Robots Fight Potatoes at the Kaiju Big Battel

A Kaiju Big Battel from 2002. Photo: Getty Images

The crowd at Kaiju Big Battel at Warsaw on Friday night was shocked, amazed, and ultimately delighted as the Iron Brothers — a trio of rusty, gunslinging robots in Japanese cowboy hats — interrupted one of the scheduled bouts to drag the “traitor ‘tater” Silver Potato out of the ring, only to watch him reappear on giant video screens to be devoured by a zombie plantain. But despite the organizers attempt to cram twenty pounds of pop culture into a five-pound sack, the fanatic audience was able to follow exactly what was going on — heroic Pedro Plantain had hired the evil Iron Brothers, shocking his friends, to avenge the murder of his brother, Pablo Plantain (the aforementioned zombie) who died at the very hands of the once noble Silver Potato.

But you didn’t need to be one of the rapt faithful to enjoy the show. Kaiju is a giant-size spectacle, with performers in Godzilla-style monster costumes wrestling one another in a ring strewn with balsa-wood skyscrapers while a spiky-haired announcer cracks wise at ringside. From the moment the video screens flickered to life (showing Bloc Party's video for “Flux”, which features Kaiju monsters), through the repeated appearances of Steam-Powered Tentacle Boulder, to the exciting title bout, in which perennial also-ran Call-Me-Kevin double-suplexed his way past space insect Uchu Chu, the action never let up. The night proved true to the Kaiju motto, “Danger Can Happen” — but a quick glance at the beaming faces in the audience told us that love can happen, too. —Ehren Gresehover