Welcome to my Faction Rundown series. Over the next couple of weeks, I will be looking at each of the factions in the Schmoedown to see how things are going for them in Season 5 of the Schmoedown. I will be looking at the titles they hold, the chances they have coming up and the general strength of each faction. At the end I will also be giving my personal ranking of the team based on how the season is going and the potential I see going forward. I will try not to be too biased, as today I be looking at the faction I cheer for: The 5 Horsemen
Members: John Rocha, Matt Knost, Jason Inman, Mark Reilly, Dan Murrell
Current titles: Innergeekom – Jason Inman
History: The 4 Horsemen originally formed in Season 3 as “The Outlaw” John Rocha looked to take control of all the belts and all the records. He and his Top 10 teammate “Mighty” Matt Knost recruited William “The Beast” Bibbiani fresh off his debut victory against Marc Andreyko and completed their stable with the acquisition of “The Captain” Robert Meyer Burnett following his win in the inaugural Innergeekdom match at Schmoedown Spectacular. Season 4 was mixed for The Horsemen: Burnett soon lost his title to Hector Navarro, Bibbiani became the first person to lose to JTE in Singles in years and Top 10 failed to win back their Team Title from the Patriots. Rocha did win the Singles Title from Dan Murrell – in the process becoming the first competitor to have held both the Singles and Teams belts – but lost in his first defence against Mark Reilly and came 2nd to Murrell in the Triple Threat at Collider Collision. And then everything fell apart for the Horsemen. Bibbiani betrayed Rocha and left to form the Growling Commandos with Ricky Hayberg, while Burnett soon announced that he was also jumping ship to join their greatest rivals, The Lion’s Den. And so Top 10 were back on their own. They had some successes both individually and together, but the Horsemen were no more.
And then came the first live event. Rocha v JTE, a huge result for The Outlaw, who finally got a victory over “Little Evil”. After the match while speaking to Jenn Sterger, he made it clear that he was going to work his way through the Den and teased that he would be bringing in some new help. Everyone was giving their thoughts on when the new Horsemen would be announced and who they would be. But I don’t think anybody guessed just what was coming.
“You’re still vastly outnumbered right now by The Lion’s Den though.”
“That’s right I am. So, there’s only one way to solve… actually, there’s four ways to solve it. And I’m gonna tell you the four real soon.”
Andrew Ghai, back from his time in prison “stole” Murrell’s spot in Free 4 All II, announcing that he had killed Murrell and buried him 6 feet under. Despite any proof that Murrell was doing anything but enjoying a well-earned retirement from the Schmoedown, Ghai continued to parade around telling anyone who would listen that he was, as the shirt on Teepublic says, The Ghai That Beat The GOAT. At the second live event, he came out an told the crowd that he could do what nobody else could – bring Dan Murrell back, before proceeding to bring out “the GOAT” (teammate Ben Batemen in disguise). As they continued their fin, the lights went out and new music began to play. The lights went up to reveal 4 cloaked figures brandishing the sign of the 4 Horsemen. One by one they pulled back their hoods to reveal themselves: Matt Knost… John Rocha… Jason “Justice” Inman… Mark “Yodi” Reilly back from retirement! The crowd went mental, reactors at home went mental, and in the pandemonium plenty of people missed the Horsemen change their sign from 4 fingers to 5. The lights went back down, the music changed and when the lights came back up, a fifth cloaked figure was onstage and soon revealed as… Dan Murrell! The GOAT was back, in the same faction as his former rivals and the 5 Horsemen were formed.
Season 5 so far: As a faction, they have not yet had any matches and due to Murrell and Reilly’s retirements and Inman’s title, there have been very few matches with these competitors so far this season. Individually, Matt Knost is 1-0 for the season following his victory over Napzok. Rocha TKO’d JTE at the first live event but he then lost to Jeff Sneider. He also defeated Alex Wolfe earlier this month, but as this was an exhibition match it does not count towards his record. Jason Inman’s only solo match so far was his Innergeekdom title defence against Mark Donica. Top 10 started the season with a victory over Top That after Jim Vejvoda gifted Rocha Biopics after they spun Opponent’s Choice in Round 2, but were KO’d by the Patriots in their third meeting – a match remembered for the Jane Fonda controversy. Inman has also played once in the Team Division this season along with his Team Trek partner Scott Mantz, a match that ended in defeat to World’s Finest.
Future Prospects: Very little is known at this stage as to what is in store for the Horsemen. Murrell is currently the only competitor with a match booked, against Andrew Ghai at Collider Collision II, which I think only the bravest would expect to end in anything but a victory for the GOAT. Inman will also be defending his title against the winner of the ongoing Innergeekdom tournament, but other than Rachel Cushing I cannot see many competitors that I think would give him a real challenge when he’s on top form. Rocha still has the stipulation of needed 3 Singles wins in a row to earn a title shot (barring a fast-pass like from the Free 4 All/Manager Bowl) so it will probably be a while until we see him in an individual title match. With a 7-2 record, it will not take long for Murrell to find himself back towards the top of the rankings and the thought of a Murrell v Levine sequel for the title is mouth-watering given The Inglorious One’s exploits since Murrell retired. Likewise, Yodi’s 9-4 record in singles will not take him long to earn a title shot, but of the 2 returning champs, I am more worried about him given the rise in the quality of competition since he retired almost a year ago. Knost and Inman will hopefully continue to get matches in the Singles Division, but I think their success will be in matches that would make suitable undercards, against competitors who are less successful in solo competition like Ghai, Dagnino and Napzok – all 3 of whom would make suitable rivalries with the Horsemen to make a potential undercard quality match worthy of being an episode of its own.
Top 10 will likely be making a new push for the Teams title now that The Patriot’s loss to Above The Line makes them eligible to compete in a Team title match again, but they may not even be the strongest team in the faction if Team Champs decide to reform – something I predicted, but not in this way! If Team Champs don’t reform, then I would expect one of the former champs to team up with Jason Inman, though at this stage it is still not confirmed whether Team Trek is done or if they will continue to compete together similar to how Burnett continued to compete with Jon Schnepp as part of Team Heroes. Potentially, the Five Horsemen could have representation on 3 teams in the division. The only weakness that I see in this faction right now is the lack of representation in the Star Wars Division. The Fyffe Club have Witwer, The Lion’s Den have Napzok, but nobody in the Horsemen has ever competed in one of the Star Wars Schmoedowns. Reilly and Rocha know their Star Wars trivia (Rocha’s Bespin moment notwithstanding) and I would love to see them compete in the division, but when you look at the quality of recent Star Wars matches I don’t know if they would be able to stick with the top competitors.
Record this season (all divisions): 3-2 (Rocha & Knost this season), 4-3 including Inman’s matches before joining The Horsemen. This is not counting Rocha’s exhibition victory over Alex Wolfe
Mid-season Ranking: 2nd 3 former Singles Champions (2 2-time champs)… Former Team Champions… the current Innergeekdom Champion… countless other title matches. On paper this is the strongest faction in the league, capable of holding the Singles, Teams and Innergeekdom titles. However the uncertainty at this point surrounding how Reilly and Murrell will cope in a much stronger league and the lack of a clear competitor in the Star Wars Division stops me giving them the top spot at this point