"For me, nothing can replace having a physical model that you can walk around and turn over in your hand." - Grant Imahara on Deadblow.
Deadblow was a middleweight robot built by Grant Imahara for the original BattleBots Long Beach 1999 event and Comedy Central seasons. A box-shaped, four-wheel drive robot armed with a fast-acting pneumatic spiked hammer (initially machined from steel, later titanium, fitted with an optional lifter attachment in later seasons), it was initially defeated in the loser's bracket of the Megabot (middleweight) championship at Long Beach, but redeemed itself by winning the Megabot Rumble at the same event.
On television, Deadblow finished runner-up in the Season 1.0 middleweight division to Hazard, a run which included a famous victory over Derek Young's Pressure Drop. However, it could not replicate this success, its next best performances including a quarter-final finish in Season 2.0 and a Round of 16 finish in Season 3.0. Despite automatically appearing in the Round of 32 for Season 4.0 by virtue of its seeding, Deadblow was eliminated by Summoner on a close Judges' decision in an untelevised fight, and would be eliminated in the preliminary stages of its final run in Season 5.0.
An early prototype for Deadblow featured a tall construction and an 8lb sledgehammer as its weapon, though its design was quickly changed to become the compact, silver box-shaped machine seen in BattleBots. The finalized robot also underwent changes in between the Comedy Central seasons, with Grant Imahara adding side skirts in Season 3.0, followed by a front wedge for Season 4.0.
Following on from BattleBots' original cancellation, Deadblow resided with Imahara, occasionally appearing alongside him when he subsequently became one of the main hosts of Mythbusters (see Appearances on Mythbusters). Imahara sadly passed away on July 13, 2020 at the age of 49.
On October 5, 2021, Deadblow appeared in its own episode of the web series Adam Savage's Tested, in which fellow Mythbusters host Adam Savage and BattleBots builder Fon Davis discussed its design and internals while reminiscing about Grant Imahara's time competing in BattleBots.
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Long Beach 1999
Deadblow vs. SlapPest (Forfeit)
Deadblow vs. Scorpion "Beta 3"
Deadblow won on a judges' decision and advanced to the next round, where it faced Son of Smashy.
Deadblow vs. Son of Smashy
The fight began with both robots driving at each other before Deadblow fired its axe and got it stuck behind Son of Smashy's axe. After a couple of minutes, the robots were separated and the fight resumed. As soon as the fight began again, Son of Smashy and Deadblow started trading blows. Deadblow stopped moving but started moving again after a few axe blows. The two continued to trade axe blows until Deadblow stopped moving. Son of Smashy won by KO at 1:19 and Deadblow was now in the loser's bracket, where it faced Junior.
Deadblow vs. Junior"
The lifting arm of Junior was ineffective against Deadblow as Deadblow was invertible. Deadblow managed to dent Junior a couple of times. Both robots were still moving in the end and Deadblow won by crowd vote. This win put Deadblow to the next round, where it faced Turtle Road Kill.
Deadblow vs. Turtle Road Kill
Turtle Road Kill won by crowd vote and Deadblow was eliminated from the tournament.
Megabot Royal Rumble
Deadblow returned to compete in the Megabot Rumble at the end of the tournament. In the beginning, Deadblow went straight at the left side of Stuffie and started hitting it with its axe. Deadblow then pushed Stuffie against the spikestrip and started delivering blows onto its front. Deadblow backs away and started moving around the BattleBox. After this, Knee-Breaker got its hammer over Deadblow and Deadblow starts pushing it against the spikestrip. Deadblow started attacking Stuffie again and a blow from Deadblow caused a piece from Stuffie's front to come off. Deadblow kept leaving dents on Stuffie's front and pushed it against the spikestrip. After this, Deadblow was attacking the multibot SlapPest with its axe for the majority of the rumble. Deadblow took a hit from Knee-Breaker's hammer and Deadblow delivers a blow onto the rear of Spaz before the time ran out. In the end, Deadblow was one of few robots still moving and it was declared the winner of the Megabot Rumble.
Deadblow vs. Alien Gladiator (Quarterfinals)
After receiving a bye in the Round of 16, Deadblow went up against Alien Gladiator in the middleweight quarterfinals. Both robots went straight at each other, but Alien Gladiator started to get pierced by Deadblow's axe and eventually stopped moving after getting its weapon caught in the hellraisers. Deadblow kept hitting Alien Gladiator until metal fatigue tore off Deadblow's axe. Alien Gladiator then got its weapon caught under the hellraisers and could not move, leaving Deadblow to win by KO at 1:08. This win put Deadblow to the middleweight semifinals, where it faced Pressure Drop.
Deadblow vs. Pressure Drop (Semifinals)
Deadblow was the aggressor in this fight and kept hitting Pressure Drop on the top with its axe. Pressure Drop could not do much to retaliate so after a trip over the killsaws towards the end that bent the rear axle. Deadblow won on a unanimous 9-0 judges' decision and advanced to the middleweight finals, where it faced Hazard.
Deadblow vs. Hazard (Finals)
Both robots drove out and met each other in the middle of the BattleBox. Deadblow was struck by Hazard's blade once, then retaliated a few seconds later with a few strikes with its axe. Deadblow was struck again by Hazard, only it was a lethal hit to the side this time, denting its paneling and knocking out the battery. Deadblow was counted out by the referee at 53 seconds and became the runner up of the Season 1.0 middleweight competition.
Middleweight Royal RumbleDeadblow wasn't finished, however, as it was repaired in time for the middleweight royal rumble at the end of the tournament. In the beginning, Bad Attitude went straight at Deadblow and gets underneath it. Deadblow slides off Bad Attitude's wedge and Deadblow runs away. Deadblow went straight at Hazard, who wasn't spinning its blade, and starts delivering blows on Hazard's front with its axe. While this was happening, Hazard started pushing Deadblow and pushed it against the spikestrip near the pulverizer. Hazard backs away and charges straight at Deadblow again. Deadblow was delivering blows on Hazard's spinning blade and Hazard ran away from Deadblow. After this, Ankle Biter got underneath the front of Deadblow and pushed it against the spikestrip. Subject to Change Without Reason got underneath the rear of Deadblow and Deadblow slides off its wedge. Ankle Biter got underneath the front of Deadblow again and pushed it around an immobile Pressure Drop. Deadblow then took a hit from Hazard's spinning blade and delivers a blow on the right side of Pressure Drop. Deadblow backs away and took another hit from Hazard's spinning blade. Hazard got underneath the right side of Deadblow and pushed it against the spikestrip. Deadblow backs into a flipped Ankle Biter and gets slammed by Hazard again. Deadblow started hitting Alien Gladiator with its axe and Hazard pushes Deadblow against the spikestrip again. After this, Deadblow backs away and Hazard pushes Deadblow against the spikestrip once again. Deadblow tried to escape, but Deadblow got both of its right wheels stuck on the spikestrip and it was left there for the rest of the rumble. In the end, Hazard was declared the winner of the middleweight rumble and Deadblow lost overall.
Deadblow vs. Kegger
After receiving a bye in the round of 32, Deadblow fought Kegger in the round of 16. Deadblow immediately attacked Kegger, leaving several holes in Kegger's thin armor. Deadblow then pushed Kegger against the wall, but was backed into, forcing Deadblow to drive over the killsaws. Deadblow continued pounding into Kegger's side, where the hammer got stuck for several moments. Kegger suddenly stopped moving and Deadblow pushed it towards the entrance ramp, where Deadblow continued hitting Kegger. With around 15 seconds left in the match, Deadblow continued to attack and the pulverizers on that side of the arena were being activated in an attempt to convince Deadblow's driver to move Kegger over to one of them but one of them fell off in the process. Kegger was counted out with only one second left on the clock, advancing it to the middleweight quarterfinals, where it faced Bad Attitude.
Deadblow vs. Bad Attitude (Quarterfinals)Bad Attitude charges at Deadblow and pushes it for awhile, but Deadblow turns around and started hitting Bad Attitude with its axe. Deadblow was then pushed by Bad Attitude and got under the pulverizer. The robots realign in the middle of the BattleBox and Bad Attitude pushes Deadblow again into the wall. Deadblow continues hitting Bad Attitude with its hammer. Bad Attitude nearly gets upended by the hellraisers, but skids away. Deadblow has Bad Attitude pinned briefly against the wall, but Bad Attitude turns around and slams Deadblow against the arena wall multiple times. Bad Attitude pushed Deadblow again and got it stuck near the arena exit ramp, with its hammer stuck between the edges of the spikestrip. Deadblow is unable to free itself but time ran out before it could be counted out. Bad Attitude won on a 43-2 judges' decision and Deadblow was eliminated from the tournament again.
Middleweight Royal Rumble
Deadblow wasn't finished, however, as it participated the middleweight royal rumble at the end of the tournament. In the beginning, Deadblow went straight at the right side of Super Chiabot and delivered a blow with its axe. Deadblow started attacking Buddy Lee Don't Play in the Street and got its axe underneath rear of Buddy Lee, nearly flipping it onto its back. Deadblow then started attacking Blue Streak with its axe and backs away. Deadblow started attacking Buddy Lee again and Deadblow bumps into Instigator, where it started hitting it with its axe. After this, SABotage got underneath the left side of Deadblow and flips it onto its back, which self-rights immediately. Deadblow went straight at Scrap Daddy MW110 and delivers a blow on its rear wedge. Deadblow backs away and pushed an immobile Buddy Lee against the spikestrip. Deadblow bumps into one of the minibots from Super Chiabot and it was being pushed by Ankle Biter for a brief moment. Deadblow went straight at Instigator and pushed it onto SABotage's lifting arm. After this, Deadblow pushed SABotage against the spikestrip and Deadblow starts moving around the BattleBox. Deadblow went straight at Buddy Lee and pushed it against the spikestrip again. Deadblow bumps into Bad Attitude two times and the time ran out shortly after. In the end, Deadblow was one of few robots still moving and it was declared the winner of the middleweight royal rumble.
Deadblow vs. Spinster
Due to its seeding, Deadblow was allowed to skip the preliminary rounds of Season 3.0, where it eventually faced Spinster. Deadblow won by KO while having its axles sheared and advanced to the round of 16, where it faced Twin Paradox.
Deadblow vs. Twin Paradox
In the beginning, Deadblow rushes straight at Twin Paradox with its hammer down for an attempt to flip it. Twin Paradox gets lifted by the piston. Twin Paradox was pushing Deadblow from the rear and Deadblow drives over a set of killsaws and a skirt is sent flying across the BattleBox from the impact. Deadblow stopped moving as its poorly designed drive system had sheared again, and Twin Paradox was hitting the top of Deadblow with its spinning disc. Deadblow was sitting on the floor spinner and hits Twin Paradox with its axe as Twin Paradox was pushing Deadblow. Twin Paradox pushed Deadblow under the pulverizer and Deadblow was being counted out. Twin Paradox won by KO and Deadblow was eliminated from the tournament.
Middleweight Royal Rumble
Deadblow wasn't finished, however, as it was repaired in the time for the middleweight royal rumble at the end of the tournament. In the beginning, Deadblow moved to the center of the BattleBox and gets hit by Blade Runner's spiked arm. Deadblow went straight at Village Idiot and was nearly flipped onto its back. Deadblow bumps into T-Minus and it was being pushed by Double Agent. Deadblow moved to the center of the BattleBox and T-Minus flips it over Twin Paradox and Village Idiot. Deadblow kept swinging its axe onto the BattleBox floor and almost flips T-Minus with its lifter attachment. Deadblow charged straight at the left side of Bad Attitude and Bad Attitude runs away. SABotage gets underneath the left side of Deadblow and nearly flipped it onto its back. As this was happening, Blade Runner pushed Double Agent underneath the rear of Deadblow. Deadblow stopped moving and SABotage nearly flipped it onto its back again. Deadblow kept swinging its axe onto the BattleBox floor and Bad Attitude pushes it against the spikestrip. Bad Attitude then moved the immobile Deadblow to the center of the BattleBox. The immobile Deadblow was then pushed onto the blue square by Double Agent and Little Drummer Boy. After this, the time ran out and T-Minus was declared the winner of the middleweight royal rumble.
Deadblow vs. Summoner
Deadblow's first and only match of the season was against Summoner. Summoner won on a close 25-20 judges' decision and Deadblow was eliminated from the tournament again.
Middleweight Consolation Rumble
Deadblow wasn't finished, however, as it participated the middleweight consolation rumble at the end of the tournament. It is unknown how well it did, but it eventually lost out to Malvolio and T-Wrex.
Deadblow vs. Blue Devil
Deadblow, unfortunately, was no longer seeded for this tournament and therefore had to go through the qualifiers again. It first met up against Blue Devil. Deadblow won on a 29-16 judges' decision and advanced to the next preliminary round, where it faced Angry Barracuda.
Deadblow vs. Angry Barracuda
Deadblow won on a 29-16 judges' decision and advanced to the next preliminary round, where it faced Oh Debsy.
Deadblow vs. Oh Debsy
Deadblow quickly got under Oh Debsy and pushed it around. Later, Deadblow did the same thing as Oh Debsy struggled to use its lifting arm. Eventually, Deadblow found itself up against the spike strip but got free. Time ran out and Deadblow won on a 29-16 judges' decision and advanced to the final preliminary round, where it faced Chummy.
Deadblow vs. Chummy
Chummy won on a close 23-22 judges' decision and Deadblow was eliminated from the tournament once again.
- Wins: 10
- Losses: 7
|Long Beach 1999||SlapPest (Forfeit)||Son of Smashy|
|Season 2.0||Bye||Bad Attitude|
|Season 3.0||Spinster||Twin Paradox|
|Season 5.0||Blue Devil||Chummy|
Mark Beiro Introductions
"He's got a menacing moniker and game plan to match. Weighing in at 114 pounds, long live the Oakland enforcer DEADBLOW!" (Deadblow vs. Alien Gladiator)
"Weighing in at 114 pounds. He's mad as hell and he's not gonna take it anymore. Here is DEADBLOW!" (Deadblow vs. Pressure Drop)
"Like a terrier in heat, other robots face defeat. Here is DEADBLOW!" (Deadblow vs. Kegger)
"Like a driver's ed film from high school, there will be robot parts everywhere. Here is DEADBLOW!" (Deadblow vs. Bad Attitude)
"Oh, sure it looks real pretty and shiny right now but remember, pretty, shiny things kill too. Introducing DEADBLOW!" (Deadblow vs. Twin Paradox)
Any appearances by Deadblow in merchandise are listed below:
- Deadblow/Grip N' Grappler
- Deadblow/Metal Mechanics
- Deadblow/Deluxe Metal Mechanics
- Deadblow/Battle Chains
- Deadblow/Build 'Em Bash 'Em
- Deadblow/BattleBots: Beyond The BattleBox
- Deadblow/BattleBots Video Game
- Deadblow's design was inspired by US Robot Wars competitor Thor due to the nature of its hammer.
Appearances on Mythbusters
During Grant Imahara's stint as MythBusters host in 2005 (appearing alongside Blendo creator Jamie Hyneman and electronics/control wirer Adam Savage), Deadblow was used on the show several times, though often with other attachments besides its signature titanium hammer. Its debut came in "Bottle Rocket Blast-Off", when Grant demonstrated it - while its accomplishments were reeled off with accompanying footage - before using the pneumatic system that normally powered the hammer to test the pressure rating of a soda bottle. Its most notable use came in 2009 in "Driving In The Dark", which saw Grant, Tory Belleci and Jessi Combs testing the myth that smugglers can beat checkpoints at the Canadian border by turning off their wikipedia:headlights while not crashing or navigating wrongly due to lack of light. To simulate an oncoming car with its headlights ablaze, Grant fastened halogen lamps to Deadblow - which earned it the nickname of "Blinky" - and drove it towards Tory, who was playing the role of a smuggler in a go-kart with its headlights off, causing him to veer and crash into the tire wall.
Its other uses on the show included the "Beat the Guard Dog" myth where it played the part of a robotically-controlled cat. The only modification carried out to it by Grant was a set of mountings for a taxidermied cat, allowing the cat's joints to hang loosely.