[BattleBots: S7 E4 is available online through ABC GO and Hulu.]
You may have noticed that today’s Update is a little bit later than the ones from previous weeks. That’s because America beckoned for me to come celebrate freedom on July 4th and I heeded the call… which required me to fly to Washington and set off fireworks that I bought from an Indian reservation. Also, I went to a massive party thrown at some property owned by Bill Gates but it was a bust because everything tried to update to Windows 10 and broke. Anyways that’s enough of that. Last week on BattleBots we wrapped up the qualification round and found out who the 8 wildcards are. Allegedly there are some people still salty about Disk O’Inferno getting snubbed. We call these people “autists”. This week, the Round of 32 is officially underway; it’s all single-elimination from this point onward meaning if you fuck up here you’re out for good. No more wildcards. If you die in the game you die for real.
Chris Rose brings up the robot seeding since he’s the commentator who supposedly knows a thing or two about sports, and also because Kenny Florian is the one who gets paid every time he punches a dude in the head while wearing MMA shorts with a Mountain Dew logo over his dick. Much like last season the wildcards have somehow managed to get seeded higher than the bottom eight. Remember, these are robots who fucking lost their first rounds and only made it back in the tournament because of a “spirited performance”. It was funny when Radioactive came back in at the bottom of the seeds to face Tombstone, but it’s kind of fucked up that Escape Velocity is the competitor that gets fucked over by the 32nd seed this time around. Escape Velocity won its first match by a goddamned knock out; Radioactive had to win by a judges’ decision because their opponent forgot how to build a weapon. Somehow, despite this, Escape Velocity’s win translates into “fodder for Tombstone to eventually devour”. I’m not trying to say this is the fault of the producers, but this is definitely the fault of the producers.
Chrome Fly is seeded higher than Escape Velocity, by the way. Chrome “we built our weapons out of fucking styrofoam so they blew up in a single hit and required us to awkwardly bump into a stupid beaver robot for three goddamned minutes instead” Fly.
I get that Tombstone is ranked #1 “because it’s Tombstone”, however in its first match against Black Ice all that really happened was Tombstone hit it a couple of times and disabled it. There wasn’t some outrageous flexing of muscles and might that earned Ray his top billings. Compare Tombstone to Ringmaster, the 29th seed, who basically got a free win against Ultimo Destructo by hitting it a couple of times and that’s it, or Poison Arrow who absolutely wrecked Mega Tento and still barely broke the 30’s. Basically, what I am trying to say here is that if you came in ranked below Chomp you might as well kill yourselves.
YETI vs. LUCKY
Yeti enters this fight with the right to brag that it’s not a wildcard, and its 12th seed reflects that. Remember, Yeti wasn’t even an official entry at this event; the team only made it in because someone else fucked up and had to drop out. With something to prove, Yeti took to Lock-Jaw’s face last round and pretty much ripped it apart at the cost of its weapon drum. Gregory Gibson, Yeti’s builder, talked about his design philosophy last week where he’s all about doing as much damage as possible regardless of consequence. It is for this reason why this man, in all of his seemingly infinite wisdom, neglected to bring spares of fucking anything. After smoking Lock-Jaw in the arena Greg called up one of his teammates and said what I’d imagine was “hey you know the drum that I said we only needed one of… yeah, about that… we need another one, so if you could make one and overnight to us it would be super… dude, fuck Game of Thrones we need another drum, your medieval dickwaving show can wait”. Additionally, because they didn’t have any spare tires either, they bought some used wheels from Bronco. Used wheels. Is this a BattleBot or a beaten up Volvo you dumbasses bought off of Craigslist?
Rob Masek, who is absolutely not a Canadian, brought Lucky — the pride of Canada — to BattleBots this year. Known elsewhere as Son of Ziggy, Lucky sports a four bar-style lifting arm which allowed the robot to get a quick knock out in its previous match. Just kidding, Lucky lost big time to Beta after getting hammered in the ass harder than Jared Fogle in prison. Truthfully this was a very close match, which the judges/producers/Jesus agreed with, so Lucky was… lucky… enough to be graced with a wildcard and a seed of 21st. Shoutouts to the editors for making Rob’s “CANADA!” exclamation a thing, and shoutouts to Chris Rose for calling bullshit on Rob’s nationality immediately. In its previous match against Beta, Lucky entered the arena sporting some additional shock-resistant armor; this armor has been removed for its fight against Yeti and replaced with a more normal-looking front wedge. Rob claims Yeti’s ground clearance of almost three inches will prove to be its downfall in this fight. Sure, small animals can take refuge under Yeti, but even if you toss it over it can still drive around. Greg already thought of that, dude.
Yeti’s first order of business is to use its juicy wheels to ride up atop Lucky and start throwing sparks off of its head. Chris, trying to connect with the MMA background of his co-host, asks if this is a “ju-jitsu” move. Kenny says no while resisting the urge to sock this man right in the face. Lucky fires its flipper once, misses, and its arm gets stuck in the upright position. Again. Rob Masek gives his insight to Gary Gin, Lucky’s driver, by screaming “drive it like you stole it” into his ear. Much like what happened last week, Rob’s strategy is to just copy what his opponent is doing, because Gregory is absolutely driving Yeti like he paid for the extra insurance on a shitty rental car. A rental car that doesn’t come with spare parts. Yeti unfurls its lifting spikes and charges at Lucky, missing with the spikes but slashing its opponent hard enough with its drum to rip a fucking wheel off of itself. Somewhere in the pits
Alex Xander and Reason from Inertia Labs are laughing amongst themselves over what suckers the Yeti team is while eating pizza from one of the food trucks outside that they bought with Greg’s money.
Chris starts freaking out. In order to send this man into another dimension, Yeti responds to its missing tire by driving atop Lucky and clipping its entire flipping arm clean off and throwing it into the screws. Speaking of the arena hazards, Lucky takes a shot from the Killsaws. We’re only four episodes into this season, glad to see the saws are finally making their presence known. I’m sure we won’t see them again for another three weeks. For a robot that’s missing a tire Yeti sure as shit is as deadly as ever and pops Lucky across the logo on the arena floor with another solid hit from its weapon. Lucky is now visibly broken; it’s missing part of its armor where its power switches are sitting, its drive system appears to be all kinds of fucked up, and yet Rob still says “we can brush that off in the pits”. Hi Rob, your robot is missing its primary weapon. PS: You’re not a Canadian.
Meanwhile over on Yeti’s team Gregory’s partner is providing a much more insightful strategy of “just go get them”. Greg obliges and barely taps Lucky, killing it. Yeti dances in the middle of the arena as Lucky’s fate is sealed, sending Rob back to not-Canada in the process. Ironically, Yeti hails from Alaska which is “basically Canada” anyways.
WINNER: Yeti, KO
MINOTAUR vs. BLACKSMITH
While discussing the combatants in this match Kenny describes Minotaur’s weapon as something that looks for the “knockout blow”. He couldn’t be any more correct than that, because that’s exactly what we saw from this beast in its fight against Photon Storm. Minotaur managed to pluck the feathers from the sides of Photon Storm with some light hits, but what it really needed was the one blow that fucked Photon Storm’s frame to hell, sent the robot flying through the air, and absolutely ruined its entire hydraulic system. Again, in a single blow. Minotaur’s builder Marco Meggiolaro showed off some titanium plating in the pits that they’re using against Blacksmith for this match as well as what appear to be the world’s largest flat head screwdriver bits in order to trump Blacksmith’s front wedge. Sure, that’ll work I guess. After all, he’s the guy who “wrote the book” on robot combat. I’m really glad Chris and Kenny aren’t making book gags again.
Blacksmith has already fought long and hard to make it this far. After debuting in The Gears Awaken, where Blacksmith completely wrecked Basilisk and Gemini, the robot moved on to battle Bronco and ultimately lost, but not after giving Inertia Labs a run for their money. Armed with the famed “Big Time Hammer”, Blacksmith’s weapon shoots fire. Just because. The hammer was destroyed in its match against Bronco, however builder Al Kindle was quick to thank (and namedrop) Lincoln Electric for welding it back together for them “stronger than before”. He’s also really caught up on some nonsense about New Jersey and how they do things differently where he comes from. I don’t get it, Al. All I know about New Jersey is that both Jersey Shore and Aqua Teen Hunger Force take place there; between those two shows all I know about your state is that it’s inhabited by human cancer and food aliens. At least Al’s proud of his state, though. If he were Lucky’s builder we’d be hearing about how nice it is in Greenland or some shit.
The commentators are spending a copious amount of time building these two robots up as epic contenders. Neither one is going to back down. “They might as well fight in a phone booth,” Kenny says. I agree. There are more hazards in a phone booth.
This fight has an amazing start. That’s not even sarcasm. Blacksmith and Minotaur literally feel each other out for a few seconds before speeding around one another trying to find an opening. Holy shit, get these men a phone booth, stat. For the first few moments of this fight Blacksmith’s wedge is successfully negating Minotaur’s screwdriver things, however the tides turn after just a few blows once Minotaur is able to literally cut notches in the front of Blacksmith’s wedge exactly in the shape of its drum’s fucking teeth. The Big Time Hammer is meeting the Time Traveling Drum, and the drum seems to be getting the upper hand. That’s because Minotaur is cheating and its weapon is able to hit Blacksmith from five seconds in the future.
Blacksmith is getting tossed around all over the place but manages to keep on its toes and lures Minotaur into one of the Pulverizers where the Brazilian robot starts getting double teamed with two Big Time Hammers. I am upset that I’ve already wasted the Jared Fogle joke this week. Minotaur is on the ropes so it kicks this fight into high gear and rips Blacksmith’s wedge off completely. Strangely enough, right now is when Blacksmith is landing all of its blows with its weapon. You’d think that during the first few seconds of this match Al would be hammering on Minotaur but I guess he was spending too much time figuring out why the goddamned flamethrower quit working again. Without its wedge Blacksmith is an even bigger target which allows Minotaur to cruise in and properly rip its face off, exposing Blacksmith’s innards.
But Al don’t give a fuck, and that’s why he’s my favorite goddamned driver this season. No wedge? Fine. No armor? Whatever. Blacksmith is still hammering on Minotaur even when it’s doing twists in the air as Minotaur returns the favor. Minotaur blasts Blacksmith onto the screws which prompts Blacksmith’s Big Time Hammer to shear off at the same place as before. Thanks, Lincoln Electric. Granted, this thing had to stand up to fucking Minotaur beating on it for two solid minutes before it broke again, but still. Cue Chris absolutely losing his shit, dancing around in his chair and clutching onto Kenny. Is there something you’re not telling us, Chris? So, Big Time Hammer is done for. Does Al listen to Chris and throw in the towel? Fuck no. Blacksmith, whose face now resembles an “after” photo on a Faces of Meth poster, still goes after Minotaur.
Do you want to know what it takes to stop Blacksmith? Blowing it the fuck up. Minotaur literally has to beat on its opponent until its innards fucking detonate before its victory is a sure thing. The knock out is so amazing that the ref straight up forgets to count Blacksmith out. I know Blacksmith didn’t even win this fight, but it still should’ve advanced just on principle.
WINNER: Minotaur, KO
BRONCO vs. CHROME FLY
You guys know who Bronco is by now. Inertia Labs has successfully made a name for themselves, and that name is Mr. Imma Throw Your Robot Through The Fucking Roof. Or, “Bronco” for short. For like the umpteenth time this season the commentators have to bring up how close Bronco got to the championship last year which leads me to believe that they probably end up winning this season or something, because otherwise why would you keep bringing up the same goddamned story? It’s like talking to someone who peaked in high school and all they ever bring up in the way of accomplishments is how they once caught a game winning touchdown for their lackluster school full of cousin fucking retards. God damn. Anyways, I love Inertia Labs because they are masters of scornful contempt and “not giving a fuck”. Last season they dismissed Plan X by laughing about its “dragon wings”. This season they sold Yeti some shitty tires. They’re also running with a gag against Chrome Fly by comparing it to Tombstone even though they know they’ve already won this fight. Also, they are electing to attack Chrome Fly ass-first this match.
This is the first we’re seeing of Chrome Fly this season since its previous match against Bucktooth Burl was pretty uneventful. Seriously, aside from the ear-shattering “BOOM” Chrome Fly’s weapon made as it vaporized into a cloud of aluminum particles the fight was basically the equivalent of a concert drum solo that doubles as an opportunity for you to go take a piss. That’s why they are seeded 31st. Team Ludicrous’ luck is probably at an end, however, now that they are battling Bronco. Builder George Matus says he’s got a secret plan for this battle, let’s see what it is. Flexible plastic “skirting” on just the sides of your robot? Yeah, you’re totally fucked bro. Chrome Fly’s weaponry consists of two spinning bars that are slightly tilted downward; essentially, George saw Counter Revolution last season and said “I can do that, except worse”. Chrome Fly’s drone had a weapon against Bucktooth Burl, but it looks like they’re bringing fuck all into this match. Great strategy. Somehow this kid managed to get three million dollars from
vulture venture capitalists to start his business. What the fuck.
Chrome Fly lands a single glancing blow at the start of the match and manages to not die. To Kenny, this translates to “Chrome Fly has 100% fixed its issues with its weaponry”. Seconds later, Bronco charges its opponent, connects with Chrome Fly’s blade, and Chrome Fly then proceeds to absolutely eviscerate itself with its own fucking weapon. Explain that, Kenny. Just to add insult to injury, Bronco comes in and shows that Chrome Fly’s “special attachments” would’ve done jack shit against its opponent; Bronco slips right under Chrome Fly’s added armor and tosses the dead bot upside down.
“Out of the arena,” Xander says. Bronco throws Chrome Fly over onto the spot in the corner behind the arena door so Chrome Fly’s team can quickly get their shitty machine out of the arena once the refs stop the fight. After humiliating “the next Bill Gates” on national television, Bronco goes over and tries to send Chrome Fly’s drone into the goddamned stratosphere. Unfortunately, Bronco misses and only body slams one of its propellers, but I cannot tell you how anxious everyone was to hopefully see that unarmed waste of weight just disappear. The refs call the fight and we get to see a ton of great slow motion shots of Chrome Fly’s chassis flexing and twisting in ways I’m absolutely positive its builder didn’t think would happen.
WINNER: Bronco, KO
WITCH DOCTOR vs. RED DEVIL
Busted Nuts Robotics
Weapon: Vertical spinning disc (main) & flamethrower (minibot)
Glippity gloppity, glippity goo. Was this really something worth being reused? Last week, Witch Doctor ended Rotator’s run for the Nut in about forty seconds with one solid blow that ripped one of Rotator’s wheels off and threw the robot against the arena wall. Shaman, Witch Doctor’s popular minibot, didn’t make an appearance in that fight due to the team choosing to go with extra armor instead of running Shaman, similar to their plan against Tombstone last year. For this match, Shaman has returned from the dead sporting a green flamethrower. I have no idea what additives they’ve put into Shaman’s fuel to get the green flame, but whatever it is it’s literally leaving a fucking scorched trail of fire on the arena floor. Does Shaman still have a flamethrower, or are they firing DeLoreans at precisely 88 MPH at their opponents now? Shoutouts to the “Red Devil saw wipe” video effect.
Much like Chrome Fly, this is the first we’re officially seeing of Red Devil this season. Unlike Chrome Fly, Red Devil isn’t a monumental piece of trash with tin foil armor painted bright fucking blue. Red Devil. formerly known as HyperActive, is CNC machine porn on the scale of Ringmaster; almost every single part of this robot was custom fabricated by Jerome Miles himself. Jerome has come a long way in BattleBots; he is best known on The Update as the builder of Knome II, a severely underweight heavyweight robot that looked like a fucking joke to say the least. He’s back and he’s pulled a 180 with Red Devil, a robot which features multiple points of articulation. Each of the robot’s tread pods, plus two clamping claws and the saw blade, are capable of lifting up, pivoting, and articulating forward and backward. That’s a hell of a lot of moving parts, but luckily Red Devil has shown that it can survive catastrophic failure; in its cakewalk of a battle against Wrecks (where Wrecks died immediately) Red Devil lost a linear actuator. This reduced the mobility of its clamps, but the robot was still able to grapple its disabled opponent and humiliate them further. Basically, this is Red Devil’s first real fight.
Commercial break, because ABC hates you and loves ads.
Shaman floors it forward at the start of the match and tries to travel through time. Joke’s on them, only Minotaur can do that. Shaman still leaves a pretty sweet scorch on the floor though. I’m sure Trey Roski was happy about that because you’ll probably be seeing those marks for the rest of the season. There’s a lot of punches being thrown and robots swinging around but no contact until Red Devil drifts around and bites down on Witch Doctor, taking it over to the Pulverizer which ends up getting dented in by the upswing on Witch Doctor’s disc. Let’s just not use the hazards anymore, guys. Clearly they need to be retired or replaced with fucking gun turrets or something.
Witch Doctor, still in Red Devil’s grip, starts throwing sparks off of Red Devil’s tank tracks. More importantly however, Red Devil brings its saw blade right down on top of its opponent and just starts digging in. This is where the fight starts to go to hell for Witch Doctor. The two locked-up robots are skidding and driving all over the place and somewhere in this mess Shaman manages to get run over by its own teammate, the impact of which breaks one of its wheels. Then, smoke begins pouring out of Witch Doctor’s face. The voodoo bot manages to break away from its attacker and runs over Shaman once again prompting the minibot to do its best Blacksmith impression and fucking blow up. Somehow Witch Doctor is still able to drive around with its batteries literally burning up inside of it and locks heads with Red Devil once again, resulting in Witch Doctor being turned upside down in the process.
Usually this is a situation Witch Doctor can get out of. Usually, Witch Doctor also isn’t melting from the inside out. Red Devil starts showing off because its weapon pretty much ended this fight in a single blow, but the Killsaws pop up to remind Jerome that showboating isn’t nice. Witch Doctor’s smoking manages to ramp up to the level of “Wicked Witch of the West Doused with Water”, Shaman is just casually burning in the background, and the refs are counting this disaster of a fight down. It’s over. As awesome of a robot as Witch Doctor is, the team made the grave mistake of underestimating their opponent’s weaponry. Jerome Miles said he was taking a gamble by not using his robot’s plow attachment, and the gamble paid off to the tune of a free ride to the Round of 16.
“This could be the biggest upset in BattleBots history,” says Chris. Bruh. I’ll give Chris the benefit of the doubt, though. He wasn’t around for Vladiator versus Minion. Or Hazard versus T-Minus. Or Bigger Brother versus Mauler 51-50. Or Ziggo versus Code: Black. Or Complete Control versus Wrath Jr. Or Atomic Wedgie versus Minion. Or Phrizbee Ultimate versus Toro. Or Son of Whyachi versus Biohazard. Or Vlad the Impaler versus Mechavore. Or Surgeon General versus Killerhurtz. Is this gag getting old yet?
WINNER: Red Devil, KO
The Round of 32 is officially underway now. It only gets even more amazing from here, folks. Next week (later this week because I’m late as hell with this article) we can expect to see Razorback vs. Ghost Raptor, Warhead vs. Complete Control, Son of Whyachi vs. Poison Arrow, and Escape Velocity vs. Tombstone. Just on the horizon is an amazing mid-fight finisher move, a crazy upset, and the TV debut of Escape Velocity (one of my favorite robots). Make sure to catch the new episode this coming Thursday! Last week I wrote up a giant rant about Big Bang Theory which received a lot of praise — I am so glad you guys all “get it”. The good news is the ratings for BattleBots are holding steady! Let’s keep it up and make this the best damned show on TV!
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