[image-1]It feels like we can’t escape the WWE these days — from a holiday tour in North Charleston to Trump’s new Small Business Administration leader, Linda McMahon of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. may be having a moment. And one of its most popular stars — Stone Cold Steve Austin — is getting in on the action with his CMT reality show, Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge. Stone cold indeed.
The show pits eight “athletic contenders” (think MMA fighters, CrossFit fanatics, and professional athletes) against one another in a series of intense challenges. The winner advances to the “skullbuster challenge,” where he or she must beat the course’s current time record. And then, only then, can they walk home with $10,000.
This Sat. Dec. 10 at 10 p.m. local IT analyst, co-owner of North Charleston’s Stryke Fitness, and father of four, Chris McNally, will compete on the Broken Skull Challenge. A Boeing employee by day, and a gym owner 24/7 (McNally owns Stryke with his wife, where they offer dance fitness workouts), McNally has always been athletic, from his All-American wrestling days in college to his stint as an MMA fighter, which ended in 2012.
And by athletic we do mean athletic: McNally says that in his video submission (filmed by his 11-year-old daughter) he had to show himself, well, showing his stuff, which included flipping 500 pound tires, carrying a 70 pound log on his back, and walking on his hands. You know, athlete stuff.
After filling out an application in January, hearing back in July, and going through two interviews before waiting to hear back from CMT, McNally finally got the news that he would be flying to California for one final interview before he would be featured on the show. Needless to say, it ain’t easy getting on this reality TV show.
“It was one of the greatest experiences of my life,” says McNally. His episode was filmed over the course of three days, where McNally and the rest of the competitors were presented with physical challenges — stuff called “Drag Race,” “Pile Up,” “Trench Warfare,” etc. — just minutes before they had to complete them. “You can mentally and physically prepare but at the end of the day, you don’t know specifically what you’ll be doing,” says McNally.
In addition to competing in some pretty grueling physical activities, McNally also got a pep talk from Stone Cold himself. “He pulled all of us aside and said, ‘I truly respect all of you for making it to this point — you are one of the best athletes in this country because you made it on this show.'”
While we don’t yet know how McNally did, we can say for sure that he learned a thing or two from the frighteningly named Broken Skull Challenge. He says, “I felt like a very different person when I came back. It opened my eyes — I have a lot more in me than what I’m giving.”