After what could be said as a cluster mess of a second episode (we used a bit more colorful language than that), Battlebots got back to what I loved most from the original series: a single-elimination knockout tournament. 16 teams were seeded 1-16 after the qualifying round with numerous interesting match-ups slated for the first round, including one obvious match-up that was rigged to occur by the selection committee (hope you enjoyed that Lock Jaw and Over-Haul bickering cause you’ll getting more of it) but that’s for the next episode. Anyways, let’s get this show on the road or some other overused idiom.
BATTLE 1: No. 2 Icewave vs No. 15 Chomp
In the first round of 16 matchup, my theory about the method for the selection of the four qualifying round losers to earn a spot in the round of 16 was made legitimate. The second-ranked Icewave made us wonder why the hell Chomp was selected even though its qualifying round match against Overdrive was not even worthy of broadcast.
While Chomp had the size advantage and what appeared to be a well-built and strong body, Icewave’s spinning weapon ate up the front of Chomp piece by piece. Chomp’s flame-throwing weapon, which attempted to damage the internal workings of Icewave, proved to be a fruitless affair. Ultimately, Icewave was able to remove a wheel from Chomp and from there ended the match in a knockout.
BATTLE 2: No. 5 Stinger vs No. 12 Warhead
Warhead, the only bot remaining from the original Battlebots to make it to the round of 16 (because Nightmare was worse than Chomp apparently), was once again put against another wedge bot. Maybe it’s something about British bots but for some reason they have yet to counter the most basic bot design ever. A plumber made Stinger for pete sakes.
When it came time for battle, it was very much the same for Warhead which is not a good thing for the veteran bot. Warhead was once again outpaced by a much quicker bot in Stinger. Warhead’s match against Stinger was much more entertaining though then its battle against Bite Force in the qualifying round. Warhead was thrown around the arena by Stinger whose lifting wedge was able to deflect any shot from Warhead’s weapon. Stinger was given the obvious unanimous decision in the end and sent one of the most well-known bots in the competition home. Will we see a modern-day Razer instead Warhead next tournament from the Brits? Who knows. Once thing is for certain though and that is Warhead deserves a retirement from Battlebots.
BATTLE 3: No. 7 Warrior Clan vs No. 10 Ghost Raptor
After damaging it’s spinning hammer weapon in its qualifying round battle, Ghost Raptor ultimately reversed course when it came to its weaponry. Ghost Raptor had to scrap its spinning hammer weapon completely and was converted into (yep, the easiest bot to make) a wedge bot made with heavy armor.
Remember how I just said Warhead deserves a retirement from Battlebots. Well, after this battle, I have no idea why the Whyachi team retired Whyachi and Son of Whyachi from Battlebots as Warrior Clan looks to be nowhere near its predecessors. A Ghost Raptor with no weaponry appeared to be an easy kill for Warrior Clan and its spinning body weapon along with its litter of mini bots. Warrior Clan’s weapon proved to do nothing against Ghost Raptor and stopped working halfway through the battle. With its spinning weapon disabled, Warrior Clan was unable to use its secondary flipping weapon. Warrior Clan ended up being counted out and the reins of the Whyachi team were officially handed down to the younger generation. Interesting to see if they stick with this design or go back to a design that dominated the original Battlebots.
BATTLE 4: No. 4 Bronco vs No. 13 Plan X
I’m sorry but this was the cruelest of opponents Plan X could have faced in the round of 16. The feeling I had entering this battle for Plan X was the same I had for Japan after the United States scored its fourth goal in just over 15 minutes in the Women’s World Cup final earlier today. I knew the result already but understood the result still had to be confirmed.
I feel for Plan X and its young driver. I understand feeling your bot can take on any other bot out there and win. Sorry but sometimes you just need to realize when you are about to get your butt whooped. This isn’t Appalachian State playing against Michigan in the Big House. This was more like Yakima Valley Community College (have to represent my hometown) up against Michigan in the Big House. With just ten seconds of maneuvering and one use of Bronco’s flipper, Plan X was flipped on its back up against the wall and had zero way of doing anything about it. Here’ hoping we see a return of Tentomushi in the next tournament. At least that bot was a cute ladybug.
Expect to see the same amount of carnage from Battlebots in next week’s remaining round of 16 match-ups as we see Tombstone probably murder Radioactive, Witch Doctor attempt to be the first bot to have lost in the qualifying round to justify its spot in the round of 16 by winning, Overhaul and their drivers to get their knickers in a bunch against, and force Bite Force once again to shove another bot around the arena.