Game of Arms

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Game of Arms TV Poster Image
Gritty arm-wrestling reality show has violence, profanity.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Reinforces traditional ideals of masculinity related to strength, machismo, and violence, though some of these ideas are subverted by the men's day jobs.

Positive Role Models & Representations

When the men aren't wrestling, they have careers ranging from graphic artists and chemistry teachers to ministers. Women do not play a role in the show.


Arm wrestling sometimes lead to torn ligaments and other serious injuries. Teams sometimes exchange insults during tournaments; occasional shoving matches and fistfights break out as a result. 


Occasional references to masturbation and other sexual acts. Men's bare chests are often shown; occasionally their pants slide down and bare their buttocks (which are blurred). 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some folks smoke cigarettes and drink beer. References are made to being hung over.  

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Game of Arms is an adult-oriented reality series featuring American arm-wrestling teams as they compete against each other for cash prizes and bragging rights. Expect some strong language ("bitch" and "damn," with other curses bleeped), sexual references, a few blurred bottoms, cigarette smoking, and some drinking. There's also lots of insult hurling among competitors, which sometimes leads to shoving matches and physical brawls. Wrestlers sometimes get hurt, too, (but there's no blood visible). Teens interested in wrestling and other sports might be interested, but the show isn't meant for younger kids. 

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What's the story?

From the producers of Deadliest Catch comes GAME OF ARMS, a reality docuseries that offers a behind-the-scenes look at the competitive world of American arm wrestling. Five regional arm-wrestling clubs -- including the New York City team known as Arms Control; the Sacramento Arm Benders; Kansas City's Rolling Thunder; the Baton Rouge Roughnecks; and the Wrecking Crew, a competitive team from Erie, Pennsylvania -- participate in a series of regional tournaments in exchange for cash prizes and bragging rights. As they train for matches and travel across the country to compete, they also share some of the personal challenges that arm wrestling helps them cope with.

Is it any good?

From training in their basements, out in the woods, and on city streets, to competing in warehouses and garages, the arm wrestlers of Game of Arms offer a voyeuristic look at a sport that isn't played in mainstream venues. It also offers details about the rules established by the American Armsport Association, how matches are judged, and the various traditions and rituals wrestlers follow before and during each match.

Much of the show's appeal comes from the unbridled passion these folks have for the sport, even if it means risking serious injuries and spending more money to compete than they can possibly win. Scenes of the contestants wrestling in slow motion also add some drama. It's certainly not for everyone, but folks interested in learning more about some people's unique interests and activities will probably find something here.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about arm wrestling. Did you know that arm wrestling as an organized sport got its start in the United States? Do other countries arm-wrestle competitively? Why is this sport being featured in a reality show?

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