– In the hours leading up to the announcement for the winner of the $1,000,000 Tough Enough contest, both Daniel Puder and Mike Mizanin were visibly nervous backstage. Both mingled with the SmackDown wrestlers backstage during the afternoon, something Al Snow wouldn’t allow them to do when more were involved in the contest.
As noted before on the site, Puder kept up his usual reputation of schmoozing with all the workers. One WWE source added, “His personality and ability to schmooze will serve him well with people like Stephanie McMahon and John Laurenaitis. They like people with his polish and professionalism toward authority.” It should be noted that although Puder had a reputation for being a “brown noser” backstage, he was not disliked by anyone. Many say he has a great ability to make any person who crosses his path to feel very important and is said to be very polite.
Mike Mizanin on the other hand was said to be crushed that he lost the contest to Puder as he felt he had a great chance of winning. Mizanin did his best to push for votes on his official website. However, many feel Puder out did him in many ways as he pushed for votes on myspace.com and made posters that he hung up all around his hometown in San Jose, CA.
The general feeling among many though was that Puder won because he looked better on TV than Mizanin in the various competitions he took part in. Although the incident with Kurt Angle could have been the primary factor for his win, his wins in the arm wrestling, jousting and boxing matches all helped in the end as well. Puder reportedly carried around his Tough Enough trophy backstage the rest of the night and accepted congratulations from various WWE wrestlers who at least appeared to be happy for him on the surface.