As you can see, our plucky young stars are inordinately vulnerable to suggestion, especially when those suggestions involve beating each other with homemade weapons. It should be noted that while this particular skirmish ended poorly, there have been several more (or less, depending on how you see it) successful attempts at makeshift kumites. It should also be noted that the original cast of Ominous Knife was much, much larger. It turns out that the katana is the Great Equilizer.
While we’re all here, let’s take a closer look at guys’ current obsession. American Gladiators was a semi-awesome show that ran for about seven years back in the nineties. If you’re not familiar with the basic premise, it essentially pitted competitors against “gladiators”, people ripped straight out of the pages of a comic book. The competitors would get knocked around for a bit, then square off against each other in an I-can’t-believe-I-came-to-California-to-embarass-myself final round. The show was recently revived and, much to our surprise, it retains all of the good bits while adding new, exciting levels of awesomeness. Let’s take a look at a few of the gladiators and events that make TV worth watching:
Titan - If Captain America were a real person, he’d probably be jealous of Titan. I mean, look at him. The guy’s an Adonis! Or a Titan, like the name states.
Justice - Standing 6′ 8″ and threatening to bring down the hammer of justice upon competitors, this black dude prides himself on being an incarnation of the KKK’s worst nightmare.
Wolf - If Titan is Captain America, then Wolf is Sabretooth. This guy makes American Gladiators must-see TV. It seems like he harbors a genuine grudge against each competitor, and I’m pretty sure he has prosthetic fangs. Score!
Zen - Zen made his debut appearance in season two, and in thirty seconds managed to set Asian American culture back by fifty years.
Crush - This is the girl who used to beat up kids in grade school, then went to high school and got hot. Too bad no one bothered to tell her to stop beating people up.
Hellga - All the body parts of an Amazon, coupled with the the feminity of a Viking.
Phoenix - This woman raised the bar for competitive sports everywhere by donning a pair of wings and leaping over a wall of fire in her debut. Folks, I couldn’t make that up if I tried.
As far as stages go, there are only a couple worth mentioning. The pyramid is a no-holds-barred event in which gladiators guard the summit of a foam pyramid and the competitors take turns getting mangled and thrown off of it. The Eliminator is basically the show’s way of proving that the universe is a cold, unfeeling place by disregarding the previous events, instead determining the winner by making both competitors race through a lake of fire, a nearly insurmountable incline, and a treadmill wrought by the hands of Satan himself. Oh, and there’s a ball pit somewhere in there too.
Simply put, the show is fairly awesome. Give it a shot! it’s a great placeholder for the show that everyone’s really waiting for.