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Must... resist... "Manos: the Hands of Fate" reference!

Again, only three fights tonight. You know, we were all perfectly content with four fights per episode. Heck, I wasn't even complaining about the boring ones. It's hard enough only getting a half-hour fix of BattleBots, but it's really difficult only seeing a maximum of nine minutes of fighting.

Circuit City claims that they know how I feel. Well, that's easy. I feel... with my hands! Ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha... ha... ha.

Let's go to the super heavyweights for Minion versus Codebreaker. Codebreaker is the same as before. Minion looks to be about the same as it was last season. Although the wheels are new -- instead of big tires, the wheels are loops of metal with rubber or something on them.

There they go. To start the fight, Codebreaker drives over to Minion. The two turn in place, unsure of what to do with themselves. Codebreaker drives its drum toward Minion's disk. Codebreaker gets underneath and tries to push Minion, but Minion slips off.

Minion presents its wedge to Codebreaker, who rides up it. Codebreaker quickly gets off.

Codebreaker aims for Minion's spinning disk. Big sparks. Codebreaker pushes Minion a little bit.

Minion positions itself in the center of the Box. Codebreaker drives toward Minion. Minion's disk takes off a piece of Codebreaker's armor, but Codebreaker gets underneath Minion's body and begins to drive it to a wall. There's going to be a crash... Minion's disk is headed straight for the wall, and Codebreaker's got it high enough in the air that the spike strip isn't going to stop it. Slam! Minion hits the Lexan disk-first. I wince. Nothing breaks, but I don't blame that guy that was sitting next to the Box for running.

The two robots do a bit of slow-dancing as neither can gets its weapon to hit the other. Codebreaker hits Minion's disk. Minion hits Codebreaker's armor. Codebreaker gets under Minion again for a short time.

Minion hides behind some saws. Codebreaker comes forward and rams into Minion's disk. Minion's disk stops spinning, and it won't spin again for the remainder of the fight.

Codebreaker attacks Minion in the side with its drum, bouncing Minion around. Minion is a little random in its driving. Codebreaker works Minion under a sledgehammer, which gives it three smacks. Minion gets hit by a saw as it drives away.

Minion tries to push Codebreaker with the back wedge. Codebreaker attacks Minion's side with the drum some more. The tread on Minion's front left wheel is starting to come off.

Codebreaker is not letting up on Minion. It attacks the rear wedge a little bit, then it attacks the sides some more. Codebreaker gets underneath Minion again and shoves it across the floor, pushing it against another wall. That tread on Minion's front left wheel has come off entirely.

Minion wedges under Codebreaker, but Codebreaker slips off. Codebreaker turns around to attack, but gets pushed into a screw by Minion's wedge. This doesn't please Codebreaker, who gets away and then works itself underneath Minion again. It starts to push Minion, but before it can get too far, a saw holds it back. But Codebreaker does knock off a piece of Minion's bottom armor as Minion escapes.

Codebreaker gets under Minion again. The tread on Minion's rear left wheel is broken and begins to flop around. The last few seconds of the fight are Codebreaker's, as it continues to attack Minion's side. As time runs out, Codebreaker does the victory spin.

Replays and the Circuit City logo on my screen at the same time? This is too good to be true!

Carmen speaks... Something about tea parties. I don't care to figure it out. Then we get a nifty shot of some bent spikes that we're told were a result of this fight. Looking at close-ups of damage is good. It beats Carmen talking about ponies (no, she really was).

Of course, Codebreaker won the fight, 32-13. Standard post-fight interviews with both teams.

A good deal of time is spent preparing us for the other two fights tonight. Then, before the commercial, we're reminded of that robot that the show purchased from eBay last season. Since it would have gotten torn up in a fight, they've decorated it to resemble its name (Evil Cheese Wedge) and will be using it to show us things in San Francisco.

This is a long chunk of filler here. So long, I'm writing three paragraphs about it. Carmen narrates Evil Cheese Wedge's journeys while standing in front of a chroma-keyed wall. "Check out this view," she says as a shot of San Francisco at night is digitally inserted behind her. Wait a minute... Carmen was killed in that freak grinder accident. Which means that that's really her ghost! No wonder it looks like she's floating above a tree!

Then a clip from a completely unrelated segment as Stephen Felk shows us the art institute where he gets some of his ideas. Which is the perfect segue into a piece where Evil Cheese Wedge drives around San Francisco's Castro district. The robot roams down a few sidewalks, sometimes adorned with kinky leather clothing. It looks like something out of that dream I had after I ate three plates of nachos and a six-pack of grape cola.


Then... it's more of Evil Cheese Wedge! Aiiieee! Now the focus is on Chinatown. Evil Cheese Wedge drives down the street (they don't show us the part where it gets run over by that minivan). Evil Cheese Wedge drives down a sidewalk. Evil Cheese Wedge drives out of a building. Evil Cheese Wedge drives down another street. Evil Cheese Wedge drives out of another building. Evil Cheese Wedge drives down a third street. And a fourth. 'Cause nothing says Chinatown like a cheese-shaped robot driving down streets.

How about some robot fighting? That's a crazy idea. The next fight features two middleweights -- Ankle Biter versus The Master. Ankle Biter looks the same as it did when we saw it seven days ago. The Master is another robot you should know. First of all, it was built by famous veteran builder Mark Setrakian. But most importantly, The Master is the oldest active fighting robot. It dates all the way back to 1994, when it competed at the very first Robot Wars.

The Master is primarily two large spherical wheels. All of the important robot components are contained inside those wheels. As for its weapon, The Master can choose between any number of devices that stick out from between the wheels, depending on its opponent. For example, in the clip we saw before the commercial, for the fight against Jack Rabbit, its weapon was a simple wedge. For this fight, The Master will be using a gas-powered saw blade. For its next fight, it could very well employ an elaborate hydraulic crushing device. It's that versatile.

One of the bulbs burns out as the countdown tree is activated. And now it's robot fightin' time.

Both robots spin up their weapons. Ankle Biter begins to freak out in the middle of the Box, turning back and forth. It looks like it briefly went blind and couldn't figure out where it should be pointed to face The Master.

Ankle Biter calms down and points its disk toward The Master, which is much more definite in its movements, slowly heading toward Ankle Biter, its saw bobbing up and down as its casters hit bumpy parts on the floor.

The two drive into each other, producing a burst of yellow sparks. Both weapons keep spinning. The Master taps Ankle Biter's side with the saw, then begins to try to use the spinning saw blade as a hammer (we saw it do this in season two, as well, except that was only when the saw wasn't working).

The two spinning weapons collide again, and this time we get a burst of bright white sparks. I'm guessing that was from Ankle Biter, since I can't see The Master's saw blade being made of titanium.

The Master pounds the floor with its saw. Ankle Biter crashes into one of The Master's wheels, but does no damage.

Ankle Biter approaches The Master again. The Master's saw appears to hit one of Ankle Biter's tires. A small amount of smoke comes out of Ankle Biter. The Master flips the saw over upside-down, then swings it overhead back to its proper position.

The two turn, trying to get at each other's weak points. The Master heads toward Ankle Biter. Ankle Biter drives toward the side of The Master's saw. Another burst of sparks. And The Master's saw is missing! A quick shot confirms that it's over at the side of the Box now, spinning against the spike strip.

Now The Master's weapon is a small motor. It swings it up and down. One of the casters underneath the motor falls off.

Ankle Biter gets its disk back up to speed and heads for The Master. Another hit, and the tread on one of The Master's wheels is torn off. This is a problem, though not as large of one as it was for El Diablo. The Master is still mobile; it just doesn't have as much traction now.

Ankle Biter charges The Master's wheel. More sparks. Ankle Biter quickly pivots in place, nearly flipping itself over.

The Master drives around, getting a taste of the killsaws in the process. Ankle Biter isn't being as aggressive as I'd except it to be when presented with a weakened, weaponless opponent.

Granted, The Master is wily. But right now Ankle Biter isn't even focused on it. It's freaking out again, turning back and forth in place. Either it's testing to see how far it can go before the gyroscopic forces flip it over or it thinks it has spiders all over its body.

Jeez, it looks like Ankle Biter is trying to knock itself out right now. It spins in place a few times, nearly flying off the ground. It spins itself into a killsaw.

Another spin and near-flip, then Ankle Biter decides that maybe it should continue to fight The Master. It backs into The Master. Then it turns around and attacks the axle between The Master's big wheels. The hit stops the disk.

Pushing match. It's a close one, with neither robot out-pushing the other, really. Ankle Biter nudges The Master into a nearby screw, which bounces The Master about and separates its axle from Ankle Biter's disk. However, the screw puts The Master partly on top of Ankle Biter, taking one of its wheels off the ground. Ankle Biter is now able to easily push The Master across the floor.

And push it does. Ankle Biter gives The Master a big slam into the spike strip. Puncture! One of the spikes penetrates The Master's wheels, and The Master is stuck. One of the wheels is hanging in the air, and the other one has got a spike inside of it. The Master is a goner.

Ankle Biter performs a victory spin. It doesn't flip over because the disk isn't spinning.

The Master is counted out. All Mark can do is stare at his robot, which is conveniently located only five feet from where he's standing.

Replays, unnecessary comment from Carmen, post-fight interviews. Tony Rock asks Mark Setrakian about Mecha King Kong and MechaGodzilla, and Mark catches him on a technicality. He's talking about how they've never fought one another, and I'm left wondering what in the world Mecha King Kong is. Did it kidnap a small, robotic Fay Wray? "It was beauty demagnetized the motors of the beast."

Then John McKenzie puts Arj Barker in his place during the following interview:

Arj: Did you feel at all threatened or uncomfortable by the phallic nature of your opponent's robot?

John: No, I didn't, actually. It's funny you should mention that.

Arj: You felt like it was a giant genitalia and it had to be destroyed.

John: Um... no, actually I don't have that problem.

Arj: It's just me then, and my issues.

John: I think it's just you, bud.

John wins bonus points (that will go toward improving Ankle Biter's overall ranking) for that. Good job!

As they go to commercial, another cool damage shot as we get a nice look at the big hole the spike made in The Master's wheel. Just when you think the spike strip has become useless as an arena weapon, it surprises you. By coming to life and killing your loved ones.

Commercials. I keep forgetting to watch "Full Metal Challenge." It combines the challenges of the older seasons of "Robot Wars" with the possibility that somebody could be injured or killed!

If I'm not mistaken, they've changed the montage of clips that we see during the obligatory safety disclaimer. I don't remember seeing Diesector's hammers getting removed before. Defeated by the human with an electric screwdriver! What a way to lose!

Aw crap, it's another segment with Evil Cheese Wedge driving randomly around San Francisco. Now it's moving down the sidewalks of the Haight/Ashbury district. I thought this was a show about dangerous robots, not a travelogue.

Here are the dangerous robots. And they don't get much more dangerous than Hazard. Its next victim is Blade Runner, which has been redesigned over the winter, but still looks pretty much the same externally (it's a thwackbot, in case you've forgotten).

The only difference is that for this fight, Ilya Polyakov has added a piece of metal to the thwack part of Blade Runner. The strategy is to wedge it under Hazard and push the champion around. The piece of metal also has a lip on the top to help stop Hazard's blade. If that doesn't work, the strategy is to hope that Tony Buchignani is feeling extremely merciful.

Robot blightin' time. Hazard gets its bar up to speed. Blade Runner drives to the center of the Box, then sits still.

Hazard wants to go around to attack Blade Runner in the side, but Blade Runner will have none of it. It stays in place, rotating so that its metal attachment is always facing Hazard.

Hazard tries a few maneuvers, but Blade Runner will not let it get around. So Hazard backs over Blade Runner's metal wedge. A small piece of the lip is torn off by Hazard's bar. Blade Runner tries to push Hazard around, but they only go in circles. Hazard slips off the wedge, but as it does so, its bar hits the lip of the attachment and Blade Runner's right wheel. Hazard's bar stops spinning.

Hazard leaves to spin its bar again. Blade Runner tries to chase after Hazard, but can only move in circles, as it's got a big dent in that wheel now.

Hazard spins the bar again, and runs it into Blade Runner's backside. No damage, though Blade Runner is temporarily dazed. Hazard gets its bar spinning faster, and Blade Runner does the only thing it can do with only one working wheel -- spin in place.

Hazard approaches Blade Runner. It hits Blade Runner in the side. No damage. Blade Runner's wedge attachment rides up the wedge of Hazard, getting bounced by the spinning bar. No damage. Hazard hits Blade Runner's left wheel. BIG damage.

The hub is bent, and Blade Runner's tire goes flying up into the air! It bounces away, and now Blade Runner has zero working wheels.

Here comes the fun part. Hazard gets that blade spinning nice and fast and attacks Blade Runner's other wheel. It doesn't fly off, but the blade does knock the foam stuffing out of the tire.

Hazard attacks what's left of the left wheel. A brief puff of smoke is produced.

As Hazard spins up some more, we get a shot of an angry Ilya Polyakov. Presumably angry that he lost the fight, but what's going on right now isn't going to make him feel any better.

Hazard takes another run at the wheel that still looks like a wheel. The tire goes flying! More foam is knocked out, and Blade Runner's body is bounced along the floor. The tire goes bounding away.

Pete, bitter that Hazard is stealing all of his bot-destroying glory, gives Hazard a hit with the killsaws. Hazard goes to the middle of the Box for a victory spin.

Clearly, that fight is over. Replays, plug, then commercials.

After the break, Tim uses the word "eviscerate" again. Then Carmen ruins everything for us:

"Another day, another victim. The only bot I can see beating Hazard is a flipper. But only if he's got an arm ten feet long."

So don't be surprised if we see a T-Minus versus Hazard fight later this season. T-Minus puts an extension on its arm, and it takes down the champ. Thanks, the person that wrote Carmen's lines.

Post-fight interviews, recaps, and then the show ends. I can't help but notice that when one of the fights ends in a knockout after one minute, the episode contains a good deal of filler. And this "drive a robot around a city" thing just ain't doing it for me. Unless the city was Los Angeles during a riot, or maybe Pamplona during the running of the bulls. Or a mine field. I wouldn't mind that.

Stay tuned next week for a "hilarious" segment where Carmen Electra and Carl the Mascot get married! Evil Cheese Wedge will be the ring bearer, and a new, computer-animated character named "Mr. Screw with His Giant Nuts" will officiate! After that, the puppets from "Crank Yankers" will pilot their own robot in an exciting fight against a titanium bong! That's on Comedy Central -- where you can't repeatedly spell "Comedy" without "med"s!

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