Second chances are sometimes second nature. Redemption is a dream open and desired by all. Tonight, the men got that opportunity to meet again for a shot at the Skullbuster and $25,000. What they didn’t get was a second chance at beating Hunter McIntyre. To some that may feel more like purgatory than the ultimate victory throne.

Tonight’s matchups were modified from the regular season. The men went at it in just two rounds. They started in Trench Warfare then went right to the Pit. The two winners out of that then went for the best time on the Skullbuster. Winner take all.

We’ve seen all these guys before in seasons past. They all battled ferociously the first time. Now let’s see who brought the biggest can of whoop ass tonight.

Dan and Daniel headed into the Trench first. They tapped lightly on the first pass, rang their bells, then crashed on the second pass. Dan did it first and hit the second bell. Daniel went down the road again.

Wes and Ken got in the water next. They dug in deep and bear-hugged right in the middle going between trying to throw each other out of the water and drowning in the deep. They rang bells and returned for round two of the same thing. Then it was a race to the bells and Ken did it just a micro-second before Wes.

Jonathan and Will came back next from Season 2. There was no contact on the first pass. They rang bells, then disappeared under a tremendous wave on the next pass. It looked like a few fists pounded there. Jonathan got his revenge and went to the next round.

Mack and Skyler brought up the rear. Skyler launched out and with all his fury put a blast on Mack. But the bigger beast won and moved on to the final four.

The Pit started with Chain Gang. This was a series of three heavy chain carries, each added to the first. Mack and Ken went first. Mack had the size advantage but Ken’s power was not to be discounted. They took off on an easy run, got the first chain, the second chain, and the last. Each chain was heavier and longer then the last. They both trudged past the line and headed to the Pit. Mack did not even wait for Ken to decide on an attack. He just grabbed him, picked him up, and took him right off the mat.

Jonathan and Dan went next. The object here is to just do the work, conserve energy, and keep close enough to each other so that when it comes Pit time, you have the gas and the strategy to win. Mack did it with shear ferocity and size. Jonathan and Dan were more evenly matched in size. Dan taunted Jonathan to get in rather than breathe. They slammed right into the ground and it was a wrestling match. Jonathan pulled off a suplex and Dan’s foot went out.

Mack and Jonathan had a night to recover before doing the Skullbuster. This time, it was just man against course and a stopwatch. Mack, with the fastest time in the Pit, elected to run the Skullbust second.

Jonathan toed the line and called out a sub 6-minute time. We did not get to see his log carry split time, the truth teller for this course. The producers flashed through almost every obstacle so we did not get to see him do everything or see any split times. He did have a very painful looking fall from the second tire wall. He limped up and down Heartbreak Hill. He locked onto the rope and finished the course. He said the course tore his soul apart and it was one of the toughest courses in the world. His time was 9:37.

Mack was confident he could beat a 9:37. He intended to beat the course with running speed. His stride on the log carry was huge. I wish they gave the split but they did not. The big guy was way in the red zone as he climbed the cargo net. He got to the Frame and did something really different. He grabbed the rope and rather than hand over hand it, he jumped off the back of the tower and with his weight pulled down the house. It was a brilliant time-saving strategy. He was breathing well enough to talk to Steve as he ran the truck around the wheelhouse. He jumped from tire wall to tire wall. He went up Heartbreak Hill on all fours and he was still moving fast. He skidded and somersaulted down like a tumble weed. The ribs were no problem. He got to the 25-foot rope, locked in, and made it to the bell.

I honestly believed at this point that he had a shot at beating Hunter’s 6:01. I knew he had no problem beating Jonathan’s 9:37. He finished in 7:04. Good enough to win $25,000, but not enough to lay claim to the bounty on the Sheriff. I’d love to see those two go at it.

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