“Robots Versus Wrestlers”
Season 5, Episode 22
How I Met Your Mother was a surprisingly decent show that definitely should’ve ended a couple of seasons before it actually did. The story revolved around a young Bob Saget talking to his children nonstop for about 108 hours, explaining to them how he met their mother. This past generation’s Friends-lite consisted of Ted Mosby, the serial monogamist architect and least likeable guy on the show; Barney Stinson, the douchebag lawyer bro that most circle of friends tend to tolerate because deep down he’s not that bad of a guy; Robin Scherbatsky, the Canadian guy’s gal/news reporter/former teen pop idol; Marshall Erickson and Lily Aldrin, the long-lasting couple that every other couple aspires to be, who are also Ted’s college friends.
The show begins with Barney showing up to the bar they’re always at with five tickets to Robots vs. Wrestlers. Ted and Marshall react exactly how any decent human being would when presented with free tickets to a wrestling show. Especially one in which wrestlers take on robots. The fifth ticket is for Robin, who, at this point, has stopped hanging out with the group after it became one big incestuous circle. She declines the ticket because clearly, there’s something wrong with her.
Sadly, the wrestling show is part of a throwaway running gag. The main story revolves around Ted obsessing over another woman and crashing some snobby party. Ted, once again proving that he’s the least likeable character on the show, decides to ditch the gang to stick around with the snooty party guests, instead of going to Robots vs. Wrestlers, like he originally agreed to.
The wrestling show itself is part Robot Wars, part Medieval Times. The ring is some kind of hexagon with ropes and a caution tape aesthetic. Most of the fighting consists of shadowy figures battling slightly off camera. But we are treated to some back and forth action between a masked luchador and the wrestling version of Johnny 5. You would think the robots on a show called Robots vs. Wrestlers would include a roster of Terminator-type robots, and not ones that can speed read and run away at the first sight of trouble. The luchador only gets a kick in before the robot is able to shove him down and apply a goozle, or Tongan Death Grip if you’re a Meng/Haku fan.
The next match involves a much more in shape luchador, fighting in silver and black, against a much more formidable opponent: a dude inside of a silver C3PO outfit. For whatever reason, the robot wrestler’s A.I. malfunctions and he commits the cardinal sin of unmasking a luchador in the middle of the match, exposing said Mexican wrestler to be Ted’s doppelganger (or Mexican soccer player, Guillermo Ochoa). You see, before the meme became a thing, the show had a running gag throughout the season in which the characters ran into their dopplegangers. In the midst of his hobnobbing snobbery, Ted receives a pic of his doppelganger. He looks around at his newfound acquaintances and immediately realizes that he needs to leave. Not because he feels he should be with his true friends, but most likely because he’s so self-involved he wants to see what a curly-haired version of himself looks like in spandex.
Back at the matches, Mexican wrestler Ted lays waste to the robot for unmasking him. First, he performs a flying elbow drop after declaring himself “the conqueror of the machines” in Spanish. He then dismantles the machine, with nuts and bolts flying everywhere. Finally, Mexican wrestler Ted rises triumphantly with the severed head of the robot, rightfully avenging himself for the uncalled for unmasking.
Ted catches up with the gang at the bar, apologizes, and continues being douchey by reciting some poetry, until Robin steps in with a round of beers for everyone. Ted then narrates that despite growing up and drifting apart, even up until the very day that he’s telling this ridiculously long story about meeting his kids’ mother, the old gang still gets together every year to watch Robots vs. Wrestlers. And really, isn’t that what every wrestling geek wants deep down? A group of friends to go to WrestleMania with every year, or, at the very least, catch a random throwaway brand-specific WWE Network special?