- "It's here to avenge the bashing that Big Cheese got last year, from the House Robots"
- — Roger Plant introduces Wheely Big Cheese in Series 4
Wheely Big Cheese is a robot that competed in Series 4 and 5 of Robot Wars as well as the first series of Robot Wars Extreme. Wheely Big Cheese is notable as having the largest and most powerful flippers of its time, capable of tossing Axe-Awe fifteen feet into the air and out from the middle of the arena in its most famous battle.
Wheely Big Cheese was the successor to The Big Cheese, and entered Series 4 as the 15th seed. There, it won its heat by defeating former Grand Finalist Killertron, and overcame Suicidal Tendencies 2 in the Heat Final on a controversial Judges' decision. It was ultimately defeated in the Semi-Finals by Tornado. Wheely Big Cheese had a smoother run in Series 5, throwing two robots out of the arena and pitting Crushtacean in the Heat Final; however, reliability issues cost it fights with Dominator 2 and Firestorm 3 in the Semi-Finals, resulting in its elimination in the Losers' Melee. Wheely Big Cheese did not appear in any other series, as a result of Roger Plant's retirement from robot combat following its Series 5 run.
The robot's name was a pun on really big cheese, and also referred to its trademark red wheels.
Versions of Wheely Big Cheese
Two models of Wheely Big Cheese were built, which looked almost identical to each other but contained several significant changes between them. Both models shared the same design and armament - an invertible, two-wheeled robot powered by golf cart motors and armed with a large yellow titanium pneumatic flipper shaped like a cheese wedge. The flipper was capable of flipping up to 800kg, doing so to a Mini Metro in testing. Unlike most other flippers, it was able to work even when inverted, as the power behind it meant that using it whilst upside-down would push the rest of the robot off the floor. According to an interview with Roger Plant, Wheely Big Cheese was built primarily to get revenge on Sir Killalot for the damage that the House Robot caused to his previous machine, The Big Cheese- its width, length and flipper were specifically designed to get underneath Sir Killalot and flip him. However it was unable to do so when the opportunity came in its first ever fight.
Both versions of Wheely Big Cheese also featured two large red titanium wheels with tungsten golf shoe studs for extra traction on the arena floor, although it was also capable of shredding one of Diotoir's boggle eyes in its All-Stars fight in Extreme 1. However, they were relatively vulnerable to being damaged or dislodged by axes, spinning weapons and even collisions with the arena wall, severely hampering the robot's mobility.
The Series 4 model of Wheely Big Cheese was nearly one-and-a-half metres long, and featured silver golf shoe studs along its wheels. However, despite the flipper effortlessly tossing robots such as Killertron and Tornado over, it suffered from poor manoueverability and control, which resulted in it falling into the pit twice in its heat, and the wheels proved hollow and easily damaged.
Series 5/Extreme 1
The version of Wheely Big Cheese built for Series 5 and Extreme 1 solved many of the design flaws and weaknesses of the first version, being generally stronger through the use of thicker and more durable material grades, new construction techniques and better components. It also had a much more powerful pneumatics system for its flipper, enabling it to flip robots at great heights and out from the middle of the arena, and was 11cm shorter and 12cm narrower than the Series 4 model, while being 2cm taller. The wheels also featured black golf shoe studs instead of the silver ones found on the Series 4 model.
- "Wheelosaurus against Prizephita against the 15th seeds Wheely Big Cheese, dumped, in the last series, by Killalot, and I can tell you, after revenge, big time!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
Due to The Big Cheese reaching the heat final of the Third Wars, and having its heat final battle being named Battle of the Series, Wheely Big Cheese was given the number 15 seed placing for the Fourth Wars, the highest seed granted to a non-Semi-Finalist that didn't reach the final of the World Championship. Wheely Big Cheese was drawn up against two returning teams in Prizephita Mk 2 and Wheelosaurus in its first round melee in Heat H. Wheely Big Cheese went straight after Sir Killalot but ran away before Shunt could come in and help attack the seed. Wheely Big Cheese then intercepted Prizephita Mk 2 and slammed it against the arena wall, rendering Prizephita almost immobile. After a few light flipping attempts on Prizephita, Wheely Big Cheese then ran into and attempted to flip Sir Killalot, the boasts that Wheely Big Cheese could flip 800kg were extinguished as they failed to flip it having being given the chance when Sir Killalot drove up its flipper.
- "Go on then, throw Killalot! You can't, you can't! The Pit descends...one-nil to the House Robots!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
- "Who's gone in first?! ...They're all in!!"
- — Jonathan Pearce, as all three robots go down the pit
Wheely Big Cheese was then drawn up against the fourth place finishers in the Second Wars Killertron in the second round. In this battle, the seeded machine performed much more promisingly, and was able to flip Killertron over almost straight away, with Killertron unable to self-right, Wheely Big Cheese flipped it back onto its wheels, only to flip the pink robot again, clean over Wheely Big Cheese itself, making it land directly on the axe. Shunt then came out of his CPZ to self-right Killertron with its scoop, and Killertron then desperately tried to keep away from Wheely Big Cheese's flipper and try to axe behind it. However, Wheely Big Cheese flipped it over again and again, eventually right by the CPZ. After both Wheely Big Cheese and the house robots had stopped trying to right Killertron, Killertron was then attacked by the house robots and eliminated, putting Wheely Big Cheese through.
- Craig Charles: "...The Big Cheese can throw a mini, now is that stronger than The Big Cheese?"
- Roger Plant: "Oh yeah, twice as strong as The Big Cheese"
- Craig Charles: "...so this could throw, like a Cortina then?!"
- Roger Plant: "Yeah, I reckon"
- — Post Round 2 interview
Wheely Big Cheese almost pulled out of the Heat Final after a pin in one of the gearboxes broke and had to be replaced, but it was fixed in time and ready to fight. In the heat final, Wheely Big Cheese was put up against the number 32 seeds Suicidal Tendencies 2. In this battle, Wheely Big Cheese couldn't seem to drive underneath Suicidal Tendencies. Instead it was lifted and pushed around into Dead Metal's CPZ by the lower seed, where it was caught and lightly sliced on one of the wheels. It eventually got away by activating its flipper, and drove into the middle of the arena, to then ram Suicidal Tendencies backwards. The two were stationary for a while as neither could get any traction on the arena floor, this was until Suicidal Tendencies lost drive on one side, conveniently close to the pit. Wheely Big Cheese attempted to push it in several times, almost driving in itself several times, eventually driving in for real. The Suicidal Tendencies team then celebrated, thinking that they had won, not realising that the judges had intervened. The judges favoured Wheely Big Cheese, putting Team Big Cheese through to the Series Semi-Finals for the first time in three attempts. The judges felt that Suicidal Tendencies had been immobile on one side for at least 30 seconds before Wheely Big Cheese drove into the pit (Suicidal Tendencies had actually been running on one track for over a minute before Wheely Big Cheese drove into the pit). Wheely Big Cheese still had its wheels outside the pit, as it was such a long robot.
- "We've twice made it to the third round and gone out, this time we got through, we're going all the way this time"
- — Roger Plant, at the end of the heat
In the first round of the Series Semi-Finals, Wheely Big Cheese went up against the newcomers Tornado. At the beginning of the battle, Wheely Big Cheese got one good flip that nearly got Tornado out of the arena. For the vast remainder of the battle it was pushed around the arena by its opponent, until it gave Tornado another decent flip. This still didn't faze the red invertible robot, as it then pushed Wheely Big Cheese into a CPZ, where the seeded machine had one of its wheels slightly dislodged by Matilda. The wheel guard itself came right off the robot, with the axle severely bent. The two machines then converged at the centre of the arena again, where Wheely Big Cheese now limping managed to flip Tornado a third time. With so much pushing done Tornado suddenly started to belch smoke and slowly grind to a halt, as soon as Wheely Big Cheese started to only run in circles. The battle went to a judges' decision. However, the judges awarded the win to Tornado and Wheely Big Cheese was knocked out of the competition. This model of Wheely Big Cheese was then replaced with a new one for the Fifth Wars and the first series of Extreme.
- "The wheels have come off the cheese's challenge!"
- — Craig Charles, before announcing the decision
Wheely Big Cheese competed in a variety of competitions during the first series of Extreme, with a mediocre amount of success.
- "...their only weapon is a couple of car springs, and that's no problem, 'cause we can flip an entire car!"
- — Roger Plant, prior to the first round of the All-Stars
Wheely Big Cheese first competed in the All-Stars Tournament. In the first round, it had a lucky draw as it went up against the tournament underdogs Diotoir. The Irish machine began the battle by lifting Wheely Big Cheese up a little a few times with its lifting scoop, however Wheely Big Cheese was completely unaffected by this. After Wheely Big Cheese tried to scoop up Diotoir to flip it, one of Diotoir's eyes then shattered on Wheely Big Cheese's sharp wheels. Wheely Big Cheese then got in underneath and flipped Diotoir right over from which the robot from Dublin could not self-right. Wheely Big Cheese then flipped Diotoir again, making it roll into the arena side wall. Refbot then came in and counted it out, after giving an eager Sir Killalot a yellow card. This was enough for Wheely Big Cheese to progress through to the All-Stars Quarter Finals. This turned out to be Wheely Big Cheese's only win throughout the first series of Extreme.
- "We'll save the best 'til later"
- — Murray Wharf's "unlived promise", after the first round
After such a fortunate draw for the first round, Wheely Big Cheese was then unfortunately drawn up against tournament favourites Chaos 2 in the second round, this was seen by many as a grudge match for when Chaos 2 beat The Big Cheese, Wheely Big Cheese's predecessor, in the Third Wars. In this battle, Wheely Big Cheese was continuously flipped by Chaos 2 as it never seemed to get its own flipper working, at all. Chaos 2 flipped it into CPZ to CPZ in a desperate attempt to eventually flip it out of the arena, Wheely Big Cheese had only one opportunity to flip Chaos 2 when the reigning UK champions accidentally drove onto Wheely Big Cheese's enormous titanium flipper, but the flipper couldn't activate with anywhere near enough power in time, and the flipper only fully opened when Chaos 2 escaped and continued in its own attack. Wheely Big Cheese survived for a judges' decision, but the decision unsurprisingly went in favour of Chaos 2, eliminating Wheely Big Cheese from the competition.
- "Tonight, it's not gonna be Hypno-Disc. It's gonna be "Flip-no Disc!""
- — Roger Plant, prior to the Mayhem
Wheely Big Cheese also fought in a mayhem qualifier battle in Extreme Series 1, where it went up against Ming 3 and Hypno-Disc, this was for a right to fight in the first annihilator of the series. In the battle, Wheely Big Cheese got one flip in on Ming 3, though failing to overturn, before it had several gashes inflicted in its wheel by Hypno-Disc. Despite many attempts at flipping Hypno-Disc, its opponent was too agile. One of the exposed wheels dislodged again. One wheel was still working but Refbot counted them out along with the now wheel-less Ming 3. Whilst Dead Metal was slicing the wheels, a huge amount of sparks flew out all over the Arena from the titanium wheel and tungsten studs. Once Ming 3 was flipped by the floor flipper, Wheely Big Cheese then tried to flip Ming away but it was then pitted along with Ming 3. The robot has since been repaired from this battle, but the battle scars are still very visible, this proves that the damage caused was great, but after the battle, Roger Plant merely stated that the damage was little to nothing.
- "No problem, just a couple of bolts broken."
- — Roger Plant after the Mayhem
Wheely Big Cheese also fought in the Flipper Frenzy that took place during the first series of Extreme, for managing to flip at least two other robots out of the arena during either the Fifth Wars or so far in Extreme. In this battle, every competitor robot attacked the house robots, its opponents: Bigger Brother, Chaos 2 and Thermidor 2 all attacked Sergeant Bash and Wheely Big Cheese was the only robot to go after Matilda. Whilst the others were doing well in their revolution, Wheely Big Cheese wasn't doing so well. After attempting to flip Matilda a number of times, Wheely Big Cheese was soon immobilised by the flywheel after just a few hits, with only the flipper of the cheese flailing madly, Matilda's flywheel caused the drive motors to break apart. Wheely Big Cheese was left in Matilda's CPZ for the remainder of the battle, up against the arena side wall. Although Wheely Big Cheese wasn't officially counted out by Refbot, it was obviously out of the battle, however Jonathan Pearce only pointed out that it was immobilised near the end of the fight, despite the TV camera zooming in on it several times, with it also showing Roger Plant's disappointment, giving a thumbs-down sign.
- "Wheely Big Cheese, is out of it, I think, immobilised top left."
- — Jonathan Pearce finally regards Wheely Big Cheese's lack of movement, towards the end of the battle
- "We're seeded 10th this year, and we hope to take the zero off the end, to be seeded 1st"
- — Roger Plant
Roger Plant made an entirely new chassis for the Fifth Wars that was not much different appearance-wise from the old one, but had been upgraded internally, with a more powerful and reliable flipper being just one of several improvements. For reaching the Semi-Finals of the Fourth Wars, Wheely Big Cheese was seeded number 10 for the Fifth Wars, where it also competed in Heat H once again. Wheely Big Cheese was drawn up against Series 4 reserves Wolverine in its first round battle of the heat. In the battle, Wheely Big Cheese was scooped around side-on a lot by Wolverine without much retaliation, not firing its flipper once. The seeded machine was more sluggish than the newcomers, so Wolverine always had time to make run-ups to ram Wheely Big Cheese side-on. This was the case throughout, until Wheely Big Cheese was pushed over to the arena side wall by Wolverine, where it then steered so that Wolverine drove onto its flipper. The number 10 seeds then flipped Wolverine out of the arena in one go, putting Wheely Big Cheese through to the second round of the heat.
- "That was a very impressive start"
- — Craig Charles
Wheely Big Cheese's second round battle saw it go up against the experienced Team Iron-Awe with their new Axe-Awe machine, another robot from Langport in Somerset. This battle is argued as one of the best Robot Wars battles of all time, let alone Wheely Big Cheese's best Robot Wars battle ever. In the battle, both robots moved to the centre of the arena, and Axe-Awe got one hit with its axe weapon onto the titanium flipper, creating one little black mark, before Wheely Big Cheese got underneath Axe-Awe and flipped it nearly 15 feet in the air and over and out of the arena, all the way from the arena centre. This forever stood as a Robot Wars record flip on a heavyweight competitor, and put Wheely Big Cheese through to the heat final.
- "Out of the Arena? Out of the Robot Wars galaxy!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
In the Heat Final, Wheely Big Cheese was placed up against another newcomer in South African representatives Crushtacean, a robot which the team had attached a cheese grater to one of their claws for this battle for a laugh. In this battle, the seeded Wheely Big Cheese machine got several good flips in on Crushtacean, it flipped the crab robot into Dead Metal's CPZ where Crushtacean was held in the pincers of the house robot until Wheely Big Cheese flipped up Dead Metal to release it. In an attempt to flee from the drama, Crushtacean then got pinned on the angle grinder and then the cheese grater was shredded as a result. Wheely Big Cheese flipped it around the arena for a while until Crushtacean pressed the pit release button. Wheely Big Cheese then flipped it one last time, throwing it several feet into the air, causing the aerial to come off Crushtacean. This meant that Crushtacean was immobilised completely, but the Refbot didn't count it out, so Wheely Big Cheese then slowly nudged the crab into the pit of oblivion, putting it through to the Series Semi-Finals for the second time in succession.
- "The Cheese got his potted crab"
- — Jonathan Pearce at the defeat of Crushtacean
In the first round of the Series Semi-Finals, the number 10 seeds Wheely Big Cheese, going in as one of the favourites to reach the Grand Final, was drawn up against the number 11 seeds Dominator 2. This battle was going very well for Wheely Big Cheese to begin with, as it flipped Dominator 2 several times high up into the air. Somehow, Dominator 2 managed to keep moving and keep self-righting after each one. Wheely Big Cheese eventually lost drive on one side, followed by the other, so it was soon counted out by Refbot, leaving Dominator 2 to progress.
- "This is the one that they'll have to avoid, because if Wheely Big Cheese gets a chance to flip you, you are out of here"
- — Jonathan Pearce, as Wheely Big Cheese enters the arena for the Losers Melee
In the Losers Melee for this Semi-Final, Wheely Big Cheese went up against the number 6 seeds Panic Attack and the number 7 seeds Firestorm 3, despite being the lowest ranked seed and the least likely to win on paper, it was still seen by many as the favourite to win. Wheely Big Cheese got one flip on Panic Attack at the start, which wedged the Series 2 champions underneath the pit release button and damaged its mobility. Wheely Big Cheese was then locked in combat with Firestorm 3 but it was flipped repeatedly as it couldn't get its flipper underneath the Third Wars Grand Finalists. Wheely Big Cheese was then bashed against the arena side wall beside the angle grinder by Firestorm 3, who then chased off to fight what was left of Panic Attack. Wheely Big Cheese's power then slowly diminished as only one wheel was moving, Wheely Big Cheese couldn't get away from the arena side wall, only moving backwards and forwards very slowly. Soon, the 10th seeds broke down completely and got counted out by Refbot again, eliminating it from the competition for good, this occurred just seconds before the countdown for the end of the battle. This was Wheely Big Cheese's and Roger Plant's final appearance in Robot Wars.
- "Major surprise that for me, in this Semi-Final, I thought Wheely Big Cheese were the big number, no they're not"
- — Jonathan Pearce after Wheely Big Cheese is counted out
|WHEELY BIG CHEESE - RESULTS|
|The Fourth Wars - UK Championship|
15th Seed, Semi-Final, Round 1
|Heat H, Eliminator||vs. Prizephita Mk 2, Wheelosaurus||Qualified|
|Heat H, Semi-Final||vs. Killertron||Won|
|Heat H, Final||vs. Suicidal Tendencies 2 (32)||Won|
|Semi-Final 1, Round 1||vs. Tornado||Lost|
|Extreme Series 1|
|Round 1||vs. Diotoir||Won|
|Quarter Final||vs. Chaos 2||Lost|
|Mayhem & Annihilator|
|Mayhem Qualifier||vs. Hypno-Disc, Ming 3||Lost|
|Flipper Frenzy||vs. Bigger Brother, Chaos 2, Thermidor 2||Lost|
|The Fifth Wars - UK Championship|
10th Seed, Semi-Final, Round 1
|Heat H, Eliminator||vs. Wolverine||Won|
|Heat H, Semi-Final||vs. Axe-Awe||Won|
|Heat H, Final||vs. Crushtacean||Won|
|Semi-Final 2, Round 1||vs. Dominator 2 (11)||Lost|
|Semi-Final 2, Losers Melee||vs. Firestorm 3 (7), Panic Attack (6)||Lost|
- Wins: 7
- Losses: 6
|Main Series||Wheely Big Cheese Series Record|
|The First Wars||Did not enter|
|The Second Wars||Entered with The Mule|
|The Third Wars||Entered with The Big Cheese|
|The Fourth Wars||Semi-Finals, Round 1|
|The Fifth Wars||Semi-Finals, Round 1|
|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|
|Robot Wars Extreme||Appearances|
|Series 2||Did not enter|
Appearances in Merchandise
- Wheely Big Cheese/Pullback
- Wheely Big Cheese/Minibot
- Wheely Big Cheese/Robot Wars: Extreme Destruction (PC/Xbox)
- Wheely Big Cheese/Robot Wars: Extreme Destruction (GBA)
Outside Robot Wars
After Robot Wars, Roger Plant sold the Series 4 and 5 versions of Wheely Big Cheese to Team Xbotz, with the Series 4 version later sold on to Team Cylon (now Team Hydra) in 2008. The Series 5 version of Wheely Big Cheese often appears at Wales Comic Con on display, most recently appearing alongside Glitterbomb in late 2016.
- Much like Roger Plant's previous machine, The Big Cheese, the first version of Wheely Big Cheese was equipped with submarine components that Plant had salvaged. However, the second Wheely Big Cheese cost around £2000-3000 for the parts alone.
- Wheely Big Cheese fought in Heat H in both of its appearances in the main competition, competing as the higher of the two seeds in the heat.
- Wheely Big Cheese is one of only three robots to compete in multiple series and be seeded in each of them, the other two being Gemini and Spawn Again.
- At 79.4kg, the first Wheely Big Cheese was lighter than both of Roger Plant's previous machines: The Big Cheese and The Mule.
- Wheely Big Cheese is one of only eight robots that competed in more than one UK Championship and never failed to reach the Semi-Finals.
|Biggest flip in Robot Wars|