This was a painful bout to watch. From the opening bell it was obvious Bolt would win, if for no other reason than because TDESS’ technique was old and predictable, like a 50 year old Mike Tyson it was once solid in technique but the competition has grown wise. TDESS is a story of Humanity’s judgment. Klaatu (Keanu Reeves) is sent to Earth to make the final assessment about whether or not humans can be trusted with one of the few livable planets in the cosmos. I first encountered this story in the pilot of Star Trek: Next generation. Q remained unpersuaded so Picard introduced Q to beautiful artifacts. John Cleese has a brief role in TDESS and goes through the same motions, finally deciding that only Dr. Benson (Jennifer Connelly), a hottie astrobiologist (say what?), can affect Klaatu enough to not exterminate the specie. Yawn.
Bolt’s story is so much more compelling and was able to quickly subdue the left jab from TDESS turning it into a hip flip. Bolt’s unique storyline as well as the empathy felt for the main character allowed the ground game to completely work through TDESS’ defenses. Somehow TDESS managed to hang on until the end of the round, but it emerged clearly bloodied and shaken.
The second round saw almost a repeat of the first round. TDESS approached quickly and immediately went for what the coaches though was its best move: a take down at the knees with special effects. Unfortunately for the TDESS team, they received a bad draw. Reviewing the tape of Bolt’s last fight would have showed them that the special effects ground game is Bolt’s strength and TDESS would be unable to compete. As TDESS’ nose was receiving elbow after elbow from Bolt you could hear taunts from the audience, “Dumbasses, it’s an animated flick!”
TDESS did manage one nice move that caught Bolt off guard. TDESS deployed a lemma as its force to destroy the humans. This is a sophisticated move as even Lacan has devoted space to the lemma. Think Crichton’s Prey, or a tornado or a Biblical locust swarm. The lemma is not only destructive but also scary because it is depth-less, lacking discernable individual elements. The lemma echoes back to us our very worst fears about ourselves. However, Bolt was able to quickly recover. It is too skilled an opponent to lose to a single innovative move.
The match ended quickly leaving Bolt an undefeated champion. TDESS might have had better luck in other weeks, but an unfortunate draw is, after all, part of the game.