Good afternoon, evening, whenever you’re reading, comrades, and, if you’re anything like me, you’re still reeling over the fact that the regular season of BattleBots has drawn to a close for another year. After fourteen rollercoaster weeks, we finally know who has lifted the Giant Nut (I won’t say who incase some people here haven’t watched it yet), and we’re left to wonder on what to do now as we wait patiently for vaccines to be rolled out and for the day we can have more than one person over at our house. The best we’ve got, for now, is another fun-filled (hopefully) episode of BattleBots: Bounty Hunters, the spin-off show you’d be forgiven for forgetting about, since it appears Discovery+ also seem to forget it exists on a daily basis.
Fortunately, they’re giving us the next installment of the series tomorrow, featuring the one and only Son of Whyachi, the third seasoned vet which didn’t compete in the regular series to be making an appearance on the show. More importantly, though, Rusty is back, and everything feels good again. He is blessing us with his presence once again, and in reality there isn’t much point in predicting this episode, because not only will Rusty beat everyone and claim the $25k bounty, but then they’ll go after Chris and Kenny, and eventually Greg and Trey with his patented steel chair, claiming control of the entire show and turning it into some sort of Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome-type combat arena where he rules supreme, unquestioned and unchallenged. But I need content to write, so I have to stretch this scenario out into something readable for everyone’s pleasure.
With seven other bots here to make up the numbers along with the glorious intellect superior Rusty, let’s take a deeper dive to see how things may or may not pan out.
Rusty vs Kraken
We may as well start off with the legend itself, as Rusty begins its quest for supremacy against Kraken, which, in a season where it’s had to face off against Black Dragon, Witch Doctor, HUGE, and SawBlaze, as well as having participated in the Tombstone bounty, it seems to have revealed itself as some sort of sadomasochistic sea-dweller, since Matt Spurk and co. apparently just can’t get enough of having punishment dished out to them. And this might be the most punishing fight of all.
It’ll be a gruelling, bloody affair, but, sadly for all of us, I think Rusty’s quest for intergalactic immortality will be temporarily interrupted by the jaws of Kraken. I know this opinion may prove controversial to many, but something, I’m not quite sure what, is telling me that Rusty’s high ground clearance and weak back armour is going to fall victim to the chompy gnashers of its green and black opponent. I know, I know, as far as opinions go, this one’s pretty out there. But, as I’ve discovered this season, sometimes it pays to go against the odds, so that’s exactly what I’m going to do.
I’m sure many of you will be upset to hear this, but I think this is where Rusty exits. But don’t worry, he’ll be back, and in greater numbers.
Copperhead vs Chronos
Now that controversy’s over and done with, let’s move on to something that, on paper, is more of a foregone conclusion. It’s the third seeds from the regular season, Copperhead, against whatever it is we’re calling Chronos these days.
It’s true that in its last couple of fights, especially its loss to Mammoth, we saw some weaknesses in Copperhead emerge, particularly in the reliability of its weapon. Even though it’s been one of the most destructive things on display this season, if it’s not working it’s no good to anyone. However, considering Chronos’ weapon has worked for about .5 of a second in its two fights, I think it should be okay. There’s a strong chance that the strong outer armour of Chronos will be able to negate the power of the drum spinner, but probably not before some big hits have been dealt out.
For me, this one belongs to Copperhead.
Grabot vs Gigabyte
Defecting our way over to the east, and we’re greeted with a match-up of epically mismatched proportions, even by Bounty Hunters standards. Gigabyte, a bot which improved fight on fight in the regular season, which has only been defeated by this seasons first and third seeds respectively, goes up against… Grabot. If there were a Giant Bolt given out for “the bot that’s done approximately f*ck all this season”, Grabot would be a strong contender for it.
Like, realistically, what is it meant to do here? The little grabby hands are a cool idea and all, but if they don’t work against bots whose bodies stay still, then what’s it going to do against one which has its whole body in a constant state of rotation? The only possible thing it could do is throw itself into Gigabyte and hope it breaks itself, but provided that outcome doesn’t happen, I can see wheels being shed.
Sorry Grabot, as unkind as this match-up is, I don’t think there’s any changing the outcome of this one.
Perfect Phoenix vs Big Dill
Oooooh weeeeee, what’s this? It’s a first-round tie that’s actually kinda hard to call! Have we slipped into an alternate universe where this is a common occurrence? Are we looking at the right fight? What’s going on? Maybe it’s best we don’t question it and take this match-up between Perfect Phoenix and Big Dill as it is.
Admittedly a fight between the twenty-seventh seed and one of the tournament’s near-misses may not be that appealing on paper, but I think this one’s kind of intriguing. Because as much of a factor as the weapon on Perfect Phoenix and Tyler Nguyen’s driving are going to prove, that chonky wedge at the front of Big Dill isn’t just the funniest sh*t I ever saw, but it could also prove to be the downfall of the inherited former champion. Even though PP has some power in its weapon, it has proven to be kinda unreliable at points this season, or put out of commission a bit too easily. So even though Big Dill might not have been the most consistently impressive bot we’ve seen this season, the natural thing to do here is to point its thick front armour at PP, disable the weapon, and then go to town with the lifter. Sure, it might not happen, but that’s where my mind is taking me.
What can I say, the pickle gets me.
WINNER: BIG DILL
Kraken vs Copperhead
Time for round two, and as we hop back over to the left to be greeted with another intriguing match-up, it’s time to wonder whether Kraken will build on their shock victory over Rusty against a bot that’s proven to be rather destructive this season. Zach Goff’s bot was seeded third this season for a reason.
In my opinion, they will. Not that Copperhead won’t give this fight a good go, if it even happens, but it looks just the right shape to slot into Kraken’s mouth, and if Matt Spurk and co. can negate the impact the drum spinner will have, which, as we’ve established, is more than possible, then they could easily win the fight on control, and send Copperhead into the hazards in an attempt to break it. They’ll have to drive an almost perfect fight to pull it off, but, if we’ve learned anything from Kraken this season, they’re more than capable of doing that against the tournament’s best.
I smell another bounty final for the deep sea dweller.
Gigabyte vs Big Dill
Now, what I’m going to say here might sound incredibly hypocritical, considering I was just waxing lyrical about the beefy nature of Big Dill’s front plough that would see it beat Perfect Phoenix. So why am I now saying it won’t work against Gigabyte? Probably because Gigabyte is literally one of the most overpowered spinners in the whole field, and is a much harder bot to get the better of than Perfect Phoenix. That’s no disrespect to PP, but more a compliment to the ferocity stored within Gigabyte.
Honestly, all I can see the Robotic Death Company doing is bending the Dill’s forks to the point of non-useable, and then throw a couple of whacks in on its side to send it hurtling across the box, some chunks of plastic thrown about, and probably a nice launch toward Chris and Kenny to make them have their lives flash before their eyes for a split second, just for good measure. Maybe that’s mildly sadistic, but we are watching a show about literal violent robots that beat each other up here.
Looks like we’re gonna see some spinning and winning in this one, folks.
Kraken vs Gigabyte
And so this is where the mini-bracket meets in the middle, the two vanquishers of the other challengers, looking to claim the right to fight Son of Whyachi. Kraken has been here before, falling foul of Gruff despite covering itself in tin foil to protect itself from the propaganda of well-known conspirator Sam McAmis and the other members of his cult. John Mladenik and his teammates may not need tin-foil protection, but their shirts have flames on them, so you know they mean business. Can Kraken turn the tide in its favour this time around?
Well, provided they make it this far again, sadly, I don’t think they can. For as much admiration for Kraken as I have, I’ve long thought they aren’t really designed to take on spinners, except for the typical 4WD verts, such as the Black Dragons and Witch Doctors of the world. We saw it against HUGE, we saw it against SawBlaze, and we even saw it last season against the bot they’re fighting to face, Son of Whyachi. I think this will be another case of Kraken trying something fresh to outsmart their opponent, but will ultimately get whacked about a fair bit, probably losing at least a wheel in the process. It’ll take some incredible driving for them to get a hold of Gigabyte, and even more so if they intend to cause damage to it. Stranger things have happened, but I think the more likely outcome isthat it’ll suffer too much damage for it to legitimately claim a win.
Sorry, Kraken, but I think this one’s going to Gigabyte. I’ll still be rooting for ya.
Son of Whyachi vs Gigabyte
Honestly part of the reason for this being the final is just because of ow badly I want it to happen. Two of my favourite spinners going head-to-head against each other, some monster amounts of energy unleashed upon us, some hits for the ages. That’s the dream anyway. This is just something I feel we need in our lives, especially if SOW really isn’t going to come back next season.
If this were the last we’re going to see of it, what a way to go it would be. I think it would lose, but it would go down in style. Basically I could just foresee one or two mammoth hits (not to the bot Mammoth, it’s just an expression), and it would come down to who doesn’t break. Given the sheer amount of power these two bots have at their disposal, it could come down to a coin toss. But Whyachi has more exposed to potential breakage, and is (supposedly) a bot on the way out, and I fear it will fall the same way as Icewave and Bronco did in their bounties, losing to another upstart looking to disrupt the status quo. Except the RDC have been around for as long as the Whyachi clan, but you get my point.
Whoever does win, let’s just hope we get to enjoy those big hits while we still can.
And so that brings another set of Bounty Hunters predictions to a close. Another episode that promises many sparks and few upsets, but the more robot content we get the better, am I right? Whilst we sit tight and wait for the announcement of another season, we may as well enjoy the sideshow that BattleBots has provided for us so far this season. Or you could go and watch some events of the lower weight classes – I see there’s a Norwalk Havoc event this Sunday, and last time I checked BuggleBots is still all available on YouTube, despite that Change.org petition the Berg team set up to have it pulled. Trust me, it’s not rigged, it’s actually quite a fun show.
Thanks for reading everyone, enjoy the show, and I’ll see you again soon.