Twelve teams! $100,000 on the line! It's time to kick off Robot Combat League! Host Chris Jericho welcomes the 24 people competing for the season's top prize, and he sums up things quite nicely: "You're all about to become superhuman." In teams of two -- one Tech, one Jockey -- the contestants will control state-of-the art fighting machines. Robot expert Mark Setrakian is on hand to make sure the robots are working at peak capability, but it's up to the teams to make them fight.
The teams meet their robots, and we get our first look at the mechanical beasts they'll be piloting. Russell and Devonric take one look at the one-eyed freak of a machine known as Brimstone and declare that it's sleek and black, just like Devonric! Meanwhile, Amanda Lucas -- an MMA fighter and, oh yeah, George Lucas's daughter -- is on Team Robo Hammer. Ross, one half of Team A.X.E., is particularly wary of Team Steel Cyclone, consisting of Olympic athlete Bayano and "Dr. Robot" (Ross's words) George.
Other teams of note? NASA engineer Paulo and National Guard pilot Jeffrey look to be formidable competition, while father/daughter team Dave and Amber aren't exactly striking fear into the hearts of their fellow combatants. The teams go through robot training the very next day, and it looks like Amber is already struggling with the arm controls.
The Power-Up challenge is to determine the seed order of the twelve teams. One at a time, teams race the clock to see how fast they can land one punch on the sparring robot, which is being commanded by Mark. About halfway through the challenge, Jeffrey and Paulo (Team Commander) prove that they're the thinking team this season, as they devise a strategy where Jeffrey just sticks one arm out and has the robot go after the target as if with a sword. It's incredibly successful, even if the other teams don't find it quite in the spirit of the competition.
Amber and Dave (Team Crash), meanwhile, draw awwwwws from the other teams when they come out to compete, but they're not exactly feared. Amber is flailing her robots arms, and it takes them forever (three times as long as the next slowest team!) to finish the challenge. So Team Crash is the #12 seed and will go up against the top seed...Team Steel Cyclone, Bayano and George!
When it comes time for the first battle, Steel Cyclone is heavily favored, but Dave's not worried. "I feel sorry for their pretty little blue robot," he says. "We're gonna mess it up." Crash uses its external cage apparatus to its advantage, but in the first round, it's Steel Cyclone's superior reach that is the difference maker. The Cyclone loses a foot early on, but it barely notices! Amber's taking big swings for Crash, but she's hitting nothing, while Steel Cyclone is drawing a ton of sparks with some direct hits. Before the round is over, Steel Cyclone sizes crash up with its glowing, blue eye and busts Crash's shoulder open, spraying hydraulic fluid everywhere!
In between rounds, Amber and Dave have 20 minutes to patch up their robot before the next round starts. First order of business is to fix the shoulder, which they do, just in time for Round 2 to start. Steel Cyclone goes right back after that damaged arm, but this time, Crash is fighting back. Amber's punches are finally landing! After a super cool moment in which both robots draw sparks from each other at the same time, Crash lands a surprise knockout blow! On replay, you can see Crash broke its own arm on the killshot, but it was worth it because Amber busted Steel Cyclone wide open!
The judges stop the fight and declare a winner, by 2nd round knockout: Team Crash! George and Bayona take the head of their fallen robot in their hands and say goodbye.
Crash and Steampunk battle it out for the title of victor of Robot Combat League.
Get Chris Jericho's mid-season thoughts on RCL & much more.