Showrenity had the chance to speak with WWE Superstar Chris Jericho about his new hosting gig for Syfy’s giant robot reality series, Robot Combat League, and how the show really has to be seen to be believed.
“You’ve never never seen anything like this ever,” Jericho told me. “And when I first heard the concept of giant robots being controlled by humans I thought ‘Oh, that sounds like a cute idea. I’ll check it out.’ But then when I saw them with my own eyes, I was blown away.”
Robot Combat League takes the concept of the Hugh Jackman film Real Steel and turns it into reality with human-controlled-robots pitted against one another for maximum metal carnage and the chance to win $100,000. Twelve teams, with twelve robots, face off tournament style, with Jericho acting as the ultimate Master of Ceremonies. “We’re at the point now, with technology, that if you think of the movie Terminator, in the post-apocalyptic future scene when the robots are walking over human skulls, that’s what these robots are like. And the first time I saw one of these robots walking toward me in the battleground, if it hadn’t have stopped I would have turned and ran away. It freaked me out. They move quick, they fight hard and they could cave the side of your head in. The future is now. This is the perfect blend of humanity and machinery, for the first time ever. It’s the perfect project.”
Jericho boasted about the hard-hitting battle droids, but also expressed sympathy toward those who made the machines that are being sent out to get smashed. “Each robot costs about a million dollars to make and so when you put these two robots together to beat the hell out of each other it’s actually very sad,” he said. “It’s like putting two Lamborghinis into a demolition derby.”
“They were invented by a team who’ve been working on the robots for about three years,” he added. “Actually, before the movie Real Steel came out, they had begun this concept. And this really is a real-life version of Real Steel. There are a group of robot scientists, animatronic experts who work in Hollywood, led by a man named Mark Setrakain, and they created these robots. There are twelve diffetent robots in all, with different looks, gimmicks and qualities. The strategy of the teams is what matters too. There’s a techie and a jock. The jock controls the fighting style of the robot. They put on an exo-skeleton and when the jock throws a punch, the robot throws a punch. When the jock, moves the robot moves. And there’s three rounds. At the end of each round, the tech has to go down and assess the damage.”
Jericho then explained, in more detail, his role on the series. “I’m the host of the show, I’m the commentator of the show, I’m the shoulder to cry on when things go bad,” he smiled. “I’m also the person who’s going to give contestants a nudge when they’re feeling down. Or I’ll call them out when they’re being stupid. I’m there to control the ebb and flow of the show and to be engaging. And the teams who did the best are the teams who had the best chemistry. The ones where the robot also became a part of their team.”
Robot Combat League premieres on Tuesday, February 26th at 10/9c on Syfy.
Matt Fowler is a member of the Television Critics Association. Follow him on Twitter at @TheMattFowler