So here we are, the final episode of the Robot Wars reboot. It’s been 6 long weeks, where we have seen everything from the sublime to the destructive to the awful. Spinners, flippers, axes and crushers all came in with the aim of taking home the Robot Wars crown, and now we’re down to the final 6. Well, we’re not quite down to a final 6, because we have yet to know who the wildcard is…
The contenders for the wildcard were made up from the heat finalists in each of the preceding 5 weeks. That meant that the place would be going to one of Behemoth, Thor, Dantomkia, Storm 2 or Gabriel. I wonder just how many of them thought they could actually win the wildcard, or if they knew it would go to somebody else and were just there for the ceremony. This ceremony happens part way through the episode, but I’ll skip ahead for the grand reveal. The robot coming back for the grand final, and claiming the wildcard spot is….
I think it was fairly obvious Thor would get the wildcard. Having been undefeated all the way up to the heat final, a feat which saw them rack up 8 points in the Head to Heads. They also defeated eventual winner Shockwave, something no other runner up could claim to have done. Thor was most certainly the correct choice for the wildcard- I didn’t think it could win (I didn’t think any of the wildcards would win), but it was the right robot to take forward.
And so now we have the first heats of the finale. With there being 6 robots to fight with, that meant the initial melees would be a 3-way battle, before the usual 4 way Head to Head tournament, and then a 1 on 1 grand final. The interesting thing would be how they split the heats- would they keep all the similar robots together, to guarantee at least one would get through? Would we see Apollo v TR2 and Pulsar v Carbide? Or would we see them kept apart, so that there was a greater variety in the battles? Here were the options:
Carbide- Winners of week 1, Carbide come packed with a ferocious spinning bar that rotates at 2300rpm, about 4x that of Hypno-Disc. Discount Tombstone.
Shockwave- A robot with a snowplough, Shockwave won in week 2. Ultimate pushing robot. Discount season 1 Bite Force
TR2- Undefeated champions of week 3 and 2015 UK champions, TR2 boast a full pressure flipper capable of tossing up to a tonne in kit. Discount Bronco.
Apollo- Another flipper, Apollo won in week 4. Built by the Robot Wars boy band, they turned heads by taking out 3 of the 4 house robots. Also a discount Bronco.
Pulsar- Built by tech genius Ellis Ware and featuring the fastest ever spinning weapon in Robot Wars at 9000rpm, Pulsar won in week 5, though they needed to be reinstated first. Discount Hypershock.
Thor- The wildcard entry to the Robot Wars finale, Thor possesses a giant, blunt axe, built for causing major internal damage. Discount Beta.
But what divisions did the producers actually take?
Heat 1: Pulsar v TR2 v Thor
So the producers, in what I assume was the most heated coffee morning of the series, decided to split up the similar robots, so that we had some variety in our heats. The first of those 3 way melees consisted of week 5 winners Pulsar, week 3 winners TR2 and wildcard Thor. So a spinning drum, a flipper and an axe.
Before we continue on with the heat, let’s take a quick look at how each of the robots got this far:
Thor bossed week 2 for a grand majority of the episode, having beaten Tough As Nails into submission in the opening heat to showcase the power of the axe, whilst Disconstructor also fell in that battle. The Head to Heads pitted them against spinner M.R Speed Squared, who they managed to dispatch with relative ease, deflecting most of the full body spinner’s blows with a special metal plate before putting holes through their armour and seeing them drive into the pit. They then took apart Shockwave’s gas pipe scoop piece by piece in the next fight, before sealing an unbeaten run to the final by easily dispatching of Foxic. However, in the heat final rematch against Shockwave, they found themselves immobile after one big hit, and were seemingly going home before being saved by the wildcard.
TR2 came through week 3 to become the only robot in the grand final with a 100% record. After sending Supernova into the pit during the initial heat, despite the fact their flipper wasn’t actually working, TR2 became a formidable force. In the H2Hs, they first took care of former UK champions Big Nipper, by sending them crashing down into the pit aswell (Though Big Nipper almost did the job for them). Next up was the battle of the flippers vs. Dantomkia, where TR2 bested them by virtue of not running out of CO2 gas. Finally TR2 took care of King B Remix, another match that ended with the losing robot falling into the pit of oblivion. That set up a finale rematch with DTK, where TR2 managed to repeat their heroics from the Head to Heads.
Pulsar had a turbulent start to their journey in week 5, going out in the first round after a massive hit from Ironside 3 caved in one of their wheels. However, with Chompalot’s fiery demise at the hands of Gabriel, they found themselves reinstated, though with a one fight disadvantage to make up. They succeeded, however, taking out the unarmoured flipper of Beast before defeating Ironside 3 in a controversial grudge match. That set up a final with the giant Gabriel, where Pulsar came away victorious on a judges’ decision.
So, for your fight tonight, the house robots are Shunt and Dead Metal. It would seem the producers are STILL piecing Matilda’s ass back together after Apollo took it apart.
And so the grand final has begun! Or, it is supposed to have begun, but nobody moved at all in the first 5 seconds. Eventually Thor made a break for it, but perhaps TR2 were not the only team looking to wait and see what would happen? Thor’s first target was Pulsar, who had a little nibble at the metal sliders, but Thor got away fine.
TR2, meanwhile, are definitely sitting back, allowing the robots to come to them. Both Pulsar and Thor had a few glancing attacks, but nothing that would get TR2 to fire the flipper. Thor then accidentally drives into Shunt, who brings down that mighty axe blade onto him. In trying to escape Shunt, Thor then ends up backing into Pulsar, who manages to tear half of Thor’s side panels off.
The three robots then all sort of come together, forcing each other into the corner of the arena. Nobody really does anything, but they’ve all kind of converged. It’s a weird robot threesome. Thor once again ends up in Shunt’s CPZ, but this time escapes without crashing into Pulsar. Speaking of Pulsar, they’ve… erm… stopped. Again. They get moving, sort of, but not anywhere near enough to be considered mobile. TR2 meanwhile have done absolutely nothing in this fight, and still can’t get underneath Thor. Thor haven’t really done anything other than drive into Shunt. Come to think of it, the only robot to have actually done anything of note is the robot that’s immobilised. Alright then.
Thor then drive into Shunt once more, something that finally allows TR2 to get underneath and flip them. Thor self right, and then drive into Shunt, AGAIN. This time Shunt turns them over, because I’m pretty sure he’s fed up with their shit. However, realising Pulsar are still technically in the fight, TR2 comes along and promptly flips them over. Shunt and Thor collectively then decide to beat the robot to shit. After TR2 comes in and flips Thor, the axe-wielding machine then decides to continue the grudge match with Shunt. Pulsar meanwhile is back on its wheels, and still not doing much. Whilst TR2 and Thor are attempting to render each other useless, they’re slowly inching Pulsar towards Shunt’s CPZ. Soon it’s close enough that Shunt strikes down, hitting the drum and ending Pulsar’s life there and then.
So TR2 and Thor go through. That’s the end of Pulsar’s stop start journey in Robot Wars, the 8th wars.
Heat 2: Shockwave v Carbide v Apollo
The final 3 way melee sees week 1 winners Carbide face week 2 winners Shockwave and week 4 winners Apollo. Bar spinner v Lifter/Pusher v Flipper. All to play for.
Carbide set the bar in Robot Wars, coming on in week 1 and blowing away a majority of the competition, though they didn’t have it all their own way. After taking a wheel off The General and seeing Bonk flipped over in the initial heat, Carbide came up against a formidable foe in the form of Terrorhurtz, who managed to pit the challenger. However, they took revenge by obliteration surprise package Nuts, before literally tearing Behemoth’s scoop off its hinges. They faced Behemoth again in the week 1 finale, where the bulldozer bot ended up in the pit.
Shockwave became the dark horse of the competition after taking out heat favourite Thor to gain direct passage to the grand final. They started out by pitting Disconstructor in their heat, before helping Thor take out Tough As Nails. In the Head to Heads, they started out by defeating a limp Foxic, but suffered a crushing defeat to Thor in the next battle. However, they battled back to take out M.R Speed Squared and qualify for the week 2 final, where they shocked everyone to immobilise Thor, before sending them into the pit and winning the heat.
Apollo became a crowd favourite after taking aim at the house robots, with no less than 3 of them falling to the high powered flipper as they won week 4. After taking care of Kan-Opener and Sweeney Todd in the opening Melee, Apollo then took out the powerful spinner of PP3D and beat World Champions Storm 2 on a judges’ decision. However, with their place in the final already assured, Apollo lost to fellow flipper Eruption. A rematch with Storm 2 beckoned in the final, where they not only beat them, they flipped them clean out of the arena.
Your house robots for this battle are Shunt and Sir Killalot, because Apollo needed a new target. AND BEGIN!
Immediately, Shockwave tried to rush Carbide, colliding with the bar spinner and sliding across the flame pit. But Shockwave came back, getting the scoop all the way underneath Carbide and pushing them across the arena whilst simultaneously avoiding the blade. After getting caught on the lip of the pit Carbide bounced off Shockwave momentarily, but they continued the assault, this time getting underneath with Carbide’s blade facing away. With even more purchase now, Shockwave took hold and sent Carbide crashing into the arena wall.
And the entire arena sidewall panel came flying off.
It’s akin to such moments like the 7th wars finale, where Typhoon 2 put a large wall in the arena Plexiglas. Dara can claim the arena is bulletproof all he wants, and it may very well be, but it is certainly not Carbideproof.
Unlike the 7th wars, however, this match was not immediately stopped to repair the damage. Instead, Carbide continued on with its relentless rampage, going back at Shockwave and tearing their entire side pod off in one hit, practically immobilising them. Apollo meanwhile have just sat back and watched the entire proceedings, obviously not too keen to go near Carbide’s weapon after seeing what it can do. Is there any way to stop Carbide? Yes, it’s called Bombshell. Wait, no, wrong show. Dammit.
And to prove nobody can stop them, Carbide then attack Apollo, showering sparks off their front end before Apollo sends them flying through the air. At least one robot has had some luck. Carbide bounces off the floor before driving back at a rather dead Shockwave, hitting their scoop.
And then cease is actually called. Because they couldn’t have done that 30 seconds previous and saved Shockwave’s life.
Shockwave it has to say is even more dead than the hit would have made it seem, and there’s no way they can repair the robot in the time it would take to repair the arena, so they’re definitely out. Carbide and Apollo go through.
And so that is the 8th wars initial melees. Next time it’s a whirlwind trip through the first set of Head to Heads….