A friend of mine recently recommended that I watch Spike TV’s Deadliest Warrior, a show in which legendary fighters of the past are pitted against each other. I had misgivings. With its channel of origin and thoroughly violent content, I thought for sure it would be Pure Steakhead Theatre. I could just smell the Axe bodyspray and Rockstar energy drink wafting off of it.
But rather than dismiss the show outright, I decided to give it a shot. I watched it for the first time last night, and I think it might be my new favorite show. This is definitely a show for the Ed Hardy Crowd, but it is also undoubtedly the nerdiest show I have ever seen. The guys on this show make Adam and Jamie from Mythbusters look like quarterbacks.
The show is structured thusly: Experts on a particular warrior class are invited to the studio to demonstrate their respective warrior’s weapons, fighting style, armor, etc. The warriors are judged in various areas: long and short range weapons, defensive ability, and so on. For each category, one warrior gets an ‘edge’. The true winner is determined using a sophisticated computer program (which, on screen, looked a lot like an Excel spreadsheet), and a fake, very bloody battle takes place that reveals the victor.
From this description, you’d think this show would be eye candy for the Nutritional Supplement Set. And you’d be right. But the warrior experts it features are some of the hugest nerds you will ever see.
We all went to high school with at least one dude who was really into swords, or ninjas, or martial arts. Guys who weren’t usually good athletes, but could tell you all about how you could kill a man three times before he hit the ground, or describe how a throwing star was forged in excruciating detail.
Imagine they took all of those guys and gave them a TV show. That’s what The Deadliest Warrior is: like Dungeons and Dragons with a cardio workout. The whole show is like one long, hissy cafeteria-table-discussion wherein nerds discuss completely hypothetical fights. “Excuse me, but, ahem, I’m sorry, there is no way a claymore could pierce the shield of an Incan warrior!”
You should watch this show because it’s awesome to see a katana chop a ballistics gel dummy in half. And as a bonus, you get to see Fake Samurais trash talk Fake Vikings about the merits of their respective warriors. But trash talk in the highly technical, highly hilarious Nerd Fashion:
“Yeah, I think that war club blow would have turned your tibia into powder.”
“Maybe it would have, if I wasn’t wearing my double-forged chainmail sleeve, duh!”