We’re back, baby! Roast fever has swept through LA. Tons of your favorite battlers and judges were involved in the Roast of Alec Baldwin over the weekend, and this week they’ll all be coming back to fill the Belly Room with the pitched-up energy we’re used to.
Our three judges, all veterans of the panel, will be adding to the action. This week we’ve got Ramon Rivas II, the pride of Cleveland, Yamaneika Saunders, the pride of Underground Railroad historians (go watch her as Harriet Tubman on Netflix’s Historical Roasts if you haven’t yet), and Jeff Ross, the pride of the Friar’s Club. They’ll be presiding over six fights tonight. Three of ’em are wild cards, three of ’em feature some Roast Battle favorites. It’s anyone’s guess how tonight will go, but it should be entertaining at the very least. Let’s get to know our fighters.
Out the gate, we have Galyn Nash versus Steve Lardner. These two Orange County comics are coming to the stage tonight with a lot to prove and very little battle experience. Galyn, sporting an 0-1 record, lost his last match after coming out with a head of steam then collapsing under the weight of his own unlikability. Irishman Steve has never battled before, unless you’re counting a genetic predisposition for alcoholism. Despite all appearances, I do have a lot of hope for these young men. Don’t prove me wrong, boys!
Next up, Willie Simon takes on Neeraj Srinivasian. Objectively, this battle seems extremely similar to the one before it. Willie has only done two battles (sporting a 1-1 record) and Neeraj is a newbie trying to see if Roast Battle is right for him. Of course, there are major differences. First off, we’re obviously not watching two white guys, which is a bonus for everyone. Plus, Willie’s previous battles went much better than Galyn’s did, with Willie narrowly losing instead of getting blown out. Willie’s got the stage presence of a dog with three legs. He’s extremely lovable, but watching him you can’t help but feel like something’s off. I’ve never seen Neeraj before but if he winds up being the concentrated, prepared yin to Willie’s loose, affable yang, then this could be a matchup made in battle heaven.
Then, we have Neal Lockwood and Ahmed Al-Kadri. Neal has never battled before, while Ahmed is coming off a strong debut fight against Mitchell Lamar. I have no clue if they’re friends or not, but they do look like they enjoy hitting Wi Spa together. Y’know, sit in the clay sauna, swim a few laps, take a dip in the cold tub Tony Robbins-style, get some seaweed body scrubs, and finish each other off with some facials. Because what good is spending the $20 for admission if you’re not gonna make full use of the facilities? Anyway, this is probably going to be a fun battle. Looking forward to what these guys bring to the ring!
As we near the end of the undercards, we have a stellar matchup in Tim McGorry versus Deirdre Devlin. These two have proven battle chops and are among the more entertaining members of the new wave of fighters to watch in the ring. Deirdre is currently unranked, but a win against Tim here could send her back into the top fifty. Tim’s record has been seesawing a bit lately, but a win here will help propel him closer to the top 25, his highest ranking in his history as a fighter. Which rising star will shine brighter tonight?
Our final undercard features Kelsey Lane engaging in some verbal violence against April Lotshaw. Now, this battle was originally supposed to happen last week, but April had to drop out. Battle-hungry Kelsey took on yours truly in the ring instead, and is now doing the typically taboo move of battling two weeks in a row. To pull back the curtain a bit, Roast Battle usually requires a three-week rest period between battles to prevent burnout. Now, Kelsey and April have been prepping for this fight for a while, so I doubt Kelsey will feel any battle fatigue, but only time will tell. Kelsey is strong, but so is April, who always comes correct in the ring with fierce delivery and jokes that consistently send her opponents to the mat. Out of all tonight’s undercards, make sure you’re back in the room for this one.
And in our main event, Armando Torres puts up his dukes against Julian Fernandez. Armando and Julian have both battled twelve times, and they sport very similar records. Julian is coming to this fight a bit fresher, but Armando has had the more high-profile fights in his Roast Battle career. However, in the Belly Room, you can’t predict anything. It all comes down to game time. And the simple facts are that these two Hispanic man-children (well, Julian just came out as non-binary, so I guess the proper term is they-children?) are solid competitors who have improved with every battle. Which one of them will snatch victory tonight? I can’t wait to find out.