Chris Jericho talks ‘Robot Combat League’

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February 21, 2013


In the new Syfy series “Robot Combat League,” a dozen 8-foot-tall robots will literally punch each other until only one is left standing. Sounds like this show’s going to rock on a number of different levels — especially since WWE’s own Chris Jericho hosts all of the mechanical mayhem, guaranteeing entertainment value well beyond the aforementioned robot face-punching. WWE.com caught up with Y2J to talk about what viewers can expect from the show, which debuts on Syfy this Tuesday at 10/9 CT. (WATCH THE TRAILER)

“The show is like the movie ‘Real Steel’ — but real,” Jericho said. “When you get opportunities across your desk, some of them are cool, some of them are lame. When I heard giant fighting robots, I said, ‘Where do I sign up?’ ”

Each episode of “Robot Combat League” will showcase two 8-foot-tall, automatons controlled by humans. The robots — and their human teammates — will compete in a tournament structure pitting 12 teams against one another. Each team consists of a fighter (a “robo-jockey”) and a robotics engineer (a “robo-tech”). Each fight will run three rounds, and the winning team will advance in the tourney.

Jericho is confident that as the teams progress through the tournament, viewers will make strong connections to the wireless warriors. “You get the intense combat and personalities you would get in a WWE ring,” Y2J said. “As these fights are going down, you get attached to the robots.”

Despite his initial excitement, Jericho admits to having some initial doubts about the technology involved, and whether it could live up to the image he had envisioned for the show. Those fears were quickly assuaged, however, when WWE’s Ayatollah of Rock ‘n’ Rolla got up close and personal with some of the mechanical competitors.

“They’re amazing,” he said. “They move quickly and fight fast. They have 2,000 PSIs [pound-forces per square inch] per punch. If you were to get hit by one, it would cave your head in.”

With a smirk, Jericho added, “So we’ve now created robots that can kill humans. And in 15 years, when they take over the planet, you can say you saw them on Syfy first!”

As for the first time Jericho came face-to-face with one of the metallic fighters, he recalled, “When the robot came walking out toward me, if it hadn’t stopped, I would have turned and ran away — that’s how intimidating it was.”

Strong words from a former World Champion who has bested some of the greatest grapplers of all time. Yet even he cannot deny that the robots created by Mark Setrakian were made to fight.

“We’ve never seen anything like this in the history of television,” Jericho said about the staggering tech featured on “Robot Combat League.” “We’ve never seen robots with this type of technology. This is not Rock ’em, Sock ’em Robots or ‘Battle Bots.’ This is basically ‘Real Steel,’ but there’s no CGI or Hollywood magic.”

Syfy’s newest host with the most is clearly amped up about the series, and he’s confident the WWE Universe will be, too. “All the Jerichoholics who check it out will enjoy it as much as I did, because it’s really, really cool and it’s something we’ve never seen before.

 “Plus, I’m the host,” Jericho added, “so what more do you want?”

“Robot Combat League” premieres on Syfy Tuesday, Feb. 26, at 10/9 CT.

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