As of 2024 BattleBots Update no longer runs banner ads; it is supported through community support and crowdfunding. If you enjoy this project and are able please consider backing it on Patreon or Ko-Fi, thanks!

Just one Fight Night episode left!

I’m not a big Zelda guy but if I was I’d probably open this post with a reference to the “Dawn of the Final Day” thing. This is the final week of Fight Nights this season; after this point we move into a single elimination tournament until a champion is crowned! The only thing standing between us and who wins the Giant Nut is this week and four more episodes of the main tournament. It goes without saying that this episode features everyone’s last fights including an explosive main event and a bonus exhibition fight because I guess doing the bracket reveal didn’t pad out the episode enough to make it to 90 minutes.

Lucky is an unlikely 3-0 rolling into this final qualification episode, standing in its way of reaching 4-0 is the nasty Cobalt. Blip and Banshee will have a battle to see which unique flipper style is the best and Monsoon and Deathroll have a battle over commonwealth territories. Tantrum and Whiplash aren’t the main event but this fight has major implications for the reigning champ and the reliable standby as neither one is doing well this year. All eyes are on the main event however where Minotaur and Witch Doctor have an epic rematch to determine once and for all, no bullshit, who won their run-in last season. Also we have an exhibition fight between Slammo and Double Tap so I guess Double Tap will also win two exhibition fights this season.


LUCKY vs. COBALT

LUCKY

TKO Robotics

Weapon: Pneumatic flipping arm

COBALT

Team Carbide / Robotic Death Company

Weapon: Vertical spinning disc

Lucky rips a juicy fart in Cobalt’s face.

Lucky has been pretty hit and miss over the years. Originally debuting as part of the 2016 lineup of robots we’ve seen this robot go through drivers and take years off to refine and rebuild and nothing has really been able to bring out the beast. That was until this year where Lucky has managed to go 3-0 up to this point with two of those wins by KO and the third being a ridiculously one-sided decision. Triton seemed like a bad draw at the start of the season but Lucky was able to tough things out and tip Triton onto its side for a knock out victory. Kraken arrived to its fight with Lucky DOA so Matt Olson got three minutes of driving and flipping practice with Lucky at Kraken’s expense. Finally Lucky met Shreddit Bro and this snoozer of a fight was wrapped up in just a couple of shots as Lucky was able to punt the drum spinner directly behind the screws where Shreddit Bro got trapped and counted out.

Lucky has a 3-0 record so you’d probably think a robot as nightmarishly deadly as Cobalt would also be in that league but you’d be wrong! Cobalt came out swinging against a gameless Deathroll and won by knock out but against Minotaur it was a different story. You could argue that Cobalt was winning the fight overall and should it have gone to a decision Cobalt would have won – and I’d agree with that 100% – but the fight took a bad turn for Cobalt when a stray blow from Minotaur tipped the vertical spinner backwards and onto its lid. Cobalt can “self right” by banging its spinner against the ground but the disc was already slowing down so there wasn’t enough oomph in it to tip the robot forward. Mintoaur won by KO at the last minute. Cobalt dusted itself off and rebounded for another KO win against Overhaul but you’ve gotta think Dave Moulds and John Mladenik have something to prove tonight.

The sudden burst of air even fucked with the thermal cam!

Since Lucky’s weapon runs on compressed air the robot’s chassis takes after the likes of Bronco and Beta and is quite large. That air tank has to fit inside the robot somewhere. I mention the air tank because literally not even two fucking seconds pass in this fight and Cobalt is spinning, underneath Lucky, and landing hits. Cobalt’s first run puts the robot’s disc spinner straight into Lucky’s air tank and I shit you not it sounded like a goddamned bomb went off inside the arena when I saw this live at taping. There are loud hits and then there’s this fucking literal blast; I don’t mince words the last time I said it sounded like a bomb detonated in the arena was when Chrome Fly’s shitty bar spinners shattered and flew straight into the arena walls at god knows how many MPH. Even Kenny Florian is taken aback by the sudden explosion and compares it to that of a cannon.

This singular hit from Cobalt flips Lucky over and blows a massive chunk out of the bottom of the robot. A battery flies out from Lucky’s new asshole and immediately goes up in smoke. You’d think the fight would be over right here but there’s enough air left in Lucky’s two-stage pneumatic system to fire off the arm and put the robot back down onto its wheels. I don’t know why you’d want to get back into this fight after a hit like that but whatever. Lucky is down its right side of drive because that’s the side of the robot that was just subjected to a pressure vessel fucking detonating in close proximity to it. Cobalt goes back on the attack and slices into Lucky’s front end knocking one of its front wedges crooked and taking a bite out of the other. Lucky gets dropped off in the short corner of the arena and has decided to give up the ghost.

I think it’s incredible that Lucky was able to revive itself and continue fighting, as stupid of a choice as that was, but Lucky won’t be reaching the esteemed air of the 4-0 Club this season. At 3-1 it’s gotta be at least a top 16 seed, however.

WINNER: Cobalt, KO


BLIP vs. BANSHEE

BLIP

Team Seems Reasonable

Weapon: Flywheel-powered flipping arm

BANSHEE

Team Small Robots

Weapon: Pneumatic flipping arm

nyoom~~

If I told you Banshee was at 1-2 you’d probably say that… seems reasonable… but if I said the same thing about Blip, who reached the quarterfinals undefeated last season, you’d likely raise an eyebrow. It’s true, though! Blip caught a bad schedule this year likely due to its breakout rookie season last year and it hasn’t had the same level of success that we saw at this point in the season for Blip’s maiden voyage. Former champion End Game was Blip’s first opponent and we all know how expertly End Game manages the ground game in BattleBots. Blip didn’t stand a chance. Huge was an awkward fight because what was there for Blip to do? Roll Huge a million times? Huge’s massive spinning cleaver chopped into Blip’s front wedge and disabled its weapon resulting in a loss by decision. Blip didn’t win its first fight until match #3 when for some reason the “selection committee” decided now was the time to pair up bots from the same team to fight and as a result we had Tantrum versus Blip. Tantrum burned out a side of drive leaving Blip the winner.

Banshee is new this season but its builder David Small is an accomplished master of pneumatics in smaller weight classes. He took everything he knew about ant and beetleweight flippers and funneled it into this massive heavyweight and so far success has been fleeting. Banshee showed some promise against Switchback and by “promise” I really mean “it got one flip” but Switchback caused more damage and won the decision. Banshee managed to defeat Valkyrie by decision only because it flipped Valkyrie – again just once – but Emulsifier proved to be a handful and scraped sparks off of this thing until the clock ran down on the fight. Banshee has no knock out power, hell it barely even has any flipping power for some fucking reason. It’s safe to say the deck is stacked against Banshee in this fight but stranger things have happened this season alone so who knows?

Just pretend something cool is the reason this shot happened.

Both robots sorta scoot out of their squares sizing each other up and testing the waters to see whose front end will prove to be lower. As a matter of fact that’s Blip and its piano key style wedgelets, one of which pops off as Banshee floors it backward to get away from its opponent’s wedge. Banshee looks as though it’s trying to catch Blip from the sides but since Blip can pirouette on a dime it’s unlikely Banshee will ever get its chance. Blip catches Banshee and drives it into the wall where we see the folly of its flipper attachment: it fucking sucks. Seriously I know Aren Hill is like smarter than I am or something but how do you justify sticking a chunk of metal onto your robot’s flipper that just steepens the incline? You’re essentially guaranteeing that nobody will ride up high enough onto the flipper for it to be useful and here’s a demonstration of exactly fucking that. Kenny starts wondering aloud if Aren’s special attachment is hindrance. I know for a fact that I know more about robots than Kenny does so if he’s wondering if the attachment sucks that means it’s really, really obvious.

Blip gets underneath Banshee and tries to run it across the box and into the wall but hits the Killsaw slots on the way over and loses its prey. Blip recovers and continues to smooch on Banshee while Chris Rose says 90 seconds have already passed. That was the fastest 90 seconds I think I’ve ever felt, I bet the editors are cutting out some of this fight and hiding those cuts behind shots of Aren’s face. Kenny says no matter who wins this shit show of a fight they’re going to be at 2-2 so the “selection committee” will have to consider them no matter what. Uh, no dude. That’s not how it works. The “selection committee” operates on arbitrary numbers and meaningless reasoning to justify their seedings and Fight Night match-ups. It’s all smoke and mirrors. Kenny just can’t say that to the viewers, but I sure as hell can.

Despite having an attachment that wound up preventing exactly this Blip prevailed.

Banshee gets underneath Blip for a moment but doesn’t fire off its flipper for some reason. As that opportunity passes by Blip slams Banshee into the front of the drivers’ booth and finally we see some fucking action for once in this miserable fight. Banshee manages to ride past the speed bump on Blip’s wedge and the robot is flipped up into the wall taking down one of the blank sides of the BattleBots sign in the process. Chris does not continue the running gag of saying that’s coming out of Kenny’s paycheck. Maybe he’s forgotten. Banshee is on its lid and since it’s a flipper you know this thing can self right but its flipper is suspiciously quiet. Is it not even on? Like did the team just not put any goddamned air into the tank? Banshee’s been fighting as a shitty ram bot this entire time and we’re just now finding out? Is David Small trying to speedrun not getting invited back to BattleBots next season? Banshee gets tossed another couple of times before landing on its wheels to go back to doing fucking nothing.

Blip chases Banshee down and in the last 20 seconds of this fight gets in a few more flips including one that heaves Banshee across the box. Banshee ends the fight right ways up so it’s not a knock out but if you think Banshee even remotely stands a chance at winning this fight you need to get your head checked out.

WINNER: Blip, Judges’ Decision (3-0)


MONSOON vs. DEATHROLL

MONSOON

Team Monsoon

Weapon: Vertical spinning blade

DEATHROLL

Team Deathroll

Weapon: Vertical spinning disc

Well that was a fast three seconds.

I like Monsoon because I like Tom Brewster, its designer and driver. I remember back in the halcyon days of the Robot Wars reboot when Tom built his first heavyweight robot on his own with the meager savings he accrued from testing video games. Living the fucking dream right there. Monsoon is an evolution of Tom’s Robot Wars competitor and it’s definitely on the right path but this season has been rocky for the team. Monsoon was likely set to win a decision over Black Dragon until a chunk of some shit in the arena found its way into Monsoon’s weapon system and disabled it leaving it wide open to attack. Monsoon rebounded and scored a brutal KO win over Horizon but let’s be real here that’s not all that impressive. Monsoon held its own against Whiplash in an intense back and forth fight but ultimately based on control of the fight the judges sided with Whiplash. Tom appealed the decision but the appeal was a failure. Can’t fault him for trying though, that’s what the option is there for.

Deathroll is a powerhouse, a compact little machine with a big ass blade powered by the same motor behind greats like Bite Force and Nightmare. Deathroll hasn’t been around since 2019 when it reached the semifinals and I was all fucking there for it. I was holding up Deathroll signs and I even borrowed the “DEATHROLL” letters from the team to hold up in the audience. I stan Deathroll, and this season Deathroll has had a good showing. Deathroll had a bad opening draw against Cobalt and wound up losing by KO but Deathroll came back in a big way by scoring a KO win over Switchback and another KO win over Mammoth. The robot might not look as goofy as it did back in 2016 with an articulated crocodile tail and all that but this robot still has a place in my scaly heart and the little plush that the team hits the “ready” button with is still just as unnerving to me as it was the day I first laid eyes on it.

I don’t know how Steve Irwin would describe this scene but I bet it would involve the word “Sheila”.

Deathroll is all about the opening charge and you can see this in action as the robot floors it forward and worries about course correcting later. Monsoon jukes to the side and as Deathroll whips around to face its opponent Monsoon clips Deathroll, tips it up, and then gets a follow-up hit onto Deathroll’s back right corner that I think bends the armor or baseplate in such a way as to raise Deathroll’s wheels off the ground? It’s hard to say because the hits all take place in the span of literally one fucking second but Deathroll comes out of this exchange a lot worse for wear. Monsoon has managed to back the crocodile into a corner (which is probably something Steve Irwin would say to never do) and has to engage because according to the new rules Deathroll is still alive. Monsoon creeps in for a couple of glancing hits and manages to connect with Deathroll’s left side. I can see the wheels still turning but Deathroll ceases to move. Either it’s caught on the lip of the arena rails or that second run by Monsoon bent something else. Tim Rackley haunts the audience holding the Union Jack.

A poor showing for Deathroll however both of these robots finish the qualifiers with a record of 2-2 so we’ll more than likely be seeing them again. All four of their combined wins were by relatively quick KO’s so I’d say their seedings will probably be pretty close.

WINNER: Monsoon, KO


TANTRUM vs. WHIPLASH

TANTRUM

Team Seems Reasonable

Weapon: Vertical spinning disc on sliding track

WHIPLASH

Team Fast Electric Robots

Weapon: Lifting arm with vertical spinning disc

Whiplash’s wheels are solid rubber so good luck damaging them, Tantrum.

This next fight has main event energy even if both robots are 1-2. Also the fact that both of these robots are 1-2 is proof for just how fast the sport evolves and changes because the first robot introduced is Tantrum, the current reigning champion. Tantrum was given a tough schedule of robots to fight and in round one Minotaur socked it in the face and killed it; Tantrum’s self righting mechanism failed leaving the robot KO’d on its back. Tantrum also had a fight against teammate Blip in a dumb “match made for ratings” spat and Tantrum immediately blew a side of drive leaving it wide open to attacks from Blip for another loss. Tantrum’s real shining moment this year was its rematch with Hydra where it definitively proved that last year’s controversial judges’ decision victory was indeed correct; Tantrum doubled down and defeated Hydra a second time putting the arguments to rest. Except that’s not what happened at all because people still bitch about that fight to this very day.

The other 1-2 contender in this fight is the 2020 runner-up Whiplash. Originally an alternate under the name Splatter many many years ago BattleBots took a chance on this machine and it’s paid off in spades because win or lose Whiplash has some of the most action packed fights the show has ever seen. Whiplash lost in round one to Mad Catter when Mad Catter’s expert driving put its weapon right up Whiplash’s ass and literally wrecked the entire frame prompting a complete rebuild in the pits… just in time for Hypershock to slice the robot up and knock its batteries loose. Whiplash wasn’t down for long though because it toughed it out in a real slam fest with Monsoon where it narrowly won the decision, one that survived an attempted appeal from Monsoon at that. One of these greats is going to fall to 1-3 and at that point you have to wonder if the loser will even make it into the tournament.

All this from that dinky little spinner?

I don’t know what Tantrum’s strategy is for this fight because it looks like it goes for some kind of weird fake out where it charges and then doubles back to try and scoop up around Whiplash. If this were a football play I’m certain the diagram would look like a bunch of X’s and O’s and arrows pointing to shit that I just don’t understand. That’s football math. Fuck that. Tantrum’s plan either works or it stumbles into an opening because it forks up Whiplash and takes it into the wall. Whiplash gets away and goes for a charge of its own but misses allowing Tantrum to catch it a second time and throw a punch with its retractable spinning disc. So far I give the slight edge to Tantrum. Whiplash gets away into the center of the arena with Tantrum in pursuit until the champion breaks away to try and get some space to line up another run. Instead it drifts into the side of the Upper Deck. Real smooth.

Whiplash fills its Special Gauge by performing a taunt.

Whiplash is able to use its forks to get underneath Tantrum and push it over near the screws. You can see faint orange sparks flying off of Whiplash’s disc as it barely scrapes Tantrum looking for purchase. Whiplash eventually gets the angle it needs and Tantrum is tossed up and onto its back… where its srimech doesn’t fucking work. It’s not like the Minotaur fight where the device took a straight shot from a massive spinning drum, this time it just doesn’t work at all. Whiplash has this in the bag and positions itself to threaten a “backhand” attack from its spinner directly onto Tantrum’s no-no zone. I want to see the hit but Matt Vasquez knows not to hit an opponent when they are out so instead we just get the threat of castration and none of the action.

Whiplash is a strong 2-2 with a win over the reigning champion. That shit’s not easy. But at 1-3 I’ve gotta wonder what Tantrum’s place in the brackets will be. I mean it’s the current champ so even with one win you just know the “selection committee” is going to fudge the numbers and let Tantrum in the bigger question is where?

WINNER: Whiplash, KO


HIJINX vs. SWITCHBACK

HIJINX

Offbeat Robotics

Weapon: Horizontal spinning blade

SWITCHBACK

Team Midnight Invention

Weapon: Vertical spinning drum on articulated arm

Oh look, Hijinx pinned against the wall and flipped over. What a surprise.

We’re at the penultimate qualifier fight! (The next fight is an exhibition so it doesn’t count.) I could not have picked two worse robots to build up the anticipation if I tried. Hijinx has somehow qualified for the main tournament in both of its previous seasons. It was a low seed, but still. Hijinx is a robot that should do well considering it’s a big ass horizontal spinner that covers a lot of ground but its bar just leaves a lot to be desired. It defeated Big Dill only because Big Dill spontaneously caught fire and died; I could’ve seen that fight going way differently. Hijinx also managed to lose to Captain Shrederator which I believe according to the new rules this season warrants an automatic disqualification from the Round of 32. Finally this robot was paired up with Ripperoni and I’m just impressed Hijinx’s crew has put this thing back together because we haven’t seen a dismantling like that since the time Sawblaze chopped this thing up last year.

Switchback is 2-1 right now but don’t let Hijinx fool you into thinking this robot is going to make a strong case for seeding at 3-1 because Switchback’s season has sucked out loud. Switchback fought Banshee and won solely because Banshee didn’t operate as expected and Switchback was able to grind off some sparks to get the win on damage points. Deathroll of course stomped this machine out as I mentioned earlier in the article. Switchback defeated Ominous but that was largely because Ominous killed itself. Ominous was actually doing real damage for once and managed to tear off Switchback’s leading front plow but a power shot from the Dutch spinner wound up flipping it over and its self righter didn’t work leaving Switchback as the winner. I know Hijinx might as well be automatic points but I’ve gotta say these two robots are from the same tier so technically it’s anyone’s game.

JESUS DICK

Hijinx starts spinning its bar up to speed however in the time it takes the robot to turn around to lead in with its rear tail Switchback has already floored it across the box and rammed itself firmly up the owl’s backside and stopped the bar. Hijinx gets trapped on Switchback’s plow and since the robot has zero pushing power it’s taken for a ride into the spike strip where Switchback is able to pop the robot upside down. Now Hijinx’s blade is spinning at a much higher level meaning it could very well kink Switchback’s drum if Switchback isn’t careful. Switchback doesn’t give a fuck and cruises on in hitting Hijinx’s bar and stopping it once more.

Hijinx starts spinning its blade up to a really fucking dangerous speed so fast that it starts rocking as it moves. Switchback peels one of the little stars off of Hijinx’s wheels as it looks for an opening and then out of fucking nowhere Switchback gets some huge balls as it connects with Hijinx’s blade and its drum literally blows the entire goddamned thing off. The bar and its whole ass shaft come loose and land in the center of the arena while Hijinx itself is stuck on one of the entrance doors where the robots are loaded in. This is literally the hit of Switchback’s fucking career because I genuinely didn’t think this robot had knock out power like that. I was expecting this to be another piss break fight but I’ll be damned if Switchback didn’t just make a believer out of me. Still, two lame wins and one good win might not be worth a high seed but if this is the kind of magic that Switchback can pull out of thin air then sign me the fuck up!

WINNER: Switchback, KO


EXHIBITION FIGHT
SLAMMO vs. DOUBLE TAP

SLAMMO

Team Danby

Weapon: Grappling/lifting arms

DOUBLE TAP

Ostrich Air

Weapon: Horizontal spinning blade

I promise you nothing exciting is happening here.

We can’t just dive into the main event just yet, there’s some unfinished business to attend to. Throughout the season we’ve seen glimpses into the possible competitors of tomorrow in the form of exhibition battles. We’ve seen the likes of Doomba, Terrortops, and Dragon King. Now it’s time to set up for one last demo fight this time featuring Slammo and Double Tap. Slammo was formerly a full competitor in seasons past but it never quite lived up to its potential. This is because Craig Danby built this robot and for some weird reason the minute a camera is pointed at anything he’s built it fails. I can’t explain it. It’s fucking insane but it’s true. The man has been involved with robot combat for something like two decades and he’s been on the verge of something great the whole time. Slammo was relegated to an exhibition bot to re-prove itself and in its first battle against Terrortops it lost when its drive crapped out and its grappling arms couldn’t help it self right. Like I said, everything fails.

Double Tap looks like some kind of PS1 nightmare with how many polygons its outer armor shell has. This robot was engineered by a bunch of drone pilots and has a million sponsors. I just don’t understand how all the best brains and Silicon Valley money wind up producing a shittier version of Ghost Raptor but whatever. It wins fights, though its opening battle was against Doomba so that was basically a win on a silver platter. The team tried to congratulate Doomba for bringing a fierce robot but the best they could show off to demonstrate their destructive capabilities was a single dent that Doomba had carved into Double Tap’s front bumper. We get it it’s good sportsmanship to always thank and build up your opponents but there’s gotta be a fucking limit. “They brought a shitty joke bot into the arena and our over-engineered piece of crap wrecked it.” There, just say that.

Here, have that same lift from a different angle!

Slammo makes a run at Double Tap but goes wide and misses. Meanwhile Double Tap starts revving its blade up and hooks it around one of Slammo’s grappling arms and spins itself out. Double Tap gets going and its blade looks nasty but the robot seems out of control. It puts itself into the goddamned wall expending all of that energy into the arena and wasting it. Slammo takes advantage of the situation and drifts on it to catch Double Tap however Double Tap is so fucking massive that Slammo can’t get good leverage to try and do a suplex move. Slammo tries multiple times and ultimately Double Tap gets away and starts spinning back up to speed. Double Tap starts widely circling Slammo before closing in for an attack. Slammo grapples and lets go and then we discover Slammo’s lost a side of drive. Great. Double Tap’s weapon is spinning slower and slower with each successive hit and now Slammo can barely move. I was wrong about Switchback and Hijinx, this must be the piss break fight.

This fight is going south fast so the editors do what they did with Ominous’ miserable win against Shreddit Bro: promote other things. Up first is footage of Minotaur and Witch Doctor queuing up in the entrance tunnel, then a plug for the bracket reveal at the end of the episode, and then Kenny breaks down his meaningless odds to win the fucking Giant Nut. What’s crazy is while this is going on you’re sincerely not missing anything in the fight; Slammo is drifting around trying to approach Double Tap while Double Tap’s weapon is barely fucking spinning and the robot seems to be intentionally avoiding contact. Eventually Double Tap starts acting like it wants to win the fight and rams into Slammo a couple of times before the fight ends. This fight is such a disaster that they don’t even bother showing who wins the match, Chris Rose just says “oh it was Double Tap” after the show returns from a commercial break. Literally blink and you miss it shit.

WINNER: Double Tap, Judges’ Decision (3-0)


MAIN EVENT
MINOTAUR vs. WITCH DOCTOR

MINOTAUR

Team RioBotz

Weapon: Vertical spinning drum

WITCH DOCTOR

Team Witch Doctor

Weapon: Vertical spinning disc

I kinda wanted to see Minotaur rip a whole fucking wheel off.

Well, this is it. Fight #100. The final qualification round battle and it’s a rematch between two robots whose previous fight was mired with controversy. I’m surprised Chris Rose mentioned Reddit by name when he talked about the fans’ reaction to the match. It was a fucking shit show. Armchair engineers who think they know their shit took to Reddit and rained hell down upon the community. Facebook wasn’t spared either but no one likes Facebook so who cares. Minotaur comes out first and is 3-0 after knocking out the reigning champion in its first match, dismantling Free Shipping in its second, and narrowly avoiding disaster against Cobalt when a stray blow tipped the deadly spinner onto its back. Minotaur is the real deal and this match will definitely be heated.

I don’t know who I want to win this fight because it’s between two robots that I’d pegged as winners of the Giant Nut this season. When people would ask me at taping I’d always say “I want Witch Doctor to win but I think Minotaur will actually win.” And now those two robots are fighting in this next battle! Witch Doctor has also had a tough path to make it this far being paired up with Ribbot in round one. Ribbot hits hard, but Witch Doctor hits harder and was able to take out the frog in a KO win. Fusion proved to be on another level this year and Witch Doctor very narrowly lost the decision until Fusion lost a side of drive and that sealed the robot’s fate. Witch Doctor had an easier time against Gruff and turned that thing into a fucking fireball but that fight was just the underhanded pitch before the real one.

*teleports behind you* nothin personnel kid

Witch Doctor and Minotaur both emerge from their squares a little hesitant as if they’re still sizing each other up. Both robots have their weapons going at top speed by the time contact is initiated and it’s Minotaur who catches the upper hand by somehow getting directly under Witch Doctor and then pinning it against the rails where it starts chewing up its left front wheel and left side armor. Seriously, take a look at Witch Doctor’s left side when Minotaur is done, that metal is just gone. Witch Doctor is wearing a couple of front forks for this fight to help it get better leverage on Minotaur so you know Mike and Andrea are taking this fight seriously, they never whip out the forks unless it’s an emergency. And now Minotaur has taken those forks and stabbed Witch Doctor’s fucking eyes out because both have been torn off and cast aside. It’s not much but it’s damage and I have a feeling this fight’s going to come down to little things like that.

Minotaur backs off and spins up as Witch Doctor puts some distance between it and its opponent. Minotaur is coming around from the blue square but out of nowhere Witch Doctor just sorta appears and T-bones Minotaur dead on with its spinning disc throwing Minotaur all the way across the fucking box into the Upper Deck’s short corner. Witch Doctor tries to get in there for a follow-up blow but Minotaur is able to twist and get away and flee into the center of the box where it does its signature gyro move to flip itself back over. Witch Doctor is in pursuit and lands another big blow that flips Minotaur over a second time. The hit sends both robots reeling and Witch Doctor lands on one of its twisted up forks from earlier in the fight. Marco on the Minotaur team starts saying something in Portuguese to Daniel and my guess is it’s something along the lines of “they’re stuck on their own trash get in there and stuff their balls down their own throat”.

oh shit witch doctor going for the ramba tamba

Chris and Kenny think there’s something wrong with Witch Doctor’s right front tire but I think they’re just making shit up. Witch Doctor is definitely driving like something is amiss but I have no idea what it is and neither do the hosts. Minotaur’s drum spins down as the two robots lock heads. Witch Doctor’s weapon starts smoking itself out so the team cuts power to it to avoid a bigger smoke cloud or even worse a potential fire. Get a load of this, Minotaur has just two wheels while Witch Doctor is a four wheel drive machine. Who do you think wins in a tractor pulling contest? I bet you were wrong, it’s Minotaur. Witch Doctor is shoved all the way back against the drivers’ deck as Minotaur pins its opponent for the maximum allotted time to both take a breather and to also score some control points. The pin is finally released and as Witch Doctor gets free it tries to spin its disc back up and immediately the robot starts smoking again so yeah that thing is fucking toast.

Minotaur’s drum is also worn down as well and as Witch Doctor drifts into another ram Minotaur pins it back against the same spot it was in a second ago. When the pin breaks this time Minotaur looks to be down a side of drive; it’s left wheel is no longer powered leaving it to coast and drift around while Witch Doctor gets away to line up rams and pot shots. Not much else happens in the last minute of this battle since it’s turned into a cripple fight but the major takeaway is how cleverly Minotaur spins its drum just a little bit once the fight ends to demonstrate to the judges that the weapon still technically “works”. Witch Doctor appears to try to do the same thing because just before the buzzer you can see another puff of smoke come out of the robot’s lid so Minotaur successfully makes a case for itself while it backfires for Witch Doctor. That moment proves to be decisive because Minotaur is declared the winner by unanimous decision.

I think this was close enough to be a split decision, really. Witch Doctor landed the bigger hits of the fight but I think Minotaur did the most damage and arguably showed more control of the fight with its pins and ability to push Witch Doctor across the floor. I’m not disappointed in the outcome and I’m not upset. This is the fight we should have had last season but the rules were imperfect. Hopefully the debate has been settled, but let’s be real here we know how autistic this community is so the debate will never be settled.

WINNER: Minotaur, Judges’ Decision (3-0)


TOURNAMENT PREDICTIONS

Ginger looking at Alex like he just accidentally said a slur or something.

Now that Fight Night is officially behind us it’s time to look toward the main tournament which starts immediately in the next episode. Two episodes each showing one half of the Round of 32, then one for the Round of 16, and then one final last hurrah for the quarterfinals onto the championship.

Chris and Kenny reveal the top seeds for the tournament and it always kind of pisses me off that the robots that go 4-0 sometimes lose out to robots that are 3-1 just because those robots are more popular or whatever the fuck. Personally I’m of the volition that sheer numbers are what matters so I don’t do this “pedigree” bullshit but I know that’s what the people who do the rankings take into consideration so I wind up leaning toward that kind of speculation when I write these posts. I’ll just say it for the record here but Quantum and Huge deserve better than 5th and 6th place. They went undefeated for fuck’s sake! Also Riptide at #2 when all of its fights were by knock out in less than a minute while Minotaur gets the coveted #1 spot even though it had a near loss to Cobalt? Fuck off with that crap.

Anyways the brackets were revealed and I know you all are just clamoring to hear my predictions so here’s my filled out bracket along with a very brief breakdown of each fight.

  • (32) Minotaur vs. Fusion: Minotaur’s got the bigger drum and I just see Fusion getting popped to the moon. Minotaur by KO.

  • (32) Switchback vs. Malice: If Switchback can pull off another hit like we saw this week then it’ll win this hands down. Switchback by JD.

  • (32) Sawblaze vs. Blip: Sawblaze is weak to flippers but we already know it has a legendary ground game. Sawblaze by JD.

  • (32) Cobalt vs. Monsoon: Cobalt is just too angular for Monsoon to get the hits it needs, I expect lots of ricochets from Monsoon. Cobalt by JD.

  • (32) Hydra vs. Deathroll: I love Deathroll but this is a matter of all ground game versus no ground game. Hydra by JD.

  • (32) Beta vs. Whiplash: Beta is on a roll this season but Whiplash will likely have the advantage in control and weaponry. Whiplash by JD.

  • (32) Quantum vs. Ribbot: No matter which weapon Ribbot goes with I feel like Quantum will be able to take it and bite through Ribbot’s armor, maybe get a wheel. Quantum by JD.

  • (32) Ripperoni vs. Black Dragon: I expect Black Dragon to come back with a vengeance and Ripperoni is too squirrely to keep up. Black Dragon by JD.

  • (32) Riptide vs. Shatter: Sorry Shatter but we all know how this rematch is going to go. Riptide by KO.

  • (32): Lucky vs. Hypershock: I like Lucky this season but Hypershock will be able to run circles around it and probably damage its wheels. Hypershock by JD.

  • (32) End Game vs. Tantrum: Two former champs going at it. End Game will use some wacky forks to get under Tantrum and stay on it the whole fight. End Game by JD.

  • (32) Copperhead vs. Rotator: Copperhead has the more powerful weapon and I believe will pop Rotator up and over multiple times. Copperhead by JD.

  • (32) Witch Doctor vs. Jackpot: Jackpot’s having a rough one this year and it’s about to get worse because Witch Doctor will definitely trump it. Witch Doctor by KO.

  • (32) Lock-Jaw vs. Bloodsport: I know Lock-Jaw won this fight once before but I feel the new Bloodsport will get Lock-Jaw’s tires to pull ahead on damage. Bloodsport by JD.

  • (32) Huge vs. Skorpios: All of Skorpios’ weapon belts and chains are right there for Huge to hit. It’s free real estate. Huge by KO.

  • (32) Claw Viper vs. Mad Catter: I know Claw Viper is in the middle of a breakout year but it’s vulnerable to vertical spinners and Mad Catter will win the ground game. Mad Catter by JD.

  • (16) Minotaur vs. Switchback: Switchback will not stand a chance against the bigger and more powerful drum of Minotaur. Minotaur by KO.

  • (16) Sawblaze vs. Cobalt: This fight will come down to control as Jamison will use his hammer saw sparingly to avoid contact with Cobalt’s disc. Sawblaze by JD.

  • (16) Hydra vs. Whiplash: The closest fight in the predictions so far. Whiplash will get under Hydra but Hydra will deliver more flips and be the aggressor while doing so. Hydra by split JD.

  • (16) Quantum vs. Black Dragon: A rematch from this season. Black Dragon will try to move differently this time around but Quantum will still catch it and give it the bite. Quantum by JD.

  • (16) Riptide vs. Hypershock: Hypershock has all these big ass wheels and Riptide loves to hit shit like that. Riptide by KO.

  • (16) End Game vs. Copperhead: End Game will get underneath Copperhead and deliver an uppercut that flips Copperhead over so violently that Copperhead will disable its own drive. End Game by KO.

  • (16) Witch Doctor vs. Bloodsport: Bloodsport will try to keep its distance until it’s spun up but Witch Doctor will not allow this to happen. Witch Doctor by JD.

  • (16) Huge vs. Mad Catter: Again there’s an awful lot of juicy bits on top of Mad Catter for Huge to hit. I expect a disabled weapon. Huge by JD.

  • (QF) Mintoaur vs. Sawblaze: The same thing will happen the last time these two fought; Sawblaze will scoop up Minotaur and hammer it with its disc. Maybe no smoke this time though. Sawblaze by JD.

  • (QF) Hydra vs. Quantum: Quantum is impressive and it can self right but it’s slow to do so and Hydra will be all over it for the full three minutes. Hydra by JD.

  • (QF) Riptide vs. End Game: In case you’re wondering who’s going to make Ethan stop screaming “LET’S GO” it’ll be End Game. End Game by KO.

  • (QF) Witch Doctor vs. Huge: Huge will try to hit Witch Doctor’s top parts but Witch Doctor will avoid the attacks and do damage to Huge’s wheels. Witch Doctor by split JD.

  • (SF) Sawblaze vs. Hydra: Another rematch! We know Hydra has the better ground game, Sawblaze will try to go lower and wind up hurting its maneuverability. Hydra by JD.

  • (SF) End Game vs. Witch Doctor: A similar end as to the last time these two fought; End Game will use its goofy forks to control Witch Doctor and tear its plows off. End Game by KO.

  • (FINAL) Hydra vs. End Game: End Game will go too far with its forks out of nervousness and will choke in the final. Hydra will be the aggressor. Hydra by JD.

IF YOU SMELLLL-LL-LL-LL-LL

Whew, there. That’s a lot of writing but those are my predictions for the tournament! I’m predicting End Game to return to the championship only to meet Hydra who’s been staying the course the whole time. End Game will try to pull a fast one with some dumb fork setup similar to what we saw in its Ripperoni fight. The team will be too anxious to fuck up in the finals that they will do themselves in with ridiculous attachments. This is Jake Ewert’s year, he’s going to get his own banner in the rafters for next season’s show. Just you watch.

That’s it for BattleBots Update this week! Next week we kick off the Round of 32 and it’s single elimination from here on out; lose and that’s it. There’s no schedule on the BattleBots website to go by so I can’t tell you who’s fighting next week but it’ll be one half of the brackets. Or maybe it’ll be an assortment of fights from both sides, I really don’t know. I do know that so far the editors have only been able to fit seven fights per episode and half of the Round of 32 is eight fights. If they cut out some of the main event fluff, because I don’t think there’s “main events” in a tournament setting, they should be able to cram an eighth fight in there.

I can feel the end of the season approaching. I am going to take a break, haha. But I’m committed to finishing this season on schedule so there’s a few more weeks of work ahead. I can’t believe it’s tournament time! Actually scratch that, I definitely can. It feels like I’ve been writing these Fight Night articles for an eternity. This blog is primarily supported by the robot combat community. If you’d like to help out you can make a monthly pledge on Patreon or contribute a one-time donation with Ko-Fi. Be sure to follow BattleBots Update on Facebook for everything else!

See you next week!

– Draco