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What is Grudge Match?

The Scenario

Ancient Rome – Year uncertain. The distant ancestors of some Grudge Match notables have arranged for some entertainment, the only way they know how. The rules are simple enough. Fully-armed gladiatorial combat; no quarter asked and none given. For the pleasure of the masses, Senator Brianicus and Senator Stevicles proudly present, a General-turned-gladiator against a gladiator-turned-General. For the winner, a comfortable retirement at a pleasant seaside villa, overlooking the Mediterranean. For the loser, an everlasting stay in Hades, overlooking the River Styx.

The warriors enter the arena to deafening cheers and face the Imperial Box.

"Those who are about to die salute you!"

They face one another.

"What we do echoes in eternity. Strength and honor!"

"I am not an animal! Now, you die!"

So, Dave, who does fortune favor on this day?

Maximus Decimus Meridius, Gladiator Spartacus (from Spartacus)

Maximus vs. Spartacus

The Commentary

DAVE: Unless Spartacus has a secret weapon hidden in the huge cleft in his chin, he’s going down. Maximus is as cold and sharp as the very weapons he wields. In his career, he’s seen it all and done it all. As a General, he conquered entire tribes of vicious Gauls. As a gladiator, he defeated everyone who went up against him, including the Emperor’s hand-picked champion. Even when his opponents are given enormous advantages, such as chariots, or biased tigers, Maximus prevails.

Historically, Spartacus doesn’t have too much going for him. Yes, he managed to escape from a third rate facility that was probably once a provincial petting zoo. Yes, he gathered together a ragtag ‘army’ of slaves and made life difficult for a while. But in the end, he and his men were beaten, and the outcome will be the same against Maximus. Say what you will, at least Maximus never had to suffer the indignity of standing around in his underwear while the gladiator trainer covered him in body paint.

And if all that weren’t enough, consider that Maximus must have some kind of eerie powers at his command. After he kills Emperor Commodus, his suggestion that Rome revert to a republic is apparently taken at face value, leaving scores of classics students to scratch their heads in confusion. The man can rewrite history!

Spartacus, whose fighting style more closely resembles that of William Shatner than an actual gladiator, is doomed. Cogito, ergo Spartacus est malus. I think, therefore Spartacus sucks.

JOE: I'm going to take that low-Shatner-blow as a compliment to Spartacus because Captain Kirk was victorious over three opponents in his famous arena fight. But enough of that trekkie nonsense, it's time to get down to business.

For starters, you've seriously overstated Maximus' record. As a General, the only battle we see him win is against a small force of Germanic barbarians. He uses ballistas, archers and infantry to cut down the majority of the enemy before riding in with cavalry to finish the job. Against the chariots he had more gladiators, full-size shields and spears to aid his victory. None of these tools (artillery, infantry, arrows, horses, spears) will be available to him here. His best match ('the hand-picked champion') was against an aging fat-ass that Emporer pulled out of retirement.

In fact, the only time Maximus faced a single young, healthy opponent was when he fought the incestuous, cry-baby Emporer Commodus... and he died.

Spartacus was a much better General. Instead of using the largest army in the world to walk over his opponents, Spartacus built his force from the ground up using gladiators, freed slaves and 60 year old women, and proceeded to decimate much of the Roman army. He was only destroyed when Crassus, the commander of the legions, used three separate armies to attack him. Whereas Maximus didn't live through his last fight, Spartacus' final battle was a mercy-killing of one of his bravest troops, Antoninus.

This match will likely end the same way... Spartacus with a mercy killing, Maximus dead.

DAVE: You must have watched Spartacus only for the scandalous bath scenes, because your take on history is seriously deluded. He and his entire army were ultimately captured and crucified along the side of the Via Appia. Is that a mark of good leadership? Meanwhile, those barbarians that we see Maximus roundly defeat? A small force, yes, but that's only because he had already conquered most of the barbarian hordes by that point.

But this is a moot point, as Maximus and Spartacus are fighting as gladiators, not generals. So how do they stack up in the arena? Spartacus was strictly small time, learning his craft out in the provinces under the tutelage of an aged, increasingly chubby Peter Ustinov. His training consisted of whacking a sword against some goofy wooden contraptions. He had a handful of fights at best. Maximus began his career in the provinces also, but won fight after fight, showing his opponents no mercy and dazzling the crowds. He came to be the most popular gladiator in all of Rome. The only reason he died is because he was tied up and stabbed prior to his showdown with Commodus.

Besides, Russell Crowe is known for three things: Makin' movies, makin' songs, and fightin' roun' the world. The biggest problem with Spartacus is that he's got no killer instinct. In his first match, instead of killing his wounded foe, he opts to chuck his weapon at a bunch of Roman magistrates for no discernible reason. When he is presented with a beautiful young female companion, he prefers to scream that he is not an animal. In short, he would rather rage against social injustice than get the job at hand done. Maximus knows how to work within the system. He managed to destroy Commodus by becoming what Spartacus ran away from. Mano a mano, there's no way Spartacus can take Maximus.

Like the man said, a people should know when it's conquered, Joe, and so should you.

JOE: Incidentally, Dave, makin' movies, makin' songs and fightin' roun' the world is also what David Hasselhoff is known for, and if I were you, I think I'd try to downplay any obvious connections between the two.

As far as his female companion is concerned, Spartacus knew that if he'd have taken her right then in his jail cell, Varinia would have laid there like a corpse while he did his business. Instead, he showed her a little respect so when he got inside her toga later on she made an effort to please him. It isn't because he has no killer instinct... it's because he has tact. The only person who ever told Maximus they liked him was a eight year old boy named Lucius. But, hey, if that's what Maxi's into...

Your other arguments are flawed as well. You've been giving my boy a hard time because he was captured and you also propose Maximus died only because he was tied up and stabbed prior to his last fight. But why was he able to be tied up and stabbed? Was it perhaps because he was... captured? Yes. Yes it was. Not in battle like Spartacus, mind you, but while trying to escape. Well, Dave, who's got the killer instinct now?

Maximus showed his enemy no mercy and dazzled the crowds. That's true, but his motivation for doing this was to go up against Commodus mano a mano. What does he do when he gets his opportunity? He tries to run away, gets captured, receives a minor flesh wound from a one-inch dagger and then dies in the ring. That wasn't a good day for poor Maximus. This one won't be any better.

The Romans couldn't kill Spartacus in the ring, he died on the cross. This is a fight between a gladiator who died in the ring and a gladiator who didn't. Deep down, we both know Spartacus is going to win.

Thanks to the many people that suggested this or a similar match

The Results

Maximus Decimus Meridius, Gladiator

Maximus (3369 - 65.2%)


Spartacus (from Spartacus)

Spartacus (1798 - 34.8%)

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Voter Comments


So, who DOES fortune favor on this day? Well, as they say (who? THEM, that's who), fortune favors the bold. So, which of these men is more bold?

... if you've watched the movies, and read the commentary, you'd say Maximus and Spartacus are pretty much sitting at the peak of the boldness scale. Of course, in this world, we also know that nothing is perfect ... I think THEY must have made some sort of typo; as such, we can assume that fortune favors the bald.

Now, who is more bald? Kirk Douglass is 87 years old, and he still has most of his hair on his head (see hair, er, here), but you can tell his hairline is receding. On the other hand, Russell Crowe still has a long way to go before his time to shed comes. Still, to determine how bald he will become, we can always look at precedent: can you name one bald Australian actor? No? Didn't think so.

Fortune shall favour the balder battling big-time bruiser, Spartacus. I hope Maximus can withstand hearing "Lady" by Styx for all eternity.

- Dom

Silver Grudgie ROTW Silver Medal GrudgieTM

Argument #1

This fight's synopsis is as follows.
Spartacus- "I am Spartacus"
Maximus- "OK" [stabs]
Spartacus Follower A- "I am Spartacus"
Maximus- "OK" [stabs]
Spartacus Follower B- "I am Spartacus"
Maximus- "OK" [stabs]
Etcetera, Etc, Etc

This will go on for a while but eventually the followers of Spartacus will get the picture and just shut the hell up.

Argument #2

Look at the fans.
Homosexuals love Spartacus
Women love Russel Crow
Women can beat up Homosexuals.
By rules of association, Spartacus gets bitch slapped down.

Now that is resolved, I see this is taking place in ancient Rome. Lets find a nice orgy, or maybe one of those 19 course feasts with an ajoining vomitorium.

- Spiffy, Elite Shadow Warrior, and Future Master of You Pathetic Organ Sacs

Bronze Grudgie ROTW Bronze Medal GrudgieTM

Ooooh. This was a close one. But I think I am going with Spartacus in the upset here. Some things to consider:

1. Did you see the amount of slicked back gel and mousse Kirk Douglass has in that movie? His head is protected by a thick, hirstute exoskeleton tougher than maximus' wannabe Dr. Doom had sex with Darth vader helmet, rendering him impervious to head injury.

2. He's gonna want to put on a good show for daughter in law Katherine-Zeta Jones. He knows he has no chance with her, but when has that ever stopped a guy from doing something stupid to impress a woman of any age at any time in history?

3. After surviving a stroke, Kirk's entire left side of his body has been numbed to the point it is now an invulnerable shield of meat. (You know, that just doesn't sound right). His business side has a sword in it. And at his age listed with scientific notation, the man can still move. Am I the only one who was impressed by his jump- roping ability from the movie Tough Guys in 1986?

4. If all else fails, keep in mind the movie Spartacus is renowned for its Roman soldiers wearing watches and sneakers. This rupture in the Space Time Continuum is a significant advantage for the douglass family, who will use ancient Roman Snipers on the upper tiers of the colliseum to inject a lead pilum from 120 yards into the Spaniard's head.

- Budus Maximus Genitalius

The only way to answer this is by using the Roger Ebert Factor. Ebert hated Gladiator, and liked Spartacus. You may think this means Spartacus will trimuph. However, Ebert lost on Grudge Match, meaning his views are wrong. Ergo, Maximus will wind up victorius.

- Shortride

I'm sorry; I can't vote on this. The fonts on the buttons are too cool to mess with.

- Rainwoman

I don't care who wins, as long as they don't have to stay in those short short pants for long...*shudders*, one thing I don't feel like seeing is Russal Crowe's "Master and Commanders"

- Dane "The New Prodigy"

The line "I am Spartacus!" is probably in the top ten of most often referenced movie dialogues, right up there with "Luke, I am your father." Knowing how this place works, that tangential connection to Darth Vader and Star Wars should alone should give Spartacus the win. If not, then Kirk Douglas can simply call on all his relatives (who I like to call the Dougli) in Hollywood to overwhelm his opponent with human wave tactics. This should be highly effective, as it was barbarian hordes using such tactics that ultimately brought the Roman empire down.

- Insomnus

Spartacus was a REAL gladiator. He went from having nothing to making the most powerful force in the world quaking in its boots. When he went down, he gave gave the other guy one whopping bloody nose. Maximus was a bogus figment of Hollywood's imagination, and a disgrace to the memory of Marcus Aurelius by having him in the movie.

- Noman

There is no way my man Spartacus can lose this one! No sir! I mean, when you think macho, you think Kirk Douglas, right? Okay, maybe not.

But still, I mean, think of all that Spartacus accomplished! He drowned some guy in a pot of soup! He avoided getting knocked on the head with rotating wooden bars! He impaled Tony Curtis, and then... uh... kissed him and said that he loved him...

Okay, fine. I can't think of a good reason. But I'll settle for anything to avoid living with "Grudge Match Champion Russell Crowe". I mean, "Oscar Winner Russell Crowe" is bad enough...

Oh wait! I know! At the time of this writing, Crowe is laid up, because he's separated his shoulder for the third time in as many years while filming a boxing movie. One sword thrust and he'll be on the ground, clutching his shoulder in agony, as Spartacus runs him through, shouting "Die! Die, my darling!". And then...

Holy crap. You know, when I first saw this match I said "Yes! Some testosterone at last!" but something has gone horribly, horribly wrong here. Stupid Romans.

- Oxymoron - "Those about to die salute you"? AC/DC should sue!

I was uncertain, until that Hasslehof comment won me over.

Go Spartacus!

- Galahad

With hundreds of other guys standing up and screaming "I AM SPARTACUS!", how will Maximus even know who to kill?

- Monco

I was going to vote for Maximus, but then I realised that in his name the word "Maxim" is in there. For those that don't know, Maxim is a men's magazine which often has pictures of celebrities in cleavage. But there's a problem you see: I have proof that girls are evil! Don't believe me? Here it is:

Firstly we know that girls require two things-money and time. So:
Girls=Time x Money
Then we remember the phrase: "Time is Money"
Girls=Money x Money=Money squared.
Then we remember the phrase: "Money is the root of all evil"
Money=Square Root of Evil
Girls=Square Root of Evil squared

Therefore: Girls=Evil

It's usually the nature of good guys to defeat bad guys, so therefore Spartacus wins.

- Jonathan Milne

Russell Crowe used to play Dr. Frank-N-Furter in "The Rocky Horror Show" back in Australia. If Spartacus can't kill him, then there is no justice in the world.

- Man Called True - "I'm not joking about that Rocky Horror Show thing, either."

Maximus charges forward and attacks Spartacus with a slash he's not prepared for, given the combat acting skills they had in his heyday. Russell Crowe steps back and sees Kirk Douglas' shirt has been cut, but not his skin. "What, how?" he asks.

"This tan isn't from makeup like you modern nancy boys in Hollywood, it's all natural, turning my skin into leather" Kirk Douglas replies.

Russell Crowe thinks for a moment about other men of this time who have had this kind of conditioning: Jack Palance, George Hamilton... They're tough and crunchy on the outside like beef jerky, but inside they're old and flimsy like balsa wood. Maximus charges again and knocks Spartacus down. The arena works like an amplifier making the snaps crackles and pops of Spartacus' bones and joints sound like the crashing of trees. Even the clay model lions of Spartacus' time and CGI tigers of Maximus' wince at the sound. The emperor stands and declares Maximus the winner.

"Take the loser to his Tartarus!" he shouts, whereupon Kirk Douglas is carried to a place where he can watch his son turn his family name into a joke.

- Pareeha

We need to see the mentalities of the two men before we start. Why they are fighting? Maximus seeks revenge for the loss of his family to scandalous powers, and Spartacus fights for his freedom. As anyone would know, fighting for their personal freedom was all that mattered to true gladiators.

Therefore, Maximus is likely to be unwilling to kill Spartacus because he only wants to kill the man behind his family's murder. Spartacus, fighting for his personal freedom, will have no quarms to sticking a sword through Maximus' neck.

So Spartacus wins. The End

- Commissar Black

Spartacus was an actual historical figure, and Karl Marx thought he was the greatest figure in ancient history. He is therefore a champion of Communism. Communism has been defeated in the face of Capitalism. So we can conclude that Capitalism will inevitably defeat Spartacus.

Now we look to Maximus. Maximus is John Nash from a Beautiful Mind, as is proven by the fact that both of them cut up their arms/shoulders (One searching for the bar code in his arm, the other removing SPQR from his shoulder.) John Nash and Maximus also both have hallucinations (Maximus sees the Elysium, etc). They also look an awful lot alike. John Nash hated Communism and tried to fight it, but his psychological imbalance made him the equivalent of Don Quixote fighting windmills.

Of course, the fact that Maximus is John Nash also means that Ed Harris is here, and since Ed Harris is here he must be having an intense sniper duel with Jude Law. Both of them are somewhere in the stands, waiting for their adversary to make a mistake and stand up too soon. This really has no bearing on the fight, but it's worth mentioning.

The real key to this fight is that Spartacus is a historical figure, and that Ron Howard rewrote John Nash's biographical history in order to suit the demands of the marketplace. Thus, while Maximus/John Nash loses the battle to Spartacus, Ron Howard rewrites the battle so that John Nash/Maximus wins. The new version outsells the old one because people like Ron's freckles. Since Capitalism will inevitably defeat Spartacus, causality is altered so that John Nash/Maximus wins the fight. Ridley Scott adds some scenes to the story so that Maximus/John Nash is actually a replicant, although this doesn't explain why he had so much trouble killing the other replicants... wait, that's a different gripe.

In summation, Capitalism defeats Spartacus.

- Emmanuel Goldstein

Sparticus is an old-school man. He's a great overactor, looks tough, talks tough, and his fightscenes are as fake as wrestling. There are only a few old-school men who still kick ass. like Shaft. Maximus... pretty much like Sparticus but his fightscenes are as fake as the highest quality CGI. Because this is the age of Digital I think Maximus will have longer staying power.

I just killed two guys
Livin' la Vida Loca;
Stabbed them in the eyes
Livin' la Vida Loca

- Charles

Spartacus all the way, Maximus was intimidating because he had gone full blown psycho. Spartacus is always just that damn good, understand the differance? It's like pitting the crazy kid on your block against a proffessional fighter, nut-boy might land some blows but in the end he swallows his own teeth.

Want a serious appraisal? Spartacus is a gladiator first, a leader of people second while Maximus is a leader first, a gladiator second. Max might've risen through the ranks but a battlefield is not like a gladiatorial fight, in this bout he'll have no help from his troops, no disctractions and be going up against the finest of gladiators on his terms.

- Jayce, leader of the monkey army of DOOM!

You know, as fascinating as some crowd members will think the contest in the arena was, the FCC is still going to have to do something to somebody about that half-time show.

- Affy

you know.. i was undecided untill I saw the cool helmet Maximus was wearing on the voting icon. Maximus hands down.

- MIke

I'm too lazy to scroll all the way down. Maximus wins because hes first on the ballot.

- I hate France

How many people will mention that the Emperor's "hand-picked champion" was French? That's right... Maximus' called-out-of- retirement opponent was Tigris of Gaul.

Gaul = France.

It took the might of the Roman legions to bring down Spartacus. Maximus was practically killed by a French guy. If Rome chose its gladiators by a BCS system, Maximus would be left out based on his weak schedule.

- mtk1701

Lets check the historical facts.
The real Maximus was not a general or gladiator but a Roman Senator who was executed for treason, a minor footnote to history at most.

The real Spartacus led a slave revolt that destroyed several Roman Legions and almost toppled the empire.

So we have a real gladiator up against a politician in a physical contest. Maximus will drop faster that Howard Dean's poll numbers.

- Claymore, the evil capitalist

Like any good Trojan (TM), Maximus will never break.

- RoboGoober Version 2 (hey, it was either that pun or the one about flushing his opponent down the Commodus)

Sigh... These are sad times. I don't know either of these 2, so I'm actually going to have to depend on the commentary. Joe just happened to refer to the only episode of Star Trek I ever saw; If I'm not mistaken, it involves some type of brightly-colored brains in jars that were setting up gladitorial contests due to having nothing better to do (As far as I could tell, they must have had really lousy internet connections).

Anyhoo, the fighting itself was nothing short of hilarious, and made a fist fight between John Madden and Picasso look like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. (sorry, that was the best comparison I could think of.) That's enough to get me to vote for, uh, that guy that Joe was rooting for.

- Son of Arthur "Two Sheds" Maisel- "Don't call me Ishmael, because that's not my name!"

This is a pretty even match. The clincher here is that Maximus achieved his goal, even though he died immediately after. Spartacus, however, died without achieving his ultimate goal (and he took forever to die too). In any case, Maximus had nothing more to live for after he killed Commodus, since his family was dead.

If that isnt enough, consider this. I've watched Gladiator 4 times or so, and I havent even seen all of Spartacus in one sitting.

- Cloudwing

Maximus: root word max or maximum, meaning most, best, largest, strongest, etc.
Spartacus: root word spartan, meaning simple, frugal, minimal, least, etc.
You do the math.

- Lo-Q-tus of the Q-Borg Continuum - "Resistance is pointless. Oh, and you're a barbaric human."

I think it's safe to say right now that the next Harry Potter movie is the most-anticipated movie of the summer. By me anyway. That's why I'm going to have to go with Maximus here... he's got the Potter Connection (patent pending) through Marcus Aurelius, aka Albus Dumbledore.

But wait... Dumbledore's a previous GM loser (of course that was before G3 came along and annoyed the hell out of everyone). Not to mention he's no longer with us...

Ah, to hell with it. I got a Grudgie for that match, so Spartacus can suck it.

- Scotticus J.

Russel Crowe can beat up all the old, decreped actors he wants. It still won't change the fact he wasn't nominated for Best Actor.

- Johnny Kikenhiemer

All I have to say is that Maximus killed what, like four or five different gladiators all by himself? He came out and finished all of them off within seconds! AND that was before he was motivated by the guy who owned him. Before he decided to "win the crowd", before he became focused! Sparticus or anyone else does not stand a chance once they enter the sandy circle of death. Maximus has one thing on this mind, like a shark who has a one track mind, DEATH TO HIS OPPENET! Maximus in 15 min, to fast and the crowd would not be won right?

- J.G.

Quoted from
"After weeks of being trained to kill for the arena, Spartacus turns on his owners and leads the other slaves in rebellion."

I wonder if he did the mail order class on Criminology and Murderology at the same time? If so we may have a bad mutha that could rival the skilz of Shaft (tm)

- Milo Bloom

Russel Crowe is unfortunately doomed to lose, as he's willingly appeared in a Ron Howard film. seriously, the bastard took over my hometown to film a movie that subtly insulted John Nash, who was still alive and well at the time. unlike crowe, who is, as I said. doomed to lose.

that's what you get for working with a 5-foot-nothing, balding irish hack.

- Rabbi Jesus (formerly Kramertim)

I've never seen Sparticus. As my girlfriend is quick to point out, there are many good movies I haven't seen. As a general rule, if it's a film so great that everyone should see it at least once, i've never seen it. This includes everything Marlon Brando was ever in, The Usual Supects, The Shawshank Redemption, and Pulp Fiction.

I have seen Gladiator and A Beautiful Mind, however. Applying the inverse of the above rule, if I've seen it, it's a bad movie. i've sat through such gems as The Scorpion King, both Matrix sequels, and Manos: Hands of Fate.

Ergo, a movie I've seen can never win against a movie I haven't. So long, Crowe. See you in hell.

- kramertim is now Rabbi Jesus. new look, same great taste.

I go into this commentary hampered by the fact that I have seen neither Gladiator nor Spartacus, and thus haven't a clue which one is the better fighter.

However, I have heard Russell Crowe's "music" (and I use that term very loosely), and thus, I can say with confidence that if Spartacus has even the smallest amount of musical taste, contact with this alleged "music" will cause him to do one of two things: 1) Freeze like a deer caught in headlights, or 2) commit suicide right there on the spot. Of course, he'll end up swimming in the river Styx, but I'd rather listen to "Mr. Roboto" than "Other Ways of Speaking" any day.

Now, if Spartacus' son, Gordon Gecko, was competing, this would be completely different, as living in the '80s has immunized him from bad music.

- 30 Odd Jak of Ducks


- Bosda Di'Chi

Spartacus is a hero of all good Communists. In the days of Stalin and Brezhnev, Soviet composers were forced to write ballets and operas and so on about Spartacus.

Maximus is a hero only to Hollywood. Maximus stands at the very summit of Mt. Undeserved Oscar.

(Even the name "Maximus" is, like, a seven year old's idea of a Roman name. The easiest one they could think of.)

Now, it may be argued that the Soviet Union is gone and Hollywood remains strong, but that disregards two factors: (1) even the scattered remnants of Communist ideologues in Russia still have nuclear weapons, and (2) most everyone who matters in Hollywood is still a communist. Yes, even David Hasselhoff. As red as they come. As are at least four of the ten chief contributors to Grudge Match, I happen to know.

Spartacus wins through Mass Popular Action.

- Mr. Glag

This is an extremely even match since both combatants seem equal in gladiatorial skill. But, it appears that Spartacus will emerge victorious. Let's compare:

Status: Spartacus was an actual historical figure. Maximus was the creation of the imagination of David Franzoni. Since reality is usually better than fiction, the advantage here goes to Spartacus.

Name: The name "Spartacus" contains the word "Sparta". Sparta was probably the most militaristic and homicidally crazy culture in the ancient world. Definitely not people who you would want to take on in a fight.

On the other hand, "Maximus" contains the word "Maxim". Maxim is a somewhat disreputable magazine which has a huge following in the prison inmate community. Since a civilization of homicidal maniacs beats a magazine with a severe demographics problem, Spartacus wins again.

Directors: "Spartacus" was directed by Stanley Kubrick. "Gladiator" was directed by Ridley Scott. Kubrick vs. Scott - no contest. Kubrick wins. Advantage goes to Spartacus.

Other Roles: In the Grudge Match universe, other roles played by the actors who portray the characters can be considered when calculating strength. In this case, Russell Crowe ("Gladiator") can call upon 18th century naval firepower ("Master and Commander"). But Kirk Douglas can top that with either WW I firepower ("Paths of Glory" - also a Kubrick film) and/or naval airpower ("Final Countdown"). Though these won't play a role in the match, it shows that Spartacus has access to more power than Maximus does.

Coolness: Russell Crowe is a major movie star which results in some coolness already, but Kirk Douglas has him beat. Kirk Douglas did a guest voice on "The Simpsons" - that's Mentos(tm)-level coolness.

What will happen in this bout is that Spartacus and Maximus will match each other move for move and nothing happens until Maximus thinks he spots an ancient Roman version of a papparazzo (singular of papparazzi) in the stands. Turning to cuss out and threaten this unwanted presence, Maximus lets his guard slip and Spartacus cuts off Maximus' ego-swelled head. End of match.

- The Demented Astronomer

There really isn't much to choose between these contestants in purely physical terms. They could keep trading blows indefinitely, and it's not clear who would eventually come out on top. The only way to settle this quickly and definitively is to continue the quote contest they started at the beginning of the fight until a conclusion is reached. Realising this, the two gladiators resume the contest.

Maximus: 'Are you not entertained?' (Cheers from the crowd).
Spartacus:, I've got one. 'The wine from home tastes best wherever it is.' (Boos and catcalls).
Maximus: 'The wine from home tastes best wherever it is'? What the hell is that? My grandmother slings quotes better than you.
Spartacus: What? What's wrong with it?
Maximus: All I can say is, I can see why they were trying to keep your screenwriter's real name off the credits.
Spartacus: What are you talking about? He was blacklisted!
Maximus: Oh, sure, blacklisted. Of course they'd say something like that - it sounds better than 'Oh, we're trying to conceal his name because his script is crap.' Anyway, 'On my signal, unleash hell.' (Cheers).
Spartacus: Um ... Can I have 'My taste includes both snails and oysters'?
Stevicles: No, that was Crassus. You can make something up for yourself if you want to.
Spartacus: OK. Something for myself. Uh... oh hell. 'Freedom is nice.' (Jeers).
Maximus: This is just sad.
Emperor: I agree. Citizens, I declare Maximus the winner of this contest! (Cheers). Praetorians! Escort Maximus from the arena in triumph! That done, release the lions! (Renewed cheers).

(Praetorians escort Maximus from the arena. A long delay, followed by muffled cursing. Enter the animal trainer.)

Trainer: Well, the thing about that, Imperator, is we don't got no lions.
Emperor: No lions? Release the tigers then!
Trainer: Yeah, tigers. No tigers either.
Emperor: How about bears? Bears would be satisfactory.
Trainer: Sorry. No bears.
Spartacus: Look, I can see this is a problem. I could just scream and roll around on the ground as if I were being mauled by an animal.
Brianicus: He has a point. That might be the best we can do.
Emperor: No, there must be a better way. Didn't we order some rhinos a few weeks ago?
Trainer: Ain't arrived yet. You know what international shipping is like.
Stevicles: Oh no. Don't tell me it's happened again.
Trainer: I'm afraid so, Senator.
Emperor: What? What's happened again? What animals do we actually have?
Trainer: Chihuahuas.
Emperor: Chihuahuas? How the hell can we have nothing but chihuahuas?
Trainer: Well, there was a rottweiler, but the chihuahuas ate him.
Brianicus: That's not the way it's supposed to happen at all.
Emperor: Enough! Release the chihuahuas!

(High-pitched yapping, screams, tumultuous applause).

- Desdichado

Just going back to Joe's point about the one inch dagger, if memory serves (and it has been a while since i saw the movie) on the blade of that dagger was a mixture of poisons, drugs and other chemicles chosen to render good old Max of the ability to put up a good fight. Max is given some crappy old armour, while the Emporer got good stuff. The Emporer had the choice of just about any sword in the Roman empire (and that was a hell of a lot of swords) where as Max didn't get a choice. And just to top things off, there were slaves underground with orders to releace the tigers when Max was in place.

Lets recap. Max is groggy and slowly dying from the coctail of poisens, where as the Emporer has superior weapons and armour, perfect health and tigers at his beck and call. But even with the odds stacked against him, Max still kills the bad guy. If he can do that against all odds, he can sure as hell beat a wimp like Maximus (who let himself be taken alive) in a fair fight.

- Danny White

Simple enough... Part of the name of Spartacus is Sparta. As we all know, Spartans come from Sparta. Hence, Spartacus. Since this modern day, we only have the Michigan State Spartans as an example. Which leaves us with football since basketball doesn't matter. As any Wolverine fan knows, the Spartans are losers. Hence Spartacus is a loser and would lose to Maximus.

- Wolverine Fan....

Two rules for combat--"Faint heart never won world war", and "Fair fighter never won deathmatch". Maximus is courageous, yes, but also loyal and just and so stands no chance. Spartacus triumphs, and it's not pretty to watch.

- Jeffrey

As the two gladiators gather in the middle of the arena. All of the 60 year old soldiers of Spartacus' army realize just how good looking Maximus is. They switch alliances and then pelt Spartacus with food. As Spartacus receives the Vegetable Honor Maximus takes the opportunity to kick Spartacus in the gonads. Spartacus cowers in fear of Maximus, as Maximus calmy eats an apple. Maximus spits out the seeds and says, "Keep the Change" and promptly breaks Spartacus' neck.

- Tyler D

"At my signal, unleash Hell!"

Unfortunately, the former General didn't know what he was in for. He was immediately subjected to 198 minutes of brutal, ponderous, shirtless, liberally oiled Stanley Kubrick.

Maxi never stood a chance. In the end, like every single character in Spartacus, he was begging to be crucified just to make it stop.

- Pedro Ferenzello

The Cold Dead Hand Effect will be the deciding advantage in this match. But that hand won't be helping out Mister Kirk "Spartacus" Douglas. No, that hand will be aiding Russell "Maximus" Crowe in this match here. And that cold dead hand will belong to none other than Stanley Kubrick.

Kirk and Stanley go back. Stanley directed Kirk in his World War One Epic, Paths of Glory. A few years later, Kirk hired Kubrick to take over production of Spartacus. Douglas thought that Kubrick would be intimidated by the size and scale of Spartacus, and thus would accept the actors will in how to film the movie to show him off. However, Kubrick took control of the set, and the two battled constantly during the shooting. The whole experience soured Kubrick on the Hollywood scene, and would go on to shoot most of his films in the UK.

So, with the two contestants circling the arena, a gasp falls over the crowd at the Forum as three other people enter the arena. One is an ax wielding maniac who broke down the side entrance door to the arena to get in and exclaimed "HERE'S JOHNNY!!!" Then a man with a cane who was dressed rather peculiarly and talked with a bizarre Cockney accent then followed him out. The third one was only a small child with a way to cheery smile on his face, holding a teddy bear that had a life of its one in one hand and a pair of scissors in the other. The Roman soldiers that where at the game for security and control are about to take out the interlopers, but are stopped from doing so by a crack squad of US Marines armed with M-16 rifles and this strange monolith with a red light on it, that says to the commander of the Legion there, "I'm sorry Davicus, I'm afraid I can't let you do that." Those in the arena advance in towards Spartacus. Maximus, sensing the crazed looks of the others are focused at Spartacus, sees no immediate threat from them, fell in line with the other three, but is seriously disturbed by the look on Haley Joel Osment's face.

Maximus takes a few steps back and watches as the three make short work of Gladiator known as Spartacus to the crowds' delight. Then, as swiftly as they appeared, the interlopers disappear, with Maximus with his arms raised in victory. Just then, the ring announcer, a distant relation of Vincent Kennedy McMahon regains his composure and announces that its now time tonight's Main Event. Out from another door comes Hugh Jackmen/Wolverine. Looks like we get that Main Event that was promised to us in Circus Maximus of the Popstars after all.

P.S.- You may want to be on the lookout for rabid vote stuffing and/or other activities from computers out in North Dakota. I posted a link to the Happy Gilmore/Caddyshack match on the University of North Dakota Fightin' Sioux message board, making a wisecrack about how they should turn some old arena of theirs into an indoor golf driving range. Just thought I would give you guys the heads up about that.

- BIGMRG74 -- AI wouldn't haved sucked so bad if Kubrick had lived to film it. with that believe, thats why i put Haley in there as how Kubrick would have wanted him.

Senators Brianicus and Stevicles have made their final mistake in pitting these two formidable fighters against each other. Both men are known for their mercy towards other Gladiators and their distaste for the upper class of Rome. A comfortable retirement at a pleasant seaside villa, overlooking the Mediterranean means nothing to them. Maximus had a villa but lost it (along with his family), and now only cares for revenge. Spartacus could never accept any gift from Romans who are keeping his slave bretheren in captivity. These men will both see that they can help each other. Using their combined strength and charisma, the two fighters should be able to easily escape from the arena and muster an army that will make the corrupt, bloated senators tremble. Yes, the real losers are the people of Rome who will face Maximus's death-wish fueled rage and Spartacus's freedom-loving frenzy as they lead their terrible army to victory.

- Answer Man

This battle is a complete no brainer. Just take a look at Maximus's resume. The guy was at war for two and a half years. Forget all the battle and bloodshed, he should have died from sexual frustration alone. But no. He fights, destroys, devastates and conquers one quarter of the known world. So what if he had ballistas? Did he hide behind them? No, he cut up more corpses than Hannibal Lecter and Jeffrey Dahmer combined. In the first half hour of the film (without the catapults or cavalry this time), he slaughters nearly a half dozen roman legionnaires with... what?... I'm sorry, what was that?... kneeling, unarmed, hands tied together? Plus, as a gladiator he took on six guys at once, sometimes also fighting against multiple Felines of Mass Destruction. So, how's he supposed to have trouble with one single enemy? He was only captured because that dumb hussy tipped off Commodus (yeah, sure, trust your eight- year old faierie of a son with the biggest secret in the whole empire), only killed because Joaquin couldn't stand a fair fight.

What's Spartacus got going for him? He smells lousy. The natural human repellant might give him a few seconds grace before Maximus runs him through and leaves him writhing on the ground as if a stroke was decemating his central nervous system. Oh... wait... that's all taken care of already...

Maximus slices Spartacus in under 30 seconds.

- Moneo

The only hit that Maximus will register is a sword shot to Spartacus's chin, cleaving it in two and giving Kirk Douglas his Hollywood "gimmick."

- Grudge-Pops™: Still legal in 26 states!

I love you, Spartacus!

- Ian "Charge Man" Pugh, by way of Tony Curtis and "The Critic"

Maximus is the winner hands down. Most people feel that battles are won with weapons(yes history does prove that to very good degree)but the speech's are the motivation. Churchill did it in WW2 and he won. With the built up anger of his close friend killed, wife and child murdered and the lack of decent footwear, all he has to do is open his mouth. Give the whole "My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, Commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions etc" speech and borrow the theme from The Omen(tm) and Sparticus has filled his pants faster than an England footy hooligan running from the cops. Stuck to the spot he's easy pickings.

- Foxy

Now, I've got a complaint here; Good ol' Joe tries to downplay connections between David Hasselhoff (I hope that is spelled right) and Russell Crowe. However, there is a connection that both of you overlooked; Maximus has conquered Spartacus even before the match began! You see, at the beginning of "Gladiator", Maximus is just about wrapping up a campaign against who else but the GERMANS!

Now, correct me if Im wrong, but Hasselhoff seems to be a German name. Therefore, Spartacus will be mortally afraid of Maximus even before the fight begins, since Maximus has already defeated Hasselhoff's brethern. And let me tell you; being mortally afraid isnt a good thing to be before a fight to the death! Maximus chops off Spartacus' head 25 seconds into the fight, and then takes Varinia as a prize (hubba hubba!)

- OmegaHawke

There's a fundamental truth I would never forgive myself for not mentioning: Russell Crowe is a pansy. Have you ever heard a 'Thirty Odd Foot of Grunts' song? If you haven't, you have lived life wisely. Here is a real lyric from their song 'Never Be Alone Again':
I'll never be alone again,
That you loved me, makes me strong,
I'll always be your friend,
Never be alone again
And remember, he beat up the producer at the BAFTAs because said producer didn't air all of Big Russell's poetry, and I'm not going to torture you all by republishing that.

On the other hand, Kirk Douglas would fit in perfectly with Rome's elite, if his sons are anything to go by. Four things mattered to the Ancient Roman upper crust: money, violence, weird sex, and booze. Obviously the Douglas family have the cash. Then there's Eric Douglas, with his drink-driving offences and that bizarre "accused of harassing a 12-year-old girl in a psychiatric hospital" episode. There's Michael proving to be as virile as three Jack Nicholson's by marrying Catherine Zeta-Jones. Why would the honourable senators Brianicus and Stevicles want that bore Maximus around when the life of any Roman party/orgy is obviously Spartacus? (They also get bonus points for Peter Douglas being the producer of Fletch.)

So I see the match going thusly: The senators have rigged the match in favour of Spartacus. Maximus will break down crying and beg not to be killed. Spartacus is too disgusted with the wimp to kill him, so Maximus ends up joining Eric Idle in a chorus of 'Always Look on the Bright Side of Life'.

- Mixmaster Flibble - A quote from Francis Greenslade: "Did you hear Russell Crowe had a son? It's amazing what you can do with thirty odd seconds of grunt."

I think that in order to determine who will win this fight, we must look at one of the most important variables of any athletic event: black people. Black people have excelled in every sport we have here in our modern world, from basketball to football to boxing to's all dominated by blacks.

So, let us examine Maximus and Spartacus as they relate to thier African opponents in the ring. Maximus never actually fought one, but instead befriended one. One that no doubt, could've whupped his tail if they had been pitted against each other. Maximus had to rely on this black friend to achieve the level of greatness he did as a gladiator when they fought side by side.

Spartacus, however, managed to actually beat a black man. Do you know how astounding that is? Imagine what the reaction would be if a white boxer was to become the heavyweight champion of the world. It's almost unheard of. Obviously, Spartacus is a truly fantastic fighter if he is able to out-do the athletic prowess of the Africans.

That said, my vote goes to Spartacus.

- Death Rowe

According to the Encyclopedia Brianicus, the "Sparticus Maximus" is: "A tender place where you do not want to get stabbed, but it is better to be stabbed there than to get punched in the Stevicles."

- Albatross

Maximus is played by Russell Crowe. This immediately gives him a huge disadvantage, as his insane temper will cause him to attack Spartacus without any semblance of tactics or organisation.

Spartacus would appear to have the advantage, but he's fatally undermined by one thing: He's being directed by Stanley Kubrick, who likes to shoot many, MANY takes.

Thus, Maximus gets annoyed after Kubrick's 109th take of Spartacus looking determined, charges at him catching him unawares and guts him. He then does the same to Kubrick for putting fellow Aussie Nicole Kidman through Eyes Wide Shut.

- Dave

We know both guys are great gladiators. So we need to look at something else. Both Russell Crowe and Kirk Douglas have played schizophrenic scientists:

Crowe is John Nash, who overcame stupendous odds to win a Nobel prize.

Douglas is Dr. Jekyll, who turned himself into a monster, descended into madness, and finally died.

Crowe survived his schizophrenia, and he will also win this match.

- Uncle Batman

Waitasec - both are *saluting* the Emperor before the fight? One thing about either Maximus or Spartacus is that they *didn't* salute the emperor. Another reason why they were the good guys and the Evil Emperor hated them so: They NEVER kissed up the Main villain.

They're plotting something...

I'd say that they're using this fight as a ploy, then manage to stir a panic, with Spartacus pulling out a snake from his inventory (and no, you filthy perverts, not that one), and hurling it into the Emperor's box. Maximus then lashes out at the guards, crushing their skulls and feeding them their own entrails. After staging a brilliant getaway that inspires legends, the Emperor is found, hanging from the ceiling of his vast villa by his toga.

Afterwards, they come back to Rome and reform it, hastening the Proclamation of Emancipication by centuries.

All Hail the Gladiators...

- The Saint

Maximus turned his back on the deranged Emperor. That shows guts! While Spartacus has probably spilled some guts not his own, I don't think that he could muster up this kind of courage. Maximus was a general BEFORE he was a gladiator, so he must know his tactics. From the twisted annals of my mind comes... the Confrontation!

Spartacus: (gives usual gladiator spiel)
Maximus: (turns his back)
This emperor is merely amused by Maximus' antics, and waves a hand for the slaughter to proceed.
Spartacus: Prepare to die!
Maximus: Ooo, the pseudo-general is going to get me!
S: Stop it.
M: The gladiator's coming after me!
S: Stop it!
M: Help me, Jupiter, the big mean gladiator man is coming after me! (dances in one spot in a mockery of a scared little girl)
S: (becoming distraught) I'm serious, stop it!
M: (sizes up S, sees that he is ready to crumble) (Smacks S upside the head) You are weak and pathetic!
S: (snivelling) No I'm not! I'm a general!
M: (delivering the final blow) You're mother was a hampster and your father smelt of elderberries!

Unable to take the severe taunting anymore, Spartacus breaks down in tears and falls to the ground, wailing like a spoiled child. Maximus looks at the emperor, who delivers the thumbs-up. Just to spite him (and to stop the incessant weeping), Maximus delivers a well-placed kick to Spartacus, then kills him. He throws down his sword, raises his arms in the air, and receives the cheers of Grudge-Masters everywhere.

- Bitter Psycho Chick

Well, Maximus definitely has Spartacus beat.
Take into consideration of the lifestyle for the Romans. What happens is that they take citizens and make them killing machines. Maximus was doing this for many, many years. They take the civilians and put them in some kind of bootcamp for about a year. Since he is a Patrician, he would be an officer. He then goes and enjoys his fighting out on the field and doesn't hide behind his men like a woman. He eventually turns out to be leading thousand of soldiers into battle and doesn't fear anything.

Spartacus, however, does not have the experience. He goes to gladiator school and turns out to be a sword fighter. (By the way he should have died in that arena fight. There were always unfair fights matched.) Then he stages the revolt of about 300 slaves to 20 guards. That is a rather unfair advantage. If you remember he doesn't fight that much, he just tells the slaves what to do. He is not your typical fighting machine. In the real story, the slaves and Spartacus hold off about 3 legions of soldiers. At the end of the movie, he doesn't die a soldiers death.

Take the two and pair them up. Maximus would win because he is not left with anything. He is not being hindered for fearing death. Spartacus, however, gradually gets a fear for his love and new child. Now, someone without fear would fight to the death, but if you have some you would run away like a coward.

- Take it from a Latin geek!!(A.K.A. I know what I'm talking about!)

Gladitorial contests, like all sporting events, can be swayed by the crowd, especially when they're the ones who'll be giving the thumb to the loser. So, the question becomes, who will the Romans in the stadium support? Sparticus will certainly have trouble swaying the Romans after he defied their entire society with his little revolt, not to mention the odds are good the Roman soldiers he killed have angry kin in the audience hoping to see Sparticus go down into the dust.

Maximus, however, has no problems with HIS popularity. Being a war hero for the Roman Empire certainly doesn't hurt, not to mention Commodus's sister and her political allies will probably be using their influence to whip the crowd up for their man. Besides, Maximus's story is classic Roman morality. It's a loyal Roman soldier out to restore the Republic (yet strangely leaving the Emperors in power) vs. a corrupt politician guilty of that most heinous Roman crime, patricide. By Roman standards this stuff is almost fairy tale good vs. evil (complete with cool fairy tale excessive bloodshed!). Put him up against a mere rebellious slave, and the crowd is sure to be chanting Maximus's name.

Whether by inspiring Maximus to perfect killing technique with their cheering, some perfectly timed stand interference, or the authorities playing to the crowds by altering the rules to favor Maximus, Sparticus is gonna wind up with another cross to bear.

- "Mad Dog" Mike

Can Kirk Douglas beat me up if I don't vote for him? Unlikely, seeing as he's quite old.

Can Russel Crowe beat me up if I don't vote for Maximus? Yes, he can and, probably, will beat me up.

Therefore, I'm afraid that, unless Kirk Douglas gets a cloning machine and makes an army to beat me up, I'm taking the French way out of this.

- In A Circle Of Stars

I voted for Spartacus because Maximus looks like Adam Sandler in that top picture, and that goon deserves to get his dorky, obnoxious smart- ass funnyboy butt kicked, whether he's gotten beefed-up or not.

- Matt Garner

I've taken a bit of Roman history, and you learn a few things about the Roman mentality of war. What do you do when you ask a bunch of ex-slaves all claim to be the leader of the rebellion? Pitch a hissy fit that you cannot find the leader? No, you crucify the whole freaking lot, one at at time, as you march victorious back to Rome. This is why there aren't very many Celts and Dacians left these days. Maximus may be a good guy, but he is also hardned warrior of Rome, agaisnt whom there is no victory, only submission or annihalation.

- Matt

Spartacus showed remarkable ability in raising and controlling a 120,000-strong mob consisting of gladiators, rural slaves, and displaced farmers and fashioning from them a largely-cohesive and effective unit. Maximus merely led a professional army he was appointed to.

At this point critics may point out that the match is a contest not of leadership but of mere personal fighting prowess. But they overlook the fact that this is held in an entertainment venue meant to appease the unwashed masses with "bread and circuses," the Roman equivalent of the WWF. Maximus impatiently stares around an otherwise-empty arena floor and demands, "Well? Which one of you is Spartacus?"

A lengthy pause ensues, until a cleft-chinned man on the periphery sucks in his gut and reluctantly starts to stand, to be cut short by a fellow combatant raising his hand and calling, "I am Spartacus!"

"No," insists a grimy-but-loyal dirt farmer in the cheap seats, "I am Spartacus!"

"I am Spartacus!" exclaims a gruel vendor twenty rows up.

Maximus gawks in confusion as thousands of gladiators, spectators, and even lion-pit denizens raise their limbs to claim the identity of his adversary until finally Senators Brianicus and Stevicles themselves, caught up in the excitement, proclaim, "I am Spartacus!" The pen is mightier than the sword; no matter how skilled a fighter this former general is, he can't prevail against an auditorium-sized crowd inspired by the greater man's charisma.

- Matt Bricker ("Ben Hur, done that...")


Keep in mind: Maximus is worth 1/10th of a gay giraffe.

- Vito S

If you liked this match, check out these other past matches:

William Wallace v. Groundskeeper Willie
Robin Hood v. Zorro
Circus Maximus of the Pop Stars

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Next Match: Es-cap-ay!
ETA: March 1st, 2004

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