I love American Gladiators. I loved it in its original syndication, I loved it when it was originally reran on USA, and I also loved it when it came back in 2008, well with one notable exception….
But anyways, when the show debuted in 1989, it was a simpler version of what we all knew and love. Instead of a huge “arena” it was a simple soundstage with a small set, with only 6 Gladiators. One Gladiator in particular was this woman.
Her name was Sunny. Her real name was Cheryl Baldringer. Although she wasn’t that memorable, she was far from being a horrible Gladiator. Unfortunately for her, she fell victim to a really simple, yet really stupid set change on American Gladiators.
They elevated the Conquer Ring.
Now, the Conquer Ring was pretty much a greco-roman wrestling circle. The object was to get the Gladiator out of the conquer ring to gain the points. In this case, would be 40 points to get the Gladiator out. Now with an elevated ring, I guess it would be to make it more interesting. Well, let’s just say it wasn’t that interesting at all.
At first, it was like business as usual, except about 6 inches off the ground. Then when Tracy Phillips made her move to push out Sunny, then things got a little bit hairy. Once Tracy pushed Sunny out of the ring…
Sunny landed in a way that isn’t very pleasant. Take a look at how Sunny landed, especially her right leg. As you can see it bent in a way it shouldn’t of. Now if this was a regular conquer ring, she would have been pushed back out of the ring. But since it was elevated…
We have Sunny with a dislocated knee, and had to miss the rest of the season. Now because of this, they decided to break for commercial. And what did they do?
They brought back the old mat. This would stick around until the beginning of the second half of the season where they get the bigger set, new gladiators, and new co-host in the mulleted dynamo that is Todd Christensen. This elevated ring lasted not even 1 whole episode, and was one of the dumbest things that was ever created in this shows run.
However, the concept of an elevated ring was brought back in 2008 with the advent of the Earthquake event. Although that game wasn’t that great, it still was miles better than what they did here.
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