Battlebots Recap: What Did I Just Watch?

While writing this sentence just seconds after the end of the second episode of this season’s Battlebots, I have no idea what I just saw. I do not know what emotion or emotions I should have right now at the various things that went on in this episode. The series reboot was about as a perfect of a reboot for Battlebots we could ask for  and now, after just the second episode, I don’t know what to think anymore about this series. Let me explain.

BATTLE 1: Overhaul vs  Lock-Jaw

In the first battle of night, the nerds from M.I.T. and Overhaul took on the veteran team behind former champion Dissector and their new bot Lock-Jaw. The battle turned into a shoving match with a flair of who could lift up the other with their different lifting arms. Overhaul’s chomping weapon (if it even has one) was non-existent in the battle and Lock-Jaw looked rather odd not having the side hammers of its predecessor Dissector to hit the opponent with. In the end, experienced prevailed and Lock-Jaw was the victor in arguably the closest battle between two decent bots (Plan X and Wrecks does not count as a battle) this season after a split decision.

What will be remembered most from the battle will be an incident of “poor sportsmanship” at the end of the bout. In the waining seconds of the battle, Lock-Jaw managed to ram Overhaul up against the wall screws (still don’t know if that is the official term for them or not) and subsequently flipped the bot for the remaining few seconds of the battle. At the end of the battle, Lock-Jaw got in a late hit on Overhaul which the team did not take too lightly. Since this show is run by the same company that employs Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith, the commentators and reporters for ABC immediately made this scuffle into a full-on controversy. Luckily common sense prevailed and we moved on to the next battle as soon as possible.

BATTLE 2: Bronco vs Witch Doctor

I get it ABC. You like the underdog story in this rebirth of Battlebots. So, when a bot like Witch Doctor and it’s owner come along, you have to give them a pre-battle feature package. The fact that you didn’t give a single second to Bronco and their creators who made juggernauts Toro, Matador, and the best Middleweight bot ever T-Minus (sorry Hazard fans but it’s the truth) in the original Battlebots was a bit shameful and justified the battle result.

In the most lopsided battle when comparing pregame air time to actual skill in the arena, Bronco showed everyone whose boss and defeated Witch Doctor without breaking a sweat. Bronco’s flipper lived up to the legacy of previous Inertia Labs bots and, after a few well-placed flips within the arena, threw Witch Doctor on top of the arena wall and effectively out of the arena as best it can. Why ABC devoted all of the pregame hyping up Witch Doctor I have zero clue after that battle. The Tornado-like spinning drum of Witch Doctor showed no impact on Bronco and was as effective as Plan X’s “weapon” against Wrecks in last week’s episode.

BATTLE 3: Counter Revolution vs Tombstone

In the shortest and most intimidating battle for rounds to come, Tombstone crushed Counter Revolution. It wasn’t even a battle. Seeing the feature piece for Tombstone prior to the battle, I have absolutely no idea why Counter Revolution decided to get into the arena. Counter Revolution was rendered immobile within seconds of the battle starting after just one hit from Tombstone’s menacing horizontal spinning weapon. To add insult to injury, Tombstone and it’s drivers who is the living embodiment of a mid-life crisis for someone who likes the taste of animal blood mangled Counter Revolution after a few more blows to the body. A SEC football game against a FCS team is easier to watch then that battle from a humanity point of view.

BATTLE 4: Complete Control vs Ghost Raptor

You know when a guy likes a girl and might go a bit overboard in order to show them how much they care for them in an effort to woo them into a relationship? Creator of Complete Control, you are that guy. One of the few bots that have lasted from the original series, the Complete Control team thought it would be clever to add a gift to his bot. Yes, he literally stuck a box with wrapping paper in between his bot’s clamping weapon.

Guess what was inside the box? No, it was not Gwyneth Paltrow’s head Brad Pitt. It was one of if not the dirtiest weapon in all of bot batting: a net. Complete Control baited Ghost Raptor into attacking it head on, box and all, and at the moment of impact Ghost Raptor and it’s horizontal windmill-like weapon were immediately entangled in the net and the bot was rendered immobile.

You’d think this would be a cut-and-dry case of Complete Control using an illegal weapon and being disqualified. Well…apparently ABC forgot to double check the rule book and forgot to put this rule in.

Luckily ABC realized the severity of their mistake and, in a move that will be talked about heavily in the Battlebot loving community, nullified the initial battle after determining the rule against entanglement weapons was a long-time rule in Battlebots and so therefore it should be common sense not to have it as a weapon. I’d love to see if there wasn’t a rule prohibiting a bot from having f*ck written all over it when it went into battle.

A rematch between the two was the outcome and boy was it a…I guess you could say it was a battle. Complete Control’s internals were not functioning probably after the back end ran into an edge on the arena floor and one of Ghost Raptor’s spinning arms broke off after one hit to Complete Control. In the end, Ghost Raptor won which proves that cheaters never prosper. Either that or assholes. They’re basically the same thing.

Disclaimer: This is where I get a bit pissed off at ABC.

At this point you are probably anticipating a preview of next week’s episode that will conclude the qualifying stage of the tournament. Well…if you have eyes and notice the bold lettering below this paragraph, you know this will not be the case. During the decision over what punishment if any to give Complete Control for using a net as a weapon, ABC thought it would be an appropriate time to have an episode within an episode and recap four entire bot battles within a 2-3 minute timeframe. This is my analysis for each of those final four qualifying round battles.

BATTLE 5: Stinger vs Captain Shrederator

Stinger won.

BATTLE 6: Overdrive vs Chomp

Overdrive won.

BATTLE 7: Radioactive vs Sweet Revenge

Radioactive won.

BATTLE 8: Hypershock vs Mohawk

Hypershock won.

That’s as much air-time ABC decided was worthy for these battles and so two words is all I’m going to give each of them in comparison.

Oh and by the way, Overhaul, Chomp, Witch Doctor, and Warhead won the losers bracket and will be moving on to the round of 16 against the 12 bots who won their qualifying matches.


How were these four bots chosen as the winners of the losers bracket you might be asking? We have absolutely no idea. In the last minute (that’s right, minute) of the show, Molly McGrath simply ran through the list of bots who moved on to the round of 16. This was followed by a preview of next week’s episode that, according to ABC, warranted more air-time then the entire “losers bracket round” from start to finish.

You can’t do this ABC. First you step on a nail with the lack of a rule against entanglement weapons like fish netting and now, without going to the hospital to get a tetanus shot and bandages to at least cover the wound, you stepped in a pile of (pardon my french) dog shit.

Please tell us ABC, who are the judge, jury, and executioner for Battlebots, how you at least justified putting these four bots into the round of 16. We didn’t even get to see Chomp’s fight! If its battle against Overdrive wasn’t worthy of air-time then how on earth are we to believe not one but both bots should justifiably be in the next round.

From an outsider’s perspective looking in, it just looks like you picked three bots you dedicated precious feature stories to prior to their first battle and are now trying to justify giving these bots, however strong or weak they are, the air time that was given to them by moving them into the next round because ABC makes up the rules as they go. After that, you probably added in Chomp because it was the first bot you saw when you went backstage to see if any of the losing bots were still in the building and said why not.

If you wanted to make the loser’s bracket short, there are far more justifiable ways to determine those who deserve the four spots. How about four battle between three bots? Or, better yet, how about bring back one of the best parts from the original series and stage a loser bracket rumble where the final four bots still moving move onto the next round. There’s a five minute loser bracket round right with far more integrity behind the picks then the route you chose. Why not put some integrity behind the four spots instead of having them there as a fail safe for any bots you dedicated feature stories to in the qualifying round so they can make it into the next round?

Why not indeed, ABC. Why not indeed.


This post currently has 3 responses

  • The rules need to be readdressed. With the culture of nets are bad needs to be addressed. Otherwise spinners with the highest torque (fastest spinning with the most weight) are going to win every time.

  • I can’t believe abc at the moment. . . They showed in a little clip at the end of tonight’s episode that showed the results of the bronco vs tombstone fight and I’m mad as hell for it.
    It was only for a split second but with DVR it was incredibly obvious who won and I think toro, i mean bronco deserved so much more respect that what’s been given to it

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