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January 6

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Twenty-four men and women have come to Hollywood with one goal: to take on the next generation of American Gladiators for a shot at $100,000.

Recaps by Joe Mello, GSNN

Hosts: Hulk Hogan & Laila Ali
Gladiators: Justice (Justice Smith), Toa (Tanoai Reed), Titan (Mike O'Hearn), Militia (Alex Castro), Wolf (Don "Hollywood" Yates), Mayhem (Romeo Williams), Crush (Gina Carano), Siren (Valerie Waugaman), Venom (Beth Horn), Fury (Jamie Kovac), Stealth (Tanji Johnson),  Hellga (Robin Coleman)
Referee: Al Kaplon
Announcer: Van Earl Wright
Creators: Johnny Ferraro & Dan Carr
EP: Howard T. Owens, Mark Koops, Johnny C. Ferraro, J. Rupert Thompson
Origin: Gladiator Arena, Sony Pictures Studios, Culver City, CA
Packager: Reveille, Room 403 Productions, MGM


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Preliminaries 5
January 28

A wresting history teacher, a Jiu Jitsu chiropractor, a former fly girl, and a 46-year-old former marine and AG contender walk into the Arena.  The punch line will be them if they don’t make the final 8.

Mark Baker
5’11” 185 lbs

Alex Rai
5’8” 150 lbs
History Teacher

Molivann Duy
18 pts, 2’13.0 (-1)

Toni Oppliger
5’5” 121 lbs
H.S. Athletic Director

Kim Marciniak
5’3” 116 lbs
Fmr. Knicks Dancer

Venus Ramos
12 pts, 3’37.6

Our opening round features the evergreen event of Powerball.  The women lead off going against the team of Stealth, Siren, and Venom.  It stays scoreless until Kim gets one in with 22 seconds left.  She adds another to give her a 4-0 lead.

The men also have to handle Powerball and the trio of Titan, Mayhem, and Toa.  Mark tries to avoid conflict and actually gets his four off the jumper.  However, Alex gets 6 and starts with a 2-point lead. (C-Note: And for the first time, we go one Powerball round without someone getting thumped out of the competition)

We continue on with Women’s Joust.  Toni starts and goes against Siren.  The Glad’s exuberance may have gotten the better of her in the first match as she falls to give Toni 10 points.  Against Kim, Siren seems to be okay, but then she drops to two knees.  That’s apparently a no-no and so Kim also gets 10, making it 14-10 at the half in her favor.

Off we go to the men and Earthquake, which is Milita’s house.  Alex gives the Glad a tough match, but Militia is able to shake him off for 0 points.  Mark, on the other hand, bum rushes Militia and is able to take him down in 6 seconds for 10 points and a 14-6 lead after 2.

Round 3 is Hang Tough.  The women start and will go against Fury.  Toni has some issues, but is able to pretty much avoid conflict for 5 points.  Kim, not so much.  She gets dunked, giving Toni a slim 15-14 advantage.

The men follow up and have to deal with Wolf.  He and Alex clash, but the contender is able to dodge and score 10 points in 20 seconds.  Mark is not so lucky.  A bit of smack later, he’s all wet, and Alex is back on top 16-14.

The women wrap up their side with Assault.  Hellga mains the supercannon but is able to do nothing but witness history, as both female contenders fire off the crossbow, making the event a 4-4 tie, and allowing Toni to keep a 19-18 lead.

Round 4 for the men is Hit and Run.  Swinging those 100-pound demo balls are Justice, Titan, Mayhem, and Wolf.  Alex starts and gets 4 points before the Glads can reset from their first salvo.  Titan’s directing does nothing as the teacher makes history with FOURTEEN POINTS.  Mark is nowhere near Alex’s speed, but manages to get 8 and only trails 30-22.

It’s crunch time as we head to the Eliminator.  We start with the women and Toni’s lead being only ½ second means anything can happen.  In fact, anything did happen: Kim can’t clear the first wall, leaving Toni to cruise into victory.  Unfortunately, a stumble on the top of the Travelator costs her a spot in the semis, but she does clock in at 3’44.6.  As for the men, Alex and Mark have been lighting up the scores, but Alex’s 4-second head start is enough to assure a wire-to-wire victory.  What makes victory that much better is that he won in a flat 98 seconds, kicking Moli out and putting the teacher in.

And there we have it.  Our four men and four women have been chosen.  Tune in next week as the semi-finals begin on Monday Night Gladiators.