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/13 September 2000
BattleBots by E.C. Ostermeyer




"The quest for the 'Giant Nut' begins here. Two robots fight. One robot dies."

This is BattleBots for Wednesday, 13 September 2000, and I'm your recapper, E.C. Ostermeyer.

We come to you live on tape from San Francisco's Fort Mason Center.

Your hosts are ESPN's Sean Salisbury, and the whiter, fluffier Bill Dwyer.
Dwyer explains the rules of the game.
Two robots slug it out for three minutes, unless there's a knock-out. They score points for strategy, tactics, driving, not to mention ramming their opponent ("Slams"), whacking their opponent with their weapon system(s) ("Jabs") or maneuvering their opponent into the BattleBot Arena's fiendish collection of anti-robot hazards ("Hazard Damage").

Others at ringside are former Baywatch lovely Donna D'Errico, and BattleBots' answer to ECW's Prodigy & Prodigette, the twins Randy and Jason Sklar. Bill Nye, The Science Guy is along to keep the techno-geeks happy.

The first battle tonight is a Middleweight bout between designer/operator Randy Eubanks' (Team Boomer, Long Beach, CA) stainless steel wedge named Subject To Change Without Reason, and Team Pressure Drop's pickaxe-wielding Pressure Drop.

Bill Nye is along to provide an up close and personal look at Pressure Drop. It's primary weapon, a titanium rock chisel at the end of a three- foot steel actuator arm, is driven by a 60-atmosphere liquid CO2 pneumatic hammer mechanism that's housed in a 360-degree rotating turret. It's designer/operator is Derek Young, of Canada's Team Pressure Drop.

Match #1: Pressure Drop (MW173) d. S.T.C. Without Reason (MW63), (R/C short-out/ referee stops contest, 1:30)

The match begins with the much lighter STC zooming across the ring to get in the first blow, as Pressure Drop ambles, ant-like, out of it's red starting square.
STC gets in two more slams with it's wedge, as Pressure Drop flails ineffectually with it's pickaxe. There's two more hard slams by STC on Pressure Drop.
Then, disaster strikes!
Randy Eubanks is shown saying "Oh, sh*t!" as STC comes to a screeching halt, a wisp of smoke floating up from under it's steel carapace.
Eubanks is trying frantically to get any kind of response out of STC, but nothing's happening. (According to BattleBots rules, if your robot remains motionless for more than 30 seconds, the match is over.) Meanwhile, Derek Young, at the controls of Pressure Drop, is waddling his mechanical monster over to have a whack at the crippled STC. Just as he gets into pick-axe range, the 30-second buzzer sounds, ending the match. This doesn't stop Derek Young from taking a vicious clout at his fallen opponent, and the titanium rock chisel pokes a big ol' dent into STC's carapace. The crowd's reaction is mixed, some booing for the late hit, while others are cheering for the post-buzzer sucker punch.

Match stats: STC was ahead with 4 Slams, and 1 Jab, to Pressure Drop's 1 Slam and 1 jab. Pressure Drop also gets 1 Robo-Lo-Blow for the late hit, but no points, sorry.
But, STC loses due to an R/C short-out, and not being able to make the 30-second buzzer.

Winner: Pressure Drop

Post-match, Donna D'Errico gets a lot of barely-suppressed whining from Randy Eubanks on the performance of his creation.
(Hey Eubanks, it's a poor craftsman who blames his creation, right?)

Randy Sklar's cornered winner Derek Young, who's broad grin shows that he knows he pulled this win right out of his ass. Randy asks about the late hit. Derek says he was just playing to the audience. Randy asks would he do it again. Oh nooooo, says Derek, with a look of innocence.
We go back to Randy Eubanks, who is angrily pointing out a big dent in STC's carapace, and grousing about the late hit.
Sean Salisbury comes down on Eubanks side in this controversy. Bill Dwyer sneers at Salisbury's strict adherence to such an out-moded concept as "rules."


Match #2: Mouser Mecha-Catbot (LW58) d. Shaft (LW 55), (time expiration, judges 6-3 split decision, 3:00)

Dwyers's got the fight card on the principals for our next match.
Mouser Mecha-Catbot, a 58-lbs hubcap with a pink pussycat face painted on the outside, is armed with fore-and-aft spinning saw blades and a flipper forklift. It's designer operator is hometown boy Fon Davis.
Shaft, built by Oakland's Rik Winter of Team KMM, is a four-wheel- drive low-rider, armed with a cold-rolled steel spike.
The match opens with Shaft taking a running lunge at Catbot, hitting a glancing blow with the steel spike along the top of Catbot's pink carapace. Catbot responds by flipping it's forklift, blocking the move. Catbot ripostes with a ram and a flip-up, raising Shaft's front axles off the floor. Shaft responds with another lunge, and gets the spike into Catbot's flipper mechanism. The two 'Bots grapple a bit, then separate. Another lunge by Shaft takes it up over Catbot's rounded carapace again, but it's momentum also carries it right into the BattleBox Arena's Kill Saws hazard. This tosses Shaft a good fifteen feet through the air. Shaft recovers, none the worse for wear, and makes another lunge at Catbot, which blocks the lunge by using it's flipper forklift again. Shaft backs off, accidentally rolling over the Kill Saws again. Catbot pursues, but the Saws come out again and turn Catbot into a frisbee, sailing the 58 lbs 'Bot all the way across the Arena. Shaft's on the attack, ramming Catbot once again, this time into the steel-spike enhanced safety rails of the Arena. Shaft continues to rain blows on Catbot, and gets plenty back from its opponent. Both 'Bots get crowded up against the wall, right under an Arena Sledgehammer hazard, which gets in a couple of good whacks on both of the combatants.
Another charge sends Shaft up on top of Catbot, which leaves Shaft with only one wheel making contact with the floor. Catbot takes advantage of the situation to move Shaft right over the Kill Saws again. Great driving by Catbot's Fon Davis! Catbot speeds up and rams Shaft against the safety railing. Shaft breaks free and makes a final rush at Catbot as the buzzer sounds, ending the match.

Match Stats: Shaft scored 1 Slam, 12 Jabs and 4 Hazard Damage, while Mouser Mecha-Catbot scored 1 Slam, 7 Jabs and 2 Hazard Damage. The Arena judges, however, score the match as a 6-3 split decision in favor of Mouser Mecha-Catbot, for "superior driving skills and strategy."

Shaft won this one going away! (Bullshit! Catbot *controlled* this match. - CRZ)


Match #3: Vlad the Impaler (HW205) d. TazBot (HW207), (time expired/decision on points, 3:00)

Dwyer runs down the fight card for our final match of the evening:

Vlad the Impaler, designed by Gage Cauchois of Oakland's Team Vladmeisters, is a malevolent-looking dehumidifier armed with a pneumatic-driven forklift with sharpened titanium blades. TazBot resembles a Rug Doctor on steroids, armed with a turret-mounted lifting arm. It's designer/operator is Donald Hutson of San Diego's Team TazBot.

Salisbury and Dwyer consider Vlad the Impaler to be the best Heavyweight contender in the Division.

A short biopic of Team Vladmeisters is shown, looking eerily like those "Up Close & Personal" Olympics interviews from a while back.

(As we go to the Arena, a sign in the crowd says "Rust in Peace!")

The contest starts with both combatants rushing at each other, both looking to strike the first blow. Vlad gets in a half-lift on TazBot, but has to let go as TazBot shoves Vlad into the spiked Arena safety rail.
A head-on collision stuns both 'Bots. TazBot recovers first, and hoists Vlad off the floor with it's turret-mounted actuator arm. TazBot then tries to push the 205 lbs. Vlad into the Kill Saws, and the Saws go to work on Vlad's rear end.
A too-aggressive push by TazBot allows Vlad to use the Kill Saws to break free, and off he scuttles, as TazBot's momentum carries him into the same Kill Saws for some Hazard Damage.
The two 'Bots spar for a bit, then Vlad backs up and starts a tremendous rush that bowls TazBot completely over! Wow!
Another ramming attack by Vlad on TazBot slams the up-ended 'Bot into the BattleBox wall with punishing force. The force of the blow is enough to right TazBot, who's turret is spinning like it's trying to "shake out the dizzys." A rush by TazBot winds up stuck on the titanium forklift of Vlad, who proceeds to ram his opponent into the wall again.
Vlad backs up, and positions the pinioned TazBot over the Kill Saws. The Saws go to work, and TazBot gets flipped over again. Another ramming attack by Vlad flips TazBot right side up. As Vlad winds up for another ram, smoke starts pouring out of TazBot, to the cheers of the crowd. Looks like TazBot's turret motor and lifting arm are jammed. Vlad's wanting to finish this. A speedy charge-in and some judicious fork-lift action tosses TazBot in the air, to land on Vlad's steel carapace. Vlad picks up speed, and rams TazBot into the wall. Reversing direction, Vlad aims for the RamRod Spikes hazard, and Tazbot gets flipped over again. Another ramming attack smashes TazBot into the wall, and Vlad gets in two more Slams before the buzzer sounds.

Match Stats: Vlad the Impaler dominated the match, scoring 7 Slams, a whopping 18 Jabs, and 4 Hazard Damage, to TazBot's 1 Slam, 4 Jabs, and 5 Hazard Damage.
Winner: Vlad the Impaler.

Donna D'Errico gets the winner's reaction. "Gage Cauchois just lines 'em up and I take care of 'em!" says Vlad's Weapons Officer, Gregg.Walker.

Sean and Bill review the results of tonight's matches, with (MW) Pressure Drop, (LW) Mouser Mecha-Catbot, and (HW) Vlad the Impaler all advancing to the next round.

More Robliteration next week.

I'm having fun!
Are you?

E.C. Ostemeyer
[slash] wrestling

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Guest column text copyright (C) 2000 by the individual author and used with permission