Former Nicholls student stars in WWE “Tough Enough”

Former Nicholls student and alligator wrestler, Zamariah Loupe shows his “bayou toughness” as a contestant on the nationally televised reality television show “WWE Tough Enough,” as he contends to become a future World Wrestling Entertainment superstar.

The 18-year-old Bayou Bouef native was selected as the youngest competitor on the show. After graduating from Thibodaux High, Loupe was initially on the Nicholls State University Colonel football team. His position was listed as right guard offensive lineman.

Loupe, better and famously known as “ZZ,” solidified his spot in the competition after impressing the WWE with a uniquely bayou-styled audition tape. The audition video involved ZZ lifting a 900-pound, 14-foot long alligator over his shoulders and fearlessly jumping into a swamp pit. Soon after, he got a call from WWE to participate in the competition. “WWE” Tough Enough” is a 10-week competition in which 13 challengers compete to earn a $250,000 contract with WWE.

“Who would have ever thought a green-eyed guy from the bayou would go to Florida to live out his dream?” Loupe said.

ZZ has appeared on the national TV scene before “Tough Enough.” In 2004 at the age of eight, he and his family appeared on Country Music Television’s “Trading Spouses: Meet Your New Mommy.” Two years ago, Loupe appeared on the popular History Channel’s reality show “Swamp People” on the series’ fourth season.

Loupe’s strong bayou influence has been noticeable as his stardom continues to grow. Wrestling fans love ZZ’s fun and loving personality. According to Houma Today in a vote in which Loupe was selected into the bottom three and up for elimination, ZZ received 52 percent of the fan vote. For the other two bottom competitors, one received 26 percent, while the other contestant was eliminated with 22 percent.

ZZ values his fans, which are dubbed as Gator Nation or “baby gators”, and doesn’t take any of them for granted. Representing the Bayou region really means a lot to Loupe.

“I’ve touched a lot of people’s hearts,” Loupe said. “ I can never get enough of the waves, handshakes and putting smiles on faces.”

ZZ credits “Tough Enough” for making him a better person.

“It’s a dream to represent the bayou area,” Loupe said. “They like to say that where I’m from is 10 years behind every other place, but if enjoying the simple things in life makes us seem 10 years behind, well maybe that’s not so bad.”