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"The weapon's motor? That's a secret." - Jim Smentowski on Backlash.

Backlash was a lightweight robot built by Team Nightmare which fought in all five seasons of Comedy Central BattleBots.

Essentially a miniature version of their titular heavyweight Nightmare - armed with a powerful vertical flywheel of its own - it performed well during its appearances in all five seasons of the Comedy Central run, winning the Season 1.0 lightweight division and reaching the final in Season 2.0.

The first version of Backlash in the pits.

Backlash was designed to be a smaller version of their heavyweight competitor, Nightmare, and had a similarly-designed spinning flywheel with two metal bludgeoners acting as teeth. It was a four-wheel drive silver robot with a 1/4" aluminum spinning disc, powered by a Hawker Odyssey 12v battery and controlled by a Vantec speed controller (RDFR23). Backlash is fully made up of aluminized steel and has heavy duty rubber wheels. Backlash also has a wedge for deflecting spinners blows and keeping balance.

For the second season, Backlash's armor was upgraded to 6061 aluminum, and fastened together by welds and Grade 8 bolts. Backlash had also ditched the original "boxy" style of the bot and now had a smoother design. It had 2400mAh NiCad batteries and new wheels.

Backlash had stronger and thicker armor, while slightly reducing the rear wedge length in Season 3.0, it also had a brand new disc that had more power than the original. Along with that, Backlash had a new motor, batteries, and a new shape to the bot where it was hard to tip over.

Backlash was yet again redesigned for Season 4.0. Its armor was upgraded to 7075 aluminum, and had another new titanium weapon disc. Backlash had now more traction thanks to its new tires, and now was being controlled by a Issac 16 controller and Victor speed controllers.

The most upgraded Backlash was during Season 5.0. The biggest difference is that it could now drive inverted, a problem that Backlash has had in the past. Backlash again saw an overhaul of its motors, using a S28 MagMotor for its blade, and Astroflight motors for drive. It also had a new battery system and interchangeable weaponry, although only one disk was used for its two fights.

After BattleBots ended, Backlash competed for a short time on the live circuit, but has since been retired from combat. It can still be seen on display to this day at the Robot Marketplace.

Robot History[]

Season 1.0[]

Backlash vs. Disposable Hero

Backlash hits Disposable Hero, sending it flying.

After a promising performance at BotBash in 2000, Backlash was one of the lightweights to look out for in Season 1.0 of BattleBots. Its first televised opponent was Disposable Hero. The match began with Disposable Hero backing away from the rapidly approaching Backlash. It managed to dodge Backlash's disc twice before being hit squarely in the front, sending it flying. It continued moving, with its battery barely connected, and Backlash hit it again in the side, sending its motor flying across the BattleBox. Backlash lined up another shot with the blade, this time ripping off the front forks. Backlash drove around the back of the beaten robot, and hit it once more, ripping out Disposable Hero's electronics. Disposable Hero was counted out as Backlash did a victory spin, moving it to the Round of 16 against The Crusher.

Backlash vs. The Crusher

Crusher being tossed by Backlash and the killsaws.

The fight started with Crusher zipping across the BattleBox while Backlash advanced, disc spinning. Crusher missed Backlash at first and hit the arena wall. For several more seconds, Crusher zipped around Backlash, trying to score a hit. After a couple more misses, and Crusher hitting the wall again, Backlash finally moved in towards the side of Crusher, hitting it squarely on the side and knocking Crusher upside-down. However, the force caused was significantly less than it should've been, meaning there was a problem with Backlash's weapon motor. Crusher, upside-down, ran into the wall again, but this time, its inverted wedge pushed The Crusher up onto the arena wall spikes, lifting his drive wheels off the ground. Backlash then tried to move in to strike The Crusher again, but hit the wall instead. Later, it was discovered that this impact had sheared the shaft that the disc spins on, but the shaft stayed in place. Backlash moved aside to see if Crusher could free himself from the wall, but it couldn't, so Backlash pushed The Crusher off the wall. The Crusher drove into the killsaws, which sent it flying through the air, landing upside-down again. A couple more hits from Backlash's disc, and Crusher drove back up the wall. Backlash then waited before hitting the back edge of Crusher, bending up the angle metal on the back. Backlash was then able to position The Crusher against the wall in such a way that it could not move and was counted out. Backlash backed away to perform a victory spin, winning by KO in 1 minute and 43 seconds. After the fight, Jim Smentowski gave the broken shaft to Gus Steyer, the driver of The Crusher, as a souvenir.

Backlash vs. Endotherm (quarter-finals)

Backlash is sent flying on the killsaws while fighting Endotherm.

Backlash moved onto the quarter-finals against Endotherm. Jim Smentowski replaced the broken shaft and put on a new weapon belt after charging up the batteries. However, there was still a problem with Backlash's disc, as it was hardly doing any damage and stopped after every impact. So, after a few hits and misses against Endotherm, Jim changed tactics and used Backlash to try to push Endotherm into the hazards. This worked, as Backlash managed to push Endotherm into the killsaws but taking a shot itself, causing Backlash to fly across the BattleBox, landed back on its wheels, continuing the fight. After a little bit more pushing and shoving, both robots ended up in the corner by the pulverizer. Backlash pinned Endotherm underneath the pulverizer to score points and left Endotherm under it for a while. This match went on for the full 3 minutes and both robots were still running at the end after pushing each other around the whole time. Backlash won on a 7-2 judges decision and advanced to the semi-finals, where it faced Das Bot.

Backlash vs. Das Bot

Backlash sends Das Bot flying.

Jim was able to repair the weapon system, as the problem was the belt slipping on the disc. The round started and Backlash advanced on Das Bot, which had added a couple of blue foam pads, in an effort to cushion the blows from Backlash's weapon. This didn't work however, as Backlash ripped both of them off in the opening seconds. Backlash managed to get around the back of Das Bot, catching the squared end and upended it, nearly flipping it over, but Das Bot's arm managed to push it back onto its wheels. Das Bot came around for a frontal attack on Backlash, but Backlash's disc smashed Das Bot's flipper arm, breaking the steel tubing and leaving the arm pointed uselessly skyward. One more hit on the side knocked Das Bot out, as it turned off the power switch. Backlash hit Das Bot a couple more times, then finally pushing it into the killsaws, ripping apart the plywood underside. Backlash had made it to the final alongside Alpha Raptor.

Backlash vs. Alpha Raptor

Backlash destroys Alpha Raptor.

The fight started and it was plain to see that Alpha Raptor was having drive problems, as it could barely move around its side of the BattleBox, but successfully evaded Backlash's attacks for several moments, even positioning itself on the other side of the killsaws, trying to get Backlash to follow, but got hit by them in the process. Backlash patiently drove around the saws to get at Alpha Raptor, and managed to make contact with the side, this impact sent Alpha Raptor into the side of the BattleBox, by the spikes. Backlash came in for the kill, smashing into the back, plastic side of Alpha Raptor, sending pieces of white plastic PVC all over the BattleBox. Backlash moved away to see if Alpha Raptor could move, but didn't. Backlash came in for the kill again, this time smashing into the back of Alpha Raptor so hard that the electronics were destroyed, sending the battery packs flying. Backlash came around to try to get Alpha Raptor away from the wall, and managed to hit him from the side hard enough to send him flying a short distance. At this point, it was obvious that Alpha Raptor was out, and Backlash had won the fight, and along with that, the championship.

Lightweight Consolation Rumble #1

Backlash sends Shrike's drive motor flying.

Backlash strikes Thorn with its disc.

Backlash also entered for the first lightweight consolation rumble. It performed well by ripping one of The Missing Link's wheels and a drive motor from Shrike. Then, it went for Thorn a couple of times, sending it flying with its disc. Backlash then went after Das Bot by hitting its top frame but not doing too much damage. Backlash later attacked No Tolerance II's behind and went back at Das Bot, but its disc stopped spinning and one of its drive wheels stopped in the last minute. Backlash won this rumble, alongside Thorn.

Lightweight Royal Rumble

Backlack qualified for the Lightweight Royal Rumble off the back of its Consolation Rumble win. Backlash started spinning its disc early on, but it stopped spinning shortly after and its disc was immobilized for the rest of the rumble. Backlash was also having control issues and Mouser Mecha-Catbot got its lifting arm caught through the holes on Backlash's spinning disc. The time ran out soon after and Backlash was still moving in the end, but lost overall to Mouser Mecha-Catbot.

Season 2.0[]

Backlash vs. Rampage

Backlash rips the lid off of Rampage.

Backlash returned in BattleBots Season 2.0 to defend its title. Its first match of the season was against Rampage. In the match, Backlash started by pushing Rampage towards the killsaws. Backlash then tore off one of Rampage's spikes and pushed Rampage onto the killsaws again. Backlash reversed and then went straight at Rampage, tearing off the entire lid. Rampage's lid landed on the killsaws and was sent flying across the BattleBox. Rampage was no longer moving and was counted out. This win put Backlash to the Round of 16, where it faced Scrub.

Backlash vs. Scrub

Backlash hits Scrub.

In this fight, Backlash found it difficult to keep up with Scrub. The first hit ripped off Scrub's spike weapon, at the same time sending Scrub flying. After a long battle, Scrub eventually lost drive in one side. Backlash moved in for the kill, hitting Scrub a few more times, wrecking its weapon, body and tires. The time ran out and Backlash won on a 43-2 judges' decision.

Backlash vs. Sallad

Backlash hits the top of Sallad.

Backlash then fought Sallad in the quarter-finals. Backlash charged over to meet Sallad, who backed into the spikestrip. Sallad, however, freed itself before Backlash could strike. Backlash zipped around, the spinning disc beating against Sallad's front armor, but the teeth couldn't find much to grab on to, so Sallad and Backlash just pushed each other for a bit. Sallad got one great push on Backlash, pushing the rear wedge into the Killsaws. Backlash's ramp got cut in such a way that it was high-centering badly, but both drive wheels were still barely able to touch the ground. Backlash was able to get moving enough to hit Sallad a few more times, warping its front armor against its drive wheels. At that point, Sallad could no longer move, and smoke started to pour out of its overheating motors. The referees counted Sallad out at just under 2 minutes, and Backlash took a KO victory.

Backlash vs. Toe-Crusher

Backlash hits the rear of Toe-Crusher.

The next opponent for Backlash was Toe-Crusher in the semi-finals. As the match started, both Toe-Crusher and Backlash moved into the center of the BattleBox, and Backlash was able to hit Toe-Crusher a couple of times before Toe-Crusher got around the side of Backlash and started pushing it across towards the far wall. Backlash was able to barely escape and twist away, facing Toe-Crusher again. Backlash went in to hit Toe-Crusher, and landed a solid blow to Toe-Crusher's frame, but the impact was just enough to snap the battle-worn shaft that supported Backlash's disc weapon. The whole disc flopped useless to the floor, but somehow stayed attached to the bot. With its weapon disabled, Backlash moved towards Toe-Crusher to try to push it into the killsaws. They both ended up going over the saws at least once, but then, after one more trip over the saws, Toe-Crusher stopped moving entirely as the wire leading to its battery had been cut. Backlash maneuvered around to try to push Toe-Crusher some more, and managed to position him barely over the saws as the referees counted out Toe-Crusher. Backlash was declared winner by KO at 2 minutes 15 seconds.

Backlash vs. Ziggo

Backlash gets hit by the killsaws

Backlash on its back.

Backlash then fought Ziggo for the lightweight Giant Nut. At the start of the match, Backlash's antenna was too far down, limiting its ability to receive Jim's radio commands though the TV broadcast made it seem like the damage to Backlash from its match with Toe-Crusher was the reason behind the sporadic movements. Somehow Backlash's disc remained spinning. Ziggo hit Backlash from the side, taking out a chunk from his tire and bending the extended shaft. The impact apparently disabled something inside Ziggo, because it stopped spinning. Ziggo moved in to Backlash, right at the spinning disc, and got hit. Every once in a while, Backlash was pushed within range. Ziggo came in and pushed Backlash from the side, upending it. The gyroscopic forces of the disc unbalanced Backlash, who ended up on its back. Immediately after this hit, Ziggo found itself high-centered on the BattleBox exit ramp. Since Backlash was out first, the referee counted it out and Ziggo won by KO at 1 minute 23 seconds.

Lightweight Royal Rumble

Backlash also entered the Lightweight Royal Rumble at the end of the tournament. However, it was forced to pull out of the rumble due to unknown issues.

Season 3.0[]

Backlash vs. Matts Bammer

Backlash destroys Matts Bammer.

Backlash's Season 3.0 appearance.

Because it was a former lightweight champion, Backlash was allowed to skip the preliminary rounds of Season 3.0, where it eventually fought Matts Bammer. Backlash got a few hits on the side of Matts Bammer, who came back by using its thwacking axe on Backlash. About a minute into the fight, Backlash got one good hit on the side of Matts Bammer, tossing it through the air and flipping it on its back, ripping off the entire lid in the process. Matts Bammer couldn't right itself and was counted out. Backlash then advanced to the next round against Skid Mark.

Backlash vs. Skid Mark

Backlash hits the front of Skid Mark.

Both robots crashed into each other several times and Skid Mark got underneath Backlash a few times, but Backlash came back and flipped Skid Mark with its disc. Both robots continued pushing until Skid Mark eventually stopped moving. With only a few seconds left, Skid Mark was counted out and Backlash won the match. After the fight, Robert Everhart and Team Half-Life all signed one of the Backlash-scarred steel trifoils from Skid Mark, and presented it to Jim Smentowski as a trophy.

Backlash vs. Wedge of Doom

Backlash gets tossed by the killsaws.

Backlash was once again in the quarter-finals where it met Wedge of Doom. Both robots met in the center of the BattleBox and Backlash managed to tear off one of Wedge of Doom's wheels, sending it flying across the BattleBox. Wedge of Doom, however, started pushing Backlash over to the killsaws and they tossed Backlash on its back, ripping off one of its side spikes in the process. Backlash's disc was still spinning and it caused Backlash to spin around in circles, smashing dents into the BattleBox floor. However, it couldn't self-right and Backlash was eventually counted out and eliminated from the tournament.

Lightweight Royal Rumble

Backlash returned for the Lightweight Royal Rumble at the end of the tournament. It first hit Sallad, then went for Reaper. It attacked Dr. Inferno Jr. until D.I.J. teamed-up with Gamma Raptor, the latter picking up Backlash and carrying it around. After being released, it got back at Gamma Raptor. It then got attacked by Dr. Inferno Jr. again, then Sallad. Backlash then went for Trilobot, then Wedge of Doom. It was then taken captive by Dr. Inferno Jr. who began ramming other robots with it. After being released, Backlash retaliated, but Dr. Inferno Jr. forced Backlash into a corner. While it was getting its bearings, Wedge of Doom attacked, simultaneously by Dr. Inferno Jr. and Sallad. Finally, it got scooped by The Crusher just before the timer resounded. It managed to go the distance and became one of the two judges picks for the crowd to vote for, but unfortunately, it lost out to Ziggo.

Season 4.0[]

Backlash vs. Junkyard Dog

After a significant rebuild, involving a more aerodynamic body shell, which enabled Backlash to self-right by using the disc to hit the ground and kick it back onto its wheels, slick tires and sharper teeth on the disc. Backlash's first opponent of the season was against Junkyard Dog. Both robots moved to the center of the BattleBox, with their blades spinning, and Backlash drove over to the side of Junkyard Dog and caught the side frame support, flinging Junkyard Dog into the air. After the impact, both robots seemed immobile. Jim flipped his controller over and hit the 'robot reset' button on the IFI, and Backlash suddenly started moving again just as Junkyard Dog was being counted out. Backlash won by KO at 59 seconds and put it through to the next round against Hexy Jr.

Backlash vs. Hexy Jr.

Backlash did some early damage to Hexy Jr.'s top frame, but Hexy Jr. managed to get underneath Backlash and flip it. Backlash could not self-right due to the disc slowing down and losing the momentum to kick itself back over, and so it was counted out. Backlash lost by KO at 50 seconds and Hexy Jr. moved on to the quarter-finals.

Lightweight Royal Rumble

An overturned Backlash during the Royal Rumble.

Backlash once again entered the :ightweight Royal Rumble at the end of the tournament. Although it could compete this time, it did not perform well as it was almost immediately flipped by Hexy Jr., but overshot and landed on its back again. Backlash was largely ignored for the rest of the rumble, which was won by Dr. Inferno Jr..

Season 5.0[]

Backlash vs. Burning Metal

Backlash tears off one of Burning Metal's front wedges.

Backlash's first opponent of the season was against Burning Metal. Backlash charged straight at Burning Metal and hit it, tossing it upside-down instantly. Backlash tossed Burning Metal right side up, the impact dislodging Burning Metal's spinning bar. Burning Metal feebly tried to escape Backlash near the killsaws, but Backlash relentlessly smashed into its opponent again, and Burning Metal stopped moving. Backlash spun down its weapon and pushed Burning Metal onto the killsaws, with bits of Lexan flying. Backlash took a quick victory spin, and then spun up the weapon again, tearing off one of Burning Metal's wedge arms, tossing it into the ceiling of the BattleBox to the delight of the audience. Burning Metal was counted out and eliminated from the tournament. This win put Backlash to the Round of 16, where it faced Toe-Crusher again.

Backlash vs. Toe-Crusher

Backlash gets hit by Toe-Crusher.

In the match, Toe-Crusher was dominant, pushing Backlash around the BattleBox. Despite getting two good hits on Toe-Crusher, Backlash lost the match on a 27-18 judges decision, thus being eliminated from the tournament.

2004 NPC Charity Open[]

Backlash vs. J.R.C.V.

Backlash fighting J.R.C.V.

In its first fight, Backlash faced the simple wedge of J.R.C.V. It started strongly, managing to hit its much faster opponent with its flywheel and immobilizing it. Backlash then went in to try to attack the immobile J.R.C.V., which proved to be its undoing, as the impact of the hit seemed to bring J.R.C.V. back to life. J.R.C.V. quickly drove away before coming in for a head on slam, flipping Backlash over and stopping its flywheel. Backlash was still capable of moving, but without its weapon it was defenseless. J.R.C.V. had difficulty pushing Backlash, but it could get underneath it very easily, which helped it win the judges' decision. Despite the loss, Backlash moved onto the losers bracket.

Backlash vs. Slyder

Backlash tears into Slyder.

Backlash then had to face another wedge in Slyder, but fared much better. After chasing it around the arena, Backlash managed to get the first hit in, damaging the front of Slyder, before coming around the back of Slyder and tearing a gash into its plywood armor. Slyder moved away and managed to get underneath Backlash to push it into the arena wall, but Backlash escaped and attacked with its flywheel, tossing Slyder upwards. Slyder managed to get underneath Backlash again and flipped it onto its side, but the impact of the flywheel on the floor righted Backlash, which attacked the sides of Slyder, sending plywood flying and immobilizing it.

Backlash vs. Little Black Box

Backlash rips Little Black Box's front off.

Next for Backlash to face was Little Black Box. Little Black Box drove straight at Backlash, tossing it into the air and onto its side before righting it with another slam. Backlash drove away with Little Black Box in hot pursuit and managed to tear part of Little Black Box's armor off. Backlash hit Little Black Box again, tossing itself over and immobilizing it's flywheel. For the rest of the fight, neither robot could gain the upper hand, but Little Black Box became immobile, so Backlash went through to face Agsma.

Backlash vs. Agsma

Both robots collided in the center of the arena, with the impact throwing Backlash over, allowing Agsma to slam it against the arena wall. However, Backlash attacked Agsma with the flywheel, flipping itself back over and immobilizing Agsma. Backlash continued to attack the immobile Agsma until it was counted out.

Backlash vs. Speed Bump

Backlash attacks Speed Bump.

Backlash came up against Speed Bump next. This was an incredibly short fight, as the first hit from Backlash's weapon was enough to immobilize Speed Bump. Backlash attacked the immobile Speed Bump and went through to its next fight against Goosfraba Steel.

Backlash vs. Goosfraba Steel

Goosfraba Steel used its superior speed straight away to knock Backlash onto its side. Backlash recovered quickly, but was almost immediately attacked again by Goosfraba Steel. Goosfraba Steel stayed on the offensive for the whole fight, even stopping Backlash's flywheel at one point and taking no real damage, so it won on a judges' decision, eliminating Backlash from the overall competition.


  • Wins: 17
  • Losses: 6
Competition Wins Losses
Season 1.0

Disposable Hero

The Crusher


Das Bot

Alpha Raptor

Season 2.0





Season 3.0

Matts Bammer

Skid Mark

Wedge of Doom
Season 4.0 Junkyard Dog Hexy Jr.
Season 5.0 Burning Metal Toe-Crusher
2004 NPC Charity Open


Little Black Box


Speed Bump


Goosfraba Steel

Mark Beiro Introductions[]

"Weighing in at 58 pounds and from the creative mind of Jim Smentowski. Under the assistance of Team Nightmare, Beau Cox, Doug Evans, Chris Herd and Carl Swenson. They hail from Navato, California. Introducing BACKLASH!"

"Weighing in at 58 pounds and created by Jim Smentowski. Introducing BACKLASH!"

"Also weighing in at 58 pounds and hailing from Nevato, California. Here is BACKLASH!"

"Like a rocket sled from hell, the returning champion. Introducing BACKLASH!"

"Getting anywhere near it's deadly blade will turn you into robot aid. Stay at arm's length away from BACKLASH!"

"Spinning discs will hypnotize, mesmerize and pulverize but never ever apologize. Ladies and gentlemen, here is BACKLASH!"

"Its not the size of the robot in the fight, its the size of the fight in the robot and it's absolutely humongous in the defending lightweight champion BACKLASH!"


Any appearances by Backlash in merchandise are listed below: