you're right about the whole J.W. thing. At first, they were doing things you could REALLY do in a decent junkyard. The cannons, catapults, basic motor vehicles, off road machines.... boats....even the amphibious vehicles.
when they started "building" submarines, planes, and other more complex machines, it became clear that the junkyard was "stocked" before each show....and even though they used clever editing, you could tell there wasn't really a "time-limit".
The first couple seasons of J.W. were great.
I haven't seen Battlebots in a long time. I loved that show, the few complaints were Jay Leno and his 100k robot. That's lame....using your cash to smash apart an amateur builders machine. Also, once the "ringmaster" would continue to bash a disabled bot with the sledgehammer. That's just mean--and costly to the folks who invest their time, money, blood, sweat and tears.
It's okay when another bot blows you to pieces, but an evil ringmaster going nuts with a sledgehammer button.... That's just lame. from the looks on the builders faces, you could pretty much tell that they weren't going to get "reimbursed" for the sledge damage.
Here's a great link for anyone interested in Junkyard wars or battlebots. In a lot of ways, these guys started the whole "building from junk" and "making violent machines"
Survival research labs: