For this new season of Battlebots, The Young Folks’ music editor Ryan Gibbs and contributing writer Joey Daniewicz will be giving their impressions of each episode in our recurring feature Battlebots Chat. These will be a little more informal than our regular television, film and music reviews – after all we think it’s a little complicated to give a rating to something that we both consider to be a competitive sport as opposed to a game show or a reality television program.
Battlebots is a robot combat program that aired on Comedy Central for four seasons between 2000 and 2002 and then on ABC for two more in 2015 and 2016. In 2018, the show was revived by Discovery Channel,.
If you want the history on Battlebots and robot combat in general, SB Nation ran an oral history on the show’s first run in the late 1990s and early 2000s that is well worth your time to read. You can also read more about this season’s competitors over on the show’s official site. Also worth reading is Battlebots Update, which, like us, provides analysis of each Battlebots episode.
You can watch this week’s episode of Battlebots over on Discovery Channel’s website.
Our Thoughts on the Desperado Tournament
Ryan: Alright, so this week was the “Desperado Tournament”, a special opt-in bracket for teams with bad to middling records who were looking like they might not make the round of 16. The fights happened one after the other, with like no time to repair. However, The winner gets an automatic bye to the round of 16.
Joey: This could have been fun. Could have. Kind of a neat idea.
Ryan: Yeah, but this was…kind of not great?
Joey: I really didn’t like anything.
Ryan: It’s not as bad as that time The Office came back from its winter break with a clip show.
Joey: Oh right!
Ryan: Like, fights happened, but they weren’t exactly exciting or felt important.
Joey: Not even sure what the best one was.
Ryan: Like I’m throwing out our entire regular setup for this because most of these fights were kind of nothing and I don’t want you and I to spend like 10 minutes trying to figure out things to say about Lucky vs. Gemini.
Joey: Lol. Let’s just remark that we have no idea where Gemini came from.
Ryan: It was in this year’s roster but I don’t it’s ever fought on the Discovery Channel. Maybe on the Science Channel? I don’t get that channel to find out.
Joey: The most interesting thing about Gemini was that it was a multibot that wasn’t knocked out unless you KO’ed of them. Because it’s 50/50 so you can’t knock out a majority.
Ryan: And Lucky didn’t even wind up doing that. That fight went to a judges decision.
Joey: But, uh, they didn’t look very hard to fuck up.
Ryan: And it was an agonizing push match.
Joey: Yeah, but both primary weapons were absolutely toast and it couldn’t control anything. Lucky won because it’s pretty solid and durable.
Ryan: It’s solid and durable, but I’d also argue that it’s not very good. Lucky is like if Ned Flanders made Biohazard.
Joey: It’s definitely not good. But certainly hard to knock out. Useful in a shoving match.
Ryan: Let’s also get this out of the way now, Lock Jaw won this whole thing. And it’s first fight was against another not-very-good robot we have never seen called Kraken
Joey: They kind of teased it, they kept showing us Lock Jaw at the start of the show.
RyanL The only noteworthy thing that happened in that fight was that Lock Jaw knocked Kraken over and that was it. Extremely annoyingly, the two fights that were not televisied – Gigabyte vs. Double Dutch and Valkyrie vs. Hypothermia looked a lot more interesting. It looked like Gigabyte ripped Double Dutch apart. It was the kind of Gigabyte fight I’ve been waiting all season to see. And they didn’t show it in full.
Joey: Ugh. But they basically broadcast who won the semis through what they showed in the first round.
Ryan: Yes, that’s exactly what they did.
Joey: They basically telegraphed it would be Lucky vs. Lock Jaw. Lucky just straight up flipped Gigabyte and that was that, right?
Ryan: Basically. Lucky actually had a wedge in front for that fight, so it destabilized it with that and then flipped it with its arm.
Ryan: The Lock Jaw vs. Valkyrie went a similar way. Lock-Jaw pushed Valkyrie until its weapon destabilized and its started to shake violent. And then that was in KO, by Lock-Jaw
Joey: Thrilling stuff.
Ryan: And then there was the most anticlimactic main event all season long. Move over, Tombstone, Duck, Son of Whyachi, Bronco and End Game, we got Lucky vs. Lock Jaw on the sched. And that fight ended pretty weirdly. Lock Jaw was obviously winning anyway, but Lucky got counted out because it was disabled but still sort kinda moving. Any thoughts on any of these matches? Figured I’d get them all out of the way first
Joey: I think that was it. Happy for Donald Hudson that he gets to lose to Tombstone or whatever.
Ryan: Yeah right? Basically Tombstone’s the 1 seed, whoever won this is probably the 16th seed. So yeah. Good thing Hutson brought two complete Lock Jaws to this season huh?
Joey: Haha. Yeah.
Ryan: What did you think of the tournament? I thought the whole thing was pretty unmemorable and I’ll probably even forget Lock Jaw won it unless they drill it into our heads every week until the round of 16.
Joey: Worst episode of the season by far. Absolutely no top level talent kind of sucked.
Ryan: Honestly, I don’t know if I’d feel any different if Gigabyte, the only robot I actually like that participated, won this.
Joey: I mean, if he had destructive matches, that would probably be fun.
Ryan: Probably. I hope next week they make up for this by having Tombstone or Minotaur or someone like that at the top of the card.