The first episode of the Sweet Sixteen Season 2 Battlebots is an unfortunate mixture of thrilling and boring fights. You could easily rank each battle in terms of how stellar they are going from Warhead vs. Minotaur to Bombshell vs Red Devil. But, nonetheless, the fights we enjoyed, we enjoyed A LOT so let’s take a look!
Warhead vs. Minotaur
By far the best match of the night as this fight was filled with thrilling hits and a strong, lovable sense of sportsmanship. My level of respect for these guys and their bots has increased majorly as team Warhead loved their loss while team Minotaur was grateful to fight such an iconic legend. Although it was over quick, I’m glad Warhead was able to score a good hit before losing his head. This match has certainly shown that Warhead is a worthy battlebot and that there are big things in store for Minotaur.
Hypershock vs. Poison Arrow
This episode was not a good one for vertical spinners as Hypershock’s primary weapon became quickly useless after one use. However, I still thought Hypershock would win despite his handicap as he was doing a good job controlling the battle. Poison Arrow’s drone still remains useless but the drum spinner was highly efficient. It’s safe to say that Poison Arrow has gained my respect as he could pass out the hits while still going strong. It’s amazing that such a small robot can pack a huge punch. Poison Arrow, unlike Red Devil, has shown he’s not just a one-and-done deal. He can dish it out with anyone.
Bronco vs Razorback
Bronco, to the disappointment of many fans, has been playing it smart these past two battles. Unlike other bots with their makeshift wedges, Bronco’s back wedge has been very effective at stalling and even debilitating his opponent’s weapons. I also love that Bronco’s flipper can still launch opponents even if they are on his back. Now that I think about it, Bronco has earned his namesake! Nobody can ride him without being bucked off! I love that. Also, poor Razorback, it just wasn’t his fight as he unfortunately landed on his side which incapacitated him. Add some spikes to the axles and better luck next year guys.
Bombshell vs Red Devil
By far, the worst battle for this episode. I’m sad they ended the episode on this fight as it was pretty anticlimactic. Bombshell’s weapon became useless after one hit and Red Devil just couldn’t use his saw correctly, like, what happened out there guys? The only time you managed to hit Bombshell was in the last 10 seconds of the fight. Too little, too late. I hope Bombshell can step up his A-game cause I would be disappointed if he made it to the Final Four (and at this point, I’m cheering for the current underdog, Poison Arrow, to beat him).
Despite my sorrow and despite my wrong predictions, this has been a great season so far! Upsets galore, vengeful veterans, and wild moments crowd the Round of 32 and it’s so wonderful. Let’s take a look at some general things before we dive into my (very likely wrong) predictions.
First off, only 10 out of the top 16 seeds and 4 out of the top 8 seeds made it to the Sweet Sixteen. I’d figured there’d be upsets but certainly not on this level. Most notable of these upsets were fan favorites, and proven veterans, Witch Doctor, Stinger, Icewave, and Son of Whyachi. The latter three certainly hurt me as I like these robots and their team. Better luck next year guys!
Of the sixteen robots left, two are a horizontal spinner, six are a vertical spinner, two are hammerbots, three are drummers, one is a launcher, one is a clampbot, and one is Warhead. Mind you, some of these robots, like Bombshell, can be different classes so these numbers are based on the preceding fights. Notably absent from this lineup are full-body spinners, lifters, and rambots which got knocked out in the previous rounds like Captain Shrederator, The Ringmaster, Lucky, and Stinger. Also, only Poison Arrow remains with a drone (which have yet to prove their effectiveness). We’ll have to pay attention to this line up and see what remains near the end of the tournament.
Now, one last thing. I honestly think that from here on out, the robots that win will win the hearts of us fans. This is the make or break point for these guys. Some of them, like Red Devil, have to prove that they are not here because of some fluke. They’re here because they deserve it. And if they fail, they’ll sadly be forgotten.
Image from battlebots.com
Tombstone will beat Brutus by KO, blah blah blah, the real match is the Nightmare vs BETA battle! Okay, on the one side you got Nightmare who cleanly fits the definition of an awesome but impractical robot. Then on the other side you got the Battlebots-fan-gone-pro BETA. BETA is also an awesome but impractical robot as his hammer is so strong it can destabilize him. So, who to choose??
In all honesty, I would have to give it to Nightmare. Nightmare may be a glass cannon but this is a fight I honestly think he could win at. Nightmare’s thin design is possibly one of the best counters to BETA’s inaccurate swing. Also, I think Nightmare will just rip chunks out of him similar to his glorious victory over Slamjob many years ago. And then Nightmare will probably lose to Tombstone in the following round as Tombstone could topple Nightmare with a good hit to the wheels.
Image from battlebots.com
Bronco faces a challenging opponent that can easily right himself and is as nimble as a crazed wrestler. Bronco will have to be aggressive and hope that one of his launches will incapacitate Razorback through fall damage or by knocking him out of the ring. Razorback has it worse probably as I honestly think Bronco’s too big for Razorback. Perhaps Razorback can get underneath Bronco and try to drive him to the screws but it would be hard. I’m giving it to Bronco.
Even more fascinating is the Warhead v Minotaur fight. After Warhead’s stellar performance against Complete Control, this battle is looking a little tough to decide! I really, really, want Warhead to win but I think Minotaur’s spinning drum is just too strong. I think Minotaur will toss him this way and that until Warhead just can’t move anymore. Which means that Minotaur will face Bronco. I’m still confident in Bronco so I think he can deliver a launching knockout though I wouldn’t be surprised if Minotaur pulled an upset here.
Image from battlebots.com
This quadrant got hit haaaaaard. Witch Doctor’s gone. Cobalt’s gone. Son of Whyachi’s gone. The only high seed left is Hypershock! This is the quadrant we should all look at as it will really bring in some new stars that will take the mantle of fame. These robots are still fresh or untested so I’m super giddy about it! Red Devil v Bombshell is super tricky as we still know little about them. But, I’m giving it to Bombshell as they have the versatility to win and they won’t be underestimating RD. It’s tough to choose the horizontal blade or axe but I lean towards the blade as it seems effective. Meanwhile, Hypershock and Poison Arrow will be fuuuuun. Will Hypershock bat another drone from the sky? Will Poison Arrow’s furious spinning drum incapacitate Hypershock? For this match, I’m giving it to Hypershock as they seem to have the durability and the strength to take down Poison Arrow.
Hypershock or Bombshell? Again, Hypershock seems reliable so I’m giving it to them on that basis alone. They seem strong, they seem dependable, and I think they can out maneuver Bombshell and win it.
Image from battlebots.com
Bite Force has fought, and won, against all manner of opponents and thus I find it unlikely that their first loss would be to a battlebot that has horrible aim and is highly unstable. Bite Force is dependable but the only thing it has going against it is its vertical spinner which has so far proven to be not very effective. By far, the more interesting match is between Yeti and Mega Tento. Who to choose?? Mega Tento seems big enough to engulf Yeti but Yeti is as agile and aggressive as a monkey so Tento could have a hard time trying to pin Yeti down. On the flip side, Yeti’s spinning drum doesn’t seem as powerful as Minotaur’s so he might have a hard time trying to damage Tento’s awkward frame.
Before the Mega Tento v Stinger fight I would’ve given it to Yeti easily but now I have a hard time deciding. After some consideration, I’m giving it to Yeti who I believe can wedge himself under Tento and do some serious underbelly damage. As for Yeti v Bite Force…Bite Force is strong and reliable but I’m throwing in an upset and giving it to Yeti. I believe Yeti has what it takes to finally defeat Bite Force. I like Bite Force but he’s no Biohazard or Hazard, Bite Force will fall this tournament, mark my words.
Episode Five was definitely the upset episode as three out of the four matches had a lower seed beating an upper seed with one of the matches beating a top eight seed! This was a good episode with crazy fights and awesome moves. Let’s take a look!
Warhead vs Complete Control
This was probably the craziest battle yet this season and I LOVED IT. Flames, collisions, and a break-dancing robot tied everything together nicely. But seriously, the announcers got this right when they compared this fight to Rocky II when the fighters were so badly beaten and just need to move in order to win. Warhead gave possibly the best defeat this season through not only slicing open Complete Control but catching him on fire. It certainly highlights the biggest weakness for flame robots and their vulnerability to their own weapon. But man, Warhead is just nuts with his moves! I love it! And the best part is that Warhead has proven himself worthy after beating a worthy opponent. I hope you go far man, (my bracket is already busted at this point so who cares!).
Razorback vs. Ghost Raptor
Suplex! If Warhead vs CC was the best battle then the suplex was probably the best move for this episode. Razorback has jumped up in favorites for me as I just love how efficiently designed this robot is. Rb is like Complete Control 2.0! Strongly designed, able to right itself easily and very maneuverable, Rb is a great battlebot. Poor GR just didn’t have the power necessary to chew through Rb. That fight against SoW must’ve really hurt him hard. Again, looking forward to seeing RB in the next round!
Tombstone vs Escape Velocity
After this fight, people on reddit called EV “Walmart Bronco” and I’m not surprised. Even though “honeycomb armor” was promised it certainly did not deliver. Tombstone just chewed through him like he was another meal. Tombstone didn’t even break a sweat. Still though, gotta love how the builders of EV dressed up like hardcore nerds.
Poison Arrow vs. Son of Whyachi
Son of Whyachi’s unfortunate losing streak continues this season. It’s a shame that such an iconic robot continues to lose matches. Regardless, at least he went out with a huge BANG and not through some dumb thing like radio trouble. Poison Arrow joins Red Devil in being the underdogs and thanks to the both of them, the third quadrant is now wiiiiiide open. That section of the quadrant is now more interesting as unproven veterans and plucky newcomers will battle it out for the final four. But back to the match. It’s too bad that SoW didn’t give a good hit to Poison Arrow. SoW probably could’ve won this if they tried to go around PA and not full frontal. But they lost so now they’ll have to hope for their family members to avenge them. What such most about this is that I had SoW go to the final four so now my bracket is officially busted thanks to PA. So, bleh on you PA.
Battlebots has returned this year on ABC and it’s as ridiculous and amazing as it was more than ten years ago on Comedy Central. To begin with, I want to say I felt like my ten year old self again while watching this first episode. The hype, the out-of-place suave commentators, the flashy stage, and the killer robots threw me back to my parents’ couch years ago. It was fun, stupid, and most importantly, robots fought each other for the glorious nut!
First, few things I was disappointed about before I gushed about everything else.
-No original theme? That makes me sad. The original Battlebots referee Mark Beiro was also not there but considering his long and great career, I’m totally fine with that.
-They didn’t say “The box is locked, the lights are on, it’s robot fighting time!” Come on! That was basically their slogan!
-As mentioned before the main three commentators seem out of place but given the nature of Battlebots history, that’s typical. At least they’re not as annoying as the original ones!
Okay! Onto the good stuff!
This season of Battlebots (season 6) has made some good choices in order to both highlight the builders and televise the battles. Instead of a huge assortment of robots we get just 24 robots in one weight class. This cuts down the shallow coverage of the robots and gives us a more in-depth look into each of them. This is great! We learn why we should care for each of the robots, it makes us root for them more, and it gives us the opportunity to connect to them and remember them better.
Some people complain about the coverage on the builders but that’s typical Battlebots! They love to focus on the builders! It humanizes them! It gets the audience to know them better and why we should root for them! It also shows how anyone can build robots and compete in the tournament! It’s pretty funny too when you get this juxtaposition of these cool, suave announcers interviewing the dorky and sometimes rigid builders.
At first I thought when they were focusing on the builders they were only showing the winners of each battle. Thankfully, I was wrong with that as evidence by the Warhead vs. Biteforce battle. Good! I don’t want things to become predictive!
Okay, now onto the battles!
First off, Razorback vs. Icewave. Nice, good battle to start on! Razorback is interesting; I never have seen a Battlebot design like that before. What were they trying to accomplish there? Anyway, Icewave was definitely the highlight for this battle. I liked the builder, Marc DeVidts, he reminds me of me a little. He saw Battlebots around my age and wanted to build his own Battlebot because of which. That’s awesome. Icewave actually reminded me of the former Middleweight Champion, Hazard thanks to its spinning blade. Icewave was just tearing apart Razorback and it was greeeeeat. I look forward to Icewave’s next battle!
Next, Wrecks vs. Plan X. Anyone recall the Middleweight T-Wrecks here? Hm, maybe me. Regardless, Wrecks is nothing like T-Wrecks. God, this robot is so funky! I freaking love this guy! Team Captain Micah “Chewy” Leibowitz explained that he came up with this robot after waking up from a dream and I can tell! Then there’s Plan X which is also freaky thanks to its glowing brain. Former Battlebot competitor Lisa Winter built this robot and I was pleased to see her return. Female representation in a male dominated sport is always a plus especially when the builder is young and confident in herself.
This battle was probably the most entertaining out of the four thanks to these two weird, weird, robots. It looked like Plan X was going to win it at first then Wrecks started shuffling back like a determined terrier ready to take down a german shepherd! I was laughing my ass off during the entire fight. Part of me was hoping Wrecks would win this one due to its comeback in the last ten seconds and the huge damage it was inflicting on Plan X. Definitely a favorite. I was disappointed by Plan X’s spinning weapon but hopefully it will do more damage in the next round.
Next we get the upset battle Warhead vs. Biteforce. Ah, Warhead, one of the few veteran robots that unfortunately couldn’t seal a win against his opponent. And to be fair, it was a bad matchup. Biteforce had a strong drive and a highly defensive ram. That drum spinner barely dent Biteforce and the arms and tail were useless. Biteforce had this battle right from the get-go by pushing Warhead all over the place and into two different pulverizers (which made me laughed hard)! Biteforce reminded me of Complete Control thanks to its unique design and ability to handle dangerous opponents. Good work Biteforce!
Finally, we get the amazing battle between Nightmare and Warrior Clan. Man, ABC missed their chance to talk about how Team Nightmare and Team Whyachi had fought each other before in Season 3 for Nightmare vs. Son of Whyachi where Son of Whyachi won hands down. They should have mentioned that! Anyway, great battle even though my favorite, Nightmare, got flipped over (again, another bad matchup for a veteran robot). To be fair though, whether done intentionally or not, the new Nightmare design kind of helped Nightmare in its dire situation. I’m sure Jim Smentowski was trying his damndest to flip his terrorizing robot over. Regardless, DID YOU SEE WHAT NIGHTMARE DID TO THAT BITTY FLAME BOT! That was hilarious.
We still have more qualifying rounds to go through so I’ll withhold my judgement of flame and multi-bots until then but so far they seem to be working out well.
As for wildcard…there are 24 robots and 12 battles which means 12 losers. Only four of the twelve losers will be picked to fight in the second round (if I’m interpreting the rules correctly). The show briefly mentioned that the judges will pick the four robots that did the best in their respective matches (which is a great idea). If I were to pick a robot or two from this episode it would be Wrecks or Nightmare. Both did a great job fighting their opponent and I can’t decide who deserves it more. I guess I lean towards Wrecks cause I want to see more of him! He’s so funky and hilarious (but also he lasted the full three minutes as well)!
My Pick to Win the Nut: I think Icewave might have the best chance. Battlebots has had a history of vertical rotator robots (e.g., Hazard and Son of Whyachi) winning the Nut. Icewave’s blade was just wailing on Razorback showing that he is both a good defensive and offensive robot. However, Icewave was smoking by the end of his match which isn’t good and he’ll have to worry about flipping robots like Warrior Clan (who might even be too low for the swinging blade).
Overall, the episode was great and I look forward to seeing more episodes of Battlebots! Woo!