BB23 Final Eight Thoughts and Picks

Most interesting playoff outcomes (Champion!):

  • Huge (duh)
  • Sawblaze (control bot wins)
  • Hydra (flipper bot wins)

Veterans Finally Get Over the Hump:

  • Minotaur
  • Witch Doctor

All-Weapon Vertical Drum Spinners Rule:

  • Riptide
  • Copperhead

Um, wow!:

  • Ribbot

Who can defeat Huge?

Uppercut ain’t walking through that door.

Ice Wave is DEFINITELY not walking through that door.

His old playoff nemesis? Whiplash is already dead.

I wonder if it’ll come down to slight disappointment on Huge’s front, in a close loss (i.e. his weapon breaks early, or driving fails on a wheel), rather than someone just knocking him out Uppercut-style. Dying in a whimper rather than a bang. If he is to die at all…my Huge-loving heart can barely forecast the alternative scenario. It would be too awesome. I’m just going to stick to the facts…


Minotaur is one time runner-up. Witch Doctor is a two time runner-up, including last year. Wouldn’t it be something if they met in the Finals, so one of them will definitely be Champion? Of course Mino would win, leaving WD as a “Three Time Runner-Up”. That would be awful frustrating.

Looking at the remaining bracket, we have a “Finesse Side”, and “Power Side”.


  • Riptide
  • Copperhead
  • Witch Doctor
  • Huge


  • Minotaur
  • Sawblaze
  • Hydra
  • Ribbot

The Power Side is easy to cover because there isn’t much history. Riptide beat Huge in their first fight ever last year, when Rip were a complete mystery and Huge was kinda bad. Whatever. I don’t think that matters. Then Witch Doctor beat Copperhead in last year’s playoffs, detailed here. There was a back-flip! That wasn’t a long or compelling fight, I would favor WD in the rematch, but of course there’s a “Drum Spinner Movement” going on now. Hmm. Well, I still like WD for completely pantsing them in the speed category.

The Finesse Side is full of rematches!

  • Sawblaze beat Minotaur to kick off last season, Minotaur had missed the previous year. This was the worst Minotaur has looked in a fight since 2019.
  • Hydra beat Sawblaze in Week 12 of this season, it was a very good fight.
  • Minotaur beat Hydra in the playoffs in 2019, when Hydra was a rookie.
  • Hydra beat Ribbot in last year’s playoffs! A rematch of a fight from last year that…very much resembled one of those cartoon clouds…There was a lot of chaos and punches exchanged as the two robots basically say on top of each other, it was nutty

Got a Rock/Paper/Scissor thing going on (I’m kinda ignoring Ribbot’s presence here, I think Hydra will take him easy). What’s great though, is I can see any of the former losers avenging the loss. Mino can beat Sawblaze, it’s possible. Hydra can beat Mino for sure. I’m pretty sure Sawblaze could figure out a way to handle Hydra? He just got to face him and has the experience and knowledge, I think something new will come out of the lab for that one.

Anyhow, this side is awesome, different styles, different histories, different track records. These are three of the best robots in BB history, and none have won a title. That will probably change tomorrow, odds are.

Everytime I type Ribbot’s name, I feel like…my god it was like they got to 7 Finalists, and the boss was like “oh shoot we need 8, grab the next robot that walks by and bring him in”. And that’s how once 0-3 Ribbot is still here. Wacky.

Ok, what the heck, let’s do some picks and forecast a champion.

Copperhead (10) vs Riptide (2)

I have no idea on this one.

Copperhead has the potential to do it, to slay the dragon, who has been unstoppable all year. Please, though, don’t run away and hide like you tried to do against Ripperoni – face Riptide head on and drive into him. See what happens.

If Riptide ever gets flipped, in any of these upcoming matches, they will be in a huge trouble and it could quite possibly cost them a win. That’s why I don’t think they’ll win it all, despite the momentum. Copperhead hits hard enough and is certainly durable enough (that’s been stunning this year for them) to buckle down and punch the bully in the mouth.

That being said I’m gonna take Riptide, I think they got one more in them and will lose to either Witch Doctor or Huge coming out of Q3.

The Pick: Riptide by Knockout

Huge (6) vs Witch Doctor (3)

They’ve made a big deal about WD’s weapon being extremely hard-hitting but also more vulnerable to breaking down.

I think the book on Huge at this point is to have a very durable weapon that keeps going no matter what, and hope you can end up where Huge’s breaks and yours doesn’t. So I don’t like this fight for this season’s Witch Doctor. They also have little to no fork game, certainly not the kind of forks that could possibly corrall this beast and push him somewhere. Skorp had a much better chance of doing that than WD, and probably Catter too. Neither did of course, because of the blows raining down on them.

Yeah, I like Huge here, WD would need to cut up a wheel I think, they should go all out aggressive and attack those. Catter did cut into one. But man, I just think those weapon-on-weapon collisions are going to be severe and it sounds like WD will break first, by the way Chris and Kenny are talking. So I’m going with that. Huge with another JD decision.

The Pick: Huge by Judges Decision

Hydra (4) vs Ribbot (28)

Yeah, it’s a rematch, but I doubt Ribbot ditches the vertical spinner configuration at this point. The horizontal weapon would make it more interesting but almost certainly lead to defeat. The vertical weapon…I mean I’m doubtful but they have been low lately, maybe they can get lucky with the forks and hit Hydra somewhere.

Nah. Ribbot is less specialized than Hydra, and less practiced at this ground game. Do we recall the Quantum match, where Rib drove into the holes in the floor immediately? I think Hydra keeps the party going with relative ease.

The Pick: Hydra by KO

Minotaur (1) vs Sawblaze (8)

Even though Minotaur has a vertical weapon (and a drum, which is very stylish right now), I really think they have less of a room for error. Because, damn, when Sawblaze gets him in his clutches he is going to mess Minotaur up. We saw this before.

That’s as bad as Minotaur has looked in a fight since 2019 (they missed one year). Completely owned. This one will be closer but man, I dunno. I think Sawblaze is his kryptonite, I said this weeks ago. Minotaur is very vulnerable anywhere but the weapon, especially the sides and back, which is exactly where the hammer-saw lands. Last time we had a giant battery fire, almost immediately. It was kind of the coming-out party for Sawblaze having a very dangerous weapon.

And also, I think Sawblaze can take a hit. Multiples. Monsoon got him REALLY GOOD on one of those early shots, but he recovered and evaded and got back into control quickly. He took a million shots from Hydra in Week 12. He’s very durable. So I think both will land shots and counter-shots, but Sawblaze is going to hold up better, and his attacks will ultimately be more damaging. Like last time.


The Pick: Sawblaze by JD

Ok, at this point we have two more matches, Huge vs Riptide and Hydra vs Sawblaze!

Huge (6) vs Riptide (2)

It would be nice if one of the most popular bots knocks off the villain of the year right?

I think Huge can hang around when others cannot and will land a good shot on Riptide to flip him over early. Than it’s open-season. We haven’t seen Rip take a lot of good shots all year and I don’t think he’ll be as durable as a Copperhead or WD.

The Hypothetical Pick: Huge by KO

Sawblaze (8) vs Hydra (4)

Man, I love Sawblaze, but I think it ends here. I didn’t see enough in round 1 to think he’s going to flip the script. It’s so tough.

If he gets Hydra caught in his talons once, I think he takes it, but Hydra is a perfect foil for SB I think. They’re both platforms, and one is more grounded than the other.

I would be curious if there’s any more backhand work with the saw, or if he’s got something completely new and crazy for the rematch. Nevertheless

The Hypothetical Pick: Hydra by JD

Ok, one more

Finals Pick: Huge over Hydra

The meta-breaking story is complete, and Hydra’s invulnerability against the spinners and normal ground-hugging robots completely fails apart against the Big Boy.

To me it’s all about the Blip fight, and while Hydra is definitely Blip’s superior, I don’t think Hydra has nearly as much armour, nor can they control a fight without flipping, the way Blip could. I think Hydra could be easier for Huge. I mean, Christ, last time Hydra was at the height of their powers, Huge was decidedly not, and Hydra went with a configuration that PREVENTED THEM from using their flipper AT ALL. They won a match with no flipping. Now, rules has changed and Battlebots won’t allow that to happen again (let alone in their final lol), I’m just saying Hydra thinks this is a very bad matchup for them. That’s not often the case.

Final(s) thought – the past title matches have all been pretty bad and one-sided, the best one probably being Witch Doctor vs Bite Force that was fairly close for a while. Let’s hope for a good one 24 hours from now.

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