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by Jay Light

Roast Battle is back for more! Tonight’s fight card features five dynamite battles, including several returning undercard fighters ready to pursue more glory in the Belly Room ring. Plus, in the main event, we’ve got a gruesome twosome taking each other on in a big-time bout that’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser. But before we learn about our battlers, let’s check in with this week’s judges – all veterans of the panel. 

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Returning to his regular battle station is the Roastmaster General Jeff Ross. Jeff is still riding the high from the release of his recent special Jeff Ross Roasts Cops, and, frankly, he should be feeling good. That special is both relevant and revelatory, and makes an excellent companion piece with Jeff Ross Roasts Prisoners. Down the line, we have Eddie Ifft, returning to his ringside seat for the first time after catching our Undercard of the Year winners, Joe Dosch and Earl Skakel. Moshe Kasher, a Judge of the Year nominee, is always welcome to the Belly Room bouts. His judging prowess is so tried and true, he even made the cut as one of the judges on Road to Roast Battle. Rounding things out is Julian McCullough, energetic comic and host of the “Julian Loves Music” podcast. Julian has been a panel highlight every time he’s come by, but rumor has it he’s itching to get into the ring himself. Maybe we’ll see him take the judge gloves off soon? As Moses would say, whatever. Let’s get to the battles!

Tonight’s first undercard: Galina Rivina versus Richie Gaines! 

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These two undefeated newbies have proven over the course of their short battle careers that “small but mighty” absolutely applies in the Belly Room ring. These two diminutive battlers have the ferocity and bloodlust of comics twice their size. This is like a battle between a Beverly Hills chihuahua and a Skid Row sewer rat. Which pint-sized pugilist will emerge victorious? Winner gets a free bottle of HGH from the fine folks at The Vitamin Shoppe.

Next up, Leah Lamarr dukes it out against Nicole Becannon!

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These ladies battled on the same night many months ago and are back in the ring against each other this time. Nicole lost in a nail-biter against Felicia Folkes, while Leah mopped the floor with Christina Myers Hepburn. Early word from the open mic circuit says this estrogen extravaganza is going to be an absolute slugfest, and not just because Nicole looks slow or Leah looks like she avoids salt. Can’t wait to see the hatred these two have cooked up!

After that, Brendan Cooney and Aaron Michael Marsh step into the ring!

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These two look like they’re business partners in a shady Hollywood tour bus company. Neither of these guys have stepped into the ring in a hot minute, but they are both coming off of wins and look to keep the streak alive. Brendan famously has tried to cover up podcast appearances he’s done to keep prying battlers out of his private life, but if there’s anything I’ve learned after doing this 16 times, it’s that being an open book is the way to being an effective battler. Besides, with most of Aaron’s flaws apparent simply by looking at him – a short Cubs fan with questionable tattoos – it’s only gentlemanly to open yourself up. Let’s hope that’s Aaron has found a way to worm himself under Brendan’s skin.

Closing out the undercards, we have Alycia Cooper versus Anthony Desamito!

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These two are the only Roast Battle virgins of the whole night, but their reputations precede them. Well, at least Alycia’s does. She tours clubs and colleges all over the country, has many TV appearances under her belt including two shots on Last Comic Standing, and is a Paid Regular here at the Comedy Store, meaning she’ll be battling on home turf tonight. Though someone as accomplished as her probably wouldn’t choose to battle just any schlub, so even though I don’t know Anthony, I expect him to bring the fire. A transplant from Phoenix, he has been doing comedy for six years, has won several “Best of the Fest” awards at comedy festivals, and has an appearance on glorified public access show Laughs on Fox to boot. Will he add Roast Battle winner to his string of minor successes or will he be unable to hang with Mrs. Cooper?

On to the main event: Tom Goss versus Frank Castillo!

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Our main event is like a Martin Scorsese B-side, with Joaquin LaMotta taking on Travis Bickle if his taxi only went through drive-thrus. These two longtime battler haven’t done main events in a while; Frank’s last three-rounder was against Stuart Thompson in April, while Tom’s was against yours truly in May. Since then, Frank has remained a mainstay on the Roast Battle pit crew, while Tom went on a whirlwind tour through the midwest and came back with a mohawk and a vegetarian diet. The boys battling it out have never let us down before in a main event, though the stylistic mismatch may wind up tripping one of them up in the long run. Will Tom’s goofy, absurd style reign supreme, or can Frank’s hard-punching prowess send him rocketing back into the top 20? Tune in tonight to find out!

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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