Robot Combat

BattleBots Season 2 Review: Episode 4

Poison Arrow vs Son of Whyachi

BattleBots season 2 review of episode 4, the one with the most insane BattleBots fight ever

Before we get nuts (and bolts) deep into episode 4, a quick note about the awesome community of builders and drivers that make this so much fun for all of us.

You guys rock.

I make a lot of jokes and pokes and certainly chose my favorites, but it’s all with tongue planted firmly in cheek. The BattleBots community is about as joyful, humble, motivated, and genuinely pleasant as a group of humans who love robots could possibly be. I consider myself to be lucky to carve out my small little piece of that tasty pie every week.

So as I wipe away a few indebted tears, let’s get to it!

With the sudden misfortune of having to suffer through a hiatus two weeks ago, we’re back with a recap for an episode most of you probably never saw live due to a certain politician that will remain nameless using up all the ABC airtime with his orange face.

All the better to join us here and catch up on anything you might have missed!

This week we’re back with more elimination round carnage as the big hitters and true contenders rise to the surface of the pool once filled with pretenders, wannabes, and Witch Doctor (sorry, had to). It’s already episode 4, and we’ve yet to get a proper look at a few giants in the sport – namely, top seed Tombstone, Stinger, and Bite Force. Tonight is finally the night we get to see Mad Matt Maxham unleash his bombastic, plexi-glass pounding personality on the millions of viewers who’ve shown up to see him.

Or not.

In untraditional fashion, our fearless hosts went through each of the matches with a bit of a preview before rushing off to the first fight. I’ll be honest: it didn’t quite flow for me. The only thing that saved the choppy segment was a slow-mo shot of Chuck Pitzer looking up at the camera while flexing his biceps and probably squeezing out a fart.

So with that, IT’S ROBOT FIGHTIN’ TIME!

Bout #1: (10) Complete Control vs. (23) Warhead

Complete Control Captain: Derek Young

Complete Control Season 2 Team

It’s the match of the crazy Brits versus the even crazier Derek Young, who at this point I’m assuming is an actual alien. Him and Complete Control made unprecedented use of the grab-and-flame technique in the opening round that proved, yes indeed, flamebots can actually be effective in this competition.

I wouldn’t count on the same tactic working against Warhead, though, a robot with as reckless an abandon as any we’ve seen enter the Battle Box. If Derek expects to manage to grab hold of that wild beast he’s got another thing coming – and it’s coming with the altogether force of the United Kingdom’s finest maniacs.

Warhead Captains: Simon Roy Scott & Ian Anthony Lewis

Warhead Season 2 Team

Speaking of those maniacs…

Even though they’ve lost in embarrassing fashion in pretty much every fight I’ve seen them in, I can’t help but love these guys. They go for it, and win or lose you’ll never see these two without a big, bright, jagged English smile on their pie-shaped faces.

They’ve modified Warhead with it’s most powerful, unpredictable drum spinner yet. This bot has made a habit of doing more damage to itself than any of its opponents, so I’d bet Derek Young is going to try and take advantage of that fact going in.

That’s the kind of all or nothing approach to battle botting that makes this matchup so intriguing.

Faruq is out of the gate with an always welcomed ‘s’more’ reference, and we’re officially into the action this week!

Let’s Battle Some Bots!!

The opening seconds looked more like a low-budget professional wrestling match where the opposing wrestlers run full-speed into each other and both hit the canvas in a fake, questionably acted ‘haze.’ It comes at the hand of a massive first strike from Warhead, leaving both bots dazed and a tad confused.

Then the heat got turned up.

In a wild and brilliant bit of maneuvering Overhead sends Complete Control flying in a fiery heap as it dances across the arena floor on the top of it’s drum spinner. There’s honestly no way I could possibly describe what the hell just happened. Hell, I don’t think Isaac fucking Newton could describe what just happened. This is rightfully being described as the greatest BattleBots fight of all time.

It all ended with Complete Control smouldering and two British best friends gleefully hopping around in a tender embrace.

KO. Warhead.

The Numbers
Carnage: 10
Technique: 7
Evenness: 7
Entertainment: 10

Overall Score (not an average): 9

Hot Take: Now that I’ve said it, BattleBots actually is a lot like professional wrestling.

Bout #2: (15) Razorback vs. (18) Ghost Raptor

Ghost Raptor Captain: Chuck Pitzer

Ghost Raptor BattleBots Season 2 Team

Our old friend Chuck is back in the Battle Box by the grace of the robot gods. He’s been gifted a second chance after getting his teeth knocked out against Son of Whyachi in the opening round. Since he’s basically playing with house money at this point, there’s no reason for Chuck to pull any punches. It’s now or never – and if he wants to wash that taste of embarrassing defeat out of his mouth he’s going to have to do something special.

As much (good-spirited) shade I throw his way, I gotta hand it to Chaz for getting Ghost Raptor back to fighting shape in such little time considering the savage beat down it suffered in episode 1. He worked his ass off putting Humpty Dumpty back together, and the fact that he’s even good to go is no small feat.

Razorback Captain: Zach Bieber

Razorback BattleBots Season 2 Team

Brought to you by Dollar Shave Club and the folks at Hairy Bodied Men of America, it’s Razorback! Okay, it isn’t brought to you by either of those things, but Razorback is nonetheless here and looking to make a name for itself in the sport.

Not much is known about this robot or the team of engineers who created it. It’s a bot that can beat you in a few different ways, and will look to go right at Chuck before he can get what’s left of his spinner up to speed. Razorback boasts a nasty set of claws and an incredibly nimble chassis. I wouldn’t be surprised if the better driver won this fight (channeling my inner John Madden).

Let’s Battle Some Bots!!

Before Ghost Raptor even knows the match has started Razorback is on him like flies on dinosaur shit ramming it back into the screws.

GR manages to get free long enough to gather some momentum with the spinner and send a piece of Razorback flying. It doesn’t appear to have phased the clamp-bot, who quickly counters with a bit of crafty driving from Zach “don’t call me Justin” Bieber.

Razorback suplexes Ghost Raptor and leaves the pride and joy of Chuck Pitzer looking like a handicapped Johnny 5 – spinning on it’s head and unable to do a damn thing. Razorback toys with Ghost Raptor before ushering it into the corner where the hammers lay a few humiliating poundings before the ref counts down to zero.

Not a good showing, Chuck. Not good at all.

KO. Razorback.

The Numbers
Carnage: 5
Technique: 8
Evenness: 6
Entertainment: 6

Overall Score (not an average): 6

Hot Take: Rock bottom for Chuck Pitzer. See you next year, guy.

Bout #3: (1) Tombstone vs. (32) Escape Velocity

Tombstone Captain: Ray Billings

Tombstone BattleBots Season 2 Team

Ray has been oddly absent from the BattleBots production up to this point considering the infamy and pomp surrounding his camp. He made quick work of Blacksmith in round 1, but this is the first real good look we are getting at the bot this year.

This round Tombstone is fixed with it’s secondary ‘blue’ blade as a way to preserve the durability and effectiveness of its main blade. Could Ray perhaps be underestimating the 32 seed in the competition? Probably not, but it is curious that Ray wouldn’t just bring two of the same, equally as good blades along for the ride. Then again, I’m not a robot engineer so what the fuck do I know?

Escape Velocity Captain: Raymond Barsa

Escape Velocity BattleBots Season 2 Team

Team Escape Velocity seem to be embracing the ‘nothing to lose’ attitude many bot drivers find themselves preaching when going up against mega-star Ray Billings and Tombstone. They are a group of young builders fairly new to the sport and will try and use the arena the best they can to keep Tombstone at bay. One shot from the most feared weapon in the sport could send this astro-bot straight to the moon.

And the award for best Faruq intro ever in the history of the universe goes to…

“NASA might be going to Mars, but this robots headed for…Uranus!”

Let’s Battle Some Bots!

And the fight starts with Tombstone going right at OH MY GOD…oh God. Oh no.

Nothing to see here, folks. Just move along. The next fight will be starting shortly. Please avert your kids’ eyes and ears as we scrape this poor robot’s dead carcass off the BattleBox floor.

(null)

(null)

KO. Tombstone.

The Numbers
Carnage: 8
Technique: 6
Evenness: 1
Entertainment: 5

Overall Score (not an average): 6

Hot Take: I suppose that went pretty much as expected.

Bout #4: (6) Son of Whyachi vs. (27) Poison Arrow

SOW Captain: Terry Ewert and sons

SOW BattleBots Season 2 Team

Terry is on what can only be described as ‘a mission’ this year. He’s plump full of confidence with an added dash of rage. It’s a dangerous combination that has team SOW as focused as any team in the competition. Terry insists we’ve yet to see the best of SOW, which is a brave statement considering how it took apart Ghost Raptor in the qualifying rounds.

However, this match has all the right ingredients for an upset: an over confident veteran driver; a relatively unknown team with nothing to lose; and it’s the fourth and final match of the night which means anything could happen. We all know SOW has the potential to destroy itself, and that unpredictability alone could see Terry going home early once again.

Poison Arrow Captain: Zach Goff

Poison Arrow BattleBots Season 2 Team

Poison arrow has just the right thing to potentially slow down Son of Whyachi. It has a vertical drum spinner a la Matador that is the perfect counter to the point-loaded spinner that is SOW’s primary weapon. If those two unstoppable forces meet head on, there’s no telling what kind of carnage might result.

Zach and his team are young, dumb, and love to chew gum (I think that’s how it goes). They’re also incredibly smart and have built a solid robot with a potent weapon. They also have a drone, which I predict will do absolutely nothing once again.

Let’s Battle Some Bots!

“Do you think that drone could be effective against Son of Whyachi, Kenny?”

“Uhhh. No.”

Pretty much sums up my thoughts on the match.

That drone might not be effective, but that baaaad mother of a vertical spinner sure is! A direct and ferocious hit sends SOW flying higher than I’ve seen a robot fly in the BattleBox. And that’s saying something considering the size and weight of Son of Whyachi.

Terry Ewert and sons have no emotion, so they don’t really show any as their bot slowly gets counted down to zero after suffering the hit of the tournament so far. Underestimating Poison Arrow was what lead to the fall of this empire.

(null)

(null)

KO. Poison Arrow.

The Numbers
Carnage: 8
Technique: 7
Evenness: 8
Entertainment: 6

Overall Score (not an average): 7

Hot Take: That robot just got launched 10 feet in the air. I love this fucking show.

Episode Review: 7

A couple of yawners bookended by two hair-raisers with a bit of unnecessary filler mixed in. Still, it was worth the wait. Hopefully this week’s episode doesn’t lose airtime because of the other politician.

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