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 faction based on how the season is going and the potential I see going forward. The 4 main factions have now all been covered but there are a couple of other factions who have featured this season, though it would appear some of these factions may have reached their end, for now at least. First up is the Growling Commandos
WARNING: This will contain spoilers for Critically Acclaimed v Modok
Members: William Bibbiani, Witney Seibold
History: In the build-up to the 2017 Collider Collision, Ricky Hayberg had returned to the Schmoedown and was sneaking around with what appeared to be a cunning plan. His plan was revealed as following Rocha’s loss to Murrell, Bibbiani turned against the 4 Horsemen and allied himself with Hayberg to form the Growling Commandos. Of course every Beast needs their Beauty and the faction soon unveiled their third member: Witney Seibold, who combined with “The Beast” to form the team Critically Acclaimed. They also tried to make a power play by recruiting Matt Knost but he chose to sick with Rocha and the Horsemen as everything fell apart around them. Season 4 post-Collision was underwhelming for the faction: Bibbiani beat Scott Mantz but was knocked out in the first round of the 2017 Ultimate Schmoedown by eventual winner Samm Levine, Critically Acclaimed’s debut ended in a TKO victory over Only Stupid Answers, however they were on the wrong side of the upset of the season as Late to the Party beat them in the first round of the Ultimate Schmoedown, while Ricky’s only match was in the Manager Bowl, where he was the first contestant eliminated.
Season 5 so far: It’s been a relatively quiet 2018 for the Growling Commandos so far. Witney is yet to make his Singles debut and Bibbiani’s only match in the division was a loss to Drew McWeeny back in March. Critically Acclaimed have TKO victories over Superhero News and Modok to their name but lost manager Ricky Hayberg, who decided that they were being too nice, ahead of their match against Superhero News. The most notable appearances for both Bibbs and Witney (other than The Beast’s wonderful cameos at the announcers’ desk) came at the 2018 Free 4 All, where Witney lasted 6 rounds, scoring 22 points (only 5 competitors scored more) and Bibbiani lasted longer than anyone, only to lose in the final round to Brianne Chandler.
Future Prospects: The big match on the faction’s radar will be the prize for Bibbiani’s starring role at the Free 4 All. By lasting the most rounds, Bibbiani earned himself a Number 1 Contender match, which he (or Future Bibbs) decided to use in the Singles Division, challenging Jeff “The Insneider” Sneider. The Beast’s 3-4 record clearly doesn’t accurately reflect his ability in the league and it is hard to pick a winner from that match. “The Beauty” will hopefully make his solo debut before the end of the season – he recently hinted there is something in the pipeline – and if his Free 4 All and Critically Acclaimed performances are anything to go by, his inclusion will just be increasing the strength within the Singles Division. As a team, they are now 2-0 for the season (3-1 overall) and all of their victories have been by TKO, so another win will probably set them up for a Number 1 Contender match. Every other team to beat Modok have held the Team title, so that’s got to be a positive sign for them!
But with Ricky gone, where does this faction stand? Though he made waves by beginning the demise of the 4 Horsemen, there was very little else Ricky did to bring success for the Growling Commandos. In an interview with Take 3’s Chris Clark, Bibbs and Witney announced that as things stand, the Growling Commandos are no more, but they were not ruling out a return in the future. If they were to return and have Bibbiani manage the faction, his knowledge of the game and the league could help him bring some quality talent into the faction, while also potentially becoming the favourite in future Manager Bowls. Both Bibbs and Witney have both made note of how smart they are compared to their rivals in the past and perhaps the new nice guys mentality will help them pull in competitors like Ethan Erwin or Above The Line, creating another super-faction. Only time will tell…
Season 5 record (across all divisions): 2-1 This does not take into account Witney’s win in the Celebrity match with the cast of Ash v Evil Dead
Mid-season Ranking: 5th They may be done as a faction for now, but they still look set to be regulars in the league for the rest of the season. The quality that both Bibbs and Witney have shown in the league, combined with The Beast’s upcoming Number 1 Contender match, is enough for me to put them above the factions that I still have to mention. If they return as a faction and recruit wisely, they have the potential to quickly rise up the faction rankings