"Dang it, you kids, those spikes aren't free, you know!"
Every other episode of "BattleBots" is sponsored by Wendy's. Wendy's: where soft-serve ice cream is considered a beverage.
No fartin' around here, it's time for the middleweight fight. Wrath Jr. is an invertible six-wheeled box with a plow in the front. Complete Control is more or less the same as it was last season, except with nicer side armor.
The referee asks Derek Young if he's ready. He responds with an unsure "Uhhh... yeah." So much for me rooting on Complete Control, I guess.
The signal to go is given, and both bots meet in the center. Wrath Jr. tries to push Complete Control from the front, but wisely chooses to get away before Complete Control clamps down. Wrath Jr. then gets Complete Control from the side, pushing it into the spikes.
Complete Control backs away and both bots play a positioning game in the center. Wrath Jr. takes a charge at Complete Control, hitting it in the corner. Complete Control's upper arm comes down on Wrath Jr., ready to clamp. But Wrath Jr. kicks into reverse, getting itself out from underneath that arm and driving away before Complete Control can lift it.
Complete Control is just sitting near the corner, motionless and playing with its upper arm. So Wrath Jr. charges Complete Control's rear, pushing its lower fork into the seam where the entrance ramp meets the floor.
Another push, and Wrath Jr. puts Complete Control underneath one of the spikes in the spike strip. Complete Control continues to not move (except for its upper arm). One of the judges walks over to take a closer look.
Wrath Jr. is back in its starting square, but it looks bored. So it heads back over and frees Complete Control from the spikes. Complete Control drives off, chasing Wrath Jr.
Complete Control tries to get a clamp, but the arm slides down the plow. Wrath Jr. pushes Complete Control from the side again. Wrath Jr. is scurrying around the BattleBox, nearly running circles around Complete Control.
In the center of the Box, Complete Control puts the arm down right behind Wrath Jr.'s plow. But on the lifting attempt, Wrath Jr. slips away.
Complete Control puts its fork back on the floor. But uh-oh, Wrath Jr. has still managed to get underneath it. Wrath Jr. nicely wedges under Complete Control and shoves it across the box, into the base of a screw. This particular screw is located next to the sledgehammer, which tries to hit Complete Control. The hammer misses, Complete Control bounces up from hitting the screw, and the robot lands on top of the sledgehammer.
The sledgehammers were designed to pound robots, not bear the weight of them. So while Pete wants to lift his hammer back up, it just won't obey his wishes. Complete Control is raising and lowering its weapon in an effort to escape. Both robot and hammer are wiggling, but neither can get free. Wrath Jr. is content to watch.
Well, they're making progress. Complete Control almost has its wheels back on the floor now, but its lower fork is straddling the hammer's head. Wrath Jr. charges forward. Complete Control lifts its fork, Wrath Jr. slams itself into the hammer, and the hammer, now free of Complete Control, goes back to its upright position.
Complete Control gets its weapon back into its ready position, then promptly drives over some saws. Pete responds by putting a significant bend into the end of one of the tines. Now Complete Control's fork can't ride along the floor, thanks to that bend.
So if Complete Control puts its fork at floor level, the bent metal will lift its wheels off the ground. If Complete Control tries to let the bent part ride the floor while its wheels remain on the ground, then that gives enough clearance for Wrath Jr. to get underneath. Needless to say, things are looking pretty good for Wrath Jr. at this point.
Wrath Jr. backs into Complete Control's front and pushes it into the wall again. Complete Control runs off to try to do something with its weapon. But Wrath Jr. keeps hitting Complete Control. Thanks to a push, Complete Control's bottom armor takes a hit from the saws.
Wrath Jr. gets deeply under Complete Control again and begins to push. The saws are in the way, so Wrath Jr. stops and lets Complete Control taste some more saw damage. Wrath Jr. repositions itself while under Complete Control, and pushes it into another screw. Some kind of piece of Complete Control (it looks like an orange spike) pops out from underneath the robot and rolls away.
The fight draws to close as both robots look for a position and get hit by the ramrods. Then the fight is over.
An audience member is swinging a large foam OverKill blade that fits over his hand (like those giant foam hands at baseball games). Urgh, I promised I wouldn't make any more jokes! Blast!
A 31-14 decision gives Wrath Jr. the victory.
The advantage I have in writing these summaries several days after the episode airs is that I get to read what exactly happened in the fights. For example, Derek Young has explained that in this update of Complete Control, he installed some magnets designed to keep the robot on the steel floor while it was lifting opponents into the air. But the magnets were too powerful, hence the sluggish performance we saw Complete Control give. And the "uhhh... yeah" at the beginning. Of course, since this information might be useful to the viewers, it is not included in the program.
They tease the next two fights, then go to commercial.
No! Wait! First they have to show us their fake commercial, "Bots Gone Wild." Yes, it's a parody of those "Girls Gone Wild" tapes where drunk girls demonstrate their need to remove their tops for anybody with a video camera. Anybody except me, that is. Apparently it's more difficult (and as I found out, illegal) when you run around a dormitory in the middle of the afternoon while holding a video camera, shouting, "Show me what you got!" I mean, come on! All I was gonna do was sell it for profit!
Anyway, if you're watching one of the reruns that airs late at night, you'll probably see the real commercial. So here's a parody, featuring random shots of BattleBots -- sometimes fighting, sometimes just sitting in the pits, but always with "Xtreme" words (including "Xtreme") placed over them. Watch Carmen as Dick Stuplich makes up some random stuff about a wedge that for some reason has a CO2 tank. Her expression gradually becomes more and more expressionless until it's time for her to say "Wow."
Then there are some real commercials. Since they're not a part of the show, I'm not required to watch and summarize them. Whew.
Tim says... "Defending super heavyweight champion Toro has just one thing on his mind: Repeat. And as far as builders Alexander Rose and Reason Bradley are concerned, there's only one thing standing in their way." And that thing is... Nightmare! Wait, that doesn't make any sense. Oh, it's just the introduction to their "BattleBots All Stars" segment. We're informed that the one thing that can put Toro in jeopardy is a powerful spinner. Its opponent in this fight is Phrizbee-Ultimate, a... powerful spinner. Jeez, they're not only spelling this out for us, they're teaching us the phonics, too.
Please do not mock my poor analogy-creating skills.
Remember Phrizbee from last season? This is the super heavyweight version of Phrizbee, except prettier to look at. As for the champion, in addition to the crumple zone surrounding Toro's flipping arm, it's also added a few pieces of metal on the corners to distract Phrizbee-Ultimate. Because Phrizbee-Ultimate is a spinner. Remember? Huh? Huh?
According to Tim, it's robot fightin' time. Toro shoots across the box in the hope that it can keep Phrizbee-Ultimate from spinning up. Phrizbee-Ultimate starts to spin up and dodges by driving to the side. Toro bounces off of Phrizbee-Ultimate and slams into the screw. Phrizbee-Ultimate bounces into the entrance ramp.
Toro heads for the entrance ramp and blocks Phrizbee-Ultimate in that small space. Phrizbee-Ultimate continues to try to spin up, though. As Phrizbee-Ultimate sits on Toro, it spins, bouncing along the top of Toro's body.
Phrizbee-Ultimate stops trying to spin and Toro attempts to get its arm under Phrizbee-Ultimate. The two drive back out into the open. Phrizbee-Ultimate starts to spin, but Toro pushes it into the spike strip and misses with the lifting arm. Phrizbee-Ultimate continues to spin.
Phrizbee-Ultimate is spinning faster and faster. It drives itself toward the spike strip, completely tearing off one of the spikes. Toro grazes against the side of Phrizbee-Ultimate, then misses as it tries to use its rear end to push Phrizbee-Ultimate back against the wall. Phrizbee-Ultimate is really spinning now. Toro thinks about charging with the front, but decides against it.
Then both robots just kind of sit there. One of you, move!
Phrizbee-Ultimate (now at top speed) tries to drive forward. It first makes some sparks against the entrance ramp, then heads for Toro. Toro backs away.
This keeps happening -- Phrizbee-Ultimate moves toward Toro, and Toro hightails it to the other side of the Box. This goes on for a good thirty seconds. All audience sounds you hear have been added in post-production. Unless the audience boos while sitting completely still.
Finally, Phrizbee-Ultimate almost manages to touch Toro. Toro turns around to run away, and gets its flipper caught underneath that ol' piece of spike strip separating the entrance ramp from the floor. Happens every season to some robot, it seems.
The sledgehammer starts hitting Toro. Phrizbee-Ultimate heads over and takes some chunks out of Toro's rear armor. Toro gets free and runs away. The ramrods, which are next to Phrizbee-Ultimate, pop up. Phrizbee-Ultimate hits one of the ramrods, sending small pieces of it flying. The ramrods try to retract back into the floor, but now are stuck.
Toro tries to charge Phrizbee-Ultimate into the other corner, but misses. Phrizbee-Ultimate hangs out in the center of the Box while Toro hides behind the saws. And the retreat continues. Phrizbee-Ultimate keeps moving toward Toro, but Toro is completely on the defensive.
Phrizbee-Ultimate manages to scratch up Toro's side some more. Then it tears off one of the extra pieces of armor that had been added to Toro. Back to the positioning game.
Phrizbee-Ultimate drives into the spikes, bending two of them flat against the strip. It then bounces off of Toro, who fires the lifting arm, but doesn't connect.
Yeah, there are less than thirty seconds left on the clock, Toro, maybe you should attack. Toro slams its front into Phrizbee-Ultimate, knocking it off-balance. Phrizbee-Ultimate starts moving across the floor with a hypnotic rocking motion. It hits the spike strip where Toro got stuck. Toro rams into Phrizbee-Ultimate again, ricocheting it against two spike strips and the ramrods, which finally fall back into the floor after Phrizbee-Ultimate hits them. Phrizbee-Ultimate is slowing down.
Phrizbee-Ultimate gets back to spinning up. Toro takes a hit from the hammer. Toro runs into Phrizbee-Ultimate again, knocking it against the spikes. More spikes get bent. Another one is torn off. Phrizbee-Ultimate continues to spin.
Toro tries a lift, but isn't far enough underneath. As usual, the missed lift pops Toro into the air, where it then lands on Phrizbee-Ultimate. Phrizbee-Ultimate comes to a stop.
Toro approaches Phrizbee-Ultimate and tries a flip. Almost, but not quite. Phrizbee-Ultimate spins. Another miss by Toro. Toro holds Phrizbee-Ultimate, keeping it from spinning.
With two seconds left, Toro raises the arm, putting Phrizbee-Ultimate on its side. Phrizbee-Ultimate remains on its side when time runs out.
For fun, Phrizbee-Ultimate keeps its spinning mechanism going, twirling the body inside the shell. Which way will Phrizbee-Ultimate land? It lands... upside-down, on its head.
Thirty seconds earlier, and that would have meant something.
Well, even I can see this coming. Phrizbee-Ultimate wins in a 24-21 decision. Which Mark Beiro announces as a "24 to 20" decision. Adding is hard.
Well... I have opinions about this fight, but I already posted them with my scores in The Fans Judge (blatant plug!). If you care, you can read them there.
Commercials. I know you don't care about those.
More super heavyweights -- Vladiator vs. Pro-AM. Pro-AM is a four-wheeled bot with a smallish vertical blade in the front (the blade resembles what you might see in an oscillating fan, except not curved). Vladiator has dropped the spike for a larger lifting plate in its place. Since the spike was usually worthless, I'd say that's a good move.
I'm running out of different ways to say it's robot fightin' time. The two charge each other in the center of the Box. Pro-AM ramps up Vladiator's lifting wedge and gets some good air as it nearly clears all of Vladiator's body. After Pro-AM is airborne, Vladiator lifts the plate.
Vladiator wedges under Pro-AM's side, but Pro-AM drives away before it can be lifted. Vladiator gets itself lined up under the sledgehammer (which isn't firing this early in the fight) and charges Pro-AM again. Pro-AM is almost tipped on its side. It bounces back onto the floor.
Pro-AM hits Vladiator in the front corner with the spinning blade. Vladiator responds by driving into a screw.
Vladiator charges and misses. It charges backward while Pro-AM charges forward -- another miss.
In the next charge by the two, Vladiator lifts the wedge as soon as it gets under Pro-AM's body, giving Pro-AM some more time in the air. As Pro-AM lands, its blade hits Vladiator's wedge/plate (as you can tell, I'm not sure what to call it).
On the next charge, Vladiator lifts its plate too early, allowing Pro-AM to get underneath and flip Vladiator over. Because of the dents, the plate isn't as effective in this position.
Vladiator attacks with its rear, then jostles Pro-AM some more with another wedge-charge. Pro-AM hits Vladiator with the blade. Vladiator drives itself over the saws.
Some positioning. Bil and Tim are paying no attention to the fight. Vladiator gets its plate under Pro-AM again. As Vladiator pushes forward, it lifts the plate, keeping Pro-AM's wheels from touching surfaces. Vladiator slams Pro-AM into a screw base. But Pro-AM is still sitting on Vladiator.
Vladiator drives backward while Pro-AM drives forward off of Vladiator (which is in the same direction as Vladiator is moving). Pro-AM hits the floor running, but since Vladiator is moving in the same direction, it slams Pro-AM into the wall again. Pro-AM is on the entrance ramp, trying to get back to the non-angled floor. It knocks a spike off while it's doing so.
A few attempts at big hits by the robots, but neither can capitalize. Then Vladiator drives its rear end into Pro-AM's blade. The blade sticks in Vladiator, and that connection lifts the two robots into the air, nearly forming a right angle.
The bots get their wheels back on the ground, but they're still stuck together. Vladiator is shoved into the wall. Pro-AM backs up a little bit (dragging Vladiator with it) and shoves Vladiator into the wall again. Pro-AM's winning the traction game, as Vladiator's wheels are spinning but going nowhere.
It's like robotic Siamese twins. Pro-AM shoves Vladiator into one of the screws. Multiple times. Eh, I guess the screws are doing a little damage to Vladiator's plate.
Pro-AM decides to push Vladiator under the sledgehammer that's right next door to the screw. Then into the other nearby screw, which lifts Vladiator for a moment. Then back under the sledgehammer. Ooh, that left a dent in the top of Vladiator's armor.
All of a sudden, Pro-AM is the one to be shoved into the base of a screw on the other side of the Box. Vladiator goes over some saws, dragging Pro-AM along with it.
A timeout is called to separate the robots. Of course, that's not what we see at home. What we see at home is Vladiator and Pro-AM come to a stop. Then in the next shot, the fight resumes, and the newly-freed Vladiator pulls away from Pro-AM, which immediately starts spinning its blade again.
Vladiator tries to get at Pro-AM's side, can't, and slides to the other side of the Box. It tries to attack again, kind of glances off to the side, and nearly hits a screw. It backs into Pro-AM's spinning blade and is lifted into the air. This gives us a good chance to look at the big hole in the rear of Vladiator that Pro-AM made and got stuck in.
Pro-AM tries to take advantage of Vladiator while it's off its wheels, but that Vladiator is a slippery one. Vladiator backs off, then misses as it charges. And misses again. On the next charge, Vladiator runs into Pro-AM's blade, which knocks Vladiator to the side. One of Vladiator's tires is shredded.
Another charge by the two. Pro-AM goes up the wedge and gets a little more air. The two separate, then meet head-to-head. Vladiator lifts the plate, but can't do anything with the lifted Pro-AM. Vladiator runs into a wall, backs into Pro-AM's side, and time runs out.
If you want to find out who wins, you'll have to sit through these commercials. Since there's no fourth fight, that's the only incentive they can offer.
Commercials. If you want to find out who wins, you're also going to have to sit through another "Bots Gone Wild" segment. Oh, crap, that shot of Diesector is from a fight yet to be aired. And it gives away quite a bit, too. See, folks, it never pays to watch the filler.
If you want to find out who wins, you're also going to have to watch the Hit of the Week first. Bil tells us it's "from the match you just saw." It's of Toro putting Phrizbee-Ultimate on its side. Eh, close enough.
Tim tells us this was "a match too close to call. Now let's get the official word from the Box."
It's 25-20, and the decision goes to Vladiator. Mike Konshak and a good part of the audience are not happy about it. Which doesn't make Gage Cauchois look very good as he waves to the crowd.
Look, it's the return of a sorely-missed feature: Real judges' scores! Man, it's good to see these back. Vladiator took a total of 9 points in Aggression; Pro-AM took 6. Pro-AM took 9 points in Damage; Vladiator took 6. 15 to 15 so far. But Vladiator gets 10 of the Strategy points to Pro-AM's 5, giving it the nod.
And look! The numbers of the scores are in the same font that I started using at the top of each of my pages! How's that for a premonition? While I'm hot, let's make another prediction: Toro will win the giant nut again at this tournament! At the end of the season, we'll see if I'm right.
Recap for the dumber students that missed it the first time. Then they banish Mike Konshak to the Lone Porta-Potty of Shame to talk technical stuff. But he has to hurry -- Johnny Knoxville needs that porta-potty for a segment he's doing later that day.
And now, a paid commercial announcement:
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