The Wildcard Showdown of October 14 constitutes a last-gasp qualifying contest being held the night before Mr. O contest, in which the winner not only goes forward to compete in the O against Ronnie, Jay, Gunter and company 24 hours later but also captures the winner-takes-all cash prize of $10,000.
The fight for that Olympia berth and prize money promises to be a raucous and fierce battle. The nine men entered know that eight of them will leave the stage on Friday night with their Olympia dream still unfulfilled, while the last man standing gets the right to jump in the cage with the lions the following night. In alphabetical order here's a guide to the nine who will fight for the right to be the first ever Wild Card showdown winner.
Eddie Abbew: England A 260 pounder who many thought should have finished higher than sixth at May's Toronto Pro. He's been threatening a breakthrough for some time, this may be it.
Brian Chamberlain: USA The 2004 North American overall champ made quite a splash with seventh place at the Charlotte Pro Show on October 1, and looks to improve even more in time for the Wild Card bash.
David Henry: USA. This guy gets into incredible shape and many thought he should have qualified at the Europa Supershow in September. For the Wild Card he will go in fully loaded, prepared to peak on Friday and then again on Saturday.
Rusty Jeffers: USA. The 2094 NPC Masters Champion is always a class act, and he brings shape and proportion to the fray. He's competed every year for the last 27 or so, and is as motivated as he ever was.
Mike Morris: USA. In finishing fifth at the Australia Grand Prix earlier this year, Mike signaled he can hang with the best. He's committed to training for this contest unassisted in certain areas, and is sure to draw admiration and attention.
Greg Rando: USA. Greg is legally blind but yet has the guts and fortitude to compete on a pro stage. Whatever happens at the Wild Card this guy is a real winner and an outstanding champion.
Frank Roberson: USA. If this cat nails condition, then watch out. And we can give you a take-it-to-the-bank guarantee the Texas Tornado will do a crazy-ass routine that will bring the house down.
Armin Schalz: Germany. In his pro debut, Schalz finished 12th at the Europa Supershow and whether it's Friday night or Saturday night you won't see better arms than his all Olympia weekend.
Luke Wood: Australia. When he finished seventh at the New York Pro show in May, many tabbed the big guy from down under as Olympia bound. He mistimed his peak at the recent Charlotte and Europa shows but comes into this one to reclaim his early season rep and Olympia place.
The Wild Card Showdown will happen Friday night, October 14, along with the Figure and Fitness Olympia Finals, at the Orleans Arena. Be there as history is made, and one bodybuilder earns a ticket to the Mr. O less than 24 hours before it begins.
Joe Weider's 2005 Olympia Weekend promises to be the most sensation bodybuilding festival ever. To book your ringside seat go to www.2005olympia.com, www.flexonline.com, muscleandfitness.com for full details about Joe Weider's 2005 Olympia Weekend. Or check your PPV provider for local details