“Do you really think that I’m the type of Ghai that would give that guy this guy’s mask? You don’t know this Ghai at all.”
Tom Dagnino and Schmoedown fans around the world were shocked ahead of the recent match between Jader Paramo and Britney Young as Andrew Ghai presented Dagnino with a gift, the infamous beard mask, thought to have been burned by Robert Meyer Burnett during Spectacular III, over a year ago.
The two-time Heel of the Year has been undergoing a change in personality since his short-lived retirement at the end of the 2019 season – highlighted by his name change from “Dastardly” to “Debonair” – but the reveal that he had not actually given Burnett the real beard mask and is willing to give it back to someone who he spent all of last season in a feud with raises some questions as to what Ghai’s intentions are here.
You scratch my back…
An obvious result of this action is that he is sure to be in Finstock’s good graces moving forward. Good enough perhaps to start working an angle that sees him convince Finstock to trade for him. With Drew McWeeny’s recent retirement, Ghai is currently without a teammate and a move to the Finstock Exchange would give the option of a Team Action reunion or a pairing with rookie sensation “The Barbarian” that would create a third superteam within the faction. With Dan Murrell joining the Innergeekdom Division this season, the offer of Emily Rose Jacobson and potentially 1 or 2 of Grae Drake, Cody Hall or BC could sway Samm Levine into accepting a trade for a Schmoedown Pro who has the potential to make a run in the Singles Division but is most likely to challenge for a title in the Teams Division if given the right partner.
Similarly, Ghai maybe trying to get in Finstock’s good books to arrange a trade between the Finstock Exchange and Usual Suspects to get Ghai a partner on the Usual suspects. “The Barbarian” looks a real talent at the moment and pairing him with Ghai could create a legitimate title contender, but he probably wouldn’t come cheap despite being a 6ᵗʰ round pick. However, if Ghai can create some goodwill with Finstock, the may convince the three-time Manager of the Year to accept a cheaper offer than expected, suddenly putting the Usual Suspects in a much stronger position.
Debonair Apology Tour
We all remember when Kristian Harloff came back to compete for one final “Revenge Tour” that saw him go all the way to winning the Singles Title from Dan Murrell. Maybe Andrew Ghai is beginning a tour of his own, though not waiting for matches to do so. We saw him telling Mike Kalinowski “it’s not your fault” that Mike was KOrrupted to the dark side following DC Movie News’ loss to Team Action. Now we have seen him bringing his season-long feud with Tom Dagnino to a end by giving him back his most prized possession. Who could be next on the list?
Well Mark Reilly and Dan Murrell would be obvious options giving the way the Dastard treated them during his TKO victories back in 2018. Perhaps we’ll see him buying orthopedic pillows for Ben Bateman and John Rocha, who both found themselves on the end of Ghai’s infamous tackles. Or maybe we will just see him finally getting Jenn Sterger’s name right!
As you may have noticed with the last section, Andrew Ghai has somewhat of a rocky history with a large number of the current Finstock Exchange roster. If the Exchange felt it benefited them, they could use this as an excuse to continually call out members of the Usual Suspects for matches.
Right now, the Usual Suspects are not in a strong position, and the Exchange look super strng, so it would be hard to see the Usual Suspects pick up many points from those matches. Perhaps Ghai’s gift of the beard mask will work as a peace offering, resulting in the Exchange turning their attention instead to Robert Meyer Burnett’s Burning Droogs. And while those 2 factions fight it out, the Usual Suspects can recover from the loss of Drew McWeeny, rebuild and restrategize, finding matches that give them the best chance of victory.
At the end of the day, the enemy of your enemy… is a pretty good weapon to take advantage of.
Sowing seeds of destruction
“The fire that burns in your fireplace is the same fire that burns down your house” – Finstock
His current faction may be the Finstock Exchange, but if you were asked which faction you associated the Finstock character with, it would be the Lion’s Den. Finstock was very much part of Dagnino’s heel days and though the character did appear to mellow during Who’s The Boss’ run through the 2018 Ultimate Schmoedown, it wasn’t until his mask was stolen that we really saw Tom Dagnino completely give up his antics.
Now he has the mask back, will he be able to geek on the straight and narrow… or will his old antics start coming back? Let’s not forget how much beef “The Dope Rocha” and Reilly both had with Finstock back in the day. There has already been a fair bit of disharmony within the Exchange this season, some due to some questionable calls by Dagnino. Could Andrew Ghai be hoping that the return of Finstock be the spark that burns the faction down to the ground?
If you have any other theories as to Andrew Ghai’s intentions, leave them in the comments below – I’d love to hear your thoughts. But for now, let’s just take a moment to enjoy the return of one of the league’s biggest characters…