BattleBots 2020: Predictions for Episode 1

Ok everyone, fasten your seatbelts, because tonight it’s officially robot fighting time! After a whole year without our favourite thing in the whole world, BattleBots makes its triumphant return to television. And it’s a pretty cracking return as well. There’s eight juicy ties to sink our teeth into, and because I’ve decided to start writing this at the eleventh hour, we should probably dive straight into some predictions.

What a line-up

Let the battles commence.

SawBlaze vs Whiplash

Kicking things off this season we have a real clash of the titans, which is something I never thought I’d be saying about these two roughly four years ago. Two quarter-finalists from last season, two of the favourites for this season, two very similar and evenly-matched robots. SawBlaze and Whiplash, what a contest.

Now, you may have seen that I’m predicting Whiplash to go all the way this year, probably against my better judgement, but I’m also predicting it to lose its opening fight. Yes, very controversial and maybe non-sensical I’m sure, but I think, given SawBlaze’s superior size and weaponry, I think it’s probably the one bot in the competition I can confidently say is capable of beating Whiplash. It’s a bit confusing to explain, but for now let’s just say I can see SawBlaze trapping Whiplash in its front and bringing the mighty spinner down upon it for a victory.

And yes, this is my proof

WINNER: SAWBLAZE

Mad Catter vs Fusion

We’ve been treated to a sneak preview of this fight by way of the arena intros, and it’s made me realise how much I need the Mad Catter team in my life. The amount of entertainment Martin Mason brings to the screen always makes their fights worth watching, even when their bot loses, which, on the basis of last season, is most of the time. They’re up against Team Whyachi’s new contraption, Fusion, which boasts a horizontal spinner and drum, preparing any opponent for double trouble whenever it faces it.

On the basis of said trouble, I can’t see any other result than a victory for Fusion. I suppose it depends on the durability of Mad Catter’s wedge (as Mason was very keen to bring up in the pre-match build-up), but that looks like a mighty powerful weapon on Fusion’s part, and Mad Catter does also have a tendency to fall apart, as we saw last season. Maybe things have changed and they’ve come back prepared with the wedge of all wedges, but I still have to pick Fusion.

WINNER: FUSION

Axe Backwards vs Malice

This is a bit of tricky one to call, since I haven’t predicted either bot to go especially far in the competition. Axe Backwards has returned for the third straight season, with little to suggest in terms of noticeable improvements to it, while Malice makes its debut with a pretty hefty, albeit unstable-looking, horizontal spinner.

I suspect some sparks will fly, tears will be shed, and that Malice will ultimately come out on top. I wouldn’t be surprised if something broke during the course of this fight, whether it be a weapon belt or drive chain or what have you, but I think Malice is more likely to chew up the wheels of Axe Backwards than Axe Backwards is to cause significant damage to its opponent, leaving Malice in robot wonderland.

WINNER: MALICE

Skorpios vs Bloodsport

Again, another very tough battle to call, and one that could easily go either way. Bloodsport has come back this year with a new design and looks pretty deadly, with a multitude of spinning bars that look like they could dish out some damage. At the same time, however, it does also look as vulnerable to wedges and heavy impacts as it did at times last season, something that Skorpios thrives upon.

That’s why I think Skorpios will come out victorious here. It might look as though it hasn’t changed too much from last season, which is potentially problematic for an inconsistent machine such as itself, but if that front armour is as strong as it has been in recent years, I think it will have enough in it to break Bloodsport and claim a win.

Again, more definitive proof I am right

WINNER: SKORPIOS

Captain Shrederator vs Lockjaw

One of these days I’ll put some faith into Captain Shrederator. Surely for a team that’s been competing for over twenty years, and in every season of the BattleBots reboot, they should have a record and tournament run that reflects their experience? Well, sadly, they don’t, and I don’t see them adding to their two wins in five years against Lockjaw.

Another team with swathes of experience, and appearances in all seasons of the reboot, Donald Hutson’s bot has gone from a distinctly average machine in 2015 to a pretty formidable challenger for the Giant Nut today, sporting a really potent spinner and prongs that seem to get under almost anything. And on this occasion, I’m predicting them to get right under the Captain and blow it away to Kingdom come. God bless America.

WINNER: LOCKJAW

Rusty vs Sporkinok

Oh boy, here we go. It’s Rusty time.

Making its competitive debut after being unveiled as some sort of Mr. Psycho/Scrap Daddy/Iron Giant crossover that had been left out in the rain too long, Rusty is here to cause anarchy and mayhem inside the box, and many dank memes outside it. At least half of that is true, because to be honest I’m still not entirely sure what it’s meant to be, and I just want to see this battle for the chance of seeing what its weapon actually does. Because the stills seem to suggest it’s some sort of drill limply attached to an overhead bar, which is almost as sad as it is hilarious.

Please enjoy this meme I found on Reddit

It’s going up against Sporkinok, another debutant, which I’m also not convinced has enough to go on a deep run in the competition. However, since it looks like anything has enough to beat Rusty, that spork-shaped hammer will probably kill its opponent in one felled swoop. I’m almost entirely convinced of that. Who knows, maybe Rusty is actually a deceptively destructive, nimble, powerful, awe-inspiring creation is going to waltz its way to the Giant Nut? For now at least, I’m going to say that isn’t the case, and I’m sticking with Sporkinok.

WINNER: SPORKINOK

Sharko vs SMEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

Again, how the heck am I meant to call this fight? This is three fights in one episode that pair bots from outside my top 32 together, meaning that’s three robots I have to give thought to actually winning, after completely dismissing them of winning anything. Oh well, you can’t deny I’ve given it a good go.

It’s great to see Sharko back and getting some attention this year at least, coming in with a fresh recycled redesign after being left out in the cold a bit in 2019. It looks stunning, is helping the planet, and my understanding is that it also breathes fire. What isn’t there to love about this bot? Maybe it doesn’t look the most effective, but it’s going to be so good to see it back and fighting in the box properly.

It’s first fight of the season is against the paradox that is SMEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. SMEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE (and I’m not typing that out again) is basically a multi-bot with a massive wedge and two hidden spinners, or so I’m led to believe. Much like Rusty in the previous fight, I don’t exactly know what it does, what it’s meant to be, or whether it will actually do anything in the least bit effective. Maybe that wedge will be super effective? Or maybe Sharko will just swallow it whole? I’m thinking the latter.

WINNER: SHARKO

Tombstone vs End Game

After wading through a whole heap of whatever the heck that was, we arrive at the main event, Tombstone vs. End Game. A battle that End Game captain Jack Barker has wanted since his team first appeared on the scene back in 2018, he’s finally gotten his wish. Only his bot is in a very different position now than it is when he first made the claim his bot could take down the mighty Tombstone.

O lawd he comin’

After starting off with two wins from its first two battles, End Game has since won just two of its nine competitive battles, and even then, both had an element of luck about them. It’s definitely come back looking sharper, and hopefully better, with a much more durable-looking wedge at the front of it, which should come in handy when facing the likes of Tombstone. However, Tombstone is still Tombstone, and comes back still looking as badass as ever.

I really hope this isn’t going to be another massively hyped-up main event featuring Tombstone, only for it to be over in under a minute because Tombstone just demolishes End Game. It’s dodgy victory over Gruff last season was the first time a battle featuring the former champ had gone to a judges decision since a semi-final victory over Yeti in 2016. If End Game gets a few good hits in on Tombstone from the get-go, we could have a real fight on our hands, and maybe even a shock victory. However, I still have my doubts about End Game’s durability, and their srimech still looks suspect to me. Whereas Tombstone has returned with a bar spinner that looks even more ridiculous than before, which makes me think it will have just the right amount of power to get the upper hand over the team from New Zealand.

WINNER: TOMBSTONE

And there you have it folks, some more wild, outlandish and ridiculous predictions coming at you from yours truly. I really hope everyone’s as excited for tonight’s new season as I am, it’s a great feeling knowing there’s more BattleBots coming our way for the rest of the year and into 2021. The future really is looking bright.

See you for my review of the first episode coming this weekend, and don’t let Rusty catch you when you’re sleeping.

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