The early nineties was a different time in America. The big hair and bigger coke piles of the 80’s were all but gone, the Cola Wars had kicked into high gear. MC Hammer was in command of the air waves, Zubaz Pants worn with British Knights shoes and a fanny pack with a few florescent colors for accent was the fashion to be seen in and America had a new breed of hero.
The American Gladiators had come into their own by 1990 and were primed to take over the world. “Gladiating” was looked at to be THE new professional sport. Between the t.v. series, video games, trading cards, action figures and clothing it was easy to see why this opinion was formed, and lets not forget…it was amazing to watch. With the larger than life warriors that dominated the male side of the competition and the gorgeous amazon vixens that ruled the female contests how could this show be anything but a dynasty that would rule forever?
Then, in the U.K. in 1996 the show filmed its final history and the era of Gladiators came to an end. Don’t deny it either, that is when things started to suck in general. Kurt Cobain killed himself (not saying it had to do with the end of the Gladiators…but that show did mean a lot to a lot of people), An ice storm strikes the U.S., killing 26 directly, hundreds more from accident, O.J. Simpson was having an AWFUL year, but Nichole probably had it worse and though 1996 had some pretty decent film releases including “Fargo” and “Escape from L.A.” it was the year responsible for “Jingle All The Way” which can’t really be forgiven.
The true question is what happened to these men and women who were the Gladiators? They were taken from obscurity, risen to god like status then dropped back into obscurity faster than they were discovered. Some were able to avoid a complete crash and go on to become presidents, vice presidents and CEO’s of corporations, others became doctors or dentists, one a pro wrestler and another a tv host. Others however entered a much darker chapter in their lives including imprisonment, drug use and death. Finally there were some that simply melted into society and were never heard from again. That is until now…this is their story.
No, he did not go on to become E-Rokk’s costumed alter ego in Action Squad Assemble, instead Turbo went back to the Gladiator arena one last time to clean out his locker where he was approached by a dark hooded figure who claimed he was from the future and offered to enlist Turbo in the military of the future because of his prowess in assault. “We could use a crack shot like you” he said.
Think it was just another crazed fan Turbo went home for the night and decided to fucked up on Jim Beam and climb on to the roof. Earlier in the day he had stolen the Assault tennis ball launcher and mounted it up there. He spent the night opening fire on passing cars and pedestrians. He eventually puked up his Macaroni Grill value meal and passed out in a lawn chair.
The next day he was greeted by the same cloaked figure that offered to take him to the future to show him why his help was needed. If after that he didn’t wish to help he would be returned to his own time. Thinking he was still drunk he agreed and was whisked away. When he got to the future he saw it was like Terminator, Escape from New York, Demolition Man and Judge Dredd all ruled into one. Being the Gladiator that he was he agreed to stay and fight. Battle after battle he would rain down a barrage of death and destruction on the evil alien invaders until there were no more enemies to fight.
The war ended and Turbo was awarded every metal the government had to bestow upon him. He was hailed as the greatest hero the world would ever know, but he was still unhappy. He wanted to go home. The future president told him that since all of humanity was indebted to him the would grant his wish and he was returned to 1996 and only minutes after he had woken up on that fateful day that he went to the future.
Hoping he could capitalize on his Gladiator fame and knowing that he was the savior of the future of humanity he tried to find more work as a television idol. All too soon he realized that America forgets its heroes one moment as easily as it honors them a moment before. Out of work and homeless Turbo could often be seen lugging around the Assault Launcher and trying to steal tennis balls for ammunition. Eventually he became a raging drunk and would scream out stories of how he saved the future. He was widely regarded as “Crazier than Micheal Jackson…with out the child rape.” and ignored.
The day after the Virgina Tech tragedy Turbo busted into a police station, fell to his knees and wept claiming that he was responsible. “This never would have happened if I never shot tennis balls at people from a high vantage point. He was just trying to be like his hero.” The police looked at each other than back to him and one young officer finally asked “Who the hell are you?”
Grief stricken and guilt ridden Turbo went to a hardware store and stole a length of pvc pipe and a small CO2 tank which he used to create a tennis ball firing pistol. He then sat in a dark ally, bawling his eyes out and cursing the heavens planning to kill himself. He put the weapon to his head and shot himself ten to twelve times. Finally another homeless man came up to him and broke the news that a tennis ball wasn’t going to do the trick.
Turbo hasn’t been seen since, but reportedly at the last known sighting he was still wearing his white spandex pants.
Unfortunately Malibu’s story ends long before most of the others as he did not return to the Gladiators after season 1. This is his story.
Malibu would spend countless hours sitting on the beach, lounging in the sand, surfing in the cool blue waters or wooing the beach bunnies with his physique. That was until the day he got the call to join the Gladiators. Poor Malibu was thrust into a world of depraved competition and was force to bare witness to the depths a human being would go to just to beat another human. Some say it was too much for him to deal with and he simply shut down. I say that may have been part of it, but there was more.
He realized early that this wasn’t just a t.v. show, it was survival. Most casual fans don’t know this, but Gladiators that performed poorly were severely punished for being sub par. Rather than just threat, warnings and pay cuts…after the lights in Gladiator Arena went down the weakest Gladiators were chained up, whipped, drawn and quartered, branded, stretched on the rack, forced into the iron maiden or had their genitalia tortured with electricity, fire and hammers.
Knowing he would never be able to face the brutual punishment he began shooting the juice. He bacame a livin, breathing example of the Incredible Hulk, calm and collected one moment but a raging ball of emotions the next. Sure he didn’t turn green, but his muscle mass was super human and his hair was like golden locks of Thor himself.
Shortly after his most notable roid rage Malibu left the Gladiators. He tried to return to his simpler life, but found the beach had become cold and dark. He began to wonder the land looking for missions. This chapter of his life was often called “Malibu: The Legendary Journeys”. He would battle ninjas, put out fires, defend sea towns from pirate invasions, help little Timmy ace his math test, rescue children from wells and so on.
Eventually however he began to realize he was “getting to old for this shit” and had to calm down. As work stopped coming in so did the income. He soon found himself performing fellatio and other sexual acts for money. Ironically enough his last ditch effort to make a buck was staring in a strange Korean porno where he was chained up, whipped, drawn and quartered, branded, stretched on the rack, forced into the iron maiden then had his genitalia tortured with electricity, fire and hammers. Not to mention he was urinated on by midgets.
Realizing he was at the end of his rope he began living on the streets and drinking heavily. He would lie there in his Kenmore box night after night praying to once again have direction in his life. Then one night a few weeks ago he heard a strange sound in the ally. He looked and saw a man shooting himself in the head with what looked to be tennis balls.
Feeling it was the only decent thing to do he went over and broke the news to him that tennis balls weren’t going to do the trick. He then sat and talked with the man until he had calmed down and then it was clear. He had to save people from themselves. He would walk the Earth looking for people to help out. This new era is called “Malibu: The Legend Continues.”
Gemini was of course the Gladiator most commonly associated with the show, and therefore took it the hardest when the show ended. After a few weeks of laying around feeling sorry for himself his loving wife reminded him that he had nine kids to feed and needed to start bringing in an income. But who would have need of the services of a physically intimidating black man who couldknock people off of a platform using a padded stick.
His father in law offered him a job as an assistant manager at his grocery store, and so he shined his shoes, ironed his pants and clipped on his tie. All was going well for him until one day Mrs. Gorssing came in. Mrs. Grossing was a little old lady who would sometimes forget that prices had increased on certain item since the 1920s. Often times she would haggle the price of an item for hours on end with whoever was unfortunate enough to be approached by here.
Gemini was in the household cleaning supplies section stocking shelves when old Mrs. Grossing came in. She asked Gemini to fetch her a bottle of Murphy’s Oil, and being the master of customer service he was, he did it happily. Then she asked that fateful question. “How much is that sonny, my eyes aren’t so good any more, can you tell me the price?”
After quoting her the price she completely flipped. Gemini made fruitless efforts to calm her but she would have none of it. She began beating him with her cane. One shot eventually caught his forehead causing him to black out. When he came too he was standing over Mrs. Grossing holding some object in his hands he didn’t remember picking up. He looked down at her and saw that she was still breathing, but her false teeth were knocked out and her wig was missing.
He looked at the object in his hands and realized the series of events that must have taken place after he blacked out. In his hands was a broom handle that had been broken off from its bristles. Attached to each end was a roll of Bounty held in place by duct tape. He then realized in a moment of horror he just jousted the poor woman.
Try as he might he couldn’t put the broom handle down. It was like it had possessed him. Just then his father in law rounded the corner demanding to know what all the racket was about. Without a moments hesitation Gemini jousted him as well. He lay there on the floor a broken man sobbing and asking “why?” Gemini looked back over his shoulder and merely responded “I am Gemini and I shall joust.”
As he walked out of the store he tore the sleeves off of his whit oxford shirt, tossed the clip on tie into the wind and put on a pair of sunglasses. He spent the next few months jousting random people that he felt deserved to taste his wrath. In a little under six months he built up a record of 857 wins, no losses and 3 ties. He did later pull a victory out over those ties in rematches.
He continued this behavior for years until one night in New Orleans. Hurricane Katrina had set in and unleashed her full rage. The mighty Gemini tried his best to Joust the storm back out to sea, but just couldn’t stop it. Days later he washed up on a roof top broken and beaten. He sat depressed for weeks feeling responsible for the devastation that had befallen the good people of New Orleans.
That is until one day when a helicopter was spotted over the muddy waters that flooded the city. The helicopter pilot looked down and saw the mighty Gemini sprawled out on a rooftop and screamed out, “There! There he is. We have hope.” A dark figured was lowered down to the rooftop by a rope ladder from the chopper and walked over to Gemini. He sat down beside him and said, “We need your help. We need you to rescue our people.” Gemini looked up at the man with one eye, shielded his eys from the sun and asked in a graveled voice “Who are you?”
The man replied, “I’m Kanye West and president Bush hates black people. I made that remark on MTV the other night and god knows I wouldn’t say something like that for publicity. I am here to show what needs to be done and rescue my brothers and sisters.” Gemini sat up and asked, “How can I help?” Kanye was happy to explain his plan. He wanted to attach an ore to Gemini’s hands sit him in a boat and have him joust the flood waters there by creating a motorboat effect and saving all the stranded people in a much faster way.
Gemini jousted harder than he had ever jousted before. He showed that water who was boss for hours rescuing hundreds. Then just like the legendary John Henry before him the mighty Gemini pushed to hard and his heart simply gave out.
Gemini survived the heart attack, but to this day no one knows what happened to him after he left the hospital. Some say he lives in the mountains Jousting bears, others say he is in India Jousting tigers and yet others have him in Africa with gorillas. Other versions of this tale place him all over the world fighting all varieties of animals. As for me, I like to think he formed a highly secret society where he teaches the next generation the art of Joust.