Meet the Skullbuster: Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge on CMT

American Ninja Warrior, meet your new competition — Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge, a 10-episode competition series debuting on CMT Sunday, July 6, at 9pm ET/PT. The show and its “Skullbuster” obstacle course are the brainchild of wrestling legend Steve Austin, who wanted to bring a new level of competition to TV.

“I love doing serious, hardcore competition, so I wanted to come up with an even tougher version of competition [referring to his other CMT series, Redneck Island] — only take out the drama and make it all about the action,” Austin says. “We came up with this concept and through my body of work in the world of professional wrestling — being Stone Cold Steve Austin — I was known for being the toughest SOB in the WWE. We wanted to make this thing tough.”

The contestants make up a diverse group of athletes from the worlds of CrossFit, Spartan Race and Tough Mudder, as well as those with backgrounds in MMA, powerlifting and bodybuilding. They come to Austin’s Broken Skull Ranch, where they compete in three rounds of head-to-head, bracket-style competition with the winner getting a shot at the Skullbuster obstacle course.

“The last person standing at the end of the first day goes on to the next day to face my obstacle course, which I named the Skullbuster. The Skullbuster doesn’t care if you’re man or woman; it’s designed to stop you,” Austin says. “It’s a half-mile course with 10 obstacles and if you can beat my Skullbuster, I’ll give you $10,000. Or if someone beats it, you have to beat that benchmark time.”

Steve Austin's Broken Skull ChallengeUnlike American Ninja Warrior, contestants are competing against one another versus competing against a clock. The 10-episode series will feature five episodes with men and five with women; however, all of the competitions are exactly the same.

“I didn’t know how the women were going to fare just because some of the stuff is very tough,” Austin continues. “I was just blown away with everybody — men and women. We brought, truly, the elite athletes out to the ranch and they all performed, they all kicked ass. I was blown away and inspired actually by some of the training these people do.”

And to win this thing, Austin explains, you’re going to need more than just iron will and determination. “You are going to need the physical tools — you are going to need strength, stamina, explosion, quickness, durability and endurance. We test it all. We will test your willpower. How much heart do you have? There were some people who came out here that were clearly seemingly overmatched from a physical standpoint who ended up beating the other person just because of will, determination and heart. There were some real surprises out at the ranch.”


Photo: Credit: Jason Elias/CMT



  1. 18 yrs old, 120lbs and built to last, ready to take the challenge, let me know when you want me to come kick some butt Stonecold, Allen,Tx

  2. I am a 20 yr old college student who watches the skull challenge, every chance i get, i would love to be a contestant On your show. i am in physical shape….5ft even 110 pounds…ready for anything and anyone. From Allen Tx

  3. I used the wrong email the first time but Ik i can beat this at 18 years old I just need one shot so I can show u what I can do like I said I wanna show the world that size does not matter I will out proform and dominate this course lemme be the one to break that record I will do it or are u scared a 18 year old will beat this course and make these guys look bad on tv idc I’ll do it!!

  4. I am 18 years ol and I think I can beat this and be the first 18 year old to do it I lift weights an in I’m fast enough and strong enough to beat the people that would be there with me I am fast I bet I could even beat u at ur own course unless ur scared of a 18 year old lemme show u what I can do give me this shot to show u and the world that size does not matter!!!!

  5. For all you service men, thank you. For all you big time football players, wrestlers, and MMA fighters congrats. However this game takes no skill. To Stone cold “I AM the hard nosed, tough, balls to the walls mother fucker you want on your ranch” put me in and you will literally see a beast unleashed. There will be no thinking, just destroying. I WON’T LOSE!!!!

  6. I want to be the youngest praon to ever beat the broken skull challenge I’m seventeen! I know I have what it takes! Come on Steve you badass redneck get me in there!

  7. Im 23 years old and this looks like a great challenge! Im fast, strong and a good wrestler. I have the heart and desire of a lion! Ill leave it all on that course! I strive for greatness so i would not back down!! Give me a shot… Im waiting

  8. Im currently 20 years old,I Was a 6A all-star/all-state football player from Oklahoma. Ive fought in the trenches with division one athletes. Im not afraid of anyone or anything……. “PUT ME IN SEASON 2 I DARE YOU”

  9. I’m a all state wrestler and a top football player I’m going to a college in newyork and I’m from michigan I can use that money to get to newyork, I know I can beat that time on the skullbuster.

  10. 3:16 is nothing if you want the real 3:16 then give me a shot, I laugh and eat this course, it’s nothing,

  11. I’m a Wrestler willing to do what ever it takes , I’ve been threw the tuffest camp in the nation jrob, if you want someone that won’t disappoint you I’m here

  12. I’m 43 years old and retired from the United States Marine Corps, I currently work as a Lieutenant for the Federal Bureau of Prisons. I know I’m up for the challenge. If nothing else, I know I can complete Austin’s Obstacle course.

Comments are closed.