We are finally here. All the marbles. The ten pounds of gold, I mean iron or something. The Robot Wars Grand Final. Legends are made. Dreams are shattered. The greatest night in combat sports. Wrestlemania. Wrestle Kingdom. All pale in comparison to this gruelling tournament of attrition. We have five competitors who have qualified by winning their heats, namely Behemoth, Carbide, Rapid, Nuts 2 and Magnetar. However, we have one final place to confirm, and wooooooaft, do we have a way to determine that sixth place. Join me. I am your guide on this hallowed journey.
Apollo vs. Eruption vs. Sabretooth vs. Expulsion vs. Thor vs. Concussion vs. Aftershock vs. Iron-Awe 6 vs. Terrorhurtz vs. Track-tion
George: “Hey David, I tell you what. Why don’t you take the Grand Final this year? I did it last year, so it only seems fair.”
David: “Yeah, sounds good.”
YOU ABSOLUTE PRICK, GEORGE. HOW THE FUCK I AM MEANT TO RECAP THIS?
You know if you ever look online at a fifteen year old kid fantasy booking Wrestlemania, there will always be some insane “TEN MAN HELL IN A CELL TLC INFERNO MATCH WITH THE BELT HANGING FROM THE CELL – BRAUN STROWMAN VS. THE GREAT MUTA VS. SABU VS. MITSUHARU MISAWA VS. CHRIS BENOIT VS. ZACK SABRE JR VS. STING VS. JOHN CENA VS. KURT ANGLE VS. THE UNDERTAKER” style match? Well, clearly someone over at Robot Wars has clearly been sliding into the DMs over at Wrestling Forum because that’s exactly what this is. Ten robots fighting to the death. No disqualification. No holds barred. No time limit. No stoppages for blood loss or injury. The arena have given special dispensation to break curfew.
The hype video makes it sound like the end times are upon us. Expulsion ominously says that if someone presses the pit button, there will be trouble, and my god, how right you are. Someone presses the button to release the pit and Expulsion are immediately binned into it. From then on, Track-tion, Iron-Awe 6, Concussion, Sabretooth, Aftershock and even the master driver of Thor all fall into the pit. For most of the battle, Eruption hides in a corner as everyone else mutilates each other.
Literally everywhere you turn there is some crazy bumps being taken. The cameramen can’t keep up. There are about forty fog of wars as Jonathan Pearce is sectioned under the Mental Health Act. Sir Killalot has a Platoon-esque breakdown and goes on a spree. He tries to launch Terrorhurtz before realising he has gone too far, before crumbling in tears at the sight of his hands covered in robot blood.
Sparks are flying everywhere. There are grim shots of the pit which looks like a mass grave out of some bleak documentary about genocide. Terrorhurtz is nearly eliminated but somehow manages to self right itself before eventually expiring. We are down to Eruption and Apollo. They try to flip each other out, but Eruption pulls off the shock and immobilises Apollo as, mercifully, the cease is called. WAR IS OVER.
About ten/fifteen years ago, I witnessed the most beautiful thing in nature when I went to Cowdenbeath racetrack and attended a Caravan Destruction Derby. The race lasted thirty seconds as they took off, only for the second placed caravan to immediately launch into the back of the first placed caravan, and then the eight other competitors crashed into them and each other. The race was abandoned and called a no contest and took at least half an hour to clear the track. To this day, no crazy Ladder/Cage of Death/PWG spotfest has ever came close to that level of senseless carnage… until today. It was like watching a neutron star collapse into a black hole. This is of such unspeakable beauty, it damn well brought a tear to my eye. ******1/2
There is a promo recapping Eruption’s journey, coming through the group stages, only to fall to Carbide’s blade in the heat final. We then see highlights of the Robot Rumble, which looks like Picasso’s “Guernica” painting brought to life with robots.
Carbide vs. Nuts 2 vs. Behemoth
Carbide is the all conquering monster heel and reigning champion. Nuts 2 famously took the most vicious beating Carbide has ever dished out back in Season 8, with Behemoth also getting pasted that season too, so both are looking for revenge. Behemoth is always the bridesmaid, never the bride, having been involved in pretty much every series of Robot Wars, but never winning all the marbles. Nuts 2 was a novelty robot before this season, but is now practically unreadable. It is such an unorthodox design that no-one has a gameplan, allowing it to shockingly get through to the finals.
Carbide and Behemoth wisely avoid the crazy spinning flails of Nuts 2, instead squaring off with each other. Behemoth has a protective scoop to absorb spinner shots, but falls victim to one of Nuts’ minibots, who presses the pit release while Behemoth is on top, sending it into the abyss out of nowhere. Carbide regroups and charges at Nuts 2 BUT ONE SHOT FROM NUTS 2 HITS THE CHAIN ON CARBIDE’S BLADE AND BREAKS IT CLEAN OFF! CARBIDE IS IMPOTENT! AFTER TWO SEASONS OF HURT, NUTS 2 WILL FINALLY HAVE IT’S REVENGE!
Nuts 2 smells blood and unleashes an absolute flurry of shots on the defenseless Carbide. This is it’s moment. A panic-stricken Carbide is forced to call for a rogue house robot as Sir Killalot does a run-in to slow down Nuts 2 and stop it’s momentum. Carbide looks like it wants to ram Nuts 2 into the pit but Nuts 2 cunningly hits the fog of war to buy enough time to get back up to speed. The minibots lodge themselves under Carbide to stop it from moving as Nuts 2 comes back with more shots. The Carbide boys look defeated as cease is soon called and it goes to the judges. They give a unanimous decision to Nuts 2, whose driver Rory looks stunned and overcome with emotion. Dave from Carbide offers a handshake. VENGEANCE. JUSTICE. ROBOT WARS. ******1/4
Rapid vs. Eruption vs. Magnetar
Rapid’s roboteers have spent more time and money on their robot than Edinburgh City Council did when building the trams. Magnetar is a drum spinner robot whose driver definitely isn’t “the boy genius of Robot Wars” so please stop calling him that. Okay, maybe you can call him it once. Eruption cut a promo saying that viewers don’t realise how serious people take this competition.
Eruption and Rapid tussle early on, with Rapid taking a massive hit from behind off Magnetar’s charging drum spinner. This fight is fairly even with all three robots having the advantage. Rapid skulks about, soundtracked by the theme from the Money Programme, before managing to get flipped while it’s flipper is open meaning it lands in a weird pyramid shape that it cannot self-right out of. As a result, the value of it’s shares on the Dow Jones Index plummet. Eruption evades Dead Metal’s claws as Matilda manages to flip Magnetar over, immobilising it. Eruption scrape through another round, advancing to the semi-finals. ****
Behemoth vs. Magnetar
Magnetar’s driver (WHO ABSOLUTELY IS NOT THE BOY GENIUS OF ROBOT WARS, SO JUST STOP IT, RIGHT ?) reveals that he is only two years older than the robot he is fighting. This was a very even match which came down to some mechanical issues. Behemoth, notorious for being one of the unluckiest robots in the original series, looks like the curse might strike again when it loses drive on one side. But, for once, the robots gods of fate are on their side as Magnetar’s spinner packs in after losing radio signal. Behemoth gets the scoop under it’s opponent and launches Magnetar into the air. Magnetar is flipped, and without it’s spinner, cannot self right. Behemoth advance. ***1/2.
Carbide vs. Rapid
Two teams I hate, one in green that just wins all the time taking on another that has famously spent money well outside their means to gain a competitive advantage? WELCOME TO THE OLD FIRM EDITION OF ROBOT WARS! Rapid admits their robot is stupidly powerful as we see footage of them doing a double backflip in the heats. At least if Robot Wars doesn’t work out, Rapid always have a future in PWG. Speaking of flipfests devoid of psychology, Carbide have apparently went on an excursion to Mexico, as they state they plan to work on the left hand side of Rapid, like they do in Lucha.
Sadly, I don’t get my preferred ending of an electromagnetic pulse being set off in the arena to immobilise both robots and eliminate them from the competition. Instead, we get a good fight, with Rapid getting one or two good flips on Carbide. Carbide is able to recover and rips off a side panel of Rapid. There is a malfunction inside Rapid which cause electrical smoke to absolutely pish out everywhere. Carbide continues to hit as Rapid concede defeat. As soon as cease is called, Rapid catches actual fire. Everyone laughs as we watch flames consume a pile of money so large, it would make the KLF blush. There’ll be tears down the Lodge in Bridgeton. Carbide and Rapid – Scotland’s Shame. ****3/4
Behemoth vs. Eruption
Michael from Eruption gets his third promo of the night as he talks about how in the arena, he sees it as himself vs. another person not Robot vs. Robot. A crew member from Behemoth, who looks suspiciously like our other reviewer George Statto, has the letters “IRA” on his sleeve, which is a bold statement to be doing in Glasgow of all places.
Again, another great fight as these two similar flipbots took it to the limit. Eruption dominated as Behemoth’s scoop was too high to get under. Behemoth took some hideous bumps, notable being launched straight down onto Dead Metal’s buzzsaw, before later getting nailed by Matilda’s saw as well. Eruption desperately wanted the knockout, trying to flip Behemoth out the arena several times and failing as the bout went to the judges. Eruption got the expected unanimous victory. ****1/2
Carbide vs. Nuts 2
After Nuts 2 finally got the win, it’s Carbide’s turn for revenge. Nuts 2 says that Carbide have had their ego bruised and will be out to send a message to the locker room, like Alberto Del Rio after a PPV loss. Carbide agrees, revealing that they have ripped the front end off the smouldering embers of Rapid to protect their chain. Nuts 2 are frankly terrified of the wrath they are about to endure. Nuts 2 flails at Carbide, but Carbide is able to weather the storm and shear off half of the outer frame of Nuts 2, sending one of the chains flying. Carbide continues with the hits as Nuts 2 is powerless to defend. Carbide backs off as Nuts 2 has gone feral, it’s circuits have gone haywire and it’s flopping about as the roboteers have no control over it. The dream is dead. ****
Eruption vs. Carbide
Before the match, we get a video package highlighting both robots’ paths to the final. We see Carbide’s challenges it has faced this season including legendary bouts against Gabriel 2 and Nuts 2. We see Eruption being defeated in the heat final by Carbide, before advancing through the Robot Rumble to earn it’s way to the final. Michael from Eruption says the one constant throughout his life has been his dream to win Robot Wars.
This is a long-standing rivalry in Robot Wars. Eruption is one of a very exclusive club of robots who have defeated Carbide, winning a Group Stage battle in Season 8. These two would then face off in last season’s Grand Final, with Carbide emerging victorious. They again met in this year’s heat final, with Carbide again prevailing to make the score 2-1 overall.
An incredible match. Carbide starts out strong, getting the blade up to speed, but Eruption tanks the hits. Eruption comes back with some flips AND CARBIDE’S SPINNER STOPS WORKING! Eruption goes to town with flips as Sam and Dave look very worried. Angela is losing her marbles in the skybox AS CARBIDE’S SPINNER MYSTERIOUSLY STARTS WORKING AGAIN! Eruption takes more hits from the spinner as it’s flipper seems to stop working BUT NO! THEY WERE MERELY CONSERVING CO2! THEY ARE STILL IN THIS! The battle rages on as sparks fly, before cease is called. Michael from Eruption effectively concedes defeat, saying that Carbide deserve the win if they get the decision as it goes to the judges.
Michael cuts a promo saying that to win Robot Wars would be a dream come true as we await the Judges’ decision. Carbide say that they have been through a lot, working tirelessly to keep the robot going, teasing that they might have to build a new one from scratch. DID CARBIDE JUST TEASE A RETIREMENT? Tensions are high as the result is revealed… ERUPTION ARE THE ROBOT WARS SEASON TEN CHAMPIONS! ******1/4
Michael from Eruption looks like he’s about to break down in tears, as am I. Michael hugs his father before lifting his trophy as the series ends with a montage of Eruption’s journey featuring child photos set to Queen’s “Who Wants To Live Forever?”. I am in an emotionally fragile state. This was beautiful and a perfect ending to the series. This series has been simply exhilarating every week, and this week’s episode was, hands down, the greatest Robot Wars episode of all time.
Between the insane Robot Rumble, Nuts 2 defeating Carbide, Rapid going up in flames, and the emotional victory of Eruption avenging last year’s Grand Final loss, I don’t think we will ever see an episode as perfect as this ever again. Hell, three matches on here have caused me to break from the traditional Meltzer ***** scale that we resolved to stick to. It’s bittersweet to know that we will not have anymore Robot Wars to watch for the foreseeable future (I don’t believe there was any Christmas/New Year episodes taped this time round). Regardless, this was the professional wrestling show of the year and it isn’t even close.
To close out the review, I need our customary Robot Wars rhyme, so I’ve decided to enlist the lyrical services of one Armando Christian Pérez AKA Mr. Worldwide AKA Mr. 305 AKA Pitbull, so here we go:
“Pit’s going down, I’ll yell Matilda.
You better move, you better dance
Let’s make a fight, you won’t remember
I’ll be the one, you won’t forget
The bigger they are, the harder they fall
This Carbide’s a diggity dog
I have ’em like Expulsion, in the bin .
Rapid bursts out into flames (Timber)
Magnetar the wrong way up (Timber)
That’s the way we like the what (Timber)
Nuts 2’s fighting for revenge
They say they won’t, but I bet they will (Timber)
Swing Terrorhurtz round and round
Behemoth, Pit’s going down
One more shot, Redemption round
Behemoth, Pit’s going down
Swing Terrorhurtz round and round
Behemoth, Pit’s going down
One more shot, Redemption round
Behemoth, Pit’s going down
Look up in the sky, it’s a bird, it’s a plane
Nah, it’s just Sabretooth, ain’t a damn thing changed
It’s Eruption’s time to go all the way.
Iron-Awe 6’s flipper ain’t a thing.
Club jumping like Apollo, now, Voli
Order me another round, homie
We about to get down on the floor
Because all the best action is on Robot Wars.”