Beloved Game Show Rebooted, Premieres This Week

A throwback game show from the 2000s will soon make its way back to the airwaves. Arena, the competitive gaming series that aired on G4TV in the early 2000s is returning, with a revamped take on the show's concept. The original Arena saw two teams competing in various video games. This new version, set to air on G4's Twitch Channel and WWE's UpUpDownDown YouTube Channel, seems to take a bit of a different approach, with the competitors being celebrities and athletes. Also, it appears that they might be competing in more than just video game face-offs, being as G4's press release promises "a gauntlet of chaotic, and hilarious, challenges."

G4 personalities Gina Darling and WWE Superstar Xavier Woods (a.k.a. Austin Creed) will host the Arena reboot, which is being co-promoted by WWE. (This partnership explains why G4 is hosting the Twitch stream while WWE's gaming brand is hosting the YouTube version.) Per G4's weekly schedule, the first episode will air on Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET, following new episodes of G4's geek-focused talk show Fresh Ink and the legacy gaming series Xplay. The debut episode will feature Twitch streamers QTCinderella and Myth who are set to "air out their personal grievances" in the competition.

Episodes will air monthly, with WWE Superstars Becky Lynch and Seth Rollins named as future guests (although it's unclear if they'll actually be competing). The WWE crossovers were hyped by Woods, who has been the driving force of 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 wrestling and gaming universes collide," he said. "I'm psyched to partner with G4 and look forward to surprising our UpUpDownDown fans with some new faces in gaming each month."

G4 President Russell Arons added: "WWE is known for delivering quality entertainment to its loyal fan base and we are so excited to partner with them to bring this content to life and spotlight a mix of awesome talent. The G4 network creates a fusion between the worlds of gaming and popular culture. With Arena, we're making a comical collision for fans of WWE, 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, does not appear to be involved in the reboot. However, he is still with G4, hosting Attack of the Show! and its talk show spinoff Attack of the Show: Vibe Check. And while the AOTS! franchise streams on Twitch/YouTube and are later shown on G4's linear platforms, it's unclear how/when Arena will be shown outside of Twitch/YouTube. 

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For those fearful that the show is straying too far from its esports roots, you can always check out the archive of esports streams that G4 has hosted via YouTube. Past events have included Overwatch 2, Pokemon Unite and Valorant tournaments. The network also produced one season of Boosted, an esports talk and 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.