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  Season 4

Episode 7

  Toro gets its own special little history as random clips from old martial arts movies play. Since Toro can do no wrong in my eyes, I watch, enraptured. Yes, this is a valuable use of time during the show.

There will be other fights as well. But they rush through those. After all, Toro's gonna be on, so who cares about the others?

Today's episode is brought to you... only by 3D's. Taco Bell had to drop out after its slogan of "Think outside the bun" was deemed obscene by extremely conservative parental groups.

Speaking of obscene, there's Carmen Electra again. She claims to have spoken to the builders. I love good fiction.

In a quarterfinal match you didn't see, pushing bot Little Blue Engine defeated pushing bot IceBerg. There's a good reason you didn't see this match -- I'll leave it to you to figure it out.

Little Blue Engine is a box with two big spikes poking out of the front. It will face Toro. Vegas bookies are actually refusing to take bets for this one.

Little Blue Engine has a piece of metal on the front that says "Olé This" in honor of its opponent. Except for the introduction shot, when it says "Dread This" because the shot came from a previous fight.

Fighting time. As the shot of Toro and Little Blue Engine shrinks into nothingness, we're told this is a semifinal match. I could suggest any number of ways to more efficiently do this, but it'd be a waste of keystrokes. I can't wait for next season, when Comedy Central will superimpose a shot of a live monkey wearing a t-shirt that says "Semifinals" over the fight.

The two robots drive around for position. Little Blue Engine drives the spikes into Toro's face, forcing the spikes under Toro. Great, now what?

I'm not sure what Little Blue Engine's strategy is, and I don't care, because Toro just flips it on its back. Little Blue Engine immediately drives into Toro, so Toro flips it head over heels again.

Little Blue Engine drives around... and gets a spike caught in one of the killsaw slots. The killsaws pop up and bend the spike, so it's stuck in there pretty good. Toro decides to be nice and free Little Blue Engine by attacking it from behind, flipping the robot lengthwise again. But hey, at least the spike is out.

There's a lot of driving around. Little Blue Engine doesn't ram and Toro doesn't flip. While the two are testing their steering abilities, one of Little Blue Engine's rear wheels falls off. Whoops.

Little Blue Engine drives up onto an entrance ramp (I don't need to tell you which one), then back down. Toro gets in Little Blue Engine's face and tries to flip it again. But one of Little Blue Engine's spikes is in Toro's arm, so Little Blue Engine doesn't go very far.

Little Blue Engine drives back up the entrance ramp, looking for all the world like it's trying to escape from the fight. Toro approaches from behind and lifts it back onto the main floor.

Another flip, and Little Blue Engine has to deal with a sledgehammer now. It quickly escapes and drives over to the red square, knocking off a raised piece of the floor in front of the screw. Toro lifts it, disorienting it. Then a flip, back onto its back.

Little Blue Engine isn't doing very well in this fight. Toro gives it another full flip. Then Little Blue Engine drives over some saws. And now the other rear wheel is about to fall off.

Toro pins it against the wall and lifts it off the ground, straight in the air. Little Blue Engine drives around, and Toro pushes it under a sledgehammer. A few whacks.

The rest of the fight is spent with Little Blue Engine wandering around and Toro trailing it, a couple of missed flipping attempts. Time is up, and if nothing else, at least Little Blue Engine didn't die.

Toro is going to the finals, 38-7. Carmen Electra is dressed like a dominatrix.

Commercials. Taco Bell is still there, unfortunately.

Today's "Carmen 'talked' to people in the pits" segment concerns good luck charms. You notice it's always the same ten or so teams in these segments?

Tom Beaver, the builder of Center Punch, has a job determining causes of death in dead bodies (as opposed to determining the causes of death in living bodies). So we take a trip to the lab, where he speaks medical speak over a blanket draped over an unmoving object. We all knew the object underneath the blanket was Center Punch when we saw that everyone in the lab was wearing their team t-shirts.

This is a heavyweight fight. Stealth Terminator is a box with lifting arms on the front and both sides. Center Punch is a box with a spike coming out of the front.

Green light. Center Punch comes shooting out of its square, hitting Stealth Terminator in the corner and spinning it around. Another hit by Center Punch's spike. And another. Stealth Terminator tries to lift, but only gets under the spike.

Stealth Terminator tries out various lifting arms. It then drives after Center Punch. It then drives over a saw and gets spun around some more.

The two robots charge one another, but both miss. Bil tells us that we've seen Center Punch take some nasty hits in past fights. Um, exactly when did we see this, Bil? This is Center Punch's first televised fight ever.

Now Stealth Terminator seems to be doing all of the charging. It rams into Center Punch's side. Center Punch drives backward into a wall.

A shot of Team Green Iguana hides the action. The next thing we know, Center Punch is under a sledgehammer. The sledgehammer wails on Center Punch while Stealth Terminator holds it there. As the sledgehammer pounds Center Punch, the shock is being partially absorbed by Stealth Terminator. Smoke comes out of Stealth Terminator's top.

Okay, thirty seconds have elapsed, so Stealth Terminator has to quit pinning Center Punch. It drives back and Center Punch remains motionless. The sledgehammer continues to hit. Stealth Terminator drives back and forth, emitting more smoke. And Center Punch is counted out.

In a bold move, Comedy Central will be showing both semifinal matches for the super heavyweights. The other fight will come after a commercial break.

When the show returns, Carmen Electra is the one who narrates New Cruelty's previous fights. They don't make her say "Rammstein."

A lot of robots have come from Wausau, Wisconsin. So they do a segment dubbing the town "Bot Country." They get a restaurant to pretend to have robot-related menu items. I can just imagine the shredded mess "Chicken ŕ la Minion" would be. And I don't think too many customers would go for a "BioHazard B.L.T."

The other super heavyweight semifinal is between New Cruelty and Diesector. An interesting moment occurs during New Cruelty's introduction. After reading the joke that consists of New Cruelty's intro, Mark Beiro pauses and adds, "Oh, jeez." It sounds so real, I can't tell if that was part of the script or if Mark was really frustrated with the writing on the show.

To start the fight, New Cruelty pushes Diesector around a couple of times. Diesector responds by pushing New Cruelty into a wall.

A few hammer hits by Diesector, and the two bots return to the middle of the floor. New Cruelty gets under Diesector, pushes it, does an impressive turn while still controlling Diesector, and pushes Diesector under a sledgehammer. The sledgehammer hits Diesector, which is currently high-centered on New Cruelty. It takes a few seconds, but with the hammers, big wheels, and jaws, Diesector is able to escape.

New Cruelty tries to push Diesector around again while Diesector hits New Cruelty with the hammers. Diesector gets hit with a saw at one point.

Diesector has its jaws in wedge mode, but every time it tries to get under New Cruelty from the front, New Cruelty turns out to be lower and Diesector has to escape. A minute left and not too much else has happened.

In fact, nothing much happens for the remainder of the fight. A lot of attempts at pushing by both sides, but nothing really definite. A lot of hits on New Cruelty from Diesector's hammers, but they do no damage.

Time runs out. When the buzzer sounds, the person adding the pounding noises from Diesector's hammers hitting the floor quits adding the sounds even though the hammers are still going.

Hey, remember when they would show scores being announced from inside the BattleBox? They're doing that again here. As expected, it's a close score, 24-21. And it's New Cruelty that will be moving on to the finals.

After the commercials, Richard Stuplich gets interviewed. In the segment of the interview they air, he describes Diesector.

We don't get the rest of the interview until the "BattleBots Update." Again, they update us on the three fights we just saw. Look, I know you think we're dumb, Comedy Central, but we're not that stupid.

To start the second half, they let us know about the championship match between Toro and New Cruelty that's coming up. We're told, "This is the super heavyweight final you have to see." As opposed to all those other super heavyweight finals that are taking place this season.

There will also be a middleweight and heavyweight fight in this episode. But first (!), the finals.

Again, it's Carmen Electra who does a voiceover of Toro's fights. I didn't think this is what they hired Carmen for.

I am kind of surprised that they're showing this fight now... wouldn't it make more sense to force the audience to sit through the entire show before getting to the big match? But since I really really want to see how this turns out, I'm not going to be complaining.

By the way, if you haven't figured it out yet, Toro is my favorite super heavyweight. So yes, there will be quite a bias in this recap. No offense to Richard Stuplich.

It's a match between a bot with no weapons but really good driving skills versus a bot with an awesome weapon and okay driving skills. It's robot fightin' time, baybee!

The bots immediately meet in the center of the box. New Cruelty is under Toro's flipping arm and making its way to Toro's side, so Toro scoots away. New Cruelty briefly pins Toro's side against the wall.

Toro tries to drive around to New Cruelty's side. It does get around and places its flipping arm under New Cruelty's scoop. However, the angle the two are at blocks the line of sight from the driving platforms, and Toro doesn't realize it should fire its weapon until way after New Cruelty backs off.

New Cruelty starts pushing Toro around a bit. Toro backs off. New Cruelty plants itself in the center of the box and goes back to the thrilling strategy of spinning in one place so it's always pointed at the opponent. Toro comes in, but can't get under New Cruelty.

Toro decides to see if backing into New Cruelty will produce any better results. Big mistake, as New Cruelty easily gets under Toro and slams it into the wall.

As New Cruelty tries to push Toro toward a hammer, Toro drives off, forcing the bots to reposition. Toro gets that position under New Cruelty that it's been trying for all fight. And Toro flips New Cruelty! New Cruelty does 2 full twists before landing back on its wheels, right side up.

New Cruelty wastes no time in pushing Toro again, and Toro retreats. New Cruelty assumes its position in the middle of the box. Toro tries to get under New Cruelty again, but New Cruelty keeps pushing it out of the way. Pete tries desperately to hit somebody with a saw, but neither bot has taken hazard damage yet.

New Cruelty pushes Toro toward a wall. Some maneuvering, and Toro gets under New Cruelty's front wheel. Up you go! New Cruelty performs a full flip, bounces off its scoop, and lands upside-down. Now New Cruelty can't scoop under Toro. This changes things drastically.

Toro gets under New Cruelty's front much more easily now, and raises the arm. Not a flip, but a lift. New Cruelty is still trying to point its scoop toward Toro. Toro's arm can't get under the body of New Cruelty with the scoop in the way. Nevertheless, Toro flips the scoop, sending New Cruelty over lengthwise and right side up again.

Yeah, now New Cruelty has its scoop back. But the scoop has been bent upward. Toro takes a glancing shot from the saws as it tries to get under New Cruelty. New Cruelty takes a shot from the saws as it tries to push Toro. Toro tries a flip, but misses.

I was right. Toro can get its flipping arm under New Cruelty's scoop now, and gives the robot another lengthwise flip. Back to being upside down for New Cruelty. New Cruelty rolls over some saws.

New Cruelty tries to push Toro. Toro gets under a corner of New Cruelty and flips it over again. Toro pursues, but the saws appear and force it to retreat.

New Cruelty takes a couple hits from the rarely-seen ramrods. New Cruelty isn't moving! New Cruelty is dead!

There are only twenty seconds left, so there's not enough time for a knockout to be called. Toro, realizing that $8,000 is more than $4,000, returns to its square.

But Richard Stuplich wants some more frequent flier points. He screams to get the attention of Inertia Labs, setting his controller down to signify that he'll quit fighting if they keep flipping. Alexander Rose points it out to driver Reason Bradley, and with five seconds left, Toro heads back over to New Cruelty and gives it one last flip onto its back. This fight is over!

Bil tells us that the judges' decision totaled 36-9 in favor of Toro. C'mon, couldn't they have spared 20 seconds to show us the hand-raising in the box?

A couple interview snippets. Reason Bradley is very happy. Richard Stuplich and New Cruelty will be back. And yes, I did act like a total buffoon while watching this fight, especially at the end. Maybe it's a good thing I don't invite anyone over to watch "BattleBots" with me. No one needs to see me bouncing around the room like I was just shown a new car on "The Price is Right."

Commercials. Give me a chance to come down from that.

In the pits, some builders give excuses as to why they lost, including the dog peed on M.O.E. You didn't happen to be using the dog for driving practice the day before, did you?

Heavyweight time. Agitator versus Silverback. Agitator is a low box with a pair of hammers swinging around it, Whyachi-style. Silverback looks like an off-road vehicle with a lifting weapon.

Before the fight starts, Agitator has lovingly placed a gorilla toy onto its spinning bar. Silverback does not respond by placing a washing machine on top of itself.

Fightin' robot time. Agitator hangs a sharp right while it spins up its weapon. Silverback follows and skids off into the sledgehammer. Silverback has its weapon up -- looks like it wants to stop those hammers before putting the arm in jeopardy.

Silverback takes two shots from Agitator, who shows no sign of slowing those hammers down. Silverback rushes Agitator, and gets flipped in the process. Silverback can self-right, though it takes a little while. A non-spinning Agitator gives it a pop while it does.

Silverback is back on its wheels and the fight resumes. Agitator starts spinning up again. It gives Silverback a couple of hits, but these hits stop the hammers. Silverback meets Agitator face-to-face, and Silverback tries to lift it. But Agitator slips off before any inversion can happen.

Agitator starts that weapon a-spinnin'. While Silverback adjusts its weapon, Agitator hits it. Silverback appears to be having just a little bit of trouble, with the weapon responding later than it should be.

Silverback leaves the arm down now. Agitator delivers another couple of hits. Agitator drives in, smacks Silverback in the face, then leaves before Silverback has time to raise the weapon.

Silverback drives onto Agitator, then slips off. A couple of hits from the drivers driving into one another. Agitator starts spinning again. Silverback charges, stops Agitator's hammers, and decides to forget the whole lifting strategy and just drives Agitator into the wall. Thanks to that move, a new dent is put in the screw.

Silverback tries to pin Agitator, but Agitator escapes. Silverback drives over Agitator. Agitator starts spinning the hammers again, and Silverback is bounced around by them. Silverback drives Agitator into another screw.

Agitator drives onto some saws. The saws fling Agitator merrily into the air. Agitator would've cleared Silverback if it wasn't for Silverback's tall lifting arm getting in the way. Hee hee, half the audience is agape.

Silverback takes a shot from the saws. Agitator drives into Silverback, and Silverback kind of bounces over Agitator again. Silverback charges again and flips itself over Agitator.

Silverback self-rights under the sledgehammer. Driving. Silverback tries to shove Agitator into another wall, but Agitator slips off.

Silverback drives completely over Agitator again. Silverback tries to push Agitator, but Agitator turns it around and pushes Silverback into the wall. Silverback bounces off of Agitator's non-spinning weapon again. The three minutes are up.

The 29-16 decision goes to Silverback. In the interview, we learn that Agitator did some damage to Silverback. Arj Barker is acting like an idiot.

After the commercials, we're going to finally see what a multibot looks like in action. What? Okay, okay, Super Chiabot was technically a multibot, too. But who really counts those little featherweight things?

Carmen Electra reminds us who she is, then it's time to meet the middleweights. Pack Raptors is the multibot. Quite simply, it's two Gamma Raptors side by side. SABotage is pretty much the same as last year, though now it has a pneumatic spike inside should it clamp an opponent.

Let's get it on. The Pack Raptor on the right meets SABotage first. While SABotage deals with that one, the other one comes in from the side. Dang, couldn't they have least put one distinguishing characteristic on one of the Pack Raptors? I've already lost track of which one is which.

SABotage puts the pointed ends of its lifting arm inside one of the Pack Raptors and lifts it into the air. The other Raptor comes in and pops SABotage in the side, causing its buddy to fall off. While the buddy tries to do something with its lifting arm, SABotage simply pushes it into the wall.

I've caught a glimpse of the numbers on the back of the Pack Raptors. One of them has a 2, while the other has a 4. Huh?

SABotage dances around a sledgehammer. Raptor 2 bounces back from getting its lifting forks stuck in the ramrod slots. It bounces into Raptor 4. SABotage grabs onto Raptor 4, but Raptor 4 slips out before SABotage can take it anywhere.

Raptor 4 tries to lift SABotage, but doesn't get its arm underneath. SABotage raises its arm, back into clamping mode. All three drive about randomly. Raptor 4 gets to SABotage's side, but hasn't actually gotten the arm underneath. Raptor 2 runs into Raptor 4 from behind.

SABotage starts to clamp down on Raptor 2. Raptor 2 raises its arm and the two have a stalemate. Raptor 4 hits SABotage from the side. SABotage lets up on Raptor 2 to go after Raptor 4.

SABotage gets a hold of Raptor 4 and shoves it into the wall. Raptor 2 comes in from behind and break dances on the spinner.

SABotage tries to put Raptor 4 under the hammer, but Raptor 4 escapes. SABotage is a little confused as to which Raptor to attack. It tangles a little with Raptor 2. Raptor 4 takes a shot from the sledgehammer while that's going on. SABotage turns toward Raptor 4 and flips it over. Hey, now it's easy to tell 'em apart!

While Raptor 4 gets back on its two hind wheels, Raptor 2 is pushing SABotage into the protruding spike strip next to the entrance ramp. SABotage's face is a really nice fit on that strip. Raptor 2 lifts SABotage's wheels off the ground, so SABotage ain't going nowhere. Raptor 4 rights itself by driving backward into the spike strip until it flips back over. It takes a few hammer shots while doing so.

Raptor 2 lets SABotage down. SABotage goes after Raptor 2 and clamps down. Raptor 4 tries to free its twin, but SABotage pushes Raptor 2 into the spikes. SABotage then drives Raptor 2 over to the sledgehammer, but Raptor 2 escapes before it can be hit.

They all get out of that corner. SABotage pushes Raptor 2 into the wall again. Raptor 2 starts to lift SABotage. Raptor 4 comes in and scoots itself under SABotage while it's being lifted by Raptor 2. Raptor 4 pushes SABotage under the sledgehammer.

They all drive to the other side of the arena. That side appears to have a whole bunch of spray of some kind still sitting on the floor. SABotage tangles with Raptor 2. They play too close to the saw, though. Raptor 2 takes a hit. Then SABotage is bounced up from the saw. SABotage was under Raptor 2 at the time, so Raptor 2 is now on its back.

SABotage plays a little with Raptor 4, then decides to go back to Raptor 2, which has driven to the other side again. Raptor 2, still upside-down, takes a shot from the saw. SABotage and Raptor 4 also take a shot from the saw. Raptor 2 has left.

SABotage and Raptor 4 tussle, but neither can lift the other. Raptor 2 drives past, still inverted. SABotage looks at Raptor 2. Raptor 4 comes in from behind and hits SABotage.

SABotage tips Raptor 2 more onto its side. After the saws lower, Raptor 4 bumps it back onto its rear wheels, though it's still inverted. SABotage pushes Raptor 2 onto the saw. Time is up.

The points are split 26-19, and SABotage is the one to win this fight. Michael Sabatino explains to Carmen that the name SABotage comes from his own last name, not the Beastie Boys song.

Speaking of music, Michael plays guitar in a small band with his friends called Effusion. Ew. Now, I may not be hip with the current musical scene, but I don't think the trend has become to sing really off-key and out of your vocal range, no matter what type of band you're in.

Since they're not going to give us seven fights in this hour, it's time for Christian Carlberg to teach us more about building a bot. He says, "We're just about ready to start building." We are? All I have are a couple of wires from some old Christmas lights and a cardboard box with the word "MOTOR" handwritten on it.

In the time that it takes me to stare blankly at the screen and say "Duh...?", Christian has explained how to assemble the frame and where to put the essential components inside the robot. Every time I get the faintest inkling to see if I could even build an antweight, I see something like this and realize this is not my calling. Now I'll never be able to terrorize the children at the local elementary school!

Commercials, then Inertia Labs accepts their giant nut. Remember: when choosing your robot's name, always pick something that can be easily chanted.

Two weight classes down, two more to go, three episodes to do it in. I'd make some predictions on what we're going to see in the middleweights and heavyweights, but I have to go work on my heavyweight some more. I figure it'll be impossible to defeat me if I use lots of titanium in my bot. So I've taken out some loans to build the ultimate BattleBot. Titanium armor, titanium weapon, titanium wheels, titanium motor, and titanium wire insulation. All I have to do now is figure out why the robot isn't working.


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