[BattleBots: S8 E5 is available online through Science Channel with a cable subscription.]
Howdy everyone, welcome back. This week’s episode starts with a cold open rather than a recap or a preview of what’s to come. Instead of seeing the same two second clips of Tombstone plunking Minotaur across the arena (don’t worry we’ll see them at some point this episode) we’re instead treated to a staring contest between Kenny Florian and Huge. Chris Rose shows up fresh from eating all of the fruit snacks in the green room to ask what’s going on and Kenny shushes him because this is serious business. Huge blinks, allegedly, and Kenny declares himself the victor and kicks over his chair. The whole bit lasts about 30 seconds and I might sound like a dick for saying this but it’s probably better than 90% of the things that got passed off as “skits” in the Comedy Central days. That’s not another stab at Carmen Electra either, because she was only around for the final two seasons; the first three were also sorta dumb. Besides, I don’t think I want this website to earn itself a reputation for “hating women” even if all the jokes are ironic and at the expense of an “actress” who’s literally only hired because of her tit– god damn it I’m doing it again.
This season of BattleBots is almost a quarter over now and there’s still a ton of action we’ve yet to see. Most of the robots in this week’s episode are getting their second fights such as Yeti, Icewave, Minotaur, Blacksmith, and Free Shipping. There’s only one bot debuting for the season that we haven’t seen yet and it’s a doozy because it’s Son of Whyachi. The former BattleBots champion that took out Biohazard is back for another run at the title, a robot that Clark Gregg from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. so expertly described as “you had Whyachi and now you have the Son of Whyachi, it’s the return of a legend”. Yeah dude, I’m bringing that quote back. Anyways, a lot of the robots in this week’s show are either fighting for the first time or are still fighting for their first win, so this really sort of a makeshift “second chance” episode to see who can finally get their footing. Losing two fights out of four basically guarantees that you’re not going to qualify for the Round of 16* so we’re probably about to see a lot of straw grasping and desperation moves.
* I don’t know this for certain, but considering we’re probably going to see at least a few bots go 4-0 and even more of them finish 3-1 that doesn’t leave much room for the 2-2’s.
HUGE vs. FREE SHIPPING
Totally True Trivia™: There’s no such thing as “free shipping”. Or a free lunch.
Both of the bots in this fight are returning for their second fights of the season and one of them already has a win, that would be Huge. Huge arrived on the scene as a beefed-up proof of concept of builder Jonathan Schultz’s smaller robot “Tiny Huge” which essentially had the same exact design. Tiny Huge worked, so he scaled it up, and “regular Huge” worked just as well because it beat the holy hell out of SubZero in a fight that was kind of hard to watch since I know SubZero’s team and they’re all pretty great guys. Huge is really just one of those designs that seem “too dumb to actually work” until you think about it from a more logical approach and realize that while the design itself looks goofy as all hell it actually has quite an advantage because it’s really only ever going to touch its opponents with its blade and nothing else since the chassis is so goddamned high off the ground. The only types of bots that could potentially do some real damage to Huge are Beta (strong hammer) and Nightmare (large spinner) and guess what neither of those teams are here. Thanks China, you’re letting Not Gabriel win.
Free Shipping returns to the Battlebox with a 0-1 record so far. That’s not because the robot sucks, but rather it was in a rumble where it was fast and loud but matched up against Duck who was more slow and methodical. Mecha Rampage was also there but it caught fire and died. It was a close match and honestly if Free Shipping would’ve won that’s a decision I’d have been okay with too because it and Duck were basically on the same level in that fight, but of course someone had to lose and that was Free Shipping. Free Shipping, as I’m sure you’re aware, is actually Gary Gin’s heavyweight wedge Original Sin with a disguise and some slight modifications in order to meet BattleBots’ requirements for active weaponry. Said modifications came in the form of a chain-driven forklift and some hellacious flamethrowers because why the hell not? Specifically for this match Gary has added some serrated teeth onto Free Shipping’s forks in the hopes that he can use them to hook into Huge’s wheels and drag it around while cooking it. Something something “prime cuts” something something “Amazon Prime”.
Free Shipping’s plan is pretty obvious, avoid Huge’s blade and come at it from the sides with the forks slightly raised up to jam in between the spokes in Huge’s wheels. Basic stuff. You can see Free Shipping keeping the distance close as it turns in tight around Huge and almost gets its forks into the wheels within the first few seconds of the fight but sadly Huge spins away. Free Shipping brings the fight back into the middle of the arena, where it can drive circles around its opponent, and tries again. There’s a brief second where Free Shipping had a perfect opportunity — just like Yeti fighting Tombstone in last season’s semifinals — where if the robot had kept moving forward it would’ve connected with Huge’s wheel and be right in there. Instead Gary hesitates and gets a glancing blow from Huge’s bar which curls up Free Shipping’s right fork in a single shot. This has pretty much rendered the “forklift strategy” moot because while there’s still one fork intact the other one is bent up in such a way that it would just keep bracing against Huge and push it away from the good fork. Gary knows he fucked up so his strategy changes to “just fucking do whatever I literally don’t even give a shit anymore” and Free Shipping careens straight into Huge and absorbs a massive hit with its face.
This hit doesn’t seem to cause a lot of visible damage to Free Shipping, but when the forklift comes back for round 2 it gets a light tap from Huge’s spinning weapon and pretty much the entire fucking forklift assembly falls off and starts hanging by its drive chain. Gary keeps the distance close though and just starts blowing fire all over the place as his robot becomes entangled with its opponent. What’s left of the forklift finally falls off and Huge gets shoved into the wall where it awkwardly lands at an angle on its wheel and starts to warp it. Kenny starts yelling that it’s because of the fire, and while I do think the fire may have actually played a role in weakening the structure of Huge’s wheel I sorta believe Huge is flexing because its tire is made of literal plastic, is trying to support 250 pounds of robot pushing down on it at a weird angle, and is already structurally weak because it’s been cut out to look like a game piece from fucking Trivial Pursuit. Huge ends up rolling upside-down and as Free Shipping cruises in for another run it gets whacked by Huge’s bar which results in the spinner doing its trademark hop into the air. (If that’s not Huge’s signature move then it is now.) Kenny says “HUGE HIT” but I don’t know if he’s describing the severity of the blow or just who dealt it. In any case I’m counting it toward the thing on the homepage.
Huge is hurtin’ for sure; the robot is flexing, its eyes are sitting all weird, and more importantly the bot seems to be a little less mobile than it was before Free Shipping started repeatedly punching it in the face. Free Shipping ain’t looking so good either though because that “HUGE HIT” from a few seconds ago has visibly trashed the robot’s roll cage meaning that if Free Shipping gets toppled over during this fight it might not be able to right itself (or, more likely, be able to ram into the wall to right itself). Another direct blow buckles Free Shipping’s flamethrower. The torch still works though, it’s just spewing fire everywhere except for in front of the robot now. Free Shipping charges Huge again and quite nearly gets flipped over, which probably would’ve been bad news at this stage in the fight, but the forklift lands on its wheels and just continues to initiate every single exchange. The roll cage is a twisted heap of metal piping, the forklift itself is buckling, Free Shipping’s disguise has pretty much been pulled off by this point and what we’re left with is a burning Original Sin that looks like it drove through a welding shop. I mean that in a literal sense, by the way, and not like driving through the front door and out the back, like actually plowing through the side of the fucking building Killdozer-style and just emerging on the other side covered in random shit that doesn’t belong to it.
All these hits seem to reach a crescendo with the forklift though because now its front right wheel looks to be jammed. I don’t know if its motor seized or if part of the forklift or roll cage has gotten stuck in it, but this is bad news for Free Shipping. It’s mobility is severely limited and as luck would have it Huge comes in to rack up some points and flips Free Shipping over in such a way that the robot lands on its back wheels, which aren’t damaged, and resting on what’s left of its forklift. Now, fully mobile again, Free Shipping just goes right back to throwing punches but clearly something is wrong and I don’t know what it is but since the robot looks like the aftermath of a round of Twisted Metal I’m just going to assume some shit’s busted inside. Free Shipping isn’t really able to capitalize on having its mobility “restored” and ends up running into the wall where Huge lands some last minute hits and at this stage in the fight Free Shipping is on fire not because it’s got a flamethrower but rather because it’s actually on fucking fire.
The fight goes to the judges who turn in a split decision and honestly I agree with them. Free Shipping might’ve lost its stride toward the end when all of its weaponry had been torn off and the robot thrown onto its ass (and was on fire) but for like the first 2:30 of the fight Huge was landing blows but all of those exchanges were being initiated by Free Shipping. Ultimately, I think Free Shipping dying toward the end sort of marred its appeal with the judges who ruled in favor of Huge. That tosses Free Shipping into the realm of 0-2 which is kinda shitty because now even if the robot wins its next two matches there’s really no guarantee that it’ll actually qualify for the main tournament (but then again, if Huge loses its next two fights it too would be in the exact same position). Anyways Jessica Chobot was busy when they were shooting this (and the next) episode because she had to go stream Minecraft on Twitch or something, Kenny fills in and you can definitely tell he made his living punching other dudes in the head instead of interviewing them.
WINNER: Huge, Judges’ Decision (2-1)
MINOTAUR vs. HYPOTHERMIA
Totally True Trivia™: Hypothermia’s grabby hand is a reference to the butler in Scary Movie 2.
Two robots without any wins are in the arena for this fight. In the case of Minotaur that’s not to imply that the robot is a piece of shit, they just had the misfortune of being paired up against Tombstone for the purposes of TV ratings. Minotaur got its ass beat, by the way. It’s a good thing that fight ended when the robot was literally high centered on a piece of the floor that Tombstone dug up because otherwise Team RioBotz’s philosophy is just to keep charging at their opponents even when their weapon dies. When they brought Minotaur into the pits after its last fight the robot had almost split in fucking half. I don’t think it would have survived the rest of that fight with Tombstone. I saw this thing in the pits when the team was repairing it and they seriously stripped the entire thing apart and rebuilt it. Marco Meggiolaro was still nice enough to say hi and chat for a bit though, he’s a swell guy. His team is on point and it looks like Minotaur is back at 100% for this match and I wouldn’t expect any less from the dude who “wrote the book on robot combat”.
Chris says Marco had better hope Hypothermia’s builder Michael “Fuzzy” Mauldin didn’t buy a copy. That would be ironic if he did because like I mentioned the last time Hypothermia was in the ring Fuzzy famously learned his robot combat skills from Christian Carlberg. I’m not quite sure how many skills, because his first robot Frostbite almost had fucking bowling balls for wheels (I’m not kidding), but that’s where we’re at. I’m sure Fuzzy actually owns a copy of the RioBotz book though because I’ve got one, and if I own one and can’t do shit right then I know this guy’s got one for sure. Hypothermia is Fuzzy’s latest robot and like I mentioned previously it’s a twist on his heavyweight Polar Vortex. Hypothermia’s main mode of attack is its heavily armored lifting wedge that can deflect and absorb blows from spinners. I’m not entirely sure why Fuzzy went with the narrow plow (possibly to stab it under/into Minotaur’s drum) because I feel like the big cattle catcher wedge from its official photo would be a lot more useful in warding off blows. But it’s not my robot though and if Fuzzy thinks the solution is to use a narrow wedge and double up on those big juicy wheels then what can I say? The man is only proving my point from when I made a joke several years ago about adding more wheels to your robot because “it’s what Michael Mauldin would do”.
Before the match started we got some close-ups of the robots and you could sort of see how neither of the robots’ wedges were perfectly in line with the floor. Hypothermia’s was up just a bit, and Minotaur’s was a little uneven on one side. When the match starts I can see Hypothermia’s ground clearance from the fucking ceiling camera so that’s gotta be bad. And it is bad, because Minotaur lands an early shot that immediately ruins Hypothermia’s wedge by peeling up the corner. Minotaur hits Hypothermia so fucking hard that the Team Toad sticker on its wedge just pops clean off. A fucking sticker. Either Fuzzy ordered some cheap ass stickers off of AliExpress or Minotaur can hit hard enough to cause adhesive to temporarily stop working. Holy shit. At this point Hypothermia’s not going to be able to get going, not unless it manages to sweep Minotaur from the side with the “good corner” of its wedge and I don’t see that happening because Minotaur is already landing some additional hits that flip the lifter over and screw its left wheel(s) up.
Minotaur starts biting at the underside of Hypothermia and parts start coming off. It looks like one of the brackets or part of the lifting mechanism on the underside of Hypothermia’s left is coming apart because something is just flapping around as the robot tries to stay right ways up, and there’s nicks and chinks all over Hypothermia’s underside and one of them seems to be significant enough to get in the way of the robot being able to right itself. Hypothermia’s sticker comes back because the robot drives over it and gets it stuck on its right set of wheels. Minotaur comes in and dusts it off a second time and starts shaving parts of something off and throws the shrapnel near the camera. I don’t even know what these parts are anymore because it’s all just little chunks and pieces of robot that have been rendered unrecognizable by this point. Marco said his team’s strategy was going to be to get Hypothermia from its diagonals and as the battle clock reappears on screen that’s exactly what we’ve seen for the past 90 seconds. Hypothermia is maneuverable, sure, but it has absolutely no protection or counter against something like Minotaur getting in its face just off of its wedge. I don’t want to say I was “right” regarding the big lifting plow but I feel like that probably would’ve at least deterred Minotaur a little bit better than a shitty Hot Wheels ramp.
Hypothermia takes another pop from Minotaur that results in the robot’s nuts being dragged across Minotaur’s spinner and the hit pops Hypothermia’s bottom plate loose along with some of the foam that helps keep its innards from rattling around. Hypothermia proceeds to lose more and more of this foam until none remains on its bottom after which Minotaur lands another blow that grazes the exposed electronics underneath. Obviously this was bound to damage something important because afterward Hypothermia starts farting out green sparks. The robot’s not totally dead, but it’s getting there. Hypothermia loses a side of drive, its weapon is probably busted by now, and it just starts smoking. Not the best way to finish a fight — just ask Free Shipping — but I don’t really think there was any possible way Hypothermia was going to win this fight because it mustered zero total hits. It just spent three minutes getting trampled and shit on by a bull.
WINNER: Minotaur, Judges’ Decision (3-0)
BLACKSMITH vs. THE FOUR HORSEMEN
Totally True Trivia™: The fourth horsemen was the friends we made along the way.
Every time Blacksmith shows up you know the phrase “BIG TIME HAMMER” isn’t far behind. There’ve been a lot of hammers that have come and gone in BattleBots, some of them arguably more powerful than Blacksmith’s. Like The Judge, for example. Sure, The Judge could knock holes in the arena floor but you wanna know what The Judge didn’t have? A fucking flamethrower in the hammer. It seems impractical but if you break it down Al Kindle’s robot functions similar to how Huge’s builder described his own robot; Huge strikes bots from the top because most of the time robots don’t have as much armor up there, Blacksmith follows the same main idea especially with robots who have slots cut for wheels, weapons, and ventilation — that’s just more places for the fire to get into. Blacksmith is already down by one this season but that’s because it was paired up with Bite Force and honestly most people would probably lose in that scenario. Two already have. Blacksmith enters this match wearing its angled plow attachment to shunt the little spinners away, corral them up, and hopefully get some slams in.
Believe it or not The Four Horsemen have actually won a fight. A clusterbot who’s missing its fourth constituent and thus is severely underweight has managed to succeed where Blacksmith has failed. Granted, it was a bullshit win because Double Jeopardy couldn’t damage them and the refs weren’t paying attention when the spinners both died so the judges ended up ruling in The Four Horsemen’s favor. But still, I’ll give credit where due because the two spinners that the team was able to run with certainly wrecked Double Jeopardy and admittedly banged up Gamma 9’s backside real good. Butter Cup, the little yellow wedge, even got some great hits in with its “doorstop” chassis design. Ian Watts is confident that Blacksmith won’t be able to hit his miniature robots which in general is sound logic because The Four Horsemen are smaller and faster… but last season Blacksmith successfully chased down both components of Gemini and beat the fucking shit out of them so badly that Blacksmith itself caught fire from overexerting itself. Now that’s an ass kicking. Chris says that Blacksmith will need to take out both of The Four Horsemen’s spinners in order to get the KO win but I disagree, Gamma 9 did exactly that and no one gave a shit.
Al knows that it’s not worth his time to fuck with Butter Cup because taking out the little wedge and one spinner isn’t enough to win. That’s “more than 60% of the robot” but again the rules actually state that it’s 60% by weight and not just in terms of the number of bots disabled. Yeah, Butter Cup and one of the spinners is “66%” by way of the fraction of constituents but in reality killing those two robots is more in the ballpark of only 55% by weight. Close, but not enough. So Blacksmith just ignores Butter Cup and focuses more on the bigger targets, Pestilence (the white spinner) specifically. No swings from the hammer yet, Blacksmith appears to be muscling the minibots around to see if slamming them into the wall is enough on its own to break them. It’s not, or at least right now it’s not, and Blacksmith lingers long enough for the hosts to start talking about PRIMARY WEAPONS which is never a good sign. Blacksmith actually takes a swing at Famine (the black spinner) and gets a glancing blow. Now, with the hammer officially in the fray, it seems like The Four Horsemen go into a frenzy because Butter Cup charges at Blacksmith and dare I say it looks like this dinky ass little wedge is actually pushing a heavyweight fucking robot into the spike strip. The victory is short-lived however, because barely a second after taking Blacksmith into the wall Butter Cup backs into its teammate Pestilence who blows one of the wedge’s wheels apart and sends the carcass spiraling into the far corner of the arena.
Technically this doesn’t “help” Blacksmith because again Butter Cup plus one spinner isn’t enough for the hammer to win but at least this misstep removes the annoyance factor of Butter Cup from the rest of the fight so something like that blind sided rush into the wall cannot happen again. Blacksmith capitalizes on the shifting control of the fight and puts Pestilence into the wall. Famine comes in to try and break up the fight and ends up hitting Blacksmith in such a way that the spinner’s weapon dies for some reason. Pestilence’s blade continues to work, but Blacksmith has corralled it into that awkward part of the arena wall where there’s those angled bumpers beside the screws and just goes to town on the minibot. This attack results in Blacksmith successfully completing one of its two necessary tasks to win by KO because the white spinner just gives up. The weapon on it still works, but the drive is dead which leaves only Famine as the sole survivor who is experiencing the opposite problem as its twin: working drive but no weapon.
Blacksmith chases Famine down and launches it with its front wedge. The little bot survives the impact and scoots away and I have no idea what its strategy even is by this point other than “don’t get hit with THE BIG TIME HAMMER”. Famine has no weapon, both of its teammates are dead, and Blacksmith is currently demonstrating that it doesn’t give a fuck about the Killsaws getting in its way as it chases down the last of the horsemen. Famine gets shunted onto the arena wall where its dead blade gets caught on the lip of it which raises Famine’s wheels just high enough to render the bot immobile. The refs seem to notice that The Four Horsemen are knocked out this time and go to work counting them down and if you pay attention when the camera cuts to Al after the fight you’ll see just one second left of the fight clock. Close, but Blacksmith is still in there with its first ever KO victory.
WINNER: Blacksmith, KO
SON OF WHYACHI vs. BRUTUS
Totally True Trivia™: The Udder Gun features an exclusive teat belt design and fast no-tool disassembly for easy cleaning.
First, there was Whyachi, and now there’s the Son of Whya– okay, I’ll stop. Making its long awaited season 8 debut is former champion Son of Whyachi… or “SOW” as they keep abbreviating it on the graphics which doesn’t seem necessary because if they can fit “The Four Horsemen” on the fight card then I know for a fact they can cram “Son of Whyachi” on there because it’s fucking shorter. They don’t even put periods between the letters to signify that it’s an acronym, there were literally people at the event taping who were looking at the fight card printouts and asking who “sow” was, “sow” as in “the proper name for a female pig”. Yeah, I know a “sow” is also a tool used in foundries but most people don’t know that and when you wear a jacket emblazoned with the logo of fucking “UDDER GUN” don’t turn and look at me when I say your shorthand is confusing people. Speaking of turning around and looking, shoutouts to Richard “The Dick” Stuplich for being so eager to celebrate and wave at the crowd when the two Ewerts next to him were trying to do the whole “quiet badass” thing. Son of Whyachi’s weapon is its iconic tri-tipped spinning array of hammers which weigh as much as a regulation middleweight robot, 120 pounds. It’s heavier than Tombstone’s blade, heavier than Gigabyte’s shell, and heavier than Axe Backwards’ drum chassis, and it’s here to fucking annihilate everything.
Son of Whyachi’s first opponent is Brutus. Brutus hasn’t had the best of luck this season as it had a false start a couple weeks ago when it burned out its motor controllers against Red Devil before it could land any major hits and ended up losing by knockout. Hopefully Adam Bercu has refined his robot a little bit better because he’s going to need a fully functional machine if he wants to stand any chance against Son of Whyachi. Red Devil was a test and Brutus failed but was able to skate away without too much damage since Red Devil isn’t really capable of doing much harm to Brutus’ hardened armor. Son of Whyachi on the other hand… well, Adam should just be thankful that literally 40% of his robot’s weight is devoted just to armor because nearly 50% of Whyachi’s weight is devoted to its fucking weapon.
Adam said his plan was to get a hit before Son of Whyachi could get up to speed and that’s what he gets. Brutus hooks Son of Whyachi’s spinner with an uppercut from its disc as the hammers connect with its plow and the impact sends Son of Whyachi flying into the arena wall. The momentum from its spinner immediately transfers into Son of Whyachi’s base and for a moment the robot is out of control. Luke Ewert powers down to stabilize the bot, spins it right back up, and Brutus flies in with another hit that violently twists both robots around (and of course puts Whyachi back into the wall). Watch Brutus, though. This thing literally does a goddamned 720 in the air over the course of like half a fucking second and then just sticks the landing on its right wheel as its leading wedge slices into the fucking Killsaw covers to stop it. I don’t know what kind of G-force just went through that machine but holy shit was that a hit. Son of Whyachi again has to power down to get itself away from the wall before it can get spinning again, and with Brutus sitting right there the wedge just cruises in and clips the back of Son of Whyachi’s chassis with its disc rolling it over.
That’s it. Son of Whyachi is out in just 16 seconds because it has no method of self-righting. The bot was built for knockouts but can take them just as easily when it gets caught from the wrong angle. Take a look at the bite taken out of the back of the former champ courtesy of Brutus’ disc. I believe Son of Whyachi’s chassis is made from solid titanium so for damage like that to happen you know Brutus has to have some crazy muscle in that weapon. Bravo, dude — that was a hell of a show.
WINNER: Brutus, KO
SCIENCE CHANNEL EXCLUSIVE
TOP 10 HITS
This week’s Science Channel special isn’t a fight or a pit segment but rather a countdown that shows off the “top 10” hits from the season so far. First, I wasn’t aware that WatchMojo-esque YouTube cash grab videos were something that could be aired on television. Secondly, already? We’re only four episodes into the season and there’s already enough content for a top 10 video? Well, five episodes actually but I don’t know if anything from this week’s show will make the list just because I don’t know when these things are produced. I don’t really know how to commentate on these kinds of things because I’ve already said my piece on every fight featured so I guess I’ll just present the list and then tell you where I think the hits should have gone?
10. Yeti vs. Witch Doctor — Yeti rips a wheel and some top armor off of Witch Doctor before hurling the robot into the wall for the KO.
9. Bite Force vs. Blacksmith — Bite Force… hits Blacksmith hard enough to just barely flip it? Sure, okay.
8. Tombstone vs. Gigabyte — Gigabyte’s team orders a part from China, Tombstone hits it hard enough to dissolve it and bust Gigabyte’s shell completely off. At number 8?
7. SawBlaze vs. Overhaul — cute_anime_teen_gets_raped_by_big_dragon_xxx_hentai_clip04.wmv
6. End Game vs. Captain Shrederator — End Game clips Captain Shrederator on one of its shell’s teeth and flips it. That’s it.
5. Monsoon vs. Red Devil — Red Devil catches a blow from Monsoon’s blade and gets laid the fuck out.
4. Huge vs. Free Shipping — Okay so I guess some fights from this episode actually are making the list.
3. Tombstone vs. Minotaur — Tombstone does its best impression of Heiankyo Alien and digs some holes for Minotaur to fall into.
2. Bite Force vs. HyperShock — Bite Force wins the fight in one hit and just to make it a sure thing guts HyperShock like a goddamned fish.
1. Icewave vs. Vanquish — I mean, Vanquish was cut into two fucking halves how could this one not make #1?
Most of that list is agreeable I suppose, but why the fuck is something like Gigabyte being decapitated stuck all the way down in 8th when End Game popping Captain Shrederator onto its lid is in 4th? Captain Shrederator didn’t even fucking work during that fight and its shell stayed on. Also, Free Shipping getting its ass torn open by Huge is somehow higher than that? Here’s a better list:
10. Sharkoprion vs. Deviled Egg (vs. Kraken) — One hit KO’s seem to be highly favored here so why not start the list off with a solid cleave from the shark? It did kill Deviled Egg in a single hit.
9. Free Shipping vs. Mecha Rampage (vs. Duck) — If it’s fire and aggression they want to talk about, how about Free Shipping igniting Mecha Rampage and turning it into a swirling goddamned smoke vortex?
8. Yeti vs. Witch Doctor — Those hits were definitely better than starting the list off at a paltry number 10.
7. Skorpios vs. Lucky — I’m guessing SawBlaze and Overhaul made the list purely because of all the sparks, but honestly Skorpios put on a way better show against Lucky. Hands down.
6. Brutus vs. Son of Whyachi — The producers keep playing Whyachi up as a beast so when a relatively “lower tier” bot like Brutus comes in and knocks it the fuck out that’s kind of a big deal.
5. Tombstone vs. Minotaur — Tombstone wrecking the floor and whatnot is cool and all, but it’s not 3rd place cool. Not when we’ve had some spectacular KO’s already.
4. Monsoon vs. Red Devil — A hit like the one at the start of this fight is a rarity, the joke I made about Nightmare and Slam Job was dead on.
3. Bite Force vs. HyperShock — Just like Monsoon’s hit, except this one came with the added bonus of totally destroying HyperShock with one extra blow.
2. Tombstone vs. Gigabyte — A full body spinner having its shell blown off and reduced to nothing is one hell of a hit, shitty Chinese parts or not.
1. Icewave vs. Vanquish — Okay, I’ll admit. Someone literally getting busted in two absolutely has to be at the top of the list.
Overall it’s not a bad segment I guess. Even though I might not agree with their selections I do enjoy the variety that we’re getting with these bonus features. Obviously more fights would be preferred but little side attractions like this list and the “Botopsy Report” segment keep things from stagnating. If it was just all fights all the time I have a feeling that we’d get worn out on it. There’s more to the sport than just what happens in the ring, and besides not all the fights that were ran were good ones so there’s definitely a need for non-fight bonus segments. There were more than a couple potato fights that I knew as soon as they happened they weren’t going to make it to air. (And some of them, like Battle Royale’s, still did.)
ICEWAVE vs. YETI
Totally True Trivia™: Yeti’s drum is made from a stack of CD’s that Greg Gibson doesn’t listen to anymore.
Y’all know about Icewave. If you didn’t you know about it now because this thing destroyed its only opponent so quickly that the editors have had to go back to last season to get footage of it whacking Nightmare around just so they have something else to show aside from Vanquish getting split in two. No, Nightmare isn’t here this year, sorry. Jim Smentowski, like so many other builders this season, was busy visiting China to see if communism really is everything that stupendously uninformed Millennials claim it’s cracked up to be. Or something. Point is, he ain’t here but Mark DeVitds is and he’s brought Icewave back with him. Last season we didn’t see this robot on TV at all because I guess its fights weren’t “good enough” so that’s why Mark came back and the first thing he did was bust some shitty wedge in half over his knee and ask “MISS ME?” Icewave’s blade is made of gas, according to Kenny Florian, and that means it’s loud and proud and it’s here to bring all the fun of a monster truck rally, turn it sideways, and slice into the opposition. Kenny mentions that the tips of Icewave’s blade are actually painted to match the floor so its opponents have a harder time telling where its ends actually are and that’s a tie between the meanest and cleverest shit I think I’ve ever seen.
Meanwhile Yeti is over in the blue square and is here fresh off of a victory over Witch Doctor where it just punched that thing square in the face so hard that Witch Doctor straight up died. Greg Gibson is all about strategy and by that I mean he’s “all about it” in that he’s not about it at all. He’s on the other extreme; there is no strategy with Yeti beyond “hit the other robot with the drum, spin back up, repeat”. Before the fight Greg points out that against Icewave there really is “no strategy” because any way you come at it the blade’s going to hit you. This is basically the same thing Battle Royale’s builder described last week except the difference here is Icewave actually works. So Greg was just like “fuck it” and now his plan is to slam into Icewave until either Icewave dies or Yeti dies. Despite what Greg says however, there’s still a small modicum of “strategy” in play; Yeti is going into this fight equipped with a heavy front plow to deflect and destabilize Icewave. While the strategy in the fight itself is still to just simply crash and bash Greg is admittedly wheeling out a little bit of forward-thinking here.
Yeti charges forward at Icewave and it takes literally less than two seconds for the frosty bot to be across the floor and connecting with Icewave’s blade. Icewave has only had a second and a half to get spinning and already its weapon is spinning fast and hard enough to shave some sparks off of Yeti and bounce it across the floor. Yeti connects again, because we’re all just along for Greg Gibson’s wild ride, and lands a blow so hard that both bots nearly get tossed back into their opposite starting squares. Yeti deflects one more time and then presumably catches the edge of Icewave’s blade perfectly with its drum because the following hit hurls Icewave into the air. The hit also has enough blowback to disable Yeti because after that attack Greg’s got nothing. He’s pushing every button, flipping every switch, and flicking every stick on his transmitter and Yeti is totally unresponsive. Meanwhile, Icewave’s blade starts roaring up to full speed as the robot visibly rattles and shakes.
The ref starts to count Yeti out and I guess the other ref asks Mark if Icewave is still mobile because for some reason icewave moves like six inches. As Icewave does this its blade connects with Yeti’s tires and fucks up both of them on the right side, presumably because the whole “you can’t see the ends of the weapon” also applies to the goddamned driver. This was after Greg leaned over to Mark to tell him he was out and while the ref counting Yeti down was at “two”. Greg shoots Mark the best goddamned reaction face I’ve ever seen and tells him “don’t be a dick” and just watch the ref the background. This dude starts trying to hold back laughter as he taps Greg on the shoulder presumably to tell him not to swear on the cameras.
WINNER: Icewave, KO
Kind of a shame that they did the top 10 countdown before that fight between Yeti and Icewave because the airtime that Icewave got from Yeti’s drum and wedge was incredible. I could easily see that making the list if shit like End Game flipping Captain Shederator over managed to get up to #6. In any case, Icewave steps up to 2-0 and joins the ranks of Bite Force, Tombstone, and — surprisingly — Huge as this season’s current undefeated bots. Yeti slips down to 1-1 and really needs to bounce back or else Greg runs the risk of falling into the realm of two losses like poor ol’ Free Shipping. We’ve seen a ton of carnage and a lot of robots come through the arena in just these first five episodes but it’s worth pointing out that there are still 11 more competitors whom we haven’t seen yet who are waiting for their chances to show what they’re made of. Among these eleven teams are returning vets Chomp, Ultimo Destructo, Basilisk, Warhead, and of course perennial favorite — and savior of the BRONCOBOYS — Bronco. There’s also some new blood in the form of Double Dutch, Reality, Bale Spear, Parallax, Predator, and the impressive looking Valkyrie. I’m not trying to imply that all (or even any) of these bots will be in next week’s episode but they’re still in the pits and none of them have had their first battle yet.
That’s gonna do it for this week’s BattleBots Update. Thank you as always for checking it out and hanging out with me here, I hope it was a worthy investment of your time. By this point I feel like most of you are already doing this, but if you’re still trickling in from Reddit or Twitter or some other places where this website has been shared I invite you to follow BattleBots Update on Facebook that way there’s no guessing or searching for new stuff, you’ll get posts and updates as soon as new content is live. Additionally, if you’d like to help keep the lights on this website has a corresponding Patreon page where you can make a monthly pledge to pitch in, or if a month-to-month commitment isn’t your thing there’s always the one-time option through PayPal. While we’re on the subject of pitching in and helping out, I’d like to extend a personal thank you to Peter T, Marcus E. and Andrew B. who are all new Patreon supporters since the previous article. Thank you guys very much! It has all helped tremendously (especially because at the start of the season I had to pay to renew some licenses for things I use here on this site).