Week 8 Recap: The Veterans Hold on

Tombstone, Gigabyte, Black Dragon all managed to save their seasons and make it to 2-1. On the other hand, Hydra notably did not. Then we had a couple of 2-0 matches to conclude the night, one was very good, one was a ‘blink and you’ll miss’ type of event. Not exactly what everyone was looking for, but still historic. And funny. Here we go.

(My record was absolutely dreadful, I don’t want to talk about it, need more time for healing. They’ll be a separate post considering my pick performance this year)

(Also, ONCE AGAIN, it was NOT the match of the century)

Malice (1-2) over Blacksmith (1-2)

If the thing you enjoy most about Battlebots is watching 250 pound robots body-slam each other, non-stop for three minutes, then this was probably your favorite fight of the year.

Seriously, just ridiculous action. More good hits in this one than in entire episodes this year. I was bummed though, I wanted Blacksmith to make the playoffs, now both are 1-2 and neither will likely mak the top 32. Blacksmith held up to a ridiculous beating, as usual, but lost the fight in a single bad decision early, captured here.

Dude. Dude. Stop throwing your new power hammer into more powerful weapons. If you do that IT IS GOING TO BREAK. Your old hammer was awesome in that it was a block of metal(stone?) and could survive being chucked into very dangerous spinners, the new hammer will not hold up to this. It does not hold up to this. Maybe next year bring both hammers? Alternate based on the the opponent.

Anyhow, it was a great fight to watch, More like this please.

Black Dragon (2-1) over Claw Viper (1-2)

Not much to see here. There were a couple of failed suplex attempts, where Claw Viper grabbed him but then twisted himself instead…and then left himself completely exposed for a hit. Which Black Dragon delivered, usually. It ultimately seemed like Claw Viper succumbed to poor reliability than getting fatally damaged by their opponent.

Black Dragon…I don’t know what to think of them. They certainly could have impressed more here, kind of a lukewarm win against what looks a very weak robot. Their “ground game” seems like it’s not very good anymore, Rotator got under them all day in fight 2, and here Claw Viper was getting under them early. If you’re not getting under them then the weapon doesn’t work…I don’t know man. Might be time to rescind my pre-season prediction, or make a new one. Anyhow, the Brazillians are 2-1 nonetheless, definitely won’t make Top 10 this year but should still be seeded in the early teens I would think. But something’s missing this season. Outside of clubbing out Icewave in a couple seconds (who is also probably not very good) they just haven’t impressed. We’ll see if they wake up in the playoffs.

Gigabyte (2-1) over Smeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee (1-1)

This here was a lesson in robot weight and its importance.

Mr Gigabyte predicted, correctly, that Smee* would essentially function like 2 robots weighing under 125 pounds each, while Gig would be comparitively a 250 pound behemoth. And he also was correct that this was decide the match. Smee*’s weight distribution didn’t show up as a huge weakness in other fights (fights against Mammoth and Kraken in the Bounty episodes, for example), but here it gave them literally no chance against this opponent. Gigabyte could just stand there and spin to his heart’s content, Smee* could drive into them at full speed and they simply didn’t weigh enough to disrupt it.

I picked Smee*, I um, didn’t have a good night overall, this was a hard match to assess. I thought Smee* could wrap him up and hold him; maybe they couldn’t pull that off anyhow, but they chose a configuration that was shorter and not longer enough to fully envelope the spinner. I think that was the wrong approach, but odds are Smee* was just unable to stop Gig from spinning in any case. And if you can’t stop Gig from spinning, you will lose 100% of the time. Next.

Glitch(!!!! 2-0) over Hydra (1-2)

There were three key moments in this fight, all incredible in their own way.

The first was the opening flip by Hydra.

Kenny said 15 feet in the air, something like that. One of the highest flips that I’ve ever seen Hydra deliver. And yet the real incredible part was not the flip but the result, after bouncing a few times Glitch landed and was still functional. The robot with apparently no self-righter ended up right side up with their weapon still running.

The reason was pointed out by Kenny live right after the fight – Glitch’s long forks scraped the ground and prevented it from landing directly on its weapon that was spinning full tilt. Now, he should have turned off the weapon, that was Glitch’s mistake. Nevertheless, had it landed on that weapon that weapon would almost certainly have broken. It didn’t. He still landed on it after a couple bounces, went soaring all over the place and then landed on his feet. Hydra came running over…and then got stuck? Or was already having reliability issues? He couldn’t get over and attack Glitch while they were facing the wrong way, both robots took a moment to find their footing, and then came together face to face. Hydra fired the flipper, and that lead to moment number two.

I dunno if Hydra fired the weapon a little early here, that would be my guess. But the flipper arm connected with Glitch’s very potent egg-beater spinner, and Hydra was chucked into the air in surprise. It landed wrong side up, it flipped itself to try and land back on its feet…and moment number three happened. Which also qualified for another designation

HIT of the Week

HIT of the Week

(Ok, I couldn’t get the perfect shot, this is a split second before)

That’s Glitch somehow catching Hydra’s flipper arm in midair with its own weapon, a highly unlikely shot. That was far more destructive than just striking a random part of the top of the robot, which is probably armoued. Anyhow that spark-heavy strike sent Hydra flying into the corner and they never really moved again.

A historic upset, sure, and a lucky one of course. Luck plays a role in many fights, the presence of luck does not take away from Glitch’s accomplishment. Glitch is almost certainly good (and will now be in the playoff almost certainly). As for Hydra – do they have reliability issues? The first loss was completely because of reliability, and here they were struggling to move after one flip, I rewatched and I don’t think they were stuck on the floor, as Chris noted they were smoking early. They will now be a very low(?) seed in the tournament, 20-30 probably, and are either a huge dark horse in waiting (7-0 in the previous two regular seasons and the #1 seed last year) or just mediocre lol. They are still a famous robot, everyone will be watching to see what happens to them.

Tombstone (2-1) over Free Shipping (0-3)

Kind of the comic relief of the night, a welcome diversion from the high drama in other matches here. Tombstone really showed off some great driving to slice up FS’s tires in a series of slashes, Free Shipping was soon down to only one tire (great pick Trev) and yet he kept driving! It was simply unbelievable. Then Tombstone’s weapon failed and it became a pushing and driving match.

There goes tire number 3

And you know what? Tombstone stepped up in the moment, he adjusted his strategy and won a match in a very un-Tombstone way. He outdrove a very hobbled Free Shipping and pinned him multiple times in the closing minute. It was very encouraging to see, an elderly dog showing he is indeed capable of change.

Anyhow, Tombstone is “back” (I stand by my previous assessment nontheless) and should be somewhere in the middle of the pack in the tournament, maybe like the 20 seed. He’s still in the mix, he still has a chance, no matter what the Battleblog says about. So be it. Good luck old man.

Ribbot (3-0) over P1 (2-1)

Great fight by a pair of 2-0 teams (and far better than the one to come, let me tell you…).

You know what? I think P1 proved themselves here! Ribbot is certainly elite at this point, yet P1 held up well and was controlling the fight in the early going. Good for them and finding success in a very non-conventional way. Their “ground game” held up well against Ribbot’s very solid low wedges, they were able to take control at one point and drive Ribbot over to their pulverizer hammer and pound on him for a little while. The problem is that the extremely, ridiculously durable Ribbot just kind of shrugged it off, kept going and eventually started landing hits. The fight ended with a wonderful combo shot that launched P1 onto the upper deck, he did not recover from there.

Ribbot is a beast, they’re the first to reach 3-0, they’ll be a high seed for sure. I can gripe about their schedule (easy again this year, and P1 might be the weakest 2-0 team they could find) but they produce a knockout every week. You can only play the teams in front of you. I took a few more pics so what the hell, here they are

The winning shot

And then, there was the Main Event…

Let’s just say this: sometimes there’s a moment that’s so sublimely brilliant and simple, that there is no usage of words that could properly tell the story. Here’s what happened. It was ridiculously. It prematurely ended what should have been the best fight of the year before anyone even knew what was happening. Absolutely unbelievable. Hilarious, and legend, all at once. Here it is.

Good night Irene.

End Game will be the 1 seed this year.

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