BattleBots Preview: Please Don’t Screw This Up ABC

Nearly 13 years ago, one of the greatest sporting competitions in the history of the universe was cancelled far too soon by Comedy Central. Then again, it is Comedy Central and they don’t have a great track record of keeping sports-centered around for awhile (see Sports Show with Norm MacDonald).

BattleBots was one of the first shows not geared toward elementary school kids that I followed at the tender age of 7. It appealed to the Pokemon lover in me as the closest thing I was going to get to real life battles between small creatures whose purpose in life is to fight other small creatures according to the will of a master.

I loved BattleBots far too much. Back home in my childhood bedroom, I have too many BattleBot toys. I bought every remote controlled BattleBot that came out. I collected all the handheld toys with the trigger you pulled that would make the BattleBot do something. I bought the BattleBots dice game. I collected everyone of the McDonalds BattleBots toys.

No other item quantifies my connection to BattleBots then the Biohazard keychain that currently resides on my car keychain which is where it has been since I got my car when I was 16. I even bought the official BattleBots book! I hate books!

So, early this year, when I heard ABC was bringing BattleBots back from the grave, I was like a deer in the headlights. I didn’t know whether to scream or cry out of joy. To this day, the day of BattleBots premiere, I still don’t know how to feel about it.

Bill Nye, BattleBots "Technical Expert"
Bill Nye: BattleBots Technical Expert

Over the past 5-10 years, we have been bombarded by the resurrection of TV shows and movie franchises of years past. We have had a bit of a nostalgia overload. Many times we feel a fierce wave of anticipation and excitement when a property is revitalized. Then, on too many occasion, that excitement soon turns sour and we

Nostalgia is a very complicated thing to handle. It is human nature that, as time goes on, we slightly alter and exaggerate memories from decades ago. We tend to believe things were greater than they actually were. When does memories occur in your adolescence, that distortion grows even greater due to our lack of a refined brain and way of seeing the world. There’s a reason you can’t stand watching new Nickelodeon and Disney Channel shows when you’re in your 20s and 30s.

ABC knows it is banking on nostalgia for BattleBots to keep the show alive or not. The show is premiering late on Sunday at the start of summer. Maybe ABC is being extra cautious after a show like American Gladiators was rebooted by NBC in January on Monday night, a prime television spot, and was cancelled later that August after two full seasons in such a short amount of time.

What we know about the BattleBots reboot is it will pit 24 robots in a single tournament format. In the original run of the show, robots were divided into four separate weight classes (Lightweight, Middleweight, Heavyweight, Super Heavyweight) which each tournament taking place simultaneously.

With the new BattleBots format, the robots competing are going to fall in the Heavyweight/Super Heavyweight range. Sadly, Dr. Inferno and T-Minus were two of my favorite robots but those guys would have no chance due robots twice as heavy as them. Here’s hoping that in the second season of BattleBots we have the addition of a smaller weight class so the little guys have a shot since I feel that where the most interesting bots come out of (we love you Tentoumushi).

Warhead VS Biteforce BattleBots

Only one of tonight’s battles has been announced by BattleBots: Warhead vs. Biteforce. Now, I’m not a betting man, but put your house on Warhead winning without receiving a scratch.

Warhead appears to be one of the few BattleBots that have stayed alive these past 13 years and will be competing in this season of BattleBots as a veteran from the original show. For those fans of British show Robot Wars, that has been off the air for over a decade itself, Warhead comes from the same minds that built Razer which went down as one of the greatest robots to compete on the show. Razer has since retired.

During Warhead’s short time in the original BattleBots since it joined the show just before its cancellation, the spinner bot had a decent showing in the Super Heavyweight tournament. It made easy work of JC Slammer, Darkstar-2J, and The Matador with the its pinnacle being it’s absolute manhandling of long-time BattleBots veteran Nightmare in one of the quickest battles in the history of the show.

Biteforce however is a new bot with the same type of pinching weapon as Razer. Undoubtedly Team Razer knows how to make a bot that can easily counter their most famous bot’s weapon of choice. It’s unclear how much pinching pressure Biteforce has or how quick it can apply that pressure. I expect Warhead to make mince mean out of Biteforce after targeting their tread tracks that are completely exposed. Lose one of those and Biteforce becomes a wounded gazelle in the BattleBot arena.

Don’t screw this up ABC. You have the makings of the next Wipeout (though my dad will not be competing on this show in anyway) in BattleBots as a great summertime series that could make its way to a more prime TV spot in the fall and spring.Here’s just hoping we don’t have another Storm 2 incident.¬†Fingers crossed that more established BattleBots veterans are in this tournament alongside a fresh crop of bots. My top bots would be Whyachi, Biohazard, and Toro. Also wouldn’t hurt to see another rumble.


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