The Contender
Gomez/Manfredo

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Zucker Said Knock You Out

Rap plays. The hills near the Hollywood sign. The fighters are all dressed in t-shirts and shorts, yellow for West, blue for East. Sly and Sugar Ray step out. Sly asks the fighters how they like Hollywood so far? Well, it's been kinder to them lately than to him. This is the first challenge. He says the winning team gets to pick who will fight, but more importantly, will choose his opponent from the losing team. No fighter has ever gotten to choose his opponent, apparently. The finish line is above the Hollywood sign, a mile up. Sly babbles. On the way up the mountain are three logs. The first one they just pick up, the second they untie, and the third they have to unlock using a combination found on signs posted on the way up, which they'll have to memorize. They have to carry all three logs tethered across the finish line. Sly lies that it's over a hundred degrees out. Lame rationale for the specifics of the challenge. Logs. Fast shots up the hill. Music. Sugar Ray tells them that champions never show signs of quitting. Tommy gets to yell at them from the back of a Toyota! pick-up, like Lloyd Bridges in that Seinfeld episode.

They start! One dude has sweat through his shirt like he already ran the race. Ishe pulls ahead quickly. Running. Running. Tommy yelling. They get to the first log, which they grab by ropes. Ishe runs out ahead, not carrying the log, as does Brent (?). Second log. They untie the logs. Yellow team ahead. Then blue. Ahmed is shit-talking even as he's running. The men are tired. Tommy yells. Ishe is behind Ahmed. Third log. Combination locks. Tommy jumps out of the truck and croaks to the confused Ahmed, who fiddles dumbly with the lock, "You don't know the numbehs?! The numbehs! You were supposed to remember dem." Hee. What a doof. Ishe gets his log unlocked. The rest of the fighters are still struggling with the two other logs. Ishe yells for them to hurry. The blue team is just walking now. The yellow team gets going with all the logs. They cross the finish line and raise their flag. Sly congratulates them and offers them some Gatorade! East finally makes it. They're bummed. Sly reminds East that they're now at West's mercy for tomorrow's fight. More shots of delicious, thirst-quenching Gatorade! Hollywood sign! Music! And…commercials.

Gym. The two teams are gathered in their separate locker rooms holding pow-wows. West. They all laugh over the fact that Ahmed didn't know the numbers to the combination. "I was just running," they report him to have said. "They must hate him right now."

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The Contender

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