Hey all you cool cats and kittens, it’s time for more refreshing new content from your favourite BattleBots blogger. Today we’re opening with a reference to the best thing to come out of 2020, the hit Netflix series Tiger King, because we need something batsh*t mental to reflect how batsh*t mental the BattleBots production team have gone with the amount of stuff they’re bringing us. We’ve known about the spin-off Bounty Hunters for some time now, which is running in correlation with the regular show, but we’re getting the opening two episodes of said spin-off ON THE SAME NIGHT. Which means even more content for us to drool over, and even stricter deadlines for your humble author to stick to.
After the “controversy” of my recent power rankings, here’s hoping some more wholesome comments come out of my latest batch of predictions. We’ve got an eclectic array of characters to pick from here, from seasoned vets to anomalies I’ve never seen in action, competing for the right to face everyone’s favourite bot that spectacularly went 0-4 last season, Bronco. Just kidding guys, Bronco’s a legend of the game and was unfortunate to fall to such a record last season, and a bot we will sadly miss in the main competition this season.Anything to stop the haters coming after me in the comments. Eight fights, each one hopefully full of mayhem. I’m all here for it.
Anyhow, part one of predictions is a-go. Let us do this.
Axolotl vs Rotator
Starting us off for this episode is a match-up which, on paper, looks pretty straight-forwards to me. Admittedly, Axolotl is one of the aforementioned competitors I’ve not seen in action before, so for all I know this hot and spicy newcomer is the best thing since sliced bread. However, it’s weapon looks like it lacks both the power and reach to cause its opponents any serious trouble. Appearances can sometimes be deceiving, but the design flaws look pretty blatant to me.
Furthermore, it’s opponent for this opening round is none other than Rotator. The very same Rotator that many people, including the Rotator team themselves, feel should be at 1-0 in the main show after its display against Beta. I remain firmly in the school of thought that believes one good hit on your opponent in a battle you were otherwise bullied about in is in no way a justifiable reason to claim a victory. However, that aside, Rotator is a powerful thing. It’s defeated Tombstone, Icewave, and, er, let’s go with Bombshell with it’s spinning disc/bar/spinner-wedge/whatever you want to call its weapon set up, and is a sturdy as f*ck bot. We also saw against Beta that it can take a literal beating and still have its weapon working fine at the end of the match. For me, this is Rotator’s fight to lose, and a few good hits on Axolotl’s weapon should end the fight in about a minute.
Mad Catter vs Atom #94
Taking a detour over to the other side of the bracket, we’ve got ourselves a fight which is harder to predict than I thought it would be. You’re probably thinking “Mad Catter’s at 2-0 and has been one of the best robots competing this season, this is clearly an easy win you f*cking mongrel”. And yes, you would be correct. Martin “the Maverick” Mason and the Hell’s Angels have indeed brought us a surprisingly decent bot this season, that’s alreadyclaimed awesome wins over Ribbot and Fusion. And coming up against Atom #94, which barely even got going in its fight against Big Dill, surely this is the cat’s for the taking?
Well, it’s not quite that straight-forward. For one thing, I don’t think we’ve yet to see the best of Atom #94. It clearly had a lot of issues in its battle against Big Dill, and even though I’m not entirely convinced by the bot’s design anyway, it surely has more to offer than what we’ve seen so far. As for Mad Catter, there’s still the mild question of whether or not this run its on is a fluke, or whether it has genuinely come back on steroids. At this point, I’m inclined to go for the latter, but I guess we’re also about to test its consistency. How long can this run last? When was this episode even filmed? Are we going to get the same Mad Catter we’ve already seen? Or one that’s been banged up and had six bells knocked out of it after a Cinderella run in the bracket?
Obviously, I have no idea to the answer of any of these. But, for the sake of logic, I’m going for the cat.
WINNER: MAD CATTER
Captain Shrederator vs Sharko
Vying for a spot against Rotator in the second round, we’ve got Robo Jaws vs. “Metal Gear Solid IV: Guns of the Patriots”. Also known as Captain Shrederator vs Sharko. You decide which name belongs to who.
In one of the easier selections I’m tasked with for this episode, I’ve got a little too much misplaced confidence in Captain Shrederator to actually be useful for once in its miserable existence and actually pull off a victory. I’m only saying this because Sharko is made out of actual tin foil, and although Shrederator breaks down more than a Honda Civic in flood season, it still packs a mighty wallop when it’s up to speed. I can’t see those wheels on the shark going round and round for long.
Obviously, I could be very wrong, and Shrederator could incapacitate itself after one massive hit on the mouth of Sharko. But the former seems the most likely outcome to me, so we’re punting fora rare victory for patriotism here.
WINNER: CAPTAIN SHREDERATOR
Bale Spear vs Chomp
Do I really need to justify myself here? Ok, here goes.
Big Chompgus has come out of the gates quickly this season (as quickly as it can actually go), hammering its way through Gamma 9 to put itself at 1-0 so far. We’ve yet to see Bale Spear in action, but somehow I don’t think it’s going to make much of an improvement on its 0-3 record in 2018. It looks much the same, but with “upgraded” armour, in the vaguest sense someone can use the word “upgrade” to describe something. But that hammer is still going to carve straight through it.At least it has wheel guards with its name in Comic Sans on them. That’s something.
While I appreciate Malcolm Matheson frequently liking my stuff of Facebook (big shout out to Malcolm Matheson, love the support), I think it’s back to the farm for him and the boys. Chomp with an easy qual here.
Rotator vs Captain Shrederator
Now it’s time to dive into the nitty-gritty part of the predictions where I have to base the outcome of the rest of the episode on things that haven’t happened yet. So hopefully, if all has gone to plan, Rotator will be up against Captain Shrederator in the first second-round tie, which leaves me with a pretty easy decision here.
Sadly, I’m pretty sure Nick, Brian and the other one who occasionally shows up will be going back to their usual ways in this fight, and in pretty swift fashion. Whatever set up it puts on, Rotator’s got this. Shrederator might be a bit too short for them to use their spinner/wedge set-up, even though they could still go in using it to try and win it with the wedge (the irony), or an undercutter to send the Captain careening all over the place until it stops working.
Personally, I don’t see any other outcome than a victory for Victor and the neon gang, so that’s what we’re going for.
Mad Catter vs Chomp
One of life’s big questions that I often ponder when I’m having my morning shower at 3pm is “Who would win; Mad Catter or Chomp?”. It’s a question I’m pondering even as I ready this article to be published, because I really can’t pick a winner.
The same questions I asked of Mad Catter still apply here; is its run a fluke? How consistent will its performances be? How well will the weapon hold up? And against as crazy and unpredictable opponent as Chomp, it just raises further questions! So, I’m going to have to do my best to predict how the battle is going to play out; Mad Catter will set up with its vertical disc/wedgelet set up (as against Ribbot), Chomp will come out as usual. Mad Catter will get a few good shots in at Chomp, and maybe even do some notable damage, but a few hits from Chomp’s hammer will ultimately disable the cat’s weapon, before it slowly grinds to a halt. Chomp hobbles its way to victory, to the delight of the crowd and those predicting a win.
Yes, that may all sound like idealist nonsense, but it’s the best my feeble mind can muster. A narrow win for Chomp, but I’m not sure about the final…
Rotator vs Chomp
So as vaguely confident as I am that Chomp will make it through to the deciding fight against Rotator, I can’t say the same about its chances against Rotator. If both of them make it this far, of course.
As we’ve established about a gazillion times already, Rotator has already fought a hammer bot in the form of Beta this season, and say what you will about the result, it managed to hold up pretty well, and having its spinner mounted on its top worked well in its favour. It may have ended up losing, but I could see it using its double disc set up to good use against Chomp. The top disc to negate any effect the hammer may have when it makes contact, and the bottom disc to eat away at Chomp’s legs before it can no longer move.
It probably wouldn’t be as quick and easy as that if both bots were pitted against each other for real (as they hopefully will be), but that’s pretty much how I see it going. Rotator gets to be our first bounty hunter.
Bronco vs Rotator
And now, the hunt is on. Oh ho boy, this would be a cracking match-up.
As much as I’d love to see Bronco try and yeet the 500 lbs. monstrosity that is Chomp 10 feet in to the air, I don’t think we’ll see it happen. Not yet, anyway. Rotator will have fought tooth and nail to get this far, and now comes up against one of the best bots we’ve seen over the past four seasons. Well, the first three at least. The boys from Inertia Labs have come back for a quick cameo this season to stop $25,000 from falling into enemy hands. Do they have a shot against Vicious Victor and the New Wave Neon posse? Actually, yes they do!
A lot of people may well be thinking that on the basis of last season, Bronco is washed up, finished, never to win again. And admittedly, it was given four pretty hefty beatings last season. However, and this is purely hypothetical, I could definitely see it winning this fight. More than I could see Rotator winning. I would imagine that Rotator would set up with its top bar/wedgelet variant, so that they can try and win the ground battle with Bronco, and get them into a position to fully utilise their spinner. That’s all well and good, but I can see Bronco exploiting this easily, what with Rotator’s ground clearance at the front, and the wedgelets being ultimately ineffective at stopping the flipper getting under them. I’m feeling some big energy flips coming our way, with Xander and Reason managing to find an awkward and unholy place for Rotator to end up, trapped and helpless. No 25k magic for the golden gang today. They just can’t catch a break.
And that about does it for the first lot of predictions for everyone’s favourite new robot combat spin-off show. Yes, most of this will probably be complete sh*t, but the important thing is that we made new friends along the way. And the friendship doesn’t stop there, because we’ve also got another episode coming our way on Monday, featuring the one and only Icewave! And we all know what that means… more predictions! So stay tuned tomorrow for some more insightful, and definitely-thought-about-for-longer-than-five minutes predictions from yours truly! Anything to get my beloved fans back.
See you tomorrow, and stay cool, my fellow bot fans.