World of Hurt is a new half-hour documentary/reality show series airing on The Cave in Canada. It stars former WWE/WCW/ECW Superstar Lance Storm re-training 10 workers (most of whom are former Storm Wrestling Academy graduates), taking a "graduate level" pro wrestling course.
According to one of the show's producers (via the Calgary Herald): “We have 10 people that are on the verge of making it. They’re right there. . . . And the premise is, Lance is working really hard to get them to the next level. . . ."
The show is fast-paced at only a half an hour in length. Each show (of 10 shows total) will focus on one trainee's journey throughout the training process. The episode ends with that trainee's match in front of a live crowd, followed by a one-on-one evaluation by Storm.
The pilot episode focusses on Irena, the least experienced worker on the show. The main conflict in the episode is between Irena and fellow Australian trainee, Dylan Knight. (There's bad blood between the two before the show even begins, but their history isn't discussed much in the episode.)
Early on in the episode, Irena lands on the top of her head while attempting a flip bump. It's an absolutely sick-looking bump, and she's very lucky that she's not seriously hurt.
After the bump -- and then throughout the rest of the episode -- Knight, and another trainee, the French Stallion, ridicule Irena for her mistakes. When Irena comes out of the ring, Knight says that if they practice piledrivers later on, she'll be an expert.
The highlight of the episode comes when Storm has to get between the two Aussies. He puts Knight in his place by telling him that joking about injuries will not be tolerated. In truth, much like "Stone Cold" Steve Austin on Tough Enough, Lance Storm comes off better than anyone else in World of Hurt. In fact, at least in the first episode, Storm is the only one who comes off well.
Irena comes off as a green worker who doesn't take her opportunity on the show seriously enough -- she shows up 17 minutes before the start of her match at the end of the show! In doing so, she also misses the pre-match promos that all the other trainees performed.
And even though most of what they say about Irena appears to be true, Knight and Stallion come off as misogynistic bullies. We don't learn much about the rest of the cast.
After the highlights of Irena and KC Spinelli's match are shown, the show ends with "Lance's Evaluation." Storm says the main reason Irena hasn't made it in the business is because of her inability to form relationships with her fellow workers. Storm says camaraderie is essential to get ahead in the wrestling business.
If you like Tough Enough, you'll like this show. Of course, World of Hurt lacks the incredible Austin promos that end every episode of Tough Enough, but there is no wasted time on pointless challenges like cheerleading, waiting tables and running away from dogs.
I'm looking forward to next week's episode, and getting to know the rest of the cast.
The pilot episode will replay several times over the course of the week on The Cave. New episodes air every Sunday.