Tombstone is a heavyweight (formally a superheavyweight) robot built by Hardcore Robotics which competed in the 2004 NPC Charity Open, 2009 BattleBots Professional Championship and every season of the reboot. It is a two-wheeled box-shaped robot armed with a large horizontally-spinning bar that weighs about 65-75 lbs. Its offence is also its defense, as it took up the front of the robot so it was hard to get to the sides. It performed well in competition as it became the champion of the superheavyweight division at the NPC Charity Open in 2004, runner-up of the first season of the ABC reboot and champion of the 2nd season.
The first Tombstone was a superheavyweight that competed in 2004. This version won its weight class and fought until 2005 at least. This version of Tombstone also competed in the televised 2009 pro championship, coming third. Two of the only parts that survived into 2015 from this model of Tombstone was the 250 lbs version of Tombstone's black blade (which was used against Witch Doctor) and a armor panel.
The second Tombstone was basically a new version of the team's flagship heavyweight, Last Rites as Ray did not want to contractually tie up Last Rites to compete in BattleBots, so he built a new Last Rites specifically for BattleBots. Its name was taken from the team's retired superheavyweight version. Last Rites to this day remains one of the most vicious robots on the robotic combat circuit and holds a spot in the Combat Robot Hall of Fame. Last Rites' design was inspired by M.O.E.'s but with Ray Billings wondering what it be like with just two wheels instead of four.
Tombstone's builder Ray Billings built a new version of Tombstone for the 2015 reboot of BattleBots on ABC where it finished runner-up and earned the giant bolt for most destructive robot. Tombstone had at least three blades for the 2015 competition: the large silver one it used against its first two opponents, a black blade it used against its third opponent (originally used on the superheavyweight version) and the red blade it used against its last two opponents. It also had a cushion to absorb hammer attacks (labeled "Beta Blocker" after its intended target) but it did not get a chance to use it.
Tombstone had a problem entering Season 3, as its weapon was spinning at 400 mph, which at the time, the tournament only allowed 250 mph, thanks to HellaChopper. Ray worked on reworking the machine to meet the new speed limit while making the weapons heavier. Even though it won its four fights by KO, Ray had to constantly repair the chassis, which led to having to shorten the chain, which allowed Bombshell to break it, ending Tombstone's champion run.
Tombstone returned for Season 4 with a new black top plate, baring the teams Grim Reaper worn on their shirts, as well as five interchangeable blades. Ray actually made sure the frame was stronger this year by making Tombstone 1 inch shorter in all dimensions, allowing for a stronger frame.
The robot's name came from computer networking's term "tombstoning" meaning to kill it and have it stay dead.
2004 NPC Charity Open
After receiving a Bye, Tombstone fought against Zeus. Tombstone won and advanced to the next round, where it faced Star Hawk 3.0. Tombstone won again and advanced to the third round, where it faced Mer Madd
After taking multiple hits from Tombstone, Mer Madd stopped moving and it was being counted out. Tombstone won by KO and advanced to the 4th round where it faced The Judge for the first time. The Judge ended up doing well and Tombstone was forced to face it again and managed to defeat it once more to take the championship title.
Pro Championships 2009
Tombstone's first match was against Shrike. Tombstone won the match and advanced to the next round, where it faced Vault. Tombstone won the match by KO. after a single hit, and Shrike's engines died immediately. It then advanced to the next round, where it faced VD6.0.The fight started with Tombstone taking a hit from VD6.0's disc spinner. After some exchanges of hits, Tombstone took a hit to the back that damaged the weapon batteries and disabled Tombstone's weapon. With little pushing power, Tombstone was pushed onto the arena screws. VD6.0 won the match so Tombstone was now in the loser's bracket, where it faced Megabyte. Tombstone won the match and advanced to the next round, where it faced Root Canal. During this match, Donald Hudson was showing signs of being wary of Tombstone's weapon. When the fight began, Root Canal charged at Tombstone, but Tombstone was able to avoid the hit, and Root Canal struck the screws. Tombstone started attacking Root Canals wedge, causing a bit of damage. However, Root Canal started going on the offensive, and pushed Tombstone under the pulverizer. Tombstone then experienced driving issues, and after repeatedly getting hit, flames emerged from the left drive motor. Tombstone was no longer moving so Ray Billings was forced to tap out, eliminating Tombstone from the tournament and placing third overall.
ABC Season 1
Tombstone was scheduled to fight Beta in its qualification match and had a special plate dubbed the "Beta Blocker" added to the top of it, but beta had technical issues and was forced to to forfeit. Tombstone instead went up against Counter Revolution in the round of 24.
Both machines spun their weapons up and Counter Revolution approached Tombstone. Tombstone then struck the front of Counter Revolution, severely damaging the body and immobilizing it. Tombstone struck Counter Revolution several more times, causing large amounts of damage before landing one last hit that launched Counter Revolution through the air and into the wall. Tombstone won the match by KO in 37 seconds and advanced to the round of 16 with a No.1 seeding, where it faced the No.16 seed Radioactive.
At the start of the match, Radioactive mostly spun on the spot, while Tombstone taunted it by driving around without using its weapon. As soon as Tombstone started to use its weapon on Radioactive, major damage was sustained and Radioactive was counted out. Tombstone won by KO at 1:09 and advanced to the quarterfinals, where it faced the No.9 seed Witch Doctor.
For this fight, Tombstone used a new black blade. Witch Doctor put up a very good show in the opening moments, overpowering Tombstone and flinging it into the air several times, also slamming it into the arena wall. Witch Doctor maintained its lead until Tombstone was able to disable Witch Doctor's disc. With no weapon, Tombstone was able to charge into Witch Doctor, and hit it so hard, Witch Doctor was overturned. Likewise, Tombstone was flung across the BattleBox, breaking its weapon in half in the process. Despite Tombstone being left with no offense, Witch Doctor was unable to right itself and it was being counted out. Tombstone won by KO at 1:01 and advanced to the semifinals, where it faced the No.4 seed Bronco.In the beginning of the match, Bronco moved to the corner of the BattleBox and Tombstone started spinning its blade. Both robots slowly moved toward each other and Bronco flips Tombstone onto its back. Tombstone hits the front of Bronco and Bronco misses a flip. Bronco tried to get underneath the left side of the flipped Tombstone, but it misses and takes a hit from Tombstone's spinning blade. This hit damaged the left side of Bronco and it was now moving in circles. Tombstone started hitting the rear of Bronco and moves to the corner of the BattleBox. Tombstone hits the right side panel of Bronco and tears it off. After this, the severely damaged Bronco managed to get a small flip on the front of Tombstone. Bronco got another flip on Tombstone, but Bronco flipped itself onto its back from the impact. After seven attempts, Bronco managed to flip itself back onto its feet and takes a hit from Tombstone's spinning blade. This hit ripped the front right wheel off of Bronco and tossed it out of the BattleBox. Tombstone went straight at the immobile Bronco and the hit nearly flipped Bronco onto its back. Bronco kept using its flipping in order to get moving again, but it wasn't successful and Bronco flipped itself onto its back. As Bronco was being counted out, Tombstone started spinning its blade and Bronco flipped itself back onto its feet. When the count reached 0, Tombstone gave Bronco one more hit from its spinning blade and sent Bronco flying to the corner of the BattleBox. This hit also sent Tombstone flying across the BattleBox and its batteries came out from the impact. Tombstone won the match by KO at 2:26 and advanced to the finals, where it faced the No.3 seed Bite Force.
Bite Force took the initiative at the start of the match and used its wedge to bully tombstone around the box, successfully keeping squared up to the blade. About midway through the match, Tombstone's batteries went up in smoke, disabling its weapon in the process. Bite Force had however taken significant damage up to that point and had apparent mobility issues, but was still able to maintain the edge in the resulting shoving match. Time ran out and the battle went to the judges, who ruled unanimously in favor of Bite Force. Tombstone got the award of most destructive robot as it destroyed Counter Revolution, Radioactive, Witch Doctor and Bronco.
ABC Season 2
Tombstone's first match in Season 2 was against Black Ice. Black Ice was able to deflect a couple of minor blows from Tombstone's spinning blade, but Tombstone managed to get one good pop into Black Ice and this hit did something to the electronics of Black Ice which simultaneously killed the left drive motor and stuck the right motor into a state of permanent forward. Black Ice was barely moving around the BattleBox and Tombstone pushed Black Ice into one of the corners and on top of the bottom lip of the railing of the BattleBox for an easy KO at 1:01. However, Tombstone hit the wall a few times with its weapon, damaging it and being unable to use the red bar for the rest of the tournament. This win put Tombstone to the round of 32 with its No.1 seeding, where it faced the No.32 seed Escape Velocity.
Both robots circled each other for several seconds before Tombstone's blade made contact with one of the aluminum panels on Escape Velocity, tearing it off. Tombstone continued attacking and eventually Escape Velocity stopped moving as the impact had destroyed both the master power switch and the weapon switch, and tore a 2" gash in the side. Escape Velocity was counted out and Tombstone won by KO at 45 seconds. This win put Tombstone to the round of 16, where it faced the No.16 seed Brutus.
For this fight, Tombstone went with lightweight blue tires and a heavier, thicker blade. When the match began, Tombstone was attacking and eventually tore off one of the added armor plates on Brutus. After another hit, Tombstone managed to disable Brutus' drive on one side, leaving Brutus to drive in circles. Tombstone continued attacking and one hit sent it flying but left the robot intact. Tombstone landed a final hit that flipped Brutus over and Brutus was unable to move. Brutus was counted out, giving Tombstone the win by KO at 59 seconds. This win put Tombstone to the quarterfinals again, where it faced the No.9 seed beta.
For this match, Tombstone went with its blue blade. Although the team originally wanted to use the red bar for this match, it was too damaged from hitting the arena wall in the match against Black Ice, resulted in Ray choosing the Blue one instead. As the match began, it was relatively even, though Tombstone had trouble dealing damage to beta. Lots of sparks were being made and Tombstone suffered a hit to the top, which had been reinforced for this match. However, after being flipped by beta, Tombstone managed to gain the upper hand by taking out the support for beta's weapon, then damaged beta's weapon itself. At this point, the clock had stopped prematurely, resulting in some confusion although the marshals were still able to keep time by other means. By the end of the match, Tombstone was up on top of beta and neither bot was able to move. In part due to the confusion caused by the clock, both drivers agreed to let the fight go to a judges' decision. The judges awarded a unanimous 3-0 decision for Tombstone, allowing it to advance to the semi-finals where it faced No.12 seed Yeti.
Initially, the match was fairly even but Tombstone eventually tore off Yeti's front wheels, forcing the drum to bang the BattleBox floor and become virtually useless. However, the two collided in a huge collision that caused Tombstone's weapon chain to slacken and prevent the weapon from turning but Tombstone managed to keep control. Yeti was pushed onto the screws by Tombstone before time ran out. The judges awarded Tombstone a 3-0 unanimous decision, eliminating Yeti from the tournament and allowing Tombstone to advance to the championship and face No.19 seed Bombshell.Bombshell's goal was to break Ray's chains, but Bombshell was unable to mount an attack on Tombstone due to its blade being mounted too high to hit the weapon chain as intended. This left Bombshell very vulnerable and Tombstone continued to attack, tearing off wheels and eventually disabling Bombshell completely. Bombshell was counted out and Tombstone won by KO at 53 seconds to take the giant nut.
Discovery Season 3Tombstone's first match in the third season was against Minotaur, a fight desired by fans since ABC Season 2. When the match began, Tombstone and Minotaur started off slowly before Tombstone started dealing blows, one of which flipped Minotaur over before it quickly self-righted. Minotaur tried its best to get around Tombstone but only managed to take more damage as the initial impact between the two bots had caused damage to Minotaur's drum such that the weapon could no longer reach its maximum speed. Each impact Tombstone dished out caused Tombstone's frame to bend and eventually the frame was bent enough so that Tombstone's weapon struck the arena floor and tore a gash out of the floor. Both robots then collided with such force that Tombstone was sent backwards into the arena screws, then returned to the arena center. After a few more blows and more damage to the arena floor, Tombstone managed to disable Minotaur's drum. Eventually, Minotaur got hung up on one of the damaged areas of the arena and couldn't move. Minotaur was counted out, giving Tombstone the win by KO at 2:22 to advance to the next stage, where it fought Gigabyte.
When the match began, both robots got their weapons up to speed but Tombstone's first hit on Gigabyte caused the attachment on top of Gigabyte to fly off, leaving the shell to remain attached only by gravity and the gyroscopic forces of the shell as it was spinning. Both robots collided again and this time, Tombstone caused Gigabyte's shell to fly off and bounce around a bit. However, Gigabyte was still functional and was forced to continue as tap outs are not allowed. Eventually, Gigabyte stopped moving deliberately and Tombstone held back any further damage, taking the win by KO to advance to the next stage of the tournament.
Tombstone's next opponent was Whiplash. The fight was off to an okay start for Tombstone as they were sent flying from their attacks on Whiplash but didn't take any damage as a result. Tombstone then tore off one of Whiplash's wheels and front scoops. Tombstone then found itself being shoved up against the arena barrier near the pulverizer where it couldn't move. Once released, Tombstone continued its assault, tearing off another tire. After one final hit, Whiplash was motionless up against the arena barrier as smoke began to pour out. Whiplash was counted out, giving Tombstone the win by KO.
Next on the list for Tombstone was DUCK!. In response, Tombstone went with a shorter blade for more reliability and to reduce the stress to its frame. When the match began, Tombstone made contact with DUCK! and tore off one side of DUCK!'s lifting plow. Tombstone dished out another hit but this one only caused marks on the plow that remained on DUCK! Tombstone delivered another hit and tore off the other side of the plow, leaving on the middle with DUCK!'s face on it. By the fourth hit, Tombstone was tearing into DUCK!'s wheels but DUCK! pressed on. Tombstone continued to hit, though its impacts were reduced thanks to its blade being bent downward. Tombstone took off one of DUCK!'s wheels but DUCK! still had full mobility. Tombstone attacked again, this time tearing into another wheel. This left DUCK! having some drive issues but Tombstone stopped moving as it was suffering an internal short that was made worse by the bar spinning. Seconds went by and Tombstone spun down its bar before coming back to life just before DUCK! took a shot from the killsaws that disabled its last wheel. DUCK! was now unable to move and was counted out, giving Tombstone the win by KO.
Up next for Tombstone was a rematch of the 2016 heavyweight championship against Bombshell. Things were pretty even to start as neither robot had the upper hand with the attacks but Tombstone took a hit that caused the half-link in the chain that had been added due to the shortening of the body's length over the course of the event, leaving its weapon to spin down. This hit also disabled Bombshell's weapon, resulting in a pushing match. Tombstone was then flipped over near the pulverizer but escaped. Tombstone then tried to head back to the corner for a better shot but ran over its weapon chain that had come off and got high-centered. Tombstone was unable to free itself and was counted out, eliminating it from the tournament and ending its current championship reign.
Tombstone wasn't finished yet, however as it participated in an exhibition match against Tantrum. The match was off to a good start for Tombstone as their weapon bar was quick to get up to speed while their opponent only gingerly approached. Tombstone hit the side of Tantrum and tore off one of the front fists. Tantrum was still moving enough to avoid a count out so Tombstone struck it again, not causing any major damage. Tombstone moved in again and ripped off the other fist, this one embedding itself in the arena wall. Tantrum was no longer able to move and was counted out, giving Tombstone the win by a quick KO.
Discovery Season 4
Tombstone's first match of 2019 was a rematch from 2009 against Donald Hutson and Lock-Jaw. For this match, Tombstone went with its trademark bar with steel teeth. When the match began, Tombstone was hitting only Lock-Jaw's rear defensive plate, causing it to go flying and leaving Lock-Jaw relatively unscathed. After the 2nd impact, Tombstone opted to show its backside to Lock-Jaw. When Lock-Jaw approached, Tombstone turned and took off Lock-Jaw's entire left drive wheels, immobilizing Lock-Jaw entirely. Lock-Jaw was counted out, giving Tombstone the win by KO.
Next for Tombstone was Jamison Go and SawBlaze. Tombstone opted to reuse the silver bar with steel teeth from the Lock-Jaw fight. When the match began, Tombstone attacked SawBlaze but didn't cause any damage. Tombstone continued to attack and was eventually pushed around by SawBlaze, ending up getting freed by the pulverizer when the two bots came underneath. This allowed Tombstone to get back up to speed and it began tearing into SawBlaze's protective wedge. As the match went on, Tombstone tore more of SawBlaze's wedge off and now SawBlaze had a bent wheel, reducing its mobility by half. Tombstone then found itself balancing on one wheel before landing upright. With SawBlaze still somewhat mobile, Tombstone ripped off one of SawBlaze's wheels and SawBlaze was no longer moving. SawBlaze was counted out, giving Tombstone the win by KO.
Tombstone's next match was against Rotator. In response, Ray Billings planned on going with his red blade, but ended up going with its traditional gray bar with steel teeth to have a longer reach and
prevent Rotator's weapon from striking the weapon chain. When the match started, Tombstone was taking the worse of the impacts as every hit sent it flying but not causing much damage. However, Tombstone was becoming a bit unbalanced as the first impact had caused Tombstone to lose part of a tooth. This meant that the electronics were taking much more abuse than they were meant to. Smoke began to pour out of Tombstone and Tombstone spun down its weapon. Rotator had also lost the use of its weapon but Tombstone was now fighting to stay alive. Fire began to appear from Tombstone's rear and as Tombstone moved around, it began to spread, eventually reaching Tombstone's drive system. Tombstone took a few more taps from Rotator before its drive system finally gave out from the heat. Tombstone was counted out with just 2 seconds left, giving Rotator the win by KO.
Amazon Alexa BattleBots Challenge
Tombstone was selected as one of 10 robots to compete in a live stream event as Las Vegas, Nevada for a Giant Bolt trophy. Its first opponent at the event was a grudge match with Witch Doctor from 2015. For this fight, Tombstone went with a thicker version of its trademark spinning bar. When the match began, Tombstone collided with Witch Doctor, sending both robots flying. Tombstone and Witch Doctor recovered to take another hit, this time sending Tombstone into the arena barrier. This impact broke Witch Doctor's weapon as well but now Tombstone could only drive in circles near the arena barrier. Since its weapon was still going, Tombstone aimed for another hit and nearly went out of the arena but was unable to get out of the corner. Tombstone delivered a final hit and stopped moving as smoke began to pour out. Tombstone was counted out, giving Witch Doctor the win by KO. Unfortunately, because it lost, Tombstone was illegible to be selected by the audience to participate in the championship finals.
- Wins: 27
- Losses: 6
|2004 NPC Charity Open||Bye
The Judge (X2)
|Pro Championships 2009|
|ABC Season 1||
|ABC Season 2||Black Ice||None|
|Discovery Season 3||
Minotaur (Main Event)
Gigabyte (Main Event)
Whiplash (Main Event)
DUCK! (Undercard Match)
Tantrum (Exhibition Match)
|Discovery Season 4||
Lock-Jaw (Main Event/Undercard Match)
SawBlaze (Main Event/Undercard Match)
Gruff (Undercard Match)
|Rotator (Main Event/Undercard Match)|
|Amazon Alexa BattleBots Challenge||None||Witch Doctor|
Faruq Tauheed Introductions
"Here to read your last rites, the one, the only, TOMBSTONE!"
"It doesn't enter the arena. Oh, no. It leads a funeral procession! Prepare to meet the grim reaper. It's TOMBSTONE!"
"Its spinning arm can liquidate your assets faster than the IRS. Make some noise, it's TOMBSTONE!"
"If it was a Christmas carol, it would be called "violent night". Here to put you to sleep, it's TOMBSTONE!"
"It spins faster than a cat-5 hurricane. The undisputed master of disaster, TOMBSTONE!"
"This driver should change his name to Ray Killings. Here comes the boom! It's TOMBSTONE!"
"Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, you’re about to get crushed. Responsible for more hits than the CIA, it’s TOMBSTONE!"
"Bring the bride and the doom! It's your getting day! It's TOMBSTONE!"
"When you go against this bot, your epitaph will read "I tried and I died". Rest in pieces. It's TOMBSTONE!"
"It's a grim reaper with a micro chip on his shoulder. Back from the dead to take the throne, it's TOMBSTONE!"
"This bot is more deadly than botulism and Mota Controlla Ebola. On a roll and racking up a death toll, it's TOMBSTONE!"
"Please rise for the reigning king, the prince of pain, the duke of death. Hear ye, hear ye, his royal Dieness. The one, the only, TOMBSTONE!"
"Call the dog catcher 'cause this hound from hell needs a muzzle. If the devil had a pet, it's what he would cuddle. It's TOMBSTONE!"
"This legendary bot belongs on Mount Crushmore. It's bad enough to make you say Hoover DAYUM! It's a national treasure. It's TOMBSTONE!"
"Fee Fi Fo Fum! Face this bot and you'll be done. Bringing the pain, it's the giant of the game. You know his name. It's TOMBSTONE!"
"It came with one mission: to pillage and maim. The record of blemish, every result the same. No matter the bot, no matter how brave, you're gonna end up in your grave. It's TOMBSTONE!"
"When the reaper comes knocking at your door, it comes with a blade with spins galore. When you ask for whom the death tolls, it's this bot crushing more souls. It's TOMBSTONE!"
"This bot's been here so many times, I'm running out of rhymes. But my beard looks good. It's TOMBSTONE!"
"It's guilty of the seven deadly spins and it's about to unleash barmageddon. It's so evil it will never atone. It's TOMBSTONE!"
"This bots violence causes silence. It can't be mistaken, all your tanks and your bombs, and your bombs and your guns can't destroy this bot. Here to chop thee like a zomba-a-a oh-oh-oh. TOMBSTONE!"
Any appearances by Tombstone in merchandise are listed below:
- Coincidentally, Tombstone beat Bronco in the ABC Reboot just as M.O.E., the inspiration for Tombstone, beat The Matador Season 4.0 and in the royal rumble.
- Tombstone was the only robot in the ABC Reboot to have achieved 4 KO's in one season.
- Tombstone is the only BattleBots robot to win a championship as both a superheavyweight, and heavyweight.
- For unknown reasons, Tombstone's official image for ABC's Season 2 has the rear triangular section despite it not being present for any of its matches.
- Tombstone was the only Season 1 finalist, and likewise the only robot to return from Season 1, to have made it beyond the Great Eight.
- Tombstone is one of the few robots to significantly damage the BattleBox
- Starting with its fight against Gigabyte in the 2018 season Tombstone was fitted with a Slam Cam, although the footage was not shown on TV it was put up on BattleBots YouTube channel.
- Tombstone's only two losses in the reboot were because it lost the use of its weapon. The latter of which was a KO.
- Tombstone was one of only two robots to appear in the three finals of the reboot, the other being Bite Force.
- Coincidentally, Tombstone and Bite Force have both not only fought each other but also fell in the 1st round of the top 16.
- In the two reboot series that Tombstone lost, Bite Force won the championship.
- The frame that Tombstone used in Discovery Season 3 is the same one they used last season.
- Both of Tombstone's matches with Witch Doctor involved the winner having a broken weapon.
- The damage Tombstone suffered to its wheels in the Amazon Alexa BattleBots Challenge is identical to the damage its superheavyweight counterpart suffered in years prior.