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ABC Season 2 was the second reboot season of BattleBots to air since the show was axed by Comedy Central. Comprising of ten episodes (or eleven in some international broadcasts), it was the final season to be aired on ABC, before the network quietly dropped BattleBots in 2017.

BattleBots retained its single-elimination tournament style, with a few tweaks to accommodate its bigger field of competitors. With 48 robots, an increase from 24 in ABC Season 1, the final places in the main competition were decided by four pre-qualifying battles which made up the first episode of the 2016 season. After the positive reception from the one-off rumble between Overhaul, Nightmare and Witch Doctor, this fight format was used for pre-qualifiers to condense twelve hopefuls which had not been picked by the selection committee into the last four places in the tournament.

Presenters Chris Rose and Kenny Florian retained their roles, as did ring announcer Faruq Tauheed and pit reporter Alison Haislip. However, Molly McGrath was unable to continue her role due to commitments with ESPN, so was replaced by Samantha Ponder for ABC Season 2.

The judging panel again saw regular shake-ups throughout the season, with judges including builder of Comedy Central BattleBots fan favorite Mouser Mecha-Catbot Fon Davis, presenter of Nerdist Jessica Chobot and Marvel Cinematics Universe actor Clark Gregg. Guest judges included co-host of Mythbusters Adam Savage, former American football tight end Vernon Davis and Michael Stevens of Vsauce.

ABC announced the renewal of BattleBots on their network for a second season in November 2015 and premiered the following June. The season trailer launched in May 2016, nearly two full minutes in length. It begins with Faruq Tauheed asking rhetorical questions to panning shots of various bots and builders. The trailer shifts its attention to drones, which became a theme for teams such as Chrome Fly, Poison Arrow, Bombshell and Warrior Clan in the 2016 field. A shot of Faruq saying his famous "It's Robot Fighting Time!" catchphrase is followed by snippets of various battles from the season, including the three-way rumble between Bite Force, Witch Doctor and Wrecks. As the trailer announces the premiere date and time for Season 2, clips continue to play until Faruq closes with the line "This is BattleBots!".

The Giant Nut was ultimately won by Ray Billings and Tombstone, who made his second consecutive title fight and defeated Bombshell in the decider. As was previously the case, Giant Bolt awards were also presented to recognize other fields of the sport. The Most Destructive Robot was awarded to Team RioBotz and Minotaur, while the Best Design Award went to Red Devil. Two new awards were established for the 2016 season. The Best Driver Award was presented to Will Bales of HyperShock and the Founders Award, given to the team who best embodied the spirit of BattleBots, went to Zoe Stephenson and Chomp.

According to veteran competitor Micah Leibowitz, four rumbles were set to be held during the 2016 season, each containing four robots. Withdrawals such as The Dentist were due to take part, and one alleged fight was set to include Skorpios and Blacksmith.[1]

Champion Runner-Up Semi-Finalists Quarter-Finalists
Tombstone Bombshell Yeti

Minotaur

Beta

Chomp
Bronco
Poison Arrow

Qualifying Rounds[]

Episode 1: The Gears Awaken[]

Son of Whyachi vs. Creepy Crawlies vs. Ultraviolent*
Gemini vs. Basilisk vs. Blacksmith
Invader vs. Mohawk vs. Lycan
Black Ice vs. Skorpios vs. Bad Kitty
*Selected to advance after replacing HellaChopper.

Episode 2: Robots Activate: The Qualifying Round Begins[]

Aired in some international territories as two separate episodes, each alternatively titled Robots Activate: The Qualifying Round, Part 1 (Episode 2) and Robots Activate: The Qualifying Round, Part 2 (Episode 3).[2]

Part 1 (International Broadcasts)[]

Captain Shrederator vs. DeathRoll
Beta vs. Lucky*
Bronco vs. Blacksmith*
Icewave vs. SubZero (Highlights only)
The Ringmaster vs. Ultimo Destructo (Highlights only)
Escape Velocity vs. OverDrive (Highlights only)
Tombstone vs. Black Ice (Highlights only)
Minotaur vs. Photon Storm
*Selected to advance as a wildcard.

Part 2 (International Broadcasts)[]

Chomp vs. The Disk O' Inferno
HyperShock vs. UltraViolent
Complete Control vs. Bombshell*
Bite Force vs. Mohawk (Highlights only)
Chrome Fly vs. Bucktooth Burl (Highlights only)
Warrior Clan vs. Splatter (Highlights only)
Stinger vs. Nightmare* (Highlights only)
Warhead vs. The Obwalden Overlord
*Selected to advance as a wildcard.

Episode 3/4: There Will Be Bot Blood: Qualifying Round Concludes[]

Alternatively titled There Will Be Bot Blood: The Qualifying Round Concludes.[2]

Brutus vs. Moebius
Ghost Raptor* vs. Son of Whyachi
Lock-Jaw* vs. Yeti
Mega Tento* vs. Poison Arrow (Highlights only)
Cobalt vs. Overhaul* (Highlights only)
SawBlaze vs. Razorback (Highlights only)
Red Devil vs. Wrecks (Highlights only)
Witch Doctor vs ROTATOR
*Selected to advance as a wildcard.

Top 32[]

Episode 4/5: We're Gonna Need a Bigger Bracket: The Round of 32 - Part 1[]

(12) Yeti vs. Lucky (21)
(7) Minotaur vs. Blacksmith (26)
(2) Bronco vs. Chrome Fly (31)
(3) Witch Doctor vs. Red Devil (30)

Episode 5/6: Shake, Battle and Roll: The Round of 32 - Part 2[]

(10) Complete Control vs. Warhead (23)
(18) Ghost Raptor vs. Razorback (15)
(1) Tombstone vs. Escape Velocity (32)
(27) Poison Arrow vs. Son of Whyachi (6)

Episode 6/7: The Good, The Bot and The Ugly: The Round of 32 Concludes[]

(9) Beta vs. Overhaul (24)
(22) Warrior Clan vs. HyperShock (11)
(5) Stinger vs. Mega Tento (28)
(8) Icewave vs. Nightmare (25) (Highlights only)
(16) Brutus vs. Lock-Jaw (17) (Highlights only)
(19) Bombshell vs. Cobalt (14) (Highlights only)
(4) Bite Force vs. The Ringmaster (29) (Highlights only)
(20) Captain Shrederator vs. Chomp (13)

Top 16[]

Episode 7/8: Not So Sweet 16: The Round of 16 Part 1[]

(7) Minotaur vs. Warhead (23)
(27) Poison Arrow vs. HyperShock (11)
(30) Red Devil vs. Bombshell (19)
(2) Bronco vs. Razorback (15)

Episode 8/9: Rise of the Machines: The Round of 16 Part 2[]

(1) Tombstone vs. Brutus (16)
(25) Nightmare vs. Beta (9)
(28) Mega Tento vs. Yeti (12)
(4) Bite Force vs. Chomp (13)

Top 8[]

Episode 9/10: Gr8 Expectations: The Quarter-Finals[]

Championship Quarter-Finals
(13) Chomp vs. Yeti (12)
(1) Tombstone vs. Beta (9)
(19) Bombshell vs. Poison Arrow (27)
(7) Minotaur vs. Bronco (2)

Top 4[]

Episode 10/11: One Shining Bot: The Championship[]

Championship Semi-Finals
(7) Minotaur vs. Bombshell (19)
(1) Tombstone vs. Yeti (12)
'Fan Favorite' Rumble
Bite Force vs Witch Doctor vs Wrecks
Championship Final

(1) Tombstone vs. Bombshell (19)

International Broadcasts[]

ABC Season 2 later premiered on British television channel Spike (part of Channel 5 at the time) in February 2017 with a unique thirty-second trailer. This one differs from the official ABC trailer in almost every way, such as opening with then-competitor Lisa Winter and other teams walking onto set. Various buzzwords appear on screen as electronic music plays in the background and commentary sound bites are played alongside snippets of several battles, which were typically slightly longer than teaser snippets from the ABC trailer. It closes with the tagline "Witness the art of destruction as the BattleBots return!" before cutting to announcing its UK premiere time, which was 8pm that same day.

Alongside the first season, ABC Season 2 was made available to UK Netflix in 2021, remaining on the service until 16 August, 2022. Netflix showings were among the international broadcasts which showed the season in largely uncensored form and split Episode 2 into two regular-length episodes. The latter episodes were titled Robots Activate: The Qualifying Round, Part 1 and Robots Activate: The Qualifying Round, Part 2 respectively.[2]

Critical Reception[]

Trivia[]

  • Judge Jessica Chobot would later swap roles with pit reporter Alison Haislip for the 2018 season on Discovery, though both would depart as the show entered its fourth reboot season.
  • ABC Season 2 saw the introduction of competitive rumbles integrated into the main competition.
  • A handful of robots were initially set to compete in ABC Season 2, most even getting official hero shots on the BattleBots website, but were forced to withdraw due to various issues.
  • The final episode of this season (containing both Semi-Finals, the 'Fan Favorite' Rumble and the overall championship final) was dedicated to Rob Beiner, the producer/director of the Comedy Central seasons who sadly passed away on February 3, 2016.[3]

References[]

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