Wow it’s been a while and I wish I could say things have been swell, but life in BattleBots Update land is pretty terrible day-to-day. This isn’t a personal blog however — thank god — so this week on BattleBots Update we’re finding out which lightweight is taking home the Giant Nut in BattleBots’ first ever season on Comedy Central. Mouser Mecha Catbot, Alpha Raptor, Backlash, and Das Bot are the four remaining contenders in their division, and by the end of this article only one of them will remain. Also I guess now’s a good time to point out that the gold variant of the Giant Nut is actually just a prop; the winners get a big silver one. When asked about what happened to the gold prop nut, BattleBots co-founder Greg Munson said the show’s original producers (First Television) probably still have it. Whoops.
You’re probably expecting me to use this tiny one sentence paragraph after the opener above to make some joke about how one of the fights in this episode are spoiled by the opening credits. You’d be wrong in this case! This is the first episode this season where one of the matches isn’t unceremoniously spoiled by the show’s opener. We’re only eight fucking episodes in, too! Backlash visibly takes a hit from the Killsaws, however that was during a fight with Endotherm who has long since been disposed of by the vertical spinner. More on that in a bit.
If Bil Dwyer is to be beleived (HINT: he’s not), everyone has to name their robot something offensive and violent, like OVERKILL or DEADBLOW. You’d have to be a fucking idiot to name your robot anything other than SUPER MEGA HOLOCAUST 9000. Oh wait, you mean to say someone out there dared to name their robot something different? And he went with “Mouser Mecha Catbot”? Is he a goddamned hippie or something?
Fon Davis finally shows up on screen, long hair and all, and introduces us to his robot Mouser Mecha Catbot who looks like it’s been thrown down a flight of stairs. Seriously, its shell is all jacked up and one of its lifting prongs is visibly bent. Did they tape this after the season ended or something? Speaking of lifting prongs, Fon explains how his robot’s flipper can handle anything from a 55-pound robot “down to” a tossed salad. First of all, I appreciate the “I eat ass” joke that Comedy Central probably forced into this bit, however getting to my original point that’s not how that type of comparison works. If a robot can lift 55 pounds then by default I’m going to assume it can lift a fucking salad. That’s why people say “up to”, not “down to”; if we know what the upper limit of the robot’s strength is we can fill in the rest of the blanks on our own.
The producers continue to waste food for the next few shots wherein we learn that Mouser Mecha Catbot can also flip eggs and a pizza but apparently not well enough for them to get a good shot on the first take. Afterward, Fon takes his robot for a spin around town and god damn look at that ground clearance. Either Mouser Mecha Catbot got beaten up to the point where its frame was twisted like that, or it was built bad to begin with and that’s why it looks all cut up. I genuinely cannot tell which came first; this is some “chicken and egg” shit right here. Fon terrorizes an elderly Asian man trying to deliver a carryout meal who has the ability to become invisible between jump cuts.
Bil mentions that the robot has “no loyalty to its owner” like a real cat so I’m expecting to hear Fon talk about an example of how one time he fucked up and almost sliced his finger off. Instead, Fon just says “mean kitty” while tightening the locking bolt on his robot’s flipper chain and the editors play Stock Jaguar Sound Effect #4.
MOUSER MECHA CATBOT vs. ALPHA RAPTOR
You may have noticed I conveniently skipped over the recaps that Bil and Sean provided for these two robots before the Fon Davis builder bio segment. That’s because had I addressed them earlier I wouldn’t have anything to bring up here. Mouser Mecha Catbot previously took out Shaft in a lightweight match where the judges were watching something completely different for three minutes. It also took down No Tolerance II, the robot with the goofy ass monster truck wheels and spigot-on-a-chain flail weapon we saw in the lightweight rumble a couple weeks back. No idea why Mouser Mecha Catbot’s fight against No Tolerance II wasn’t televised; it looks like it would’ve been entertaining to see with No Tolerance II getting turned ass-up at least twice.
Alpha Raptor has made it to the semifinals after taking a slightly longer route to get here, starting first by knocking out Cereal Box Killer by apparently lifting it up entirely off the floor and onto the arena spike strip, possibly the closest we’ve ever come to a proper “out of the arena” victory before Bronco threw Stinger over the wall in last year’s ABC reboot. Sean goes on to say Alpha Raptor gave Dr. Inferno a dose of “bad medicine” even though in the only B-roll they have of the fight Alpha Raptor clearly gets its ass handed to it by the Killsaws. Neither fight was televised, however Alpha Raptor’s cakewalk of a fight against Tentomushi did make it to TV and for all the playing up the producers did for Tentomushi I’ll be damned if that wasn’t one of the most one-sided battles we’ve seen this season.
Bil Dwyer gives us his guarantee that this will be an exciting fight, presumably so nobody flips to another channel because they are bored out of their fucking minds right now. Too bad Bil Dwyer’s word is worth about as much as his fashion sense. “There’s nothing but great fights on BattleBots,” Sean replies. With that, please take a moment to reflect on the reality that nothing I say on this website will come close to topping this exchange of words.
You might recall just before we shifted gears to cover the newest ABC season of the show how Alpha Raptor started its fight against Tentomushi by blasting off right into the backside of a Hellraiser. It does it again this time, too. Must be a good luck ritual. Bil claims not to be a genius and goes on to talk about Alpha Raptor’s driving ability, or lack thereof. Bil is correct on both counts. While this is going on, Mouse Mecha Catbot unveils its fighting strategy which at this point appears to be “park on top of as many different hazards as possible in case one of them dispenses a WINNER token”.
For whatever reason, there’s a whole lot of nothing going on in this match. Both robots seem to have something major wrong with them; Mouser Mecha Catbot’s lifting arm is doing fuck all, while Alpha Raptor is clearly having some sort of problem with its drivetrain. The resulting mess is a fight less interesting than Minion versus Grendel, and worst of all the music the editors have chosen for this fight is the one that sounds like someone farting into a vocoder. Despite the issues with Alpha Raptor’s drive system, Chuck Pitzer still manages to get a couple of minor lifts and bump its opponent onto the saws which is as close to real action as we’re going to get. Sean stoops as low as to make a “spay and neuter your cat” joke as the Killsaws grind against Mouser Mecha Catbot’s no-no zone. Since we’re at the point where Sean is telling jokes that are falling flat I’m just going to go out on a limb and assume nobody recharged the talking-head-in-the-upper-left panic button after the last time it was used. Bil quotes Happy Gilmore — a movie just four years old at the time — and uses the term “taparoo” to describe one of Alpha Raptor’s attacks. Great. Both commentators have officially checked out of this one.
Like a drunk bum stumbling and falling onto an electrified rail, Mouser Mecha Catbot takes itself to the Killsaws and gets thrown into the center of the arena where is promptly just finally fucking dies. Sean says that’s “three” of Mouser’s “nine lives” that it’s used up, to which Bil adds “that’s one third”. He’s a numbers guy, remember? The referee starts to count out Mouser Mecha Catbot but the fight buzzer shows up to shut that party down, forcing this cripple fight to go to a judges’ decision.
WINNER: Alpha Raptor, 8-1
DAS BOT vs. BACKLASH
Even though we’re in the middle of the lightweight semifinals Das Bot is a robot we’ve somehow never seen before, except for the rumble (which doesn’t count). You might recall Das Bot being the one that looked like a giant stupid jewelry case filled with power tools and batteries. For our non-German readers, “Das Bot” roughly translates to “The Bot”. I can’t tell if that’s the joke, or if the robot’s name is supposed to be a parody of the film Das Boot. Anyways, Das Bot made “short word” of Rott Bott 2000, trampled Shrike, and lucked out against Ziggo after getting its fucking face ripped off. No idea why they didn’t show us the Ziggo fight because it looked brutal. Worth pointing out is Das Bot has only beaten robots with animal themes (Rott Bott 2000 was named after the Rottweiler breed of dog); considering Backlash isn’t using that gimmick I think it’s a safe bet their luck has run out.
Shoutouts to the asshole in the audience wearing the “Goodwill nightmare” hat. Can’t let the government read your thoughts even when you’re at the robot show.
Backlash has been breaking shit since day one. In its first ever tournament it’s used its “Mini Nightmare” vertical spinning disc to rip The Disposable Hero to pieces and cause significant damage to Crusher who ended up eventually knocking itself out because it was being driven by a fucking 10 year old. Endotherm almost rustled some jimmies in the quarterfinals, but Backlash prevailed and all we get to see of the fight is that clip of Backlash doing a sweet 180 exchange off the Killsaws from the opening credits.
In order to reduce the amount of damage that Backlash can inflict, Das Bot comes into this match sporting what appears to be blocks of the shit car seats are made from literally just zip tied right onto its scoop. In a matter of seconds Backlash clips one of them clean off. Good job, Das Bot. Good effort. Backlash follows up by bending Das Bot’s lifting arm and almost flipping it ass over head right on top of the Killsaws. Failing this, Backlash just goes in and finishes off the lifting arm, bending it almost straight up. Now you know why Das Bot didn’t have its lifting arm during the lightweight rumble. Backlash continues its assault and rips off Das Bot’s other foam block for good measure, disabling the robot in the process. In the final hit of the match Das Bot gets bumped onto the Killsaws which throw massive amounts of actual sawdust all over the place because Das Bot’s underside is literally fucking wood. I get that this was probably a choice made to save weight, but I feel like Paul Mathus probably could’ve saved even more weight on his robot, and have been able to built it out of “not garbage”, if he didn’t ultimately decide to make his lightweight the size of a goddamned grocery store.
However I realize Das Bot only made it here out of sheer luck alone, because it was absolutely marked for death when it fought Ziggo, so I’ll give credit where due. For a robot that only recently had its entire goddamned front end ripped off, Das Bot’s team certainly did a good job putting it back together. Too bad the universe hates them and they ended up fighting Backlash immediately afterward. Rest in spaghetti, never forgetti.
WINNER: Backlash, KO
BACKLASH vs. ALPHA RAPTOR
And here we are, the lightweight finals. These openers are always tricky to write because by this point I’ve already recapped these robots multiple times, once already in the case of this article alone. That said, of the two robots that have made it to the championship my money is riding on Backlash if only because thus far it’s proven to be the one that has the most knock out power out of these two bots. Crusher killed itself, but Backlash has been able to disassemble two of its previous opponents to get here. The only pitfall facing Jim Smentowski’s robot is the fact that its weapon shaft appears to be made out of a Kit Kat bar because it won’t fucking stop breaking; it’s been split in two at some point for three of Backlash’s previous four fights. My initial description of the robot being “rickety as fuck” is still spot-on.
Alpha Raptor on the other hand is only here because of Chuck Pitzer’s self admitted “lucky stars” (not the anime). Chuck mentioned that moments before its fight with Mouser Mecha Catbot smoke started coming out of the robot prompting as in-depth of an investigation that you can give in the minutes before your next fight. There’s your answer as to why Alpha Raptor was driving like a car with a flat tire the whole time. I’m sorry, I mean “Mjollnir”, not “car with a flat tire”. Assuming Alpha Raptor has been fixed it might stand a chance, but only if it hits Backlash anywhere other than the front. As Mark Beiro introduces Alpha Raptor, Bil chimes in with “let’s see if it runs into the Hellraisers again” scoring him the solitary BattleBots Update Official Funny Joke Point™ that he usually gets in each article.
Whatever it was that was wrong with Alpha Raptor is apparently still a problem because rather than careen headfirst into the Hellraisers the robot instead just aimlessly spins around and is barely even able to leave its starting square before Backlash is already dangerously close. Alpha Raptor makes a neat juke through the middle of the Killsaws, a move which I am going to assume was 100% luck, which puts some distance between it and Backlash who knows better than to dick around near the hazards. Not realizing Alpha Raptor can’t even drive in a straight fucking line, Bil suggests it’s lining up for a run at Backlash. Instead, Alpha Raptor runs into the wall after getting its left side panel jacked up by its opponent.
With its opponent in a prime position for a fucking, Backlash comes in and starts literally chipping away at Alpha Raptor’s backside. Not satisfied with this, Backlash retreats to allow its weapon to spin up to top speed before coming back in for round two and turns Alpha Raptor’s ass into the three car garage that Jim and his wife Erica have always dreamed of.
“Is [Alpha Raptor] already incapacitated,” Sean asks. Bro, did you not just see the fountain of fucking batteries and what I can only describe as “electrical shit” spew out of Alpha Raptor’s backside? That robot just sabertoothed cat’d so hard that it created a whole new divergent species. Alpha Raptor isn’t just dead, it’s legacy has been unwritten from history itself. Seriously. The ref doesn’t even count out Alpha Raptor, he literally just moves his headset out of the way to ask Chuck if he’s had enough. That’s some top tier fucking up right there. I’d tip my hat to Backlash, but in the year of our lord 2017 tipping a hat implies you also vape and have sex with anime body pillows and that’s not my style.
WINNER: Backlash, KO
After the battle Donna D’Errico meets up with Jim who’s either completely disinterested in his victory or is one of those people who stonewalls emotionally until he’s somewhere no one can see him and then breaks into a whole goddamned Broadway-style song and dance. Or hell, maybe his idea of celebration is the fattest blunt imaginable. In any case he wins, and Chuck gets the consolation prize of speaking to a Sklar who drops an S-bomb on national television.
As Jim walks back into the Battlebox to accept the famed Giant Nut, Sean still can’t get the guy’s fucking name right. It’s not even a hard name to say. There’s not a fucking “C” anywhere in the name “Smentowski”. On what fucking planet does “T” make a “ck” sound? God damn. Anyways the Wii Fit Trainer is there to give Jim the Giant Nut, but the jury is still out on the $5,000 because there’s no giant novelty checks or a big burlap sack of cash with a “$” on it anywhere.
Next week we’ve got matches featuring the one pump chump Blade Runner, the debut of Hazard, and a fight featuring super heavyweight Ginsu whose chassis appears to be bucking under its own massive mistakes.
Well it only took me a year to get back to covering season one of BattleBots, which doesn’t bode well for the future of this website considering there’s 4 more legacy seasons of the show plus the other 6 seasons of Robot Wars UK, 3 seasons of Robotica, and all the other dumb crap I’d like to get into. I wish I could give you all a better prognosis on this website but the truth of the matter is things have been pretty poor in my personal life and I just do not have the time to pursue this website like I used to. It’s just not financially viable for me, and I don’t mean to say that in an “I’m a shithead only in it for the money” — I mean to say that when I sit down to write this website I have to block off a period of time that I’d otherwise spend getting paid to do stuff and Google AdSense fucks me over so it’s hard to invest the time necessary to write these articles when I owe so much to so many institutions. I wish things were different, but sadly they are not.
I’m definitely going to finish this season and I will continue to pursue The Update when the new edition of Robot Wars UK rolls around, however. Remember you can follow the website on Facebook to keep up to date with what goes on around here, and if you’d like to send a tip BattleBots Update is now on Patreon!