Local Man Still Going By American Gladiator Nickname

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Former American Gladiator, James Nielson, wants to be known only as Panzer.
Former American Gladiator, James Nielson, wants to be known only as Panzer.

HOUSTON, TX – Despite the fact that the show has not been on the air for over a decade, former “American Gladiator” star James Nielson still prefers people call him by his gladiator name, Panzer.

Nielson, an American Gladiator from the last two seasons of the show, currently works at a Houston area Target and asks that both his fellow employees and customers refer to him only as Panzer.

“I’ve earned the right to be called Panzer so that’s what I’m gonna go by,” said Nielson. “Look at this body. Look at these forearms! You can’t tell me that this body belongs to a James. This body could only belong to one person – Panzer. God damn, look at these things. And look at that definition in my upper thighs. That reminds me, I need to pick up some more oil before I leave tonight.”

Canceled in 1996, “American Gladiators” featured contestants battling each other and professional athletes in contests of strength and agility. Nielson competed in only 11 events over the course of two seasons.

While most of Nielson’s friends and family are use to calling him Panzer, several, including his mother refuse.

“He’s a bumble-head sometimes,” Nielson’s mother, Sheila Nielson said. “I named him James after my father who was a good, god fearing man that served his country in The Big One. This is how James honors that memory? I think my little James might be sick. He wasn’t even a real gladiator. I love him but he sat on the bench a lot, only getting to play when one of the real gladiators was too tired or hurt. He never did win an event either, bless his heart. No, James was no Nitro. Nitro. Now that was a real man.”

Nielson’s co-workers have so far resisted calling him Panzer and his mangers have refused to allow him to put Panzer on his name tag.

“They’re just jealous,” says Nielson. “They’re jealous and they’re obviously scared of my awe inspiring biceps. I swear if I could just get Bill (Rogers, store manager) up on the Joust or Hang Tough, then they would feel the raw power and fury that Panzer exudes from every pore of my body.”

In hopes of returning to fame as an American Gladiator, Nielson is hard at work training for a planned revival of the show later this year. To help him train, Nielson has built a full American Gladiator ring in his back yard and invites local athletes to “try and beat him.”

“I still got what it takes to get in that Atlasphere ring every day and beat the piss out of some poor wannabe,” Nielson said. “I mean if Gordon “Payne” Anderson can make a comeback, I sure as hell can too. That guy was way too fruity to be a Gladiator. And don’t even get me started on Nitro or Blaze. Wow, there was something going on with those two. At least Blaze was a chick. At least I think she was a chick. With those body builders, though, you can never be too sure.”

The new “American Gladiators” series is set to debut in 2008 as a mid-season replacement. As of press time, no Gladiators had been selected.


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