Titan is the only holdover from the original American Gladiators. Don’t remember him? He was probably on the later years buried in syndication. You can’t miss him now though, especially when he’s jousting you in real life. But adorned by buff babes Crush and Venom, even Titan got distracted.
CraveOnline: What inspired you to try out for the show?
Titan: Well, I was here before. I was here 10 years ago. I was on the original Gladiators. So when it came out, I said, "No, this is my show. I gotta get back on there." My manager said, "No, no, no, we’ll get you in." I said, "No, no. I want to do it from the start. The tryouts all the way through."
Venom: My coach and trainer told me about it. I was born to do this. He’s been training me seriously, hardcore for years. I’m King National Fitness Champion because of him so he’s my inspiration for this. He said, "You are born to do this." I was like, "Yes. This is how we’ve been training, very hardcore." It’s been a dream. It’s been a dream job for sure.
Crush: I’m a professional fighter so they came to me.
CraveOnline: When they came to you, what was your reaction?
Crush: My reaction was initially no, because I didn’t want it to disrupt my fight game because I’m just starting to get comfortable and find myself in my fighting. But I thought about it and this opportunity doesn’t come along all the time. It’s an opportunity for me to explore a different side of myself. I’m going to still fight, but it’s been a really good experience. We’re so blessed to have such a good crew.
Titan: That’s the thing. The team is tight. We’re all good, it’s a good camaraderie. This is such an iconic show. It’s going to be so big. I wouldn’t waste it.
CraveOnline: How did you come up with your gladiator names?
Venom: It was a collaborative effort.
Titan: With my name, I came in with The Natural or Atlas and they went, "Titan," the last day, right when we were starting to film. They go, "You know what? Titan." They had the final say.
CraveOnline: Did your familiarity with events help you out?
Titan: Oh, absolutely. The joust I did before. Powerball, there’s nothing better than powerball. You’re flying. You’re just knocking guys silly.
CraveOnline: What are your favorite events, ladies?
American Gladiator: Venom
Venom: My favorite is The Wall and Hang Tough. I really like those two events. The wall you’re chasing after someone 40 feet above water. It’s incredible and you grab onto her, grab onto her waist and just rip her, try and rip her off the wall and she plunges down into the water, it’s awesome. It’s pretty cool.
Crush: Joust, baby. I just like to hit things.
CraveOnline: Do you feel pressure to deliver on this?
Titan: Absolutely. I feel the pressure. Before coming out and getting ready to fight, you just kind of go into that fight mode.
Venom: Yeah, you have to be so focused. This is athletics, this is sports, this is true competition. We’re warriors and you are so in the zone, at times I can’t even hear the crowd. Then I kind of zone back in and I’m like, "Oh, the crowd is cheering for me now." It’s just really intense and you have to be so focused. Yeah, the pressure’s always on so we’re going to bring it 150%.
Crush: Just do what you gotta do to get it done. Whatever happens, happens. All you can do is really train for it and perform your best.
CraveOnline: What are your backgrounds in training?
Venom: Well, I started gymnastics when I was seven and started retraining at 15 years old because I tore my ACL so I’ve had both my knees reconstructed but they’re better than even. Then I was a professional fitness competitor. So that’s kind of been my background my whole life and I’ve been training people. I’ve been inspiring other people to be healthy and fit.
CraveOnline: How many hours a day do you work out now?
Venom: I’ve cut back quite a bit. I trained hard, very hardcore but very smart now. I used to train three hours a day. Now I’m down to an hour a day but really hardcore. It’s similar to the events we’re doing here, 30 seconds to a minute, jacking my heart rate up so it’s perfect for when I came here. I was like I’m ready for this. I can do any of this. Bring it on, all the events.
Titan: I’m the four time natural Mr. Universe, four time California power lifting champion and also the California Judo Champion. I’ve been doing martial arts, I’m also the state Tae Kwon Do Champion. So I’ve been doing this stuff but there’s 10 in my family. I was the youngest boy so from an early age, I was already learning to be a gladiator because I’d get all my older brothers kicking my ass. So now it’s time to bring them down, put them up on these things and knock ‘em silly. That’s my background and the training, I won the Strongman these last two years, the West Coast Strongman so the training’s really helped to get here, but it’s a whole new world because you’ve got the pressure here. you can’t lose. You’ve got to win and you’ve got to do it in style.
American Gladiator: Titan
Crush: I’ve been fighting for the last four years in Muay Thai. I’ve been to Thailand four times and I just got into cage fighting in the last year and a half, so I guess I’m just a physical girl.
CraveOnline: What was the appeal of vicious fighting?
Titan: She’s got some issues.
Crush: No, I think from when you’re young, people teach you not to be physical and hitting and kicking is bad. I think that being physical and expressing yourself isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s just directed at the right time and it’s actually an excellent way to get things out. So yeah, maybe a couple issues but I’ve got a different way of thinking.
Titan: What kind of issues? Let’s go deeper.
CraveOnline: Could you kill someone with your bare hands?
Crush: Yes, I actually wear four inch gloves in the cage fighting. It’s hardcore. It’s cool. I get to come here and play games.
CraveOnline: How do you like your uniforms?
Titan: I’m wearing a man bra. Come on now. "I designed it myself." No, this is completely NBC, the production design of my costume.
Venom: Yes, there’s not much to them. It’s lots of spandex. I would not be wearing this in the gym. It’s good for TV though.
CraveOnline: How functional is it?
Venom: They’re all right. Spandex forms to your body so they’re all right. We haven’t had anything pop out yet.
Crush: I’m used to wearing board shorts and a rash guard so this is quite a culture shock for me.
Titan: You mean wearing a garter belt doesn’t help you in the ring?
Crush: No, it’s a culture shock for me for sure. I don’t know what style I’m going for.
CraveOnline: You can fight and run in that though?
Crush: Oh, it’s very bendable.
Titan: It works, it works. It’s good TV. It’s good TV.
Crush: I’m okay with this outfit. If I have to wear something, I’m mostly covered so I feel good.
Titan: Yeah, I asked for the corset but they wouldn’t get it for me. I don’t know what was up with that. Oh well, maybe next time.
American Gladiator: Crush
CraveOnline: Are there any rules you have to follow?
Crush: I can’t kick them in the head. You can’t kick them in the head. I got penalized.
Titan: Yeah, nice job, nice job. You gotta watch her. She’ll break a rule here and there.
Crush: It wasn’t a kick, it was a stub.
Titan: Yeah, yeah, yeah. There’s rules. We’re not trying to hurt people obviously, but accidents happen. There are rules to each of the games and we try to abide by them.
CraveOnline: How does it feel that everyone will know who you are on January 7th?
Titan: Mind blowing, to know that this is going to come out and it’s going to be such a big hit. I’ve been in some movies this last year and those movies I don’t think will give me any exposure relative to this. This is going to be so big, so advanced. The soundstage, the set, the water, the fire, the contestants. It’s real TV but it’s reality TV too. You’ve got the drama of the contestants, what they’ve gone through to get here. It’s gigantic. The exposure that we’re going to take from this, next thing you know cartoons, comic books, action figures.
CraveOnline: How about video games?
Titan: Video games.
Venom: X-Box Gladiators, yup.
Titan: I’m going to play myself on my X-Box. Nice. Don’t mess the hair up.
Crush: I’m going to play against you and be Crush. Kick to the head, illegal move.
CraveOnline: I’m thinking something with the Wii remote.
Titan: The Wii. So I get my workout again.
CraveOnline: Do you play games?
Titan: X-Box baby, Halo. Halo online.
Crush: Old school Nintendo, old school Nintendo. Mario Brothers and that’s about it.
CraveOnline: What star would you want to compete on a celebrity version of Gladiators?
Titan: 50 Cent. Bring him on, some street cred guys. Anybody. I know they’ll do a celebrity sooner or later.
Venom: I’ll be curious to see who’s brave enough to come on the show, so bring ‘em on.
Titan: You know what though? You know what they might do with those celebs, is take out the violent games? Like no Powerball or something. That’d be lame.
Crush: I think that there would be some celebrities out there that would want to get down. They’ve got a lot of aggression.
Titan: Who do you want?
Venom: I’ll take Jennifer Garner.
Crush: Tyra Banks.
Titan: Wow, you just called out Tyra Banks. You guys heard it here first.
Crush: She looks like she could be aggressive, right?
Titan: Let’s get Dr. Phil on here. Let me straighten him out.