The Best of BattleBots Update: Season One

“BattleBots Update” was a weekly column on RFSHQ that ran on the days following posts of new episodes of BattleBots. In this column Dracophile would provide snarky commentary over the various fights and battles seen in the show. This article is a collection of the best passages from fights in the show’s first season. The BattleBots archive was not moved to for copyright reasons, to combat this YouTube links have been provided so the individual battles can still be viewed.

Ziggo vs. The Missing Link
The Missing Link went missing for a reason. It’s entering this fight looking like a penis joke; two balls for wheels and a long shaft as a weapon. Yeah, I’m not being fooled by it. In an effort to ward off Ziggo, The Missing Link has what appears to be a phone directory on the end of a stick. Speaking of Ziggo, Ziggo can be described as an upside down popcorn bowl with rabid cats underneath it. The dome (a cooking wok) spins like crazy and anything that touches it turns to dust and explodes much like the fate of the people who look into the Ark. From the information provided one can conclude that touching Ziggo means instant death.

When the buzzer sounds The Missing Link floors it across the arena to try and get Ziggo to read the Yellow Pages and it looks like Ziggo is fairly interested in it at first. The Missing Link lands in a few absolutely crushing blows with his book of ads until Ziggo decides he doesn’t need any plumbing assistance and hits the chassis of The Missing Link causing Sean Salisbury to scream in fear. Much like a door-to-door Mormon (that sells phone books) The Missing Link is persistent and is promptly batted away by Ziggo who deems it appropriate to rip off The Missing Link’s right drive wheel. It takes the commentators a solid few seconds to realize the wheel is gone. The panic-stricken Missing Link starts to spin wildly around in circles while Ziggo plays Chicken with the arena spike hazards.

Sean Salisbury decides, after The Missing Link has been severely beaten up, to ask if putting a block of wood on a stick is more practical than using metal to which Bil Dwyer goes on and on about the millennium in response. While the battlecasters are busy chatting about what year it is Ziggo kicks The Missing Link in the ass with its spinning dome of death and as The Missing Link tries to drive away his remaining wheel decides to just randomly fall off. As a bonus the Killsaws decide to touch The Missing Link in inappropriate places and toss it a few feet across the floor. I’m no rocket scientist, but I believe since The Missing Link has no more wheels Ziggo wins!

Minion vs. Gray Matter
Minion is a six wheeled beast of a robot that resembles one of the incarnations of the Twisted Metal tank of the same name. There’s almost no armor on the robot at all, it’s all gone into the drive system (which we just saw tow three SUV’s in the preceding segment). Perhaps it’s a little excessive, you know, since this is “BattleBots” and not “Let’s Tow a Bunch of Trucks”. Minion’s primary weapon is a fireman’s rescue saw that kind of looks like it was just thrown in there when the team realized all they had was a giant six wheeled ramp. Gray Matter looks kind of like Killerhurtz except with olive green armor and four giant wheels that resemble swiss cheese. Rather than go all out Gray Matter is armed with a single spike. While I’d normally make fun of the weapon a spike seems like the best offense against the naked Minion.

We don’t get any more than twenty seconds into the fight before Gray Matter scores huge points with its weapon. Gray Matter’s spike makes contact with Minion’s saw, and if I used any verb other than “explode” to describe what the saw does I’d be doing you a disservice. That’s some serious quality when a fireman’s rescue saw blows up when a spike hits it. Just think, this episode was aired about a year before the September 11th attacks; let’s hope the firemen there weren’t using the same kinds of blades we see here.

Without a saw, Minion spends the rest of the fight charging at Gray Matter in reverse while Gray Matter racks up free points sticking his probe into every orifice Minion has (and making new ones for himself as well). While everyone’s tires are screeching like bats on LSD our battlecasters can’t seem to wrap their minds around the concept of foam-filled tires, they instead are amazed that the tires on Minion won’t pop and are convinced they are “super rubber”. Yeah, and Minion’s driver Christian Carlberg is a reptile. Actually… maybe he is, because Minion scoots off with the victory in a 7 to 2 judge’s decision.

Pressure Drop vs. Subject to Change without Reason
If there was ever an award for the most bizarre looking BattleBot out there, Pressure Drop would take it. It’s hard to describe Pressure Drop in text but I’ll do my best: It’s a wedge-shaped box with six legs and a spring loaded rock chisel hammer that can rotate around the robot. In other words it’s slow as hell but has a powerful weapon and while it’s in action it closely resembles a crawling zombie torso wielding a knife. Subject to Change without Reason has a really long name and is just a really lame wedge. The driver should have just named it “Not Going Anywhere Anytime Soon”.

As I mentioned, Pressure Drop starts walking as a brisk jog and never leaves its square while Subject to Change without Reason proves that it’s only a little faster than Pressure Drop and lacks the power to push its opponent. Pressure Drop almost seems like a drunk that wandered into a fight club; it’s just walking around taking a look at the Killsaws and in the middle of its leisurely stroll Subject to Change without Reason stops working. Not wanting to miss out on the opportunity to actually use their weapon, Automatum Technologies starts shuffling their robot over to their slanted opponent.

The buzzer rings while Pressure Drop is walking but the team pretty much doesn’t care. Pressure Drop minds its own business, keeps walking, and climbs up on top of Subject to Change without Reason. The chisel fires and misses, retracts, and fires one more time, landing a blow on the top of its opponent and leaving a nice dent. The driver of Subject to Change without Reason just about shits himself in anger over superficial damage. I’ve never seen such a perfect example of angry nerd rage. Despite hitting his opponent a full ten seconds after the referee blows his whistle, Pressure Drop lives on to fight another day.

Backlash vs. The Crusher
I feel bad for Jim Smentowski because everyone keeps saying his name wrong and pronounces it “smen-cow-ski”. The only person who says it right in the whole episode is the arena announcer Mark Beiro. Jim’s robot Backlash is a lot like his Heavyweight robot Nightmare who lost a wheel to Mauler. Hopefully Jim remembers that the giant spinning disc of death is his main weapon, not his drive wheels. The Crusher sounds like a monster truck but in reality it’s just a bright red wedge. Nothing more, nothing less. It’s also driven by a ten year old so naturally he should win this fight since all kids do with remote controlled cars is break them.

Crusher should realize that it’s got a ramp on the front so a direct hit on Backlash would be a good idea considering it would deflect the hit and knock Backlash off course. Instead, Crusher parades around the arena doing donuts in front of Backlash and hitting the arena spike strip. This plan doesn’t seem to be working as Backlash knocks The Crusher once and flips it over, effectively ruining the use of that wedge (unless that was The Crusher’s secret plan all along). Crusher still tries keeping up this battle plan and drives into the wall again, but this time the driver failed to realize that hitting the wall with an upside down wedge will cause you to ride up and get stuck.

Backlash uses this opportunity to confuse his target and attacks the wall, making a nice notch in it. He realizes that his opponent and the arena haven’t merged into one being and attacks Crusher instead, hitting the metal on the side and bending it into the wheel. The hit sends the robot reeling backwards doing crazy spins right over the Killsaws which end up throwing Crusher a few feet. Something must be wrong, because The Crusher still believes that spinning around in circles is the best offense against Backlash. Crusher also still believes that trying to mate with the arena wall is another good idea, so it drives up to the same spot on the wall and tries to mount it. Backlash gets the hint and lets The Crusher eat his cyanide and be merry.

Voltarc vs. Biohazard
Sean Salisbury has a magical way with words. Whatever he mentions on a robot will quickly either break, fall apart, or stop moving. This is the case with Biohazard. At the beginning of the fight Biohazard is looking like it’s the better robot compared to Voltarc by getting in under the wedge and feeling it up. Not long after Sean Salisbury comments on Biohazards “anti wedge” design it rides right up on Voltarc’s ramp. What ensues can only be described as the most boring three minutes in BattleBots history.

Biohazard is stuck on Voltarc who decides to parade Biohazard around to every single hazard on the arena floor. As Sean Salisbury quickly mentions, you’re only supposed to be able to hold your opponent for up to thirty seconds, but, you know since he mentioned it of course that rule is going to stop taking effect. After making comments such as “taking Biohazard apart one endorsement sticker at a time” our battlecasters quickly find themselves falling into the dangerous television realm known as “dead air”. Just so you know, the referees haven’t separated the two robots yet so to make up for the lack of possible commentary they stick a bubble of Voltarc’s drive Stephen Felk up in the corner and let him ramble on about things that aren’t about pro football this time.

Believe it or not they actually come up with slow motion replays after the fight, I don’t know how, but they do; speaking of after-battle events Stephen Felk just about craps himself in excitement after an extremely questionable win over Biohazard. For the remainder of the episode they never really tell us why they like the fight carry on as it did and didn’t make Voltarc let go of Biohazard.

Alpha Raptor vs. Tentomushi
Apparently they either decided to have the Lightweight Rumble in the middle of the event or Comedy Central realized that they were almost out of initial test run episodes so they stuck the rumble in the middle of the fifth episode just to show viewers what’s to come when the event is over. Here’s a tip, if you count the number of “WINNER” badges on Backlash you’ll figure out that not only did it win the Lightweight event but that the rumble of course took place after all of these fights. We didn’t get to see Alpha Raptor in the rumble (you’ll find out why later) so it’s new to everyone here. It’s armed with a lifting arm similar to what we’ve seen on Biohazard, just packaged differently. Tentomushi on the other hand, is a robot we got to see very little of in the rumble because it was knocked out very early on (see if you can guess why). God only knows why this is a crowd favorite robot, but at least it has a clever design. The little sandbox opens up and underneath it is a saw blade and the driver can of course capture opponents under the dome and take them around the arena, but not if its opponent has a beefier drive system.

You can see it in eyes pf Alpha Raptor’s driver that he’s not about to take any bullshit from a sandbox on wheels… but it seems he is just a little too determined to bitchslap Tentomushi within seconds of the buzzer. Alpha Raptor starts its attack fiercely and smashes itself head on into the arena ramp hazard. After taking a few moments to let the pain subside in its face Alpha Raptor commences “no bullshit mode” one more. Not even caring if it’s under the sandbox dome or not, Alpha Raptor lifts the ladybug robot up and takes it to the wall where the antennae fly off. Alpha Raptor seems to enjoy taking its grand old time to attack but when it does the impact is always great as we quickly see the bullet-like robot take Tentomushi onto the hazards while it’s “captured” under that dome, using Tentomushi’s weapon against itself.

Toward the end of the fight you can see the damage the brute force attacks of the lightweight Alpha Raptor has caused. The black motor and linear actuator combo that works the capturing dome starts to twitch and come loose and of course isn’t raising that dome up at all.

Deadblow vs. Alien Gladiator
Deadblow looks like a rather simplistic middleweight, just a box with four wheels and a hammer that doesn’t look too menacing. It’s a speedy little machine driven by an equally nice little Asian guy who would later get his stardom on Mythbusters (Grant Imahara). Alien Gladiator (who is rumored to be tougher than the Terminator) is wheeled into the arena toting what looks to be lawnmower wheels, a crowbar, and a sprinkler on a chain (and a god awful green alien face prop over by the arena clock).

Neither robot looks like it would be capable of doing much damage until Deadblow gets going, bumping into the Terminator-owning Alien Gladiator and chopping away at it like a crazed sushi chef taking out some frustrations. Within a few hits Alien Gladiator is dead in the water and Deadblow chops away at the robot, bragging that in theory it could beat the piss out of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Deadblow gets so crazy with its hyper weapon (that the battlecasters are now calling a “pecker” and giggling like second graders) that it literally breaks apart, rendering Deadblow into nothing more than a ramming box.

That doesn’t stop Deadblow from asserting its reign as “Alien Gladiator’s daddy”, and within seconds Alien Gladiator gets stuck in the arena ramps and is counted out.

Minion vs. Grendel
When we last saw Minion it was a tough armored tank that took on the equally secure Gray Matter wherein Minion’s saw shattered into a million pieces and fought like a wedge. Team Coolrobots spent the entire repair period fixing their robot’s weapon system and replaced it with a chainsaw. Allow me to elaborate before you say “oh wow cool”; I don’t mean a chainsaw as in Leatherface, I mean a chainsaw as in a little dinky plastic kid’s toy. So, in other words, Minion is still a six wheeled portable skateboard ramp. Grendel on the other hand is still a big Loch Ness replica with a spring loaded spike.

Minion considers attacking with its new weapon system, but opts instead to come at Grendel with the ramp. Grendel, a little slow with the weapons, instantly gets pushed into the corner around the spikes and saw hazards. We’re on episode seven here and nobody has told the battlecasters about the mystery of foam filled tires; they still assume they can be punctured and will explode (although in their defense, Mjollnir’s builder was smart enough to use air filled wheels). About a minute into the fight Minion realizes that the fight is one sided (even without a real weapon) so they take some time to test out Minion’s off road abilities using the arena floor ramps.

Much like other fights that slow down, the battlecasters stick one of the drivers up in the corner of the screen to chatter while no commentary can be made about the fight. While Grendel’s driver is talking we find out that in the event of a go-kart versus a dragon, the go-kart will always win. Minion is able to stick and move and even when Grendel strikes with its hammer Minion is too close to get hit. After seeing the robots locked together like this Bil Dwyer once again is sitting on the edge of his seat waiting for Sean Salisbury to shut up so he can drop the classic “so is the dragon draggin Minion or is Minion draggin the dragon”, to which Sean Salisbury blankly replies “it’s Minion”. Grendel almost looks like it is beginning to not work anymore and is carried over to the Killsaws, which are promptly broken as you can see them not spinning when they hit Grendel.

Mouser Mecha Catbot vs. Alpha Raptor
Mouse Mecha Catbot is another one of those novelty robots that just make you wonder how they got as far as they did. You may remember the robot from a previous episode winning a landslide victory over Shaft (which was a bogus call). Unfortunately for Mouser Mecha Catbot it’s up against Alpha Raptor, a robot who has built up a winning streak of beating gimmick robots (Doctor Inferno Junior and Tentomushi). Before the fight starts we get to see Mouser Mecha Catbot testing out its weapons and attacking food with its flipping bar. At the very end we get to see it toss a salad. I’ll let you fill in the joke there.

If there’s one thing Alpha Raptor has trouble with it’s remembering that there are ramps in the floor. As we’ve seen earlier it plowed directly into the ramps against Tentomushi, and in this fight we see Alpha Raptor trying to fly but getting stuck in them again anyways. Raptors don’t fly, that’s Pterodactyls, and I don’t think the team meant “raptor” as in “bird of prey” either. But Alpha Raptor has nothing to worry about because Mouse Mecha Catbot enjoys fighting the hazards too as we quickly find out when we see it go over the Killsaws and the Ramrods. The fight quickly becomes a contest of who can hit the hazards the most amount of times.

Mouser Mecha Catbot is looking like it’s falling apart, internally at least. It’s definitely not tossing the raptor’s salad, that’s for sure, and at the same time the dome shaped exterior is fending off Alpha Raptor’s lifting weapon. Once again we get to see the mouse/cat hybrid get some airtime via the hazards while our talented battlecasters cross out every single cat-related joke the writers gave to them. The Killsaws end up disabling Mouser Mecha Catbot but the fight timer counts down before the referee finishes the knock out count.

Das Bot vs. Backlash
We haven’t seen much of Das Bot at all in this season except for his appearance in the Lightweight rumble where he lasted against all odds and sparred with Backlash, obviously this fight is the reason why. Das Bot looked like it had an interesting set of fights, especially his battle with Ziggo who we saw obliterate The Missing Link in our debut episode. Das Bot is a big jewelry case-looking machine with a lifting arm and Backlash as we’ve seen is the two wheeled killer pizza cutter. What I like the most about Das Bot is how simple it is; you can see inside of it and might notice that it’s using cordless drills for its drive system. That’s how old this television series is. In today’s robot combat world a simple robot like Das Bot wouldn’t make it to the Semifinals.

We get into the fight and see that Das Bot is toting some impact foam to ward off the spinning wheel of Backlash but within seconds we see that the zip-tied foam isn’t going to work as one entire piece just goes flying right off. Das Bot tries to get in a lift with its arm but it is immediately smacked away (and screwed up) by Backlash who lands in a second blow that almost throws the big clumsy box onto its back. One more big hit from Backlash’s disc ruins the rest of the lifting arm which is now frozen in the upright position. The second bit of foam soon follows.

Backlash seems to have thoroughly wrecked Das Bot’s shit because it’s not moving anymore. Backlash uses this moment to put its opponent into the saw blade hazards which rise up and fling a slew of sawdust all over the arena floor (another classic bit of robot combat that you won’t see today). Das Bot was a damn fine entry and a great example of an effective an inexpensive competitor. It lost to the best and I’m glad to see it made it this far.

Backlash vs. Alpha Raptor
This is it, the Lightweight finals. We’ve seen what Backlash and Alpha Raptor have to offer and they’ve shown that between the two of them they’re the best Lightweights here. Bil Dwyer points out that we should see if Alpha Raptor drives into the ramps like it has been, but we soon find out that it’s not doing a whole lot of driving around to begin with. Alpha Raptor can barely leave the blue square and looks damaged, like all of those trips smashing its head into the wall and riding on the Killsaws have started to come back to haunt it.

One big hit to the front of Alpha Raptor takes out the saurian competitor and sends it right into the arena spike wall, luckily right in front of the judges. Backlash takes the time to show off during the finals and turns Alpha Raptor’s ass into a three car garage. It looks like the Alpha Raptor team packed their robot with confetti before the fight because all kinds of pieces start flying around as Backlash busts Alpha Raptor’s ass wide open. Even the Goatse man is cringing in shock after that railing.

Of course, Sean Salisbury doesn’t realize that losing the entire backend of your robot and the batteries with it means that you’re knocked out, as he seems to be pleasantly surprised that Alpha Raptor is “already incapacitated”. Backlash nails his opponent one last time to remember him by and takes the knock out victory into Giant Nut Land.

Hazard vs. Turtle Road Kill
Hazard is a legendary BattleBot with an impressive record and this is where it got its start… as a Middleweight spinner that breaks incredibly easily. We first get a glimpse of Hazard to discover it’s a simple four wheeled wedge with a helicopter blade which would prove to be arguably the best design the series would see. Turtle Road Kill on the other hand is some bizarre octagon shaped robot that makes me mad for some strange reason. I don’t know if it’s the awful name, the awful paint job, or the awful design. Perhaps it’s a mix of the three but in short Turtle Road Kill is nothing spectacular to look at unless it’s just a novelty. Given the fact that it’s driven by a kid, I’ll get off of his case now.

Remember that recurring joke I keep using about “get your scorecards ready”? Hazard is worthy of that gag in this fight. Hazard’s weapon gets up to speed while Turtle Road Kill evades the helicopter of death (with good reason) and then lines up one huge ram. The impact sends Turtle Road Kill hobbling off to the side with a giant gash in its face and Hazard’s blade stops working. If it were only that easy to disable him in later seasons. Turtle Road Kill lines up another nice charge on the now less hazardous Hazard; Hazard turns the attack into his own by pushing the turtle away. There’s a lot of bumping going on between the two Middleweights and you can see for a second that Hazard’s blade tries to start spinning again but it seems the weaponless Turtle Road Kill managed to disable the spinner with one hit, so I would like to apologize for saying it was a total piece of shit, but then again Season 1.0 Hazard was also a total piece of shit too.

Turtle Road Kill quickly adopts Mouser Mecha Catbot’s style of fighting and starts to see how many times it can drive over the hazards and do tricks at the same time. The judges actually don’t give style points like that, but if they did I’m sure Turtle Road Kill would win nine to zero. There’s a 9 – 0 victory alright, but it’s not in Turtle Road Kill’s favor.

Killerhurtz vs. Mauler
I love Killerhurtz, and I love Mauler. Killerhurtz, as you may remember, completely eradicated Knome II from the face of the Earth (and removed Knome II’s face in the process). Mauler joins us after taking out “the legendary” Nightmare in a single blow. Killerhurtz loosely resembles a tank covered with bulletproof plastic and wields a pneumatic battle axe that has proved its effectiveness. Mauler is just a simple yet powerful circular robot with a spinning lid covered in nasties of all sorts (Chisels of the Apocalypse, Patina of Violence, et al). Charles and Morgan Tilford’s acknowledgement of “damn straight” to the referee’s “are you ready” question cements the fact that this will be a bloodbath of proportions that only Mauler can pull of.

Mauler takes no less than two seconds to spin up to the deadly speed responsible for crippling Nightmare in a single blow. Killerhurtz charges out and rams the spinner while trying to make use of its axe but there’s no contact made, just Mauler asserting its dominance over their friendly English opponents. Killerhurtz tries to slow Mauler down and every hit is met with flying chips of Lexan and both robots bouncing off of each other. Killerhurtz’s axe starts to show some damage and their robot actually begins to slow down. This break period allows Mauler to fully spin up to their maximum deadly speed, what physicists call “Holy Fucking Shit”.

Just as Bil Dwyer mentions “you don’t want to get too close to the Tilfords”, Killerhurtz backs into Mauler in an attempt to use their wedge to slow it down. Mauler exclaims “get that shit out of my face” and blows it to pieces. The Killerhurtz team knows that they’re essentially screwed and decides to fire their hammer at Mauler. Mauler demands that too is worthy of “get that shit out of my face” and tears the hammer off sending it flying towards the arena wall. This fight could not be any more brilliant until it all takes a turn in the opposite direction. Killerhurtz has been rendered into nothing more than a motorized scooter and with one final breath it rams into Mauler once more sending the spinner onto the saws and Mauler falls silent. Mauler may be dead but they set the standard for true demolition in a Heavyweight battle, one that has yet to be attained by any other competitor. After the fight Charles Tilford coins the term “real gourmet damage”, an adjective that would later be used by future competitors of all kinds (and also as the domain name for the robot Marvel of Engineering).

Vlad the Impaler vs. Punjar
We’ve seen plenty of Vlad the Impaler throughout this season. It’s proven to be an exceptional novelty-bot killer after it stomped out both the quirky Tazbot and the flailing/clumsy Overkill. We’ve seen Punjar before as well; in last week’s episode Punjar proved that it could beat a slow stomper-bot with an even slower hammer weapon. Okay, not exactly something extreme to brag about but if Punjar can manage to uppercut Vlad the Impaler then yes, Punjar can write home about it.

Punjar almost seems a little reluctant to come out at Vlad the Impaler, and when it does it tries to spin around in place possibly to either deflect a charge from Vlad the Impaler or to see where the arena exit is so it can escape from battle. Sean Salisbury backs up the viewer by pointing out that Vlad the Impaler is the robot with the forklift and that’s how you can tell them apart. Yes, because the sticker that says “VLAD THE IMPALER” isn’t a big enough hint. Punjar has a noticeable bit of ground clearance which can be seen when Vlad the Impaler has absolutely no trouble getting under Punjar.

Punjar’s freak-out attacks seem to work for the most part as Vlad the Impaler takes a ride over the sawblade hazards and proceeds to attack the floor. I’m thinking that Vlad the Impaler had a slow start because once the floor is thoroughly dead it performs a full charge into Punjar, slamming it into the wall, and then taking the bulldozer into the Pulverizer. This early in the series the Pulverizer was a total piece of crap and I’m almost positive the amount of damage being done to Punjar is about the equivalent of a really annoying seven year old patting you on the back.

Punjar spends the next few moments being driven into the Killsaws and taken around the arena for everyone to see. At one point you can get a good shot at the nice suspension system being utilized by Punjar, unfortunately it’s not doing it any good when it’s up off the floor and hanging by springs as Vlad the Impaler proceeds to live up to its name regarding Punjar’s nether regions. Unlike the flimsier Tazbot and Overkill, Punjar isn’t showing signs of debilitation from Vlad the Impaler’s attacks. At the same time, Punjar doesn’t seem to be winning either, though. Punjar’s imminent death is made into a public show by a nice flip-over and pin combo on the spike strip in the closing seconds of the fight.

At least Punjar gets 1 point for going out in style.

Minion vs. Rammstein
I have a love/hate relationship with Minion. It’s an extremely effective robot and came into this season toting an emergency rescue saw but that was promptly taken off by Gray Matter (and jokingly replaced with a toy chainsaw in Minion’s second fight against Grendel). At the same time however it just appears to leave a lot left to be desired. I suppose it’s just the lack of weaponry now that it’s been disabled, but regardless of that fact it’s still fun to watch; it’s definitely earned its spot in the semifinals. Rammstein on the other hand has skated into this battle by beating a bunch of easy opponents. Abattoir looks menacing but is known for falling apart and never working, most of its losses are by forfeit. Mechadon is cool looking but seriously that thing can’t fight. Rammstein technically is getting ready to face its first real opponent and it’s the juggernaut Minion.

Entering this fight you really get to see how identical the two robots look especially with Minion’s lack of a saw blade. Both of them have lost the use of their primary weapons (Rammstein’s spike went out against Mechadon), so they have now been rendered into six wheeled plow machines. Minion had a bad run-in with a probing spike in its bout against Gray Matter and you can see how Minion is frightened of being touched inappropriately. It’s either that, or the reason is because Minion has no fucking armor and something as simple as a spike can ruin the internals. Either way, Rammstein needs to realize that this is a real fight and not a fire drill and should stop trying to use the spike wall as a ramp.

The fight quickly boils down into a mobile monster truck ramp festival with Rammstein and Minion taking turns using each other to perform wheelies and other stunts. Rammstein’s drivers take a second to see if their remote is even turned on because either their batteries are dead or they just really do suck at this. Rammstein appears to be dead in the water. It’s hard to tell what finally ended Rammstein’s life support but I’d have to give it to the moment when Minion drives over the top of Rammstein. The action was just too awesome for Rammstein to comprehend and its internals exploded.

Killerhurtz vs. Voltarc
Killerhurtz is (was?) a powerful machine this season toting an axe that could pierce and destroy opponents. Killerhurtz really isn’t supposed to be here though; in its previous fight Mauler started to randomly disassemble the clear axe-wielding tank but was knocked out due to electrical problems. Regardless, Killerhurtz enters this fight incredibly crippled and without its weapon. It’s just a funny shaped box with the Union Jack on it now. Voltarc had an equally “freak accident” win over Biohazard. Biohazard spent the entire fight on Voltarc’s wedge and lost. Why the judges didn’t stop the fight I have no idea. Fresh off of a cheap win each, the two robots need to get serious for this semifinal match.

Killerhurtz is reduced to a very fast ramming box and going against Voltarc as a rammer with high ground clearance is a death wish. Voltarc has no problem at all getting under Killerhurtz and lifting him up before the cheesy techno-countdown timer at the top of the screen is even able to go away. It becomes obvious a few seconds into the fight that Killerhurtz is taking the kamikaze route in this fight, running over everything in its path to try and hit Voltarc, and repeating this process. Sean Salisbury makes the comment “it looks like Killerhurtz has lost some control over its drive and weapon”. Yes, Sean, yes it did. I believe the exact moment Killerhurtz lost control of its weapon was when Mauler tore it off and threw it at the wall.

The whole “crash into everything like a maniac” plan starts to work against Killerhurtz when part of the underbelly armor is cut and bent and starts to drag around on the floor. Not only does this increase the ground clearance of Killerhurtz it creates drag that will slow it down (and ruin the arena floor, Trey Roski won’t like that). Voltarc finally manages to catch up to Killerhurtz and drags it over to the Killsaws much to Bil Dwyer’s delight. Listen for how Bil tries to play off his faux excitement when the saws come up and aren’t working. Voltarc finally finds a pair that is working thoug, and takes Killerhurtz for a ride. Killerhurtz has time for one final attack and rides directly up onto Voltarc and gets lifted completely off of the floor. To add insult to injury Voltarc, a blunt wedge, manages to pop the rear Lexan shield off of the back of Killerhurtz and the fight is over.

Voltarc wants a rematch against Vlad the Impaler, and that’s what it’s going to get because Voltarc is moving on to the finals to face its rival.

Middleweight Rumble
All of the Middleweights (or what’s left of them after Hazard leveled them throughout the season) have been compiled into the arena one last time for the “grand rumble” in this division. Spin Orbiting Force (Sofo) is back with even more styrofoam and right next to it we see the incredibly resilient Alien Gladiator and the self proclaimed “when it hits stuff, stuff breaks” Blade Runner. Ankle Biter makes an appearance here after his run for the championship ended with the spike strip. Deadblow is back complete with bent-pecker battle damage, and we get to see a new Middleweight named Pegleg… which appears to be a weaponless walking box covered in duct tape. Speaking of walking boxes Pressure Drop makes a grand re-entry and right next to Pressure Drop is the current champion Hazard looking undamaged as usual. The one-pump-chump wedge Bad Attitude seems to be functional again along with teammate Turtle Road Kill (sporting a nice scar compliments of Hazard). And last and probably least we have the super-reliable Subject To Change Without Reason, famous for breaking while beating Pressure Drop and taking a hit after the buzzer (with the dent to prove it).

The camera angle used at the beginning of the rumble gives a great view of Turtle Road Kill who swerves around the arena, attempting to hit Bad Attitude, Subject To Change Without Reason, and even Pressure Drop before settling on the weaponless Pegleg to vent its frustration out on. Alien Gladiator already looks to be dead as Sofo starts dragging it around from the “blimp-cam”, and if it wasn’t dead then it certainly is after Ankle Biter flies across the floor and throws Alien Gladiator into the air by sheer force alone. Ankle Biter is throwing a fit all over the floor and appears to be self-destructing while pushing other robots around. Rather than damage opponents with its miter saw the robot is instead shooting out sparks from its front end. We see Blade Runner come in through the blimp-cam and Sean Salisbury describe it as “lawnmower-like”; I don’t know about you but I haven’t seen a lawnmower that looks like Blade Runner, ever.

Ankle Biter once again uses its combination of a wedge that shoots sparks and quickness to throw Deadblow and Subject To Change Without Reason over into the wall while we see Sofo and Alien Gladiator patrol the arena and pick on easier targets like Pegleg (who somehow is not dead yet) and Turtle Road Kill (see also: Pegleg). Ankle Biter really takes the spotlight here and seems to have an extreme hating for Subject To Change Without Reason and Deadblow as we finally get to see Pressure Drop for once, sitting still in one of the corners. Blade Runner has been seen just spinning around wildly in the rumble but finally lands in a good hit that punctures the ass of Ankle Biter who also seems to have lost its face somewhere (no more sparks). No worry, Ankle Biter just uses this to its advantage and slams the LAWNMOWER-LIKE Blade Runner into the wall in reverse. Ankle Biter throws out one final attack on the dead-in-the-water Turtle Road Kill, bounces off of its wedge, and lands face up ass down while Bil Dwyer screams that qualifies asĀ “still movin’ around”.

Lots of robots have been taken out, Pressure Drop is nowhere to be seen and we just saw Turtle Road Kill and Ankle Biter laying dormant in the red square. Subject To Change Without Reason appears to be dead but that’s to be expected, and Pegleg is having a seizure in the middle of the arena. Even Hazard starts to freak out and somehow manages to bust its own wedge with its helicopter blade. With the sound of the buzzer Hazard lands in the final blow on the back corner of Bad Attitude, probably killing it if that fight against Blade Runner proved anything.

Closing Thoughts
When the first season of this show aired on TV back in 2000 I was pretty excited (and also in something like seventh grade). In a weird way we’re all very fortunate that Comedy Central messed up the show’s formula and it got taken off the air without any DVD releases, otherwise we may not be able to do what we’re doing for you fans today. What I like the most about this first season is that it captured a time in robot combat history when there was actually a fair amount of damage done to competitors. The “gourmet damage” seen from Mauler disarming Killerhurtz or Ziggo disemboweling the still-living Das Bot is just something that cannot be matched today when everyone is made from one giant custom machined piece of aircraft aluminum or titanium.

I’m also pleased to know that RFSHQ has literally made Internet history by being the first place that we have been able to find that has the entire series of BattleBots archived in “decent” quality and ready for online viewing. There’s still lots more BattleBots to come, and we aren’t even taking the week off. Join us next weekend for the premiere of season two!

– Dracophile