06/12/2015

Meet WWE Tough Enough's 13 finalists

Learn all about the competitors who will vie for a dream career in WWE.

After a grueling, three-day tryout, 13 competitors will now advance to the new season of WWE Tough Enough. These seven men and six women will fight to live out their dream and become the next WWE Superstar or Diva, starting with the show's premiere on Tuesday, June 23, on USA Network:

Alexander Frekey, Dallas

He once caused an earthquake in a “Planet Fitness” commercial, but does Alexander Frekey have what it takes to be Tough Enough? His day-job title of Regional Sales Director doesn’t exactly inspire fear in the masses, but the towering Frekey isn’t just an unusually big office drone. Having played college basketball before appearing in “John Wick” and NBC’s “The Blacklist,” the tough-guy bonafides of this 6-foot-5 Russian are enviable. Now, in the toughest athletic environment there is, he faces a test that will truly shake him to the core.

Amanda Saccomanno, Yorktown Heights, N.Y.

When you’re 5-foot-4 and can lift 225 pounds, you’re bound to turn some heads. Now it’s time to see if this fitness entrepreneur from Yorktown Heights can thrive on WWE’s bright stage. An athletic powerhouse who stays in shape with dance, yoga, Pilates and CrossFit, Saccomanno’s physical prowess could make her a welcome addition to the Divas division. Ironically enough, her childhood nickname was “Hamburgers,” but even that fact may turn out to be appropriate: Underestimate her and she’ll eat you for lunch.

Daria Berenato, Los Angeles

Ever hear of The Jersey Devil? Well that’s Daria Berenato, a 5-foot-7 mixed martial arts fighter nicknamed after the famed beast and looking to make her mark in WWE. Currently a co-host of the YouTube show “UFC AfterBuzz,” Berenato has been training in one form of fighting or another since age 16. Rest assured, if she fights her way to a WWE contract, everyone from the Pine Barrens to Full Sail University will be put on notice.

Dianna Dahlgren, Spokane, Wash.

If you’ve seen the cover of “Oxygen,” “Muscular Development” or “Muscle & Fitness,” at some point you’ve probably seen Dianna Dahlgren. A Monster Energy spokesperson and model, Dahlgren boasts a “shredded” physique that can give most potential Divas a run for their money, not to mention a social media following (290,000-plus followers on Facebook and Instagram) that would make most Superstars jealous. Her love of the extreme led her to WWE. Will we see her on Monday Night Raw next?

Gabi Castrovinci, Southington, Conn.

What’s there to know about Gabi Castrovinci? Born in Brazil, she grew up practicing Jiu-Jitsu and is a professional athlete for World Beauty Fitness & Fashion. An avid surfer and snowboarder, Castrovinci is a self-employed entrepreneur who sells Brazilian leggings online. If she wins Tough Enough, she’ll be trading in Brazilian leggings for Indian Deathlocks in no time.

Giorgia PiscinaBrisbane, Australia

The farthest-flung of WWE Tough Enough’s contestants, Giorgia Piscina comes to the Performance Center on a wing and a dream. An eight-year gymnastics veteran and Bikini Dive competitor for the WBFF, Piscina’s “toughest” moment came when she crossed the finish line on a 400-meter race with a broken ankle. Now facing down her biggest opportunity yet, she’s got plenty to carry her over the finish line, but can she capitalize on the opportunity?

Hank Avery Jr., Macon, Ga.

Looking for a new “Face of WWE”? Well, Hank Avery Jr. was literally a poster boy for Mercer University football from 2012 to 2013. Standing at 6-foot-4 and topping 270 pounds, with a lingering fear of frogs, this gridiron veteran, husband and father makes his living as a pool maintenance manager. But it’s only a matter of time before he’s making a splash on a far bigger stage. Just no frogs, please.

Joshua BredlThornton, Colo.

What do Thor and the Yeti have in common? They’re both nicknames of Josh Bredl, a physical specimen and NFL free agent most recently signed by the Green Bay Packers. One of the top 15 Colorado high school prospects upon his graduation, Bredl recorded 34 tackles and six sacks as a defensive lineman at Colorado State University – Pueblo. Having rampaged his way down to the Performance Center, he now looks to make the big jump into WWE and show the Cheeseheads what they’re missing.

Mada Abdelhamid, Los Angeles

Ever wonder how Khal Drogo from “Game of Thrones” got so big? That’s because Mada Abdelhamid trained him. A personal trainer for actor Jason Momoa, Abdelhamid’s story is almost as fantastical as “Thrones” is: Born in Egypt and fluent in Arabic, he played professional basketball until he fled the country in the midst of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution. WWE Tough Enough is merely the latest chapter in a life well lived. If he makes it through, does a chapter at WrestleMania await?

Patrick Clark, Jr., Washington, D.C.

To some, WWE is more than a dream, it is an escape. That’s what it was for Patrick Clark, a 19-year-old wrestling coach from Washington, D.C., who found refuge in sports-entertainment after the death of his father. Clark’s drive led him from 10 years of JROTC to the mats of amateur competition, where he wrestled for Forestville Military Academy from 2011 to 2013. He’s currently a competitor in the Mid Atlantic Wrestling Association, and a coach. Does a jump from the mat to the ring await?

Sara Lee, Hope, Mich.

A pure athlete looking to take her skills to the ring, Sara Lee boasts one of the most unique backgrounds of WWE Tough Enough’s hopefuls. While studying to become an ultrasound technician, Lee is also a power lift competitor who trains six times a week and can squat 230 pounds and bench press 140 pounds. Introduced to WWE by the pal of an ex-boyfriend, she is “in love” with The Bella Twins. Should she prove tough enough, Nikki and Brie might have themselves a new ally … or enemy.

Tanner Saraceno, Boiling Springs, S.C.

Looking for a fighter? Look no further than Tanner Saraceno, a tattooed mixed-martial arts fighter with the beard of a wildman and a resume that would make most opponents shrivel in fear. An 11-year wrestler with high school and college experience, Saraceno was named the team captain and MVP of his college team after walking on as a freshman. His hobbies are oddly tame — cooking and brushing his hair — as is his profession: tree trimmer. Rest assured, however, in WWE Tough Enough, he has one goal with relation to his fellow contestants: chop them down and take the contract for himself.

Zamariah “ZZ” Loupe, Bayou Boeuf, La.

Zamariah Loupe wrestles alligators. He’s even got one for a pet, “Mr. Gator,” who he calls his blood brother despite the fact that big bro once bit through Loupe’s hand. The youngest of WWE Tough Enough’s contestants at age 18, Loupe currently plays linebacker for Nicholls University when he’s not wrestling alligators. Loupe’s as charitable as he is unique, passing out Beanie Babies to the children and the elderly in his town while dressed as Santa Claus. WWE Tough Enough would seem like a big step for such a young man, but, again: He wrestles alligators. His fellow humans have their work cut out for them.

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