Hulk Hogan's Celebrity Championship Wrestling
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this reality show follows a group of people from the lower rungs of the fame ladder as they learn to become professional wrestlers. Though they're judged mainly for their prowess in the ring, the judges, commentators, and male participants are also very obviously judging the women for their looks and sex appeal. There's a little swearing (the strongest words are bleeped) and plenty of mock violence during matches -- as well as some unstaged verbal confrontations.
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What's the Story?
The biggest question about HULK HOGAN'S CELEBRITY CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING is why these pseudo-celebrities would ever agree to participate. The reality series follows a familiar pattern: Veteran wrestlers Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake and Brian "Nasty" Knobs each train a team of "celebrity" novices like Dustin Diamond (of Saved by the Bell), Nikki Ziering (a Playboy Playmate and ex-wife of Ian Ziering of Beverly Hills, 90210), reality TV veteran Danny Bonaduce, and former pro-basketball star Dennis Rodman, hoping to turn them into credible imitations of professional wrestlers. Hogan, as the sport's elder statesman and the show's master of ceremonies, serves as announcer, judge, critic, and mentor for the 10 participants, one of whom will be ejected at the end of every episode until the sole remaining contender is awarded the CCW title belt.
Is It Any Good?
Other reality shows have used the same format, including The Ultimate Fighter -- which gives up-and-coming mixed-martial artists the chance to win a contract to fight for the UFC -- and The Contender, which offered young boxers a large cash prize and the opportunity to get noticed. But these series focused on unknowns who've been training for years and desperately want to succeed at their sports; for them, landing a spot on one of these shows is a huge break.
But the Celebrity Wrestling participants have no background in the ring, and it's not clear they even have much desire to be wrestlers. Their moves aren't convincing, and the staged brawls are unlikely to satisfy either wresting supporters, who'd probably expect a better show, or reality show fans, even if they're usually willing to tolerate even the most contrived situations. Since the show never mentions any kind of cash prize (nor is the winner promised a pro wrestling contract or any other kind of reward), it's not clear what the contestants are hoping to gain -- other than bragging rights and attention. But maybe that's all they want.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about fame. The participants are all minor "celebrities," and since the competition offers no cash prize, it seems that most of them must be in it for the attention. But some of that attention will be unpleasant, likely painful, and bordering on the demeaning. What would you be willing to endure to become mildly famous? Would you join the cast of this show? What do you think the participants hope will result from being on the show? Do you think some people crave fame more than others? Are they willing to embarrass themselves more than others to achieve glory?
- Premiere date: October 18, 2008
- Cast: Hulk Hogan
- Network: CMT
- Genre: Reality TV
- TV rating: NR
- Last updated: February 24, 2022
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Violent, but a TKO for martial arts fans.
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Check this one out before sharing with fashion-crazed teens.
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