The third season was won by John Hennigan and Matt Cappotelli. Hennigan, who wrestled for two years under the name Johnny Nitro, then he wrestled on WWE's Raw brand as John Morrison. He is a former ECW Champion and was the first Tough Enough contestant to win a major championship in WWE. He is a three-time Intercontinental Champion, and he has held both the WWE World Tag Team Championship and the WWE Tag Team Championship, making him one of the most successful Tough Enough contestants along with The Miz. Cappotelli was developing his talent further in the WWE development territory Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW), but was diagnosed with a brain tumor in December 2005, forcing him to step away from wrestling and relinquish his OVW Championship. The tumor was removed in 2007, although it is unknown whether Cappotelli will return to professional wrestling.
Melina Perez tried out for Tough Enough III and made it to the final 25, but was cut from the competition. During the tryouts, however, she met John Hennigan and they eventually began a romantic relationship. She went on to work for WWE as Melina on the Raw brand and became the first-ever Tough Enough contestant to win the WWE Women's Championship, a title she has held three times. Additionally, Melina is also the first-ever Tough Enough contestant to win the WWE Divas Championship, making her the most successful female Tough Enough contestant to enter the WWE. Both Shawn Daivari and Daniel Puder are seen on film during audition episode. Both made it to the final 75, but were cut before they could make it to the training facility. Both men later went on as performers for the WWE.
Order of Elimination:
- Episode 2: Jill quit after the very first day of training. The trainers were all annoyed and labeled her as a "quitter" because she never put forth her best effort.
- Episode 3: Lisa left because she decided wrestling wasn't the right career for her (see below).
- Episode 4: Chad was cut because of his lack of ability to keep up the pace with the rest of the group.
- Episode 5: Rebecca left because she had a family emergency back at home and could not continue to pursue this competition.
- Episode 6: Nick was cut because he had a shoulder injury and he lacked the ability to perform certain tasks in the ring.
- Episode 7: Scott was cut because of his lack of ability to keep up with the rest of the group.
- Episode 8: Kelly was cut because she had a serious back injury and she was beginning to fall behind everybody else in terms of learning new moves.
- Episode 11: Justin was cut because he lacked aggression in the ring as well as a competitive spirit.
- Episode 14: Jamie, Eric and Jonah were eliminated and Matt and John were announced the winners of Tough Enough III.
In the cover story from the October 5, 2002 issue of the Pro Wrestling Torch Newsletter, it was revealed that contestant "Lisa" was removed from the show after what was referred to as a "psychotic breakdown." After being left at the house while the other contestants went out to dinner, she began throwing herself against the walls of the house, eventually breaking into the hidden MTV control room and working her way onto the roof. After being talked down by producers, she was committed to a hospital facility to receive psychiatric treatment. Her parents flew in from New Mexico to pick her up, but she physically attacked them, claiming she did not know them. She then escaped custody inside LAX, shutting down a wing of the airport until she was located. Again, she was hospitalized, but she was able to check herself out shortly after. She then contacted Tough Enough producers, claiming she was ready to return to the show. Producers informed her she had been removed from the competition due to her actions. The other contestants (and, subsequently, the audience) were initially told that Lisa simply decided wrestling "wasn't the right career for her."
Lisa then reemerged in Louisville, Kentucky at the Ohio Valley Wrestling training center, claiming that trainer Al Snow and producer John "Big" Gaburick had sent her for additional training, both in the ring and to learn further about the structure of the developmental territory system. At a series of shows in California in September 2002, she managed to talk her way backstage, and was even allowed to assist with the pyrotechnics for the wrestlers' entrances at a TV taping. One source even claimed that she had a face-to-face conversation with Vince McMahon, who was apparently unaware of her status with the Tough Enough program. Soon after, her photograph was circulated to security personnel and she was barred from any backstage areas.
- World Wrestling Entertainment
- Tough Enough
- Tough Enough I
- Tough Enough II
- $1,000,000 Tough Enough
- Tough Enough V
- Tough Enough VI