I haven't been this excited since my eyebrows grew back!
Here's a nearly verbatim quote from me as soon as I find out what fight they'll be showing tonight:
"OH MAN. Oh, man! Oh man. Oh man. Oh man. Oh man. Oh man. Oh man! Oh man! Oh man. Oh man. Oh man. Oh man. Oh man..."
Honestly. I'm not kidding. I sat there, saying "Oh man" for about twenty seconds straight.
I knew it! I knew they couldn't restrain themselves! They always show the most exciting fights first! And they're going to show it tonight! Hazard versus T-Minus! Oh man!
I'm not even paying attention to what they're saying. I think they used the word "unprecedented" again, except this time a fourth championship really would be unprecedented. But I'm still too busy saying "Oh man" to care.
Bil and Tim talk. Are they going to kill all the suspense, or are they going to make us wait?
They're making us wait! That's a smart move, show-wise. I know I'm not leaving this chair until that Hazard versus T-Minus fight is over. Not even if there's a fire.
But right now Turtle is going to take on S.O.B. The seriously scratched-up Turtle has added an additional metal plate to its front. S.O.B., on the other hand--
Ah! Out of nowhere, here comes Carmen Electra, telling us that in its last fight, S.O.B. bent its saw arm. Carmen has had a higher proportion of relevant things to say in her role this season. If they keep this up, they might start to think she's a crucial member of the on-air talent.
It's middleweight semifinal robot fightin' time. Turtle immediately swerves off to the left. S.O.B. kind of dances around in the middle of the Box. Turtle charges S.O.B.
Turtle hits the side of S.O.B., ramps up it, and looks like it eagerly jumps into S.O.B.'s dustpan. "Please shove me against the wall and scrape me up!"
S.O.B. decides against shoving Turtle against the wall, since it would appear that Turtle's wheels are off the ground, and just stops to lower the arm (which, as it turns out, isn't broken). But Turtle escapes before S.O.B. can hit it.
Turtle drives around and presses against the side of S.O.B. Turtle pushes, and S.O.B. is rudely shoved sideways toward the wall. S.O.B. spins out of it and tries to capture Turtle. It doesn't quite do it, though, and both robots leave the corner.
Turtle tries to shove S.O.B. S.O.B. is the one to do the shoving, though, pushing Turtle into a wall and into the dustpan. S.O.B. lowers its saw onto Turtle. The only thing that happens is that the saw stops spinning.
S.O.B. raises the saw and tries again. It rotates against Turtle's shell, but no visible damage is done. Not even any sparks! The saw stops again.
S.O.B. gets out from underneath Turtle. Turtle doesn't move. So S.O.B. gets under it again. The saw whacks Turtle, but there's still no damage. The camera zooms in for a really tight close-up. I guess there are a couple of really tiny sparks. Turtle's got the right kind of armor for this fight, whatever it is.
S.O.B. backs up and rams Turtle against the wall again. Turtle remains motionless. S.O.B. gets under Turtle from the side and pushes it over the non-spinning floor spinner (those things haven't been working for the better part of this season). Turtle drives away. Then it quits moving again.
S.O.B. lines itself up, charges, and shoves Turtle under a sledgehammer. Whack. That got Turtle to drive away.
Positioning. Then Turtle quits moving. S.O.B. gets under, gets out from under it, and Turtle moves again. S.O.B. pushes Turtle back under the hammer. Turtle takes another blow, then drives away.
Turtle pushes on the back of S.O.B., forcing S.O.B. over a killsaw. Then Turtle gets touched by a killsaw. Turtle stops moving.
S.O.B. drives around a bit, then pushes Turtle into another wall. S.O.B. tries again with its saw, but that's really doing nothing to Turtle. Turtle rams into the inside of S.O.B.'s dustpan.
S.O.B. backs off. Turtle chases it. S.O.B. captures Turtle again and takes it to the sledgehammer on the opposite side of the Box. It takes a little positioning before S.O.B. gets the edge of Turtle under the hammer. One hit. The two bots separate.
S.O.B. drives around. Turtle drives around near the wall. Turtle's looking a little woozy. It drives over some saws. Time is up. S.O.B. performs the victory spin.
As well it should, as it won that fight in a 31-14 judges' decision. Which means that Team Sony Online Entertainment must talk to... dum dum dum... Carmen Electra! She's back on the interviewing floor! Meanwhile, Jim Smentowski declines Tony Rock's offer to let him look down his shirt. Man, those robot builders get all the perqs.
Okay, since they're also showing the middleweight finals tonight, that means Hazard versus T-Minus has to be coming up next, right? No! It's filler! It's the fictional life of Jim Smentowski. The television crew told local businesses to let Jim shave a man's face, lead a group of retired people in arm exercises, toss pizza dough (actually, he's not bad at that), play bridge with the aforementioned retired people, read at a dock, play offensive tackle for the San Francisco 49ers, go bungee jumping, and negotiate a hostage situation. Well, the last three got edited out. But I'm sure they really happened.
Up next is the fight we're all dying to see. After this BattleBots trivia. "True or false: It's OK for a BattleBot to run on the same kind of gasoline used in a car." Trying to run on top of gasoline wouldn't provide much friction for the tires, would it?
After three minutes of commercials (I wanna see Hazard versus T-Minus! My head's gonna explode!), we learn that the shocking answer is "True." The secret weapon on my robot is going to be a bag of sugar.
Yes, that's Lombard Street. Where's the fight?! Aiiieeeee!
No! I don't want to meet artist Christian Ristow, who makes large destructive machines for performance art! He has nothing to do with Hazard versus T-Minus! Pretty soon, I'm going to have a stroke while watching a television show!
No! Now Tim's talking about his football career! They're doing this to me on purpose! I'm starting to twitch uncontrollably!
There! (starts to take deep breaths) There's Hazard. Okay, we see it defeating past opponents this season. Good. It's got an undefeated streak of 17 wins going for it. Okay.
And there's T-Minus. It's ready with those wheel covers and has added an extension to its lifting arm for this fight (it also has a couple of random pieces of metal sticking off the back). There it is defeating its past opponents this season. Right. Good.
There are the introductions. The fight is imminent. My body tenses up.
The box is locked! The lights are on! It has never been robot fightin' time as much as it is right now!
Hazard spins up in its square. T-Minus doesn't even bother to try to old "rush 'em before they spin up" strategy, instead inching out of its square. Hazard drives directly toward T-Minus. T-Minus has its flipping arm pointed at Hazard. The two are going to connect...
Hazard runs into T-Minus. Some sparks. T-Minus doesn't move. Hazard doesn't quite seem to be reaching T-Minus with its blade. Hazard backs off. Just as it gets away, T-Minus activates the flipping arm. Miss.
T-Minus lands on the ground. Hazard comes forward again, making more sparks on T-Minus' titanium wheel guards. T-Minus slowly brings its arm up. The top of the arm grazes the underside of Hazard's spinning blade, creating sparks. T-Minus lowers its arm. Hazard backs up a bit. T-Minus activates its flipping arm again. Another miss.
Hazard moves toward T-Minus again. Hazard's front wedge is on top of T-Minus' arm. T-Minus activates the arm. The arm pushes up on Hazard's front wedge, knocking the wedge into Hazard's own spinning blade. An explosion of sparks! Hazard hits its own wedge, spinning the robot around in midair! When Hazard lands and stops spinning, we see that the wedge is stuck on top of the blade! Hazard can't spin its blade!
Hazard has its back to T-Minus. T-Minus does some careful positioning. Hazard tries to figure out what to do with a useless front wedge and an inactive blade. T-Minus gets under the rear of Hazard. T-Minus activates the flipping arm. Hazard goes up into the air. It bounces on the blade as it lands.
HAZARD IS ON ITS BACK! HAZARD IS ON ITS BACK!
That's the end! Team Inertia Labs goes crazy, pounding on the Lexan! The audience applauds! Tony Buchignani also applauds! I start screaming unintelligible syllables at my television!
There's the countdown. Hazard has been taken out of the tournament. Oh. My. Word.
Replays. In the post-fight interviews, Alexander Rose explains how T-Minus was designed specifically with Hazard in mind. Tony Buchignani reflects on the burden that has been lifted from his shoulders now that Hazard has been shown not to be invincible. Must've been a long interview; we can see one of the heavyweight semifinals start in the background.
Tim and Bil prepare to get us all worked up about the finals between T-Minus and S.O.B. That's going to be hard after what we just saw. I can't even get up out of my seat right now. Wow.
After the commercials, it's another installment of This Date in Bot History. Carmen asks us if we remember where we were on this day in 2001. Jeez, I don't even remember where I was last week. However, we're told that about a year ago (it has to have been over a year, as season three was well into reruns by December), we got to see the very quick Toro versus Phere fight (I still like that fight, no matter what anybody says). They very nearly got the entire fight shown again in that little segment.
No more filler, it's time for the middleweight finals. S.O.B. has had to win eight fights to reach this point. Being one of the top seeds, T-Minus has only had to participate in half as many fights. I don't know if that will affect the performance of the robots out there, but I just thought it was impressive that S.O.B. has won eight fights in a row this tournament.
It's championship fightin' time. S.O.B. takes the long way out of its square, making a wide right turn. T-Minus heads for the center of the Box. S.O.B. spins in place. Is it trying to scoop up T-Minus or hit it with the saw that's sticking out of the back?
S.O.B. does neither, driving away. Bil says that this could be the fight that everyone's going to want to see. Quit kidding yourselves, you know full well that we already saw the fight that everyone wanted to see.
S.O.B. has scooped under one of T-Minus' wheels and is pushing the robot around. It brings the saw down, not onto T-Minus, but into the dustpan, where as it pushes T-Minus some more, the saw runs into T-Minus' side. Fortunately for S.O.B., unlike Turtle, T-Minus is made of titanium, allowing the saw to make beautiful sparks.
T-Minus is really getting shoved around. It pops the flipping arm to try to escape (like it did against Huggy Bear), but that only lets S.O.B. more easily get under T-Minus. S.O.B. shoves T-Minus against the wall. It brings the saw down onto T-Minus' flipping arm. It starts making sparks on the second try. At the same time, T-Minus activates its arm again, knocking S.O.B.'s arm back.
But T-Minus is still stuck in S.O.B.'s dustpan. However, S.O.B. backs off, letting T-Minus go free. T-Minus chases after S.O.B., which is trying to position itself again.
T-Minus just watches S.O.B., which is doing a lot of driving, but little attacking. S.O.B. drives itself over some saws.
S.O.B. drives toward T-Minus, getting its dustpan on top of T-Minus' flipping arm. T-Minus knows what to do -- it quickly fires the arm upward.
Whoa, what happened there? It looks like that as T-Minus prepared to flip, it drove forward so as to keep its arm under S.O.B. But as T-Minus was driving forward, its right wheel slightly drove up onto S.O.B.'s dustpan. The force between T-Minus' arm going up and its wheel wanting to stay on the ground keeps S.O.B.'s body on the floor and instead flips T-Minus onto its back (it's the same thing we saw happen during The Matador versus frenZy).
Who loves watching T-Minus self-right? We do! Probably because it always takes a few tries. The first two attempts don't get T-Minus to flip all the way over. On the third attempt, S.O.B. misses on a charge and T-Minus performs a 360, landing on its back again. The fourth attempt is another 360. T-Minus finally gets back on its wheels on its fifth try to self-right.
S.O.B. has its saw behind the dustpan, so it attacks T-Minus with the rear. Only one spark, though. T-Minus turns around and gets its arm underneath the back of S.O.B. The arm goes up, and this time S.O.B. is the one to get some air.
S.O.B. cartwheels through the air, landing back on its wheels. That looked cool. S.O.B. also lands on the saws, which push it away.
T-Minus tries to flip S.O.B. from the side, but misses. S.O.B. backs away. T-Minus chases.
T-Minus successfully gets under the side of S.O.B. this time, and the arm goes up again. S.O.B. is flipped onto its back.
This isn't a huge problem for S.O.B., because it does have the power in its saw arm to self-right. As S.O.B. self-rights, though, T-Minus shoves it against the wall. The dustpan self-rights onto the spike strip. T-Minus gives S.O.B. a little pop with the flipping arm to hold it there. Then T-Minus backs off to see if S.O.B. is stuck.
And indeed S.O.B. is. With the one corner of its dustpan resting on the spike strip, neither of S.O.B.'s wheels is touching the ground, rendering the robot helpless. T-Minus stays away, content to watch S.O.B. flop its saw arm back and forth.
S.O.B. continues to twitch and struggle. T-Minus drives around to get itself at a better angle to S.O.B. should S.O.B. free itself. But there's no way T-Minus is willingly going to put S.O.B. back on the ground -- definitely not with the championship on the line.
The countdown draws closer and closer to zero. S.O.B. is doing everything it can, but it can't get itself off that spike strip. There's zero, and T-Minus performs the victory spin. Inertia Labs becomes the second team to win championships in two weight classes.
Replays, then commercials. One weight class down, three to go.
In the Hit of the Week, the show continues to pretend that the middleweight finals were more exciting than the semifinals. Look, it was a good final, but let's be realistic here. I know which fight I rewound and watched five or six times immediately after the episode ended, and it wasn't the one we just saw.
Apparently presentation of the giant nut is now in the hands of Carmen Electra during the post-fight interview, who makes brief mention of it before going into the questioning. She whips out the rubbing salt by asking if this victory makes up for Toro's performance in the super heavyweight brackets. You thought we were going to let you enjoy your championship, did you?
Recap of the episode, then Reason Bradley expresses his feelings about defeating Hazard while fake flash bulbs give me fits. Then the credits.
And so ends Hazard's undefeated streak. Still, 17 wins in a row is mighty impressive, and something that I suspect won't be beaten for a long time. Actually, since BattleBots is looking for a new network and not holding tournaments at the moment, it's safe to say that if only BattleBots victories are counted, Hazard is going to hold that title for quite some while. By comparison, BioHazard, the robot most likely to beat Hazard's streak of 17 wins in a row, has only 7 straight wins going for it right now. So, yeah, I think Hazard's made a name for itself in the BattleBots record books.
Here are some other records that Hazard will hold for quite some while:
Only one of two repeat champions whose names, when spelled and capitalized correctly, are not flagged by a standard spell-checker.
Robot that would look the funniest while wearing a three-piece suit.
Only winning robot whose name can be seen on street signs.
Robot where it would be the stupidest idea to stand on it and ride it around while it's fully operational.
Only robot whose name reminds me of that show about those brothers named Bo and Luke.
Most successful robot that people are the least likely to recognize.
Robot that most frequently appears in that recurring dream where you're running down a long hallway in an elementary school and a combat robot is chasing after you while you hear Elmer Fudd sing "Kill the Wabbit" from "What's Opera, Doc?". Right?
Best deterrent to force your children to do things they don't want to do, such as make their bed or get a flu shot.
Most likely to be turned into a giant-sized carnival ride.