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/25 October 2000
Battlebots by E.C. Ostermeyer




"The Quest for the Giant Nut" continues. And if there's some gratuitous violence involved, so much the better.

This is the BattleBots recap for Wednesday, 25 October 2000, and I'm your recapper, E.C. Ostermeyer.

Tonight features three quarterfinals matches, two in the Middleweight Division, and one Super Heavyweight slugfest.

Your hosts are ESPN renegade Sean Salisbury, and the ol' "Fight Doctor" himself, Bill Dwyer.

The first match tonight features Team Carnivore's Blade Runner MW114), Ilya Polyakov's answer to the question, "What should I do with this old push mower?" At 114 lbs, and armed with a wicked-looking pickaxe, Blade Runner walloped the fenders right off previous opponent Bad Attitude.

Short biopic of the Pride of Madison, Wisconsin. Super Orbiting Force (MW113) is the nasty big brother to Lisa Winter's cute-but-deadly Tentomushi. Lisa's dad, Michael, has built a low-to- the-ground 'Bot with a wide wheel-base, and armed it with a 10-inch circular saw blade. Becky Winters, Lisa's mom, collects robot-style toys, while Dad builds the fiendish contraptions, and Lisa exhibits a Zen-like resignation about the whole business.
Incidentally, the Comedy Central folks have Super Orbiting Force mis-named as "Spin Orbiting Force." I will use the proper name from here on.

Match #1: Super Orbiting Force (MW113) d. Blade Runner (MW114), (decision on points, 3:00)

Arena announcer Mark Biero introduces the principals for this match, the refs lock the BattleBox Arena, and we're under way.
The two 'Bots stalk each other across the hazard-strewn Arena floor, each looking for an opening. We've got two prime drivers here, as they feint and swerve all over the arena. First licks goes to SOF, that catches Blade Runner coming out of its 2000rpm "whirling dervish o' death" dance.
Blade Runner takes the hit, then nimbly scampers away, neatly avoiding an arena KillSaw hazard. Blade Runner swoops in for a Slam...
And gets sliced in the carapace by SOF, then gets tossed, taking some tire damage from the KillSaws as it tries to get away.
Blade Runner shakes it off, and charges at SOF, getting in under it's saw blade, and driving it hard onto the arena SpikeStrip hazard. From it's position underneath SOF, Blade Runner now takes it's hapless opponent on a tour of the various arena hazards, beginning with the RamRod spikes. Next, the HellRaisers are visited, but SOF manages to break free, simultaneously raking Blade Runner's left tire, and raising a big cloud of smoke.
A charge by SOF, but Blade Runner avoids, and neatly sideswipes a Slam into SOF's left wheel housing. SOF gets another taste of tire as Blade Runner backs away for another charge. Blade Runner spins up, and gets a lick or three in on SOF. SOF responds by trapping Blade Runner under it's actuator arm, and shoving it into the KillSaws. Blade Runner is doing some excellent driving, even to using a HellRaiser to avoid getting sliced by SOF's primary weapon. It rushes in for another Slam, but SOF gets another taste of 'Bot and tire as Blade Runner disengages.
The two contestants lock up, Blade Runner shoving on SOF, and SOF delivering Jabs from that 10-inch sawblade. Some heavy-duty "flossing" action, as SOF's saw gets between Blade Runner's wheel and carapace, and starts eating into the axle. Blade Runner backs away, and rams another Slam into SOF, who tries another saw jab, but gets nothing but floor as the buzzer sounds to end the match.


SOF got 7 Slams, 2 Jabs , and 5 Hazard Damage.
Blade Runner got 4 Slams, 4 Jabs, and 1 Hazard Damage

Your winner: Spin Orbiting Force


Match #2: Hazard (MW114) d. Turtle Roadkill (MW99), (decision on points, 3:00)

Dwyer runs the fight card on the match. Hazard was built by Tony Buchighani and Dan Dankrick of Los Angeles, and resembles an upside down rotary lawnmower, without the safety features.
Turtle Roadkill (TRK) is the product of the fertile mind of 12-year-old designer/operator Sam Steyer of San Mateo, CA. It is a ramming specialist.
Bill Nye (The Science Guy!) does a TechSpec Spot on Hazard, calling attention to it's low profile of 15 cm, and has two drive motors, and two weapons motors that power the chrome-molydenum steel blade. Additionally, Hazard has a titanium ramp to give, as Nye puts it, "that extra little "love shove" to it's opponents."

The match opens with the very nimble TRK scooting this way and that, and the slower hazard plodding remorselessly in for the kill.
A zigzag by TRK, but hazard gets in a good wallop with that whirling steel blade, and TRK is tossed about six feet to one side from the force of the blow. TRK is by no means passive, and rams full speed into Hazard's left front fender.
Hazard's blade appears to be out of commission, possibly due to the force of the blow it landed earlier on TRK.
The two 'Bots headbutt again, and Hazard appears to have the drive power advantage in addition to the weight advantage, as it starts shoving TRK across the arena floor.
TRK breaks free and scoots away, landing another Slam on Hazard's dented left side.
Swerving and feinting, the two 'Bots circle each other, looking for an opening.
TRK slips off Hazard's titanium ramp, and winds up on top of a KillSaw Hazard, that tosses the 'Bot halfway across the arena floor. Shajking it off, TRK zooms back in for another wallop on Hazard., and the two 'Bots trade blows some more. Hazard appears to be content with Slams, rather than allowing it's steel blade to spin back up. Speaking of which, Hazard corrals TRK, and shoves it all the way across the arena floor to impale it upon the arena SpikeStrips. TRK skitters away, but runs afoul of the RamRod spikes. Both 'Bots chase each other, with TRK pushing Hazard off the HellRaiser ramp and into the KillSaws, and almost getting bit as well.
Hazard turns on it's tormentor, and shoves TRK across another set of KillSaws, that promptly spin it across the arena like a top.
Bill Dwyer seems to think TRK looks like Darth Vader's helmet, if you squint real hard.
Another Slam by Hazard sends TRK into the SpikeStrip once more. Again TRK breaks free, but Hazard is there for another scoop and slam of TRK into the spikes. This last blow apparently got the drive train, and TRK is DOA, although match time expires before the referee can start the "Eight Count of Doom."

Hazard scored 4 Slams, 4 jabs, and 4 Hazard Damage.
Turtle Roadkill scored no Slams, 3 Jabs, and 3 hazard Damage.

Your winner: Hazard.

Post-match, former "Baywatch" babe Donna D'Errico asks 12-year-old Sam Steyer what happened out there?

"I got killed!" is Sam's terse reply.


We're back, as Dwyer and Salisbury talk up the next Super Heavyweight match between the be-pennanted Ronin (SHW307), and the fearsome Ginsu(SHW312).
Footage shows Ronin's 12-inch gas-powered saw blade tearing first-round opponent Odin to pieces.
Biopic of the six-foot wide terror, Ginsu, focuses on builder/driver Trey Roski of Petauma, California. Team-mate Greg Munson pooh-poohs lesser prey, such as the popular Minion for only wielding one paltry saw blade, when Ginsu has six. Munson also denigrates the definitely scary-looking Abbatoir's owner/operator, saying he doesn't belong in the sport. Mechadon, on the other hand, gave Ginsu a good fight until Ginsu sawed off two of it's legs. Roski says that the tracked monster Ronin's builder, Peter Abrahamson, is notorious for having his robots fall apart.
"There's no friends when you're in that arena!" says Roski.

Match #3: Ronin (SHW307) d. Ginsu (SHW312) (decision on points, 3:00)

Dwyer says that Ginsu is such a complicated 'Bot to operate that Trey roski has to use three different controllers and drive systems to mak e it go, while Greg Munson handles the weapons on an entirely different set of controllers.
The BattleBox is locked and the lights are on.

It's "Robot Fighting Time!"

Ginsu takes the offensive right off the bat, charging directly at ronin, and accidentally running into a set of the KillSaws in the process. Ginsu weaves, snake-like, then strikes Ronin head-on, ducking under Ronin's whirling 12-inch saw, and digging in to the saw's mounting bracket. Ginsu backs off briefly, then surges up and high-centers itself just behind Ronin's primary weapon. There's an audible shriek of jagged metal as ginsu's twin front saw bades rip into Ronin's carapace. Uh oh, Ginsu's ramming of Ronin on that last pass was not without cost, as Ginsu's front axle now has a definite "sway" to it.
No matter to Trey Roski, as he powers Ginsu up and over Ronin for a second time.
Whoops, now Ginsu's got a chain drive dragging off the left front wheel. It's still able to function, however, with the other three drive trains in operation. Ginsu backs away, only to run right over a KillSaw hazard, that rips the left rear drive chain loose. A swipe from Ronin's whirling saw, and Ginsu's right rear drive chain is left dangling. That leaves Ginsu a one-wheel drive and thus VERY slow 'Bot. Ginsu changes tactics, now content to scuttle away, keeping the plodding Ronin at "saw's length."
Which works until Ginsu backs over the protective railing, which lifts it's one remaining active wheel high in the air, futilely spinning.
The whine of Ronin's whirling 12-inch saw blade increases in pitch as
It moves in for the kill. Ginsu is able to back away briefly, and then try for a half-strength Slam that does no damage at all. Ronin digs in, using the traction and brute strength of its tank-treads to shove Ginsu further into the SpikeStrips. With it's opponent thus pinned, Ronin spins up it's saw and begins to slice into the right side of Ginsu's chassis. The push of Ronin's attack shoves Ginsu even further up onto the SpikeStrip, where it's remaining right front drive wheel spins ineffectually. By this time, there are three big gashes cut into the front of Ginsu. The referee starts his "Eight Count of Doom." As Trey Roski feverishly tries to free Ginsu, his creation's right rear drive axle begins to work loose. Ronin is just starting to rip the weakened axle off Ginsu, when the buzzer sounds, ending the match.


Ronin scored 1 Slam, 5 vicious Jabs, and 4 Hazard Damage.
Ginsu scored 0 Slams, 4 Jabs and 1 Hazard Damage.

Winner: Ronin.

Post-match, Randy Sklar discusses the finer points of slicing and dicing with Ronin's builder, Peter Abrahamson, who waxes altruistic, saying that the whole point of the match was to put on a good show for the fans, and to keep pounding on his opponent to make the audience happy.

Dwyer recaps the winners and losers of tonight's action:

Super Orbiting Force won a hard-fought decision on points from a feisty Blade Runner. It will meet Match #2's victor, Hazard, who swatted Turtle Roadkill around like a cat toy, in the Middleweight semifinals. Finally, we saw Ronin outlast a wildly aggressive Ginsu, in a Super Heavyweight match where Ginsu was, ultimately, it's own worst enemy.

Hit of the Week comes from our first match tonight, and has Super Orbiting Force shoving Blade Runner into the KillSaws, which then toss Blade Runner end-over-end across the arena floor.

See you next week for more

"Total 'Robliteration'!"

E.C. Ostemeyer
[slash] wrestling

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