By Fred Topel | Image property of respective holders.
American Gladiators: Mayhem
American Gladiators isn't just about strength. It's entertainment, so all the gladiators have to have some personality. Mayhem, the wild and unpredictable gladiator, applies his own style to the contestants he faces.
"If they're nice, I'll beat them with a smile," said Mayhem. "If they're mean, I'll beat them with anger. Then I'll taunt you. Then I'll tell you to go back home to your mamma. Go get your bottle and your diapers, go home."
Mayhem has a personal connection to American Gladiators going back to his childhood. "I remember sitting on the couch and my uncle said, 'Come and check this show out.' I go sit on the couch and I look and go whoa. 'What is this?' He said, 'It's a show called the American Gladiators. You know, you're always working out. You're kickboxing. You should try out for it.' So a month goes by, my uncle passed away suddenly and then a month later I see auditions for the Gladiators. So I go and I try out and I make it as a contestant. Then 10 years later, here I am."
Circumstances prevented Mayhem from competing the first time around, but starring as a gladiator is way cooler. "I actually tried out 10 years ago to be a contestant and I made it. Then when I got there they turned me into an alternate because I was so tall. I was one of the strongest alternate contestants in case somebody had gotten hurt. Of course I did not end up playing but now 10 years later, I'm going, 'Wow, the American Gladiators' like I remember sitting on the couch 10 years a go and my uncle, who's passed away, I have four angels up there and four is my number. Four has always been my number. I had four angels that raised me out of Houston."
The open casting call actually crossed Mayhem's web browser at home. "I was just searching the web one day, actually it was on my son's birthday. He just made 11 years old and I was like whoa, I see American Gladiators, I remember that show. I happen to get a call on my uncle's birthday to come in, and I'm just going, 'Whoa. So there are angels up there.' And here I am, man. I'm doing it for of course myself and my kids, but mostly for my uncle who's the one who pushed me in the first place."