Merry Christmas you filthy animals! This has been an interesting year to say the least with the COVID-19 pandemic changing everybody’s life to some degree. But through it all, one constant remained: the Movie Trivia Schmoedown. Season 7 was titled “The New Era” and that proved the case even more than we expected, as it adapted to the changing environment by moving to an online format to ensure that we continued to get or weekly entertainment and another fantastic season ended in truly spectacular showpiece event to end the year – the 5ᵗʰ annual Schmoedown Spectacular.
Schmoedown Spectacular V was available to watch live and on demand in the aftermath for those able to purchase it, but for those who are waiting for it to drop on YouTube for free, only 1 match has aired at time of writing. This article will be looking back at the whole event, so be warned there will be spoilers galore beyond this point!
Spectacular V ended up being a 9 hour epic, with betrayals, mystery and 6 fantastic matches:
Alex Damon TKO’d Andres Cabrera 32-24 to retain the Star Wars Title
Britney Young defeated Chris Jericho 16-15
The Odd Couple defeated Shazam! 41-40 to claim the Teams Title
Chandru Dhandapani defeated Chance Ellison to retain the Innergeekdom Title
Kevin Smith TKO’d ZaFlertinflouse 18-9
Adam Collins defeated Dan Murrell in Sudden Death 39-38 to claim the Singles Title
KOrruption win the Faction Title
The make-up of the Schmoedown Mt Rushmore is a constant debate, with so many players in the conversation and Dan Murrell probably one of the only players who would make it onto everybody’s list. I would argue that Jeff Sneider should have also secured his place following this season.
“The Insneider” has become the first Schmoedown Pro to win 10 matches with one team and the Teams Title 3 times – 1 time with The Patriots, twice with The Odd Couple – and while he has had his ups and downs in Singles, he has still accrued a 13-8 record that includes a Championship Match and 2 other #1 Contender Matches.
Having debuted in Season 3, he is one of the longest-tenured Schmoedown Pros and has not taken a break from competing since he entered the league, while always putting on a show in his own unique way. Does he court controversy? Yes, but the league would be much more boring without him, and for his longevity, expertise in the Teams Division and his entertainment value, he has earned his spot on Mt Rushmore.
When season 7 started, it looked like the Finstock Exchange would run away with the Faction Title. Having been manager for the Horsemen in Season 6, with Ben Bateman and the Founding Fathers ending the season as champions – and Who’s The Boss being among the top 5 teams, making them a protected team – Dagnino was able to draft 4 legit superstars of the league with his first 4 picks, while picking up the relatively unknown rookie the Barbarian in the 6ᵗʰ round. However, things didn’t go to plan and the season ended with the Exchange dropping to 4ᵗʰ, behind Roxy Striar’s Roxstars at Spectacular.
It’s going to be all change for them next year too, if the way the season ended is anything to go by. Ben Bateman made clear after his 2ⁿᵈ loss to Dan Murrell that he was done with Finstock’s mismanagement, and the 2-time Manager of the Year then made the critical error of backing John Rocha as he split from Dan Murrell, leaving the GOAT as a Free Agent. So that’s 2 of the big 4 who are gone for good. But the Barbarian has also seemed a little put out at the way 2 greats of the game have been treated and I wouldn’t be shocked to see him turn his back on the faction to partner with either Bateman or Murrell and create a new superteam. Meanwhile Free Agent pick-up Sabrina Ramirez was given little chance to show her quality and if her statement at the beginning of the event is anything to go by, she’s another who will be looking to ply her trade elsewhere in Season 8.
And then we come to Andrew Dimalanta. The Star Wars specialist finally got his first wins in the division under Tom Dagnino and with a guaranteed title shot, you’d think that Bobby Gucci would want to retain his services going into 2021. However, as John Rocha went on a spree of blaming everyone (except himself and Dagnino) for the faction’s failings, even Dimalanta came under fire for his loss to Ace Cabrera. Will Dimalanta stay loyal to a manager that helped him get his first win, or will the shots from the new face of the faction make him look elsewhere for a more supportive faction?
Keep an eye out for my predictions on who each manager signs during Free Agency over the next week.
The Schmoeminati are real!
How can we forget the moment on Schmoedown Backstage when Andrew Ghai turned up to discuss his upcoming match with Mike Kalinowski, but instead spent his time telling us that there was a Schmoeminati controlling the league behind the scenes.
We all thought he was crazy as we watched his descent into madness through the second half of the season and promised to prove to us at Spectacular that the Schmoeminati exists. Well he did that, but not in the way he had planned, as we watched him get kidnapped by a group being led by this masked figure.
And so we are left with plenty of questions. First of all, is Andrew Ghai OK? If you watched the next couple of shows on the Action Industries channel, then he was unexpectedly absent, with an odd new answer phone message and text responses to “keep smiling :)” Next up, who is the Schmoeminati and what do they want? Ghai made it clear that Kristian Harloff is not involved, but with so many people involved in the League as a competitor/manager/announcer/pundit/crew member, that doesn’t really narrow things down too much.
Keep an eye out over the coming weeks for my thoughts on the likely culprits.
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned
It’s not just the Finstock Exchange that will likely look very different in 2021, as Kate Mulligan followed up ZaFlertinflouse’s loss to Kevin Smith by firing adviser Grace Hancock.
Will this be the end of Grace? I think it would be foolish to rule “the Lioness” out, but she’s running out of allies in the league. She abandoned the Lion’s Den so won’t be welcome in the Finstock Exchange, was fired by KOrruption to make room for Shannon and has now been fired by the Den. Meanwhile Kaiser an Roxy have both found themselves at odds with her. But with so many feuds, don’t be shocked to see her back at some point – maybe not this year – as a manager for a new faction hell-bent on causing trouble.
It’s hard to imagine that many Star Wars specialists will be picked up in Free Agency due to the limited number of matches they will play in a season, so much so that they may not even be a priority in the opening rounds of the draft as managers look to ensure they have strength in Singles and Innergeekdom with at least 1 top quality team. However, a couple of competitors likely saw a rise in their stock at Spectacular.
Andrew Dimalanta was already promised a title shot against Alex Damon, but Commissioner Clarke Wolfe also announced during Spectacular that Mollie Damon and Laura Kelly will face off in a #1 Contenders Match, with the winner either facing the winner of Damon v Dimalanta or joining them in a Triple Threat (at Alex Damon’s discretion). There are very few competitors with guaranteed matches in 2021 at this point, so to be able to pick up a Star Wars competitor with a guaranteed match very early in the season is a chance for some early points, and Kelly/Damon may even look more attractive options than Dimalanta due to the potential of 2 matches early in the season, while I also feel that both are capable of Dimalanta, who got a number of favourable calls during his tournament run.
Similarly, another competitor who may see a rise in their stock is Mara Knopic. The former Innergeekdom Champion may not have played in years, so there may be some questions about her ability to compete at the top straight away, however a guaranteed title shot early in the season will probably see her rise above many of the other IG specialists as there is the chance of an early victory to win the title, and even if she loses then it will not be too long until she is able to make another run for the title.
For more thoughts on Free Agency and the Draft, keep an eye on this site, as I will be posting my Free Agency predictions over the coming weeks, and I’m planning to put together my draft predictions once Free Agency has completed.
Credit for the header image goes to Alex from the Let’s Get Ready Network – check them out on Twitter @0M3GAxVID30