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Spike TV's Deadliest Warrior, despite being loads of fun, tends to have several wallbangers per episode. Their testing criteria and procedures are questionable. For the most part, it's just people swinging various weapons at dummies as hard as they can. This leads to bizarre testing results. The show also plays loose with history and presents several Hollywood cliches as historical fact.
In the "Apache vs. Gladiators," the gladiator is given a sling because he needs to have a long ranged weapon, even though gladiators didn't have slings. (Didn't matter much, as the Apache bow was about twice as awesome.) Similarly, the knight in the "Knight versus Pirate" episode is given a crossbow, even though medieval knights didn't use crossbows in battle.
In the "Yakuza vs Mafia" episode, the gangsters are treated like soldiers and use things like ice picks and molotov cocktails as if they were standard issue weapons of war that they just carried around all the time. You don't do that with molotov cocktails! The Yakuza are given a number of stereotypical kung fu weapons such as nunchucks and sai.
They said that they used them for when they needed to make a point, which is what they did. The real one is using a Luger when they were talking about a Walther P-38.
This episode was a fail all-around because it was obvious from the framing of the dialogue that the hosts wanted the Mafia to win the simulated fight. To the point that the hosts and the "experts" presenting Mafia weapons actually got into an argument with the Yakuza "experts" about whether a Sai were more effective than an Ice Pick. And despite the fact that it was repeatedly emphasized that Sais are used as a disarming weapon, the "Yakuza" wielding the Sais in the simulating seemed completely incapable is disarming the "Mafia" with them.
The ninja in the "Ninja vs Spartan" episode is presented as the cinema cliche right out of a Chuck Norris film.
The Spartan was only momentarily inconvenienced by taking a powdered glass and pepper juice cocktail to the eyes. If you can shrug off glass in the eyes, then you are not human.
Another source of wallbangers is their weapon comparisons, which can get ridiculous:
In the "IRA vs Taliban" episode, they compared a rocket propelled grenade to a flamethrower.
In "William Wallace vs Shaka Zulu", they compared the targe and dirk to poison spit.
In the same vein, they have the Ninja's black eggs vs the Spartan's FUCKIN spear!!
In "Maori vs. Shaolin Monk", they compared a sword's ability to break bricks against that of a jade club. Apparently, they wanted to prove that a weapon designed for crushing and breaking is better at doing so than a weapon designed for cutting and stabbing.
From that same episode, the fact that they used the hooksword at all. Hookswords are undeniably cool, but also a terrible choice for a Shaolin weapon. They were never the mainstay weapon of the Shaolin order the episode claims they were, and it's debatable as to whether they're even a real ancient weapon or not.
Dividing weapons into categories seems more a convention for organizing the tests than anything else; presumably the show could simply test all weapons individually, than compare them however was wanted. But there is a problem with how the "edges" are given for certain of these weapons. Weapons such as Black Eggs that are designed for purposes other than killing will automatically lose because they cannot kill directly, even though they are valued because they make other weapons work better.
Continuing on the "edge" thing, some of the other edges seem to be stretches, beyond simple disagreement. The IRA/Spetznaz seems to have a lot of these; the results were strongly slanted towards spetznaz, but the weapon edges were cleanly divided. Fortunately, if the aftermaths are believed, the "edges" don't come into play in the results.
The tests are not always on a level playing field even when they are supposedly comparing weapons directly:
In the Jesse James vs Al Capone episode, during their melee/silent weapon test, a stiletto/switchblade goes up against a Bowie knife. Multiple things are off about this test. Their computer "expert" Max Geiger claims that with knives, size does matter. Not a few minutes later, he wants to test the Bowie knife to see if its SIZE IS OVERCOMPENSATION. Is knife size on a bell curve? Anyhow, the stiletto went up against one of their famous gel torsos. The Bowie knife? Against a skinned pig carcass. Two different test subjects, and yet they act as if that was conclusive. Now maybe they did the same test and didn't show it, but come on. Seeing a Bowie knife against a gel torso would have made the results more believable.
Giving the Roman Centurion and Alexander the Great artillery weapons. The best part was the Centurion's Scorpion, which were often about 4 feet tall and designed to be fired by a full, multi-man crew (here with only one person) was compared to a small, bladed, frisby-like disk.
And for some reason, "Intimidation" is a serious factor they consider tallying up a weapon's lethality, despite the fact that intimidation in a weapon design is nearly always achieved at the expense of practicality (Sure, a Bat'leth looks pretty sweet, but a trained fighter with an ordinary, boring Ka-Bar can easily take down someone wielding one). Plus, there's also the fact that a weapon's psychological effect on an opponent is not a measurable thing one can reliably depend on in a fight. When they say things like "Intimidation" or "Psychological effect," they're really saying "It looks cool."
"Intimidation" is one thing; "tactics and common sense" is another. Multiple battles would have gone VERY differently if the normal MO of one or the other was followed, rather than "straight face to face combat." Among the most glaring was Spartan VS Ninja. Quoth one of the representatives of the Ninja experts: "The Spartan's gear is all very good at opposing frontal assaults; that wouldn't have helped him when the ninja slipped poison into his drink or slit his throat in the night."
The upcoming Vampires vs. Zombies match. Um...what? At least the other fights had some semblance of reality, but this? Unless they're testing methods for killing them, there's no real way to have this matchup, since most fights with vampires and zombies are hand to hand, without any weapons used by the monsters.
While on the subject, which vampires VS which zombies? Bram Stokers Dracula VS Voodoo zombies? Underworld VS Land of the Dead? Edward Cullen VS Rage virus? There is no way to do this and reach a conclusive result, even within the limits of pitting fictional monsters against each other, because either side could claim to have been unfairly matched up.
If you're wondering, it was 30 Days of Night vs. World War Z. The two most random and unrealistic franchises being presented as indisputable canon.
This episode deftly removes any and all doubt that Deadliest Warrior is anything other than glorified Nerd Wankery over who's "cooler," without much regard for real science (that is, if the fucking "ballistic knife" thing didn't already convince you of that).
Worst of all, the vampires were presented as, to be blunt, morons. This trooper has seen better unit cohesion and superior tactical savvy from pick up groups in World of Warcraft! Frankly, if both sides had actually used the abilities they were explicitly stated to have, the vampires would have won fairly handily.
The treatment they gave Sun Tzu in the episode between him and Vlad the Impaler. First off they claim he was a war monger responsible for the deaths of millions. Which laps not only into Cowboy Bebop at His Computer but into Critical Research Failure! Anyone who's even read the first page of The Art of War knows how he goes into length at how War is only used as a last resort and to limit the amount of casualties on both sides. Then they screw him over by giving him that stupid Tiger Claw, which wasn't even around during his time when a more fitting weapon would be The Dagger Axe. Then they give him Fire Arrows which were pracitcally worthless as they were more suited for group battles not one on one showdowns. If they had done the damn research and actually given him weapons that were around and actually useful, it would've been a lot different. Sun Tzu may have even won had they not screwed him over.
The entire concept of Sun Tzu vs. Vlad The Impaler should be ridiculous to anyone who knows anything about the two men. Vlad "Dracula" Tepes was a very angry man who let his rage drive him in battle, which was usually his greatest strength. Sun Tzu, however, was a calculating Chessmaster who was a genius at using his enemy's anger against them. Sun Tzu would never have taken on a better-armed opponent like Vlad in a straight fight. (Remember, Vlad's arsenal had almost 2,000 years of technological progress over Sun Tzu's!) Sun Tzu literally wrote the book on how to defeat an opponent like Vlad - in reality, Vlad would have never stood a chance.
The fact that they put the Centurion and Hoplite, soldiers meant for large scale combat and trained for discipline in one-on-one with weapons meant for large scale combat. The way the weighted all this crap, the only reason the Spartan won despite essentially going up against the ninja and samurai without his greatest asset at all due to how well the shield works, is amazing, and the fact that the Rajput, who barely had weapons to begin with, Beat the Centurion, is little more than blatant asia-pandering.
Calling William Wallace's Chainmaille not really armor while stating how "AWESUM" Samurai armor is. Remember, one of these is a few plates of metal covered in bamboo, reeds, and probably the closest thing to real life "Wood Armor" while the other is one of the most effective forms of armor for it's far lower price, you can equip an army with chainmaille and each man will have far better armor than any samurai would.