Then: Using padded jousting poles, a Gladiator and challenger attempt to knock each other off raised platforms to the safety mats far below.
Now: Taking a page from Survivor, the Gladiator and challenger share a tiny platform above a pool of water. The two put their senses of balance to the test as they stand still for hours. The first to fall in the water wins.
Then: The challengers and Gladiators step inside large metallic spheres that resemble hamster wheels and smash into each other. Challengers score points by stopping on marked capture points.
Now: Gladiators and challengers put on blindfolds and enter a small closet, where they punch and kick one another wildly. Points are awarded arbitrarily.
Then: Two challengers race to the top of a rock-climbing wall as Gladiators attempt to pull them off.
Now: Challengers and Gladiators team up to pull Mexicans off of a replica U.S./Mexico border fence as they scramble for a better life.
Then: Gladiators don protective gear and shields, then stand atop a raised platform as challengers attempt to knock them off by swinging into them with a rope.
Now: Three judges - one snarky, one female and one "cool" - rate the challengers' interpretive dances and puppetry skills.
Then: The final event of every show, both challengers race to complete a brutal gauntlet of challenges and emerge the victor.
Now: Challengers are released in a section of L.A. that was devastated by a 1997 earthquake. Here they must elude a series of Gladiators armed with unique gadgets such as flamethrowers and jetpacks as they attempt to hunt down and kill the challengers in front of a bloodthirsty nation of mindless viewers.
TOTAL WRECK - crazy-eyed hound is covered in cobwebs, has a vespiary on back, graffiti on side and savage thirst for boat fuel. Frankly, I'm in over my head. He's in room 115 at Motel 6, yours free. 555-2851
Yes, it's the perfect form for surviving a car crash. But it's also the perfect form for so much more, like surviving the trauma of reading any news headline in 2016.
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