When I first heard about Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge on CMT I was immediately intrigued. Here we basically had a tougher version of Wipeout, or perhaps a grittier version of American Gladiators, presided over by the world’s toughest son of a bitch, one of the greatest mic workers in the history of the WWE, Stone Cold Steve Austin. The first season made good on all of those promises, taking Austin’s redneck charm and applying it to a competition as harrowing as it was funny, with Steve’s pitch perfect commentary accompanying the unbelievable physical displays of the competitors. Season 2 debuted in January and changed a few small things but maintained the show’s eminently watchable intensity.
From left, Heather, Jacqueline, Christine.
What was new for Season 2? Several changes were made to the show ending ‘Skullbuster”, Steve’s “toughest obstacle course in the country”. Gone were the Shredder, 30 feet of barbed wire contestants had to climb under early in the course, and the Spiderweb, a 60-foot section of cargo net suspended between two containers. Replacing them were the Holding Pattern, a climb across a vertical wall 40 feet long by 15 feet high over a pit of water using separated hand and foot holds, made even more difficult if the contestant had previously fallen in the Mudbath (a 15-foot rope swing over a pit of mud), and the Skyscraper, a 20 foot vertical climb up and over a cargo net.
Season 1’s returning champions were allowed a run on the new Skullbuster which would stand as the time to beat for future contestants, and if their time couldn’t be beaten they would continue to collect $10,000 for every episode. On the female side of things, Season 1 champ Heather posted 16:54, seemingly easy enough to catch but it stood until it was bested by Jacqueline with a time of 12:03 in Episode 6. Heather left the Ranch with a cool $60,000. Jacqueline’s time was tough to beat but Christine almost perfectly executed the Skullbuster with an insane time 8:20 in Episode 10. Jacqueline collected $20,000 altogether, Christine earns her $10,000 and gets to defend the female Skullbuster crown in Season 3.
Tommy Hackenbruck, Lord of the Skullbuster.
Competition on the male side of things was no competition at all as Season 1 defender Tommy’s ridiculous Skullbuster record of 6:41 was untouchable by all Season 2 Challengers. Tommy has earned $60,000 total to date from both seasons and will continue on as male Skullbuster champion for Season 3.
So what’s next for the Broken Skull ranch in Season 3? Hopefully more of the same badass feats of athleticism with Austin’s smartass snark to go with it. It’s a winning combination that we can’t take our eyes off of.
Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge airs Sundays at 9PM on CMT