Breaking Down the Challenge Mania Hall of Fame Candidates
Challenge Mania is creating their Hall of Fame and is allowing their fans and patrons to vote on a group of “retired” candidates. There are 5 men and 5 women who fans can distribute 4 of their total votes to, 2 per sex.
I decided to breakdown why each candidate deserves your vote. Simple as that, LET’S GO.
Also, if you want to vote, voting is eligible for Patrons at:
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Did you know Alton only did four seasons of the Challenge? It felt like more because he spread them out (S7, S11, S14, S23). Alton is essentially the Sandy Koufax of the Challenge. He does not have a giant total win and finals count like Johnny Bananas or Cara Maria, but in the seasons he did play, he was a top competitor and someone everybody feared each time. The Gauntlet 2 Alton might be the scariest competitor in Challenge history considering his strength, speed, cardio, and amicability.
A vote for Alton would be a vote for a top tier competitor who truly played like a Champion.
When looking at Abram’s career through a magnifying glass,he’s a bit overrated as a competitor; his two career wins (Inferno 1/Inferno 3) came in seasons with the easiest elimination format, and he never made a final during an individual or paired season. That being said, anyone who watched Abram play knows he’s a beast.
If I had to compare Abram to a pro athlete, he reminds me of Torii Hunter stealing Home Run balls at the fence or Vince Carter throwing down phenomenal dunks. Each player might not have been as consistent as the true elite players, but they had shining moments that we will always remember. Abram’s biggest moments have usually been losses or activities in which he was not the one competing. One of the craziest that come to mind is when Abram was going wild to the point of making himself bleed during his brother’s elimination on Bloodlines.
He is the Kareem Abdul Jabbar of the Challenge. A proven and dominant winner who can excel at any level. It hits a point where we know Landon is so good, he becomes underrated because we are simply bored by him. Landon did not get into drama and did not have many hookups, butt he pulled out 3 wins in 4 seasons because he is not problematic.
Landon’s win on Fresh Meat 2 is probably one of the greatest wins ever considering he had the last overall pick in the entire draft and literally pushed Carley to the finish line passed Laurel and Kenny.
A vote for Landon is a vote for the spirit of competition and when it comes down to brass tacks, Landon is arguably the greatest competitor in Challenge history.
It would feel weird not voting for the Godfather of the Challenge on the first ballot. Mark Long debuted on the second season of the show and last appeared on the twenty-second season. He managed to compete at the same level all those years later.
Mark Long was the perfect mix of physical dominance and fun-loving personality. He was everyone’s friend and made them feel comfortable, thus there was no reason to ever vote him into elimination. Part of me wishes Mark got into more fights, though his charm makes up for it.
A vote for Mark is a vote for the history of the show and a vote for Road Rules.
He is the Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson of the Challenge. The Rock used his popularity as a wrestler and translated it to entertainment fame, appearing in several movies while maintaining his own TV shows as both actor and host. The Miz used his MTV fame and Challenge winnings to pay for wrestling school and has gone on to become a future Hall of Fame wrestler in the WWE and the greatest Intercontinental Champion of All Time.
Today, the Miz even comes back to host the Champs vs Stars spin-offs and reunions while maintaining his status as one of WWE’s biggest stars. Not to mention, the Miz was a kickass competitor who won two seasons, made four finals, and holds a 2–0 elimination record.
When I talk to people about the Challenge, the Miz is the first name I drop. He gives the Challenge validity when talking to a random stranger
A vote for Miz is a vote for everything he’s done for the show.
I’ve linked this video so many times when writing articles about Coral because everyone needs to watch in my opinion:
Coral is the funniest and most charismatic person that has ever appeared on a Challenge and it’s not particularly. She’s one of the funniest humans ever. Her ability to accurately take apart people and throw quick hilarious jabs at a rapid pace is remarkable. When Coral was on the Challenge, she was the center of attention because her personality drew people to her. Most fans today are impressed by DaVonne, yet she mostly does her commentary off to the side, Coral was the HBIC while killing her confessionals, and dropping killer quotes daily.
As a competitor, Coral won her first season, made three more finals (including being the only remaining female for on the RW Gauntlet team), and then had her best season ever on Fresh Meat 1 where her and Evan dominated the game until they were removed due to injury. Like Alton’s BOTS 2012 run, Coral does have a smudge mark with the Gauntlet 3, but considering how poorly the men treated the women on that season, it makes sense why she exited on her own terms.
A vote for Coral is a vote for a person who was undoubtedly an MVP every season she appeared on. Others attempt to be a star, while Coral simply is.
If your focus is competition, then Evelyn is no doubt a Hall of Famer. Evelyn is the greatest female physical competitor in the show’s history, and Bill Simmons even put her in his pantheon of female athletes alongside Florence Griffith-Joyner and Serena Williams.
MTV has recently focused on creating Unisex finals where there’s only one winner, often resulting in either unfair finishes due to MTV”s skewed attempts at balancing the playing field or the women simply getting the bad end of the stick like on War of the Worlds. Evelyn is the one competitor you truly believe could beat the men in an equal final. She ran, climbed, and swam with a speed and endurance level that the others girls couldn’t match. On the Island, Evelyn held her breathe longer than Dan Walsh the Marine. On Inferno 3, she blew Alton’s mind with her cargo net climb, with Alton stating that he thinks Evelyn completed the challenge just as fast as him, maybe faster, which is a huge deal considering climbing is Alton’s forte. She never complained at any point during the Rivals 1 final while Wes, Johnny, and Mike were dying at different points. During Fresh Meat 2 she carried the male backpack for Luke because she was the stronger person. They may have lost, but they posted the second fastest elimination time of any team that season (the fastest being Landon, the team who beat them).
A vote for Evelyn is a vote for one of the fiercest competitors ever.
After Rivals 2, Paula had the most appearances on the Challenge of any female competitor. There was a point in time where Paula had almost become a set piece as she was a staple for the show between Seasons 13–24, only missing from The Ruins and Battle of the Seasons (2012).
Whether you liked or hated Paula, you probably miss her these days because she was essentially a family member considering the impact she had on the show. Paula went from the Anorexic girl on Real World Key West to becoming a two time Challenge Champion and a five time women’s finalist. Paula was the girl you wanted to party with as she was a fun drunk and made use of the male talent around her for great showmance action.
Eventually, Paula evolved (partially due to the amount of losses she had), got sick and tired of losing every season and began to train hard for the show. When Paula finally won on Rivals 1, it felt like a huge moment that we all could be a part of. When CT, Cara, and Sarah won on future seasons it felt the same way. Paula’s win was one we could all embrace as it was a long journey we all got to be a part of. Players like Turbo, Jordan, and Ashley winning early in their careers is impressive, yet from a story-telling perspective, a win like Paula’s is much more fulfilling.
A vote for Paula is a vote for your Challenge family, a person who you grew up with and watched bloom.
In certain sports, you can induct famous teams into the Hall of Fame, and in Wrestling you can induct Tag Teams. When you hear the name Rachel Robinson, the first thing that comes to mind is Veronica Portillo. Together, the two are no doubt first ballot Hall of Famers. The Challenge would not be what it is today without these two women. They set the standard for female competitors as they were physically strong, attractive, politically savvy, and simply great at marketing themselves. Modern female competitors should look up to Veronica and Rachel as they put themselves at the forefront of the show and showed that women could be way more than a male sidepiece. Especially, because women usually get shitty editing in this show’s history, Veronica and Rachel forced them to pay attention.
Yes, the mean girls alliance was portrayed as villains, although one has to wonder that if they were males, wouldn’t they just be viewed as a dominant alliance in the vain of JEK instead?
Unfortunately for Rachel, this is a Hall of Fame where she is individual. Nonetheless, Rachel is easily one of the most impressive females in Challenge history. She is a two time Challenge Champion and a three time finalist. Rachel dominated the Duel 2 and is one of the few female individual champions in the show’s history. She devoted her life to fitness and is in even better shape now that she’s retired from the show. Rachel is a BAMF.
A vote for Rachel is a vote for the show’s history.
When asked the question of who is the most underrated competitor in Challenge history, it doesn’t even take a second to think about, it’s Susie Meister no doubt. Susie competed on four seasons of the Challenge and made it to four finals while picking up two wins. She didn’t float to those finals either, Susie’s elimination record is an impeccable 4–0, including a big physical win over Kim Alexander on the Ruins and another against Jenn Grijalva on Inferno 3 (Jenn is 5–2 in eliminations, sneaky good).
Susie also consistently killed daily challenges as she won three lifeshields on the Inferno 3 and was on dominant teams during the Ruins and Gauntlet 2. She never trained for these shows, yet Susie’s natural athleticism and mind-set when tackling challenges allowed her to succeed. Whereas some great athletes fail challenges before they start with the worst strategies, Susie wins first with her mind, then executes with her body. Yes, she was not the best at finals, but Susie always had a spot in them. Great competitors like Wes, CT, and Bananas seem impressive around the 50% mark, Susie is 100%.
She even makes a big impact in the community today alongside Sarah Rice doing the Brain Candy Podcast and appearing at Challenge Mania Live Events. Sidenote: Susie is really hot, like yeah you know she’s hot, but you see her in person and she’s gorgeous. Maybe I’m getting a little too into writing this, but my 1 AM brain feels like you need to know this for your own future reference.
A vote for Susie is a vote for excellence. She’s won and competed at a high level despite being forgotten because her seasons are so far apart and as a whole, she’s more known as an academic at this point.