonstrated through their annual Diva Searches, their hiring of The Miz, and most notably the launch of Tough Enough.
Tough Enough was a reality TV show akin to that of Pop Idol or X Factor. However, instead of the contestants trying to become pop stars, they were angling for a WWE contract. The first season happened all the way back in 2001 and it has been a feature in WWE's programming on and off ever since. The last season took place in 2015 and Josh Bredl won the male competition.
As promised Bredl, known as Bronson Matthews in WWE, received a WWE contract and began training at WWE's Performance Center. During the summer of 2016, Matthews was sidelined due to concussion-related issues and hasn't been training or competing at live events. Unfortunately for him, that ultimately led to his release over the weekend as reported by Wrestling Inc.
For a lot of fans, this release has unfortunately felt like it was a long time coming, and not even because of Bredl's concussion issues. Not long after he won his WWE contract, he referred to the Social Outcasts as jobbers on Twitter. That's not cool for anyone to say regardless of their time in the business, let alone someone who literally just signed with the company. Countless Superstars condemned Bredl and the tweet on social media and it would not have been nice to be him at the Performance Center for quite a while after.
As is the case with most reality TV shows, the winners of Tough Enough are rarely the ones who enjoy the most success. Mandy Rose and Patrick Clark— now known as The Velveteen Dream—were also contestants on the same season of Tough Enough as Josh Bredl and are still currently under contract with WWE. It will be interesting to see what's next for the competition's most recent winner and whether he decides to try and remain in the pro wrestling business.