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Magical Mayhem on MTV with Bully Beatdown

By Zach Arnold | March 29, 2009

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I had heard the buzz about Mayhem Miller’s new MTV show Bully Beatdown and figured that since it drew such a strong initial cable rating that there must be something to the show.

Never did I expect to watch a fight-related show that could end up being as potentially successful as Punk’d or Pimp my Ride. However, Bully Beatdown has all the ingredients to become a big smash on MTV.

For MMA purists, be warned — this show is not for you. It does incorporate some elements of the fight game, but this show is all about pure entertainment and does it ever deliver. In 30 minutes, Bully Beatdown tells a better story and delivers more action than most episodes of The Ultimate Fighter. In many respects, Mayhem’s show makes TUF look like yesterday’s news.

The premise of the show (which airs every Sunday at 9:30 PM on MTV) is simple — Mayhem Miller gets videos sent to him from people who are intimidated by a bully in their life. It could be a family member, a long-time friend, or an ex-boyfriend. After watching the video, Mayhem pays the bully a visit and offers the bully a chance to fight against a professional MMA fighter in a two-round exhibition match. He offers the bully $10,000USD to fight. The bully accepts the challenge and then hits the gym to ‘show off’ their skills/lack of skills in front of Mayhem so he can laugh at them. Then, the bully and the hero (Mayhem’s chosen MMA fighter) are introduced to the cage where Big John McCarthy greets them with instructions. The fight between the hero and the bully consists of two rounds — Round 1 is grappling only and Round 2 is boxing/kickboxing. In Round 1, the bully starts off with $5,000. Every time the bully submits, the victim earns $1,000. In round two, the bully is given another $5,000. If the bully can survive the round and not get knocked out, he keeps the money. If the bully is KO’d, the victims get the $5,000.

The premise of the show is easy to follow and time flies by when you are watching it. Mayhem’s personality is absolutely perfect for Bully Beatdown.

In the episode that I watched on Sunday, the ‘bully’ is a guy named Vince who is 6’7″ and 250 pounds. He is accused by his current roommate of constantly stiffing him on rent payments and also causing physical damage to both the victim and to the house they are staying at. A second roommate, who no longer lives with Vince, claimed that Vince ruined his credit and ran up so many bills under his name that the second victim is being threatened with lawsuits.

Mayhem introduces the hero for this week’s show as former NFL player Michael Westbrook, who is 6’3″ and 220 pounds. He is stated to have a black-belt in taekwondo and a brown belt in BJJ.

The victims in this show look exactly like the type of guys who have been bullied their whole lives and Vince looks exactly like the type of guy that bullies people in real life. You couldn’t come up with better characters out of central casting.

Mayhem meets the two victims at a local basketball pick-up game. One victim says that he had to take the bus to get to the game because Vince took his car to Las Vegas and wrecked it. Mayhem interrupts the pick-up game and offers Vince the $10,000 challenge. Vince calls out the victims for not wanting to face him like a man and after some coaxing (“You got one ball, please tell me you got two”), the bully finally accepts the challenge. In addition to $10,000 being on the line, if Vince loses the fight to Westbrook he has to move out of the place he is renting with one of the victims.

Vince and Mayhem meet in the gym where there is a heavy bag and Mayhem asks Vince to show off his kickboxing skills. Vince does some low kicks and then he tries for a middle kick, only to get rejected by the heavy bag and fall on his ass.

30 minutes before the fight, Vince is shown talking to his trainers while getting taped up. He’s asked about stiffing his roommates on rent and says, “Someone’s gotta toughen ’em up.”

For fight time, the bully is introduced first by the ring announcer as someone “who doesn’t pay rent and doesn’t apologize for it.” The fans here are totally into the fight and when Michael Westbrook comes out, the reaction on Vince’s face is priceless.

As for the fight, R1 is 3 minutes long and grappling only. Westbrook took his time against the larger opponent and contorted him into several positions that looked painfully uncomfortable to be in. He ended up getting Vince to tap out four times, so Vince only ended up with $1,000 and the victims got $4,000. There was one submission attempt where Vince could have easily damaged his clavicle.

Round two was boxing/kickboxing with a standing 8-count rule in effect. If Vince survived the round, he got $5k. If he got KO’d, he got nothing. Vince lasted less than a minute when Westbrook started pummeling him with lefts and rights.

After the fight, Mayhem walked into the cage and gave Vince his money. He told him that maybe he would rent a hotel room, but that he was about to become homeless. For some reason, the producers of the show made sure that Mayhem used the phrase “redistribution of wealth” several times here. The victims ended up with $9,000 and afterward, in a post-fight taped interview, the ex-roommate of Vince and the current roommate decided that they would room together now that Vince is out of the picture.

Then a preview for next week’s show aired.

(I did notice that the cage used for the fight said “King of the Cage” on it.)

Topics: Media, MMA, Zach Arnold | 9 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

9 Responses to “Magical Mayhem on MTV with Bully Beatdown”

  1. David says:

    Good write up Zach.

    First thought: Mayhem is loving the payday!!

    None others. Thanks Zach.

  2. robthom says:

    Hmmm, sounds corny.
    Although I do want to see it anyway (I enjoyed the few iwen wings that I saw).
    I just keep forgetting to actually make the effort (which is also how I missed most of iwen wing).
    I’ll try again next week I guess.

  3. xtrainwilly says:

    This show is absolutely awesome. Im a total mma junkie that’s trained for years and I’m hooked. Don’t watch for technique or fights, just watch for entertainment. This will be a break out show for sure.

  4. catch says:

    Mayhem was made for something like this.

  5. robthom says:

    Mayhem was definitely made for this.
    And that is what it is.

  6. Zack says:

    Perfect choosing Bonello for the series opener with his history of working fights.

  7. catch says:

    I thought that much was obvious.

  8. Jeff says:

    Yes King of the Cage is on the Cage,,and the fighters are wearing KOTC gear and BOOYAA gear…KOTC’s parent company is ProElite…the company that used to do ELiteXC…they sold some fighters to STrikeForce..and are trying to reorganize the company…I’m not sure what they get from this show..but they are listed as a Co-Producer of the show,,and that is probably why you see the King Of the Cage present..Could be some big bucks for ProElite if this show takes off…Imagine if they took KOTC and brought it to MTV to do MMA…hmm..Kotc has a great reputation and has been around for like 10 years..

    So it looks like ProElite isn’t going out of business as originally thought..

    On Bully Beatdown,,watch all of the end the very end you will see MARK BURNETT…and then a big PRO ELITE


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