Before I start
We all have our different opinions as to what episodes we like the most and don’t. We can argue all day as to which episodes deserve the most praise and which ones deserve nothing but hate. There’ll be episodes here that you may hate that I like as well as episodes that I dislike that you love. Whichever the case, PLEASE respect my opinion.
I’ll be completely honest; most of these “best episodes” I like because they're close matchups. Now that doesn’t mean that all close matchups are the best (Army Rangers Vs NKSOF), so some are more lopsided than others.
Viking Vs Samurai: This one was the closest ancient match on the show yet and it goes to show why. When it came to weapons, there were no bad weapons: every weapon gained kills that at the very least were in the 70’s. It was the best apples Vs oranges battle and was a match made in heaven.
Green Berets Vs Spetznas: Two words: Sonny Puzikas. He was one of the best experts on the show (if not, THE best) and even without him, it was still a great episode. Lots of weapons, lots of tests, and an outcome that would shake the American fan base and the producers of the show to the core.
IRA Vs Taliban: They’re both “freedom fighters”, though very different: one wants to gain freedom by force and the other wants to “free” their homeland so that they can all live in “freedom” (AKA no freedom). Their arsenals were different, but still held up against each other, and until Season 3, this was the closest matchup on the show. And props to the IRA for being the only warrior on the show to get stuck with the sling and still win.
Spartan Vs Samurai: The samurai must be so lucky, having two of the closest ancient matches on the show, even if one of them didn’t go his way. Really though, both of these guys were the best of the best in their times of history and having them throw down was like a battle of the ages.
Jesse James Vs Al Capone: These outlaws were huge in their times, so who was superior? The one with the automatic weapon with a ton of ammo? No, but instead, the highly-skilled marksmen who could kill before their opponents could even get a shot off and could make EVERY bullet count. Lots of ammo is awesome, but it won’t win every battle.
Zande Warrior Vs Aztec Jaguar: A common tribal warrior Vs an ancient civilization’s elite. Despite having a weak shield and arguably the worst bow, the Zande proved that he belonged with his powerful metal weapons, all of which were fearsome and deadly. Obsidian might be strong, but metal still shined through.
Somali Pirates Vs Mendellin Cartel: Rags Vs luxury, necessity Vs money and power. These criminals’ arsenals are different in what they’re designed for: the pirates’ were designed to kill and the cartel’s to intimidate. Without a doubt, in a battle, weapons that are reliable are far greater than those that intimidate.
Comanche Vs Mongol: Third-closest ancient battle on the show and boy was it a close one. It contained great matchups such as the war hawk and the mace, the war lance and the glaive, and both of their respected bows and arrows. Their weapons held up close (except the knife and sword) and even if the Mongol lost, he had at least 100 kills per weapon; even for a losing warrior, that's an impressive accomplishment.
Joan of Arc Vs William the Conqueror: Besides having our first official female on the show, we got a siege battle. Even when going up against superior armor and technology, William the Conqueror still held his own against Joan of Arc with his old-age tech. Yeah, he lost, but the fact that he did so well against a superior opponent deserves recognition.
Saddam Hussein Vs Pol Pot: Favorite thing about this episode: the three weapon test, which jumped from grenade to machine gun to pistol. They need more tests like that. That aside, we saw two of the most hated men of the last century, both of whom were two different flavors of evil. And in the end, it came down to the strength of their forces: Saddam's were trained soldiers and Pol Pot's was kids using guns. Do the math.
Ivan the Terrible Vs Cortes: Back in the day, many nicknamed the show Deadliest Weapon, claiming that it wasn’t the warriors that won, but instead the better weapons. This (and the previous episode) proved that wasn’t the case at all. Ivan had beaten Cortes two-to-one in weapons, but Cortes was the better (and more sane) warrior. It's not Deadliest Weapon: It's Deadliest Warrior. Get it right.
Some of my favorite episodes
A bunch of these episodes are lopsided or aren’t as good as some of the best episodes, but I still like them and love every minute of them.
Apache Vs Gladiator: There’s no better place to start than with the first episode of the series. We had a stealth fighter and an entertainer. For one thing, the gladiator had armor, a shield, and metal weapons, but the apache won out because his skills. Even if they replaced all of the gladiator’s weapons, I think the final outcome would be unchanged.
Ninja Vs Spartan: The first episode I ever saw. I had no idea how the show ran, so I assumed the ninja’s unconventional tactics and speed would win, but then the Spartan won…and rightfully so. It was the first episode in which I believed the winner won with good reason and the first episode I enjoyed watching despite guessing incorrectly.
Shaolin Monk Vs Maori: The most lopsided ancient battle, bar none, but I still like this one. Besides my fascination with the Shaolin monk and the Maori, as well as some nice testing with their weapons, I still remember watching it, thinking to myself, “Oh man, the Maori has the monk beat three-to-one. What’ll happen?” and then being shocked with the outcome. Many underestimated the passive monk and thought he was beat, but little did they suspect that a single weapon could change the course of the entire battle.
William Wallace Vs Shaka Zulu: Besides the one-on-one warrior battles, one of my favorite types of episodes is the named warrior battles. They were both so different and both interested me so much. Their arsenals held up against each other and I bet that if the spit of poison was swapped with something else, the matchup would’ve been a close one.
George Washington Vs Napoleon: Just going to say it now: I loved this episode because I thought it would be a cool idea back in Season 2. Seeing that it would exist…and that it would be the first episode of the season, I was hyped. Two legendary generals, two great arsenals; add that up and for the time, we had the closest Deadliest Warrior match of all.
Crazy Horse Vs Pancho Villa: This was one of the few matchups where I couldn’t pick the warrior I was going to root for because I liked both of them. It was close and the reason it didn’t go in Crazy Horse’s favor wasn’t just because of the weapons, but because he and his men didn’t have the supplies and logistics to carry the victory.
Gurkhas Vs French Foreign Legion: Besides the Spetznas, Seals, Israeli Commandos, and NKSOF, these two are probably some of the toughest modern warriors on the show. They both proved their strength in the testing and the history of these two warriors interested me. And it probably doesn’t hurt that for the final battle, we got the most intense knife battle on the show yet.
Zombies Vs Vampires: I like this episode, sue me. Getting the history behind them was interesting and we got some creative tests that brought their physics into reality. At the end of the day, it’s not a standard episode: it’s a special episode that was made because they had the technology to do it and really, just for the fun of it. Well I had fun with it.
Least Favorite Episodes
I refuse to call them worst because we can debate it all day, but really, there are no worst episodes: just episodes we like and episodes we don’t. We tend to hate the episodes where our chosen warrior loses and call them the worst, even when they aren’t that bad. Now these three, I wouldn’t have minded…if there was a better reason for it.
Yakuza Vs Mafia: The mafia isn’t as undisciplined as most assume, so really, they might’ve won against the Yakuza fair and square (in battle). However, a pistol was compared to a shotgun, the nunchaku was clearly chosen for style, so it was beaten embarassingly easily by the bat, and the sais were COMPLETELY MISUSED. If it wasn’t for that, I’d probably tolerate it far better.
Celt Vs Persian Immortal: Two words: chariot battle. Why? Why not just have a simple one-on-one? Thanks to the Celt’s sling, the spear that he apparently has no choice but to throw, the Persian Immortal’s practically untouchable range game, and his chariot that could act as a chariot-killer, more than likely taking out his opponent instantly, the Celt was slaughtered when he might’ve done far better on foot.
Sun Tzu Vs Vlad the Impaler: I admit that for the most part, I was not a fan of apples Vs oranges battles. This episode, to me, is all of the issues that I have with them combined into one. I think this episode set the rule that there is a limit as to how far you can have each opponent from each other. That’s why we won’t have cavemen Vs Navy SEALs.