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   Tue, September 13, 2005



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WWE releases Tough Enough champ
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling


Yet another former Tough Enough champion has been released by World Wrestling Entertainment, as the company announced it has parted ways with Daniel Puder.

On Monday, the Fed announced on its website that Puder's guaranteed one year contract with the company had expired, and that they, "declined to exercise the option on the additional three years."

Puder won last year's Tough Enough competition, which ran during Smackdown broadcasts. Previous competitions had been standalone shows on MTV in the States, and TSN in Canada.

Puder was voted Tough Enough champion over Mike "The Miz" Mizanin, who is currently training in WWE's Deep South Wrestling territory in Georgia. Puder was involved in only one WWE TV bout in his short career, as his Tough Enough win garnered him a spot in the 2005 Royal Rumble.

Since the Rumble, Puder had been training in Ohio Valley Wrestling. He previously had been working as a mixed martial-arts fighter, garnering a 4-0 record before he began his quest to become a WWE wrestlers in Tough Enough IV. Puder, as noted in an article at sherdog.com, had previously tried out for Tough Enough III.

Puder becomes the fourth Tough Enough champion to be released by WWE this year. Earlier, Nidia (Touch Enough I), Maven (Tough Enough I) and Jackie Gayda (Tough Enough II) were let go by the Fed, while Tough Enough II's other champion, Linda Miles (AKA Shaniqua), has also been released.

Currently, only two Tough Enough winners, both from Tough Enough III, are part of WWE's system. John Hennigan, in his current role of Johnny Nitro, is part of MNM on Smackdown, while Matt Capotelli is recovering from injury while training in OVW.