"Hey everybody, it's 'BattleBots' time!"
Yeah, it's a lame intro, but I'm going to excuse it. Why? Because by the time this episode hits the 45-second mark, a fight has already begun. And that's just plain cool.
It's Ziggo (again) versus Serial Box Killer. Serial Box Killer is another thwackbot. Its name comes from the fact that the box part of the robot is in the general shape of a cereal box. It doesn't hurt that they've attached the front of a Frosted Flakes container to the robot, either.
Like I said, it's already robot fightin' time. Serial Box Killer tries to make an early run at Ziggo, but Ziggo moves out of the way to spin up. Serial Box Killer hits the screw, and gets dragged a little by the screw's motion. Granted, that's what the screws are supposed to do, but even when they achieve their goals, I have to ask... so?
Serial Box Killer hits Ziggo in the side and bounces off. Serial Box Killer tries again with the arm, and again bounces off. But Ziggo bounces back into the screw, which stops the spinning and gets Ziggo tied up in trying to get away. Serial Box Killer runs back to Ziggo, but Ziggo gets away before Serial Box Killer can even touch it. Ziggo starts to spin up, trips over the saws, then gets back up to speed near the middle of the box.
Serial Box Killer tries to hit Ziggo, once again, with the arm. The impact causes the arm to bend slightly. Serial Box Killer runs into Ziggo with the arm once more, and now that arm is severely bent. Ziggo's flagpole is starting to vibrate -- will it go off-balance again?
Undaunted, Serial Box Killer uses its bent arm frame to attack Ziggo. The arm and its frame are ripped clean off Serial Box Killer's body! Your average robot would be stunned for a couple seconds by a hit like that. Not Serial Box Killer. The box immediately tries to ram Ziggo again, now with much less keeping the internal components from being damaged. You've got to give Matthew Garten credit for repeatedly going after Ziggo like that, ineffective as the hits may be.
Okay, I can see why Serial Box Killer was using the arm to attack Ziggo. After that first hit to the body, Serial Box Killer has stopped moving. Ziggo, flagpole still vibrating, moves forward for another hit. Smack! Serial Box Killer goes spinning into the wall. And starts moving again! Ziggo's like the Fonz.
You can see the cracks in the Lexan that Shark Byte made in a previous fight. Thanks for sending 60-pound robots in that general direction, Ziggo!
After those two brief tire movements, Serial Box Killer has died again. Ziggo heads over and gives it another pop. Serial Box Killer continues to not move without Ziggo's help. Ziggo is still shaking pretty badly, so it goes to the center of the box, powers down the shell, and does some victory spins. And that's the end of that fight.
You know, it could be argued that if they start the episode with a fight, they don't need to go into the opening sequence afterward. Of course, then they would have no way to segue into the Taco Bell and Final Fantasy X plugs. How can they call it a final fantasy if there's been ten of 'em?
All right, Tim's asking if Bil's ready for more. For some bizarre reason, we also need to find out whether Carmen is ready for more, too. She reads, she insults the commentators, she prompts the audience to cheer. Well, we only have to see this 17 more times.
Next on the list is a super heavyweight fight between Eradicator and Swirlee. But we won't see that fight quite yet. No, of course not. If we did that, we might be able to fit five fights into an episode (always think bigger!).
Derek Mozer is covered with tattoos. But he's still got some space on his arm. And if it'll get him (and as a result, Swirlee) on TV, then he'll fill that space with his very own BattleBots logo tattoo. Actually, it's rather intricate for a tattoo. And colorful. You know what would be cool? Get a lenticular image installed in your skin. See BioHazard flip Vlad the Impaler in three action-packed, blurry scenes!
Onto the fight. Swirlee is a unique take on the spinner concept. It's got a horizontal spinning disk, but the disk is spun via wheels on the outside of the robot. This allows for a disk with a hole in the center, which allows Swirlee to have tires on both the bottom and top of the robot. In short, Swirlee's an invertible full-body spinner. Pretty cool. Eradicator has a huge body and a smaller spinning blade sticking out of its front. It also has some leather-like panels on the other end. Not sure if that's a weapon or a defense mechanism against the spinner.
Fightin' time. As is the traditional strategy against spinners, Eradicator immediately charges toward Swirlee before Swirlee can spin up. Eradicator connects, pushes Swirlee into the screw, and stops the spinning. Swirlee escapes, but Eradicator follows.
Swirlee tries to get up to full speed, but Eradicator keeps bumping into it before that can happen (either that, or Swirlee's top speed is slower than most spinners). But with one of the early hits, Eradicator stops moving in a straight line. It's just going in circles -- Swirlee's done something to render one of Eradicator's drives useless.
As Eradicator makes circles, Swirlee spins up. Swirlee hits Eradicator, then hits a screw for good measure (you show 'em, Swirlee!). Swirlee heads back over to Eradicator and goes for the end with the blade on it. With the way the two bots meet, Eradicator's blade can't connect with Swirlee. Swirlee's blade stops on Eradicator, so Swirlee backs up (Eradicator continues to move in circles). Swirlee decides that a good place to spin up again would be over the saw holes. The saws pop up but aren't spinning, so Swirlee is just lifted up a bit.
Swirlee gets its disk going again and smacks Eradicator. Swirlee's disk stops again, so it pushes Eradicator over the nearby saw holes. Eradicator can't quite escape, and the saws get it. Again, lots of sparks. Is every bot now equipped with titanium bottom armor, or did they add titanium tips to the saw blades, or what?
You can see that the side of Eradicator that isn't moving is dented in. You'll have to look quick, because it's getting hard to see anything on Eradicator. The robot is emitting more and more smoke. Swirlee leaves, spins up, then spins down, then gets nicked by a saw. The BattleBox is turning gray inside.
Eradicator's saw-like blade is still spinning. Eradicator circles into Swirlee, which didn't have its disk moving for some reason. Swirlee leaves to rectify this problem.
One of the cameras gets a tight close-up of Eradicator's body. Eradicator is on fire! Darker smoke is starting to pour out. But Eradicator can still turn, darn it. And turn it will. Swirlee backs off again.
The safety crew runs into the box while Swirlee is spinning down and Eradicator is still twitching. They douse Eradicator with a healthy quantity of fire extinguisher, then back off when they realize that there are super heavyweights next to them, still moving. I guess that fight's over.
Commercial time. Now that's what a segment of this show should always look like.
Out of the commercial, we see what a segment of this show shouldn't look like. Not only do we have to listen to Carmen Electra speak at length in every episode, but they give her the most boring topics to talk about. "Here's a look at the kinds of weapons you'll find in the pits," then a whole bunch of random shots of weapons. Carmen delivers a poorly-written "joke," pretends to laugh, then finally quits. Maybe it's a test to see how much we'll sit through to see our precious robotic combat.
Okay, back to the super heavyweights. Maximus is a four-wheeled box with a trapezoidal wedge. Pharmapac is a box with a scoop in the front. In the middle of the scoop is a lifting arm. Like so many robots (and the BattleBox), it's sponsored by Lincoln Welders. I tried to get that company to weld my friend Joel Lincoln and his brother Adam together the other day, but they just kicked me out of the building. They're all high and mighty now that they have their logo all over national television.
Let's go. Both robots charge each other at the center of the box, miss each other, and overcorrect by turning too far, practically in unison. It's like synchronized swimming, except with robots. And no water.
Pharmapac attacks Maximus but doesn't get the lifting arm into play. Maximus taunts Pharmapac to make Pharmapac attack by driving over the saws. Pharmapac gets its lifting arm under Maximus and activates it. But the arm is under Maximus' wedge, which appears to be hinged. Maximus' rear tires stay on the ground, and Maximus gets away. When Maximus lands on the floor, the nearby debris bounces up into the air.
Pharmapac chases after Maximus. Pharmapac gets its arm under Maximus, but again, it's only under the wedge. Still, Pharmapac gets Maximus over the saws, which help to move the body of Maximus over Pharmapac's arm. Pharmapac lifts again, the saws pop up again, and Maximus is turned vertical. Maximus lands right side up and gets away. Right under the sledgehammer.
Maximus backs its robot butt up, and Pharmapac follows. Another partial lift. And another. Maximus drives into Pharmapac, bends the corner of Pharmapac's scoop up, lands on Pharmapac, then gets off. Maximus tries to push Pharmapac toward the wall.
Maximus gets its wedge under Pharmapac and pushes it a bit. The other side of Pharmapac's scoop is bent upward.
Pharmapac chases Maximus, but when Pharmapac turns, it's Maximus that delivers a hit. Pharmapac gets under Maximus, lifts, and drives Maximus into a wall.
Another lift by Pharmapac. While Pharmapac's arm is up, Maximus backs into the front of Pharmapac. Both robots push, but it's Maximus that is the stronger, forcing Pharmapac into the wall.
More attempts by Pharmapac to lift Maximus. After one attempt, the downward motion of the arm catches on Maximus and bends the arm. So now Pharmapac's arm is a couple inches off the floor. With the side scoops bent in as well, control of this fight might shift now.
Maximus continues to take drives at Pharmapac, at one point pushing its side over some saws, getting a little damage in. More positioning, more ramming into each other.
Maximus manages to get under Pharmapac quite nicely, all of Pharmapac's wheels off the floor. Maximus kicks into reverse and drags Pharmapac along. Maximus slams backward into the wall, sending Pharmapac up and over.
More shoving and ramming. In the last few seconds, Pharmapac gets Maximus on the lifting arm again. Maximus escapes, and time runs out. Maximus performs a decidedly premature victory spin.
Very close fight. It's going to be a win with 23 or 24 points, I can tell.
I was right. 23-22. The winner is... Maximus. Could've gone either way there.
Well, this is as good a time to plug the Comedy Central web site as any. And speaking of commercials, here's a block of 'em.
Time now for the second most useless filler segment they've done on this show. Well, maybe not so much useless as it is kind of sad. It's just a bunch of second-generation video publicity clips of the already overexposed Segway with narration that borders on being an advertisement for the silly thing. It only lasts for 45 seconds, but feels a lot longer.
Speaking of segments that feel longer than they actually are, we have to hear from Carmen again. And the subject matter has gotten no more interesting -- this time, the topic is team t-shirts. I'm pretty sure the builders aren't just giving the t-shirts away, Carmen -- there is such a thing as currency that is traditionally given in exchange for goods such as clothing.
Just to shake things up, now we're going to see a fight. Back to the lightweights for Toe Crusher versus Low Blow. Low Blow is a very flat bowl with a small saw at the top. Toe Crusher is the same as last season.
They skip Mark Biero's introductions for this one. Since they haven't been writing funny ones anyway, no one is disappointed.
Fight! The two robots meet in the center, then leave. Then they don't come near each other for 20 seconds. They barely touch each other, then go back to not coming near the other again. Toe Crusher swings its pickaxe a couple of times.
Low Blow gets under Toe Crusher (or is it that Toe Crusher goes over Low Blow?). The saw connects with Toe Crusher's bottom, and there are a bunch of sparks. It's kind of weird now -- I just don't remember this many sparks last season.
Toe Crusher swings its pickaxe some more, but I think it would be more effective if Low Blow was nearby.
Toe Crusher briefly gets under Low Blow, but Low Blow gets away before it can be pushed around.
The two bots repeatedly bonk into each other, each one trying to get under the other. As Toe Crusher backs up, the saws come up and send it shooting across the floor. Very funny to see.
Toe Crusher is fine. Low Blow comes up to it, and Toe Crusher starts to spin around. When that doesn't work, Toe Crusher works its wedge under Low Blow and pushes Low Blow across the floor. Low Blow slips away before they reach the wall.
Toe Crusher gets under Low Blow again, pushes again, and gets hung up on a seam in the floor, allowing Low Blow to get away again.
Low Blow circles around and tries to get under Toe Crusher. But Low Blow only drives up onto Toe Crusher's wedge, and Toe Crusher gladly drives Low Blow over to the sledgehammer. Four nice hits, and Low Blow tries to sneak away. Toe Crusher runs in to attempt to push Low Blow back under, but just drives on top of Low Blow. Toe Crusher retreats before the hammer can fall. Low Blow drives under the hammer again, and takes a shot right in the center.
Toe Crusher drives in again, gets under Low Blow this time, but only manages to push Low Blow out of the way. As Toe Crusher leaves Low Blow, the hammer falls on Toe Crusher's body. Toe Crusher rolls to the side, and Low Blow drives near the center of the box.
Toe Crusher delivers a quick spurt of driving power, then quits moving. Low Blow moves back and forth, then quits moving as well.
Two dead bots in the ring. Toe Crusher was the one to quit moving first, and therefore is counted out first. Low Blow is the winner. Ouch for Toe Crusher.
While you contemplate the advantages and disadvantages of trying to push your opponent under the hammer, here's a commercial.
For the interview of Low Blow's team, they simply recount the events that just took place to Carmen. Now that's a quality interview.
As Bil and Tim say their first good-byes on the half hour, the big screen behind them shows what happens after the introductory shots of the bots in the box are taped. Thrill as people wander around!
And again, a hastily-added "BattleBots Update" that's actually a recap. I take it we're not going to be seeing results of unaired fights. The fact that this segment covers a credit hole is clear. At the end, Bil says, "This you gotta see. Low Blow held on just long enough to move past Toe Crusher." Then the whole thing stops. Smooth.
Time for the second segment to begin. As is the custom, we are told which robots we'll be seeing while clips of those robots in action are shown. When Little Sister is named, we see MechaVore tearing a hole in Vlad the Impaler. Neither MechaVore nor Vlad the Impaler is in this episode. Oooookay.
"But before we get started, here's Carmen Electra." Ain't it the truth, Tim.
Carmen seems to be getting more and more lines every time she's on. The audience isn't even listening to her now. I'm following suit.
This fight is Malvolio versus Bad Attitude. Malvolio is a wedge with a spinning bar covering the wedge part. Bad Attitude has added some scoops so it's effective when inverted.
The box doors are shut, the green lights have been lit, it's robot combat time. Bad Attitude shoots across the box, pauses, then slams Malvolio. Malvolio gets its bar up to speed and attacks Bad Attitude's side. Bad Attitude gets knocked a little by the saws.
Malvolio is back up to speed. Malvolio heads toward Bad Attitude. Bad Attitude comes in from the side and hits Malvolio. Malvolio's forward motion is stopped for the moment, which give the saws underneath Malvolio just enough time to pop up and flip it.
Malvolio can't self-right, so this one could be over. But Bad Attitude isn't done yet. It moves back, lines up, and takes a box-long run at Malvolio, knocking it into the air but leaving it upside-down. Malvolio lands on the saw holes, and the saws damage Malvolio a bit more.
Bad Attitude hits Malvolio again and starts to push it toward the sledgehammer. Uh-oh, an inverted wedge under the hammer -- I think I see what's coming.
Yep! The hammer hits the wedge side of Malvolio, flipping the robot back onto its wheels. Wrong hazard to use, Bad Attitude.
Malvolio spins its bar up and whacks Bad Attitude. Bad Attitude drives over the saws which pop up, turn Bad Attitude vertical, and land Bad Attitude on its back. Oh, the tables have turned.
The two robots weave and dodge. Malvolio scores two hits on Bad Attitude, and Bad Attitude gets hit by another saw.
Bad Attitude gets underneath Malvolio, and pushes Malvolio all the way across the box and under a sledgehammer. Malvolio is hit twice, but drives away and spins up again. Malvolio is starting to shake a bit.
Bad Attitude performs a funny little maneuver where it drives right between a raised set of saws.
Malvolio is going after Bad Attitude, still shaking. Malvolio hits a seam in the floor, then stops moving. The bar slows down. I think Malvolio just pooped out on us.
Bad Attitude moves in to hurt Malvolio some more. It lines up again, and takes another run... then stops right before hitting Malvolio. Being a little more cautious now.
Bad Attitude pushes Malvolio into a screw base, and slams the robot. The countdown begins, and then it ends. Bad Attitude moves on.
The sledgehammer is resting on the ground. Why is it half off the yellow dot on the floor?
Interviews, commercials, then into the heavyweights. This fight is Bender versus Little Sister. Bender has replaced the normal-looking horizontal disk with a scarier-looking saw blade. But it still has the two longer bludgeoning teeth, so the saw blade part is just for show.
Every time we see Bigger Brother/Little Sister, it's up against a robot that isn't invertible.
The copy for Mark Beiro's introduction for Little Sister contains the word "his" in reference to the robot. Come on, the thing is named "Little Sister"! Pay attention!
Fightin' time. Little Sister rushes across the box to hit Bender before it can spin too fast. Little Sister backs into Bender and pushes it, but I don't think there really needed to be any rush. At the moment, Bender's blade is too high to hit Little Sister anyway.
Little Sister takes Bender near the hammer, but can't position Bender on that yellow dot. Bender gets away, but only for a moment. Little Sister gets her (see how it works?) lifting arm under Bender, takes it to the wall, and flips it. Bender's body simply spins on the blade. Little Sister goes to the middle of the box to dance.
As Bender struggles, Little Sister comes back and looks like it's going to flip Bender back over. But with every flip, the wall gets in the way and keeps Bender on its head. The countdown is almost over, so Little Sister dances again. Buzz.
In case you were wondering where Brad Wollack was (I know, I wasn't either), he shows up to rub salt in Team Tatar's wounds. He calls Lexan "Lexian." Carmen Electra talks down to the Watts children. Why is that when most adults speak to kids, they use a higher, slower voice? Do they think children are incapable of understanding normal speech? Besides, Carmen, it's not nice to use that tone of voice. I'm sure you don't like it when the crew gives you stage directions that way, do you?
Time for a new regular feature on the show. Christian Carlberg will be showing us how to build a basic four-wheeled robot. Today, he briefly talks about radios, motors, speed controllers, batteries, and tires. And I mean briefly -- all I know is that I'm supposed to use a PCM or FM radio (hey, Comedy Central -- FM ain't allowed in middleweights and up), wheelchair motors, some speed controller that matches the motor, two 12-volt batteries, and big tires. Is it a robot yet?
To be honest, Christian wasn't born to be a public speaker. But since unlike Carmen, he actually knows what he's talking about, it doesn't matter.
After Carmen tells us to not build a bot without proper supervision (well, the warning was kind of close to the "how to build a bot" segment), they go directly into a pre-produced segment about Lisa Winter and Tentoumushi. Last season, Tentoumushi was defeated by Wedge of Doom (no, you didn't see it). Tonight, the ladybug faces... Wedge of Doom.
But that's later. Right now, Ray Ebert from the Malvolio team is in the studio being interviewed. Why did they put chairs in the interview area if they're not going to use them in the interviews?
A couple of questions about whether Ray liked being flipped back over by the hammer, then... sigh... it's back to Carmen. In what is her worst delivery yet, she tells us what kinds of weapons can't be used on a BattleBot (don't we go through this every season?). As Carmen ineptly reads the list of banned weapons, they show random video clips that represent each substance. For example, for water, we see a pair of legs running along a coast. For stun guns, we see a little girl with a slingshot. This segment makes perfect sense!
Now that everyone is stupider, it's time for the fight. This time, Tentoumushi's ladybug sandbox capturing shell has two holes cut in the top. Also, the saw is gone again -- now there's a barbed piece of metal riding the floor that hopefully will catch the opponent. You just saw Wedge of Doom last week, so you should know what it looks like.
Robot fightin' occurrence. Wedge of Doom hits Tentoumushi a couple times. Tentoumushi has its shell all the way up in the air. You know, one of the problems is that with the shell up, Tentoumushi's weight distribution is too far back, and the parts that are designed to scrape the floor are lifted a couple inches up. Wedge of Doom just drives straight under Tentoumushi and delivers another pop.
Wedge of Doom goes to push Tentoumushi again. Tentoumushi tries to capture Wedge of Doom (it's like a Venus Fly Trap, except slower), but Wedge of Doom escapes.
Tentoumushi tries to figure out where to place the shell to drive effectively. It gets nicked by the saws. Wedge of Doom hits Tentoumushi, then runs itself into the edge of an axle in a spinner.
Every time it looks like Tentoumushi might capture Wedge of Doom, Wedge of Doom escapes. Even when Tentoumushi does get Wedge of Doom completely under the shell, Wedge of Doom is able to break free.
Tentoumushi's shell gets hit with a saw. So does Wedge of Doom.
Tentoumushi covers Wedge of Doom and tries to push it toward a nearby saw. The saw pushes the shell upward, the shell lifts, and Wedge of Doom escapes.
Tentoumushi drives into a wall. Wedge of Doom slams Tentoumushi. That lifting arm has only been raised once, and didn't do anything then.
Wedge of Doom gets under an off-balance Tentoumushi and pushes. A sledgehammer hits the corner of Tentoumushi in the middle of the push and helps Wedge of Doom flip Tentoumushi over. Tentoumushi is propped up against the spike strip next to the entrance ramp. The attempt to self-right begins.
The attempts are all failures. Wedge of Doom decides to "help" by aiming to push Tentoumushi under the hammer. It takes a few tries (it's a tough place to position your robot in), but Wedge of Doom pushes Tentoumushi off the spikes and gets the robotic body under the hammer.
As the hammer goes to work, Wedge of Doom spins. Once again, Wedge of Doom defeats Tentoumushi. At least this time it's nice and clear, rather than that 23-22 decision of last season.
Bil speculates that it might be time for Lisa to give up on Tentoumushi. I've been saying that for quite a while, Bil.
Carmen pretends to be sexually aroused by robots fighting. Ew.
After the commercial, there's an interview segment with Tony where he explains that the crowd loves Tentoumushi, so when he wins, people hate him. And he's a lawyer, too. He must have some thick skin. Thick like quarter-inch aluminum.
Bil and Tim say good-bye. Bil says that this might be the last we've seen of Tentoumushi. Does he have any sort of proof to back that up, or is it just something to sound controversial? This might be the last we've seen of Toe Crusher...
Ever since I submitted this site to Google, people have been visiting these pages (so that's how it works). GeoCities, for all its faults, at least lets me know what kinds of search terms people use when they land on my site. Some of the terms make perfect sense, like "Son of Whyachi." But there are others that I just don't understand. Here are some of my favorites -- I promise I'm not making any of them up. (Of course, now I can no longer keep track, as I'm sure people will start deliberately searching on really bizarre terms. For example, this page should eventually be able to show up on Google when you search for the phrase "pictures of containers of saliva and hair.")
"Free BattleBots clips"
"Word's to the Little Drummer Boy"
"Keystone Light bitter beer face picture"
"Keystone Light shirt"
"Heinz Ketchup commercial"
"HTML how to make a real fighting robot with a flamethrower and what stuff I should get"
"Big breasts on BattleBots"
"I want to see Traci Bingham in action for free"