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Whoa, six minutes? I'm over stimulated!


The opening feels just a little different. Almost as if they're trying to pad things out ten seconds into the show. And then Tim only tells about two upcoming fights. They wouldn't... would they?

The sponsors are Circuit City, who say they're with me in my plans for world domination, and Lucas Arts, the creators of "Star Wars: Bounty Hunter." I suppose placing another Jar Jar Binks joke here would be too easy, huh? But oh so appropriate.

The middleweights are here -- SABotage versus Zion. SABotage looks the same as it did last season. Well, before it got mangled by Hazard. Zion still has that thin little stick that pops up from the robot. Except that thin little stick is designed to grab an opponent from the top and clamp down, after which an additional arm inside the robot will rise, ŗ la Complete Control. Wait a minute, was that how Zion worked last season, too? For crying out loud, why aren't we told these things?

Anyway, it's robot fightin' time. Both robots gun it forward and crash head-to-head in the center of the Box. Ah, I love the violent head-on collision at the beginning of the fight.

Neither robot gains an advantage from that collision, though. So begins the positioning game. Each robot pokes at the other's side but can't get underneath. SABotage kind of drives up onto Zion a bit. Zion points itself at SABotage as SABotage drives around. I notice that whenever SABotage throttles forward, the nose of the robot rises off the ground. That's going to make it very difficult to get underneath Zion's skirts.

SABotage slightly slides up Zion's side a couple of times. Then a couple more. Zion pops up the thin bar in the middle of the robot, ready to clamp should the opportunity arise. The arm up there is the perfect shape for arm wrestling. Which I'm sure is a perfectly safe activity to be engaging in with a pneumatically-powered robot.

The two opponents do some dancing, trying to get under the other. Zion places its wedge against SABotage, but doesn't slip underneath. A little driving.

The two meet face-to-face, and SABotage rides up Zion's wedge. But SABotage escapes before Zion can clamp.

Zion is a wedged box again. It briefly gets under the rear of SABotage. Zion pops the thin arm up again.

SABotage is trying to get under Zion, but Zion's skirts are too effective and SABotage can't reach the unprotected rear.

Driving. SABotage finally gets under a skirt. But not the actual body of the robot, as SABotage learns when it raises its lifting arm to find that Zion has already driven away.

Some more driving. Then another face-to-face encounter. This time, SABotage gets its lifting arm under Zion's main lifting arm. SABotage's lifting arm goes up, and so does Zion. Nice lift -- all of Zion leaves the ground. But Zion spoils SABotage's fun by lifting its main arm, dropping back on its wheels.

The bots reset their weapons -- SABotage puts the lifting arm down and Zion puts the main arm down and keeps the thin arm up. Some driving.

SABotage drives up one of the side wedges of Zion and onto its body. Clamp. Zion snags SABotage and lifts it in the air. SABotage spins its wheels and plays with its arm, but it's not getting out of that hold until Zion lets it.

Zion carries SABotage over near a sledgehammer. Tim makes another one of his patented animal/robot comparisons.

Zion needs to do some positioning to get SABotage under the hammer at the right point. The hammer hits SABotage in the tire. Zion lets go, and SABotage drives out of the range of the hammer. Zion resets its main arm. As it's doing that, SABotage drives around to the back, easily wedges underneath, and pushes Zion under the sledgehammer. Zion absorbs a blow. It tries to back away, but SABotage keeps it there for another blow. SABotage then drives itself onto a screw while Zion drives away.

SABotage bounces on the screw for a few seconds until it's impressively bounced off. It then drives over the body of Zion.

A little more driving. SABotage drives up the wedged front of Zion, where its tires leave the ground. Zion decides to take a crack at it by clamping down on the bottom "rung" of SABotage's ladder-like lifting arm. It starts to lift SABotage, but of course, SABotage lifts back. SABotage returns to the floor and Zion begins to be lifted off its wheels. The two bots separate.

Positioning. SABotage drives onto Zion again. Zion clamps, but sees that it's not a firm hold, so it lets SABotage go. That also saves Zion the trouble of having to gut it and bone it later.

SABotage tries to get under the rear of Zion, but overturns and misses. Time runs out with neither robot having an advantage over the other.

Replays of a lift and a hammer blow. Then to the middle of the BattleBox for the results.

Not surprisingly, it's a split decision. The robot that received 23 points is Zion. And here come the real judges' scores for you to ponder.

SABotage took the Aggression and Damage categories, 8-7 in each. But Zion won big on the Strategy category, 9-6, giving it the edge. And the edge is where the crust of the pizza is. And by moving to the quarterfinals, Zion is now among the upper crust of BattleBots.

Look, you trying writing a joke based on judges' scores!

A brief interview, a tease of the next... fight (singular), and another trivia question:

Which of the following is allowed on a BattleBot?
A. An external combustion engine
B. A nuclear weapon
C. Sulfuric acid
D. A long pointed stick

Not included are E. Trey Roski's home phone number, F. Several sticks of dynamite, and G. A member of Congress.

After the commercial, we learn that the answer is, of course, D. Drat, there go my plans for my super heavyweight, Hydrogen Surprise.

Remember last season, when Carmen Electra would sit in the crowd and occasionally mention them while vaguely talking about robot fighting? Well, in case you were longing for a reminder of those days, she's in the audience right now for a segment about the people that are in the crowd, watching the BattleBots tournament. A few fans name their favorite robots. Then some people list additional illegal weapons in BattleBots. Finally, a few folks make up robot/celebrity match-ups, such as Hazard versus Martha Stewart. No one mentioned my dream match-up of Abe Vigoda versus The Wacky Compass.

Bil tells us that the upcoming lightweights are "locked and loaded." The robots are going to have a hard time unlocking themselves if they're drunk like that.

Have we seen Slap 'Em Silly already this season? Yes. Have we seen Wedge of Doom already this season? Yes. So let's get to fightin'.

Wedge of Doom drives straight out of its square. So does Slap 'Em Silly. Wedge of Doom easily wedges under Slap 'Em Silly, allowing it to fly through the air.

Wedge of Doom charges the front of Slap 'Em Silly again, and Slap 'Em Silly again goes completely over Wedge of Doom. It looks like Slap 'Em Silly is outwedged, which pretty much screws the robot for this fight.

Wedge of Doom wedges under the side of Slap 'Em Silly and shoves it into the spike strip. Slap 'Em Silly drives up Wedge of Doom's wedge, taking its wheels off the ground. Wedge of Doom begins to raise the lifting arm, tilting Slap 'Em Silly on its wedge.

Wedge of Doom's lifting arm slides up Slap 'Em Silly's belly, up the spike, and slips out. Slap 'Em Silly lands back on its wheels. The two robots drive toward the center of the Box. Slap 'Em Silly briefly pushes Wedge of Doom toward some saws. But Slap 'Em Silly is the one to get hit.

Wedge of Doom gets under the side of Slap 'Em Silly again and accelerates forward, ready to shove Slap 'Em Silly back against the spikes. But that stupid hub on the floor spinner stops Wedge of Doom, and Slap 'Em Silly just slides into the wall.

Wedge of Doom's wedge gets under Slap 'Em Silly's wedge. Slap 'Em Silly gets off Wedge of Doom. Then that happens again. Wedge of Doom raises and lowers its arm a couple of times.

Wedge of Doom gets under Slap 'Em Silly again and starts to push the robot around, but a seam in the floor stops its progress. Another attempt to push doesn't work. Slap 'Em Silly's spike briefly touches killsaw.

Wedge of Doom gets under the front of Slap 'Em Silly and takes it to another spike strip. Slap 'Em Silly rests flat on top of Wedge of Doom, its wheels not touching anything. Wedge of Doom raises its arm a bit, and lifts Slap 'Em Silly straight up in the air -- Slap 'Em Silly remains parallel to the ground. Wedge of Doom is now bench pressing Slap 'Em Silly.

Wedge of Doom lowers the arm and tries again. This time, Slap 'Em Silly tips and eventually slips off of the lifting arm. Wedge of Doom goes on the defensive as it resets its lifting arm.

Slap 'Em Silly attacks while Wedge of Doom is resetting, getting under the lifting arm. Unfortunately for Slap 'Em Silly, it still goes up the wedge part of Wedge of Doom, getting caught between the raised lifting arm and Wedge of Doom's body. Slap 'Em Silly's wheels are again off the ground.

Wedge of Doom takes advantage of the situation by pushing Slap 'Em Silly under a sledgehammer. The hammer lands on the tip of Slap 'Em Silly's spike, bending it. Then it lands on the top of Slap 'Em Silly, denting the armor. Then a third blow. Then a fourth.

Wedge of Doom lets go and Slap 'Em Silly drives around a bit. Wedge of Doom comes back and starts to get Slap 'Em Silly between the lifting arm and wedge again, but the ramrods appear, tossing Wedge of Doom in the air and ruining its attack.

Wedge of Doom drives around a bit, then comes back over to Slap 'Em Silly, getting under its wedge and pushing it against the wall. Slap 'Em Silly slips off, but Wedge of Doom stays near it. The ramrods keep mucking things up, though.

Wedge of Doom gets under the back of Slap 'Em Silly. It forces Slap 'Em Silly to eat spikes.

Some driving around. Ah, yep, there it is -- your regular reminder that Slap 'Em Silly was purchased on eBay. Can't ever forget that. They were lucky, though -- I once bought a microwave on eBay, and it didn't fight well at all.

Slap 'Em Silly, knowing that its wedge will never beat Wedge of Doom's wedge, tries to poke Wedge of Doom with the spike. This makes it easier for Wedge of Doom to get underneath, and it slams Slap 'Em Silly into the spikes again.

Wedge of Doom pushes Slap 'Em Silly around the box, but the seams in the floor get in the way again. Slap 'Em Silly, now completely out of strategies, starts slowly spinning in circles.

Wedge of Doom continues to attack Slap 'Em Silly. Slap 'Em Silly gets bounced around by a saw. Wedge of Doom gets tossed by a saw.

Slap 'Em Silly is now just trying to stay away from Wedge of Doom. Time runs out.

A decisive victory for Wedge of Doom, 39-6. I find that the wedge of Doom works best against the Imps. It's useless if you're fighting the Cacodemons.

Post-fight interviews. The hammer hits caused Slap 'Em Silly to be unable to move forward. Both physically and in the tournament.

Commercials. No fights are teased. Maybe they would...

After the break, it's a really fictional segment. The show has decided to invent a "BattleBots Hall of Fame." For it, they found a museum or art gallery or something, and pretended that it's the building that honors the biggest names in BattleBots. A building that misspells Mark Setrakian's last name. Since they've obtained some childhood photos of Gage Cauchois, they pretend that he's the latest inductee into this make-believe hall of fame. I'd be afraid to see how they display his name.

Nothing left but quarterfinal fights in this season. And here are some of the fights that were deemed too boring to air in full:

Dr. Inferno Jr. shoved Death By Monkeys around. But Death By Monkeys also gave Dr. Inferno Jr. a good slam into the wall. The decision goes to Dr. Inferno Jr., surprising Jason Bardis. Farewell, people in monkey costumes.

Hexy Jr. flipped Gamma Raptor. Gamma Raptor lifted and pushed Hexy Jr. around. The colorful Gamma Raptor moves on to the semis.

Herr GepoŁnden (well, at least they put the umlaut over one of the vowels in the on-screen graphic) faced Code:BLACK, whose blade wasn't spinning in the clips we saw. But Herr GepoŁnden relied too much on trying to move forward while spinning its body around, and Code:BLACK got the nod.

Onto the middleweights. S.O.B. captured Wrath Jr. in its big dustpan and won the judges' decision. For the most part, it's the robots with the more highly-punctuated names that are moving on, it seems. It's a conspiracy against me, I just know it.

One heavyweight quarterfinal result. Voltronic (I didn't even realize that was Voltronic until they told me -- it looks a little different this season and has big Popular Science logos on it) wedged under Omega-13 and won it.

Finally, super heavyweights New Cruelty and No Apologies fought. No Apologies couldn't puncture New Cruelty and New Cruelty shoved No Apologies against the walls. New Cruelty moves on.

In case you weren't watching, they tell you the winners again. Well, that's more than enough for this segment. Time for more commercials.

Since that third segment of the show was shorter than usual, it's time for more filler in the fourth. I thought only "Robot Wars" tried to get away with showing only two fights in a half hour nowadays. If this site wasn't about the summary of the entire episode, I'd have made like I do when watching "Robot Wars" and left for a snack already. Except in this case, I would have had time to make a full supper.

Here's a segment about Paul MacCready, whom the show dubs the unofficial father of BattleBots (I don't know who the official father is, but I like to think it's Ralph Nader). Paul's the founder of AeroVironments, a company that works toward the creation of environmentally-friendly vehicles, and helped to fund BattleBots by giving BattleBots creators Trey Roski and Greg Munson $500 toward the building of a bot. Great, now everyone's going to be hitting him up for money.

Man, without a third fight to summarize this week, I need something to do. Um... Paul MacCready sits dangerously close to Trey&Greg in the interview corner. Paul MacCready attacks with approving comments about BattleBots in an effort to disarm Trey&Greg. But the Trey side of Trey&Greg counters with glowing praise for Paul MacCready! This is going to be an evenly-fought match!

Trey&Greg continues to attack with its Trey side, describing how Paul MacCready helped to fund their robot. Ooh, I don't know... that might not have been the best offensive move. Trey&Greg has left itself wide open -- Paul MacCready could easily take advantage of it.

But no! It was part of a strategic set-up so Trey&Greg could pull off an amazing attack! Trey&Greg quickly switches to the Greg side and presents Paul MacCready with a check for $500! What a move!

Trey&Greg could've quit right there and won, but the Greg side of Trey&Greg tops things off with a highly complementary comment about Paul MacCready! Oh! This one is over!

Since we haven't seen any regulation fights recently, Bil and Tim summarize the two fights that took place way back near the beginning of the show. Bil ends things with a pretty good joke about Lexan. But really, are there any bad jokes about Lexan?

And now, with no warning, it's that time where I riff on all of the scenes during the closing credits! Watch those credits and follow along! Now!

The first shot in season five's credits is that helicopter shot of the building that BattleBots was held in for season three. You may be wondering how they lit the roof of the building at night like that. You'll be surprised to learn that they actually launched into orbit a satellite carrying a powerful spotlight. The satellite receives signals from an antenna woven inside the big BattleBots banner and automatically points the spotlight to shine on the area surrounding the banner. At all times. Which makes it really hard for Greg Munson to sleep when he stores that banner in his house during the off-season.

That shot is followed by a quick pan past lights in the arena area. This is what it would look like if you were Herr GepoŁnden.

Next we see Bil Dwyer running down a sidewalk in San Francisco at night. The crew told you that you shouldn't have made fun of that pimp's wardrobe, Bil!

Then a shot of some fans in the stands, pumping their fists in the air. Oddly, this "fight fight fight" motion is taking place after the tournament, as the builders are accepting their awards.

Then that rat mascot for the BattleRat team, playing its tail like an electric guitar. It's all really jovial until you realize that the guy in the rat suit really does think he's a six foot-tall rat with a musical instrument for a tail. Please give him money for psychiatric help. Please.

Next, Tim Green places his fist out toward Bil. Bil responds by gently placing his fist against Tim's. Tim takes this as a sign that Bil does want to fight, and pummels him within an inch of his life.

Then we see Tony Rock talking on a cell phone, quickly putting it down so he can speak into his microphone. Pretty gutsy to just hang up on the British Prime Minister like that.

Then a very brief shot of Arj in the pits. He's lost and scared. Don't get too close -- you never know how he'll react when he's on the defensive.

Then a shot of Carmen in front of the green or blue wall, swinging her head around and lifting up her top. Lifting up? Apparently that last check didn't clear.

A shot of the crowd cheering. They just saw Gary Coleman wander too close to T-Minus.

Then a shot of Tim laughing. He just said the word "titillate."

Quickly followed by a shot of Bil with a shocked expression on his face. He's going to tell teacher that Tim said "titillate."

Next, it's one of the people in monkey suits approaching the camera. Ugh, that reminds me too much of my Uncle Charlie at a family reunion.

Then a shot of the golden-colored nut rotating near the bay. Not even a light bulb? Boy, San Francisco's lighthouse budget must have taken a huge cut.

Then a shot of Bil dismissing a wax replica of... somebody important in San Francisco. He then sees a wax replica of Felipe Alou and punches it because of the money he lost during the World Series.

That's followed by a shot of Carmen in the "Professor Electra" setting, laughing. In full profile. One of the men playing her students just asked her out on a date.

Then two shots of builders in the pits playing with the Custom Series toys -- two Vlad the Impalers and an El Diablo. Jonathan Ridder, eager to fight again after his early defeat, brings Ziggo over unannounced and destroys them all.

Next, it's a shot of two clearly insane people with silver paint on their bodies. The cameraman quickly backs away and the tranquilizer squad is immediately dispatched.

Then a shot of a cable car zooming by. The reason it's moving so fast is because Keanu Reeves is onboard. There's not a bomb wired into the cable car or anything -- the driver is simply trying to crash because Keanu Reeves is onboard.

Then Carmen Electra turns away from looking at the BattleBox to look into the camera. The camera lens is a better reflective surface than the Lexan on the BattleBox.

Then a shot of a woman in the crowd who has attached two large foam nuts to her shirt, over her breasts. She'd better watch out for the guy in the crowd who has a large foam bolt.

Then Tony Rock beats up a loaf of bread. Man, first that segment with Slap 'Em Silly last season and now this -- what does this show have against bread?

Then Bil reacts to something. He just saw Tim trip over a cable and land on the table of bagels and cream cheese.

Finally, Carmen waves good-bye. She then walks out of the building, gets into her limousine, and demands to be taken back to the hotel. However, the limo driver is still inside, watching the heavyweight finals. So Carmen jumps behind the wheel and puts the pedal to the metal. When the driver returns from watching the fights, he lets Carmen know that she needs the keys to be able to drive away.


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