Breakthrough & Conquer was a combination of American football and freestyle wrestling. The event was divided into two parts. The first (Breakthrough) consisted of the football part, where the contender had to try to score a touchdown on the Gladiator without getting tackled, losing the ball, or being forced out of bounds. After this came Conquer, in which the contender stepped inside a circular wrestling ring, with another Gladiator waiting. If the contender could wrestle any part of the Gladiator's body out of the ring within 10 seconds, they would win. During season 4 contenders had 15 seconds rather than 10 in the Conquer ring.


In the first half of season one, 30 (later 40) points were given for each successful part, and a contender earned bonus points if they were successful at both parts for a total of 100 points. From that point forward, 5 points were given for each successful portion of the event (although 3 were given during a point in season three).

In some of the first half of Season 1, the women did not play Breakthrough & Conquer in the preliminary round for reasons unexplained. They played a game called Swingshot, but only the results were given with no footage ever shown for unexplained reasons. It is likely that this Swingshot was not the same as the event that debuted in Season 3, as it was announced as a new event that season.

For one portion of the first half semifinals in Season 1 the Conquer ring was raised off the arena floor slightly with a blue mat surrounding it; the ring was lowered after Gladiator Sunny severely injured her knee after being pulled out of it and hitting the floor awkwardly.

In Season 2, Breakthrough & Conquer was only played during the quarterfinal round and final round in the first half of the season, replacing Human Cannonball, and during the quarterfinal round in the second half of the season, replacing the Joust.