After 22 years of grueling competitions, extreme stunts and (of course!) drunken fights and hookups, MTV’s The Challenge has more than proved its staying power. Its recently wrapped Total Madness became the show’s highest-rated season in eight years, earning it a Season 36 renewal and cementing its spot on the network’s roster. To borrow from the series’ host, TJ Lavin: They really killed it.
While we’ve enjoyed The Challenge‘s evolution throughout the years, we’re clamoring for more OG players to return to the mix. How would a Mark Long or a Coral Smith fare against the Young Bucks and rookies who are all vying for that big money? We’d love to find out.
Before we get to our dream contestants, a few brief rules:
1) All of our selections had to have been off the show for longer than three years. This means we looked at casts from Rivals III and earlier. Since some favorites like Veronica Portillo, Darrell Taylor and Derrick Kosinski appeared more recently, they weren’t eligible to make the cut here.
2) We tried to keep picks within the realm of believability. We highly doubt Mike “The Miz” Mizanin is going to sacrifice time from his lucrative WWE career to make a Challenge comeback. This also includes contestants who have been banned from the show — the Challenge Gods have spoken!
3) Lastly, none of our picks’ win counts include any of the spinoff shows, like Champs vs. Pros or the Spring Break Challenge, nor did we count a spinoff appearance as a series return.
Check out our 14 selections below, then drop some comments and tell us your dream OG returnees!