Welcome back to BattleBots Update, the only bad comedy website whose name includes one robot combat event but appears to exclusively write about a different one. These days, at least. Last week saw the start of Robot Wars series 9 on BBC as well as the announcement that applications for series 10 were already open. Last week also saw the rise of Aftershock, Team Shock’s successor to last year’s Grand Finalist Shockwave, who did things to its opponents that are illegal to write about. For a brief period of about 59 minutes the honor of “area of land where the most war crimes are probably committed” transferred from the border between North and South Korea to the Robot Wars arena. Sabretooth didn’t make it to the Grand Finals, but finally shed its title of “literally never won a fight ever” and died in a blaze of glory at the hands of the aforementioned Aftershock.
This week we’ve got four returning competitors, two teams with new robots, and two new teams with equally new robots. Among the competitors are everyone’s favorite three-dimensional wiener bot PP3D, probably someone’s favorite “what if Napalm didn’t suck” bot Eruption, and nobody’s favorite biter bot Draven. The team that built Gabriel — a robot that I’m apparently not allowed to make fun of or something — is back with Cherub, but I’ll refrain from hitting before the starting bell until it gets into the arena. Then I’ll be on it like Razer in the pit last year.
(By the way, in case anyone is wondering how well BattleBots Update was represented at Dallas Area Robot Combat this past weekend you’ll be pleased to hear that every time we entered the arena we lost.)
SOME WORD PUN ABOUT “GROUP 1”
We start this episode with COBRA, whom I am preemptively calling this heat’s “solid 5/10”. Cobra has no pedigree in Robot Wars and comes from a team whose previous entry was literally a Pokemon robot. Honestly I’m surprised they didn’t just name this dumb thing Arbok. Cobra’s method of attack is a hydraulic biting jaw that can’t seem to decide whether it wants to be cobra fangs or a cobra head, because it’s both and looks like a fucking mistake. The robot features a beefy 4WD setup and a bunch of random pokey bits on its chassis that are just begging to be bent up the robot’s own ass. All in all, I wouldn’t want to be stuck in its maw but at the same time if I had a robot in the contest and was drawn to fight Cobra I’d be relieved. Just a piece of bonus trivia for you, two of the guys on the Cobra team built Tough as Nails, a dutch clamper bot that didn’t get selected for this series because the producers apparently saw more promise in fucking Jellyfish.
ERUPTION returns from a disappointing run last year for another shot at the title. Overall we’re still looking at the same flipper we saw last time except after getting its teeth knocked out by PP3D now the robot has a stronger front end. Funnily enough, PP3D is also in this episode so unless the team fucks everything up they’ll have an opportunity for revenge, and that’s always fun to watch. The new Eruption also features a tiny spinning spiked drum on its head that its builder calls a “nibbler”. Dara O’Briain gets the skinny on this piece of technology and determines that a robot will have to traverse Eruption’s entire fucking ramp before it will come anywhere close to the nibbler meaning it’s fucking useless. TR2 tried this gimmick last year with their “bum axe”, used it once, and then shamefully removed the damned thing. Don’t do this, Eruption. Don’t be that guy.
Angela Scanlon says HOBGOBLIN has a “unique” weapon system. No it doesn’t, it has a fucking drum. We just saw a robot with a drum (on technicality), and last week Sabretooth rolled into battle with one and it got blown to fucking pieces because it was made from recycled aluminum beer cans or something. The only difference here is Hobgoblin has a “beater bar” style drum but honestly if we’re going to differentiate here we’re just splitting hairs. I mostly just want to laugh about how this robot features a green and purple paint job so it can give its opponents their Daily Dose, really. Harry Hills says his ideal opponent is a big box and doesn’t want to fight a flipper. Well buddy, I’ve got good news and bad news for you. Also, their robot can self-right “in theory” which is something that’s never been said with any modicum of assurance and this is no exception.
Finally we have BEHEMOTH, the only robot whose name pronunciation has never been standardized across all of the Robot Wars commentators. Anthony Pritchard has been competing with this robot for way too goddamned long and has finally lost his fucking mind because he’s showed up with about 40 different attachments for Behemoth for every single possible match up. Fighting a spinner? They’ve got an attachment. In-laws coming over for dinner? Boom, attachment. Watch closely and you’ll see that Behemoth is still using the same plow as last year and the massive rip that Carbide made in it has been filled in with what I’m going to assuming is window caulking. Point is, there’s a scar. Other point is for all the work that Make Robotics has put into their machine they’re probably not going to win because the universe has consistently had other plans for this machine.
GROUP BATTLE 1
Cobra shows its speed right as the match starts and chases down Behemoth who promptly gets stuck on the pit platform and has to fire its flipper to bounce itself upward to get out of it. Eruption joins the two quarreling robots while Hobgolbin hangs back presumably so its spinning bar can reach a speed dangerous enough to do more than blow dirt around. Sensing danger, Eruption comes in and shuts Hobgoblin down real quick, and Behemoth follows up with a flip of its own on Eruption. We call this move “doing The Human Centipede”. Hobgoblin and Eruption both end up on their asses but only one of these robots is capable of self-righting. Here’s a hint, the robot who can isn’t painted like a marijuana joke. Hobgoblin rides its spinner straight into the wall where it dies. Great job guys, couldn’t even survive long enough to make it through one paragraph on this shitty website.
Eruption rejoins the fray and rolls Cobra over who then floors it to the arena flipper to get back onto its feet. Eruption flips Cobra again, this time back onto the floor flipper which sends Cobra barreling through the air like it was part of some shitty stunt racing game. Cobra is surprisingly resilient and immediately bounces back into action charging across the arena and plowing into the side of Behemoth… resulting in Cobra getting thrown on its ass for, uh, I’ve actually lost count. Speaking of not keeping track of things Jonathan Pearce has just now noticed Hobgoblin has done fuck all and says they drove into the wall. No dude, Eruption literally threw them through the fucking air like 30 seconds ago but you were too busy reading the fucking word painted on Behemoth’s shovel. The scoop has said “Behemoth” for over a fucking decade, man. You’ve read it before, I guarantee it.
Cobra goes for the pit release and opens it up, then fucks up and gets railed by Sir Killalot. Watch closely and after a few seconds the pit just magically closes on its own. Normally I’d have assumed that someone else hit the button a second time and the clip of it closing was cut but nobody’s near the fucking button, not even Killalot. It just… closes, and it’s not even because the producers are trying to cheat someone back into the match there’s literally no one in or near the fucking pit. It’s hard to notice, but somewhere in this mess Behemoth has shit out a drive chain. I say “hard to notice” because Behemoth has thus far spent the entire fight drifting around and driving like it’s already been missing at least two chains this whole time. The bulldozer goes for the pit button and the trapdoor opens up a second time. Cobra seems to disagree with this sentiment and rams Behemoth dead on and, you won’t believe this, it gets thrown upside down again.
The match goes the distance and requires judge intervention, and they give the fight to Eruption and Behemoth. Eruption I can understand, but between Behemoth and Cobra part of me feels like Cobra got robbed. Then again if we’re going by the definition of “aggression” as “aggression with a bullshit primary weapon” then Behemoth gets it hands down, at no point did Cobra bite down on anything.
WINNERS: Eruption and Behemoth, Judges’ Decision
GROUP TWO TO TANGO
I guess I don’t really have anything against DRAVEN, it’s just… I mean look at it. The robot just looks like there’s something “off” about it even if you can’t figure out what that “something” is. Maybe I’m just thinking back to how it was basically KO’d in a single shot by Mr. Speed Squared, but it just feels as though something is going to break or fail on this robot. Even in the hype shot where Draven bites down on what appears to be a WD-40 coffee mug or whatever the object doesn’t bend and buckle, it just pops out of Draven’s mouth. Also the inner frame looks like it’s carbon fiber so Dara talking about being “heavily armored” seems a bit silly when the bot’s internals can be shattered if whacked hard enough.
Shane Swan bought Dantomkia last year, lost with it, and promptly sold it off to some other sucker. Now without a robot he’s returned with a custom rig called PUSH TO EXIT. Why he named the robot after the lettering on door buttons for handicapped people I don’t know, but the important thing here is that Push To Exit is this season’s only front-hinged flipper. Well, actually that depends on whether or not you’re counting Interstellar: MML as part of “this season”, because I’m sure as shit not counting that embarrassment as part of anything other than a ratings mistake. Push To Exit’s wedge launches forward rather than upward which makes for a completely different style of flip, one that is more applicable to shoving opponents into things as opposed to throwing them through the air and hoping they break or fall out of the arena or something.
Last series the team behind CHERUB showed up with Gabriel and brought along this fucking weird atmosphere that I can only describe as “Christian steampunk”. Thankfully there’s none of that this year, just a wedge with angel wings and some lifting forks. The team claims their robot can do a handstand, something none other robot can do, missing the point that their opponents can’t do handstands not because they suck, but because this isn’t the fucking gymnastics division of the Olympics. Toby Colliass is Cherub’s driver and he says he’s more comfortable this year because while Cherub isn’t very fast, it’s easier to control than Gabriel. Color me surprised. (Supposedly Gabriel had applied to this series as well, but did not get accepted.)
PP3D is last in line and through creative editing we’re reminded of just how many different kinds of ass this robot can kick. We’re also informed that the team behind PP3D has taken some “creative” liberties with the manner in which they chose to fund their robot. I believe sponsors aren’t allowed in Robot Wars for some dumbass reason, but the rules don’t say shit about throwing your creation on Kickstarter and making other people pay for it because that’s exactly what Gary Cairns did. In exchange for approximately $12.15 you could’ve had your name etched onto PP3D’s killer blade of doom, something nearly six dozen people took advantage of. Angela throws the first punch and says “you made other people pay for your hobby” but Gary 180’s it right back at her with “people pledged to our project”. Damn dude, congrats on being among the 1% of Kickstarters that were not just successfully funded, but also weren’t retarded shit like wallets or some stupid “smart” device that requires an app on your phone.
GROUP BATTLE 2
Push To Exit is so fucking fast that the Disembodied Voice can’t even finish saying “activate” before the robot is all the way across the fucking floor and nearly into the pit release button. God damn Shane, it’s Robot Wars not a drag racing event. Push To Exit has no fucks to give and bashes into Draven before spinning away and cruising under Cherub. There’s a moment where Push To Exit almost makes this a hat trick and goes for PP3D, but then I think Shane remembers PP3D is the only robot here that poses a potential threat to him so he tells the driver to back off and instead lets PP3D go to town on Draven. Cherub absorbs a direct blow to the face and deflects PP3D. Draven tries to do the same, but since it doesn’t have a wedge the crow-like machine just gets its chin sliced off and is pushed onto the fire.
Draven might be kind of a joke to me, but I’ll give credit where due because it’s just getting up in PP3D’s face and not taking any bullshit even when you can see PP3D rip out part of the robot’s underside and bend it outward. Honestly I’m eager to see where this was going and am kind of let down when Shunt lands one hit with its axe and sinks Draven in a single blow. I guess he hit a battery or a receiver or something because the Draven team is just immediately like “lol yep we’re out”. With Draven out of commission this means PP3D’s preferred chew toy is no longer available for a good dicking; Push To Exit is busy pushing Cherub around and since it’s still on the ground it becomes PP3D’s next plaything. With a single goddamned shot PP3D sends Push To Exit reeling onto the arena floor spikes totally dead. The arena floor spikes don’t pop up because they’re a joke of a hazard.
PP3D advances on after destroying two opponents, and Cherub advances on by virtue of not being either Draven or Push To Exit. Dara asks the kids why their robot didn’t do the handstand they said they were gonna do, and they explain that their forks got bent. It’s good to know Dara asks the hard questions on Robot Wars. He also forgets to talk to Draven’s team because he was so invested in asking a bunch of kids about their dumb fucking robot.
WINNERS: PP3D and Cherub, KO
BEHEMOTH vs. ERUPTION
This first head-to-head match seems like it’s going to kind of end up being a repeat of the first group battle, just minus Cobra flying around everywhere and smashing into everyone. Oh, and Hobgoblin won’t spend the whole fight sitting in the corner. Neither robot has really taken any substantial damage nor have the teams had to make any major repairs. Behemoth threw a chain, but that’s a quick fix (unless you’re Rapid and your gearbox is built like a fucking M.C. Escher nightmare). Speaking of throwing things, Michael Oates threw one hell of a groaner joke with his “robots are easier to control than a washing machine” bit. Haha, college student humor. Oh man, I should just give you this website because you’re the Jerry fucking Seinfeld of your generation.
Eruption’s flipper during this fight has a special floor scraper that is supposedly great against other flippers, but Behemoth seems to have the early upper hand by nullifying that scraper and getting in the first flip of the match. In fact, Behemoth wins the leverage battle a second time and using nothing more than the power of its drive and the shape of its bulldozer turns Eruption turtle once more. The only way Michael Oates would be even more fucked is if Behemoth was replaced with, uh, a coffee machine! Haha, man isn’t college life HARD?
Actually, what ends up happening is Behemoth gets stuck in a corner that apparently isn’t visible from where the teams are standing. I really don’t know how a fuck up of this magnitude is possible, but right now we’re seeing a team of four fucking people who have lost sight of their television-sized bulldozer robot. Their visibility is so fucking bad that one of the Behemoth team members literally climbs onto the goddamned walls to try and get a better vantage point. I swear to god, at some point someone who weighs a lot more than this guy is going to try the same thing, the bracket’s going to fail, the fat fuck will fall to his death, the BBC is going to get sued for infinity billion dollars, and the show gets cancelled.
Jonathan starts laughing about Anthony Pritchard’s lack of visibility like it’s a novel fucking concept and not a magnificent failure of whoever designed the set for this show. Meanwhile now that Behemoth has lots its groove, Eruption has finally slid under it and with a single heave-ho throws it completely out of the arena.
WINNER: Eruption, Ring Out
CHERUB vs. PP3D
Because the first head-to-head match featured two robots previously from the same group battle, by process of elimination so will this one. PP3D absolutely destroyed Draven and killed Push To Exit in a single blow. The wholly believe the only reason why Cherub made it through that round is because it didn’t get targeted by PP3D. True, Cherub did survive a direct hit from PP3D but this came at the cost of the functionality of their weapon for the rest of the fight. Oh, and not being able to do a handstand if that’s something you give a flying fuck about. Dara tries to spin this story about how last year Craig Colliass chose not to finish off an opponent and that it cost them the competition. No, Gabriel won that fight, what cost them the competition was Pulsar ripping entire fucking chunks out of Gabriel’s tires. Sarah Colliass straight up calls her dad a wimp in the team intro, then she later says if she loses she’s going to cry in her opponents’ faces so they’d feel guilty. Haha, joke’s on you Sarah because some people are fucking sociopaths and get off on that.
PP3D buys a few seconds of time to allow its disc to reach a satisfying speed, then unleashes several hits onto Cherub, one of which destabilizes the spinner. Another hit sends Cherub over toward the pit release button and even though he’s just 13 Toby Colliass seems to know when to “smoke if you got ’em” and presses the button. Unfortunately for them since not enough time has passed for the producers to get a good pulse of this fight the “random” doodad thing sends out a House Robot and before Cherub can recite the Lord’s Prayer Dead Metal has his saw blade half way up Cherub’s ass.
“It’s up to speed now boy,” mutters Gary Cairns as he waits patiently for Dead Metal to let go of his opponent. The second Cherub is free PP3D goes in for the attack and manages to hit Cherub so fucking hard that the robot is spun off toward the arena wall and hits with enough goddamned force to break a panel clean off of its bolts. Last year it took Carbide hitting the wall with its blade to knock a panel loose but now we’ve got PP3D imparting enough force on an opponent to let them do the dirty work instead. I slept through physics class so I can’t even begin to figure out how heavy this initial hit was once you factor in things like loss of energy, inertia, and air resistance and all that crap but I do know one thing’s for certain: it’s time to stop this fight because an arena breach is a special kind of dick move.
The fight is stopped, the arena is fixed, and when the match resumes Cherub’s self-righting mechanism is totally dead and PP3D is all kinds of fucked up and isn’t capable of controlled movement. Since this is a double KO the fight is sent to the judges.
WINNER: Cherub, Judges’ Decision
Now here’s the part in this article where a guy who’s been telling jokes for 20 years explains why the ruling carried out by a guy who’s been judging fights for 20 years (plus two other people with PhD’s or something like that) is wrong. This decision pissed off so many people that Noel Sharkey had to take to Twitter to explain the judges’ reasoning (1, 2). I think the four categories are still style, control, damage, and aggression. “Style” seems a bit subjective so let’s just talk about those last three. If you’re letting a spinner get up to speed, that’s poor control. If you mash the new pit button and can’t escape getting fucked by a House Robot that’s poor control. You can argue that Cherub had more “aggression” by keeping its front end facing PP3D at all times, but that’s like saying as long as you stare at a train as it hits you that makes you the victor. I’m pretty sure “aggression” is scored as “aggression with a primary weapon” these days and if that’s the case Cherub’s “weapon” doesn’t move a fucking inch during the entire fight. Cherub has absolutely no method of causing any damage to anything, and as far as I’m aware they’re only responsible for breaking the arena wall because PP3D gave them a nuclear football spike first.
But who I am kidding, this is Robot Wars where they’ve been making up the rules as they go along since series 1.
ERUPTION vs. CHERUB
Eruption has been sitting pretty at the top of the head-to-head charts (and arguably the heat) and hasn’t had to do much in the way of repairs. Cherub, on the other hand and as we’ve just seen, doesn’t have the same leisure. Cherub was spiked at the wall hard enough to blow a part of the wall away so however much force that imparted on the wall was also fed back into Cherub. There’s also the small fact that part of Cherub’s wedge was literally sheared off and thrown at the control room hard enough to damage the bulletproof glass. You can see in the pit footage where Cherub’s face plate is removed that everything on the left side of the robot is just a total write off.
Surprisingly, the lifter still works. Unfortunately, literally nothing else does and Cherub is dead from the start. At no point is there any powered rotational movement of its tires. Eruption throws Cherub out of the arena hard enough to break some stage lights and that’s the end of it.
WINNER: Eruption, Ring Out
Normally I’d ask if there were rules against putting an immobile robot in the arena because that seems like a cause for disqualification and replacing Cherub with Push To Exit. Thankfully someone has already done exactly that and posted their findings to the /r/RobotWars subreddit. Noel Sharkey insists that Cherub was mobile and, later in the thread, says that the person asking him the question needs to “watch more carefully before critique”. Haha, fuck off dude Cherub didn’t do a goddamned thing in this fight and me and you and everyone else fucking saw it. There are only two circumstances under which I will accept that Cherub moved; either the team put their robot in the arena and drove it to the starting point wherein some time between then and the start of the fight it died, or if Cherub did move at any point during the match this footage was cut from the televised broadcast. Strangely enough the Reddit poster got downvoted for demanding accountability and an explanation on what, for all intents and purposes, is clearly a bogus call. I do the same shit on this website and get praised for it but I guess that’s because you guys think I’m being facetious for the novelty of an act. Most of the time I am, but like right now I’m being dead serious — Cherub didn’t move. Fuck that noise.
BEHEMOTH vs. PP3D
Behemoth has just had shit luck its entire life and this series is just more of the same heaped on top. Yeah the team has made it to the head-to-heads, but they lost their flow in their previous match against Eruption through no fault of their own and ended up getting tossed out of the box. On the bright side though, at least they’ll get to try out their “Type 2” scoop which is just a big fuck off plow meant for opponents like PP3D! PP3D is a bit too powerful for its own good. Fresh off the heels of probably the most retarded judges’ decision that I’ve ever seen in the 18 years I’ve followed this sport* PP3D Robotics has spent the past however long they get between fights fixing their robot’s motor mounts and trying to make sure if they use Behemoth to break the wall a second time that their robot doesn’t die in the process again.
Shoutouts to Behemoth for that near false start.
PP3D’s blade doesn’t get to reach its critical speed before Behemoth makes contact to try and slow it down, but just look at the force it can impart even at about half power; Behemoth is spun away and its plow is already visibly bent just seconds into this match. Behemoth lines up another charge and by this point we’re dealing with PP3D spinning at full blast. The impact here almost gives PP3D a ring out victory but instead just sends Behemoth spinning across the angled arena wall. Had this happened like two yards to the right we’d be looking at the first time a horizontal spinner has won by a ring out and the first time a spinning weapon period has won by a ring out since X-Terminator destroyed Killer Carrot.
Anyways you can’t deny that this was a hell of a hit and I’m pretty sure Behemoth is okay but let’s take a look at PP3D because this thing is in the process of fucking exploding or something. Shunt whacks the spinner a couple of times and then PP3D just starts shitting out sparks like something out of Robot Arena 3, and Behemoth’s team is like “fuck this hit the pit”. Anthony agrees and hits the pit button, but rather than open the pit the producers are like “nah brah PP3D needs to die” so Shunt gets sent out instead and squeezes a few more spark sharts out of PP3D while the foley guys play that electrocution sound effect that every video game and movie ever released has used. Somehow PP3D isn’t exactly dead, but appears to be counted out anyways. I think Robot Wars defines “controlled movement” as being able to move the length/circumference/area of your robot within a certain time but honestly this seems more like a mercy kill because PP3D was farting sparks in colors that I didn’t know sparks came in, so I’m pretty sure it’s toast.
WINNER: Behemoth, KO
* Okay, Wedge of Doom vs. Scrap Daddy Surplus from BattleBots season four was pretty awful.
I almost forgot that they do these segments in every episode. This season the hosts of Robot Wars seem to follow a trend of being complacently unaware of the ramifications that autonomous robots are going to have on society. Noel Sharkey is here to
give another bogus call talk about delivery robots and says “a big online company has announced they are going to start using delivery drones”. I don’t know why he can’t just say “Amazon” because we all know that’s who it is, not because we can guess from the phrase “a big online company” but because Amazon has a whole fucking page about it on their website. Supposedly these drones are going to take off from a 100-foot “skyway” and fly 450 feet or less off the ground, underneath the lowest altitude that helicopters can fly at.
There’s also these smaller six-wheeled delivery robots that Noel says are already in use in Switzerland to deliver mail, and in the promotional demo footage they’re playing it looks like someone gets some food delivered to them. Dara’s mind is blown by the technology and asks how long until we see it, to which Noel responds “this year” and finishes Dara off.
Readers of BattleBots Update will know that I take a very different stance toward autonomous robotics. Ever since we started building robots that could do things like build cars and make shit we’ve been putting people out of work. Some of these machines, like ones that make food and stuff, I can see the utility of, but I challenge you to find the “good” behind a robot that’s going to start putting postal workers and delivery drivers out of jobs. We don’t need a fucking drone to deliver the Bad Dragon toys of the future that you buy off of fucking Amazon, just set up a fleet of people on bicycles and make some fucking jobs you goddamned idiots. I can’t believe I’m saying this but there might be a time in my life where there won’t be a pizza delivery guy to thank — and tip — for the fucking service he provides. I swear to god the day Domino’s delivers a pizza to my door with a robot is the day that I both don’t tip the delivery guy AND take a shit inside of a robot.
PP3D vs. ERUPTION
Michael Oates may not be able to tell a joke to save his life but he certainly knows what to tell the editors in the way of framing this match. Last year PP3D took Eruption out of the contest and caused a ton of damage to the robot. Eruption is back and the team have completely redesigned their robot’s front armor specifically because of what PP3D did last time, so this rematch will be Eruption’s chance for revenge. I mean, it’s a shitty kind of revenge because we just saw PP3D literally blow the fuck up like five minutes ago but you take what you can get I guess.
Jonathan Pearce keeps saying the dumbest shit about the House Robots this season and many of you wondered why I neglected to comment on last week’s remark about “swiping left” on Matilda. Honestly, I was trying to get the gears turning but I kept drawing a blank so I passed on it, but this man just introduced Dead Metal as “the worse cuddle I’ve ever had” and I can’t let this go without at least pointing it out. I wholly believe that when nobody is looking Jonathan just lurks around in the Robot Wars garage and flashes his penis to Sir Killalot or slaps Matilda on the ass or something. I commissioned a sexy anthropomorphic Matilda for series 1 as a joke, but honestly hearing gross shit like this makes me want to take the photo down so Jonathan doesn’t find it and add it to his spank bank.
Somehow PP3D still works. I don’t know a goddamned thing about building a robot that’s literally just an Etek motor connected to a disc and with some wheels on the side, but I feel like the literal hell that this robot has been dragged through to get to this point would’ve taken more of a toll on it than it seemingly has. PP3D gets in a couple of good hits that are deflected, and I’m guessing the robot ends up re-breaking its motor mounts or something because when the dust settles PP3D is back to hobbling around in circles. PP3D ends up atop the floor flipper and takes a ride which works to the robot’s benefit because with the disc out of the way PP3D can drive upside down. Sadly, this second wind doesn’t last long because PP3D’s current configuration is the perfect shape for Eruption to palm like a basketball and slam dunk it the fuck out of here because that’s exactly what happens. Three for three, baby!
WINNER: Eruption, Ring Out
BEHEMOTH vs. CHERUB
I know of nobody who refrains from watching the newest episode of BattleBots or Robot Wars until its corresponding Update is posted so they can watch it while reading along. I don’t really value my content as a writer highly enough to assume there are even people who do this in the first place, but if you are reading this and just so happen to be one of these mythical beasts then I have bad news for you; I’m not going to commentate this fight. You see, earlier in this article when I said “Behemoth won’t win Robot Wars because the universe has a different plan in mind for Anthony Pritchard and his robot” this is what I was talking about. It’s not in the cards for Behemoth to win. Behemoth will never win. For some reason Anthony lives in Edgeville where everybody shows up and no one cums.
Behemoth loses to Cherub in a judges’ decision because Anthony decides to go with his team’s suggestions of using their stupid grabber attachment. Problems arise when it becomes apparent near-immediately that Behemoth’s grabber is a fucking joke and doesn’t work as expected. The robot doesn’t get a single pinch on Cherub and ends up getting schooled by what would easily make a list of some of the worst robots from the event. Before the result is called Anthony shares a few anxiety-soaked words with Angela and when the fight is called in favor of Cherub he gets so assblasted that he just fucking leaves. No post-fight interview, no handshakes, nothing.
WINNER: Cherub, Judges’ Decision
This entry isn’t about the fight, instead it’s about the internet’s absolutely disgusting reaction to it. Almost immediately after the verdict was aired a Redditor by the name ucankus24 submitted a recording of their television to /r/videos titled “This grown man’s reaction to losing to children on Robot Wars is priceless“. As of this article’s publication (March 15, 2017) the submission has nearly 40,000 upvotes on Reddit and 2.8 million views on Streamable. The video allegedly rose to the #4 place on the Reddit homepage at the height of its popularity. I can’t even begin to sift through the sheer number of shitty one-liners and non sequiturs that pass for “humor” in the wider scope of Reddit’s community so I’m not about to start dropping some mad fire on random dumbasses in a Reddit thread, but I will say that I am genuinely surprised that the highest rated comment on the submission is someone providing proper context to what actually happened as opposed to the shitty clickbait narrative spun by the submitter.
Normally this would be where the story ends, but because we live in an era of clickbait and “reputable” news sources gleaning things off of places like Reddit and doing absolutely no further research whatsoever — even going as far as to be bothered to read the top rated fucking comment — things only continued to get worse for Anthony. Following the fallout is hard to do, but it appears The Sun was was among the first outlets to take the story and repost it as “news”. It only snowballed from here, as the Huffington Post also decided to run the “story” and share a bunch of tweets from assorted nobodies who upheld the narrative they were trying to run. Also, just a warning if you’re going to click that HuffPo link, their website is a fucking cesspool of newsletter pop-ups and videos that autoplay. I can’t even keep up with it, here’s a partial list of places who picked up the story generated by a Google search. Surely there are heaps more.
But the real winner here is VICE Magazine. In the course of just a few hours VICE contributor Joel Golby managed to churn out an article literally titled “The Fragility of Adult Emotion, Or: That Guy From ‘Robot Wars’ Losing His Bollocks Was Really Funny, Wasn’t It”. I’m not even making this up, I know that article sounds like someone trying to take the piss out of VICE and write a fake article headline, but that masturbation sound you hear isn’t fake, that’s what it’s named and here’s the article to prove it. I don’t read VICE because I’m not a pretentious twat who subscribes to the needlessly violent mantra of “#ANTIFA” or hates on rich white dudes because I’m secretly jealous of their success and rather than try to build myself up and become a better and more successful person it’s easier to take pot shots at those who have more than you because “punching up” is socially acceptable but god forbid you let someone in your social justice circles hear you say something about someone less fortunate than you. I’m sorry, not “less fortunate”, the language I was looking for here is “more oppressed”. More marginalized. Fuck VICE.
Also I had a lot more written here but Joel seems like the kind of guy who Googles himself and he’s made addendums to previous articles to show how not mad he is by “laughing” at his critics. The last thing I want to do is get into an e-fight with someone who perpetually has his dick half way in a Hillary Clinton fleshlight.
ERUPTION vs. CHERUB
Eruption has made its way into the heat finals by basically throwing all of its opponents out of the arena and much like Aftershock last week accrued a perfect score of 9 points. The most damage this robot has incurred up to this point was when PP3D dug a slight nick into part of the flipper’s centimeter thick Hardox armor. In other words Michael and his father have essentially had free reign over the food trucks outside because they haven’t had to do jack shit in the pits. On the other hand we have Cherub who, for better or worse, made it to the finals by getting its ass kicked in increasingly hilarious ways. For starters, PP3D spiked Cherub at the wall hard enough to shear the bolts off of the fucking wall and break it, followed up by the angelic robot literally dying on the starting platform allowing Eruption to throw it out of the arena. Behemoth’s team assumed they had a free win in their head-to-head so they made the grand decision to replace their scoop with a shitty grappler and ended up turning their team captain into a fucking meme when they lost. Cherub looks a lot worse for wear but against all odds it’s still alive and I’m wholly impressed by its survivability.
As much as I think it would be cool to see Cherub make a comeback and stick it to Eruption that’s simply not going to happen. Eruption slides underneath Cherub’s broken face on the first go and within seconds has already thrown it out of the arena again and broken some more goddamned stage lights. That’s it. Eruption has made its comeback and this time around you’d be wise to place your bets on it.
WINNER: Eruption, Ring Out
That’s a wrap on S9 E2, and I’m hoping that next week we don’t end up with another clusterfuck of drama over someone getting fucked over by a bad call from the judges or Reddit turning a competitor into an international embarrassment. I’m here to quip about shitty robots, not try and be some voice of reason in a sea of autism. Next week on the Wars we’ve got the return of Thor, a Grand Finalist last year. We’ve also got Mr. Speed Squared, Foxic, and Chimera which were all bottom-tier fighters last time around so here’s to hoping that:
- Mr. Speed Squared can land more than one hit without breaking down.
- Foxic actually works.
- Chimera’s new fucking bike tires work better than the car ones it had last year.
I might be doing an “event report” write up from Dallas Area Robot Combat in the near future, depending upon how much time I have and how well the rough draft of the article sounds to me. In the meantime be sure to follow BattleBots Update on Facebook for updates, and if you’d like to pitch in to help with hosting the donation link is always open.