We are rocking onward here at BattleBots Update with more of season one of the sport that started it all for this website. Last week Voltarc came back for a visit and defeated Biohazard in a match where absolutely no referees were watching whatsoever, Rammstein redeemed its free win token with Mechadon, and Alpha Raptor dropped Tentomushi off at the Killsaws followed by the nearest bus station. This week’s episode features 3 robots we haven’t seen and 3 we have.
Is there a fight spoiled by the opening credits this episode? Of course there is.
Sean Salisbury once again welcomes us to the show and Bil Dwyer starts talking afterward but I’m too distracted by the little overlay plugging That’s My Bush, a show that I’ve completely forgotten about until literally just now, to bother paying attention. It was cool to hate the President back then, but you couldn’t do a That’s My Obama today. That would be racist. Or That’s My Clinton, because that’s sexist. You theoretically could do a That’s My Trump though, but the problem with that is it’s currently already been on the air for 14 seasons as “The Apprentice”.
If you’re reading this article in the year 2000 you can catch That’s My Bush tomorrow night at 10:30!
If you’re a fan of popular science then the name “Deadblow” might ring a bell. That’s because it was built by Grant “Also A Mythbuster But Not Anymore” Imahara whose repertoire of previous robots include the Energizer bunny and some crap for Industrial Light & Magic, which is a fancier way of dressing up “shit that George Lucas paid for when he wasn’t funneling his money into nachos and shitty Star Wars prequels”. Grant skates around atop Deadblow because back then people apparently weren’t all that concerned about being liable for injuries and when someone said “get a shot of me doing this it’ll be cool” they obliged.
Grant brings his new/only friends to a literal hardware store because that’s where builders apparently bought their weapons way back in the day. Normally I’d say something snarky and shitty about this but considering Minion was toting what I genuinely believed was something taken right off the shelf from Lowe’s — and is the reigning champion — I’ll reserve my judgment and say this myth is “plausible”. While holding up a circular saw Grant mentions how it might be effective against Pressure Drop. Buddy, the best weapon against Pressure Drop is literally anything as long as your robot doesn’t croak in the center of the arena like Subject To Change Without Reason did. Moving on, we’re informed that an angle grinder would be a good offense against Knee Breaker, a shitty thwackbot built by the aforementioned MInion guy that isn’t even competing this season. If we’re treading into the territory of weapons that are effective against imaginary threats then we might as well throw in a bunch of fucking Hot Wheels cars and Christmas ornaments and say they’re a good deterrent for burglars.
Anyways, the subject of this segment spends another few jump cuts holding various tools while making a bunch of confused sounds like he’s expected to make a commencement speech he’s terribly unprepared for. Finally, Grant gets his hands on a hammer branded with “Death Stick”, a tool which I guess in such high demand that stores have to wrap anti-theft tags around them. Or, further in the realm of possibility, the hammer is tagged because he lives in fucking Oakland which is rife with crime and other nasty shit and I guess there are people so strapped for cash that they will steal a fucking hammer.
Cocaine is a hell of a drug.
DEADBLOW vs. ALIEN GLADIATOR
In Deadblow’s builder bio segment we more or less learned about smart shopping circa 2000 than we did about the actual robot itself. Color me surprised however, when Deadblow makes its TV debut sans-Death Stick. Here I am expecting this robot to wield a tool whose name basically implores you to commit felonies with it and instead we get a shitty ice pick. Real neat buddy, was the famed stick of death too expensive or something? What a shame, you could’ve stolen it if it wasn’t tagged. In doing my due diligence for this article, apparently “Death Stick” hammers cost anywhere from $25 to over $200 depending on the model and also some time in the last 16 years the makers rebranded it “Dead On” because I guess they realized naming their product something synonymous with “Murder Weapon” wasn’t a good marketing strategy. Also, what the fuck am I doing talking about consumer-grade hammers for a whole paragraph?
As the editors fade to Alien Gladiator’s introduction Mark Beiro informs us it’s “previously unranked”. Yeah dude, I can tell. At least they arbitrarily assigned Abbatoir a rank of 8th when it competed in BattleBots’ Pay-Per-View event, this guy doesn’t even get that. Armed with what appears to be an old sprinkler head on a chain, we’re told Alien Gladiator is “tougher than the Space Invader” and “tougher than the Terminator”, continuing this trend may I also suggest that this robot is “dumber than a radiator”? Sean suggests this match is going to be a “battle of the arms”. Not unless Alien Gladiator has a Death Stick, which it doesn’t.
Both robots casually avoid the Hellraisers, probably because both drivers have been paying attention and noticed that they always pop up as soon as the match starts. Alien Gladiator starts to whip and nae nae to ward off Deadblow, but Grant doesn’t give a fuck and charges in anyways and immediately goes to town stabbing its opponent like a goddamned maniac. It’s hard to tell, but it looks like the combined effort of Deadblow ramming into Alien Gladiator while also stabbing it right on the little metal flap on its chassis (which I assume covers its safety shut off switch) has disabled the robot. Since we’ve apparently got time to kill now I guess we can make up a new rhyme for the gladiator: “as reliable as a Steam game whose title includes the word Simulator”. Deadblow continues to chisel away at its defeated opponent thinking maybe under that stupid mask and extra metal there’s a beautiful sculpture of David or something, however midway through Deadblow’s adventure through the world of art its hammer straight up breaks off and hits Deadblow on the ass on its way out.
YOU SHOULD’VE BOUGHT A FUCKING DEATH STICK.
Also, I’m not making up another idiotic rhyme for this scenario because that joke wore out its welcome the second Mark Beiro opened his fucking mouth. Obviously, Bil loses his goddamned mind over this turn of events and ponders how Deadblow can turn this fight around negating the fact that its opponent has been dead the entire time. Deadblow shoves Alien Gladiator over onto the Hellraisers which promptly try to devour the robot’s “weapon” but succeed only in getting it
jammed up stuck in there. The referees allow enough time to pass for the kid driving Alien Gladiator to collect his thoughts and write out a rough draft of his ensuing emo LiveJournal post in his head, then count his robot out and mercy kill this hilarious mismatch of a fight.
WINNER: Deadblow, KO
After the fight a Sklar meets up with Grant Imahara to get the skinny on the match that just transpired. Since this is Comedy Central, the Sklar is contractually obligated to say something funny so he leads in with asking about Deadblow’s “pecker”. I didn’t say it was high brow humor, folks. This fruit is hanging so low it’s basically rotten. The pee pee joke flies over Grant’s head because he’s not five years old and he explains that he has a spare weapon in the pits. Not listening, the Sklar has a spaghetti explosion and asks if Deadblow can continue without a weapon. Grant shoots his interviewer an “are you literally this fucking stupid” look while defining the word “spare”. That’s not as bad as Donna, though, tasked with interviewing the Alien Gladiator team who legitimately just don’t fucking care when she tries to drop the same stupid “joke” on a depressed 14 year old and pre-Food Network Guy Fieri. Not getting the reaction she thought she’d get, she goes a step further and has a spaghetti singularity and explains the joke while the dude on the left is just like “yeah, it’s a dick joke you fucking dumbass we get it”.
“Alrighty.” I cringed so hard I think I permanently shrunk an inch.
PRESSURE DROP vs. ANKLE BITER
The walkerbot Pressure Drop, as you may recall, famously whacked its opponent like a week after the buzzer or whatever. Basically, if the clip shown doesn’t explain it in high enough detail, Subject To Change Without Reason shit the bed, got counted out, the match ended, and then Pressure Drop continued onward and stabbed the dead wedge anyways prompting its driver to explode into a tornado of bees. A Bee-nado. (I’m going to copyright that name before Syfy Channel makes a shitty movie about it.) Pressure Drop is a slow as shit walking robot that weighs almost as much as a regulation heavyweight, but for what it’s worth the robot at least has a fan dedicated enough to have brought a genuine homemade sign instead of waving around one of those tacky WordArt abortions we keep seeing. Because there’s absolutely nothing at all of technological or mechanical merit inside of Pressure Drop that would make for interesting trivia, Bil Dwyer mentions how its builder is also working on some stupid thing called “GerbilBot”. I sincerely believe Derek Young purposefully fed the producers bullshit just to see if they’d say it on national television, because that’s exactly the behavior I’d expect of someone from Something Awful.
Ankle Biter joins the fray in the blue square and makes its television debut looking identical to the type of generic combat robot you’d sketch on the back of an English test after first hearing about the concept of BattleBots. Seriously, look at this goddamned thing, I legitimately don’t even know if I can write more than a sentence about this robot because “wedge with a saw blade on it” comprises literally seven words and that’s all you’re going to get from this machine. In fact, the most interesting thing about this robot isn’t even about Ankle Biter, it’s that its builder also has a super heavyweight named “Odin” that I guess sucked out loud and lost to Ronin; where’s that fight? It sounds like two Norse gods pounding each other in the ass. Was Mjollnir there? Did it bring some flat tires for everyone to run around in like a football training course? These are questions that need to be answered.
I guess because we’ve yet to really see them do much of substance, Sean reminds us all that this arena has hazards and maybe we’ll see them. Don’t worry about it Sean, if you only knew how nonexistent the hazards would be 14 years from now you’d be about as excited as Bil Dwyer opening a prize from a Cracker Jack box. Ankle Biter speeds across the Battlebox and immediately makes contact with Pressure Drop, getting underneath the walker and giving the editors a great clip that they ended up recycling into every fucking promo they possibly could. Shoutouts to the foley guy playing sounds from a literal table saw while this is going on by the way. Pressure Drop is the easiest possible target but for some reason Ankle Biter’s driver has no idea what the fuck he’s doing and starts idly spinning around instead of, you know, winning.
Sean acknowledges that this is Ankle Biter’s fight to win, and finally there’s a little more action that almost results in Pressure Drop being toppled over but since Ankle Biter is more interested in driving like someone dropped a brick on its transmitter Pressure Drop is free to walk away, swing its chisel, and continually miss its mark. Gee, if only Ankle Biter would stop working and fart out a bunch of smoke, maybe — just maybe — Pressure Drop would have a chance to hit something. Ankle Biter takes a shot from the saws and Sean ponders what one’s concern might be for having rubber tires. “Rubber tires,” Bil responds. Yes, if you have rubber tires your biggest concern is “rubber tires”, kind of like how if you have bleached hair your biggest concern is why the fuck you’re rocking that look when you know it’ll be out of style and people in the future will look back on this with contempt and secondhand embarrassment. Tune in next season when Bil gets a bowl cut!
Pressure Drop has managed to make its way over to the arena spike strip thanks mostly in part to Ankle Biter dropping it off over there. Now, with a spike firmly lodged up its ass, Pressure Drop starts literally convulsing on the arena wall while Ankle Biter goes back to its drunken karate style martial arts or whatever the fuck it’s doing. The wedge takes one too many dank rips from its cyber bong however, and ends up donut-ing itself right into the spike strip where it gets stuck. Pressure Drop, which has now freed itself from the wall, plops down near the Killsaws and doesn’t move while Ankle Biter gets counted out. Purely conjecture here, but this is because the referee threatened to use a taser on Derek if he hit another opponent after the buzzer. The crowd boos Pressure Drop at the end of the fight, Bil asks where the “dirty blow” is, and Sean says Derek is the “most hated” driver. Fucking hell, no wonder this guy pulled that dick move with the box on Complete Control.
WINNER: Pressure Drop, TKO
After the break Sean throws out a “BattleBoats” pun over some stock footage of a shipyard. That’s Bil’s job, dude. Back in the pits Christian Carlberg is working with his team to get Minion ready for its next match. In its previous match Minion’s weapon pretty much phased itself out of existence so I’m sure it’s been a frenzy in the pits. In fact, I know it’s been a frenzy in the pits because Christian is standing around drinking from a whole goddamned bottle of fucking cranberry juice. These are the actions of a man who’s about one Mmmbop away from coming completely unhinged.
Bil lets us know how the two robots from the upcoming fight got here, calling Minion’s rear wedge a “ramp wedge” and using the term “PSI” to describe Grendel’s spring-powered hammer. God damn it, Bil. Just go back to poo-poo and pee-pee, your grip on engineering is about as believable as your ability to get a second Comedy Central Presents special. To bring this show back into the realm of legitimacy, Bill Nye gives us some technical information on Grendel… which consists of some shit we already know about how its weapon works followed by a bunch of fucking rhymes and a Beowulf reference. None of this is science, dude. What the fuck is happening? Bill, that’s what the other Bil is supposed to be saying. You have one more “L” in your name than he does that means you’re smarter. Is your fucking bow tie on too tight or something?
MINION vs. GRENDEL
Minion is a cool looking robot whose primary weapon was apparently irreparably destroyed in its previous fight against Gray Matter, whom I should remind you was armed with literally a single spike. Minion’s builders seem to have a good sense of humor about their shitty robot though, because they’ve replaced the broken saw with a toy chainsaw, complete with its own special reveal. You know, had this gimmick not already been spoiled at least twice previously this season I’d probably find this endearing in a Special Olympics kind of way, but since this is my third time seeing it I’m kind of already tired of it. We get it dude, your weapon was a joke and lo and fucking behold it exploded. Next time get something that was MADE IN AMERICA. Because Minion is without its primary weapon it’s now fighting as a wedge. The most expensive wedge you’ve ever seen.
Grendel is a cooler-looking robot solely because I have a predisposition to be fonder of things with a reptile theme. Sure, it has a weapon that pretty much comes with its own loading screen and its wheel base is probably wider than I am tall, but overall it’s neat. Plus, Grendel somehow got a toy deal even though it never competed again after this season. Grendel’s weapon is a spring-loaded spike hammer that managed to kill Diesector in a single blow, sinking that spitwad faster than a game of Battleship with house rules. Its wheels are also hilariously fragile and I’m doing to optimistically ignore the fact that this team also built Alien Gladiator.
Moments before the fight Bil Dwyer informs us that Christian Carlberg, Minion’s driver, has a degree in engineering. Cool, did he sleep through the lecture on building robot weapons that don’t suck? Both robots take the first few moments of the fight to feel each other out while Bil gives an astonishingly long definition of the word “faster”. Holy shit, does Bil Dwyer have a degree in engineering too?! Grendel gets about a five second window where it could land a major blow on Minion but instead fires late and will now have to spend the rest of this half of the fight waiting for its cooldown period to expire. Sean Salisbury once again brings up how the Killsaws might be able to pop Minion’s tires, negating that it isn’t possible for that to happen while simultaneously ignoring the fact that the Killsaws actually do pose a significant threat to the other robot mindlessly twirling around in the arena right now.
Minion gets some sweet air off of one of the Hellraisers while Grendel’s weapon continues to reload and eventually misses again, this time reaching too far across and serving no purpose other than to lock the two robots together. Sensing danger, Sean breaks the emergency glass covering the panic button and presses it which summons Anthony Valenzuela from Grendel’s team. Anthony wastes 16 seconds of dead air as he talks about literally nothing. Grendel has been strong-arming Minion for about forty seconds by this point which is just long enough for the wheels to finally start spinning inside Bil Dwyer’s head to make a pun regarding how “dragon” and “dragging” sort of sound the same. Minion’s wheels screech in agony in response to Bil’s pun. Since fuck all is happening in this match, and with the panic button already pressed, Bil remarks how each robot has two drivers: Grendel has one person driving the robot while the other manages the weapon, and Minion has Christian driving while Brian complains.
The bots finally separate and Minion taps Grendel against the spike strip which appears to knock it out, however Minion comes in for another shot and knocks Grendel free I guess because Christian knows he’s probably already won. Grendel misses with its weapon yet again to the surprise of no one and ends up getting dropped on top of the Killsaws which have apparently decided to stop working. Amusingly, I’m not the only person who noticed this because the sound effects guy cut “table_saw.wav” a few seconds early when he too noticed the hazards are a complete joke right now. Grendel recharges its weapon for one final blow while Minion takes the final fifteen seconds of the match as an opportunity to play Chicken with its opponent’s weapon. Bil compliments this strategy by saying Christian is one the “best drivers” out of “all the bots’ drivers”. Thanks for the clarification Bil, I thought maybe we were talking about NASCAR or something instead.
WINNER: Minion, 7-2
Minion is declared the winner while the camera hangs on Confused Audience Man #14 for an uncomfortably long time. Bil and Sean go over the Battle-Stats (trademark pending) and Bil reads from totally hilarious made-up categories that aren’t on the bill. Donna D’Errico interviews Christian about nothing we don’t already know, and one of the Sklars gives Team Malicious some fucking magnetic poetry as a parting gift. God damn, this really was filmed in the year 2000, wasn’t it?
Sean Salisbury provides this week’s send off which includes referring to Donna D’Errico as “Double D”… as in tit size I’m sure. Or maybe not, because Sean then refers to himself as “Double S” because of his initials. Since people are naming letters, and because he has the mentality of a toddler, Bil names some letters too. Next up is the lightweight championship, I guess! We’re only halfway through this season but sure why not let’s crown a champion right in the middle of it! Join us next time when we find out who takes the lightweight Giant Nut (which still weighs as much as the other Giant Nuts).
Don’t forget to watch That’s My Bush tomorrow night at 10:30, either!
Getting back into the realm of real TV shows that are still on the air, the new season of BattleBots on ABC starts this Thursday. I’m going to be putting season one on hold for the next few weeks and shifting gears to cover the new show before doubling back and finishing this one up. In the meantime, you can check out the article for the preview episode “The Gears Awaken” right here, and be sure to follow BattleBots Update on Facebook so you’ll get a heads up when the new content is posted here!