BattleBots season 2 review of the best fights in episode 3
It’s episode 3 time! Or as I like to call it: when the gettins gets good. The past two weeks featured a maelstrom of rapid fire bot battles that would leave even the most screwed on head spinning like the Son of Whyachi. This week we start the knock-out rounds, where lesser robot teams can no longer rest on the laurels of a wildcard prospect. The stakes are high and the tension higher.
“We always assume any fight could be our last.” – Alexander Rose from Team Bronco
Throughout the knockout rounds, viewers finally have the privilege of feasting their greedy eyes on the likes of Ray Billings, Mad Matt Maxham, and last year’s champion, Jake Ventimiglia and Bite Force. These super stars of the sport were mysteriously glossed over in the qualifying rounds, but I’m guessing the powers that be may be saving them for more significant matches. I’ll grant them that excuse even if I vehemently disagree with it. More Maxham is never a bad thing.
32 teams enter. One leaves with a big ol’ nut under his/her arm.
For the second straight year Tombstone has secured the coveted number one seed. It’s about as much a surprise as driver Ray Billings being smug and insufferable as the consummate dream crusher. I’ll be honest: Ray’s machismo and bravado has slowly started to win me over. I mean, even Darth Vader had his fans, right?
Other seeding notes…
-Which Doctor at a 3 seed is a HUGE and well-deserved jump from a year ago. Will Andrea and team Voodoo be able to live up to the hype? Is that foreshadowing being laid on too thick? Only time will tell.
Both Ewert family robots occupy the same bracket quadrant with the 6 seed for Son of Whyachi and the 22 seed for Warrior Clan.
Minotaur with a low 7 seed looks to be on a collision course with tournament favorite Bronco. More on this titillating matchup later in the review, as both teams were featured in episode 3. Yes, I used ‘titillating’ and there ain’t shit you can do about it!
Stinger and Bite Force are in the same bracket quadrant with the 4 and 5 seeds, respectively. We’ll still have to wait another week to see these giants in the sport in action, which I can’t say I’m too thrilled about. I need me some Maxham.
All this ‘seed’ and ‘giant nut’ talk has got me all excited, so let’s get into this week’s fights!
Bout #1: (12) Yeti vs. (21) Lucky
Lucky Driver: Marc Demers
Lucky is one of our lucky (heh heh) wildcard drivers who sneaked into the elimination round. If you remember from the qualifying rounds, Marc Demers leads a team of Canadians that are actually from Vermont and are just a little bit obnoxious about their border-jumping ways.
Lucky has a tall order against the fearless Yeti, who boasts a powerful drum spinner and a ‘nothing-to-lose’ attitude. If Lucky can wedge under Yeti and drive him around the arena and outlast the sometimes reckless driving style of Greg Gibson.
Yeti Driver: Greg Gibson
Yeti is one of my favorite newbies in this year’s competition. It’s an underdog story I have a feeling viewers will get behind in a line longer than waiting for Backstreet Boys tickets circa 2001. Yes. Longer than even that.
Greg is playing with all the house money, and didn’t even bring a back-up drum spinner because he didn’t think he’d make it out of the opening round. His bot took a bit of a beating in episode one, so we’ll see if it has enough left to take out the scrappy Lucky. He even had to buy an extra wheel from team Bronco to give his bot a fighting chance. I really hope this guy makes a deep run this year.
Let’s Battle Some Bots!!
I’ve always like Canadians, but these guys have a bit too much maple syrup in their beards.
Slow start to the match as each robot sizes up the other. After a few failed attempts to get close, Yeti lands a few mammoth shots as parts of Lucky fly this way and that to all corners of the Battle Box. The wedge and flipper of Lucky are ripped right off it’s chassis, as any hope of scorning points swirl down the drain. Yeti sends sparks flying as Lucky is grinded down to a heap of motionless scrap metal.
Yeti loses one of those wheels it bartered away from Bronco, but it has little effect on the steely-eyed will of Greg Gibson, who relentlessly chips away at Lucky. Yeti don’t give a fuck.
Yeti dances around the Battle Box like a victorious maniac. Have I mentioned how much I love this guy?
Total Score (not an average): 8.5
Hot Take: Yeti is my new favorite (sorry Matt Maxham).
Bout #2: (7) Minotaur vs (26) Blacksmith
Blacksmith Driver: Al Kindle
BS had the unfortunate luck of drawing Bronco in the opening rounds. The legendary bot made slow but one-sided work of this determined newcomer with a flaming hammer of destruction. Blacksmith was granted a wildcard spot on upside alone, and driver Al Kindle is hell bent on making a name for himself and his home state, New Jersey.
I gotta say: I’m not crazy about the flaming hammer in this competition. The Battle Box is full of powerful hammers and they do little more than be really fucking loud and give something for Chris and Kenny to yammer about. If what they say about Minotaur is true, Blacksmith could be in for another bot beat down.
Minotaur Driver: Marco Antonio Meggiolaro
Minotaur had a good-not-great showing in round one. It certainly won emphatically, but didn’t quite live up to the reputation as the most feared bot on the planet. I’d love to see that version of Minotaur tonight. Carnage is what I crave! Give me some sweet sweet robot carnage! Ahem…
Once that spinning drum gets up to speed and be sounding like a roaring jet engine, look out. Anything that gets squared up with that beast finds itself seeing red. Is a minotaur a bull’s head with a horse’s body? Or a bull’s head with a human’s body? I never remember. Whatever it is, this one’s driven by a team of wiley Sao Paulians who came here to get their nut.
Let’s Battle Some Bots!!
“It’s raining, it’s pouring, it’s time for some goring.” Wondering how long it took Faruq to come up with a rhyme for “goring.” Probably too long.
This is the big fight of the night. Minotaur comes out strong with a few blasts that send parts of Blacksmith flailing. Guys…the stories are true. This robot can fucking fight.
“It looks like Michael Strahan’s smile!!” Best thing Chris Rose has ever said as Blacksmith loses more and more of it’s pretty face. Words can not quite do justice the scene of horror and destruction that is happening in the Battle Box right now. He actually does look like Michael Strahan’s smile.
That’s the carnage I’m talking about!! This is as entertaining as a bot battle has ever been (that’s saying something). Minotaur leaves a sad, flaming Blacksmith internally smoldering after the absolutely relentless pummeling it just endured. Looks like Minotaur who has finally lived up to its reputation. WOW!
Bout Result – KO. Minotaur.
Total Score (not an average): 10
Hot Take: I don’t care if it was largely one-sided, that’s how the fuck you battle bots.
Bout #3: (2) Bronco vs. (31) ChromeFly
ChromeFly Driver: George Matus
ChromeFly is in a tough spot here as the second-to-lowest seed in the competition. It means a couple of things: 1) it probably made it into the elimination round solely because of its gimmicky drone; and 2) it will be going up against an opponent far superior to itself. However, this is still a big moment for 18 year old George Matus as he gets his first taste of the big leagues.
I really don’t expect much out of the drone, but the double horizontal blade spinners could have an impact against Bronco. Remember last year when Bronco was knocked out by that very weapon by way of Tombstone. I’m not saying ChromeFly is anywhere near that level of devastation, but it’s worth mentioning nonetheless.
Also, our host of the fairer sex would like to see a drone, so who am I to denier her such a pleasure?
Bronco Drivers: Alexander Rose and Reason Bradley
Bronco was none too happy about getting bounced by Tombstone last year, and has made modifications specifically geared towards keeping the most feared weapon in the competition at bay. A set of reinforced steel fenders were built to take punishment from horizontal blade spinners, meaning this fight against ChromeFly could be a welcome warm up to see how well they’ve done just that.
Bronco has always been the class of the sport, but if these modifications hold up it could be their tournament to lose.
Let’s Battle Some Bots!!
“Those millennials do look focused, Chris.” is the first time anyone has ever said that ever. Kenny is so edgy.
Bronco starts the match going ass-backwards right at ChromeFly inviting a direct hit from those horizontal spinners, and a direct hit it gets! Only instead of inflicting any pinch of damage, said horizontal spinners crumble and fold at the strength of Bronco’s reinforced ass armor. Which then prompts Alex Rose to say:
“Take it out.”
He utters the words with cold determination before sending ChromeFly packing. Well…that was fast. Maybe they need to get some guys from Rotor Riot to pilot their drone.
I’m afraid ChromeFly never had a chance. At least you can cry your eyes out over a bed of silicone valley supplied tech money. Oh wait…that’s me crying my eyes out over a bed of no money.
Bout Result – KO. Bronco.
Total Score (not an average): 6
Hot Take: Yawn.
Bout #4: (3) Witch Doctor vs. (30) Red Devil
Witch Doctor Driver: Andrea Suarez
A well deserved 3 seed accompanies Witch Doctor into the elimination rounds. Loads of people have high hopes for last year’s breakout star. Andrea Suarez is reintroducing everyone’s favorite useless flame slash mini bot, Shaman, into the competition with a brand new flamethrower and the same old uselessness. But hey, a fan favorite is a fan favorite.
Witch Doctor is looking to outdrive Red Devil, who is a newcomer with a unique, interchangeable design that can tailor its strategy based on the opponent. If WD can get into RD with that vertical spinner, it could be lights out.
Red Devil Driver: Jerome Miles
There’s definitely a lot going on with this robot. Red Devil didn’t really impress in the opening round, but then again it didn’t have to. Opponent, Wrecks, pretty much destroyed itself by being a weird walking robot with a giant saw blade that is completely uncontrollable.
As I mentioned, Red Devil has interchangeable weapons it tailors to each opponent. This week it features a sharp vertical spinning saw that hopes to dig into Witch Doctor and Shaman like a buttery hot butter knife through butter. It also has a powerful clamp that can grab hold of Witch Doctor while that blade does its dirty work. That’s the idea, anyway.
Let’s Battle Some Bots!!
Okay, Faruq. I gave you a pass on recycling the “glippity gloppity” gobbledygook, but two weeks in a row? Sorry, bro. I’m calling you out!
Right off the bat Witch Doctor is in trouble! Red Devil driver, Jerome Miles is putting on a clinic. He managed to get a hold of Witch Doctor, avoided the vertical spinner, and let that the saw do its dirty work. The plan has worked perfectly!
Witch Doctor does its best to escape the grasp of Red Devil, but in so doing completely overheats it’s battery pack. A thick cloud of grey smoke fills the arena like some kind of haunted house as one of the frontrunners gets counted down to zero.
Red Devil is a giant killer! We’ve seen our first major upset of the tournament and it comes at the hands of an awkward saw blade spinner clamp multi bot. Oh, and as expected, Shaman did nothing of note.
Bout Result – KO. Red Devil
Total Score (not an average): 8.5
Hot Take: Did NOT see that one coming.
Episode Score: 8
Hot Take: Great start to the knockout round! Lots of action with even more to look forward to next week.