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Saturday, May 18, 2024

The Odd WWE Career Of Tough Enough Winner Maven, Explained


  • Maven, winner of Tough Enough, shocked fans by eliminating The Undertaker in the Royal Rumble.
  • Despite limited training, Maven went on to win the Hardcore title three times in WWE.
  • Maven’s post-WWE career includes indie wrestling, YouTube, and nearly returning to WWE in 2020.

Every so often, professional wrestling sees competitors come along that no one expects to make it to the big leagues. In the early 2000s, WWE began their Tough Enough series. It was a competition reality show that saw WWE embark on a journey to finding their next big star. The winner of the first season was someone who never had any professional wrestling series prior. However, his brief WWE career saw him involved in some crazy moments. He faced Chris Jericho for the Undisputed WWE Championship. He eliminated The Undertaker from the 2001 Royal Rumble match. He even defeated Batista during his Evolution days. He was also a three-time Hardcore Champion. This is the unbelievable and unique story of one of WWE’s biggest underdogs, Maven.


10 Things Fans Forget About The Original Tough Enough Winner, Maven 

Maven, the original Tough Enough winner had a pretty interesting WWE career, and there’s a lot that fans forget about it.

Maven Was Part Of The First ‘Tough Enough’

Maven Eliminated The Undertaker In The Royal Rumble

  • Maven debuted for WWE on the October 2, 2001 edition of SmackDown.
  • Maven was a co-winner of Tough Enough Season 1.
  • Maven was a three-time Hardcore Champion.

Maven made his professional wrestling debut while he was on the first season of Tough Enough on MTV. That season featured trainers Al Snow, Tazz, Jacqueline, and Tori. Maven ended up being a co-winner that season with Nidia Guenard. After receiving some training from HWA, Maven debuted on SmackDown and competed against Tazz in his first match. For the first few months of Maven’s career, he was on the losing side of matches. However, at the 2001 Royal Rumble, everything changed for him. In the most shocking elimination in Royal Rumble history, Maven managed to dropkick The Undertaker out of the match. It was a moment nobody ever expected, and it began a long running feud for Maven with “The Deadman.”

Due to The Undertaker going back in the ring and eliminating Maven, he was given an Undisputed WWE Title match against Jericho. Maven lost, but an attack by The Undertaker led to a one-on-one match between the two. On a 2002 edition of SmackDown, thanks to the help of The Rock and Al Snow, Maven defeated The Undertaker and won the Hardcore Championship. Even though he had help, it was a shocking win. Maven held the title up until WrestleMania 18. Afterward, he was drafted to RAW.


Every WWE Tough Enough Winner, Ranked By Career Success

How did the wrestling careers of WWE Tough Enough’s winners pan out?

Maven Became A Major WWE Star In 2003

Maven Feuded With Evolution

Batista vs Maven WWE Raw

  • Maven was in a tag team with Al Snow.
  • Maven was on a winning team at Survivor Series 2004.
  • Maven competed in both singles and tag team action.

Maven and his former Tough Enough trainer, Al Snow, then united as a tag team for some time. The two would challenge for the World Tag Team Titles, but they never won them. Maven floated around RAW throughout 2002, never really being involved in major storylines. However, 2003 saw Maven’s luck turn around. He was involved in a feud with Evolution, the brand’s top faction of Triple H, Randy Orton, Ric Flair, and Batista. Maven faced Triple H a few times a few times for the World Heavyweight Title, and he began to pick up more and more victories against others. In 2004, Maven was even on a winning Survivor Series team against a team that featured Triple H, Batista, Edge, and Snitsky. However, Maven’s time at this position of the card did not last for too long. He began to slip down the card once again and floated in and out of tag team and singles action.

Would Maven Ever Return To WWE?

Maven Is Open To The Idea Of Wrestling Again

Maven in WWE

  • Maven was released from WWE in 2005.
  • Maven regularly posts on his YouTube channel.
  • Maven almost returned to WWE in 2020.


10 Current Wrestlers You Forgot Were On WWE’s Tough Enough

You probably forgot they were a part of WWE Tough Enough in the past.

On July 5, 2005, Maven was released from WWE. He did compete in TNA briefly, but never made a tremendous impact there. He has also made indie appearances over the years, wrestling in CAP, GCW, and more. In addition, Maven has gained popularity on his YouTube channel. There, he talks about his time in WWE and various aspects of the business back then.

While Maven has not been seen in WWE for years, there have been times when he has been offered backstage positions. He declined a return in 2008. However, he was almost back in 2020. He told Chris Van Vliet:

Would I love to go back, because in one of my videos, I talked about how in 2020 I went and had an interview with them to do just that. And it just didn’t pan out because of COVID. I would love to have that opportunity again, but I’m also 47. If it doesn’t happen, I’m not going to sit and twiddle my thumbs and hope. I’m gonna keep moving
.” (
h/t 411Mania

Maven’s WWE career was truly one of the most unique in the company’s history. While he was only in WWE for a few years, he had a lot of iconic moments. This is even more impressive considering that he had no prior experience in the ring before he signed his WWE contract. Maven does have some regrets, such as wishing he put in some more effort and got better. However, not everyone can say that they beat The Undertaker less than a year after their debut. Maven truly had one of the most unexpected WWE careers.

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