We've reached the finals of the Robot Combat League! $100,000 on the line, as well as the trophy and the title of RCL champion.
The unlikely duo of 12th seed Crash and 8th seed Steam Punk have made it to the final match. Crash finished last in prelims, but through a combination of physical prowess and technical savvy, beat out Steel Cyclone, Brimstone, and Scorpio to make the finals. Steam Punk, meanwhile, overcame early communication problems between Kyle and Ashley to make their own way to the finals. They went the distance in all of their fights and won in a decision every time.
The teams meet with Chris Jericho for a few announcements. First thing: The stakes have changed. The final match will now be a best of five round affair, with the first team to win three rounds declared the winner. ALSO, once one team wins two rounds, the robots get to attach this wicked-looking electric spinning weapon. And one more thing! The teams now get to pick one of their former competitors to act as their helper/corner man. Team Steam Punk picks their pal Fazlul from Team Drone Strike; Team Crash chooses Ross from Team A.X.E.
As Fight Night approaches, the teams get very anxious. Ashley says she needs the money to help support her and her son -- she doesn't have a bedroom or her own bed even! It's shaping up to be the underdog fight of the year, with two teams that are very evenly matched.
In Round 1, Crash breaks its left arm almost immediately. This has been a trend for Crash throughout the tournament, but it REALLY becomes a thing in this best-of-five finale. Ashley and Kyle's old communication problems appear to be returning, as Ashley yells at Kyle to back her up. Crash is pressing and ends up breaking its OTHER arm. "It's like swinging two pillowcases full of bricks," yells Chris Jericho. Ashley keeps yelling at Kyle to get her closer, but Crash is still coming and Amber is still swinging. Steampunk manages to start landing huge shots with its giant fists, but Crash lands a huge hit with those dead arms, and by the time the first-round bell rings, Steampunk cannot move. The judges' decision: 30-25 for Crash!
In between rounds, Fazlul tries very hard to get Kyle and Ashley to work together, but things are not great. For Crash, they are under a crunch to get their arms back on. No time to talk to Chris Jericho, even!
In Round 2, Crash breaks its arms again, but that doesn't stop Amber's aggression for one second. She knocks SteamPunk's chest armor off, and now Steam Punk is fully exposed. Steam Punk is very aggressive, but Amber never stops swinging. After a very close round, the judges' decision once again goes to Crash, 29-25.
WEAPONS are in play now! Crash STARTS Round 3 with a broken arm, but it's using its weapon arm to slice into Steam Punk's right arm. While Ashley is jabbing like crazy into Crash's midsection (more landed blows mean more points), Amber continues to swing freely with that broken arm. Ashley is trying to saw through Crash's cage, while Crash using their own weapon to shred SP's insides. Suddenly, Crash's weaponized fist falls off. Just falls off! This helps Steam Punk take Round 3, 30-27.
Before Round 4, Crash doesn't get their second fist attached by the end of the repair period. Without anything on its weaponless left arm, Crash breaks its right arm again and is gushing fluid. The match gets so intense that Steam Punk's foot catches fire! Kyle is PISSED that the judges don't call the fight right away, but they finally do. The fire is put out and the round is to resume. Amber is just swinging like a wild woman, one fist off, one fist hanging. Both robots end up out of position so the round gets re-started with 20 seconds left. In the final bit, SteamPunk saws into Crash, while Crash's second first comes flying off! Chris Jericho sums it up: "CRASH HAS NO HANDS! CRASH HAS NO HAAAAANDS!" Round 4 goes to Steam Punk, 29-28. On to the final round!
In Round 5, Steam Punk goes on the offensive and disables Crash's arms. But soon, the tables turn, and Steam Punk loses a hand! Tenacious Dave and Amber are once again swinging dead arms, and they once again lose a fist. Crash is falling apart! There is a flurry of action right up until the bell. Who wins?? The judges decision goes 30-27 to ... Crash! Amber immediately goes to hug Ashley, and she promises, "We'll help you out. We'll help you." Amber tells Ashley she's one of the strongest people she's ever met. But it's Amber and Dave who raise the trophy as inaugural Robot Combat League champions. Congratulations, Crash!
Get Chris Jericho's mid-season thoughts on RCL & much more.