[BattleBots: S8 E18 is available online through Science Channel with a cable subscription.]

These guys aren’t fighting tonight, but it’s still a cool intro thing.

Throughout the season most of the episodes of BattleBots have opened up with some cheeky skit where Chris Rose gets hit in the head with a piece of metal or Kenny Florian gets his birthday party ruined by a giant dinosaur. Come to think of it, the “giant dinosaur ruining something” trope has been used twice this year already. Get with it, you guys. This unoriginality is killing the sport! This episode does not have a witty opener because if you’re not aware of it “Fight Night” is over and this week’s show is a hype reel for the ensuing main tournament. Last week the top 14 robots were ranked and revealed and special play-in bouts were held for 15th and 16th place. The qualifying bots are locked in and from this point onward everything is single elimination. Lose here and you’re out for good.

This first episode of the main event is going to cover the left side of the tournament brackets; both the Round of 16 and the quarterfinals will be taking place. Next week the same will apply to the right side of the bracket, and for the 20th and final episode of the season we’ll get into the semifinals and championship bout. For now? This side of the bracket sees the reigning champion Tombstone looking to defend its title against Bombshell, this season’s Hail Mary 16th place robot and winner of the “last chance rumble”. Lock-Jaw, who qualified by way of winning the Desperado flash tournament, also makes its Round of 16 debut in a battle against Son of Whyachi. Surprise rebound SawBlaze will be taking on the British sensation Monsoon, and the rock solid Minotaur has been drawn to fight longshot Witch Doctor. The winners of the first two and last two matches will then battle each other for places in the semifinals, so that’s six fights to look forward to in this episode!


SAWBLAZE (5) vs. MONSOON (12)

SAWBLAZE

Team SawBlaze

Weapon: Saw & flamethrower on articulated arm

MONSOON

Team Monsoon

Weapon: Vertical spinning blade

I would be absolutely terrified of hitting Monsoon head-on, god damn.

Totally True Trivia™: Jamison Go was creative enough to make his robot look like a dragon, but not creative enough to name his own team.

Now I know the upper left corner of the bracket has Tombstone vs. Bombshell and you might be saying “what the fuck why isn’t that one first”. Buddy, you can’t just frontload all the action at the start of the episode otherwise no one’s going to fast forward through all the commercials on their DVR to get to the good parts. If no one sees one frame of some dude fucking a Wendy’s Baconator as they skip ahead at x128 speed then nobody involved with Discovery Channel or this show is getting paid and that means no 2019 season. You get SawBlaze and Monsoon first, and that’s not a bad deal because both of these robots have had fantastic surprise seasons so far. SawBlaze has made an incredible comeback after a disappointing early loss in 2016 and qualified for the top 16 by way of knocking out both Overhaul and Mohawk. SawBlaze didn’t quite get the KO on Reality but did win on a unanimous judges’ decision so that might as well just be the same damn thing. The robot’s only loss came from Bronco when the charging bull drop kicked SawBlaze for three solid minutes and broke the dragon’s weapon within the first minute alone. Not a high note to end on, but SawBlaze was going to advance onward no matter what so Jamison can take his bruised ego and funnel that frustration directly up Monsoon’s anus.

In the past I’ve described how little hope I had for Monsoon once I realized it was basically just Tauron 3 from Robot Wars with a nicer paint job and different colored LED lights. (I’m aware there are actual differences between Tauron and Monsoon, but for all intents and purposes they’re basically the same fucking thing.) The reason for this is Tauron had an incredibly poor performance in the two seasons of Robot Wars it was featured in so I didn’t expect much from this robot. Consider my dumb ass officially “shocked” when in Monsoon’s first battle it whacked Red Devil square in the face and blew it the fuck open. Red Devil’s center chassis was ratcheted backward so violently that its articulating mechanism straight up broke and the robot ended up having to spend the rest of the match fighting like an upside down textbook. Monsoon had some weapon troubles about a minute into the match but I could tell with a little bit of refinement in the pits that this thing definitely wasn’t Tauron levels of bad. Monsoon went on to KO Petunia by literally tearing it a new asshole and also defeated Axe Backwards by KO because Axe Backwards sucks. Monsoon’s one loss was against Son of Whyachi where the vertical spinner held its own for like two solid blows but ultimately got thrashed and tossed aside. Builder Tom Brewster’s parents are in attendance this week to cheer their son on which basically tells me that the universe is about to conspire to cuck this guy on (inter)national television.

You KNOW the hit’s good when it makes so many sparks that it fucks up the video compression.

This whole season Jamison’s approach to his robot SawBlaze has just been to keep its front end pointed toward his opponents no matter who they are or what kinds of guns they have. This has had some mixed results to say the least, especially when it comes to spinners. SawBlaze’s entire front set of forks are essentially sacrificial armor, but if they get dinged just right then they become completely ineffective. We saw this during its exhibition match with End Game and somewhat against Bronco too when SawBlaze was thrown 40 goddamned feet into the air and landed poorly. Still, that doesn’t stop Jamison from flooring on the accelerator right out of the gate and slamming Monsoon into the wall. Monsoon’s weapon is spinning full blast but SawBlaze’s face is damn near bulletproof and all these hits are just glancing off. That is until Monsoon gets away and hooks straight into SawBlaze’s right set of tires and rips the inner foam core from the one on the outside. Monsoon’s blade also cleaves into SawBlaze’s weapon arm but I can’t quite tell if this has done any damage aside from fucking up the paint. But this is why SawBlaze has a pair of wheels on each hub instead of just one, SawBlaze is still fully mobile and immediately seizes Monsoon with its prongs. Monsoon predictably gets taken into the wall again but not before its blade catches one of the Killsaw slots and digs up the arena floor. I swear to god it’s almost like competitors are just fucking up the hazards because they can at this point.

Tim Rackers, the guy with the mohawk on Monsoon’s team, starts coaching Tom backseat driving and tells him to get the fuck away and spin Monsoon’s weapon up, which I guess he sorta tries to do. Monsoon’s main problem in this fight is its chassis is pointed like a “V” while SawBlaze’s is more like an “M” and Monsoon’s weapon just keeps sliding right into the slots between SawBlaze’s forks. You can tell I’m running out of ways to describe these fucking robots all the way into the 18th episode of the show because I’m using basic concepts like letters now. We’re one step away from “penis” and “vagina”. SawBlaze is doing well right now, aside from somehow managing to catch itself on the ding it helped make in the floor, but I’m starting to get kind of antsy about its PRIMARY WEAPON mostly because it’s not using it. I get that Monsoon shredded Red Devil’s similar weapon so badly that pieces of it were ejected into the goddamned arena scaffolding but SawBlaze has had some golden opportunities to bring that saw down on Monsoon’s ass and then quickly snap it backward to avoid taking any damage. Right now SawBlaze is unintentionally defaulting to what it did against Razorback in 2016 and we all know how that shitshow ended.

Don’t be fooled here, SawBlaze is definitely losing.

Still, this is some expert driving and control on display from SawBlaze here because Monsoon has basically been given the opportunity to etch its name into every single corner of the arena. But there’s also some great experience on the part of Monsoon’s team as well. Even though their robot is being forced to kiss every part of the wall where there’s a cameraman standing Tim had the foresight to cut power to Monsoon’s weapon just moments before the robot was shoved into the spike strip. This ensured that Monsoon’s weapon would still be functional after this hit and now that the clock graphic is on the screen to tell us this fight is halfway over I can confidently congratulate Monsoon for officially setting a personal best in the field of “how long can this robot’s weapon last before it fucking breaks again”. Looking good guys, keep it up! Speaking of weapons, right now is when SawBlaze needs to be keying a dick in Monsoon’s paint job but it’s just unable to. The weapon arm is twitching a bit which leads me to believe that Jamison is trying to deploy it and maybe that early hit from Monsoon turned out to be a lot worse than it initially looked. If that’s the case then SawBlaze is fucked because if Monsoon did enough damage to disable a PRIMARY WEAPON then there’s pretty much no coming back from that kind of discrepancy in points.

After that revelation it doesn’t take long for SawBlaze’s upper hand to continue deteriorating. Kenny mentions SawBlaze’s right tires which means that some shit’s about to happen to them and lo and behold Monsoon gets a hit that jams the wheels completely reducing SawBlaze to merely pivoting in place. As SawBlaze careens around in circles its left wheels take a shot as well and the outer one shits out its foam core. Since I’ve already mentioned that I’m reducing these explanations to basic concepts, if you’re good at math this means SawBlaze has about one half of a wheel left. I think? It’s enough to move around on, but it’s not enough to survive with because Monsoon makes up two minutes of lost time over the course of like six fucking seconds. SawBlaze’s jammed right set of wheels get completely torn off, it almost gets flipped onto its back, and it sustains several hits to its rear end that visibly cut into the metal. The dragon’s weapon arm is deployed but I think that’s just because the whole bot has been jerked and tossed around. There’s no power to it and as Monsoon whacks it the whole arm just flips backward. Tim Rackers reveals himself as the guy who does the “FINISH HIM” line from Mortal Kombat and Monsoon does exactly that. SawBlaze is shooting sparks out from where its axles are, from its weapon arm, and with one last blow the robot gets half of its decorative dragon face ripped off and is left for dead.

SawBlaze ends up getting saved by the bell but the decision doesn’t favor it in the least. Monsoon is declared the winner by unanimous choice and just like that my predictions for the tournament have gone off the rails.

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


TOMBSTONE (1) vs. BOMBSHELL (16)

TOMBSTONE

Hardcore Robotics

Weapon: Horizontal spinning blade

BOMBSHELL

Chaos Corps

Weapon: Vertical spinning disc

WINNER: Bombshell, KO


SON OF WHYACHI (8) vs. LOCK-JAW (9)

SON OF WHYACHI

Team Whyachi

Weapon: Horizontal spinning hammers

LOCK-JAW

Team Mutant Robots

Weapon: Vertical spinning blades & lifting arms

Team Whyachi turned their whole robot into a drone just for this battle.

Totally True Trivia™: Forget about that “Lock-Jaw and Bronco’s teams have never fought” bullshit — these two teams have actually never fought each other before.

“Seven Giant Nuts between these two teams” is what we were told at the start of this episode. Technically that isn’t incorrect, but this really is a case of like a BS group project in school where one person ends up having to do all the work. Six of those nuts belong to Donald Hutson, but the lone Giant Nut awarded to Son of Whyachi came from an absolutely unforgettable rookie season where the robot won seven straight fights in a row culminating in a showdown with the legendary Biohazard in a final that went to the judges after both robots sustained heavy damage. Nobody had ever seen something like Son of Whyachi before and its arrival marked the potential for a new breed of bot… until it moved up a weight class the following year and self-destructed in its first battle without any input from its opponent whatsoever. Ever since then Son of Whyachi has returned to chase the Giant Nut and prove that its 2002 title run was not a fluke. All of Whyachi’s battles this year have ended in knockouts including its one loss to Brutus at the start of the season. Beyond that this machine has destroyed Lucky, Monsoon, and End Game. Son of Whyachi’s sister entry Warrior Dragon failed to qualify for the Round of 16 — as expected — and as the last of the Whyachis it’s now or never.

Donald Hutson’s mind doesn’t work like yours or mine. This dude sees things like the fucking Terminator and everything he looks at gets broken down and disassembled mentally. He doesn’t just make decisions anticipating the next one or two steps, he does so while playing out the entire rest of the scenario. He’s a cyborg or something, and right now all I can remember is that time like three years ago when I made a joke about him getting upset and looking like he was mad that his DVR recorded over the episodes of Home Improvement that he hadn’t yet watched. The majority of the Giant Nuts shared between the two robots in this fight are owned by Donald. Four of them were awarded for things like “coolest robot” (which sucks for Christian Carlberg because he didn’t win any of those and his fucking team name was literally “Cool Robots”), but two of them are genuine championship nuts from seasons 2 and 5 when his super heavyweight robot Diesector won its division. Donald’s also got a famed Giant Bolt from winning the Desperado event earlier this season and that’s the reason why Lock-Jaw is in the top 16. Like I said, the man knows when to play his cards. Lock-Jaw has struggled to find its footing in the BattleBots reboot seasons, but by coming in through the back door Lock-Jaw is looking to make a big surprise this year.

Am I going to have to start the “why don’t they retire this piece of shit” thing for Whyachi too?

I pegged Lock-Jaw as the loser of this battle because I was assuming the robot would use its rear bumper as seen in this fight and it would fail miserably. What I was expecting to happen was Lock-Jaw tanking a few hits with this plow and then the thing would bust off or snap in half or whatever and Son of Whyachi would just eat this stupid thing alive. Instead, Lock-Jaw rams its ass in Whyachi’s face and the mutant robot looks rock solid. In case you’re wondering why Lock-Jaw has an angled plow instead of just a flat bulldozer scoop it has to do with how the attachment deflects spinning weapons. Lock-Jaw’s plow operates on the same physics principles as Duck’s lifter, when a horizontal spinner strikes the side of the plow the weapon will deflect upward and ride up along the slant. This in turn should — in theory — destabilize the spinner. And it works, because Son of Whyachi is immediately flung off into the walls and screws every time Lock-Jaw lets one rip in its face. I’m assuming Lock-Jaw’s plan is to ricochet Whyachi into the wall and the spin around in order to hit it with its spinning blades, which is almost does, but I’m thinking Lock-Jaw is a little too worried about its spinners being on the receiving end of a low-speed impact from Son of Whyachi’s hammers because it never once lands a hit of its own.

Lock-Jaw dutifully continues to ram into its opponent and at one point Son of Whyachi starts getting chewed upward by one of the working sets of screws (it’s important that I denote which ones are working because as always some of them are broke as fuck). This is Lock-Jaw’s moment, Son of Whyachi isn’t spinning. Lock-Jaw whips around and makes a bee line for Whyachi regardless of whatever’s in its way. This happens to be Son of Whyachi’s accompanying doorstop bot which gets blasted as Lock-Jaw connects with Son of Whyachi’s front end and rips off one of its little mini wedges. Either the force of being bumped around or its weapon getting jerked upward by the screws has caused some unrest within Whyachi because as it gets down from the hazard you can see a faint bit of smoke come out of the robot. Everything seems to still be running, but after one more blow Whyachi’s innards just melt and the robot’s iconic spinner gives out. This puts Whyachi on the defensive as Lock-Jaw now has free reign to come at it with its twin discs, but for whatever reason Lock-Jaw consistently fails to get any purchase on the dead spinner. Don’t get me wrong, Lock-Jaw is getting some little hits but I feel like Son of Whyachi being able to get underneath Lock-Jaw and push it around is not how this fight is supposed to be going right now. Whyachi’s front wedges seem more like a directional aide than functional fucking wedges and yet here we are.

Aww look, they’re sleepy.

I know why Lock-Jaw has that single lifting arm still attached, it’s to get underneath Son of Whyachi and help feed the robot into its discs. What I don’t get is why Donald doesn’t just retract that piece of shit because it’s not working as intended. Somehow Son of Whyachi is avoiding taking any major hits from its opponent by doing nothing more than existing. Lock-Jaw’s discs seem to jut out far enough from the robot that if its lifting arm were to be folded back it could just strike like the similarly armed Witch Doctor. Why Lock-Jaw isn’t doing this is something I don’t get because every open face of Son of Whyachi’s vulnerable chassis is just a flat surface begging to be chewed at and if Lock-Jaw ends up hitting the weapon instead then that means it’ll tear through Son of Whyachi’s stabilizing bars. It’s points either way, and it’s also “aggression with a PRIMARY WEAPON“. Whatever the case may be, Lock-Jaw completes the fight with its lifting arm still deployed and ends up getting a few decent shots that are absorbed by Son of Whyachi’s hammers. No major structural damage is done to the robot itself aside from the little wedge that Lock-Jaw bit off earlier in the fight (as well as the second one that gets torn off in the last few seconds of the battle).

Obviously though by disabling Son of Whyachi’s weapon Lock-Jaw was more than likely going to win, and the judges seem to agree. I have now been wrong on every single Round of 16 prediction up to this point. Oof.

WINNER: Lock-Jaw, Judges’ Decision (3-0)


MINOTAUR (4) vs. WITCH DOCTOR (13)

MINOTAUR

Team RioBotz

Weapon: Vertical spinning drum

WITCH DOCTOR

Busted Nuts Robotics

Weapon: Vertical spinning discs

*doink*

Totally True Trivia™: Both of these robots have defeated Blacksmith, but only one of them got a silver Play Button from YouTube because of it.

Seeded fourth and at the top of the list of qualifying robots with 3-1 records is Minotaur. I’ve already gotten into further detail about why I disagreed with that seeding — Minotaur hasn’t ripped two goddamned opponents in half this year like Icewave has — but you still gotta have a level of respect for this robot. Team RioBotz has been kicking ass worldwide but they’ve never gotten their hands on a Giant Nut. To me that makes them one of the more unpredictable competitors in the top 16 since you know these guys are good for a championship elsewhere, because they’ve never won at BattleBots that just means they’re willing to do whatever it takes. Marco Meggiolaro even says so himself, “do and die, all nothing”… or something like that. Minotaur got a bad start being drawn to fight Tombstone but it kept the champ on the ropes the whole fight until it got snagged on a broken part of the floor and was counted out. It lost to Tombstone, so what. Everyone does. Nevermind. What matters are its wins, and they were pretty good this year. Minotaur turned Hypothermia’s ass cheeks into its own personal stomping ground, won its rematch with Blacksmith, and blew SubZero to kingdom fucking come. Minotaur started shaky this year, especially in regards to its weapon power, but it’s been ramping up with no sign of stopping. Marco says Minotaur’s been equipped with a brand new drum for this battle with “more teeth” in order to catch onto opponents and rip them up. Like I said, these guys are the X factor of this season and that’s why I’ve pegged them as the potential champions.

Meanwhile… it’s Witch Doctor. Earlier this season I introduced this machine as a robot who “hasn’t done as well as your memory is probably telling you”. Obviously it’s not that bad of a robot because it qualified fair and square in 13th place and didn’t need the assistance of some bogus special battle to make it in. Andrea Suarez has put together a competent robot that has successfully evolved over the years in order to guard itself against the kinds of things that resulted in its losses from previous series. It’s just not… the best, I guess you could say. Witch Doctor can put on a great show but by qualifying toward the bottom of the grid it’s always going to be doomed to fight shit like Minotaur. Witch Doctor was pummeled into oblivion by Yeti at the start of the season. Yeti’s not a bad robot, but compared to Minotaur Yeti is the equivalent of an inflatable dummy. If Witch Doctor exploded after getting socked by Yeti then I’m positive Minotaur can hit this robot hard enough to randomly kill a fucking bystander. Witch Doctor 180’d from its early loss with three consecutive wins over Blacksmith, Ultimo Destructo, and Overhaul, but this fight will probably be the doc’s ultimate test of the season.

I’m positive this all happened in slow motion to Witch Doctor.

This battle unfolds like a bad PS1 game. Witch Doctor meets Minotaur head-on and eventually ends up getting shoved into the wall near the drivers’ booth. Some sparks are shaved off of Witch Doctor’s face and while this was certainly a powerful slam by Minotaur it doesn’t really look like a whole lot of damage should have been done here… yet somehow Witch Doctor’s front right wheel is bent inward? The wheel is quite obviously affecting the robot’s ability to drive by causing friction on the floor but I’m more curious as to what part of that hit did this? My guess is that initial blow, but when the replays of this fight are played and we see it from another angle the wheel is fine. For all we know Minotaur could’ve just pulled a Marvel vs. Capcom on us and switched in Tombstone for a quick assist. Witch Doctor wriggles across the floor and gets tapped on its left side by Minotaur which results in the stuck wheel popping loose. This is probably a net gain for Andrea because you can see an immediate difference in her ability to control Witch Doctor now that the jammed wheel is no longer rubbing along the floor. She’s still missing a whole wheel though, and it looks like there’s some kind of chain that’s caught underneath the robot. I’m assuming that belongs to Witch Doctor because as far as I know Minotaur uses either belts or gearboxes for everything. Also Minotaur isn’t the robot who’s already losing fucking parts.

FUCK

Witch Doctor absorbs hits with its face and then its left wheel just sort of arbitrarily pops off too. Again, I don’t think it actually got hit. It just sorta fell off. Is Witch Doctor actually a zombie? Like, for real? Technically Witch Doctor is still able to move because it has both of its back wheels — I don’t know for how much longer — but this is going to drastically limit how well the robot can maneuver. When you’re fighting a robot like Minotaur you need every freebie you can get when it comes to being able to out drive the insane madman known as Daniel Freitas. Losing your front wheels isn’t one of those freebies. However, because I like to be an optimist, this might work in Witch Doctor’s favor as long as the front of the robot remains pointing at Minotaur. There’s really nothing left to damage up there now and Witch Doctor still has its massive fuck off plow. Minotaur can chew on that until the cows– I mean, until the bulls come home and it probably won’t to anything of substance in the way of disabling Witch Doctor. Like I said this would require Witch Doctor to keep its front end pointed at Minotaur, which it immediately fails to do. Minotaur starts nibbling on Witch Doctor’s ass and in a matter of seconds its back right tire is missing. Witch Doctor drifts into the corner, gets whacked by the Pulverizer, and its last remaining wheel gets ejected upward. Again that’s that weird “bad PS1 game” damage taking effect or something because I have no clue where that hit came from. Chris Rose said Daniel loved rubber, and I guess he wasn’t wrong. Now I just hope he was referring to tires and not something else.

Minotaur has clearly won this fight, but it hasn’t won this fight. Not yet at least. Witch Doctor has no more wheels and is a sitting duck, so Minotaur just cruises it right down along the drivers’ booth and into the other Pulverizer. This causes another physics glitch that results in Witch Doctor being hurled into the air and onto its back. Hilariously, Witch Doctor deploys its srimech and flips itself back over even though it’s dead either way. Smoke starts coming out of Witch Doctor’s ass and the robot begins feverishly waving its self-righter around to try and put the ensuing fire out but all this achieves is fanning the flames and the robot burns to death. Ironically Faruq’s introduction mentioned that Witch Doctor should be able to survive exactly this. Guess not.

WINNER: Minotaur, KO


QUARTERFINAL
BOMBSHELL (16) vs. LOCK-JAW (9)

BOMBSHELL

Chaos Corps

Weapon: Vertical spinning disc

LOCK-JAW

Team Mutant Robots

Weapon: Vertical spinning blades & lifting arms

It looks like a “HUGE HIT”, but it’s not.

Totally True Trivia™: Bombshell’s team paints a gold tooth on their robot every time in wins but you can’t actually tell because Bombshell’s whole fucking face is gone.

We’re at the point now where robots are going to be featured multiple times per episode so the introductory sections of these fights are going to be a lot shorter because I’ve already primed you on them and we’ve already seen them battle. Both of these robots moved mountains in their initial Round of 16 fights; Lock-Jaw battered Son of Whyachi like a [to do: tasteless domestic violence joke] while Bombshell did the impossible and scored its first one-on-one win of the season… against fucking Tombstone. Lock-Jaw is just a wishy-washy mid-range robot, but Bombshell has just flashed its hand and revealed to us that it’s either a total piece of shit that got one hell of a stroke of ironic luck or Mike Jeffries is a secret genius and played dumb for four fights only to rise up at the last minute as the 16th seed to take a unique path to the Giant Nut. Consequently these two robots have battled each other once already this season and the match was a complete cakewalk for Lock-Jaw. Bombshell was dead on arrival and performed so poorly that after Donald Huston had flipped Bombshell over for an easy win he decided to help the robot get back down onto its wheels to continue the fight so that maybe Lock-Jaw’s debut fight of the season wouldn’t end up as an untelevised disaster like Ultimo Destructo’s.

HOLY SHIT IT’S A GHOST

This fight lasts one fucking hit, and no Bombshell doesn’t spin up its blade and hit Lock-Jaw so hard that Lock-Jaw flies through the roof and Donald never gets it back. Bombshell isn’t even the one who lands the fucking hit, Lock-Jaw catches the front lip of Bombshell’s wedge with its spinners and kinks the robot upward and onto its back. Bombshell responds to this by ceasing to move and then catching fire. That’s it. This fucking robot took a half-dozen blows straight to the face from Tombstone to the point where its trademark bomber plane paint job was rendered completely illegible but one tiny hit from Lock-Jaw’s pussy ass spinners is enough to kill this thing. It was at this moment I realized that Bombshell wasn’t meant to win the Giant Nut this year. Hell, it wasn’t even meant to win its fights for that matter, with the exception of one. Bombshell existed purely to fuck up Tombstone’s stride and prevent it from claiming another title, and that’s it. No more, no less. In fact I’m not even certain Bombshell existed in this realm to begin with, this robot is a fucking ghost and now that its “unfinished business” has been completed it can rest in peace for eternity.

WINNER: Lock-Jaw, KO


QUARTERFINAL
MINOTAUR (4) vs. MONSOON (12)

MINOTAUR

Team RioBotz

Weapon: Vertical spinning drum

MONSOON

Team Monsoon

Weapon: Vertical spinning blade

Above: No damage to Minotaur.

Totally True Trivia™: Every time Minotaur wins a fight Daniel Freitas chugs an entire can of Monster.

Out of the eight robots on this side of the bracket Minotaur is the only one whom I thought would win their fights to actually win its fight. As I predicted, Minotaur bulldozed Witch Doctor. I was expecting a knockout, but I wasn’t expecting Minotaur to do shit like hit Witch Doctor from the left and cause its wheels on the right to pop off. Marco Meggiolaro said he “put a new drum on”, I can’t explain that other shit unless Minotaur is just able to hit hard enough now that it’s turned BattleBots into some shitty arcade game. I have nothing against Monsoon specifically, I just thought it wasn’t going to beat SawBlaze. Like I said in last week’s post, Monsoon’s chassis is the perfect size and shape to fit into SawBlaze’s grasp and get sliced apart. It was, but SawBlaze didn’t bring its weapon down in fear of hitting Monsoon’s spinning bar. Ultimately that same spinning bar leveled SawBlaze. Minotaur is just one “seed” above SawBlaze, but that’s one hell of a fucking jump. I’m not so sure Monsoon can scrape up a win by hoping that its opponent will be too frightened to use their weapon effectively because that’s literally all Minotaur does, rain or shine.

“Spin up, and hit them reeeeeeally hard.” That’s Tom Brewster’s plan. Against Minotaur? That’s really the best you can do, that thing is a solid brick of metal and all you can hope for is to just whack it enough times to hopefully score points with the judges while avoiding getting your butthole reamed for the entire match. Monsoon banks hard to the left to stay squared up with Minotaur and turns so sharply that its bar catches the robot’s own fucking frame. You know Tom is going hard on the sticks with this one, but Minotaur’s driver is doing just the same. Minotaur kisses Monsoon and I can’t tell what all of the parts are that get torn off of Monsoon’s face but one of them was one of the little prongs that brace against the ground to stabilize Monsoon’s weapon. You can see it missing when Minotaur hits Monsoon again and flips it over. Because that happens. Minotaur also loses two of the four belts that drive its weapon, but it’s still got half so that’s not good enough to disable it completely. Kenny says the PRIMARY WEAPON of Monsoon is “functioning very well” which is grossly incorrect. Monsoon’s weapon is visibly slowing down as it gets away from Minotaur and when it inevitably fails to achieve this and gets punched in the face Monsoon’s weapon belt comes loose.

At least Tom now has time to take his parents to Disneyland or something.

Minotaur takes Monsoon into the wall where the robot gets stuck at an awkward angle that it would normally be able to get down from if its weapon didn’t just break three seconds prior. You can hear the sound of Minotaur’s drum revving up to top speed which signals two things: One, this pit’s about to officially be opened up, and two, Monsoon just got its ass kicked while Minotaur wasn’t even trying. Obviously Minotaur starts ramping up its weapon to go in for the kill assuming Monsoon gets down from its current orientation, but when that doesn’t happen you can hear the weapon start to go back down to its normal “regular lethal” speed. Tom shouts over to Daniel and the Minotaur team to knock Monsoon over and continue the fight, but bro this is the quarterfinals. There’s no “selection committee” to impress anymore, this is all business. If you can’t get down from the wall that ain’t Minotaur’s problem. Even though I had originally pegged Minotaur to be fighting SawBlaze in this round I still projected Minotaur to be the winner, and by knocking out Monsoon to advance into the semifinals I’m still potentially correct with my prediction of Minotaur being this year’s grand champion.

WINNER: Minotaur, KO


Just like that two semifinalists have been declared, Lock-Jaw and Minotaur. We won’t see them battle until the final episode of the season, but this is moving pretty damn quick. Only 10 of the top 16 robots remain now, and after next week that number will be cut down to just four. With Tombstone out of the running the hosts aren’t wrong, this is now potentially anybody’s game. Son of Whyachi being taken out also means that another heavy hitter is done for the season, and I had Whyachi picked to fight Minotaur in the semifinals. Now? I’ve got no idea. I’m guessing Lock-Jaw just might have the upper hand as long as the robot can stay on the ground and remain controlled, but the moment it gets flipped over that thing is done for. Next week the other half of the brackets take place and the lineup includes Bronco who has always been in Tombstone’s shadow. 2015 champion Bite Force is also on this side of the bracket sporting its “final form” now that it’s armed with its goddamned QUAD-Magmotor weapon array. We’ve also got some of the more peculiar robots like Whiplash, Icewave, and Rotator. I’ve predicted Bronco and Icewave as the semifinalists. Was I right? Only one way to find out.

oh no here he goes again

Thanks for swinging by BattleBots Update this week. Now that the end of the season is rapidly approaching this “do or die” territory is going to come with a lot of action and a lot of heartbreak and I can think of nothing more appropriate for the occasion than a washed up 30-something internet comedian making high school-tier remarks about shitty robots. By the way, don’t worry too much about that “unoriginality” BS from the opening of this article; BattleBots has been performing so well that over on the show’s official Facebook page they’ve been talking about things they’re going to do for “the 2019 season”. (Like making sure bullshit rumble wins don’t happen again. ZING.) That’s a very good sign, and an even better one is that BattleBots continues to be Discovery Channel’s number one (or a very close two) show. I don’t want to say “we’re definitely good for next year”, but if I were a Magic 8 Ball I’d tell you “signs point to yes”. This is all adding up to a punchline where I tell you that 2019 will be the year when I bring something to the show only to let everyone down again when that doesn’t happen. I don’t know how I’ll top “a hurricane literally blew my robot away” as an excuse for next year though.

If you haven’t already, make sure you follow BattleBots Update on Facebook. I don’t know what I’m going to do with 3,600+ followers when I inevitably crash and burn and destroy this project in the process but hey the more people who see it happen the better! On that high note if you would like to invest in the future of this project you can do so through a monthly pledge on Patreon, or as just a one-time tip processed via PayPal. I would like to extend a special thank you to Gears4131 who joined the Patreon page earlier this week! I believe he pledged at the tier that gives him a link in the upper right of every article, so once I figure out how Patreon works I’ll get that added. Also Gears’ contribution brings BattleBots Update a few dollars shy of the $100 milestone! That now seems totally doable, haha.

See you next week!

– Dracophile