By Rick Pezzullo
A Yorktown High School graduate is in the running for a $250,000 contract with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).
Amanda Saccomanno, 24, who graduated from Yorktown High in 2008 and earned a bachelor’s degree in speech pathology from Iona College, was chosen from more than 11,000 hopefuls to be among the final 13 of the WWE reality series Tough Enough competition.
Contestants on the show, which debuted last Tuesday on the USA Network, are vying for two one-year contracts to be a WWE superstar. Saccomanno, who goes by the stage named Mandy Sacs, is one of six women striving to become the latest WWE Diva.
“I’ve been passionate about fitness my entire life, and the ability to compete for the Tough Enough crown is truly rewarding,” Saccomanno said in a written release. “Being able to train and compete alongside the WWE, which houses some of the world’s most talented athletes, is an amazing opportunity.”
In August of last year, Saccomanno was crowned “WBFF Diva Bikini Pro World Champion” in the largest and most prestigious “fitness and fashion” competition in the world. She recently partnered with USN (Ultimate Sports Nutrition), a worldwide leader in sports nutrition and bodybuilding supplements. Her workout routine includes weight training, Cross Fit, Pilates, dance and yoga.
“Amanda has the unrivaled combination of athleticism, beauty and peak physical fitness to take her to the top of this competition,” Peter Anske, Saccomanno’s manager, said of her chances on Tough Enough.
One of Saccomanno’s three older brothers, Matt, said winning the WBFF Diva Bikini Pro World Championship opened doors for her sister, who he noted has always been very competitive.
“She has a great work ethic, discipline and determination. She doesn’t quit,” he said. “She graduated college and one day she said I’m going to start working out. Before you know out she was winning the bikini contest. She’s very good at having an opportunity come her way.”
With some wrestling fans comparing Saccomanno to Hall of Fame WWE Diva Trish Stratus, Matt feels her sister has a solid chance of winning Tough Enough by just being herself.
“You have to stand out from the rest,” he said. “Her personality and charisma is apparent. We’re all rooting for her.”
Each week on Tough Enough, which airs at 8 p.m. every Tuesday on USA, the three judges (Hulk Hogan, Daniel Bryan and Paige) nominate three contestants for possible elimination and viewers decide who is sent packing. Fans can follow Saccomanno at www.amandasaccomanno.com or on social media at @mandysacs.