Do you ever find yourself casting back through tournaments, scrounging up content on Robot Wars to pose fresh questions, only to realise that there's some fights you can't put your finger on. There are just some that you forget about.
Forget a bout. Ha ha ha.
Anyway, this blog sprung off the back of NJGW's blog on forgettable robots. Now we're doing forgettable battles - the fights that you just don't remember ever took place. Whether you're calling on it up to cast an arena vote to your disbelieving fellows, or fighting to remember who Concussion defeated to reach the heat final of Series 10, these are the fights that come hardest to mind.
Nick, Toast and I will be joined by a number of different guests as we cast our votes, with Robot Wars History Podcast panelists Luke, Theo and the Ginger Beaver, Wikian User:O Raz3r O, and even Mystrsyko from YouTube casting their votes in this exciting tournament.
As with bots, each fight will amass a number of votes, and the majority recipient is bolded. Other vote getters will be italicised At the end of each series, our group voted a bottom 3 (Series 1-2, 8-10) or bottom 5 (Series 3-7) and the fight deemed most forgettable of the series is praised in ALL CAPS BOLD ITALICS.
We're working in reverse order this time, in order to drum up the readership now. Series 10 is freshest in our memories, but its surprising that there are a handful of fights that we've already forgotten about, or are certain will fade from our memories as time goes by.
At the time of publishing, Series 1-5, Extreme 1, and Series 9-10 have all been cast. If you want to take part in the voting for Series 6, 7, 8 and Extreme 2, drop us a line.
- Heat A: Heat A had a real disparity here. None of the Apollo fights were contenders, whether it was the two OOTAs or the all-time classic heat final. Nick and Toast did feel that the fight before the OOTA with Sabretooth was on the lower end, whilst I felt the same about Behemoth v The Swarm. Aside from Behemoth disposing of Skye, I can't picture anything else from the fight. However, Toast and Nick hadn't overanalysed the Series 10 trailer like I had, so the flying floor spikes couldn't cement themselves as a Series 10 staple. As such, our loser for Heat A was another fight for The Swarm - against Sabretooth.
- Heat B: Another wealthy heat, and it was clearly not going to be the two melees or the clash between Big Nipper and Crackers 'n' Smash. There was a vote raised for Aftershock v Carbide, a decision I couldn't agree with even though I understood the logic - a Series 9 rematch that had the same outcome but did not feed into Eruption's championship narrative, nor feature the same level of destruction. However, the correct choice was ultimately made with Big Nipper v Eruption, a judges decision that had little impact on either robot and went pretty much exactly as expected.
- Heat C: I felt very strongly that the two Trak-tion OOTAs blurred into one, with the latter being the one I remembered. Rapid vs Bucky the Robot vs Trak-tion was a fight I genuinely gloss over when remembering Series 10, especially trying to picture a clash between the former two. I was outvoted, however, by a coalition aimed at forgetting Bucky the Robot's other fight. Yes, our boy Toast actually set aside his rose-coloured Vulture goggles to declared its only victory (Vulture v Bucky the Robot) the most forgettable of Heat C.
- Heat D: This was by far the easiest choice. Iron-Awe 6's never working flipper, inexcusable victory in the first round and rather dull bout against a barely working Androne 4000 makes it a robot that you want to forget. Who can say whether it failed to work three times or four in Series 10? Concussion on the other hand, feels unusual to have lost in the first melee when every other all-star bar Aftershock was successful. Concussion's disintegration of The Kegs is memorable enough to fit into its 1-2-3 progression of fights, but what makes this difficult is trying to name what took place after it was done with The Kegs (sounds like most nights out, hey?). By unanimous vote and almost universal acclaim, the votes went to Iron-Awe 6 v Concussion.
- Heat E: A dreadful selection of fights but only some that were truly forgettable. Who can forget the sheer frustration of Expulsion's feeble victory over Coyote, or its pitiful faceplant against Push to Exit? The heat final might be overrated by NJGW's Ultimate Countdown, but it was the best of the episode and that makes it worth remembering. Magnetar booting Expulsion like a football was one of Series 10's most memorable action shots. The Hobgoblin fight saw Shunt's axe break apart, and the Push to Exit KO on Hobgoblin was a staple of the Series 10 trailer. We really had two choices, both featuring Thor v Coyote. Both could have been eligible, but we decided on the head to head, because Expulsion's rather pathetic faceplant at least sets that one aside.
- Grand Final: This one was a technicality, as the episode is objectively one of the best of all time and contains four all time classics in the space of seven fights. Only Magnetar v Behemoth and the two semi-finals don't meet the register, and the former is elimianted by the sheer frustration many felt at Magnetar's elimination/the elimination of the only robot that could prevent a Carbide/Eruption final. The two choices were therefore Eruption v Behemoth - a fight I groaned about as soon as I saw the lineup, watched with glazed eyes, and felt the memory dribble out of my ear like a bit of pool water - and Carbide v Nuts - a rather sad rematch that tainted the first melee and blended with the Series 8 bout. I was outvoted in the end.
- World Series Heat A: It could not be Cobra v Sabretooth or Rabid M8 v Gabriel, for the victory of Team ROTW was so rare that they could not be forgotten. TMHWK and Terrorhurtz was a bit of fun and the whole narrative with the axe played through the episode, meaning it couldn't be cut without you wondering where it was. This left the two melees, and came down to simple deduction. The first melee had a House Robot flip in a fight that went the full five minutes, whilst the second had about 3 blows and was over before you could say "Rabid M8". Is very easy to forget Rabid M8 has two combat fights, but our unanimous choice was Rabid M8/Diotoir v Terrorhurtz/Sabretooth.
- World Series Heat B: One of the worst episodes of the entire reboot, but certainly full of a few memorable fights. Whether it was Big Nipper going up like Mount Vesuvius, or the controversy of Concussion's snipe on Cathadh, the terrible episode had moments that made me pay attention. Somewhat surprisingly, I was outvoted in selecting Concussion v Weber. Nick and Toast instead opted for the very last fight Robot Wars ever got - Eruption v Cathadh, and what a choice it was. Unlike Storm 2 v Supernova, this really wasn't a fight to go out on, and it certainly isn't being talked about the way Series 7's closer was. I wonder if Michael Oates is busy printing "Robot Wars World Series Champion - joint with Concussion, Thor and Big Nipper and won via a fight that was irrelevant as our team had already scored almost every point in the episode" on the side of his robot?
- TOTAL: We made a choice to include World Series since it feature robots who were in the main competition. All fights to collect a vote were eligible. First place collected 3 votes, second collected two, and third place collected one.
- ERUPTION v CATHADH – 7 votes
- Toast (3), Beav (3), Nick (1)
- Concussion v Weber – 5 votes
- Toast (2), Beav (2), TG (1)
- Coyote v Thor – 4 vote
- TG (3), Beav (1)
- Vulture v Bucky the Robot – 3 votes
- Nick (2), Toast (1)
- Terrorhurtz/Sabretooth v Rabid M8/Diotoir – 3 votes
- Nick (3)
- Behemoth v The Swarm – 2 votes
- TG (2)
- ERUPTION v CATHADH – 7 votes
- Heat A: Toast pointed out that Series 9 might almost always involve the heat final, so we decided to do Series 9 differently. Here, everyone got 3 votes per heat and voted 2 points and 1 point respectively. It was required here, with Aftershock v Sabretooth (Heat Final) collecting two votes from four of the five voters, with only Nick believing that Terrorhurtz v Jellyfish was more forgettable. The pitiful Jellyfish loss was a clear second, with two votes from Nick and three votes from the rest of the group. In third place was a single vote - from Toast - that Aftershock v Rapid was more forgettable than Jellyfish v Terrorhurtz. The logic is there - try to recall the fight between Jellyfish and Aftershock and it might take a few seconds to remember why you can't. Jellyfish's pathetic inadequacy/charming efforts (depending on which camp you sit on) certainly dominate the rest of the episode.
- Heat B: This one was a lot closer and I strongly disagreed with the outcome. The split came down to two Eruption head-to-heads; the first fight with Cherub, and the grudge match with PP3D. Between four voters, Eruption v PP3D amassed 7 votes and Cherub v Eruption (Head to Head) amassed 6. It is admittedly a fairly forgettable grudge match; given that PP3D had already lost twice in the episode, it was pretty much written off by now. For me, the vote was clear for Cherub v PP3D v Draven v Push to Exit, but I could not amass the support.
- Heat C: Another heat final clinches this one, with Concussion v Thor (Heat Final) securing 8 votes out of a possible 10. Heavy Metal saved a lot of fights with its bright colours and breakable wheels livening up otherwise forgettable clashes with Thor and Concussion. M.R. Speed Squared also rips shreds out of Expulsion and gyro dances into memorability from Concussion. This left two fights to duke it out for second place, the limp breakdown in Tauron's melee, and another forgettable grudge match, between Thor v M.R. Speed Squared. The latter was the choice with 6 votes, and only a single vote for Tauron's melee.
- Heat D: Our first unanimous selection here, and it was Pulsar v Wyrm. Despite being a fairly disappointing heat, there wasn't much choice for forgetttable; fights were saved by destruction (Ironside v Wyrm, Supernova v Frostbite), massive hits (Pulsar v Supernova), or controversy (Apex/Crushtacean melee, Ironside 3 v Pulsar (H2H)). The five votes for second place were scattered, but the only one to gather more than one, was Ironside 3 v Pulsar (heat final) with three votes. I am remarkably surprised that we all forgot about Ironside v Supernova...
- Heat E: Another unanimous selection here with Coyote v Crackers 'n' Smash collecting 5 first picks for 10/10 possible points. In second place, we were even more split than last time, with four different fights collecting the five available second votes. Both melees escaped unscathed, with Ms Nightshade's and Meggamouse's flashy demises. Bizarrely, the Apollo/Carbide head to head escaped scrutiny. The four way tie was shaping up to be Coyote's brutal death at the hands of Carbide, its OOTA at the hands of Apollo Apollo's big flip on Crackers, and the limp heat final which blurred into the head to head. The fight to collect two votes was Apollo v Coyote - Nick and Toast banded together to point out that the pre-OOTA fight was fairly bland.
- Grand Final: Carbide's curb stomp to the trophy yielded a few one-sided fights but none particularly forgettable. Its clash with Aftershock and Eruption (Final) were destructive, its clash with Ironside was the only scare it had, Aftershock's brutal murder of Apollo was memorable by virtue of the huge hits, and Eruption v Aftershock shaped up to be a great bout in itself. The only contenders were the Eruption v Carbide (Head to Head), and the melee featuring Concussion v Ironside 3 v Carbide. The Concussion melee won with 9 out of 10 votes, though the head to head gathered 6.
- Battle of the Stars - Episode 1: Oof, this stretched my imagination. We had our first tie here, trying to remember any JAR fight at all. The split was 3 votes for JAR v Interstellar MML, and 6 votes each for JAR v The Cat and JAR v Arena Cleaner.
- Battle of the Stars - Episode 2: A much wider margin here, with the final between Kadeena Machina v Robo Savage clinching eight votes out of ten.
- TOTAL: We made a choice to exclude BOTS, unlike the World Series, because it inevitably topped all of our lists. As before, all fights to collect a vote were eligible. First place collected 3 votes, second collected two, and third place collected one. Amusingly, Pulsar v Wyrm collected 14 out of the possible 15 votes, making it a strong contender for the most forgettable fight of all time when the time comes.
- PULSAR v WYRM – 14 votes
- Beav (3), Nick (3), Toast (2), Raz3r (3), TG (3)
- Thor v M.R. Speed Squared – 5 votes
- Beav (2), Toast (3)
- Coyote v Crackers 'n' Smash – 3 vote
- Nick (1), TG (2)
- Eruption v PP3D – 2 votes
- Nick (2)
- Concussion v Thor (F) - 2 votes
- Raz3r (2)
- Carbide v Eruption (H2H - 1 vote
- Beav (1)
- Cherub v PP3D v Draven v Push to Exit - 1 vote
- TG (1)
- Aftershock v Sabretooth (F) - 1 vote
- Toast (1)
- Eruption v Cherub (H2H) - 1 vote
- Raz3r (1)
- PULSAR v WYRM – 14 votes