As you may have already gathered, I am nothing if not obsessive-compulsive. Example: My current TV obsession du jour is the new American Gladiators, and in particular, the show's most awesome gladiator, WOLF! Why have I developed such an unnatural man-crush on this character? ALLOW ME TO ELUCIDATE: (1) He beats people up—but in a charitable manner (i.e., throwing them down on foam mats instead of concrete). (2) He's super hairy. Kind of like Barry Gibb on steroids. (3) He wears super-tight spandex—which I would wear daily, if my boss would so allow. And (4) after he pounds a Gladiator contestant into the ground, he howls an enthusiastic "AAAAHHHH-RROOOOOO!!" (Again, something my employer frowns upon.)
So imagine my titillation when I was invited to INTERVIEW Wolf! Let's just say it's a good thing I keep a three-pack of underpants in my desk. However, before you read the following, it might be a good idea to manage your expectations. Though it may defy logic (especially if you've seen him on the show) WOLF DOES NOT EAT HUMAN FLESH. Nor does he spend much of the interview beating me up, and screaming "AAAAHHHH-RROOOOOO!!" That being said, Wolf is super-duper COOL, and my man-obsession remains blissfully intact.
Before landing the Gladiators gig, Wolf—or Don "Hollywood" Yates, as he's known in the human world—already had a daredevilish resume, including 23 years on the pro rodeo circuit as a bullfighter and rodeo clown. Wait... A BULLFIGHTER? "Not in the classic sense," he told me. "It's more like we play tag with the bulls. At the end of the routine, I would run straight at the bull, and then at the last second, jump over him—from head to tail."
Wow. So did the bull ever win?
"Once. A bull gored me nine inches deep. And I have the scar to prove it."
AWESOME!!! Wolf went on to tell me he's broken 130 bones in his career and has undergone three knee surgeries. Happily, he got out of bullfighting and onto TV after being discovered by Gladiator producers walking around at a Las Vegas bodybuilding show. Now he spends every week pounding the ever-loving crap out of flimsy contestants. His favorite method of putting a contestant into a wheelchair? "Well... the fan favorite is the 'Sunset Flip Powerbomb'—AKA the 'Canadian Destroyer,'" Wolf growled. "That happens in the 'Pyramid' competition, when [contestants are] trying to climb up. I dive on top, grab 'em around the midsection, flip, and send 'em to their doom.
"The important thing is that they feel my presence," Wolf continued. "That they never want to come up against me again. I like to taunt my competitor... toy with him. Then, when I grab hold? I like to watch as his soul leaves his body."
Don't miss the two-hour season finale of American Gladiators this Sunday, February 17, on NBC at 7 pm! However, I had one final question for Monsieur Wolf. "Who would win in a fight: Wolverine, or you with a handful of steak knives?"
"Me," said Wolf confidently. "And you can keep your stupid steak knives."