[BattleBots: S8 E7 is available online through Science Channel with a cable subscription.]

I want you all to know that this picture of Faruq was very nearly the “article preview” image for Facebook, and because of how broke-ass Patreon is, IS the preview image on Patreon.

I knew it was going to be hard figuring out how to write opening blurbs for at least 20 episodes this season because we’re at number 7 and I’m already out of ideas. I can’t just keep saying “welcome to BattleBots Update” because that’ll get annoying after a while. I say that of course, but the last paragraph of every article always has the phrase “follow BattleBots Update on Facebook” both for SEO purposes and just to be a low-hanging joke at the expense of bloggers who live purely on social media… and I just realized by dropping that phrase at the beginning of this article I’ve fucked it all up. God damn it. Anyways, I guess it’s amusing that last week’s article opened up with a Chris-chan reference because turns out he showed up to a video game convention this past weekend and got kicked out for being too touchy-feely with con-goers. You guys don’t read this website for the Chris-chan commentary though and I’m pretty sure like 90% of you don’t even know who I’m talking about anyways. The good news is, however, that I’ve wasted about 200 words here and that’s good enough for an opener to me!

This week’s show features a lot of bots that we haven’t seen for a while that I’m sure you probably forgot about. Remember Mecha Rampage? The brightly colored spinner from Team Coolrobots that caught fire when it had a bad run-in with Free Shipping? It’s back. They fixed it, I guess. Mohawk is also back after an admittedly crappy loss where dare I say it was actually doing good for once. We’ve also got Lucky, a robot whose previous fight consisted of it getting hit by the Pulverizer for the entire duration of the match. The rumble on Science Channel features Basilisk, Deviled Egg, and Axe Backwards and man I don’t know about you but had a dinosaur not just stepped on Basilisk last week I would have been like “oh yeah they were here this year”. The opener for this episode is the world’s shortest biopic about the world’s loudest ring announcer, Faruq Tauheed. The joke here is supposed to be that he always has to say “It’s ________ time!” as he does something… but I don’t know what the joke actually is because that’s how Faruq really talks. (Also I don’t know if you noticed but they had to get a stunt double for Free Shipping for this bit.)


SON OF WHYACHI vs. LUCKY

SON OF WHYACHI

Team Whyachi

Weapon: Horizontal spinning hammers

LUCKY

Team Lucky Canucky

Weapon: Pneumatic flipping arm

Thank my lucky stars. I mean sparks.

Totally True Trivia™: When translated from Japanese, “whyachi” means “udder pistol”.

Discovery Channel is treating us really good this year because they know people only watch their channel to see someone getting fucked. 20 years ago it used to be weirdos tuning in to watch antelopes or whatever banging but now in today’s digital age they know what their audience wants to see, and that would be Son of Whyachi reaming another robot. The oldest former heavyweight champion still competing in BattleBots, Son of Whyachi has had a bit of a bad start this year. Okay maybe not “a bit” of a bad start because that 20 second KO by Brutus was about as embarrassing and sobering as things come in this sport. But still, Son of Whyachi has the heaviest weapon here, it hits like a freight train, and its next opponent isn’t exactly as much of a threat as Brutus. (I didn’t even think Brutus was a threat to begin with but Adam Bercu certainly proved my dumb ass wrong.) Son of Whyachi is all about the brutal KO; I know I burned up this fight’s Totally True Trivia™ to make my 40th Udder Gun joke this season (don’t worry there’s plenty more) but what “whyachi” really means is something more along the lines of “kicking someone’s ass so badly that you have to call in a professional to cover up the murder”. It’s an aging bot, but it’s still capable of absolutely destroying you if underestimated.

And Mark Demers isn’t about to underestimate Son of Whyachi, either. He’s outfitted Lucky with two different kinds of extra armor including a thick wedge up front, and some dinky shit in the back that I am sure has to just be sacrificial or something because I don’t know what exactly the “perfect target” is for Son of Whyachi but if I had to guess I’d probably say “that wedge”. Lucky isn’t that bad of a robot but holy shit does it have the most ironic name. Lucky sure is “lucky” alright, when Beta finally stopped being a broken piece of shit after 15+ years of forfeited fights it was Lucky who finally got to tell everyone just how hard Beta can swing its hammer, and now after a markedly unlucky battle with Skorpios our favorite Canadian flipper is paired up with one of the most destructive robots in the history of BattleBots. Let this be a lesson to never name your robot something endearing because once you do that you’ve permanently fucked with the order of the universe and in return you will be perpetually shit on by the interdimensional anus of existence.

The world’s first ass-ectomy.

Before the fight Mark was all “we’re gonna let Son of Whyachi wear its batteries out by evading them” but I guess Lucky’s driver didn’t get the memo because he just floors it toward Son of Whyachi with the obvious goal being “stop it from spinning up its weapon”, the usual tactic against a big fuck-off spinner. Lucky almost succeeds but hits a seam in the floor which trips it up long enough for Son of Whyachi’s hammers to reach world-ending levels of fast. I don’t want to say Lucky hit that snag in the floor because it’s name is “Lucky” but I will say if Mark named his robot something like “Crap Bot 2000” he’d be under Son of Whyachi and letting loose with all 5 tons of his robot’s flipping power right now. Instead, Lucky now has to deflect Whyachi’s spinner with a front wedge that has a notch cut in it at the perfect height for one of the rotating hammers to hook into. Lucky catches a blow from Son of Whyachi on its front corner and pay close attention to which wheel Lucky loses, it’s one of the back ones. Son of Whyachi popped Lucky so goddamned hard that the sheer force of being violently spun around was enough to pull the tire off. That’s like at the same level of Luke Ewert breaking his opponent purely through the power of his mind.

Son of Whyachi’s mini doorstop bot is trying to get in the fray and high center Lucky but doesn’t seem to be getting the purchase it needs to be effective. Doesn’t really matter though because Son of Whyachi hooks into the notch on Lucky’s face and rips half of it off because that’s about what I expected to happen. Lucky swings around with a quick 180 to try and deflect a hit using its rear attachment and wow color me surprised but it gets torn off in one shot. Son of Whyachi seems to destabilize just a smidgen after that shot but Lucky is unable to follow through and instead takes another blow that sends both bots reeling in opposite directions, you know, sorta like what Tombstone kept doing to Minotaur. Somehow Lucky recovers from this immediately and charges toward Son of Whyachi, three wheels and all, and connects but again fails to do much of anything except get swatted away. Lucky tries again, though. Same results. Chris Rose says he’s impressed that Lucky has survived this long and dude you’re not the only one because Lucky is five kinds of jacked up right now. It’s missing armor, missing a wheel, its flipping arm is bent; if this were a video game Lucky is at the point where you stop fighting and run away to find a goddamned health kit or something.

Above: The consequences of naming your robot “Lucky”.

Lucky really is hurt though because after that valiant recovery and run it’s begun to lose mobility and can only pivot around. Son of Whyachi cruises in to finish off what was left of Lucky’s rear wedge… and then finishes off even more of it… and still finds even more to rip off. It’s just inventing shit to destroy by this point. It also catches Lucky’s other back tire in the process and rips it off but this doesn’t really change anything because after being thrown across the floor Lucky is still pivoting exactly as it was a few seconds ago. Kenny Florian urges Lucky to throw in the towel but he oughta know “there’s no tapping out in BattleBots”. Lucky’s fucked. Son of Whyachi has a reputation to prove after getting sunk by Brutus in record time and doesn’t let up on the poor Canadians even as the referee starts counting their robot out.

Don’t name your robot “Lucky”.

WINNER: Son of Whyachi, KO


SAWBLAZE vs. MOHAWK

SAWBLAZE

Team SawBlaze

Weapon: Saw & flamethrower on articulated arm

MOHAWK

Euclid Robotics

Weapon: Hydraulic crushing jaw w/ flamethrower

Who says I need to make memes anymore? BattleBots does it for me now.

Totally True Trivia™: According to Pokémon rules, neither of these robot’s Fire-type attacks will be effective against each other.

Much like how Son of Whyachi repackaged Lucky into an Erector set because it had a reputation to reclaim, SawBlaze has been tearing shit up all season because it never had the chance to establish its reputation in the first place. After getting fucked by the “active weapon” rule in 2016 Jamison Go gave his weapon a complete overhaul and made most bots’ nightmares a reality… and then beat Overhaul and Reality. That wasn’t supposed to be a pun. Fuck. Anyways a lot of people wrote off SawBlaze last season when its weapon failed and it ended up losing because of how uniquely defective the BattleBots judging criteria was that year. Had Jamison not suffered a bad loss last season I don’t think he would’ve had the drive needed to turn SawBlaze into what it is today, and what it is just so happens to be one of the surprise 2-0 bots of the season. No losses, and no signs of stopping any time soon. A hellacious diamond-infused blade, a pitchfork dustpan, and a green flamethrower. What could possibly go wrong?

Speaking of robots that have been written off by fans of the sport, here’s Mohawk. If this were a Robot Wars article I’d describe this machine as “another Razer clone” or whatever because really that’s kind of the look that Mohawk is sporting. It looks like a shitty PS1 version of Razer from a game no one played let alone remembers. Mohawk has competed in every season of the reboot with mixed results. In the 2015 season it just straight up died in seconds against HyperShock and that loss was so bad that when the team came back in 2016 they were put into one of the qualification rumbles first. Surprisingly Mohawk won. Granted, it was because Invader died and Lycan couldn’t stop hitting it but still, Mohawk employed a successful strategy and won the fight. This year Mohawk is almost on point. It started out in yet another rumble where Kraken ate shit on its own and left Mohawk to deal with the multibot Gemini. I’ll eat my words, Mohawk was impressive. Impressive until it took a stray blow and died on the Killsaws. I’d like to see Mohawk do well for once but considering its opponent is SawBlaze, who has just been steamrolling opponents left and right, I think we might be seeing the end of this robot and its goofy-ass flaming hair-don’t.

I didn’t know SawBlaze was into vampire roleplay and shit. That’s weird.

Mohawk flies out of its square undeterred with its flames going full blast. Unfortunately this battle cry doesn’t work against SawBlaze who jukes to the side, scoops up Mohawk, and then touches pee pees with it. Both of these robots actually have some pretty impressive problems with ground clearance so it’s really going to be a crapshoot between who can best take advantage of their opponent; Mohawk just has a constant visible ground clearance, but SawBlaze seems to keep doing wheelies and shit when it’s getting going. SawBlaze flattens itself out pretty fast but all it takes to turn the fight around is for Mohawk to anticipate one of those wheelies and then slip right in. That’s not happening here though, because SawBlaze is busy ramming Mohawk into the screws. Mohawk also gets taken to the Pulverizer for some quick pops and make no mistake that hazard is probably the deadliest one in the arena with how much energy it transmits on a good hit. No major damage yet but if I were Max Bales I wouldn’t want my claw taking too many more shots like that one.

For a brief moment Mohawk catches SawBlaze as it’s turning (and thus popping up just a bit in front) but can’t quite make anything of it. Since SawBlaze’s wheels are at its rear and pretty much always in contact with the floor — especially when the robot is being lifted up — it can just back away or spin around to get off of someone’s wedge. In seconds SawBlaze pulls a reversal, puts Mohawk into the screws, and starts slicing right into the back of Mohawk where the pivot point for its claw is. In other words this is probably an “oh shit” moment for Max and his team because of all the places where SawBlaze can start fucking around this is probably the single most worst spot. For Mohawk’s sake it looks like no major damage is done, but the bot can’t manage to get away from its opponent before being swept across the floor into a completely different set of screws, the impact of which extinguishes Mohawk’s hair. SawBlaze fucks up and tries to slice into Mohawk’s additional Kevlar armor and backs the fuck out of that real quick. In the process of this happening Mohawk again very nearly gets a grip on SawBlaze, this time on its retracted weapon assembly, but again SawBlaze gets pissy about that and retaliates.

Enjoy dilating that every day for the rest of your life, Mohawk.

SawBlaze gets so pissy that Mohawk somehow gets flipped over in the corner of the arena and with its underside exposed SawBlaze goes to town. Chris says SawBlaze is performing a vasectomy, no way dude that right there is a bona fide back alley sex reassignment surgery. Told you Discovery Channel still airs stuff like this. For real though, just take a look at the slice mark when SawBlaze backs off. It’s fucking glowing. This is like Skyrim levels of crazy here. Mohawk is also toast by the way because it has no method of righting itself from this angle. I wasn’t expecting Mohawk to win this match at all, but I certainly wasn’t expecting this to be the way it actually lost. And by that I mean “with a brand new vagina”.

(PS: If you’re keeping score, SawBlaze is now the first competitor to reach a 3-0 record for the season.)

(PPS: Jessica Chobot is back from taking the day off to go play Minecraft or whatever.)

WINNER: SawBlaze, KO


WHIPLASH vs. MECHA RAMPAGE

WHIPLASH

Team Fast Electric Robots

Weapon: Vertical spinning disc & lifting arm

MECHA RAMPAGE

C2 Robotics

Weapon: Horizontal spinning blade

This is not a very long fight…

Totally True Trivia™: Every time someone asks Christian Carlberg to “just rebuild Minion” he intentionally goes and builds something like Mecha Rampage to spite them.

Can you say “mismatch”? Because wow. Jeff Vasquez of Team Fast Electric Robots says he’s concerned that this fight could come down to a one hit KO but I guess that’s because he didn’t see Mecha Rampage’s first fight. He’s also underselling Whiplash which is a fantastic piece of engineering. We’ve got bots with saws and spinners and shit mounted on moving arms — hell, SawBlaze was just in the previous fight — but Whiplash is something more than just a weapon on an arm. Unlike the other bots similar to it, Whiplash’s lifting arm is actually a whole weapon in and of itself and it just so happens that an additional weapon is present on it. That added disc is no joke, either. Whereas SawBlaze and Skorpios use saws and grinders to cut into opponents Whiplash is carrying the equivalent of a mini bazooka capable of some respectable hits. Just ask Hypothermia and the one wheel it survived with when it tussled with this bot. You ain’t gonna see SawBlaze do that kind of damage. Whiplash is all business up front with its armor and weapon. Theoretically I suppose if Whiplash gets hit from the side there could be trouble, but I trust Matt Vasquez as a driver. You don’t get second place at Robogames if you’re an unskilled dumbass.

Mecha Rampage is a robot that’s hard to like. Many moons ago Christian Carlberg was top dog in the super heavyweight class of BattleBots with two championship wins and a runner-up finish in the division. He has yet to reclaim that old greatness of long ago and as much as I want to say Mecha Rampage has the potential to be this year’s champion I cannot actually complete that sentence with a straight face. There’s some good stuff here if you’re willing to look for it, but that’s the problem. You gotta look for it. Christian’s old bots commanded respect because they were built and looked like fucking tanks. Mostly. Mecha Rampage absolutely has the potential to wreck shop here, look no further than Duck and Free Shipping, but I think this might be “too cool” of a robot. It’s definitely unique in that the weight of its batteries and electronics are funneled into its weapon mass… but I’m not so sure those are the kinds of things you want to intentionally subject to high G-forces and impacts? Mecha Rampage caught fire in its previous match and no one really knows how or why, but the fire started in its center mass and definitely looked like some sort of electrical problem. Not good.

VTEC JUST KICKED IN, YO!

Box rush. That’s always the plan. Even against something as goofy and clumsy as Mecha Rampage the answer is always to charge them first… which doesn’t work because Whiplash guesses incorrectly and tries to catch Mecha Rampage from the right when it turns out Mecha Rampage also lunges to its right. Even though the robot is the size of like two fucking theatrical posters laid down side by side (longways) Mecha Rampage is able to get its center mass spinning at full speed. Whiplash absorbs a blow with its heavily armored face and that’s about all it needed to do because the second hit, which connects directly with Mecha Rampage’s weapon bar, completely stops it from spinning. You can hear something screaming in the arena and I’m not sure who or what it is but I think it might be Mecha Rampage trying to spin again because I remember seeing a video of that thing during testing and holy shit was it loud. Whiplash isn’t giving Mecha Rampage the space to get going though and shoves it into the wall.

Chris mentions that Mecha Rampage can drive both ways up and flipping it won’t stop it, but it’s not just a mere flip that Whiplash is going for. No, Matt is going for a very specific type of kill here. Mecha Rampage’s inner chassis has eight stunning sides and eight amazing angles. Mecha Rampage is an octagon. And that means that there’s six faces (since two of them have blades poking out) that Mecha Rampage can be turned onto where it has the potential to get stuck. Mecha Rampage’s weapon is all about speed and energy, not torque. It doesn’t have the muscle to spin itself down from the position Whiplash tilts it onto. Whiplash gets itself into position in case Mecha Rampage manages to get down from the wall but all Christian can do is stand there and ask Matt not to backhand Mecha Rampage with Whiplash’s disc because this fight is over.

WINNER: Whiplash, KO


CHOMP vs. OVERHAUL

CHOMP

The Machine Corps

Weapon: Pneumatic hammer & flamethrower

OVERHAUL

Equals Zero Robotics

Weapon: Clamping/lifting jaw

Did Overhaul flip Chomp, or is Overhaul watching Chomp get sucked into a black hole? You decide!

Totally True Trivia™: “Overhaul” is not a searchable tag on E-Hentai. Not yet, at least.

We’re at another fight where both participants are looking for their first win. Someone’s going to finally get some points on the board while someone else is going to sink further away from qualifying for the Round of 16. Up first is Chomp rebounding pretty quickly from its loss to Warrior Dragon last week. Chomp didn’t lose because it was destroyed or broke down or anything, it just lost because it’s Chomp. And Chomp has a very hard time staying on the ground when it swings its hammer. It’s a big ass clunker of a robot that can throw a punch capable of shutting someone down in one hit, which it’s done before and I’m certain can (and will) happen again. Warrior Dragon beat Chomp just by keeping it on its side but I feel like this fight has the potential to go a different way and here’s why. Overhaul’s weapon is all about grappling and biting onto robots and Chomp is fucking giant. There’s no way Overhaul is going to be able to get any purchase on Chomp because the robot is literally like 40 feet tall. Secondly, Overhaul is very weak to hammer bots as Beta was so eager to prove last season. All Chomp needs is one of its trademark “what the fuck just happened” blows and this one could be in the bag before the new kid that Zoe got from the audience even has a chance to swing the Pulverizer.

IT KEEPS HAPPENING

People like to talk about how shitty of a robot Chomp is because of how it flails around and has a hard time staying upright. Chomp wins fights though. You wanna talk about bad bots check out Overhaul with a lifetime record of 1-7. That’s one win and seven losses, by the way. That’s like Team Wetware levels of bad. Actually it’s worse because Team Wetware’s bot Mr. Bonestripper has a 1-6 record which is still atrocious but marginally better than Overhaul. Wanna know what’s even worse? Five of Mr. Bonestripper’s losses were by forfeit where it didn’t even have a chance, but all of Overhaul’s losses came from the arena where it at least had the possibility of winning the fight but still screwed it up. Charles. My man. You gotta turn off that anime, buddy. The Abbatoir guy’s doing better than you now. Don’t fuck this up. I’m worried about Overhaul in this fight because it’s already at a disadvantage since its weapon might not be able to grab Chomp, but it gets worse when you look at this thing and realize Charles should’ve just named it “15 Flat Acres of Fuck All”. There’s a lot of real estate for a robot like Chomp to strike. I hope that blue shit on the back of Overhaul is extra armor and not just a new picture of that anime girl in a different pose.

Overhaul tests the waters at the start of the fight by jumping forward at Chomp and then immediately reversing, clearly trying to see if that sets off Chomp’s autonomous hammer. It doesn’t, probably because Zoe doesn’t have that option turned on right now. Possibly sensing this, Overhaul gets a little more generous with its closeness to Chomp and after a few seconds of posturing manages to roll the hammer bot over. I guess now would be a good time to point out that Chomp has gone back to using those unpredictable side “wings” for self-righting, the ones it used last year with mixed results (including getting one stuck in the Killsaws). The robot also still has the pistons however, just in case the wings don’t work. But… wouldn’t the wings potentially get in the way? What if the piston is extended and then the hammer swings and the wing hits it? What then? Does Chomp cause a glitch in the world’s physics engine and sink into the floor? Whatever, there’s no time for these kinds of questions because right now Chomp has been shoved into the screws and I think part of its hammer is now stuck in them.

“your waifu a shit”

Nope, not stuck. But the situation is worse because Overhaul has its forks raised straight up and Chomp’s inner, uh, hammer “hug zone” is perfectly down around them. Miraculously these two robots don’t get tangled up and require the fight to be stopped. Chomp falls off of Overhaul’s lifter and futilely tries righting itself as it gets shoved into the wall a second time. Kenny starts talking about that suplex shit again and while this is going on Chomp almost catches the break it needs, Overhaul sticks itself on the spike strip almost exactly how it got jammed in its previous match against SawBlaze. You can tell Chomp smells blood in the water because it wastes no time trying to line up a shot, but Overhaul manages to back away at the last possible second. Chomp might be running on some kind of autonomous mode right now, because as Overhaul flees it crashes into the side of the screws before adjusting itself and carrying on… and Chomp does the same exact thing. Almost as if it were copying Overhaul’s movements 1:1? Eh, nevermind; Chomp appears to get stuck or something because it starts blowing flames and swinging its hammer for apparently no particular reason.

I mentioned earlier that Zoe and her team reattached Chomp’s wings in a desperate attempt to keep the robot on its wheels as much as possible. Not only do I fail to see a difference in the quality and speed of Chomp’s ability to right itself, I almost want to say the wings are making things worse. As Chomp backs away from Overhaul one of its wings catches the corner of the screw box and the whole fucking robot gets jerked to the side and rolls over. This is Rube Goldberg levels of bad luck for this robot. I’m sort of disappointed that Chomp didn’t trip and fall under the nearby Pulverizer because that’s the kind of schadenfreude that I absolutely love. Kenny says Chomp needs to “reboot the hard drive” and you can tell this dude gets most of his tech time from a phone or some dumb shit because if you plucked that quote and showed it to me with a compilation of techno-babble from Law and Order I wouldn’t be able to tell it apart from the rest.

“SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIT”

Overhaul starts getting really comfortable taking risks with Chomp’s hammer because it dodges three consecutive hits in a row just to bait Chomp into flipping itself over. It continues to do this several more times until, by the laws of probability, Chomp finally gets one hit. Overhaul seems to take it like a champ– no, Overhaul takes it better than “a champ” because when Bite Force caught a blow from that hammer its weapon died. The small victory is short-lived though because seconds later Overhaul has Chomp back onto its side and into the screws. For the past two minutes Overhaul has tried and failed to get a good bite on Chomp and right here you can get a great view as to why it’s failing. Chomp is simply too big. Charles doesn’t care though because he has somehow mastered the art of “making it work” because he again wedges Overhaul’s forks and upper jaw into Chomp’s weapon arm and completely lifts it off the ground. There’s less than a minute left in the fight and that means the Killsaws are active; Overhaul takes Chomp to my other favorite hazard and as luck would have it guess what part of Chomp’s anatomy gets stuck in the fucking Killsaws again.

Chomp takes some gratuitous hits from the hazards as it frees itself and while this is going on Overhaul has spontaneously broken down. I suppose deadlifting all 250 pounds of Chomp’s fat snapping turtle ass really did cause it to throw its back out like Chris warned. There’s not enough time left in the fight to count Overhaul out, and it’s still partly mobile anyways, but Chomp seizes the opportunity nonetheless and lands a handful of blows all over Overhaul’s body. By the last few seconds of the fight Overhaul appears totally dead, but again the clock is going to save the day and send it to the judges. Even though Overhaul did actually give up the ghost it wasn’t enough for a KO, and Chomp’s last few seconds of furiously bashing Overhaul weren’t enough to make up for the previous 2:40 of Overhaul controlling the fight.

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


SCIENCE CHANNEL EXCLUSIVE
DEVILED EGG vs. AXE BACKWARDS vs. BASILISK

DEVILED EGG

Recoil Robotics

Weapon: Vertical spinning drum

AXE BACKWARDS

KurTrox Robotix

Weapon: Vertical spinning drum

BASILISK

MBSrobotics

Weapon: Pneumatic flipper & flamethrower

I don’t know how to make deviled eggs, but I DO know this isn’t it.

Totally True Trivia™: Chris telling us that Basilisk’s tag team fight “wasn’t aired” is a sign of the Mandela Effect in action because me and you and everyone else damn well saw that robot get stepped on by a fucking dinosaur last week.

Science Channel has also been treating us good. No, they didn’t reinstate Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage on Mythbusters. Apparently that show is trapped in some sort of television black hole because the 2018 season never finished airing in the US but Europe got the missing episodes. Guess they just have a higher complacency with bullshit over there. I mean, just look at Article 13. Swish. So maybe Science Channel isn’t treating us as good as they could be, but we got another rumble as this episode’s exclusive content so that’s pretty damn good in my book. This rumble’s sort of like the “second chance” thing they did last week but not quite because one of these robots has already won a fight. That robot was not the red square’s Deviled Egg, by the way. Deviled Egg’s first fight was a different rumble where Sharkoprion showed up, killed it in a single shot, and then vanished for apparently the rest of the fucking season. Seriously, what happened to Sharkoprion? Anyways Deviled Egg is kind of like a prettier and less functional Minotaur and is what Minotaur would look like if Marco Meggiolaro wrote a book on stenciling instead of robot combat.

Axe Backwards is in the blue square and is the only robot in this rumble who’s had a proper one-on-one fight… but Axe Backwards got its ass kicked so badly by War Hawk that I guess it was knocked down a rank or two (or ten) and put into a rumble in order to light a fire under Kurt Durjan’s ass and get him to prove his robot’s worth. Mind you, Axe Backwards has the second-heaviest weapon this season and is only trumped by Son of Whyachi (though admittedly Mecha Rampage might be tied with Axe Backwards, I’m not sure). We just saw Son of Whyachi ship Lucky back to Canada in about 50 different parcels so we can hopefully expect to maybe see Axe Backwards do the same with Basilisk? Maybe not bust Basilisk into a million pieces, but at least get as far as filling out the customs form at the post office or something. Axe Backwards is a robot that — when it works — I feel like it has the potential to be nearly indestructible. Speaking of shit that’s indestructible that list most certainly does not include the Battlebox floor so I don’t know if these guys should be banging on it with literal fucking axes. Cut that out. Not an axe pun, by the way. I mean it.

Don’t be fooled by Basilisk, the snake is very crafty. It’s not actually doing anything right here.

Finally over in the portable green square that was deployed courtesy of the BattleBots Art Department is Basilisk. Axe Backwards may be the only robot in the rumble who hasn’t fought in a gimmick match meant to be Science Channel ratings fodder, but Basilisk is the only robot in this fight who’s won a fight. True, said fight was a promising tag team battle that ended up turning into a slow motion demolition derby with no damage after the first 15 seconds, but still a win is a win. I don’t know why Chris is going on about “respect” because Basilisk is obviously the strongest retard on this short bus. People argue about “bad wins” and “good losses” but that’s bullshit. You can argue with me until you’re blue in the face about how Witch Doctor (currently 0-1) is “better” than Basilisk because it had a “good loss” but at the end of the day it’s Lucas Sloan who has a “WINNER” medallion. Or half of a medallion, I don’t know if he had to split it with the Double Dutch guy and he’s got the other half or something. Also, don’t lecture me about “good losses” because never in my fucking life have I seen a team turn around a robot that was stepped on by a goddamned T-rex that fast.

Basilisk makes a strong start by attempting to tackle Deviled Egg because it probably poses the lowest threat in this scenario. Nobody wants to fuck with a 100+ pound spinning drum like what Axe Backwards has, which while Basilisk is chasing down its snack has begun spinning up to speed. Deviled Egg seems to have a slow start reminiscent of its previous battle where it just meandered around and nobody gave enough of a shit to try and turn its weapon on. Axe Backwards sees an opportunity for some easy points and indiscriminately attacks both bots and manages to get a piece off of each’s ass. Deviled Egg loses some of its decorative paneling, but Basilisk loses the entire cover panel to its rear wedge. Or at least that’s what I think it is but I might be wrong on that because underneath the panel that Axe Backwards ripped off there’s just a bunch of LED’s and shit so it was probably some dumbass display screen that showed a message that I guess just couldn’t be relayed with a fucking sticker. Basilisk basically looks like a Razer gaming mouse even down to the graphics on the front so it wouldn’t surprise me if that were the case.

Deviled Egg… turning this around?

Kenny says Axe Backwards’ maneuver was a “cheap shot” but I disagree. Not for the same reasons as Chris, mind you, more so that all of these robots are sort of on equal footing as being pieces of shit so who cares? Deviled Egg takes a second shot and gets thrown completely over prompting Kenny to say “huge hit”… but he doesn’t say it like he means it. Kenny says “huge hit” like he’s congratulating a three year old for coloring in a picture with that fake ass enthusiasm that only a jaded parent can manage after a long day at work and at least two beers. Basilisk fails to get out of that corner and backs into the Pulverizer area but it looks like either no one gets to swing those in a rumble or none of the three people on Deviled Egg’s team who aren’t preoccupied with driving the robot are paying attention. Or maybe they are paying attention and they’re just taking pity on Basilisk for dying 20 seconds into the fight. This is why Pete Lambertson should still be allowed the operate the hazards at his own discretion because Pete didn’t give a fuck back in the day and if your sorry ass parked under his hammer then you better enjoy the sight of your creation being pounded like a bad cut of meat for the entire duration of the KO count because that’s exactly what you were going to get. Even worse, Bil Dwyer was going to make jokes on top of the footage of it.

So Basilisk is dead which leaves Deviled Egg and Axe Backwards as the main participants in this fight. I guess Kurt did enough work pulling off one whole piece of Basilisk to earn the right to step back up into another one-on-one match. He further cements that notion by whacking Deviled Egg with another great shot that flips the smaller drum spinner over and wrings another bemused “huge hit” from Kenny. These hits aren’t even huge compared to the other shit in this episode, Kenny. Where were all the “HUGE HITS” when Lucky was forcibly getting Son of Whyachi’s name tattooed on its ass? All these huge hits [citation needed] are starting to take their toll, but not on the robot you’d assume. Deviled Egg looks like shit right now but it’s fully functional; meanwhile Axe Backwards starts to falter and before the second minute of the match can be capped off its drum is out of commission. Something that isn’t dead is Basilisk apparently, because it’s left the corner by the Pulverizer so it can instead park in the middle of the arena and resume not moving. Deviled Egg chews some paint and LED’s off of Basilisk and Chris says the parts are glued on. Like, for real? Is Basilisk a BattleBot or a fucking macaroni picture? You don’t glue shit down on a BattleBot. You think the only thing keeping Tombstone’s blade where it is is all the Gorilla Glue that Ray dumps on it?

Deviled Egg turning this around!!

Deviled Egg makes a strong late push and gets Basilisk into the screws. It’s not an impressive slam but it’s still points being earned by a robot that I was 100% certain would end this fight totally blown the fuck apart. Basilisk isn’t doing a damn thing and as Deviled Egg changes targets Axe Backwards starts to smoke. Since its drum started to hang up and have some issues I’m assuming that’s Axey B’s weapon motor cooking itself. Axe Backwards’ drive system appears to be okay though and the robot starts to violently whip around in place to ward off the evil egg. It’s a neat move but it would be even neater (and actually effective) if War Hawk did not tear off the secondary axes that used to be on Axe Backwards and shove them up Axe Backwards’ ass in its prior fight. I don’t know why the team didn’t put those back on because I know they’ve got more axes. They were “testing the durability of the arena floor” with them like four minutes ago.

With Axe Backwards a non-threat and Basilisk a never-was-a-threat-to-start-with Deviled Egg racks up some much needed last minute points… and actually takes the win.

WINNER: Deviled Egg, Judges’ Decision (2-1)

(PS: I take back what I said about “bad wins” and “good losses” because this was neither one for any robot in this match.)


MAIN EVENT
BITE FORCE vs. END GAME

BITE FORCE

Aptyx Designs

Weapon: Vertical spinning blade

END GAME

OYES Robotics

Weapon: Vertical spinning disc

Above: Bite Force, ready to deflect an airborne strike from End Game.

Totally True Trivia™: Is the Tantrum robot from Paul Ventrilo’s baby picture the same one as the Tantrum here at BattleBots? I dunno… you never see the two of them together in the same room…

Up to this point Bite Force has only done battle with robots from teams that builder Paul Vernetroyer probably knows and has known for quite some time. Al Kindle and Blacksmith, Will Bales and HyperShock. Now he’s been thrown what might be his biggest curveball this season in the form of Jack Barker and End Game because this dude’s from New Zealand and has never been to a BattleBots event before. When you know people you sort of get a feel for how they react and you can start to anticipate how they will behave during a fight. This one’s a blank slate. With the exception of a piece of metal stuck on top of the robot to protect its weapon chain this is the same Bite Force that competed in 2016. After its early exit Bite Force was placed into stasis until the next BattleBots event and much like the Cloverfield monster once it’s awoken you’re basically all as good as dead. Blacksmith was beaten to a pulp and thrown onto the screws, HyperShock was literally fucking gutted alive, and now End Game is next in line. Whoever wins this fight is going to join SawBlaze in the ultra posh “3-0” lounge. I hear they’ve got cushioned chairs and a chocolate fountain in there!

You gotta have some cojones on you to be a newcomer that gets elevated into “main event” material because up to this point the main events have all consisted of robots who competed last season and made a name for themselves. Jack Barker showed up with End Game and a pair of douchebag sunglasses and has earned himself a spot in a main event fight by knocking out both Captain Shrederator and Lock-Jaw, two bots from some of the most seasoned teams in the sport. Bite Force very nearly KO’d Blacksmith but couldn’t quite do it in time so it looks like End Game might have the tiniest of edges there when it comes to intimidation. I feel like Paul’s the kind of guy who can’t be intimidated though because shit like that doesn’t even register to him. Something that will register if he’s not careful is End Game’s 22kg (48.5 lb) one-toothed disc that spins at approximately 250 MPH. That’s 70 MPH faster than Bite Force’s smaller blade. Think about that, End Game’s weapon spins as fast as Bite Force’s plus the average speed limit on a US highway. Hopefully you understand how much potential energy we’re dealing with in this fight because we’re looking at a microcosm of a United States / Russia nuclear standoff.

This is what it looks like when you get punched so hard you see stars.

What we have here are two robots with extremely similar designs and weapons. Big vertical spinner. Low profile. Four-wheeled drive. Front wedge. It’s going to be a battle of ground clearance and control, which Bite Force takes the early edge on by clipping End Game on its front left corner. It’s a solid first blow, but nowhere near as solid as the follow-up which plinks End Game all the way across the floor and into the screws as it rolls and bounces on its spinning disc. You’d think it’d be End Game that catches the bad end of that exchange but you’d be wrong, it’s Bite Force. After that killer uppercut the former champ appears to be completely dead prompting Paul to start running around the driver booth trying to see if it’s perhaps a signal issue. (Bite Force’s lights are still blinking but I don’t know what any of that means, but I guess the robot still has power running to it.) Rather than make this fight a sure thing, End Game instead parades around the arena presumably while its driver waits for Bite Force to get counted out.

But Bite Force doesn’t get counted out, because Bite Force comes back to life. Bite Force arrived in Hell and the minute the Devil himself laid eyes on it he shit himself and sent Bite Force back to the world of the living. Newly rejuvenated, Bite Force lands one more heavy blow on End Game’s front end which flips the disc spinner completely over. After the first exchange that temporarily dazed Bite Force I noticed End Game’s disc wasn’t spinning that well anymore, I’m assuming that big bounce that the robot did on its weapon probably broke something because as End Game rolls over there’s absolutely no life in it. Now I know End Game, in literal terms, is not invertible but there’s a big “what if” regarding whether or not the robot could right itself using its weapon. One of End Game’s team members even asks Jack (after he says a no-no word) if the weapon works, suggesting that End Game being able to right itself is a possibility.

But nope, End Game is dead and the winning streak of the deadly Kiwi spinner isn’t going to include two former BattleBots champs in it. Now Paul gets to hang out with Jamison Go and put all sorts of dumb shit in the chocolate fountain because that’s all anyone ever does with those things.

WINNER: Bite Force, KO


There were too many good stills from this episode to pick from to put here, so please enjoy this reaction face of Faruq,

What an episode, like for real. Not sarcasm. We got a little bit of everything this week. A brutal KO, a strategic KO, some judges’ decisions, and a rumble where the guy who was losing early on made a comeback and won. Hell, we even had a fight between End Game and Bite Force that was sorta like what happens when you and a buddy both pick the same dude in Mortal Kombat and you each get a different character costume. We also had a couple of really fast turnarounds with bots like Chomp and SawBlaze who were also in last week’s episode. SawBlaze is great and all — and Chomp arrived late — but there’s a lot of bots we’ve only seen once. Or haven’t seen at all. Like Ultimo Destructo, whom you guys have been bombarding my inbox with questions about whether or not it’s “the 2-0 bot with no aired fights”. Look at that fucking thing. You think Ultimo Destructo has two wins? Did you even watch the 2016 season? That piece of shit threw a drive chain in the first 10 seconds of its only fight and was such an embarrassment that it didn’t even get to be in a consolation rumble. But yeah, the robot whose chassis is so ridiculously long that it beats Bronco is the one being a wallflower in the 2-0 lounge.

Next week’s episode should be a great one. I say “next week’s episode” but really with the way these articles come out I guess I should say “tomorrow’s episode” or just “the next one”. These things take time to produce and the waiting period for Science Channel’s content sorta locks me into Thursday posts as you’ve all come to expect this season. Also it just takes time in general. According to WordPress this draft is 7,700 words long. I do this shit every week. You guys have any idea how much money I’d be making if each of these articles was a pornographic story commission for some dumb furry with more money than sense? I mean, I don’t have an exact figure for you… but I could most definitely be a “dumb furry with more money than sense” of my own. Think of all the big titty pictures I could commission of robots as a joke like I did with Matilda from Robot Wars. Zoe’s cool with me now, but would she still be cool with me if I posted a very well drawn picture of Chomp with the big bap? I don’t know, but somewhere out there is a parallel universe where I’ve done that, and somewhere else out there is yet another parallel universe where Zoe does not hate me for having done so.

So yeah. You can support BattleBots Update either month-to-month on Patreon, or as a one-off tip through PayPal. I promise I will not use your money to commission borderline pornographic fan art of BattleBots competitors… at least not in this universe. Big thanks to both Galvanize_Plus and Cassandra G. for their Patreon pledges! And also special thanks to Benjamin H. and “Memelord” Albert for their tips through PayPal!

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– Dracophile