In the last four battles of the Round 16, we see a rivalry no one wanted to see renewed, a wedge bot finally gets destroyed because of its lazy weaponry, a bot test the limits of who can be considered a serial killer, and a bot lose in one of the worst ways possible (no, we did not see a return of #NetGate). Luckily I woke up for this episode because I’ve had a very weird sleeping pattern the last three days. However, me waking up twenty minutes before the episode after taking a three-hour long nap proves to me once again that our brains know way more about the world then they let on. How else do you explain me waking up, without an alarm, ten-fifteen minutes before class dozens of times in college after a full night of sleep. Our brain’s are psychic I tell ya. Except for Plan X’s brain. That thing is a bit delusional regarding its capabilities in the Battlebots arena.
BATTLE 1: No. 9 Witch Doctor vs No. 8 Overdrive
DOWN WITH THE WEDGE BOT! After the wedge bot seemed to reign supreme in the qualifying round, one is finally sent to grave in a magnificent manner. Overdrive, a wedge bot whose qualifying round battle was not televised, comes from the minds of Team CoolRobots who had at least one bot in each weight class of the original Battlebots including the well-known heavyweight bot Overkill and super-heavyweight bot Minion (no, it was not yellow and shaped like a Twinkie). Witch Doctor, otherwise known as Bronco’s first victim, proved to be the first at-large bot that should’ve been put up against a weaker bot in the qualifying round because clearly it deserved to be in the round of 16 over some bots who won their qualifying round matchup (I’m looking at you Radioactive).
In this battle, we got to see Witch Doctor’s spinning drum at full power and man was it intimidating. Granted, it was up against Overdrive who could do no more than push Witch Doctor or deflect its drum with their wedge ala Bite Force against Warhead, but that didn’t sour this match. We got to see a wedge bot finally meet its maker against a bot with an actual weapon. Overdrive’s lifting wedge proved to be ineffective against Witch Doctor’s weapon which both launch Overdrive into the air on multiple occasions and tore apart the wheels on one side of Overdrive. After being flipped onto its side and half of its wheels torn apart, Witch Doctor would end up winning the match by knockout which proved to be the theme for tonight’s episode. I don’t want to spoil the next recap but good luck against Tombstone in the next round Witch Doctor. You are going to need it.
BATTLE 2: No. 1 Tombstone vs No. 16 Radioactive
When I here in the pre-game introduction of your battle that your bot is partially made of plastic, you know you’re about to witness another murder by Tombstone. In the battle of America vs. Britain, the Brits of Radioactive get thrown to the other side of the Atlantic from once they came. Granted, Tombstone’s driver is one cocky S.O.B. while in the arena. In order to give Radioactive a fighter’s chance, Tombstone’s weapon was not activated for the first 15 seconds of the battle with the bot simply circling Radioactive like it’s a great white shark circling its prey in the middle of the ocean. Once again, Tombstone crippled its opponent with just a few hits and on a bot made of plastic, each one was critical no matter where it landed. After this battle, expect for Battlebots to consider adding a white flag to its battles for next season so we don’t have to witness a condensed Revolutionary War occur in the arena.
No. 6 Lock-Jaw vs No. 11 Overhaul
In the not highly anticipated rematch of the rematch ABC can’t help but shove down your throat because #sensationalism, we see veteran Lock-Jaw pitted up against the M.I.T. nerds of Overhaul. I’ll admit that Overhaul is a bot but it has been lucky to not face a bot who can damage it from above. All we need is Grant Imahara to rebirth a larger version of Deadblow and if to rip Overhaul apart for example.
Saying that, it was pretty obvious the fix was in for Overhaul to defeat Lock-Jaw and make it into the next round. For starters, the clamp was actually active and played a major role in the second battle. Lock-Jaw at the start of the battle appeared to be a sitting duck in the middle of the arena with veteran driving ability it has at its disposable seemingly non-existent for a few crucial seconds. In those seconds, we got to see Overhaul’s clamping weapon at work as it pierced through and mangled one of Lock-Jaw’s front tires. Soon after, Lock-Jaw’s well…jaws found themselves underneath itself which rendered it nearly immobile with only two wheels touching the ground. With Overhaul controlling every one of Lock-Jaw’s movements, it was only inevitable that Lock-Jaw would lose by knockout. The nerds got their revenge, but let’s see how they do against a different bot in the next round since I don’t think ABC can engineer a way to get Lock-Jaw into the next round over the winner of our last battle of the night.
No. 3 Bite Force vs No. 14 Hypershock
In probably the worst battle Battlebots could’ve ended the round of 16 on, we get to see a battle end in the worse way possible: a self-inflicted knockout by the bot in the lead due to durability issues. That was the case for Hypershock who suffered too much damage in their qualifying round battle (actually it wasn’t televised by ABC so hell if I know) to overcome in the repair period between matches.
Bite Force, who came off an impressive win over Warhead, appeared to have gotten their No. 3 seed based on hype after a very lackluster battle against Hypershock. Bite Force’s supreme driving advantage over Warhead was not on display against Hypershock as it was able to maneuver out of Bite Force’s ramming wedge. The highlight of the match was the singular blow Hypershock’s spinning drum laid on Bite Force which sent the bot hurdling into the air and on its backside. Even though Bite Force showed signs of being unable to flip itself back over, Hypershock still went on the attack and eventually aided Bite Force in flipping itself back over up against the sidewall. In the end, Hypershock’s motor eventually gave out and rendered the bot immobile and was counted out of a matchup it was on track to win. Think of it like Steph Curry was in the NCAA Tournament with Davidson and they went up against a No. 2 seed after winning their No. 7 vs No. 10 game and, with ten minutes left in the second half, broke his leg after Davidson had gathered a double-digit lead. Or, using nerd terminology, Hypershock took an arrow to the knee.
Next week’s quarterfinals look to be set up as the most interesting round yet of these Battlebots as it means we are only one step away from the semi-finals. Let’s face it, there are at least two bots not worthy of being in the quarterfinals and Bronco vs Tombstone has to be the most anticipated match-up of these Battlebots. I’m looking at it like the NFC Championship game a few years back between Seattle and San Francisco where, after the Seahawks won the Super Bowl, you knew that the real Super Bowl was played in Seattle that post-season. No offense to Icewave or Bite Force but you just don’t do it for me, you know, sexually. Daddy needs his high-powered flipper action.