Beloved Game Show Rebooted, Premieres This Week
A retro game show from the 2000s will soon return to the airwaves. Arena, the competitive gaming series that aired on G4TV in the early 2000s is back, with a revamped version of the show’s concept. the original Arena saw two teams go against each other in various video games. This new version, which aired on G4’s Twitch channel and WWE’s UpUpDownDown YouTube channel, appears to take a slightly different approach, with the contestants being celebrities and athletes. Also, it looks like they might be in for more than just video game showdowns, given that G4’s press release promises “a gauntlet of chaotic and hilarious challenges.”
G4 personalities Gina Darling and WWE Superstar Xavier Woods (aka Austin Creed) will host the Arena reboot, which is co-promoted by WWE. (This partnership explains why G4 hosts the Twitch stream while WWE’s gaming brand hosts the YouTube version.) By G4 weekly schedulethe first episode airs Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET, following new episodes of G4’s geek-focused talk show fresh ink and the legacy game series xplay. The first episode will feature Twitch streamers QTCinderella and Myth who are ready to “express their personal grievances” in the competition.
– G4TV (@G4TV) June 23, 2022
The episodes will air monthly, with WWE Superstars Becky Lynch and Seth Rollins named as future guests (although it’s unclear if they will actually compete). WWE crossovers were hyped by Woods, who was the driving force behind WWE’s UpUpDownDown brand for years. “All of our work on UpUpDownDown over the past seven years has brought us to this moment where we will see the worlds of wrestling and gaming collide,” he said. “I’m thrilled to partner with G4 and look forward to surprising our UpUpDownDown fans with new faces in the game every month.”
G4 President Russell Arons added, “WWE is known for delivering quality entertainment to its loyal fanbase and we’re thrilled to partner with them to bring this content to life and shine a spotlight on a mix of impressive talents The G4 network creates a fusion between the worlds of gaming and popular culture. Arenawe’re making a comedic collision for WWE fans, streamers and celebrities with a monthly series on TV, YouTube and Twitch where rivalries will be resolved once and for all.”
Two more notes for this, Kevin Periera, who was one of the co-hosts during the original Arena run, doesn’t seem to be involved in restarting. However, he is still with G4, hosting Attack of the show! and its talk show spin-off Show Attack: Vibe Check. And while the AOT! the franchise streams on Twitch/YouTube and is then shown on G4’s linear platforms, it’s unclear how/when Arena will be displayed outside of Twitch/YouTube.
For those worried that the show may stray too far from its esports roots, you can always check out the archive of esports streams hosted by G4 via YouTube. Past events have included Monitor 2Pokemon Unite and Valorant tournaments. The network also produced a season of Boosted, an esports conference and a variety show. However, G4 canceled the program after one season, with co-host Goldenboy citing rights complications for various esports as one of the factors.