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by Jay Light

After an admittedly strange night of battles in the Belly Room last week, tonight’s fight card looks to stand tall with a slew of matches featuring several Roast Battle veterans, a handful of newcomers, and an eye-popping main event featuring two top ten fighters. Let’s preview!

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Tonight’s judges, as always, will keep the mood light if the battles don’t go right. Mike Lawrence, the reigning world champ and this year’s Judge of the Year winner, makes his return while he continues his temporary residence on the West Coast. His fellow New York compatriot, Pete Lee, makes his debut in the VIP section tonight. Though he’s new to the LA Roast Battle, he’s appeared on our sister show, The Roastmasters at The Stand, so he knows the game and is ready to judge it. The Sklar Brothers, former Judge of the Year winners themselves, are an in-demand duo here at Roast Battle, with a sportscaster’s energy and insight that keeps the spirit of competition held high while never letting the contest get too serious. Jeff Ross, the Roastmaster General, returns to round out the dais. After bringing Roast Battle to the world a few weeks ago, I’m sure he’s been busy prepping for the upcoming Comedy Central Roast of Rob Lowe, which makes his drop-in here tonight even sweeter.

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Our first undercard tonight is a battle for Inland Empire supremacy between Johnny Stewart and Joseph Thorne! These two Roast Battle rookies look like they’ve got something to prove. Johnny needs to prove that he deserves custody of his daughter, and Joseph needs to prove that he’s not hiding body parts in his freezer. No matter how the battle turns out, it’s always nice to see newbies take to the ring, and given the string of recent successful battlers hailing from the IE, we may be in for a walloping.

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Next up, an undercard bout between Greg Edwards and Kevin Fard! Greg, another Roast Battle virgin, is a hilarious stand-up comic who’s been taking the LA scene by storm since his move from the Bay Area. Kevin Fard brings Roast Battle experience to the ring, though, to be fair, that experience involves him losing in his most recent match against Becky Klueger. Will the fly-by-night lawyer turn it around or will he be vanquished by someone more castable than him? Only time will tell.

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In our next undercard, Adam Sandler impersonator Robbie Goodwin takes on tolerable human impersonator Adi Gordan! Adi and Robbie co-host a show together at indie comedy mecca The Clubhouse, and have decided to take that tension to the Belly Room ring for a one-round slugfest. Both of these guys have been part of some wild battles in the past, and while Adi is still winless, he shows promise. Robbie has done well against some solid opponents, but he hasn’t yet faced someone as hungry for victory as Adi. Can Adi pull off the upset or will Robbie extend his undefeated streak?

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The next undercard sports a match between two long-haired goddesses: Valerie Tosi and Dave Neal! Valerie returns after a big win over Josh Waldron, while Dave is back after a middling win over Heather Turman. While they both hold one win under their belts, they are so new to the ring that it’s hard to tell how this one will shake out. One thing’s for sure, though – this is the most Roast Battle has ever looked like an undersea lover’s quarrel. Which mermaid will win King Triton’s approval with a victory on land?

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Finally, our main event: Connor McSpadden versus Leah Kayajanian! These two are some of the finest LA has to offer, and have spent the past year slinging some of the most vicious jokes audiences have heard in the Belly Room. Although Leah hasn’t won a match since her victory at RiotLA at the beginning of the year, she has kept every battle she’s been in close since then, including a remarkable showing on Comedy Central’s version of the show. With TV experience on her side, she looks to snap her current losing streak against a man-child who does look like he’d be pretty easy to snap in half. Connor is coming in very hot, with a win streak and the sharpened claws from his weekly exercise in cattiness, the Mean Boys podcast. And we all know how much cats love to kill birds. No need to make a pick – I just want to see this dynamo of a fight unfold.

Follow @RoastBattle on Twitter for all the latest updates, check out our Instagram and Facebook pages for the latest pictures from the impeccable Troy Conrad, and watch live on Periscope at 11:30 PST every Tuesday if you can’t catch the verbal violence in person. Thank you for reading, and thanks as always to our sponsor SpeedWeed.

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