[BattleBots: S10 E5 is available via streaming on Discovery+.]
Welcome back to BattleBots Update, the only robot combat snark website that has managed to avoid the serious ire of [most] competitors for approximately six years running. Right now everybody is mulling and poring over who’s being accepted into season 11 and who’s being declined; we’re finding out about the “no’s” because I think the teams who are in aren’t allowed to say they’re in? So people have just been guessing about that. Speculation, the bane of any fandom. Sadly there are a lot of great teams who’ve been denied and both the builders and the fans have been “handling things in their own ways”, to say the least. For every 50 brooding “it’s only 4WD verts they’re allowing” posts there’s one person who just posts a GIF of a woman twerking with giant googly eyes stuck on her ass cheeks, and that’s fucking choice.
Anyways last week Tombstone bounced back in a non-main event match against Slap Box where we learned that no, Slap Box is not just Duck with an ostensibly better and more avant garde paint job. Craig Danby’s Slammow brought it, set it on the table, and fucking opened it with a decisive KO victory over Pain Train. From there we saw a few crosses of 1-0 robots where someone was going to make it to 2-0 and someone was going to fall to 1-1. Malice blew Shatter’s axe to pieces and won by decision, Mad Catter overpowered Ribbot for the win, and Bloodsport did End Game dirty by detonating all of End Game’s batteries for a brutal main event KO.
Coming up this episode we have two more of those “1-0 and someone’s gotta lose” fights: Claw Viper vs Black Dragon, and Lock-Jaw vs The Big Dill. My money’s riding on Claw Viper and Lock-Jaw, of course, but that’s only because I know Big Dill can’t lift worth shit and Black Dragon thus far has only squeaked by on a controversial split decision. Everyone’s – or possibly no one’s, I really don’t know – favorite sabertooth cat aims to bet the farm against Jackpot, Huge has big hopes of turning things around on Hydra, and we finally get to see the debut of the strange-looking robots Grabot and Aegis. The main event is Kraken vs Witch Doctor which somehow feels like a rematch even though it isn’t one. Goddamned Mandela effect.
BLACK DRAGON vs. CLAW VIPER
Aside from having a redundant weapon belt yanked out of its maw in its previous battle Black Dragon hasn’t sustained much damage thus far. It did however win its previous fight against Kraken with a decision that “controversial” barely begins to describe. We’ve already crossed that bridge back in episode one of the season so I won’t retread it, but Black Dragon had better just thank its lucky stars that the judging criteria for this season appears to be written in a language few people understand. Black Dragon is here at 1-0 but only just barely and whatever it is the “selection committee” is looking for probably won’t value the Kraken win highly so a strong showing is mandatory for the Brazilian team in this fight.
Claw Viper is a bot also coming in at 1-0 but it suffered a lot more damage getting here than its opponent has. HiJinx was Claw Viper’s previous opponent and while HiJinx eventually just broke down and stopped working that wasn’t until after Claw Viper’s weaponry had been bent sideways and incapacitated. Even though HiJinx seemed to die mostly analogous to what Claw Viper was doing it was still a hell of a fight; we got to see Claw Viper do a kickflip off of HiJinx’s rear chassis and also do peelouts all over the arena. Claw Viper is perhaps the fastest robot in the field this year which is something that will definitely work to its advantage here. Black Dragon is also fast, so this will come down to a battle of driving.
Also I guess that fucking “STREAM WHAT YOU LOVE” overlay ad for Discovery+ isn’t going to go away so my apologies for it being in all of the video stills for this article. Ain’t broadcast television just adorable? (In the past I used broadcast-ready copies of the episodes but because I was busy having a prolonged – and currently sustained – existential crisis I wasn’t able to work with the producers to obtain clean copies of this season.)
Claw Viper lunges at Black Dragon arms raised and very nearly does its best impression of Extinguisher by almost smashing into the screws. Can we make that a “thing”, by the way? “Doing an Extinguisher”? Any time a shell spinner implodes we call it a “Mauler dance” after the spinner’s infamous loss in season 2 (the real season 2 not this reboot numbering bullshit) so I feel like smashing face first into the wall in a failed box rush should be named after Extinguisher. We can even call it the “Extinguisher smash” or something. Get on that, folks. I’m serious. Anyways Claw Viper misses its box rush and this is a mistake that it will pay for with its life. Black Dragon clips the front corner of Claw Viper and the snake bot does a twist in the air. Kevin Milczewski cringes at the hit before lining up another charge at Black Dragon.
This time his driving is on the mark, Claw Viper gets underneath the front of Black Dragon, however Claw Viper’s grappler catches the Killsaw slot and it looks like some kind of shaft collar or tension spring pops loose from something. I’m guessing that’s one of Claw Viper’s bits just based upon who took the brunt of that impact but it looks like that piece must’ve been important because Claw Viper just sorta stops working and lets Black Dragon get to work. The two bots lock in a T-boned position with Claw Viper’s entire right side getting chewed the fuck apart by Black Dragon and all the viper can do is occasionally wave its lifting arms around. The charge ends with Claw Viper getting shoved back into the screws in its starting square while Black Dragon’s weapon operator pulls the trigger on the robot’s flamethrower.
Apparently I’m not the only one who forgot about this because shortly after reaching his Beavis & Butthead impression quota for the season Chris Rose asks if that fire is “supposed to be there”. Technically no, because it’s a waste of resources, but Kenny Florian seamlessly draws attention to Claw Viper instead who is legitimately smoking and unable to move. It appears that whatever transpired from that first big blow did something to Claw Viper’s drivetrain because it was never really the same afterward and as it burns to death internally all it can do is just wave to the refs to bring a fire extinguisher. The real kind, not the robot that crashes into walls and dies.
With two seconds left in its KO countdown Claw Viper miraculously springs to “life” and starts backing away from the blue square. Black Dragon, not to be outstaged by a fucking snake, comes out of nowhere with its flamethrower and discs blazing and smashes into Claw Viper. This time the snake really is toast and the smoke pouring out of the robot quickly turns into a legitimate goddamned fire. Claw Viper has probably the fastest acceleration out of any robot in this season’s field, and apparently it also has the fastest deceleration too because this fight went from 60 to 0 in record time. A win for Black Dragon, and this time one that is undisputed.
WINNER: Black Dragon, KO
GHOST RAPTOR vs. JACKPOT
Do you guys hear that? It’s the very distinct meowing that can only come from a sabertooth cat. It must mean… yep, Ghost Raptor is back. Currently at 0-1 Chuck Pitzer is hoping to rebound from his team’s loss to Adam Wrigley and Shatter earlier in the season. With only three Fight Nights instead of four this year Chuck knows that falling to 0-2 is a death sentence unless there’s some bullshit play-in matches for the Round of 32 that he can hitch his trailer onto. Ghost Raptor seems the same for this fight as it did for Shatter: adjustable diagonal spinning blade. There’s a lot of real estate on Jackpot’s spinners to hit so maybe the odds are in the cat’s favor to demolish the budget bot in this round. If not there’s always the lifting prongs on Ghost Raptor’s front that could still turn the tables in the event of weapon failure as long as Ghost Raptor doesn’t just burst into fucking flames again.
$4,000 and a dream, that’s all Jeff Waters had when he put together Jackpot. And so far? Looks like he’s putting his chips down on all the right numbers. Jackpot went toe to toe with SubZero and managed to win, though that was a bit of a fluke because SubZero inexplicably broke down and quit working. Still, Jackpot was able to land a couple of shots and even though it skated by with a free victory there are still competitors who are afraid of the potential heat Jackpot’s packing. We don’t have Death Roll this year, but Jackpot just might be “close enough” with its massive spinning red diamonds of doom. Ghost Raptor’s next in line to find out if the house always wins.
Before the match starts and we get those little vignettes of what the drivers think about the upcoming battle Chuck says he’s banking on the Jackpot team’s lack of experience being something he can take advantage of. Rookie mistakes, you know, like aiming your ass end at your opponent which consequently is exactly what Ghost Raptor does as it drifts and twists around in the arena while spinning its weapon up to speed. Chuck’s over here making Jackpot look like the 20+ year vets. Jackpot slaps Ghost Raptor hard enough on the ass to cup its balls on the way out but thankfully even though Ghost Raptor’s armor has been swiss-cheesed to hell it doesn’t look like any serious damage is done. No, that’s for the second hit where Jackpot and Ghost Raptor meet weapon to weapon and Ghost Raptor’s entire fucking weapon pops off, shaft and all.
I mean, it’s better than the weapon just breaking in half, I guess. So… improvement? Maybe?
Ghost Raptor tries to use its front prongs as a lifting device but this time they’re not long enough to slide under its opponent and instead just connect with Jackpot’s spinner, bending them up and rendering them useless in the process. Jackpot catches the bent prong of Ghost Raptor a second time and this causes Ghost Raptor’s entire left side to just fold open. I know I joked about it a long time ago but is this thing actually a Transformer? If so what is it meant to transform into? One of those trucks that empties out portable shitters? Although it’s splayed open Ghost Raptor’s drive system is still “fully functional” and the odd angles of its two sides of drive results in the robot moving diagonally into the blue square. Jackpot catches Ghost Raptor and delivers a blow right where the robot has split open. It’s like getting kicked in the back of the fucking knee, just with a spinning Vegas diamond of death. Motor caps come off and are ejected from Ghost Raptor and the whole affair is just sad by this point.
Ghost Raptor’s untouched right side of drive is still working but the robot’s going nowhere. Even if its other half weren’t dead it’s currently busted open at a 45 fucking degree angle so it’s not like Ghost Raptor would stand even a snowball’s chance in Hell at surviving this fight and somehow winning, not unless Jackpot just immediately detonated. Jackpot creeps toward the twitching carcass of Ghost Raptor, threatening to strike it again, but backs away as the ref starts to count the cat out. One of these days Ghost Raptor’s blade will do some impressive damage, I can feel it.
Today is just not that day.
WINNER: Jackpot, KO
GRABOT vs. SUBZERO
Not the first bot that I scored as an “F” in terms of chances of winning the Nut, but definitely one of the most obvious, Grabot is… a thing. Its primary weapon is a set of grappling claws that can raise, lower, open, shut, and rotate all with the same mechanism. Very impressive, but it’s also very complex. Peter Abrahamson nicely explains his doubts, but I wont. Claw Viper and Slammow have grappling mechanisms too and all they’re running is something to pin you down with and something to pin you against and then that whole assembly just pivots backward. Easy. But sure, go ahead and build something overly complicated if you want. It’s not like any of those little pieces are gonna fall off or anything. Grabot might as well just be a fucking wedge, end of story.
SubZero rolls into this match down by one because it lost to Jackpot, the robot whom we just saw literally tear Ghost Raptor both a new asshole and vagina. SubZero probably could’ve won its battle against Jackpot but some freak internal messups caused the robot to first lose the use of its flipper and then just completely die altogether. This is a totally rebuilt and rearmed SubZero, Logan Davis isn’t here to jack around. You get maybe one mulligan with these shortened Fight Nights and his team blew it on their first round. It’s do or die. If SubZero loses to the robot designed only to cup peoples’ balls then it’s out for sure.
Grabot begins the fight with its grappling arms facing forward but it seems as though driver Ben Davidson has some last minute reservations about attacking grappler-to-flipper so Grabot starts to pivot around to lead in with its wedge instead. I guess he double-triple guesses himself on this one too because Grabot starts to spin around again to face SubZero with its grabber arms. SubZero doesn’t give a fuck at all, snags Grabot by the tire, and hurls it ten feet into the fucking air. It’s pretty obvious that this impact “kills” Grabot by way of high centering it on its own stupid grabby arms. Upside-down Grabot is braced against the arena floor like a crab resting on its claws and this has raised its wheels off of the ground. The robot is immobilized, but that’s not enough for SubZero.
Is a one-hit KO impressive? Of course it is. But is it impressive enough to the “selection committee” in such a way that SubZero can bounce back from its embarrassing earlier loss? Probably not. Better throw a few more flips in there, Subbo. Grabot becomes mobile again because one of the flips causes the arms on the robot to bend downward resulting in the robot’s wheels making contact with the floor again. I can’t speak for the status of the grapplers but Grabot as a whole is still hanging in there if only just barely. Spitfire, SubZero’s drone, takes a glancing hit from Grabot as it’s hurled through the air for what seems like the fifth time now and does a sweet barrel roll to stay airborne. I’m 100% positive this was completely on accident but it’s still cool.
The Pulverizers take some swings at Grabot while SubZero continues to absolutely control the fight. Grabot probably died for real quite some time ago because as the robot is repeatedly thrown around it doesn’t even make an effort to scurry away from its opponent. After being thrown up onto the blue square’s screw hazards the refs decide Grabot probably ought to be counted out. It’s obvious SubZero was going for an more impressive “out of the arena” win but I think jump fucking your opponent to death is still good enough. Really shows off the power of that flipper. Muy fuerte.
Also, that post-interview “I love you” from Brady to his son is probably the most wholesome thing I’ve seen in ten seasons of this show.
WINNER: SubZero, KO
HUGE vs. HYDRA
A couple seasons ago Huge was a big deal. Pardon the shitty pun, but I mean that. Here was a robot that was just so massive that attacking it seemed impossible. Huge would rain down on you with its big spinning bar and the best you’d be able to do is nibble at its ultra thin UHMW plastic wheels. The whole robot could flex and bend to deflect blows and all in all it seemed invincible. Then Icewave cut it in half. Huge has remained a dominant force in the field but ever since the wind was taken out of its sails for that first time it seems the robot has become “defeatable”. Case in point Huge rolls into this match 0-1 because Mammoth was able to hook one of Huge’s wheels on the wrong side of the arena light panel and knock it out. It’s a robot who’s lost its oomph, and it needs to get it back right here.
Meanwhile we already know Jake Ewert has some bullshit planned for this fight because there was a whole segment about it earlier in the show. He’s cooked up a “special attachment” for Hydra to aid him in this fight; it looks like to Jake “special attachment” is defined as “approximately ten feet of steel tubing welded together and spray-painted purple”. Jake calls it a “cow catcher” but honestly it looks like a big ass bike rack turned onto its side, it’s literally just a massive wall to keep Huge at bay. Granted, this is something that will only work if Hydra keeps at Huge dead-on, the minute he allows a diagonal attack from Huge that entire rack is going to get thrashed and ripped apart. Even though it’s bolted to both the top and rear of Hydra it still looks flimsy as hell, one stray blow and it’s gone. Guaranteed.
Not even ten seconds pass in this fight before Chris and Kenny defer to Peter Abrahamson for his expertise in “what constitutes a primary weapon here” wherein Pete says it’s Hydra’s flipper; the bike rack isn’t a weapon, it’s purely a defensive attachment. Also I don’t know about you but there’s a massive fucking YouTube-esque banner ad on my copy of the episode advertising BattleBots: Bounty Hunters on Discovery+. Motherfuckers, this episode was ripped from Discovery+, why in the name of God’s flat green Earth are you even showing that ad? What, is my hookup gonna sign up a second time? Are you expecting me to feel bad about piracy by proxy and sign up? I can’t even pay for basic necessities for living, you think I’ve got money to spare for a service filled 99% with shows I’m never going to watch? Oh hang on let me just go sign up real quick I have to go watch all ten seasons of 47 Kids And Counting featuring Josh “I Used Ashley Madison to Be Unfaithful to My Wife, I Molested Four of My Sisters, and I Was Just Busted for Possessing Child Pornography Literally Like a Month Ago” Duggar. Piss off.
Look, let’s be real here. This is another control fight just like Beta vs Rotator except this one is ten times as insufferable to watch because there are 0 hits landed except for one teeny glancing blow from Huge. Hydra cleans up with a couple of Pulverizer shots of its own and then backs Huge into a corner with 1:30 left on the clock. The refs say that’s a pin. Jake says it’s not and that Huge can freely move, which is not a lie. The refs still give him the yellow card, so Jake backs Hydra up for a second before parking it right back where it was. Is this a lame strategy? Yes. Is it a viable one? Yes. Is it permitted as per BattleBots’ spaghetti rules? Yes! It actually is! Any attachment needs to be vetted by the officials before it’s allowed on a robot; it’s not like Jake just pulled off a tarp and said “behold, you are now fucked”. Someone, possibly multiple people, signed off on this knowing full well what was probably going to unfold. Jake’s motives were known, he explicitly told officials what his attachment was for and what his plan was.
Hydra takes the win by decision, sparking arguments that are still taking place in the robot combat community to this very fucking day (and probably will forever). Jake, 50/50 full of himself as a joke and for real, brought the “bike rack” back into the pits and offered to rent it out to other teams for $1. (Eventually the bike rack was given away to a fan who visited the Whyachi workshop.) The fault lies not with Jake but with the BattleBots rules. As I said, the officials approved the attachment. Whether that’s because they laughed it off and assumed it would be chewed apart or not is something we’ll never know, but you see what happens when you say shit like “the rules say you have to have a primary weapon but they don’t say you have to use it” to justify shitty judges decisions? You get what you fucking deserve.
WINNER: Hydra, Judges’ Decision (3-0)
AEGIS vs. FUSION
In case you were wondering what team “King Janitor” belonged to, it’s Team Phalanx who’ve brought Aegis to BattleBots this year. Aegis is an egg-shaped robot with a huge flipping scoop and its unique shape is due to the fact that its outer armor is made from kevlar and fiberglass. These are materials that fray and split apart rather than dent and deform like metals do, so ideally if Aegis takes damage then those parts of its chassis will just tear away in chunks without much disruption to the robot overall. Think of Aegis like a modern day monster truck, whose chassis are also made of fiberglass for easy repairs, just not a truck and shaped like an egg. So… I don’t know where I was going with that analogy to be honest with you.
Where there’s one Ewert there’s another, as I’m sure the saying goes. Someone probably says that. Hydra was just in the arena but now it’s time for Jake Ewert’s younger brother Reese to step up to the plate with the much smaller Fusion. Fusion of course is a combination of Falcon and Son of Whyachi combining the vertical spinning drum of Falcon with the horizontal triangular blade of Son of Whyachi into a robot that looks menacing but is literally its own worst enemy. Fusion has already been in battle once before where it lost to Mad Catter after sustaining some stray blows that resulted in all four of Fusion’s speed controllers going up in flames and the entire robot turning into a BBQ in the middle of the arena. Aegis’ driver is even banking on this happening again because he knows Team Whyachi has crammed too much power into too small of a bot.
Rather than go for a box rush Aegis instead jukes right to keep its distance from Fusion and see what happens. Fusion tries moving forward, not even spinning its weapons yet, and Reese says he’s getting stuck on everything on the floor. Aegis’ team overhears this and one of the team members tells the driver that Fusion’s having trouble and to “let him come to you”. Guys I don’t think that’s how that strategy works, if your opponent is tripping over their own goddamned shoelaces you go in there for the sucker punch and duck out once the circumstances change. All you’re doing right now is letting Reese Ewert figure out where he can and can’t drive his robot and, assuming they work again, eventually rev his spinners up.
And that’s exactly what happens. A death hum can be heard in the Battlebox as Fusion’s vertical spinner springs to life. Aegis tries to swoop in for the flip, aiming for the side of Fusion with the vertical discs, and pops its flipper early. This mistake will prove to be the literal undoing of this robot. Fusion’s vertical blades catch the lip of the flipping arm, shred the ground-scraping plates, pop Aegis into the air, and ultimately catch the robot’s rear corner on the backswing with its horizontal spinner ripping off Aegis’ entire right side panel of armor. All this damage in one fucking shot and Aegis is suitably knocked out with integral parts exposed and just sitting out in the open.
Fusion lost its previous fight in a humiliating manner so in order to make a stronger showing this time around Aegis doesn’t need to just die in one hit, it needs to fucking be totaled. Fusion goes in for bite number two and aims for the left side panel. It doesn’t get ripped off but it does get severely damaged and Aegis is thrown through the air in a complete flip. That’s two shots with the vertical spinner, now Fusion mixes it up and gets in there with its horizontal blade and just starts chewing straight through Aegis’ armor like it’s not even there. I’m talking “can I get some of the chocolate gelato” at a fucking Marble Slab Creamery; those blades are just slicing right through the armor like a warm ice cream scoop through an overpriced dessert.
The refs start to count Aegis out and Fusion backs off. Aegis is well and truly demolished; I don’t think we’re going to see this robot again for the entirety of Fight Night. To quote the genius of Supreme Commander Charles Tilford, that was some real gourmet damage. Reese seems a little too calm so Richard “The Dick” Stuplich threatens to kiss him on national television. After that post-fight interview he definitely got a kiss. Beers tonight.
WINNER: Fusion, KO
THE BIG DILL vs. LOCK-JAW
Forks versus forks. Yet another match where someone’s going 2-0 and someone else is going 1-1, the first participant here is Big Dill who managed to defeat Atom 94 via “special judges’ decision” when the fight was stopped once the two robots became inseparable; Big Dill’s lifting arm throat-fucked Atom 94 so deep that the arena safety crew could not remove the serrated lifting arms from Atom 94’s guts. Both bots were wheeled out of the arena to be more methodically worked on in order to keep production rolling. The last time we saw this was when Quantum got its tooth stuck in Blacksmith. Twice. Big Dill has the muscle to lift an opponent, but only when the leverage is right. If anything might be this robot’s downfall this would be it. Lock-Jaw is not a robot that you want to try and wrangle for perfect leverage with, your lifters should work no matter what angle you get it from.
Lock-Jaw is 1-0 after a KO victory over Captain Shrederator, so allow me to rephrase that and say “Lock-Jaw is 1-0 after just showing up to BattleBots this year”. Armed with some lifting forks of its own, Lock-Jaw’s actual main weapon is a 50 pound spinning mass of steel that in Donald Hutson’s own words is 13 pounds heavier than the weapon he was running in his previous fight. Lock-Jaw might have the spinner, but Big Dill definitely has the reach advantage; if Big Dill can get a perfect slot in on Lock-Jaw the robot might be in trouble, but then again if that happens then Lock-Jaw will also have a perfect clean shot at Big Dill’s lifting mechanism. Don’t do the Atom 94 Throat Fuck move this time, Big Dill.
Big Dill goes for the corner strategy right away: defend a corner and reduce the number of directions your opponent can come at you. It seems there’s a BotKits minibot sitting in the corner that didn’t make it into Big Dill’s starting square. The robot actually just seems dead on arrival. Quality! Big Dill gets ready for an attack and Lock-Jaw is happy to oblige, catching Big Dill by one of its corner plates and tossing the robot backwards. Immediately Lock-Jaw starts smoking, and god damn it that better be smoke from weapon belt friction because if this turns into another goddamned “Lock-Jaw has a shitty weapon and now it’s a push fight where its forks keep getting stuck in the fucking Killsaws” I’m turning this episode off and going back to binge watching Rescue Rangers and drinking. For now Lock-Jaw’s weapon is still spinning, but I’ve got Disney+ open in another tab (no I don’t pay for that either).
Some big blows are landed to Big Dill’s right side but it looks like the shocks from those hits are having more of an effect on Big Dill’s left side because the bigger story here is that the robot has completely lost one side of drive. Lock-Jaw lands a surprisingly bad shot from a shitty angle and flips itself over, but the robot can drive either way up and its weapon is fancy enough to also be reversible. Donald Hutson is still in the zone. Despite having only one wheel working Big Dill keeps aiming its forks at Lock-Jaw’s face and is doing a surprisingly good job of it, though as the hits keep rolling in the toll they’re taking is becoming more and more apparent.
Amazingly Big Dill is able to do the kind of drifting that Bite Force does to feign having full control of its drive system, just not as good. Lock-Jaw slams the robot a second time, very nearly rolling it over, and bends Big Dill’s right lifting fork to such a degree that it’s now useless. The busted drive chain from Big Dill’s left wheel also starts to get ejected from the side of the robot and is visibly dragging on the floor as the robot continues to try and shuffle around. Lock-Jaw’s spinner slows to a halt and when it starts pushing Big Dill around of course one of its forks dips into the Killsaw slots. I’ve already got the Rescue Rangers episode playing on my other monitor, you guys are now fighting for my attention over a cartoon from 1989. Good luck. Did you know Rescue Rangers only lasted one season? I feel like it stuck around for a lot longer than that. Huh.
I almost want to say Big Dill must have four wheels because now that the stuck chain is gone it seems more mobile than it was a few moments ago, but it’s really not able to do much with the fight. Big Dill’s lifting arm has been crippled and when Lock-Jaw shoves the bot into the wall that little curly-cue bend in its right fork gets jammed beautifully under the lip of the spike strip. This is a KO for Lock-Jaw, but since this is directly in front of the drivers’ booth no one can see that Big Dill is stuck. The robot gets knocked loose but is so damaged that the ref starts counting Big Dill out anyways. Again with only two seconds left to spare a robot avoids oblivion when Big Dill skitters across the floor. This is enough to stop the countdown and send the fight to the judges, but it’s obvious who came out on top. (Hint: It’s the robot that likes to cop a feel on the Killsaws.)
WINNER: Lock-Jaw, Judges’ Decision (3-0)
KRAKEN vs. WITCH DOCTOR
Whereas we’ve seen fights between two 1-0 bots, here’s a main event between two robots currently at 0-1. It doesn’t sound like “main event” material until you see who’s participating, and that’s Kraken & Witch Doctor. This is actually Kraken’s first ever appearance in a main event, which sounds incorrect but isn’t. It’s also Kraken’s first time fighting Witch Doctor which again sounds incorrect… but isn’t. Kraken is coming back from a controversial loss to Black Dragon and I’ve already said my piece about that fight but the short of it is Kraken ought to be here at 1-0 because that was Grade A bullshit. At 0-1 a loss here probably means you’re out, so Kraken needs to be bold, bite down on Witch Doctor’s weapon (because let’s be real we know that’s the strategy), and chew it up real good.
Witch Doctor is also 0-1 but that loss came from Hydra so can you really blame the team? That’s a draw no one wants and being the runner-up last season meant that Witch Doctor’s first fight was going to be a doozy, it just so happens they were given “the new hydraulic flipper that went 4-0 in the qualifiers last season”. Witch Doctor was chaos dunked into oblivion and about half way through the fight one of its spinning discs sheared off meaning the whole thing became an unstable smoking mess. Witch Doctor was destined to lose that match but it lasted until the buzzer. It didn’t give Hydra the satisfaction of a win by KO. Nobody has this season, actually. Though it lost, it definitely got its licks in and Team Whyachi had their work cut out for them in the pits repairing the chunks that Witch Doctor tore out of Hydra.
Also is it just me or were Witch Doctor’s discs gray in the tunnel entrance but are green now? Something fucky’s going on. Anyways Kraken goes straight for the weapon on Witch Doctor. I told you. I don’t know what Witch Doctor’s weapons are made from this year but I if I had to bet I’d say “absolute shit” because immediately a tooth breaks off of one of them. The starting clock graphic hasn’t even had a chance to fade out yet and already Witch Doctor is a hobbling shaking mess again. Yeah it’s still got one good tooth, which it uses to absolutely destroy Kraken’s minibot because it got stuck in Kraken’s mouth, but Witch Doctor is looking like Kraken in its match with Black Dragon with just the single tooth now. “Bite bite bite” chants Matt Spurk to the weapon operator of Kraken as the teeth bite down expertly into the mechanism of Witch Doctor preventing its weapon from spinning and allowing Kraken to slam them all over the fucking place.
Discovery thinks now’s a good time for one of their giant banners to appear. This is a goddamned main event fight you shitlords, save your “HEY TELEVISION AS WE KNOW IT IS DYING PLEASE SIGN UP FOR THIS INTERNET STUFF” nonsense for crap like Big Dill vs Lock-Jaw. Early on in the fight Kraken lost its wheelie bar but it doesn’t seem to matter, it’s releasing and biting down on Witch Doctor like a boss and the second bite it lands is impressive to put it lightly. Witch Doctor gets yanked off the ground and each robot only has one side of drive on the floor yet somehow Kraken is able to use Witch Doctor’s own drive system to its advantage and cruise around the box based entirely around what Mike Gellatly is doing with his transmitter. Mike is driving against Kraken’s bite so hard that he’s literally burning rubber; Witch Doctor’s tires are fucking smoking.
That last big bite by Kraken has clipped a belt on Witch Doctor’s weapon, though the bot has three more redundant ones so the weapon isn’t decommissioned just yet. Despite missing a tooth Witch Doctor’s damage output can’t be understated, Kraken’s face is starting to look a little jacked up and its front armor panel is starting to come loose. Its upper internals are starting to become visible and after a well-placed whack the front panel comes away revealing the massive airbag that powers Kraken’s pneumatic biter. What, were you expecting something more complex than that? No, it’s a fucking airbag, that’s what people have been losing to. That’s what single-handedly wrecked Ribbot and ate one of Red Devil’s treads, and that’s what’s currently chewing Witch Doctor to death. An airbag.
Witch Doctor hits Kraken a couple of times and it might look like parts are flying off but those are actually just the decorative stickers that comprise Kraken’s scale-like appearance. No real damage is being done here but it is impressive that Witch Doctor is hitting hard enough to make adhesive fail to the point where stickers just completely pop off like that. Speaking of popping off, this is the most action we’ve seen from Kraken’s minibot in any fight and it’s been a carcass for pretty much all two and a half minutes. This Weekend at Bernies shit is hilarious to watch because Narwhal the minibot just keeps showing up and getting stuck in places it shouldn’t be. Kraken goes for one final major push, bites down on Witch Doctor, and delivers its opponent to a Pulverizer for a smack right down on what’s left of Witch Doctor’s discs.
The fight goes to the judges, and Kraken is vindicated. So much for the 30 second KO that Witch Doctor wanted. At 0-2 I think if Witch Doctor wins its last qualifier it’ll still advance by virtue of being last season’s runner-up, but I’ll be damned if I said this is how I thought Witch Doctor’s season was going to unfold; I had this robot pegged to win the Giant Nut this year.
WINNER: Kraken, Judges’ Decision (3-0)
I’ve gotta be honest, the truncated Fight Night thing is kinda nice. It’s almost like just going back to a regular ass tournament. I feel like trying to do the “four qualifying fights” thing with such a large field of robots made for a season that felt like it took a year to get through. Everybody just kept showing up over and over and over again and I was getting tired of it; it’s amazing what removing one fight has done to make it seem like it goes by a lot faster. I guess that means the format has its flaws, which I’ve been critical of in the past, but at this rate we’re due for the next season to basically be a double elimination tournament and I’d be okay with that; you’d get one fuck up as a competitor. That’s essentially what we’re working with right now because I don’t see too many 1-2 robots making it in unless there’s some fuckery going on.
And let’s talk about potential 1-2 robots. Who would’ve thought that Witch Doctor would be dogging it so badly? At 0-2 I can see an argument for allowing it to advance if it wins fight #3, but only because it was last season’s runner up. Huge is basically out of it. I don’t see the massive robot getting in at 1-2 unless there’s just a shortage of 3-0 and 2-1 robots. It wouldn’t surprise me if there’s some special play-in bout for wayward 1-2 bots kinda like that “last chance rumble” disaster from a few seasons ago. We’ll see how it goes, but I’ve also gotta say I’m not surprised in the slightest that Hydra is 2-0.
In other news, Amazon dropped BattleBots Update as an advertising partner. Apparently this website just doesn’t have the traffic or outreach that Jizz Bizzy demands for his massive conglomerate that acts as a shell for all the nefarious shit he’s probably doing in his underground bunker that we don’t know about. What’s funny is that I got the email from Amazon saying “thanks but we’re terminating your contract” but they seemed content to still run ads on this website, they just weren’t going to pay me for them. That’s peak fucking Amazon right there. Ironically we’re in Google’s good graces again even after I insulted their mother and now we’re getting ads for dog t-shirts and Manscaped, a company who sells products for helping you shave your balls. Word of the wise, if you’re going to actually shave your jangly bits the last thing you want to do is put a tiny little reciprocating blade down there where all your loose skin is. Shave your nuts with a regular goddamned razor like a normal person, or buy something to bite down on and go get waxed. Do not put an electric trimmer anywhere near your twig n’ berries. To steal Manscaped’s own slogan, “your balls will thank you”.
That’s it for this installment. If you enjoyed it and want to defer the costs of running this website that Amazon and Google are failing to support you can do so with a monthly pledge on Patreon, or a one-time donation through Ko-Fi. Big thanks to Danielle and Scorpion for joining the Patreon page! You can also grab a sticker or two from Redbubble. Be sure to follow BattleBots Update on Facebook to keep abreast of pictures of breasts, because that’s what I am posting from now on. It’s to help with the recommendation algorithm.