[BattleBots: Bounty Hunters is available on Discovery+.]
Welcome back to BattleBots Update where I’m turning back the hands of time and checking out last seasons’ Bounty Hunters spin-off miniseries. I’m also phrasing these articles like it’s still season 10 so that’s probably confusing to readers so keep that in mind as you read these posts; I’m writing these under the assumption that they were actually written “on time” and aren’t coming out a year late. So when I say “this season” just think in your brain meats “last year”. It’s not that hard. (Actually it is and proofreading these posts to ensure continuity is a fucking nightmare.)
Last week Bronco was the bot with a target on its back and Rotator was able to make it to the title fight to claim that bounty. Coming up next is another robot who was absent from this season but still rocked a lot of worlds a couple of seasons ago: Icewave. Icewave went on a literal killing spree busting robots in fucking half until Rotator stepped in and cleaved the robot’s head and gasoline engine off. Rotator seems to be cropping up quite a bit in this conversation. It’s almost like it’s a top tier robot that people keep sleeping on because they’re idiots.
Icewave sustained major damage in season 8 and had to be completely rebuilt because there was simply nothing left of its engine. It took a season off for the rebuild and has come back for season 10 skipping the Fight Night rounds to exist solely as a bounty, a one fight only ordeal just like Bronco. Also is it me or does it bother you when the hosts say Icewave is the only robot in BattleBots history to use a gasoline powered weapon? Because other bots have done it but that was just in the Comedy Central days. Same with walkers; Chomp ain’t the first.
P1 vs. TRACER
Brandon Zalinsky wants to make P1 a “household name” insofar assuming that people talk about BattleBots in their house to their families during times when BattleBots is not on television. I don’t think that’s all too common but okay, sell me on this robot. P1 did a formidable job this season earning its first ever career victory over Chronos by pinning the ring spinner against the wall to die and then we were all treated to P1 versus SMEE where P1 carried that stupid jump rope around and slung it all over the fucking place busting gears and all sorts of shit off of it. There was a brutal loss to Copperhead in the mix but apparently two solid dominant wins weren’t enough for P1 to qualify for the main tournament this year. My ass. Wins are wins, it’s not P1’s fault Chronos sucks and SMEE might as well be named “Automatic Points”.
Tracer is another story though, this is a robot whose only win was over Bale Spear and that win came after two back to back losses. Yeah Tracer rearranged Bale Spear’s face sorta like Mad Catter did in last week’s post but this is a robot who was dispatched by Ribbot when Ribbot managed to somehow flip this thing over using its horizontal spinner attachment. Tracer looks like it should be able to drive upside down but it actually can’t. I don’t know if this was something the team planned and fucked up the execution on or what but lightning struck twice because Hijinx, another horizontal spinner, also somehow managed to knock this thing onto its ass. Also as Tracer is introduced Kenny Florian says its weapon spins at 80 something MPH. Dude if I can achieve that speed on the freeway in my truck it’s not fast enough for a BattleBots weapon.
P1’s first order of business is to easily get underneath Tracer and slam it into whatever wall is closest and easiest to reach given the robot’s current direction. This just so happens to be right next to the screws on the far side of the arena. Tracer’s minibot Needle tries to poke P1 in the ass not realizing that jamming up P1 is only aiding P1’s pin of Tracer and allowing it to score more points with the judges. P1 eventually backs away from Tracer and the shittier version of Bite Force is left stuck on the wall right on the center edge of the screw box. That’s it. This fight is over. It’s done. There’s $25,000 on the line here don’t fuck with your chances of winning the pot. P1 ignores all of these sentiments and frees Tracer from the wall as a gesture of sportsmanship. The first thing that happens is Needle jumps right back up P1’s ass, sticks it, and lets Tracer come in and cleave P1’s front right wheel off. I told you. I warned you, bro.
In the chaos that ensues Tracer also manages to hit P1’s underside and this takes out the race car’s lifting arm. Tracer also catches its teammate on its exit and tears off one of Needle’s wheels rendering the minibot dead. Tracer’s out here just causing all kinds of damage to whoever the fuck gets in its way. With only three wheels left P1 is still doing a respectable job of maintaining control of the ground game and Tracer still rides up P1’s front wedge just like it was before “the accident”. P1 takes Tracer into the walls several times and at one point even under a Pulverizer but it doesn’t come down on Tracer because that would be friendly fire. Seriously guys just have a hazard operator again. I’m tired of these limp dick hammers that never seem to fire because in the heat of the moment who’s going to think to check to see if the dot on the floor near the hammer matches their starting square? Can you even remember who started in what square for this fight? I didn’t think so.
Tracer is landing hits but it comes at the cost of locking heads with P1 or landing a glancing blow as it rides up on P1’s wedge. There’s pretty sparks but no damage is being done to P1’s actual front plow and the car is taking Tracer for a ride. Tracer is able to whip around and start sticking its weapon in and around where P1’s wheel used to be but there’s nothing left to tear up there; you gotta go attack the other wheels guys. All this hard driving seems to be taking its toll on P1 however because even though it’s still mobile when it crashes into Tracer in the waning moments of this fight the robot seems to get hung up underneath its opponent and can’t get loose. A couple of P1’s wheels spin fruitlessly against the arena floor and all four of Tracer’s wheels are off the floor so it’s not going goddamned anywhere. Thankfully the countdown for the final 10 seconds of the fight pops up meaning we won’t have to sit through an unstick and this fight goes to the judges.
This was a hard one to judge because Tracer admittedly did the most damage here by ripping off a wheel and busting P1’s lifting arm, but P1 never once relented and gave Tracer room to breathe; it was on Tracer’s ass literally from the start of the fight no matter how many wheels it had. It’s a split decision and it favors P1. This might be the first time control and aggression has genuinely won someone a fight over damage and yes I’m ignoring Beta vs. Rotator.
WINNER: P1, Judges’ Decision (2-1)
DEADLIFT vs. GHOST RAPTOR
Deadlift is a rookie this season and actually did what few rookies are able to do: win its first fight. That’s because its first opponent was Bale Spear; Deadlift is armed with a flamethrower inside of its lifting arm so it was able to just unleash about three mixtapes’ worth of fire into the barn bot to smoke it out for the KO. The robot saw more resistance from its second opponent Mammoth where Deadlift was flipped over but was able to take out Mammoth’s weapon chain in the process. The fight turned into a pushing match and Mammoth was given the win for its weapon efficacy. Deadlift sharted the seat out of its speed controllers in that fight and wasn’t given a third qualifier because it couldn’t be readied in time so this attempt at a bounty is the team’s last hurrah.
For some reason the hosts are talking about Ghost Raptor like we haven’t seen it in forever. True, we hadn’t, but Ghost Raptor did compete this season. You might remember it losing when Shatter booped it right on its spinning blade with its powerful axe, a hit that eventually led to Ghost Raptor catching fire internally and dying. Or you might remember it losing when Jackpot’s mighty diamond blades busted the chassis apart and splayed the raptor open like it was waiting to get fucked again. The one thing you didn’t see, because it was untelevised, was Ghost Raptor’s win over Chomp where both robots suffered weapon malfunctions and Ghost Raptor won by pushing the 500 pound lard ass around. Exciting stuff.
Ghost Raptor starts the fight out by lifting its spinner just a tad so that it can get up to speed without anything hitting it, one of the benefits of having that center third of its robot be one massive pivot point. Ghost Raptor successfully gets its weapon going and then lands a respectable hit to Deadlift bending Deadlift’s lifting arm slightly. Deadlift doesn’t let up and stays on the attack and Ghost Raptor lands a second shot that definitely fucks up the lifting arm because now it’s visibly twisted. The flamethrower still works however because that’s the plan Deadlift switches to and it breathes fire in Ghost Raptor’s face as the sabertooth cat tries to lift up its opponent with the little forks on its spinner module thing. Speaking of the “spinner module thing” I’m not seeing a whole lot of spinning coming from it; I think the hit that Ghost Raptor landed to Deadlift’s weapon shocked it too hard and now it’s toast. The weapon clutch was literally the only thing Chuck Pitzer talked about in his pre-fight interview and he clearly did a piss poor job installing it.
Despite having a twisted arm Deadlift is still able to raise and lower it effectively enough to put Ghost Raptor on its backside. Ghost Raptor tries to self right and almost does it but fucks everything up allowing Deadlift to swoop in and blow fire at Ghost Raptor while taking it for a ride all the way into the wall. Again this isn’t a Pulverizer that Deadlift’s team operates so there’s no action from the hazards because this show is a joke. Rather than go for a domination-establishing pin completely with constant fire Deadlift instead just backs away and acts like it’s letting Ghost Raptor go. Except it’s not letting Ghost Raptor go because Deadlift is somehow able to use its bent arm to grab the little nub on Ghost Raptor’s spinner to pick the whole fucking robot up and very nearly reverse slams it into the screws. Ghost Raptor still hasn’t righted itself by the way. We know it can do it, it just hasn’t. It’s too dazed by being fucked and roasted by Deadlift that all it can do is aimlessly drift around in the center of the Battlebox and get attacked again.
Ghost Raptor finally gets back on all four wheels and is able to achieve exactly nothing because Deadlift is the faster robot and immediately jumps behind the robot, shoves its lifting arm right up its ass, and starts blowing fire onto Ghost Raptor’s taint. This attack ends with Ghost Raptor winding up under another one of its own Pulverizers meaning the crowd ultimately loses on the excitement factor. Chris Rose even has to explain why the hammers aren’t coming down. With a minute left in this fight Deadlift looks to be fit to win this battle until something just snaps inside the robot and it stops moving entirely. Ghost Raptor shoves it around and pushes it under one of its own Pulverizers so finally we get to see the fucking hammers come down but that’s it for Deadlift. You can see the driver frantically doing everything he can with his transmitter but the robot refuses to move.
A damn shame for Deadlift because it was easily winning this fight but sometimes shit like this happens. Ghost Raptor wins the match and hopefully the next time we see it the weapon will last longer than two and a half hits.
WINNER: Ghost Raptor, KO
HYPERSHOCK vs. SPORKINOK
This is a fucking battle on a streaming platform meaning you have all the time in the goddamned world and yet somehow this match is getting the “What Got Cut” treatment? Nuh uh, I’m going to write something here regardless because this shit is inexcusable.
Hypershock is a robot that has good years and bad years and tends to just swing back and forth between the two for some reason. This year? Bad year. Hypershock lost to Gruff right out of the gate in a match where its weapon died and the robot got flipped over. Hypershock started to smoke and that was Gruff’s cue to come park its BBQ trailer of a robot next to its opponent and let loose with the fucking Gundam-tier flamethrowers. Hypershock was then lowballed its next opponent Mammoth and Hypershock was able to bounce back and win the fight. Ricky Willems even said Hypershock could hit his robot when it was flipped over, so Hypershock sliced open the battery box and pissed off Ricky in the process. End Game trashed this robot for a KO loss and it was looking bad for the RC car but against all odds somehow it qualified for the main tournament. It made it to the Round of 32 where it promptly lost to Hydra when Hydra threw it the fuck out of the arena. And now we’re here.
I think Sporkinok is a robot we’re supposed to cheer for no matter what because of equality and transgender pride and all of that. That’s good and all, but this robot kind of sucks. Actually scratch that, this robot straight up sucks. Sporkinok’s first outing was against Rusty, a robot I already kind of hate, and Sporkinok managed to lose to it. It lost to Rusty. Granted this was with no input from Rusty whatsoever because the robots kinda bumped into each other and then Sporkinok just stopped working. Rusty fans like to say the one hit that Rusty was able to land with its reciprocating spike drill took out Sporkinok in a single shot but to that I say “y’all are fucking dumb” and “from other camera angles that hit looked more like a miss anyways”. Sporkinok was wheeled back to the pits to ready up for its next fight with SubZero and came out with a bold 4WD setup and a hammer/lifter combo weapon. The robot got tossed around a few times and quit moving again. That’s it. No third fight. Sporkinok just can’t survive until the buzzer no matter what.
From the start of the fight it’s apparent Sporkinok is already having drive trouble because its left side of drive looks to be unresponsive. Hypershock starts doing donuts in the center of the arena either because Will Bales doesn’t know how to (or if he should) attack a robot that appears to be legitimately DOA or because Hypershock itself is experiencing drive problems of its own. It’s certainly experiencing weapon problems because its ninja blades aren’t doing a damn thing. Sporkinok finally finds its bearings and charges at Hypershock with its lifting arm poised and ready to flip but naturally nothing happens with this attack. In fact Hypershock pulls the ol’ Uno reverse card out and winds up slamming Sporkinok into the screws instead where Sporkinok’s hammer gets sucked into the hazard and almost knocks the robot out.
Hypershock’s weapons spontaneously come to life about half way through this fight and it gets to work doing whatever damage it can wherever it can on Sporkinok. Hypershock comes in from the back and chews up the decorative spork covering on its opponent’s hammer (you can see the actual hammer spike under it) as well as sucking one of the duallies off of the back right side. This damage was key because amazingly Sporkinok survived the full three minutes meaning the judges were going to weigh in on the snoozefest they just saw. Thanks to the damage to Sporkinok’s weapon and wheels Hypershock was able to claim most if not all of the damage points and since that’s the biggest judging category a win was assured.
WINNER: Hypershock, Judges’ Decision (3-0)
BLACK WIDOW vs. SKORPIOS
Imagine being Sporkinok and seeing your fight get highlighted over this atrocity of engineering. Black Widow is fucking massive. Think Chomp and then extend that radius by like, another Chomp. Most of this robot’s size is eaten up by its massive articulated legs (which are for decoration, not walking) that act like Bronco’s “pwanger” attachments; they are to keep opponents at bay and prevent them from attacking on the sides. At its front end is what I think looks like a drum spinner I myself made out of spare parts thinking it was a good idea. Seriously it’s a cylinder of something with two plates of something else just straight up bolted onto it. Somewhere inside this robot is a flamethrower. Somewhere else, probably its ass, is a silly string (“web”) shooter. I mean, props to this father-son-son-son team for getting this machine together and brought to BattleBots. But this is the end of the road even if you already have a victory over Rampage.
Skorpios enters this fight with a weapon we’ve never seen before: a proper scorpion “stinger” tail that blows fire out of it. And here I thought I was going to be treated to seeing Black Widow diced up by Skorpios’ usual hammer saw blade. Zach Lytle says he wants to “save” the blade for Icewave. No, you just don’t want to make Braeton on the Black Widow team cry by absolutely ruining his robot beyond all fucking recognition. I’m sorry, this is BattleBots not a place where we give a crap about feelings and other hippie shit. Don’t put it in the arena if you’re not prepared to see it die a horrible Indiana Jones-esque death. This is a robot who knocked out fucking Tombstone in the qualifiers. Skorpios can handle its own. You should’ve put the disc on. This dumb shitty Blacksmith wannabe fire hammer better work.
Black Widow makes the first move of the fight by rearing up to Skorpios and rocketing silly string out of its asshole. I know spiders don’t actually make silk from their asses there’s a different gland involved but tell me this action doesn’t just look like a cat with a raised tail letting loose the Fancy Feast shits all over the fucking place. Also consider my expectations thoroughly subverted because when push comes to shove Black Widow’s big ass front wedge is what gets underneath Skorpios. It’s even able to land some attacks with the drum. It doesn’t do anything, but it’s still impressive nonetheless. I was anticipating this fight to be over and done with by now but then I remembered Skorpios isn’t using a real weapon and it’s actually technically losing the fight right now.
Skorpios makes a comeback however and gets tangled up in Black Widow’s legs as it lights up its tail and starts aggressively poking its opponent. Yeah Zach, that weapon is definitely piercing their armor and the fire is blowing out into them. You achieved what Mohawk could not. I’m totally not just saying this sarcastically because you didn’t want to upset some kids by using a more destructive weapon. I wish I could comment on this fight but it’s genuinely just Skorpios tapping Black Widow on the head with a flamethrower that barely works. Skorpios would have better luck aiming for the holes already cut into Black Widow’s armor and shooting fire there. Because nothing of substance is happening the hosts summon Peter Abrahamson to say “if the wiring is bad there could be severe damage”. This is all smoke and mirrors to keep audiences focused on this disaster of a battle where nothing it happening because Skorpios won’t let up and Black Widow has the turning radius of the goddamned Titanic.
In the chaos of Skorpios poking and stabbing at Black Widow I noticed what appears to be a removable power link poking out of Black Widow’s lid? If that’s what that loop of wire is then attacking that should be top priority because if Skorpios can hook it with its tail and yank it out that’ll kill all power to Black Widow and save us from any more of this fight. Kenny Florian takes a moment to compare drivetrains to engines and I’m just done with this. Black Widow lands another shot with its drum and tickles Skorpios’ balls with it or something who knows. Eventually Black Widow gets carried to one of the Pulverizers that Skorpios’ team operates and the entire top armor of the spider just gets caved in. I mean this upside down BBQ pit just gets totaled. Even the team is like “holy shit we’re dead”.
The fight goes to the judges who score unanimously for Skorpios because no shit that’s what they do. But I’ve gotta give Black Widow credit, its legs worked exactly as designed; Skorpios was still able to kind of hit Black Widow but the legs kept it from getting all the way in. It’s perhaps the one part of Black Widow that actually worked.
WINNER: Skorpios, Judges’ Decision (3-0)
GHOST RAPTOR vs. HYPERSHOCK
Depending on how you want to look at it this is going to be both of these robots’ first actual “fight” assuming they’re working this time around. By all accounts Ghost Raptor should not be here; it was getting its ass pounded by Deadlift until Deadlift pounded a little too hard and seized up. Ghost Raptor was losing that fight with nothing but a busted weapon to show for its troubles. Hypershock on the other hand at least did a little bit better but not much; its fight was “cut for episode length” on a streaming platform where episode length doesn’t even fucking matter. Hypershock bumped up against Sporkinok, who was equally as incapacitated, until its weapon began randomly working. Hypershock used this time to chew up Sporkinok and score some easy damage and aggression points for the decision.
Ghost Raptor does a repeat of its strategy in its first fight which is to raise its blade up out of reach of its opponent in order to rev it up to top speed and then drop it down to set it up for a kill shot. This is assuming Ghost Raptor can outmaneuver Hypershock, a robot everyone knows drives around like an expensive Tyco RC car from the late 90’s. Obviously Hypershock’s massive tires are the four targets Ghost Raptor wants to reach but the best it can muster is catching the front end of Hypershock and meeting weapon-to-weapon which winds up blowing half of Ghost Raptor’s fucking weapon off. At least this time it didn’t have to crash into the goddamned wall at full speed in order for its weapon to break. Mark that down as an improvement from 2015’s Ghost Raptor.
With only half a weapon bar Ghost Raptor starts to violently jitter and shake around. Chuck Pitzer has probably killed the power to the weapon but there’s enough residual inertia in it to keep it going for a while and the weapon doesn’t come to a halt until Hypershock rams into Ghost Raptor’s ass and shoves it into the wall. This means Ghost Raptor is reduced to its makeshift lifting arm strategy but like hell that’s going to work on Hypershock the fucking thing won’t stay still long enough for Ghost Raptor to get a lift in. Hypershock’s weapons are suitably dialed in for this fight and another blow knocks Ghost Raptor on its ass. It can self right from this position but for some reason Ghost Raptor is content to just cruise around on its back two wheels with its underside exposed to a deadly spinning blade.
Understandably this plan does not pan out for Ghost Raptor because Hypershock comes in and exacts its pound of flesh from the undercarriage of the robot and with one of these blows I see some parts fly off of Ghost Raptor. They look like chunks of tire tread but Ghost Raptor’s wheels look alright to me so I’m not fully sure what just flew off but if your robot is shedding parts it’s probably a bad thing. That is my professional assessment. Ghost Raptor is dancing around near the blue square screws and Hypershock cruises in for another blow that sheds some sparks and knocks the robot back into the hazard. Ghost Raptor is near the screws, not on them, and Hypershock keeps ramming away so we know the robot isn’t stuck. It’s just dead. Simple as that.
Knowing what lies in Ghost Raptor’s future it’s bittersweet to watch the robot crap out like this and for Chuck to be hopeful enough to bring it back for another season. For now however that’s Ghost Raptor’s exit from Bounty Hunters.
WINNER: Hypershock, KO
P1 vs. SKORPIOS
Back in the main show of the season P1 put forth a strong argument for making it into the Top 32. Ultimately this did not happen because rankings and seedings are a total joke in BattleBots and P1’s tournament prospects ended even though it went 2-1 and Hypershock snuck in with a 1-2 record. Yeah I’m still mad about that. P1 hasn’t really impressed as much in this bounty bracket thus far however as its only battle saw it lose a fucking wheel to Tracer, one of the worst robots to grace the arena, and its weapon also crapped out in that same battle. P1 won the fight on aggression but only just barely. Skorpios has been a complete let down because its first fight was a gimme that should’ve been a slaughter but instead Zach Lytle slapped on a completely ineffective “flaming scorpion tail” onto his robot that we’ve never seen again because the weapon is fucking stupid and was only used because he didn’t want to irreparably smash some little kid’s robot. Now that he’s fighting a “real opponent” Skorpios is wearing its standard hammer saw arm because of course it is.
Skorpios opens the floor by getting the first proper hit of the fight, a glancing shot to the top of P1 that the hosts are willing to call “tasty” and “right on P1’s flipper”. I assume they are telegraphing that P1’s flipper is going to be DOA for this match so they’re preemptively blaming it on this shitty hit. I’ve watched six seasons of this reboot, I know the language. Opening hit aside P1 is doing a fair job keeping on Skorpios’ ass and preventing it from using its curved plow. Given how Skorpios’ leading prongs seem to fit directly between P1’s wedgelets I’ve gotta say I’m surprised. Eventually P1 gets sloppy and Skorpios gets some leverage on the race car and in doing so we discover P1’s Achilles heel for the match: the wedgelets have unrestricted range. P1 gets popped up high enough that its right wedgelet digs downward into the floor propping up the whole ass front end of the robot. Not sure how you fuck up that badly but there you go.
P1’s wedgelet problem solves itself but not before Skorpios can attack its front right wheel. So far Skorpios has landed some hits but it hasn’t done any damage to speak of to P1. This fight kind of sucks. P1 ramps off of Skorpios’ front plow and the same stupid wedgelet bends backwards and disorients the bot. Yeah, this is trash. Skorpios is able to corral P1 into the wall near the screws and lets loose with several shots from its hammer saw and I’m assuming P1 armored up for this match because the hits do fuck all to P1. Somehow though P1’s front left wheel just gives up and falls off. Note that this is not the wheel that Tracer previously tore off so it’s not like we’re dealing with residual damage here this is just P1 being built like it was made out of knock off Legos. To make matters worse as P1 tries to drive away its wedgelet is still tucked underneath its front end.
There’s a minute left in this fight (thankfully) and so far it’s just been Skorpios shoving P1 around and P1 randomly falling apart. First it was the lifting arm not working right out of the gate, then it was the wedgelets, now it’s the wheel. Isn’t there a rule about entering the Battlebox without an active weapon? Shouldn’t that be grounds for P1 to be disqualified or something? I just want this fight to end. Skorpios is able to continue to land hits to P1’s lid as it cruises around with P1 stuck on its plow but every time the hammer saw connects it’s just bounced backwards because of P1’s upper armor. That’s like the one thing Brandon Zalinsky did right for this match.
In the waning seconds of this battle P1 catches Skorpios from an odd angle and throws the hammer saw bot onto its lid. Apparently Skorpios cannot self right from this position? Brandon loses his shit in the drivers’ booth but there’s only ten seconds on the clock and we know it takes the refs at least twenty to stand there threatening to even start a fucking KO count so sadly this epic move is too little too late. A minute earlier and P1 would’ve stolen the fight but as it stands it goes to the judges and despite how boring this fight was Skorpios was in control the whole time.
WINNER: Skorpios, Judges’ Decision (3-0)
HYPERSHOCK vs. SKORPIOS
Hypershock is a robot that’s been kind of ho-hum in this bounty bracket so for Will Bales to come out and talk some mad shit on Skorpios by duct taping an angle grinder onto his robot – referencing the 2018 season when Skorpios was out of spare parts and had to do exactly that – takes some serious balls. Maybe Will’s already got a couple of giant nuts. Hypershock was slightly less worse than Sporkinok in its opener and was able to rebound and decapitate Ghost Raptor for a decisive KO. Meanwhile Skorpios is out here with actual attachments on the robot designed to prevent Hypershock from monster trucking over its chassis and potentially damaging the hammer saw mechanism. Skorpios has also been kind of lame but it has at least been dominant. Black Widow was a free win but P1 was a little more rough for Zach and his crew especially at the end when Skorpios wound up on its lid. If Hypershock can land a hit that causes that same destabilization we might see Hypershock advancing on and leaving Skorpios in the dust.
Somehow with all that plow business up front when Skorpios floors it into Hypershock it just acts like it hit a brick wall and Hypershock gets away. Not for long though as the second pass seems to work and Hypershock’s spinning blades appear to suffer from that common robot disorder of “all spin no bite” because they do fucking nothing to Skorpios, not even some sparks, as they just come to a complete halt. Hypershock is open to attack but now it’s Skorpios’ turn to shit the bed and its hammer saw slows down and barely taps Hypershock. The blade gets spinning again but by this point Hypershock has already gotten away and now Skorpios has to chase it down again. It’s like neither one of these robots wants to win this fight because they know the winner has to battle fucking Icewave after this and that’s a robot that’ll waste no time laying both of these jackasses the fuck out.
Hypershock spins in close to Skorpios and I’ve noticed the Killsaws are popping up. Unless the editors have cut two solid minutes of this fight out those things shouldn’t be there. Hypershock gets tripped up by a set of saws that interrupts what could’ve been a successful attack but I guess the officials are just going to pretend that nobody saw that even though the hosts acknowledge it and pass it off as a “malfunction”. Sure, okay, whatever. Hypershock finally collides with Skorpios and punches it square in the plow and bounces away. Skorpios retaliates by karate chopping Hypershock’s backside and having its own hammer saw bounce back just like in the P1 fight. The difference here is I don’t think Hypershock is equipped with any extra top armor Skorpios just sucks.
Hypershock continues to land glancing blows to Skorpios that its plow just absorbs and turns into the essence of wasted effort. Meanwhile Skorpios lands no hits of its own until it connects with Hypershock weapon-to-weapon releasing a brief flicker of sparks. Somehow this has killed power to Hypershock’s weapon and now it’s not spinning. Hypershock is basically a 250 pound meat target for Skorpios and Skorpios isn’t even equipped to take advantage of the situation because its spinning disc couldn’t even cut a fucking frozen pizza. Eventually Hypershock lines up enough of a ram that it climbs up on top of Skorpios and gets speared by the upward facing forks. Skorpios has a weird range on its hammer saw so it can’t hit Hypershock in this situation but it can still take it anywhere it wants to in the box such as to one of the malfunctioning Killsaws. There’s not enough time left however so the match ends with the two bots stuck on each other.
Once again the judges step in to adjudicate and given that Hypershock’s weapon gave out about half way through the fight and Skorpios was able to at least control the pace of the match with its bullish plow they rule in favor of Skorpios. The bounty match is going to be a rematch between Skorpios and Icewave. I just hope we finally see some fucking damage.
WINNER: Skorpios, Judges’ Decision (3-0)
ICEWAVE vs. SKORPIOS
The last time these two robots met was in season eight of the show back in 2018. Skorpios, then driven by Orion Beach, came out aggressive and managed to corral Icewave around for three solid minutes. Skorpios definitely lost in the damage category but made up for it by sweeping the aggression and control ones leading to a controversial win. Zach Lytle says he wants to win this rematch the right way and destroy Icewave to silence people on the internet. How cute, this man doesn’t know how the internet works. People are going to talk shit regardless, Zach. Case in point. Icewave has been gone for a while however. The last time we saw this robot it was living large and treating bots like Vanquish and Huge like they were fucking Kit Kat bars and snapping them in two. It took Rotator to brave the blade and just completely eradicate Icewave to stop the killing spree. Icewave was so badly damaged that it’s been absent for two seasons now only to rise at the sunset of season ten with Bounty Hunters.
Icewave leads the fight with a massive blow to the front of Skorpios except now there’s one major difference between the Skorpios of 2018 and the Skorpios of 2020: that front plow is no longer three separate pieces of metal, it’s all welded together now. Icewave can land all the power shots it wants to but if that plow is going to come off it’s going to have to come off in one big ass piece. Even though Icewave has the power of a gasoline engine on its side I just don’t think it has the firepower necessary to do this. I would like to be proven wrong though because otherwise it means everyone’s weapons in every fight of this bounty bracket just sucked. If Hypershock were here it’d be missing tires by now at least. Smoke starts to come out of Icewave’s lid but that’s just exhaust fumes from the engine inside. It doesn’t look like battery smoke or a fire of some sort.
Skorpios eventually pins Icewave against the screws and its hammer saw just does fucking nothing. It slaps at Icewave and can’t even put a ding in the armor up there. When Icewave finally gets away Kenny Florian tries to justify the damage by saying Icewave’s muffler has taken some hits. Yeah, the tiny little exhaust pipe sticking out of Icewave’s top looks crimped inward. Someone call the fucking robot ambulance. Kenny also thinks Icewave’s blade is dead but it’s not, Marc DeVidts just has it stopped so he doesn’t stall out the weapon motor. When Icewave pulls away from Skorpios the blade once again tries to get going but it does look like it’s spin up time has increased. That’s the least of Icewave’s worries though because as Skorpios stays on it the robot finds itself under one of the Pulverizers and in perhaps one of the few instances where we see these hazards do anything of merit the hammer comes down and just ruins Icewave’s shit. Icewave’s engine housing is what we in the biz call “totally blown the fuck up”.
Now Icewave’s blade isn’t working. Something is definitely busted inside of the shell thanks to all the Pulverizer blows so Skorpios has free reign to just shove the weaponless Icewave around as it starts to smoke for real this time. Icewave gets taken to the opposite Pulverizer for a couple more shots to add insult to injury and Skorpios’ blade is finally able to at least make a ding in the engine housing before lodging itself in Icewave’s front framework. Icewave is driving like shit and its front wedge even looks bent on one side so there’s not much the bounty holder can do except ride this fight out and take the L. Zach got what he wanted: the image of Skorpios’ hammer saw coming down on Icewave’s engine. Too bad that hammer saw barely did any damage and was outclassed by the Pulverizer.
WINNER: Skorpios, Judges’ Decision (3-0)
Zach and Diana are over the moon with this victory because it means they’ll be able to restart their business, Bot Bash Parties, that teach kids and young adults the ropes of building combat robots. This bounty event happened right in the middle of the COVID pandemic so obviously that put a damper on their company. Hell, there’s not even a full audience at BattleBots this year to watch all the fights! That how serious this shit was at the time. Lots of small businesses and ventures failed. Lots of older businesses didn’t make it either, like the chain Family Video which was one of the last video rental stores I can think of. Everyone was getting fucked so it’s good to know that the money is going to be put to good use. Now, just share nicely with Victor Soto and Rotator… and whoever else wins a bounty, if anyone.
This episode of Bounty Hunters was kind of a mixed bag. We got to see the ever elusive Black Widow who managed to hide from cameras for this entire season and I’ve gotta say the wait wasn’t worth it. Just remember that monstrosity has an official win over Rampage though. There were a lot of decent tier robots in this episode but it seemed like none of them were firing on all cylinders, and yes that includes the bounty winner Skorpios. We’ve seen what Hypershock can do, we’ve seen what Skorpios can do. Ghost Raptor yeah that thing blows but when one of the hits of the night comes from fucking Tracer you know that something is wrong. So this one was kind of a bust but I get it; this was after the season had wrapped and Bounty Hunters consists of everyone who was left with a working robot after an entire season’s worth of battles had transpired. Not everyone is going to be at their peak.
There are still four more episodes of Bounty Hunters left to cover so stick around because the next one will be here in a week. I mean it’s already out and has been for a year but it’ll be here here in a week. If you’d like to support this project you can do so with a monthly pledge on Patreon or a one-time donation with Ko-Fi. If you want some BBU swag check out Redbubble. And finally follow BattleBots Update on Facebook for everything else.
See you next week!