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Season three, episode two


First of all, I'd like to apologize for misspelling Bil Dwyer's name in last week's summary. Well, at least now I don't have to worry about differentiating between him and Bill Nye.

Also, it appears that I was merely blowing smoke when I thought the toy robot thingy on Dr. Inferno Jr. was missing its head. I must have been thinking of 2XL or something.

Let's see how many errors I make with this week's thrill-packed episode!

We start off with the usual teases of three robots, and then a whole bunch of clips of robots in battle. Fortunately for all of us spoiler freaks, all of the clips are from season two. The only clip from the current season is of -- surprise! -- Nightmare whacking Slam Job. If you don't have that scene engraved in your mind yet, don't worry -- I reckon that clip will be shown at least 50 more times, not including the commercials.

In fact, if you missed it in the first thirty seconds of the program, you get to see it again in the little computer-generated television monitors that make up the show's opening. Get it? There are robots, and they're battling. Violently. We only have one clip.

Now that I've already seen the episode, I notice there's at least one clip in the opening that comes from later in tonight's episode. But the camera is so close, you can't really tell what it is without seeing the entire fight. Which kind of defeats the purpose of showing robot fighting clips, but I digress.

"Battlebots" is currently sponsored by Snapple. We've gone one full episode without having to see that disturbing "fruits mating" commercial, can we go for two?

We jump directly into tonight's first fight -- a super heavyweight bout between two newbies, Hammertime and Vladiator. Hammertime is a short, long box with a big arm coming out of it, on the end of which is a spike. The spike is lowered onto opponents with 2,200 pounds of force, according to Bil (see? I've got it right now).

Vladiator comes from Gage Cauchois, the man behind the very successful Vlad the Impaler. And there's no mistaking that the two robots come from the same family. Vladiator is also a short, long box, painted the same shade of gray and with the same Loctite logo (of course). The difference between Vladiator and its robot kin is that Vladiator has only one spike coming out of the center of its front, centered horizontally and vertically to quickly flick up and down. The tires are large enough to make Vladiator invertible.

Before the fight, it's time for brief excerpts from an interview with Gage Cauchois. One of the questions he's asked is, "What is Battlebots?" You know, they've been producing this TV show for three seasons. I would hope that they'd know by now.

Time to introduce the robots. Unfortunately, after Mark Beiro announces the name "Hammertime!", no dancing girls come out and shake their collective groove thing to a funky bass beat. Maybe that only happens after a win. Mark Beiro also still insists on pronouncing the name of Gage's robots "Vlahd," ignoring the really obvious worldplay in the name "Vladiator." Does Mark Beiro come from Romanian ancestry or something?

The box is locked, the lights are on, it's robot fightin' time. I'll admit, Tim Green is very good at that line.

Vladiator and Hammertime both start toward each other. As Hammertime advances, Vladiator decides to retreat, backing over the killsaws. Hammertime drives directly into the killsaws. Vladiator then drives over another set of killsaws. Ten seconds in, and the killsaws look to be the early winners of this fight.

Then Vladiator gets itself into position and quickly rams into Hammertime, lifting Hammertime into the air. Hammertime's hammer quickly falls, hitting Vladiator but doing no damage. Vladiator pushes Hammertime into a screw, then slides out from underneath and drives into another screw. I know you're expecting both robots to become destroyed after hearing such news, but amazingly, neither one is harmed in the slightest way. Shocking, I know.

Vladiator drives into Hammertime again, but that solitary flipping spike doesn't get underneath. See, I don't understand why Vladiator has only one flipping spike. You can't get any balance underneath a robot with just one spike. And Vladiator is a very simple design -- surely it couldn't have been a weight restriction. Unless it's phallic. And I'm hoping it's not.

The strategies are fairly obvious by this point. Vladiator wants to stay a safe distance away from Hammertime and hope to drive around to get at its weaponless backside. Hammertime, on the other hand, wants to rotate in one spot and keep that hammer pointed at Vladiator should Vladiator strike. Which means there's a good deal of thrilling positioning action!.

Finally, Vladiator decides to just go for it, and races toward Hammertime. By the time Hammertime can swing, once again Vladiator is underneath, not getting too much of the blow. Vlad scoops Hammertime onto its (Vladiator's) back and carries it to a wall, giving it a good smack into the Lexan.

Hammertime gets turned around, and after some maneuvering, Vladiator manages to shoot directly at Hammertime's rear end. However, one little spike doesn't hold onto Hammertime, so nothing really happens. Vladiator then tries to just use the spike to lift -- nope, no good either.

Hammertime gets raised a bit by a piston. Vladiator is raised a bit by some killsaws. Then a piston. Then there's some pushing. And some missed blows. And some driving around. Vladiator clearly is faster and more manageable.

Vladiator briefly pushes Hammertime over a marked killsaw zone, but the saws apparently are asleep. Hammertime then drives directly over a spinner. Directly over it. If the spinners actually did what they were designed to do, Hammertime should now be facing in a different direction. But nope, the robot drives directly over the thing without even flinching. It's kind of sad when you think about it.

But since Hammertime didn't get turned around, it heads straight into a sledgehammer. The sledgehammer falls, hitting Hammertime's raised spike but accomplishing nothing. Notes the ever-observant Tim: "Oh! Narrowly avoiding the pulverizer." Trust me, he got hit. I saw it the first time I watched it. And it was the actual hammer that hit Hammertime, not the wimpy stick part. I'm glad Tim isn't one of the judges.

Vladiator gives Hammertime a little push, and Hammertime backs into the spike strip by its entrance ramp. It then quits moving. All those screws in the arena, taking up valuable space, and it's the spike strips that do any damage.

Vladiator decides to try to lift Hammertime. Your guess is as good as mine to the reason. It would appear that Hammertime really is stuck to the wall, because Vladiator's back tires go into the air upon trying to lift its foe. A whack from Hammertime's hammer doesn't help things.

Now this is interesting. We see a shot of a Hammertime stuck to the wall. Vladiator's spike is wedged in underneath Hammertime, and judging by the struggle, I would say that Vladiator is now attached to Hammertime and can't get free. From that shot, they go to two quick shots of both teams staring at their robots. When they go back to showing the robots again, Hammertime is now off of the wall (past the spinner, near the center) and Vladiator is driving around the middle. Given how slowly Hammertime was driving and the speed at which the two shots went by (and the fact that the looks on the faces of Hammertime's team say "we can't move"), Comedy Central just edited out the part where the fight was stopped and the robots separated.

So we're back to watching the two robots wander around each other and not really make any punishing connections. Peter Lambertson gets bored and starts rapidly activating the ramps while Vladiator is on them. With six seconds left, Hammertime gets its first real hit in, doing no damage whatsoever. Time runs out. So does the viewers' patience.

The only two real hits are shown in replay, both from Vladiator pushing Hammertime around. The judges' decision is 30-15 in favor of Vladiator. And Mark Beiro comes really close to saying the robot's name as a rhyme of "Gladiator." Good job.

Obsessive fanboy time! In the Comedy Central battle stats screen, the letter Z in the word "Hazards" has changed shape since last week's episode. Presumably this is because it looked exactly like the number 2 in that font. And I'll bet none of you care. Um, let's go to some commercials.

As the battlebots.com web site is plugged, we get to see the Nightmare/Slam Job clip yet again. How many times did they show that hit last week? Four times? Five times? We're getting close to matching that number already, and we're barley ten minutes into the hour.

For the next fight, it's Toe Crusher vs. Dr. Inferno Jr. Once again, we're reminded that Battlebots is the only worldwide-recognized federation for robotic combat. I'd like to take the time to point out that this site is the only worldwide-recognized web site for lengthy summaries of robotic combat. Congratulations, me!

But I cannot get swept up in the glamour of this prestigious title. I must plug on. Toe Crusher is a two-wheeled wedge with a big hammer that swings back and forth. Dr. Inferno Jr. is a Biohazard-like low box with a toy robot sitting on the top. The toy robot has a real saw blade attached to it.

Time to take a look inside the home of Dr. Inferno Jr.'s human family. This segment focuses on the clothing choices of Jason Bardis' (girlfriend? wife?), Lauren. She prefers to wear red spandex pants with sequins on them and a matching tube top during the fights. Too bad Las Vegas was last tournament.

Toe Crusher has a complicated, confusing introduction. Allow me to share.

"It's like trying to squeeze into a pair of size 7's when you wear a size 10. Multiply that pain by 100, 'cause that's the pain you'll receive from Toe Crusher!"

Maybe they're trying to tie it in with the spandex or something. I'm not sure.

Robot fightin' time. Before the two robots even meet, Toe Crusher's wedge gets pushed up from hitting a bump in the floor. After a couple of swings and misses from the spike, Toe Crusher opts for the easier "spin around and hit 'em from the side" method. Dr. Inferno Jr. absorbs a couple blows and pushes Toe Crusher into the wall. Then keeps pushing to try to get Toe Crusher to stick. You know, it's sometimes disturbing when you design your robot to look like a living figure. Because right now Dr. Inferno Jr. appears to be doing to Toe Crusher what a male dog does to a human leg. Parents should be prepared with an explanation when the children worry that the robots are "fighting with each other."

Toe Crusher escapes, and the two robots drive around. While this is happening, Randy Sklar pops up in the upper left-hand corner of our screen to talk. He identifies Christian Carlberg by name, but when he realizes that he needs to provide a name for Dr. Inferno Jr.'s driver, he has to fudge out "the Dr. Inferno Jr. team." I'll bet that makes Jason Bardis feel really good inside. Anyway, Randy tells us that they're both good drivers, then leaves the screen. Beats watching the robots not hit each other, I guess.

Dr. Inferno Jr. pushes Toe Crusher into a killsaw and flips it, but really, that's not too harmful. Dr. Inferno Jr. then shoves Toe Crusher into a wall again. However, this time Toe Crusher makes the best of the situation by swinging its pickaxe directly into the toy robot on Dr. Inferno Jr. Granted, this does no damage to the workings of the robot itself, but it does look impressive and now there are some big plastic pieces on the floor to look at. Lookin' at plastic, baby. Oh yeah.

More driving around, little in the way of damage. At one point, the killsaws hurt one of the sides of Dr. Inferno Jr.'s skirt. Toe Crusher gets its pickaxe caught in one of the holes for the killsaws, but swings it free before anything actually happens. So Tim decides to tell us, "Oh-ho, both take a hit from the killsaws," even though neither of them had in the immediate past. I guess he was just trying to make the fight sound interesting. I hope. I really do hope.

For the rest of the fight, nothing really happens, apart from Toe Crusher letting the spike fall into the ramrod and killsaw holes, then freeing it before anything pops up. I'm busy watching the seemingly motionless audience and trying to determine whether that's supposed to be the sound of raucous cheering or simply industrial noise in the background music. When the fight ends, the editing would have you believe that the audience suddenly jumped to their feet and waved their hands around like crazies. I prefer to think that it's a gesture of anger rather than a gesture of excitement.

Looky looky! It's another 23-22 decision! Dr. Inferno Jr. gets the nod, and we get to see exactly how this fight was scored. Let's see... Dr. Inferno Jr. gets the points for aggression, 10-5, since it did most of the pushing. Toe Crusher leads in the damage category, 10-5, since it knocked useless parts off its opponent. The strategy was split 8-7 in favor of Dr. Inferno Jr., since the strategy for both seemed to be "drive around a lot and hope to run into the other guy." I'd suggest a rematch, but I fear nothing would happen again.

After the commercial, we get to see team Biohazard working in the pits, even though they're not in this episode. It's pretty funny to see them all huddled around their robot wearing scrubs, inserting a battery -- I expect there to be a heart rate monitor beeping next to them or something. "We're going to have to amputate the flipping arm! Get me an acetylene torch and 30 cc's of putty, stat!"

Now it's time to see some clips from fights that were even less exciting than the previous two. Mauler wails on Dreadbot, but no parts go flying. Electric Lunch gives Ronin a powerful slam, sending it upside down and making it look mighty ugly. Sabotage is now a metallic color and defeated Huggy Bear in a 23-22 victory (another one?).

Tim Green confuses me as he introduces the next fight -- "It's girth versus stealth and brawn against brain..." The way he says it, it sounds like there are three robots in this fight, but now that I see the sentence printed out, I see his mistake. Here's the correct way to read the sentence:

"It's girth versus stealth, and brawn against brain..."

But Tim reads it like this:

"It's girth (tiny pause) versus stealth and brawn (tiny pause) against brain..."

Jeez. Don't they do any retakes of these intros?

The stealth and brain belong to Little Sister, the sequel to Big Brother. It's the same shaped shell, but now the flipping arm is more powerful. And the robot's painted bright yellow.

The girth and brawn belong to Gammatron, a walker that hasn't been faring too well in the sport. In fact, it's been in the previous two tournaments, yet this is the first time we've ever gotten to see it in direct combat. Gammatron's weapon of choice in this fight -- a spinning wheel with two axe blades near the floor. On Gammatron's stats screen, they've typed, "Turn offs: Wedges." They apparently neglected to add, "Turn-ons: long, lumbering walks on the beach, drinking fine motor oil, and the ability to get into many accommodating positions."

Despite the name Little Sister, it's still the young brother of the family that will be operating the lifting arm. The green lights activate, and I really wish we could see Gammatron power up, but that danged onscreen timer is covering it.

Little Sister charges its backside toward Gammatron and gives it a shove to try to stop the spinning hoop. The result is a complete success -- Gammatron's weapon quits moving entirely, and Little Sister has but a scratch in the armor. Nothing left to do but turn around and take Gammatron off of its gigantic feet, and Little Sister does that with no difficulty. 13 seconds in, and Gammatron is immobilised (I've opted for the British spelling of the word in honour of the victor).

Little Sister immediately goes into a very fast victory spin. Looks pretty darn good. As Gammatron struggles near the wall, Little Sister heads toward the center of the arena and spins some more, lifting the flipping arm in victory as well.

Looking good is fun and all, but Little Sister made a long trip across the Atlantic to actually beat up other robots. So she drives over and flips Gammatron back on its feet. Before Gammatron can do anything, Little Sister is back underneath again, ready to push it into some hazards. Though there is a delicious sledgehammer nearby, Little Sister instead opts for the absolutely useless screws. Gammatron lands on its feet again, and does a very good job of turning itself around, given that it's a stompbot and all.

But before it can escape, Little Sister makes another push for the sledgehammer. That doesn't work, so Little Sister settles for knocking Gammatron back onto its side. Some more pushing, and Little Sister leaves Gammatron abandoned and sitting directly over the ramrods.

Little Sister moves to the center for some more celebratory spins, and the audience approves. Meanwhile, the ramrods are jabbing a smoking Gammatron (some nice camera work in those two shots, by the way).

The refs count Gammatron out, and Ian Watts goes into a very disturbing victory dance. I can't dance to save my life either, but at least I don't do... that. Ah well, I guess when you're excited about a victory, your emotions take control over your body -- even if there is a television camera four feet away.

After a commercial, there's an interview with Mike Okerman. He shares some home movies of Gammatron during testing. We get to see what happens when Gammatron's foot comes loose (the entire robot spins wildly out of control) and what happens when Gammatron is given a chance to beat up an opponent (that dryer didn't stand a chance -- it was starting from the blue square).

To start the second half of the show, it's middleweights Subject to Change without Reason versus Complete Control. The stats tell us that Subject to Change has never won from the blue corner -- of course, it's also only had one victory. Might as well say it's never won when the majority of the audience behind Randy Eubanks was wearing black clothing.

You can hear them edit out "the only worldwide-recognized federation for robotic combat" when Bil talks about Complete Control. Thank you.

Time for another non-robot segment (you know, the season would only be half as long if it weren't for these things). Derek Young videotaped his journey from British Columbia to California. Among the highlights are a Customs officer that's never heard of "Battlebots," Derek's order at a roadside diner, and Derek pointing the camera at his face while walking through a supermarket. And your typical Canadian stereotypes provided by Bil's voiceover.

Now it's time for Comedy Central to play up the controversy from the Young-Eubanks fight of season one. In case you missed it, Derek's old bot, Pressure Drop, whacked Subject to Change after the latter was counted out due to malfunction. It left a dent in the top of Subject to Change's armor. Not a hole, just a dent.

When Complete Control is introduced in the Battlebox, it has a pair of gloves on the vertical-pointing orange bars. It makes it look like the gloves are pointing their index fingers into the air. Ten bucks says Comedy Central made Derek change the gloves from having their middle fingers extended.

Subject to Change without Reason is now painted a dark purple color. It also has two fins leading off the front wedge to better hook Complete Control. Which means that if it's flipped, two of its wheels won't be touching the ground. Oops. But the best part of Subject to Change is the "X" made out of electrical tape, covering the same spot Pressure Drop dented a year ago. Any robot to hit that spot wins a free suit from Jenkins' Clothiers, est. 1912.

The fight begins. After some teasing in the center of the box, Subject to Change gets underneath Complete Control. A little adjusting, and Subject to Change is able to push Complete Control around. First stop: the ramrods, which lift Complete Control into the air. Since that didn't do much, the next stop for Complete Control is a set of killsaws. If nothing else, that frees Complete Control, sending it flying across the arena. One of Complete Control's lower scooping spikes has been bent upward.

Subject to Change gets under Complete Control again, and drives it over to the side of one of the screws. While it only pushes Complete Control into the border and not the screw itself, you've got to admire Tim Green for being able to act excited about the ordeal. "There's the screws!!!" If it was me, the folks at home would be hearing, "They're over by one of those bloody useless screws. Hey, speaking of screws, could one of you temps get me a screwdriver? And go easy on the orange juice."

Complete Control gets free, and now it's got Subject to Change on its lower jaws. At first the top arm it doesn't connect, but on the second try, Complete Control manages to grab Subject to Change by its back corner. Complete Control immediately lifts, and the uneven weight distribution of holding only Subject to Change's back corner makes it vibrate violently. It drops Subject to Change, but it looked cool.

Complete Control pushes Subject to Change into the killsaws, then gets bounced around by a piston. Subject to Change quits moving. Complete Control gets its arms adjusted, then tries to lift its opponent. Subject to Change slips through on the try, and the ramps bounce the robots around. Complete Control goes to the back of Subject to Change, and drives up to grab it. But when it drives into Subject to Change, it pushes the robot forward before it can clamp down. It tries the same thing again with the same result. It's like a dog pouncing on a ball.

But finally Complete Control clasps Subject to Change, and the fun begins. First, Subject to Change gets shaken up and down repeatedly in midair. Then Complete Control dangles Subject to Change over some saws. But wouldn't you know it, those nutty saws won't come up. Won't even try. Hope they have an extended warranty on all the stuff in the Battlebox, since everything seems to be breaking a lot.

Undaunted, Complete Control takes Subject to Change over a broken spinner (see?), to a sledgehammer. That works just fine, giving Subject to Change a few good whacks. Complete Control decides to let go of his new toy, flipping it backward onto its back. Another lift, and another drop. As the countdown nears its end, Subject to Change does lurch forward just a bit. But the ref is merciful and stops the fight.

Randy Eubanks is laughing at the whole ordeal. And in the post-fight interview, he reveals that his grudge subsided a long while ago. Ha ha, Comedy Central viewers, got you all worked up over nothing! What isn't pointed out (but should have been) is that for the entire fight, Randy was wearing a Complete Control t-shirt. I wonder what he would've done to it if he had won...

Commercial and back to the show. There's another playing of the clip of Nightmare annihilating Slam Job. Good, I feel grounded now.

Time for another middleweight fight. Bad Attitude versus T-Wrex. They keep saying that Bad Attitude was last season's middleweight runner-up. Now, unless I imagined an entire bracket (and my imagination is nowhere near that powerful), El Diablo was the runner-up last season. Bad Attitude placed what I would call third place. Which also doesn't explain its #4 ranking by Battlebots, the only worldwide-recognized federation for robotic combat.

Now it's time for some info on Brent Regan. He's created all sorts of nifty mechanical stuff, like a really fast airplane and the robotic arm that dug up wreckage from the Titanic. Now he's created a fighting robot that's a low box (have I described enough robots as "low boxes" yet?) with spikes on one side and a tilted pickaxe coming out of the other.

Bad Attitude and T-Wrex are introduced in the Battlebox. One of the Comedy Central folks got a section of the audience to chant "T-Wrex" while clamping their arms up and down like dinosaur jaws. Which really has nothing to do with T-Wrex's design.

Bil gets to join Tim in saying, "The box is locked, the lights are on, it's robot fightin' time!" Tim sounds more natural at it (odd that one can sound "natural" saying such a sentence, isn't it?).

A very tentative start for both robots. Bad Attitude whams into T-Wrex before T-Wrex can spin around and get that pickaxe moving. Then does it again. Then T-Wrex hits Bad Attitude with its pickaxe. Folks, I hope you're ready for three minutes of this.

T-Wrex tries to drive its spikes toward Bad Attitude's wedge, but goes flying right over. It then retaliates with a smack.

T-Wrex starts spinning in place, but Bad Attitude knows better. Whenever T-Wrex stops spinning, Bad Attitude hits it. Repeat. Repeat.

Finally, T-Wrex is able to deliver a sound hit to Bad Attitude, knocking it on its side and flipping it over. With the controls reversed, Bad Attitude has a little more trouble driving. But T-Wrex isn't faring so well either, driving itself right over the killsaws. You know what I like the best about T-Wrex? When it goes over the killsaws, it creates the brightest shower of sparks I have ever seen. They should send it over the saws a few more times just so we can see more of that.

Bad Attitude seems to have lost its sense of purpose. All it's doing is driving really quickly around the arena, but not really at T-Wrex. T-Wrex is doing a good job of smacking Bad Attitude around, though.

Bad Attitude gets itself on a killsaw, but doesn't get flipped. Smack smack smack. Another killsaw, no good. Smack smack. T-Wrex gets hit by a couple of killsaws as well. Whoo! Love those sparks!

Bad Attitude is trying to right itself so it can do things again, but I wonder if Tim Green even notices that. Bil is explaining Bad Attitude's motive, but Tim just keeps going on about how much punishment Bad Attitude is taking. There is a reason for that, you know. Do they have strategy in the NFL?

T-Wrex hits Bad Attitude again, and finally flips it right side up. Bad Attitude wastes no time in putting the wedge to use, immediately driving under a spinning T-Wrex. But time runs out before Bad Attitude has much of a chance to strike.

While Mark Beiro announces the judges' decision, I get thoroughly confused. The team that started from the red square is wearing blue t-shirts, and the team that started from the blue square is wearing red t-shirts. I congratulate the referee for remembering which arm to lift when Mark tells us that the 24-21 decision goes to the blue square (T-Wrex). That means we'll get to see more sparks in the future! Hooray!

After the commercial, they waste no time going into the next fight. It's a heavyweight bout -- Hexadecimator versus Fork-N-Stein. Hexadecimator is a big box with a wedge on the front. Built into the wedge is a powerful lifting arm. Fork-N-Stein is a big two-wheeled box that has forklift-like arms on one side. Don't know if they lift or just scoop. Bil doesn't point this out, but according to the stats screens, Hexadecimator has a 38-pound weight advantage in this fight.

The fight begins, and Hexadecimator curves around to its right to try to get to Fork-N-Stein's side. Fork-N-Stein drives out of the way, but Hexadecimator manages to scoop Fork-N-Stein up and give it a mighty toss. Fork-N-Stein lands a couple feet away, upside-down but functional. Well, somewhat functional. It drives in a circle, then the tires leave the ground.

Hexadecimator shoves it against the wall, then lightly rams it. Fork-N-Stein manages to make contact with the ground again and starts aimlessly moving about. So Hexadecimator gives Fork-N-Stein another big toss, keeping it inverted.

Some more driving around, including a close call with the sledgehammer. Hexadecimator drives over a killsaw, which tosses the robot onto Fork-N-Stein for a moment. A couple of lighter lifts with Hexadecimator's flipping arm, still keeping its opponent vulnerable.

Enough of this pretense. Hexadecimator pushes Fork-N-Stein onto a yellow dot, and Fork-N-Stein receives the full brunt of the sledgehammer. Several times. And the fight ends with Hexadecimator clearly the victor. I'm a little overwhelmed by all of the rookies in this tournament, so I've been sticking to rooting for the veterans so far, but once the pack gets thinned out, remind me to root for Hexadecimator. The flipping bots seem to be the best bets to win in at least three of the weight classes.

You know, I don't see why it's so great to be the mentioned sponsor of "Battlebots." I've only seen two Snapple commercials this hour, and I saw just as many Miller Lite commercials. The only advantage Snapple seems to get is that brief mention at the beginning and having its logo shown under "the hit of the week." Not that great a deal, in my eyes. Now if they showed Traci Bingham or maybe Complete Control drinking a Snapple, then the extra sponsorship would be worth something.

Time for some more Fights You'll Never See. Blade Runner pushes Instigator into the saws. Anubis pushes DooAll around and wins the judges' approval. And Tripulta Raptor loses some armor to move down into the heavyweights, but Killer B takes it to the sledgehammer, breaking off one of Tripulta Raptor's treads, wheels and all. Now that looked cool. Why couldn't they have shown that instead of the Toe Crusher vs. Dr. Inferno Jr. fight?

This episode ends with Bil and Tim at the desk, not in the interview chairs like last week. But don't worry, as the credits roll, once again Bil attacks Tim, this time hitting him in the arm.

To end this summary, I'd like to share some hazard concepts that are infinitely better than the ramps, ramrods, spinners, and screws currently in the arena.

Damocles Screw: There is a large, pointed screw hanging above each starting square. When the fight begins, the screws begin to rotate and gradually lower until they are slightly higher than the taller robot. Push your opponent underneath, and the screw works its way into the armor, destroying the inner workings. And kills it.

The Pond: There's a ramp leading out of the main box. Push your opponent up and off the ramp, and it falls into a pool of water. And dies.

The Merciless Compactor: When an opponent becomes immobilized (and if the ref hasn't counted them out yet), the mobile robot can push their fallen foe toward a small room situated between the two drivers. The room has Lexan walls and a large, flat ceiling. Once the dead robot is inside, the heavy ceiling lowers until it crushes the robot into scrap. Watching the robot get entirely destroyed would be fun, but the best part would be seeing the builder's facial expression as it happens.

Guy with a Ball-Peen Hammer: There's a guy behind a panel, and he sticks his arm out and hits robots with a ball-peen hammer. Hey, it's more effective than the screws.

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