Mauler (also known as The Mauler on battleboards and Mauler 2000), was a robot that was intended to compete in Series 3 of Robot Wars, as one of two robots representing the US in the The First World Championship. However, it was not allowed to compete as the producers considered it too powerful and too dangerous for the arena to contain.
Following upgrades to the arena made ahead of Series 4, Mauler subsequently took part in the unaired MTV Pilot, defeating Spike and frenZy to win the pilot, although this was not seen on TV after MTV decided not to pick up its own version of Robot Wars.
Various versions of Mauler, including the one banned from The First World Championship, also enjoyed considerable success in the original US version of Robot Wars, as well as mixed success in BattleBots.
Mauler was a cylindrically-shaped robot armed with two rotating flails and two chisels, each suspended on a large spinning lid which spun at high speeds, with the flails and chisels intended to cause significant damage to other robots when the weapon was up to full speed. This version was also called Mauler 2000 for its appearances in BattleBots.
Mauler, representing the USA, was due to fight Cyprus representatives and UK series competitor Cerberus in its first round battle. However, during testing, the producers considered Mauler's weapon too powerful for the arena to contain safely, disqualifying Mauler and putting Cerberus through to the Quarter Finals by default.
Mauler also competed in the MTV Pilot, as one of the eight robots selected to compete. When the number of competing teams was reduced to four due to one team withdrawing, Mauler passed its audition thanks to Morgan Tilford's giant foam cowboy hat and "manic energy".
In its first-round battle, Mauler fought Spike. At some point during the battle, Mauler got up to speed and collided with Spike, causing sparks to fly. It managed to rip off the doll head attached to Spike, causing it to fly across the arena. It was unknown whether the battle ended in a knockout or judges' decision, but Mauler was declared the winner.
Mauler qualified for the final, where it fought frenZy. During the battle, Mauler's top was attacked by frenZy, but the nature of Mauler's spinner managed to tear away frenZy's spiked blade. Mauler was then able to attack frenZy with its spinner and ultimately emerge victorious, winning the MTV Pilot outright.
Mauler, entitled South Bay Mauler, was featured in the American Robot Wars 1996, although it was not given any special highlight.
In its only championship battle, South Bay Mauler faced La Machine. South Bay Mauler started the fight by attempting to spin up to speed but was quickly bashed into by La Machine. La Machine then back into space before charging in a second time - propping South Bay Mauler up and an angle. South Bay Mauler was continually pressured by La Machine's ramming attacks and was slammed against the arena wall. As the fight progressed, South Bay Mauler's movement started to lessen, and La Machine progressed on through.
- "South Bay Mauler was easily over powered by La Machine"
- — Paul Vallis
South Bay Mauler later appeared in the second Heavyweight Melee rumble against The Master, La Machine, DooMore, Tazz, Punjar, Nemesis, Killbborg, Red Scorpion, Merrimac, Namreko 3000, Gutrip and Marvin. Before the battle began, South Bay Mauler spun up to speed. Immediately, South Bay Mauler was charged into by The Master, which prised underneath but failed to topple South Bay Mauler. Soon after, a pile up occured in the centre of the arena as The Master continued to hammer down blows on South Bay Mauler, while DooMore, Punjar and Merrimac followed up with slams of their own on South Bay Mauler. South Bay Mauler was eventually freed and hit Marvin with its flail, only for the weapon to halt upon each impact. Afterwards, South Bay Mauler joined in on the group attack on La Machine only to be attacked itself by Nemesis. Later on in the fight, Merrimac attempted to flip South Bay Mauler before it was attacked by La Machine which slammed it out of the way. La Machine then turned its attention to South Bay Mauler ramming it against a side wall multiple times. Although South Bay Mauler's weapon was still spinning, it had lost mobility - which allowed Punjar to use its flail against South Bay Mauler. South Bay Mauler remained immobile with its weapon spinning, hitting any opponent that went too near it. Eventually, it came down to an audience cheer for the remaining mobile machines, with La Machine getting the victory.
|MAULER - RESULTS|
|The First World Championship|
Representing USA, Round 1 (disqualified before first battle)
|Round 1||vs. Cerberus (CYP)||Disqualified|
|NOTE: Mauler was disqualified after the judges ruled that its weapon was too powerful to be safety contained in the arena|
|Round 1||vs. Spike||Won|
- Wins: 2
- Losses: 0
NOTE: Mauler's disqualification against Cerberus is not considered to be a loss.
|Series||Mauler Series Record|
|The First Wars||Did not enter|
|The Second Wars||Did not enter|
|The Third Wars||Disqualified before World Championship, Round 1|
|The Fourth Wars||Did not enter|
|The Fifth Wars||Did not enter|
|The Sixth Wars||Did not enter|
|The Seventh Wars||Did not enter|
|Series 8||Did not enter|
|Series 9||Did not enter|
|Series 10||Did not enter|
Outside Robot Wars
Mauler originally competed at the very first US Robot Wars in 1994 as South Bay Mauler, taking on and losing to X1 for the single-battle Middleweight title but it did win the all-weight-class Open Melee. Mauler was updated and renamed Mauler 95 for Robot Wars 1995, competing in the Heavyweight category from now on, where it won its first battle when The Mulcher was disqualified then lost to the eventual co-champion The Master. It went by its original name in Robot Wars 1996 where it received a bye then lost to eventual Runner-Up La Machine. It competed as The Mauler in Robot Wars 1997 where it won three battles before once again losing to the eventual Champion, this time to BioHazard.
For the Long Beach 1999 BattleBots event, Mauler retained its Robot Wars 1997 name, but did not win a battle, losing to frenZy and Punjar in the main heavyweight division, and to Razer in the end of season Gigabot Rumble.
The version due to compete in the First World Championship, Mauler 2000, later fought in Season 1.0 of BattleBots. It did well in this season, beating Nightmare before losing to Killerhurtz in its second battle after breaking down, despite tearing its opponent's axe off. It also took part in the end of season Heavyweight Royal Rumble, but lost to BioHazard after getting turned over by its lifting arm.
For Season 2.0, a new version of Mauler, known as Mauler 51-50 was built, which competed in the rest of the BattleBots heavyweight championships. However, this version proved to be very unstable, as it overturned itself on two occasions after being put off balance, (including its first ever battle against Bigger Brother, which it lost). Within the fighting robot community, any act of instability thereafter was informally referred to as "doing a Mauler". Mauler 51-50 also entered one of the end of season Heavyweight Rumbles, but was flipped over, ironically, by Bigger Brother. Mauler 51-50 returned for Season 3.0, beating Dreadbot before losing to Canadian robot Incoming and being flipped by Little Sister, essentially a repainted Series 5 Bigger Brother, in the Heavyweight Rumble. It lost its first battle in Season 4.0 to Jabberwock, but won four battles in Season 5.0 (including a knock-out against SlamJob) to reach the round of 16, before losing to MechaVore.
For Season 5.0, Mauler 2000 was converted into super heavyweight competitor M2K02, and fitted with only two flails. However, it lost its only fight to Steel Reign.
After BattleBots ended, Mauler 51-50 was renamed Hellfire 666 but retired after only three fights including a fight against Shrederator. M2K02 was also renamed Mauler 2003 following its only BattleBots appearance.
- Despite not competing in the First World Championship, Mauler lost to two UK Series robots throughout its career in BattleBots: Killerhurtz in Season 1.0 & Bigger Brother in Season 2.0.
- In 2003, Mauler was inducted into The Combat Robot Hall of Fame as an inaugural member, in recognition of its innovative full-body spinner design, entertainment value and for coining the term 'doing a Mauler' in reference to its stability issues.
- Gearheads: The Turbulent Rise of Robotic Sports