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Season three, episode three

Lousy Comedy Central. First they start the season premiere at 10:01 or 10:02, now they start this episode at 9:59. I'm on a very tight television-watching schedule here, I thrive on clearly-defined patterns. I have no life.

Anyway, as I tune in thirty seconds late, they're telling us that Techno Destructo will be in tonight's show. They show a whole bunch of clips of Techno Destructo beating up Atomic Wedgie. I hope they're not planning on showing that fight later.

The more episodes that go by, the more clips we get in the opening sequence. Today's theme seems to be Robots in Flight. A lot of robots being flipped by other robots or the killsaws.

Snapple is made from the best stuff on earth. I thought it was illegal to sell those substances to consumers.

We start tonight's episode by visiting Wacker's builder and seeing what other things he's created. And he's created one crazy contraption. Okay, try to picture this. Two gigantic metal wheels, each about seven or eight feet in diameter. The wheels are connected by one axle. Hanging from the axle are two chairs, suspended above the ground. Also connected to the axle is a big curved awning to keep the chairs dry if it rains. Add some fuzzy dice and hang some CD's from the awning, put two people in the chairs, let one of them steer the motorized contraption, and you've got one crazy-looking form of transportation. And you know there are tons of people that want one, just 'cause it's cool. I know I want one.

But too bad, 'cause Bob Schneeveis (honestly, that's how his last name is spelled) is the only guy that has one. I'll bet he could charge admission for 20-minute rides. And that thing would be great for rolling down steep hills.

Back to the fights. Wacker is one destructive robot, its two spinning blades tearing chunks out of the wooden Spartan. But it's pitted against Ziggo, the "current worldwide-recognized robotic combat lightweight champ." I think Bil means, "the robot that won last time," but I'm not really sure.

Man, the ADR's are really noticeable this time. It hardly sounds like Bil at all. They might as well have had a different guy talking about Wacker. It would have been funny if, without warning, Gilbert Gottfried started babbling about robots in the middle of the show.

As Ziggo is introduced, team Ziggy is busy screwing important parts onto their robot. Could this mean Ziggo's already not in fighting form?

Once again, we see the shot of the three people cheering whose shirts read, "The box is locked / The lights are on / It's robot fightin' time." Anyone want to keep a running tally?

The first three seconds of the fight consist of both robots getting their spinning weapons up to speed. Wacker and Ziggo approach each other... Wacker's going to hit Ziggo with the blades... Ooh! Ziggo comes out the stronger and gives Wacker a spin, completely disabling the blades.

Essentially, Wacker has already lost this fight. But the plucky robot continues on, kind of sort of driving toward Ziggo. Ziggo works its way toward Wacker's side, and... Ooh! An entire panel goes flying off of Wacker and its left wheel has been immobilized.

Ziggo goes driving to the back of a badly injured Wacker. As it tries to drive itself into Wacker again, it misses and ends up going in a circle, hitting the stuffed bunny on Wacker with its antenna. While Bil and Tim praise Ziggo for that keen bit of skillful driving, I'm prone to believe it's just because spinning robots are really hard to steer.

Ziggo hits Wacker again, and Wacker clearly can no longer move. Ziggo gets around to Wacker's back and gives the robot one last slam, tipping Wacker over and crushing Mr. Bunny's head.

Ziggo performs a victory spin. But since it's already spinning, the additional antenna movement really does nothing.

Now that the fight's over, I have a question. If the screws are supposed to be designed to push a robot toward the pulverizers, then why are at least two of them spinning so as to push a robot away from the pulverizers? Hey, I've got an idea! If Ziggo makes it to the finals and wins again, how about driving it at full spinning power into one of the screws to see which comes out victorious? That would be, hands-down, the best thing that could happen in this entire tournament.

Continuing to stare at the "Z" in the word "Hazards" in Comedy Central's battle stats, this time around, it's larger than all of the other letters in the word. I know you're glad there's someone like me to point these things out.

Wow, Randy and Jason Sklar really are twins. Watch as they say "He said it" in unison after Jonathan Ridder's, "Don't bring a bunny to do a man's work." Apparently Bob Schneeveis has connections to "take care of" people that insult his robots.

Dang it! They did show that disturbing Snapple commercial! I'm sorry, but showing people in fruit costumes and talking about breeding is really creepy. Vegetables, fine, but with fruit it's just weird.

While I'm on the subject of the commercials, does anybody have any clue as to what the Keystone Light ads mean? When you drink bitter beer and get a computer-generated twisted face, everything is suddenly all right? Huh?

The next fight tonight is going to be a good one. How they plan on topping this, I don't know. Vlad the Impaler, the former heavyweight champion and one of Scott's Favorites™, will face MechaVore, a deadly robot with a horizontal Nightmare-style spinning wheel. Every side of Mechavore that doesn't have that wheel has skirts to keep robots like Vlad from flipping it. According to the screen, this is MechaVore's first fight from the blue side. Which means it's never won from the blue square! Gasp!

Really, though, I am on the edge of my seat for this fight.

Vlad is hesitant coming out against MechaVore, as well it should be given that spinning wheel. MechaVore tries to keep the wheel pointed at Vlad at all times, but it takes Vlad all of ten seconds to get its spikes underneath MechaVore's skirt. Instantly, MechaVore's side goes up, and Vlad tries to push MechaVore into a wall, but the robots are separated when Vlad runs into a killsaw. MechaVore gets a chance to bring that wheel into the back corners of Vlad, and... whoa. Look at the holes that it's already made in Vlad. What a first 20 seconds of a fight.

The robots dodge each other a little bit. Vlad gets under the side of MechaVore again, and this time, slams MechaVore into the wall. But as Vlad tries to get away from the hit, MechaVore gets its spinning blade to connect with Vlad's side, and now there's a big horizontal cut in Vlad's right side. This is the first time we've ever seen Vlad with real battle damage.

More positioning. With 1:50 left on the clock, MechaVore hits Vlad with the spinning wheel again. A panel goes flying off, and everybody assumes it was part of Vlad. But watch the hit carefully in slow motion. When MechaVore hits Vlad, the force of the impact causes MechaVore to spin around. MechaVore's backside runs into Vlad, and it's MechaVore's rear wedge that goes flying off -- NOT a part of Vlad.

Vlad gets underneath MechaVore's side again, and gives it another fierce slam into the wall. Now Vlad's got MechaVore's tires off the ground, the spinning wheel tapping the floor of the Battlebox. This is great for Vlad, since MechaVore can't hurt him, but it's also a pin -- Vlad has to let go of MechaVore. So Vlad has to back away, and unfortunately for Vlad, MechaVore gets a tire on the ground and drives away from the wall. But first it gets its wheel into the spike strip, bending a spike and leaving a big gash in the yellow strip.

Now there are problems. After that slam, Vlad's spikes are stuck in the up position. Vlad's strategy immediately changes to trying to back into MechaVore to stop that spinning wheel. But the wheel doesn't flinch, and merely takes a piece off of Vlad.

Vlad backs up into a corner. MechaVore is near the center, trying to position itself. With spikes up and probably one of the most vulnerable parts exposed, Vlad runs head-first into MechaVore, slamming into MechaVore's side but failing to push it.

The Sklar brothers pop up in our screens to tell us that Vlad's lifting spikes are inactive. Yeah, we know. Go away. We wanna see the fight. MechaVore hits Vlad again, spinning Vlad around.

If there's one thing we've learned about Vlad from this fight so far, it's that it's a very well-built bot. Despite there being a deep cut pretty much all around the perimeter of Vlad's armor, nothing major has fallen off.

Vlad tries to back into MechaVore again, but can't push it from the side. MechaVore tries to do some more cutting, but the wheel is just going into a previously-created hole with no new damage.

Vlad tries one last run at MechaVore, but just cannot budge the bot. Time runs out, and the MechaVore team is very excited. Gage Cauchois is laughing, too... weird.

The final score is 24 to 21. The winner is... MechaVore! Yeah, when Vlad lost control of the lifting spikes and couldn't raise and drive MechaVore around anymore, that pretty much sealed his fate. Wow.

We're shown the official judges' scores. Aggression: 9-6 in favor of Vlad. Damage: 5-10 in favor of MechaVore. Strategy: 7-8 in favor of MechaVore. Personally, I think Vlad should have gotten a few more aggression points -- he was the only one to do much charging. Then again, MechaVore probably should have been given some more of the damage points. Man, I'm drained from watching that fight.

Traci's first question to Gage is whether it's time to retire Vlad. Dang it, didn't they essentially ask him that question last tournament when he lost? Do they not like Vlad or something? I can think of lots of other robots that have done much worse. Why not hint that they should leave? Do you think it's time to retire MouserMechaCatBot? Do you think it's time to retire Bad Attitude? Do you think it's time to retire Overkill? I'm sorry for ranting, but it's a really stupid question.

Now it's time for a clip of MechaVore's Robert Lawrence's life (after they show the fight?). First he shows us his high-pressure gun that shoots things into potential avalanches. I apologize for mentioning this topic two summaries in a row, but if that is not a very large phallus, then I don't know what is.

He also has a tiki boat. One thing it's good for is pushing people on Big Wheels off the roof into the water. But do the pushees do this voluntarily?

After the break, it's time for a super heavyweight bout. Techno Destructo will take on Cuad the Crusher. Techno Destructo is similar to Toro, except its fast lifting arm doesn't propel the entire bot off the ground. Cuad the Crusher, along with having a name with the same rhythm as "Vlad the Impaler," consists of two triangular treads. In the middle of the treads is an axle, and on the axle is one large spike that rotates 360 degrees.

Oh, for crying out loud. While everybody is pronouncing the name of the treaded robot "Quad" the Crusher, Mark Beiro insists on calling it "Cue-add" the Crusher. He's saying "odd" for Vlad and "add" for Cuad. Make it stop!

Tim allows Bil to say the starting catchphrase. Bil does not hesitate. And indeed it is robot fightin' time. Techno Destructo can't get under Cuad's wedge. Cuad quickly gets Techno Destructo lifted, but can't quite push it into a nearby set of spinning saws. A little maneuvering, and Cuad pushes Techno Destructo onto a different set of saws, but Techno Destructo gets away. Some driving around. Techno Destructo gets under Cuad's side and quickly raises its lifting arm. Cuad gets shoved away, but doesn't quite flip. So Techno Destructo gets under Cuad again and pushes it into the wall.

Cuad seems to be having trouble figuring out where it wants its slow-turning arm to go. For a moment, it uses the arm to raise the wedge into the air. But then it gets the arm under Techno Destructo and flips the bot onto its back. Now, Techno Destructo isn't worried. With its rounded back, it knows it can self-right. But Cuad is still sitting right there, so when Techno Destructo rights, Cuad just pushes it upside-down again. Then pushes Techno Destructo into the killsaws, tearing off Techno Destructo's top armor. Bil jumps his line about Techno Destructo losing both shields, saying it when only one had come off.

Techno Destructo rights itself, and it's time for more driving around. Cuad uses its arm to lift the wedge again, and almost looks like it's trying to act as a clampbot on Techno Destructo. Bil also points out that Cuad can't be flipped too easily in that position.

For about a minute, the robots just drive around and narrowly avoid hazards (or get hit by killsaws with no damage done). Somewhere later in the fight, Cuad tries the "lift its wedge with its arm" thing again (to me, it still looks like Cuad doesn't know what it's supposed to be doing with that arm). Techno Destructo gets under the part of Cuad still touching the floor and flips the side into the air. Techno Destructo could have had Cuad on its side, useless and immobilized, but Cuad has little protrusions for just such an occurrence. So Cuad goes onto its back, still completely functional.

Cuad has its spike arm sticking out of its back now, still turning like a rotisserie. Cuad drives over some more saws, causing the spike to run into Techno Destructo and fall off. Well, at least now Cuad doesn't have to figure out where to position the thing and can concentrate on being a wedge. But there are only 20 seconds left, so it doesn't really matter too much.

The fight ends with Techno Destructo on top of Cuad, and the piston slowly raising and lowering them both. C'mon, just try to tell me that isn't thrilling to watch!

The decision is 23-22 for Techno Destructo. We've been having a lot of 23-22's and 24-21's this season. You optimists can see this as a result of strong, powerful, evenly-matched robots, while you pessimists can see this as a result of a bunch of robots that can't really hurt each other. Or maybe you can see it as indecisive judges. Or assume the tournament was held in Florida. I don't know.

Three fights are over, but it's not quite halftime yet. First Peter Abrahamson has to tell us which robots he thinks will go far. Why is the camera constantly trucking on the two-shot of Bil and Peter? Then it's time for some more results of boring battles. And when you think of boring, you think of lightweights. Skidmark, Manic Aggressive, and Matts Bammer all won a fight. 'Nuff said.

Once again they throw it to commercial by showing the cheerleaders standing around the gold-colored nut. It's the same clip as they showed in the first episode -- slightly shorter, but just as silly.

To start off the second half, we take a trip to MIT to see some college kids build a bot. It's the same ol', same ol', including the part where we then learn that the bot was defeated in a qualifying fight. Comedy Central is nothing if not frugal.

For the next fight, it's heavyweights BattleRat versus Crash Test Dummy. BattleRat is a wedge. Around the wedge is a lifting arm, kind of like a flattened mousetrap blade. Crash Test Dummy is a robot with a decoration. The robot is a big lump o' steel and plastic. On top of the lump is what appears to be a human form with no arms. From the name, we're supposed to believe that this is a crash test dummy, but from watching "The Price is Right," I know what it really is. It's some form of exercise equipment. One of the little red lights on the human form light up in the chest or face, and you have to punch that area as soon as you can. I guess that's one way to get your money's worth from old stuff sitting in the attic. ("In the blue square... ThighBlaster!")

The fight begins. Crash Test Dummy's plan seems to be to start spinning really fast and hope that one of the two tiny spikes in the base do some damage. BattleRat's strategy is to, of course, flip crash Test Dummy. About 15 seconds in, and BattleRat's strategy wins out. Crash Test Dummy goes falling face first onto one of the ramps. "Mmm mmm mmm mmm," Crash Test Dummy says as the ramps make the head bounce up and down.

But Mr. Lambertson's real intention is to get Crash Test Dummy righted again. And he succeeds, forcing the match to continue. Obviously this fight is going to be won by BattleRat. Maybe Peter's looking for some more opportunities to play with his Battlebox weapons.

It would appear that BattleRat's lifting arm is now stuck in the upright position, as its only strategy is to capture Crash Test Dummy and push it to some weapons. Some killsaws, then it pushes VictimBot into the wall. Bil claims that the lights on Sitting Duckbot provide onboard stats for the drivers to follow. Now that's just silly. It's only a box that spins. What's there to know? Either the bot can move or it can't. Besides, if the lights provide stats, then they wouldn't have decorated Sacrificial Lambot with the sunglasses.

BattleRat pushes PunchingbagBot into one of the sledgehammers, and the audience goes really crazy. I mean, crazier than they really should in this situation. The hammer hits PleaseMakeItStopBot a few times, but doesn't do anything neat like break the whole body off. Just dislodges the plastic hat. Meanwhile, BattleRat's flipping arm has fallen to its backside.

IMightAsWellHaveABigSignOnMyBackThatSaysKickMeBot drives around, and Bil makes a Rasputin reference that must have gone over the average Comedy Central viewer's head. Time expires. But PainAbsorber doesn't.

The final score is 33-12. To be honest, I have no idea how BotNeedsMercy even got the 12.

Now, I know what you're all wondering. Where's the Nightmare vs. Slam Job clip that we usually see fifteen times by this point in the show? Don't worry, they repeat it coming out of the commercial break. Wouldn't want to get you all worked up.

Already it's time for the updates on other matches. Village Idiot flips Chiabot. Kritical Mass 2 and Junkyard Offspring also move on. So many newbies, so little time.

For the next fight, it's Little Sister against heavyweight champion Biohazard. We hear some of Carlo Bertocchini's reflections on being at the top of the ladder. He states that he's got to be careful of Voltronic and Vlad the Impaler (the two robots he's most recently lost to). Heh, guess that's one robot off of his worry list.

The fight begins with Little Sister trying really hard to get underneath Biohazard, while Biohazard just kind of lazily drives around being difficult. Without even lifting the arm, Biohazard drives Little Sister into a hammer. And then into a saw. Little Sister manages to get her arm underneath Biohazard's lowered arm, though, and lifts it into the air, unable to flip it. Biohazard backs away and drives over a saw, providing us with some of those titanium sparks we all love so much.

As the robots drive around, Biohazard's low low skirt runs into things, as always happens. One of the things it runs into is a spinner. The collision causes the plate of the spinner to raise up from its base, creating a table of sorts that slowly rotates as the spinner is powered down. Look! Now it could conceivably be a hazard!

Little Sister gets under a skirt, but doesn't have enough underneath to lift Biohazard. Biohazard then finally decides to put its arm to use and misses flipping Little Sister. Then tries it again and succeeds.

But of course, Little Sister can easily right herself with her flipping arm. The two robots drive around near a hammer and Biohazard flips Little Sister again. Little Sister performs another self-righting flip, right into the path of a falling hammer. The hammer smacks Little Sister's shoulder, causing the lifting arm to stick in the upright position.

You notice a theme in tonight's fights? First we see Vlad's arms stuck in the upright position. Then BattleRat's. Now Little Sister's. Even though the next fight is between two robots with no lifting arms, don't be too shocked if one of them somehow suffers the same fate.

Biohazard pushes Little Sister onto her back again, but since the arm won't retract (we get a shot of the young boy operating the arm to confirm this), the fight is over for Little Sister. After sitting in front of Little Sister to make sure it doesn't try to flip over again, Biohazard raises its lifting arm and does a slow spin of victory. You know, they never show Biohazard's arm retracting. I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn that it's stuck, too.

I know you're all concerned about this, so I'd like to point out that while the Z in "Hazards" is still in a different font, it's now the same size as the rest of the letters again. I guess they wrested control of the on-screen graphics away from FrenZy's team.

And Traci Bingham still hasn't learned the difference between a declarative and interrogative statement.

For the final match of the evening, Comedy Central presents Two Robots That Surely Won't Make It to the Finals. Little Drummer Boy is a box with a rotating drum on the front (the drum has a protrusion to hit opponents with, of course). Bil points out that this will be the first time that Little Drummer Boy goes up against a ranked battlebot. When you think about that, though, it means nothing. Every robot that competed in the last tournament is ranked just because they were there. Heck, Buddy Lee is even ranked.

Blade Runner is a small box with two wheels. Coming out of one side of the box is a large arm with spikes on the sides. The robot spins around and hits opponents. It's ranked #3 by Battlebots, the only worldwide recognized blah blah blah. I didn't realize the middleweights were so lacking in strong fighters.

Blade Runner has the Snapple logo emblazoned on it, as does Ilya Polyakov's jacket. I'm trying to think of an angle that makes Snapple seem like something naturally connected with fighting robots. Maybe a line like, "'Snapple' is the noise you'll make when you're hit by Blade Runner!"

(Why is it that "Snapple" isn't tagged by Microsoft Word's spell checker, yet words like "Impaler" and "bots" are? I smell a payoff.)

The fight begins. The strategies are really obvious. Blade Runner starts spinning really fast. When Blade Runner quits spinning because Little Drummer Boy is just sitting there staring at it, Little Drummer Boy rushes in and pops Blade Runner with its drum, sending Blade Runner airborne a little bit. Soon enough, Little Drummer Boy doesn't even wait for Blade Runner to quit spinning -- it just goes in, delivers a pop, then leaves. And soon enough, Blade Runner gets its blade stuck in Little Drummer Boy's side.

It's really hard to tell which robot is pushing which as they go about the floor. So the referees call time out and the robots are separated. The Sklar brothers appear to tell us that the robots are being separated, and everybody uses the word "resume" as much as they can in a five-second period.

The strategies continue. Every time Little Drummer Boy hits Blade Runner with that drum, Blade Runner flies into the air. But it looks cooler when Blade Runner is thrown by the killsaws. Little Drummer Boy then pushes Blade Runner into another set of saws, gets Blade Runner on top of it, and carries it around the arena a little. It sets Blade Runner down next to a spinner. Little Drummer Boy is sitting directly over the moving-at-full-speed spinner. I don't think I need to tell you that the spinner isn't even disorienting Little Drummer Boy, a mere middleweight. Why were those things carried over from the last tournament?

Little Drummer Boy (or as Tim likes to call it, "Drummer Boy!" -- he uses the phrase in place of explaining that Little Drummer Boy is hitting its opponent) knocks the dead Blade Runner around a little bit more. As the ref counts down Blade Runner, the director decides to show us a shot from pretty much every single camera available. Maybe it would have worked if the shots were presented in time with the countdown. Instead, it looks like a cat crawled over the switcher.

They show some replays, and again we see Blade Runner take a big trip courtesy of the killsaws, spreading sawdust all over the floor. Tim says that he thinks that's where Blade Runner was incapacitated. You mean that part right there, where Blade Runner's wheels continue to move? It was the next hit by the killsaws (the set that Blade Runner was knocked directly into when the saws were already up) that took it out.

Bil and Tim act like this was a major upset. Maybe I'm underestimating Blade Runner, but I never expected it to win. It is kind of hard to hit, but Little Drummer Boy definitely would have won by judges' decision anyway. Maybe they were swayed by that number 3 ranking.

Hey, we were promised reactions from the builders on the outcome of this match, and all we got was a short interview with one Ilya Polyakov! False advertising! Fortunately, everybody has already changed the channel since there are no more fights.

The show ends with no playful hitting by either Bil or Tim. But that was the best part!

As a special treat for all you loyal readers (that would be me and maybe one other person that I don't know about), here are some robot introductions that were cut by Comedy Central. (Any resemblance to a real robot's name is purely coincidental. I can't keep track of 'em all.)

"This robot wants to make sure you know that you suck -- suck almost as much as 'South Park.' It's Corpse Maker!"

"Hey, kids! Make sure you tell your teacher that they smell like week-old dog excrement. It's Body Stabber!"

"If you're a member of a minority, then this robot hates you and wants to see you dead. It's G-Force!"

"Hey, here's a robot. It's called Lion's Den. Nobody cares."

"[Bleep]! This mother [bleep] will [bleep] your [bleep] [bleep]. It's Deathinator!"

"He will battle, throttle, and rattle you until you flitter, spatter, and sputter by chattering on a smattering of your spittle. It matters that the better competitor settles on the pitter-patter of your battered mettle. It's Artificial Malevolence!"

"Underneath this tuxedo, I'm wearing a frilly brassiere. That has nothing to do with this fight, but I just thought I'd let you know as I introduce Diplomatic Immunity!"

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