The Challenge Belt was a competition that ran throughout Robot Wars Extreme: Series 1, featuring a series of special one-on-one battles between two competitors at a time.
At the start of the competition, Behemoth was presented with a special belt by a fictional organisation called the World Association of Robotics (WAR) From then on, any robot could challenge Behemoth for ownership of the belt. Three outcomes could be presented; Behemoth would deny the challenge and have to surrender the belt, Behemoth would lose the challenge and give up the belt, or Behemoth would defend the challenge and win the belt. If Behemoth won three challenges in a row, it would win the belt outright to keep. If another robot won the belt, it in turn would be allowed to defend it for ownership.
- "We are the best. We are indestructable"
- — Kayne Aston accepting the Challenge Belt
|Dimensions||1.1m x 0.62m x 0.57m|
|Weaknesses||Slow & Sluggish / Low Impact Weaponry|
|From: Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire|
|Team Members: Anthony Pritchard, Michael Pritchard, Kane Aston|
|The Steel Avenger|
|Dimensions||1.3m x 0.7m x 0.8m|
|Power||2 x 750w Industrial Motors|
|Weapons||Pneumatic Axe & Rear Flipper|
|Weaknesses||Inaccuracy of Weapon|
|From: Holton St Mary|
|Team Members: John Willoughby, Jacky Willoughby, Tony Bates|
|Dimensions||0.71m x 0.61m x 0.38m|
|Power||2 x 24v Electric Motors|
|Strengths||Heavy Duty Weapon|
|From: Branston, Lincoln|
|Team Members: Kevin Scott, Tim Mann, Karl Skinner|
|Dimensions||0.85m x 0.7m x 0.25m|
|Power||2 x 750w Motors|
|Weapons||2000rpm Spinning Disc|
|From: Huntingdon (in Cambridgeshire)|
|Team Members: Andrew Marchant, David Gamble, Bryan Moss|
|Dimensions||1.28m x 0.88m x 0.31m|
|Power||24 Volt Electric Motors|
|Weapons||Axe and Flipper|
|From: Isle of Wright|
|Team Members: Ian Gear, Alistair Curtis-Horsfall, Tom Curtis-Horsfall|
|Dimensions||0.46m x 0.79m x 0.65m|
|Power||750w Electric Motor|
|Weapons||2 x Blades & Spinning Disc|
|Strengths||Speed & Control|
|From: Ash in Hampshire|
|Team Members: Nick Adams, Isabelle Adams, Jake Adams|
|Dimensions||0.9m x 0.71m x 0.38m|
|Power||24v Electric Motor|
|Weapons||Pneumatic Powered Flipper|
|Strengths||Unbeaten In Competition|
|Weaknesses||Limited CO2 Supply|
|From: Bramford, Ipswich|
|Team Members: George Francis, Ian Swann, Richard Swann|
|Dimensions||0.56m x 0.73m x 0.97m|
|Power||2 x Electric Motors|
|Strengths||Always Lands On Its Feet|
|Team Members: Alan Gribble, Robert Bettington, David Gribble|
Behemoth as holderEdit
- "Behemoth, you've got that belt, and we want that belt. We're going to hang it up with the rest of our trophies."
- — John Willoughby
Behemoth drove straight at The Steel Avenger, but missed a chance to flip it over. Instead, Steel Avenger was pushed onto the flame pit, which threatened to burn its feather duster. It then drove at the side of Behemoth and began pushing it around the arena, hitting it a total of nine times with its axe before Behemoth could break away. The two made a frontal assault at each other, and this was when Behemoth finally got its scoop to work, lifting up Steel Avenger, but not flipping it. After a second failed attempt, it finally managed to flip Steel Avenger over on its third attempt, before attempting to pin it down. It then pushed Steel Avenger towards the flame pit, the feather duster falling off in the process, before flipping it onto the flame pit.
- "With the feather duster left behind, The Steel Avenger is in no shape to avenge anything"
- — Jonathan Pearce
The Steel Avenger did not appear able to right itself, but Refbot then pushed it off the flame pit. Steel Avenger launched another side attack on Behemoth, and hit it again with its axe, only to be flipped once more. Behemoth then attempted to flip Steel Avenger out of the arena, but the silver robot was able to push itself away with its axe. Steel Avenger was then pushed into the CPZ and was forced to fend off Sir Killalot, causing some minor damage. It then darted away, driving around the arena in an attempt to attack the former semi-finalist, but Behemoth eventually caught it side on and flipped it again. It blocked its next attempt at self-righting, but Steel Avenger eventually escaped.
- "Moving quickly, trying to avoid trouble, knowing that it is the "second best" out there, really"
- — Jonathan Pearce on The Steel Avenger
Eventually, Behemoth flipped Steel Avenger again. Blocking its self-righting attempts once again, it pushed the Essex based robot towards the CPZ and flipped it onto its top, where it was unable to right itself. Sir Killalot then came in to attack Steel Avenger, but as he picked it up, Behemoth tried to flip Sir Killalot over.
- "We were actually trying to rescue Steel Avenger"
- — Anthony Pritchard explains his motives after the battle
The house robot fell onto his front, but landed back on his tracks. He then left Steel Avenger to attack Behemoth, and in the confusion, Behemoth sportingly righted Steel Avenger again. However, after a bit more dodging, Behemoth flipped its opponent over one more time, and it became clear that Steel Avenger had no more gas left to right itself. It was counted out and pushed towards the now-open pit by Behemoth. It was pushed back onto its wheels moments before falling in, and managed to drive away, but cease was called immediately afterwards.
- Craig Charles: "What's all this about Behemoth being "pants"?"
- John Willoughby: "Well, they are, aren't they?"
- Craig Charles: "Well, if they're pants, you're knickers."
- — After the fight
- "They just do not deserve that belt. Show me where they earned that belt!"
- — Kevin Scott
Behemoth, equipped with the feather duster of The Steel Avenger, drove straight at Stinger, who used its classic spinning attack in an attempt to damage Behemoth, but the belt holder's scoop easily deflected the blows. Stinger attempted a few over-head swipes along with its spinning, and did at one point get its axe stuck in Behemoth's scoop, but Behemoth remained unfazed and pushed Stinger around as it spun.
- "But it just comes forward and forward. Rarely retreats"
- — Jonathan Pearce, on Behemoth
Behemoth then pressed Stinger against the arena wall and tried unsuccessfully to flip it out. Instead, it pushed Stinger, who seemed to be limping, into Sir Killalot's CPZ. After trying to pluck up Behemoth, Killalot then grabbed hold of Stinger by its axle. Behemoth quickly hit the pit release button and Sir Killalot began to take Stinger towards the pit, but was forced instead to let it go.
- "No, he's had to let him go! Once I caught a fish alive! Why did you let him go? Because....I've absolutely no idea where I'm going with this one, then. Sorry about that"
- — Jonathan Pearce attempts, and fails, at an obscure reference
Stinger seemed to be spinning very close to the pit, but Behemoth instead pushed it away, towards the centre of the arena, and then towards the side wall. Stinger was still only driving around in circles and moving very sluggishly too. Exposing its axle, Behemoth then used its axe to clamp down on Stinger whilst lifting it at the same time, picking Stinger up and carrying it towards the pit. Flicking its mace, Stinger actually broke away before Behemoth could pit it, but its mobility problems eventually caused its spike to fall into the pit and it was only a matter of time before the rest of it was dragged down.
- "You wanted the Robot Wars Extreme Challenge Belt, and guess what? You haven't got it!"
- — Craig Charles to the Stinger team
It was three episodes before Behemoth had another challenge, but finally Tornado made a challenge.
- "They're too big for their boots, but not too big for that belt. But only just. It would look much better on us"
- — Andrew Marchant
For the third time, it was the challengers who launched the first attack. Tornado drove head-on into Behemoth, then drove away before it could use its axe. Tornado then managed to get underneath Behemoth's side and pushed it into the arena wall, before attempting to ram Behemoth again, but its opponent drove away. Tornado pursued, though, and after pushing Behemoth aside a few times, charged head-on once more, actually putting a dent in the bulldozer of the Belt Holder.
- "That scoop, the titanium bucket scoop, can withstand just about everything we've seen"
- — Jonathan Pearce, once again mis-timing his quote
Tornado then drove into Behemoth's side, pushed it into Refbot, before literally forcing its way underneath and pushing Behemoth onto its side. It then drove Behemoth into the arena wall. Behemoth attempted to right itself, but it was unable to as Tornado continued to ram into it as it was trying to right. Behemoth eventually found itself underside first up against the arena wall, unable to move. Eventually, Refbot pushed it away from the arena wall and, in doing so, re-righted Behemoth. Behemoth then drove into Tornado and managed to flip it over. This did not affect the invertible Tornado, who rammed Behemoth again. Behemoth's scoop and axe both seemed to be stuck in an "attack" position and it took a while for both to return to their default settings.
- "And the scoop is lifted up! Comes down eventually, I thought they might have had problems with the scoop, Behemoth"
- — Jonathan Pearce, just as Behemoth lowers its scoop
Behemoth flipped Tornado again, then pushed it into one of the CPZs. Right whilst they were against the side wall, Behemoth then lifted Tornado up against the wall in an attempt to strand it. It managed to get Tornado up on its rear bumper, but was unable to follow-up quickly enough, and Tornado fell back onto its wheels. A second attempt at this was disrupted by Matilda, who hit Behemoth with her flywheel. Tornado quickly took the advantage and rammed Behemoth side on, pushing it across the arena once more, right into one of the angle grinders. The two robots made another front-on attack, with Tornado's drum making small sparks against Behemoth's scoop. In desperation, Behemoth reversed into the pit release button, but Tornado ran around its side again, pushed it away from the descending pit and pushed it over the flame pit into the arena wall again. Behemoth escaped and pursued its opponent.
- "Behemoth over that flame pit. Behemoth, a moth, too near the flames? Get outta there!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
Behemoth launched one last front-on attack at Tornado and attempted to push it. Tornado desperately dug in, its whole body shaking as it tried to get traction. Behemoth managed to push it towards the arena wall, but Tornado slowly managed to push back. Cease was called with both robots pushing against each other, and the judges were called to make a decision. Tornado was given the victory, and Behemoth was forced to surrender the belt.
- "It's well earnt"
- — Kane Aston, gracious in defeat
Tornado as holderEdit
The victory against Behemoth counted as Tornado's first victory in its challenge belt defence.
Comengetorix's challenge came during Episode 9, where the main event was the House Robot Rebellion. Although it was implied that Comengetorix had been approached as a potential competitor for the Rebellion, that event had already been filmed prior.
- Julia Reed: "Team, what do you reckon? House Robots? Piece of cake"
- Ian Gear: "We've shown we've got the metal to go for the House Robots"
- Julia Reed: "You've already shown that, have you?"
- Ian Gear: "That's not the challenge. The challenge is to go for the Challenge Belt"
- — Comengetorix declines one challenge, but accepts another
As the battle began, Tornado drove head-on into Comengetorix. It easily resisted an axe blow before ramming into the side of its opponent, pushing it straight into Shunt, who's axe caused a small dent on the front of Comengetorix. Comengetorix could not get away and Shunt pushed it away from his CPZ. Comengetorix seemed rather sluggish and Tornado, who had been waiting in the centre of the arena, charged in from the side and pushed its opponent towards Sir Killalot's CPZ, grinding at the sides with its disc. As Comengetorix backed away, Tornado rammed it from the side again and drove it straight into the angle grinders. As it came in for another ram, its disc caught a loose piece of Comengetorix side-skirt, causing it to fly off. The ram ended when Comengetorix was pushed into the CPZ again, its side completely shredded, also causing part of it to become stuck in Tornado's drum.
- "We've talked throughout this series of Extreme about the pushing power of Tornado, we haven't really talked about that weapon until now"
- — Jonathan Pearce
Shunt then entered the CPZ and his axe hit Comengetorix right between its weapons-bay. As Tornado activated the pit, Shunt dragged Comengetorix over the flame pit before flipping it over with his scoop. Even in self-righting, Comengetorix was very sluggish, and Tornado pushed it away, closer to the pit. Comengetorix spun around, firing its weapons at thin air. It eventually got a head-on attack, but the axe again caused no damage, and it was dangerously close to the pit. Tornado ran towards the side of its opponent, but Comengetorix backed away just in time. Tornado pushed it from the side anyway, ramming its older opponent between the angle grinders. It then pushed Comengetorix into Sir Killalot, who then pushed it all the way across the arena into Shunt, who in turn pushed it back to the centre of the arena. By now, Comengetorix's movement seemed to have ceased completely and Tornado took over, pushing it straight towards the pit, before backing away and pushing it down, ending the challenge.
- Craig Charles: "What made you think you could take on the Tornado boys, holder of the Extreme Challenge Belt?"
- Alistair Curtis-Horsefall: "We saw the belt and we decided we didn't want it, so we let them push us around"
- Craig Charles: "Oh, really, really, really bad losers, it seems"
- Andrew Marchant: "It's not what it's made of, it's what it represents that counts"
- — After the battle
- "Tornado are gonna be a breeze!"
- — Isabelle Adams
The battle began quickly, with Tornado getting around the side of Wild Thing. As they spun around, trying to get in a good position to attack the other, Tornado began to push Wild Thing back. Eventually, it caused some minor tears in Wild Thing's side, before pushing underneath and ramming it into the angle grinder. Tornado pushed Wild Thing from the front, its opponent's spinning disc causing no issues, before Wild Thing managed to get behind Tornado, pushing it from the side.
- "Tornado's a little nagger. It nags and worries its opponents"
- — Jonathan Pearce
Eventually, the two robots met front-on. Pushing against each other, they spun slowly around in circles, but Tornado's body prevented Wild Thing's spinning disc from working. Eventually, Wild Thing broke away to adjust itself for a side onslaught, but Tornado eventually managed to push underneath it again, and drove it straight into the CPZ. Wild Thing escaped unharmed and pursued Tornado, only to be hit side on by the challenge belt holder again. Tornado rammed it into the arena wall, near another CPZ, and Wild Thing was sluggish in moving away, allowing Sir Killalot to pin the two robots momentarily. As they escaped, Tornado's drum caught part of Wild Thing's rear armour and tore it off. It then pushed Wild Thing back into Sir Killalot's clutches, but Wild Thing managed to escape.
- "And the eyes....staring, but staring at the face of defeat"
- — Jonathan Pearce
Tornado quickly forced its way under Wild Thing's side once more, and rammed it into the far arena wall, knocking it upside down in the process. Wild Thing managed to right itself just as Tornado activated the pit. It then began playing evasive, allowing Wild Thing to follow it before turning and hitting it front on once more. It then pushed Wild Thing into Sir Killalot once more, who finally managed, after attempting to grab hold of the disc itself, managed to pick up Wild Thing by the body with his claw, but quickly dropped it. Tornado pushed Wild Thing straight back into the CPZ, but Wild Thing managed to escape. Another side-push from Tornado occurred before Wild Thing tried another frontal assault, only for Tornado to push it back into Sir Killalot, who managed to grip hold of its front before letting go. Suddenly, Wild Thing managed to push Tornado back into Sir Killalot instead, who used his claw on Tornado, but caused no obvious damage. The battle ended with the two robots pushing each other in circles once more, and the judges were called to make a decision.
- Craig Charles: "You always seem to lose on judges decisions, don't you?"
- Nick Adams: "I think they fall asleep halfway through and then at the end, when we're doing well, they're not watching or talking or gone off somewhere"
- Craig Charles: "They've probably turned over and watching the cricket or something"
- — Wild Thing's bad luck on judges decisions
Based on aggression, Tornado was given the victory and, as it was its third successive defense, the challenge belt.
Second Challenge BeltEdit
At this point, Tornado had won three successful battles. It was allowed to keep the first belt outright, and was given a second belt to fight for.
- "I don't think we'd like to see Chaos 2 again"
- — Andrew Marchant on the robot he'd least like to fight, and in for a nasty surprise
This was the third encounter between the two robots, as Chaos 2 had beaten Tornado in the Series 4 semi-finals, but had then lost to it in the All-Stars semi-finals in the previous episode.
- "This is a grudge match, this is a Challenge Belt challenge...it's all in one"
- — Jonathan Pearce
As the battle started, Tornado got off to the faster start, getting around Chaos 2's side and pushing it straight into Dead Metal's CPZ, where it had gotten into trouble in the All-Stars. It escaped as Dead Metal seemed to simply be spinning on the spot, and drove at Tornado, briefly getting underneath but not utalising its flipper. After a bit of dodging, Tornado hit Chaos 2 hard on its right side, pushing it straight into Shunt's CPZ. Almost immediately, Chaos 2 flipped Shunt away, nearly throwing him out of the arena, before pursuing Tornado again.
- "You're nagging me! Get out of my face, man!"
- — Jonathan Pearce, speaking on Chaos 2's behalf
After being pushed into the far arena wall, Chaos 2 backed away. Tornado followed, but drove onto Chaos 2's flipper, and was flipped over. The invertible Tornado simply pushed Chaos 2 back, only to be flipped again. After a little dodging, it attempted to get around the side of Chaos 2 and eventually found its target, pushing the double-champion straight into Dead Metal's clutches, allowing the house robot to use his saw. Chaos 2 tried desperately to flip Dead Metal away, but the house robot persisted in its attacks. Dead Metal eventually backed away, and Shunt landed an axe blow, which did little damage. However, despite being given some breathing space to escape, Chaos 2's right wheel appeared to have locked up and it was unable to exit the CPZ. Shunt eventually tried to attack it again, and in the commotion, Chaos 2 managed to flip the house robot onto his side. Still unable to move freely, Chaos 2 could only flip Shunt again as he struggled to right himself.
- "This is all very splendid for George Francis, but I don't think he's point-scoring here"
- — Jonathan Pearce on Chaos 2's attacks on Shunt
Eventually, Dead Metal entered the CPZ and grabbed Chaos 2 from behind. He then used his saw to cut into Chaos 2's side, until Tornado suddenly slammed into its opponent, then the house robot, as if attempting to save Chaos 2. Dead Metal was able to force Chaos 2 towards the floor flipper and although it was still able to use its flipper, the champion's damaged drive was evident, and Refbot counted it out.
- "A flip or two, but flipping heck! Chaos 2 has been beaten again! That is sensational! Well, the king is dead, "Long live the king" perhaps?"
- — Jonathan Pearce as Chaos 2 is counted out
Immediately afterwards, Dead Metal placed Chaos 2 on the floor flipper. The little robot landed on its side, but as it landed, it was clear that the flipper and remaining wheel were still active. Nevertheless, it was out of the running for the belt.
- George Francis: "But did you see the way I fought back even when one wheel got stuck?"
- Craig Charles: "You were like a wounded animal in the corner!"
- — After the battle
Tornado's second challenge of its new Challenge Belt came during the final episode of Extreme. On the show itself, there were concerns that Tornado would have to forfeit the challenge, or risk receiving damage before its battle against Razer in the All-Stars grand final, the main event for the episode. In reality, the Challenge Belt competition as a whole was filmed long after the All-Stars had finished.
- "OK Team Tornado, you've defended the Challenge Belt three times now, but you've got some real opposition. Put your dukes up, boy, you're going down!"
- — Alan Gribble of the Cold Fusion Team
As the battle began, Tornado ran head-on into Pussycat, knocking it upright. Pussycat dropped down onto two wheels, but was met with another head-on collision with Tornado. It quickly pushed Pussycat into the side angle grinders, in an attempt to use them to break off Pussycat's wheel again. Pussycat held up much better than last time, and escaped with all four wheels intact. For a little while after this, the two robots simply pushed each other around the arena, using their weapons but landing no meaningful attacks. This changed when a strike caused Pussycat to bounce over, allowing Tornado to push against its base, first pushing it into the angle grinders, knocking it onto its side, before pushing it into Matilda's CPZ. The house robot's flywheel did not appear to be spinning at full speed, sparing Pussycat some damage, but one of its tyres appeared to have dislodged. Tornado quickly pushed Pussycat back into the CPZ, where Matilda's flywheel clashed with Pussycat's blade, and threw it on top of the arena wall.
- "They're saw blade to saw blade at this moment in time!"
- — Jonathan Pearce as Pussycat clashes with Matilda
Pussycat was very sluggish in exiting the CPZ, and when it did, it became apparent that it had lost drive to one side. Tornado, realising this, activated the pit, but in trying to push its opponent into the pit, nearly fell in itself. Adjusting itself, Tornado launched another attack, overturning Pussycat onto the side with the slipped tyre. With no free movement, Pussycat was helpless to prevent Tornado from pushing it towards the pit, leaving it balanced on the edge. Trying to move away, but unable to do so due to its missing drive, Pussycat overbalanced and fell in, securing Tornado's victory.
- "We were going to have them were it not for that sissy Matilda!"
- — Excuses from Alan Gribble after the battle
There was no third challenge for Tornado to keep the second belt. As a result, Tornado was allowed to keep the second belt until its third challenge in Extreme 2.
- Originally, the ficitional World Association of Robotics was known in issue 20 of the Robot Wars Magazine as the International Robot Warrior Association (IRWA).