David Blaine stopped by Bas Rutten’s gym here in Southern California, to shoot a piece for his Dive of Death special, airing tomorrow, Wednesday night, on ABC. The “trick” is going to be Kimbo Slice punching David Blaine in the stomach and is an homage to Houdini, whom David says is his hero (duh). I say “trick” because I don’t know what kind of trick there is to getting punched in the abdomen besides flexing and hoping for the best. Blaine explains before taping that Houdini died from injuries sustained taking punches to the stomach.
The rather physically fit Blaine claims he chose Kimbo because the fighter is one of the few people he fears. From my observation, it does not seem as if the magician is intimidated in conversation. But faced with Kimbo’s clenched fist before him, Blaine does look visibly nervous. He asks his audience of gym employees and Kimbo’s entourage, “Is this stupid?” Everyone grinned widely back.
I won’t spoil the fun but there’s no illusion involved to this bit. David Blaine simply stands in the middle of the cage, lifts up his shirt to prove he’s not hiding any protective material, and asks Kimbo to punch him. And after? Kimbo is wowed by David Blaine’s resistance to his gut shot. Kimbo’s manager jokingly asks, “Hey, is this going to make Kimbo look weak?” I don’t think so. And I hope after this, Blaine checks in with a doctor.