The 2008 Cast of American Gladiators Then and Now

To be quite honest I had no idea that this show had been brought back almost a decade ago and can only think that it’s a good thing it lasted just two seasons. It was hosted by Hulk Hogan and Laila Ali, two genuine athletes that have been around for a while and obviously know how to judge talent. Perhaps the one issue with this show, and it’s the most important issue really since it has to do with the very core of the program, is that it was ever thought to be a good idea. The original American Gladiators was something fun to watch a long time ago when it seemed like something new and inventive. This show, like the dinosaurs, had its time in the sun.

As of now I can only hope that those in charge got the message this last time around, but I doubt it.  Anyway, here’s what some of these gladiators look like today:

Jet – Diane Youdale

They might have looked like glamour girls and pretty boys with great musculature and amazing good looks but a lot of these gladiators were tried and tested athletes that were more than just eye candy for the viewers. A few of them were even affiliated or had had run-ins with the WWE in the past.

Ace – Warren Furman

Obviously the past nine years hasn’t been good to all of them but consider this, they likely still work out and keep themselves  in shape, but while on the show they had to be at peak performance all the time. If they let down there were always alternates to replace them. So it was either dominate or step to the back of the line.

Hunter – James Crossley

It’s kind of hard to equate how some of them turned out and how they look now, but you have to think that some of these folks weren’t spring chickens walking into this job. They’d be in their late thirties and forties now I would guess.

Saracen – Mike Lewis

One of the upsides of the Gladiators is that they didn’t really discriminate when it came to using talent for one challenge or another. It came down to who could get the job done and who could take on the challenger’s in the best manner.
Rhino – Mark Smith

Since the show a lot of the athletes have slimmed down and changed quite a bit but that’s pretty natural. You don’t stay at top shape if you’re not pushing yourself all the time as would have been necessary for the show.
Lightning – Kim Betts

The men and women both look as though life kind of roughed them up a bit from 2008 onward, but it could just be the fact that finding anything else to do was a bit difficult after experiencing the high of being on the show. I’ve no doubt that most if not all of them found other venues in which they could shine.

Panther – Helen O’ Reilly

I do tend to wonder if any of them miss their time on the show and pine for the days when they could display their athletic prowess and dominance. It could be a hard thing for some of them to walk away from.

Nightshade – Judy Simpson

Looking at the lot of them however it seems like they made the transition into life after American Gladiators fairly well. The show was important of course but it wasn’t the end of the world when it was over.

Wolf – Mike Van Wijk

For one thing they don’t have to play these crazy-looking, overly aggressive characters any longer. Of course one wonders just what they’re doing now, but so far it looks like they’re all doing well.
Amazon – Sharron Davies

All in all the show should have stayed in the past where it was finally dumped before the revival. I get the feeling that each and every one of these people could have found something a little more worthwhile than an ill-fated reboot of a challenge show that most people put on when there’s nothing better.

I’ll admit I used to watch the show, but only when I couldn’t find anything really entertaining.

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