WWE superstar Chris Jericho has entertained fans in a wrestling ring, on a concert stage and even a ballroom dance floor.
The Fozzy lead singer’s latest role sees him as the host and play-by-play man for SyFy’s “Robot Combat League.”
The show, premiering 10 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26 features 12 teams controlling giant battling bots for the ultimate prize of $100,000. It’s less of its predecessors like “Robot Wars” and more of the real-life movie version of “Real Steel”.
For Jericho, the selling point of the league was a big concept never pulled off on this magnitude.
“When things come across your desk when you have a certain level of notoriety, some of them are interesting, some of them are generic. Some of them are bad. Then some of them are completely unique and original and stand out. Robot Combat League was like that,” Jericho said. “Whenever you hear about a show featuring 8-foot tall fighting robots controlled by humans, it’s definitely going to peak your interest.”
The rock star grappler got even more excited about the project after meeting the state-of-the-art fighting machines up close. He was made into a believer, marveling at the technology and engineering involved in making what was once seen as impossible possible.
“The thing about the show is that when you hear about the idea you think, ‘Yeah, this seems kind of cool,’” Jericho said. “Then you really see it like when I first saw how these robots move, how big they really are and fast they punch, it really blew my mind. It was really just something that sounded interesting in theory, but I wasn’t too sure how good it could. Then on the first day I was on set one of the robots came walking toward me, if it hadn’t had stopped, I would have ran away.
“That’s how intimidating it was. It’s like the scene in ‘Terminator’ when they’re walking on the human skulls of the future. That’s what it kind of reminded me of. This could be the first step of robots taking over the entire universe, and when it happens in 10 to 15 years, you can say you saw it on the SyFy channel.”
Not much for robots, but Jericho was more a fan of “Star Wars”, “Star Trek” and science fiction movies growing up. So you can imagine his elation when George Lucas visited the set on the first day of taping. The visionary director’s daughter is among the participants.
“I was just asking him how interesting that ideas we’ve had 45 or so years ago are now coming true,” Jericho said. “When you think about the 1950s, 1960s, the early 1970s, when you have the communicators and you’re talking to someone in the sky. Now there are cell phones. You have the screen where you can see somebody’s face and talk to them through Skype. You had the giant fighting robots [in movies], which we have now too. It’s weird that we had all these things that were predicted 40 or 50 years are absolutely coming true.
“I think anybody that has any kind of interest in fantasy or robots or anything along those lines. Technology has advanced so much that we can have this. It’s like the movie ‘Real Steel’, but this is real. There is no CGI or Hollywood trick. These are actual walking and fighting robots. It’s incredible to see that.”