East Providence native Rhodes is featured in AMC series on arm wrestling


EAST PROVIDENCE — City native Andrew Rhodes is among those athletes featured in a new reality series on the AMC Network, "Game of Arms," which follows arm wrestling clubs in Erie, Penn., Kansas City, Kansas, New York City, Sacramento, Calif., and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

A bona fide legend in the sport, Mr. Rhodes, known to his many followers simply as "Cobra," has been competing for some 34 years. He vies mostly in the 178-pound class, but has won titles at 220 pounds as well.

According his "Game of Arms" bio, "Cobra has slayed countless giants twice his size and is a true legend in the arm wrestling pantheon. A sixteen-time world champion, he is the father of five, a trained chef and zen master."

"I've been on top for most of that time," Mr. Rhodes says in an introductory video on the program's website. "Now I have to ask myself do I still want it?"

Mr. Rhodes, 49, competes for the Kansas City Club, "The Rolling Thunder." He is featured prominently in an episode scheduled to run Tuesday night, March 4, at 10 p.m. The show has several re-airs throughout the week.

He concedes time may not be on his side, but it appears he still has the taste to remain among the sport's elite.

"I'm not as young as I used to be," Mr. Rhodes said. "If I can't win at the table then I have to consider my time at the top is over."

He continued, "I'm not just an add-water arm wrestler anymore. The competition is thicker. The guys are geared up. If I'm going to be an alpha in this sport, I have to work out. I guess it comes down to if I really want it."

His appearance in "Game of Arms" isn't the first time the accomplishments of Mr. Rhodes in the sport have gained renown. He was among the cast of a 1987 film starring Sylvester Stallone, "Over the Top," which used arm wrestling as its backdrop.

The eight-episode first season of "Game of Arms," which debuted on February 25, is slated to run Tuesday nights through April 15.

For more information on the show visit the "Game of Arms" website.


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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.