AS THE WORLD BURNS: Can Robert Meyer Burnett Stay in Charge of The Family?

AS THE WORLD BURNS: Can Robert Meyer Burnett Stay in Charge of The Family?

Back in 2018, I made a decision to expand my focus to include the Movie Trivia Schmoedown – a combination of movie trivia and WWE entertainment. As the brand grew, my writing on here came to an end in November 2018 as I was given the chance to write for their new website, TriviaSD.com along with a number of other Schmoedown bloggers. Recently it was announced that as the crew’s focus is needed elsewhere, it was announced that the site will be coming to an end. This means that the Schmoedown will be making a return to this site!

First of all, I want to give a big thank yous:

  • To Schmoedown creator and Chairman of the league Kristian Harloff and TriviaSD.com Managing Editor William Bibbiani for giving me the chance to write for the site
  • To the cast and crew, who continue to create an amazing product that is just going from strength to strength
  • To the fans, who have helped to create such an amazing community

Over the space of a couple of weeks, I am posting my articles from the site onto here. As some of these are almost a year old, some of them are somewhat outdated and may have proved to be completely off the mark.

Posted to TriviaSD.com 14/6/2019


Robert Meyer Burnett has not had the best of luck when joining factions.

He became the fourth Horseman at the first Spectacular following his victory in the inaugural Innergeekdom match, but then “The Captain” struggled to establish himself in the league, losing the Innergeekdom Title to Hector Navarro in his first defence before losing to Jeremy Jahns in a #1 Contender Match. Blaming the Horsemen for his demise, he took advantage of William Bibbiani’s betrayal to walk away from Rocha and Knost and join their arch-rivals the Lion’s Den.

Things didn’t improve much for him there. He lost in Innergeekdom to Jay Washington and lost in a Fatal Fiveway Qualifying match for the 2017 Ultimate Schmoedown. His only real success in the Lion’s Den came as one half of Blofeld’s Cat, who went 1-1 in the Ultimate Schmoedown before TKO’ing Rachel Cushing in a 2v1 handicap match. Following Marc Andreyko’s defection to Emma Fyffe, Burnett was deemed surplus to requirements and let go from the faction, finding himself locked in a room for six months then disappearing for the rest of the year to plot revenge.

Now back and managing The Family, things appeared to be on the up for him. Burnett convinced Drew McWeeny to turn to the dark side and join him and Drew Ghai, with their debut match as a victory over Ben Bateman and Tom Dagnino. While Ghai took a knock with a KO loss to Ben Bateman at Houston (and his subsequent chair-induced KO), a recent win for The Family over Inky and the Brain put things back on track for the faction.

But while the faction as a whole may be in a decent place, is Burnett’s place in the faction once again at risk, this time from one Roxy Striar?

Roxy’s history with Ben Bateman has seen her take a side in the Action Civil War, with her frequently calling herself a “Ghai Girl”. Chicago’s live event saw her take things one step further by slapping her former flame in the face, something that got immediate respect from Ghai, who proceeded to blatantly flirt with her via video in front of Bateman. Roxy travelled to the Houston live event to support her new Ghai, while she also crashed The Family’s latest post-match interview to congratulate the team on their win before giving the dastardly one a kiss on the cheek.

While Roxy’s managing of The League had mixed results, she has been much more hands on since being assigned to The Odd Couple as a part of the Anarchy shake-up, and it’s paying off. In the 2018 Ultimate Schmoedown, she managed to get Marc Andreyko and Jeff Sneider working together as an effective team as they TKO’d Team Seb’s, beat the Paddington Two and then lost to The Harris Brothers – a match that now looks like an aberration given their other results. Such was her impact on the pair, Andreyko immediately decided to ask her to continue managing him when he heard that Emma Fyffe was disbanding the Fyffe Club to become Commissioner, and Sneider also agreed to keep he trio going.

Since then, both players have played well in the Free 4 All, Andreyko had a narrow loss to John Rocha and Sneider began his next run for the Singles Title with a victory over Mark Reilly, while The Odd Couple TKO’d the Scream Queens, shocked Who’s The Boss in Chicago and recently defeated the 5-0 Shirewolves to win the Teams Title. Arguably, Roxy is one of the frontrunners at this point for Manager of the Year!

A manager of such quality, it would be stupid for Ghai to avoid bringing her into The Family considering she’s clearly on his side, while Andreyko and Sneider also showed themselves to be against Ben Bateman by refusing to shake his hand in Chicago. Bringing in The Odd Couple would make The Family a deadly faction in Teams and Singles, worthy of taking on The Horsemen.

But if the three of them join, or even just Roxy, does The Family need two managers? Arguably not. The only faction that could be considered to have two managers is KOrruption, but Grace Hancock has clearly taken on a manager’s role, whereas Ken is now more of a mouthpiece for the faction. While Burnett could certainly be a mouthpiece, he has a tendency to get distracted by personal rivalries – “NAVARRO!!!!” – and this role could easily be filled by Andrew Ghai alongside his competing.

What role would this leave for Burnett? He is the obvious Innergeekdom competitor for the faction, but his previous performances have suggested that he would be some distance off from competing against Cushing, Kalinowski and Smets. There is a very real possibility that Roxy joining the family would see him as surplus to requirements again.

So now Burnett needs to make sure the Drews don’t want to bring Roxy on board, and that will be easier said than done. Drew McWeeny looked focused on winning back the belt he was forced to give up, which could leave him at odds with Burnett if he chooses to focus on personal gripes. And as for Ghai, Houston was meant to be his big moment, but Burnett could do nothing to stop his man from getting blown out in the ring. Further than that, it was Burnett who supplied Ghai with the chair to attack Bateman. The very same chair that left him battered and bruised. A manager who lets his man get physically beaten in the ring versus a manager who would do anything for him… it sounds like an easy choice for Ghai.

The big factor could be the upcoming Manager Bowl at Collision. Rather than have the managers compete, they will have to pick a member of their faction to represent them in the match, with the winning faction’s manager being in charge of the Commissioners for a month. If Burnett chooses the wrong competitor and The Family loses this – especially if The Horsemen emerge victorious – then this will not go down well with the Drews. And if he were to lose to Tom Dagnino – who has challenged him to a match – then that could just be the straw that breaks the camel’s back and forces Ghai to turn to Roxy.

Watch your back, Robert…

WE NOW ANNOUNCE YOU: The Best Teammate and Stable Reveals in Schmoedown History!!

WE NOW ANNOUNCE YOU: The Best Teammate and Stable Reveals in Schmoedown History!!

Back in 2018, I made a decision to expand my focus to include the Movie Trivia Schmoedown – a combination of movie trivia and WWE entertainment. As the brand grew, my writing on here came to an end in November 2018 as I was given the chance to write for their new website, TriviaSD.com along with a number of other Schmoedown bloggers. Recently it was announced that as the crew’s focus is needed elsewhere, it was announced that the site will be coming to an end. This means that the Schmoedown will be making a return to this site!

First of all, I want to give a big thank yous:

  • To Schmoedown creator and Chairman of the league Kristian Harloff and TriviaSD.com Managing Editor William Bibbiani for giving me the chance to write for the site
  • To the cast and crew, who continue to create an amazing product that is just going from strength to strength
  • To the fans, who have helped to create such an amazing community

Over the space of a couple of weeks, I am posting my articles from the site onto here. As some of these are almost a year old, some of them are somewhat outdated and may have proved to be completely off the mark.

Posted to TriviaSD.com 4/6/2019


If the Founding Fathers KO’ing in Double Toasted and Ben Bateman KO’ing Andrew Ghai (twice!) wasn’t thrilling enough, the Houston live event gave us the answer to a question that has been asked all season: who will replace Matt Knost and Jason Inman in the Five Horsemen?

As a fan of the Horsemen who has really come to appreciate Bateman’s dedication to the competition an found myself siding with him and Tom Dagnino (something I’d have never thought possible even a year ago) as part of Who’s The Boss, seeing the remaining Horsemen step out with Dagnino to support Ben and then seeing all five of them throw up the symbol of the Five Horsemen after Ghai’s second KO was an amazing moment to watch on the stream.

But was it the best reveal? Over the years, we have had a number of times that players have revealed a new teammate or factions have revealed a new member in a shocking moment, so I have picked my top 10 shock reveals.

10. Elliott Dewberry and the Wildberries

Going into the 2017 Ultimate Schmeodown, everybody knew that Josh Macuga was making a return to the Teams Division, but after a less-than-amicable breakup with Finstock, nobody knew who his partner would be. The Wildman left it as late as he could to reveal his new teammate ahead of his Round 1 match against the Wolves of Steel, going as far as to even emerge on his own without so much as revealing the name of the team. With a can of Coors and a bottle of Fireball beside him, “The Wildman” introduced none other than Eliot “The Mountain” Dewberry and they immediately chugged a can of Coors each, a perfect representation of what the Wildberries would become!

9. Clarke Wolfe and the Shirewolves

Following Ken Napzok’s betrayal of Rachel Cushing to join the Lion’s Den, “The Crusher” challenged her former teammate to a Teams match: Napzok and new manager Tom Dagnino against her and a new partner that she would find. With the reveal of her partner not coming until the next season, fans had months to speculate about who could be the mystery partner. It looked like we were going to be teased again as we saw Rachel go to meet her partner the other side of a doorway, closing the door behind her. However, the picture returned after a fadeout and the door opened to reveal none other than “Classy” Clarke Wolfe, who confirmed fans’ wildest dreams were coming true with the proclamation: “Of course it’s me! Shirewolves!”

8. Tim Franco and KOrruption

A big part of Stacy Howard’s defection from the Viper Squad to KOrruption was the promise of a teammate, something she felt wasn’t being prioritised by Jay Washington. Weeks passed with both Stacy and new manager Grace Hancock teasing that they had a partner but refusing to tell anyone outside of the faction. Grace eventually decided to announce the newest member of KOrruption with a Team match, picking Late to the Party as their opponents. The reveal of their team name (Crimson Fury) gave nothing away and after Stacy emerged with the rest of the faction, the music usually associated with William Bibbiani began to play and a masked figure was led out. The hood and mask were removed, revealing none other than Tim “the Tank” Franco, who had no qualms about taking on his former friends.

7. Marc Andreyko and The Fyffe Club

After Thadd Williams announced that Tom Dagnino, Jay Washington and Ricky Hayberg would compete at Spectacular II in the first ever Manager Bowl, Emma Fyffe approached the Commissioner asking for a spot in the match as she had found a secret competitor to manage. Fyffe was escorted out for the match by a masked competitor and went on to win it. As her celebrations began, her competitor returned and unmasked himself to reveal none other than Marc Andreyko, who to everyone’s knowledge at that point was still a member of the Lion’s Den. Bringing in a top-quality competitor and hurting your rival faction all in one move… perfect!

6. Tom Dagnino, Ben Bateman and The Five Horsemen

With the Five Horsemen two men light, Mark Reilly and Dan Murrell had both suggested to John Rocha that he bring in Ben Bateman to fill one of the spots, something that Rocha was against due to his history with “The Boss”. For Bateman’s match with Ghai in Houston, an agreement was made that no managers or teammates would be allowed to feature with heir competitors, but as the match goes on, Team Ghai broke the agreement with both Robert Meyer Burnett and Roxy Striar coming out in support of the dastardly one, outnumbering Bateman 3-1, until halfway through Round 2. The Founding Fathers’ entrance music began to play, but out of the curtain stepped Tom Dagnino, followed by Mark Reilly, Dan Murrell and finally John Rocha, who all made their way ringside to support Bateman. After Bateman finished off his rival, Ghai attempted to attack him in the ring with a chair, but Booker T took the chair off him and gave it to Bateman. Rocha grabbed Ghai and shoved him towards Bateman, who used the chair to finish him off, before the five of them raised their hands in the symbol of the Five Horsemen.

5-3. The Decision

They may not be as theatrical as the ones above, but three new teams forming in one video was such a historic moment and they could not really be separated. After feeling like he was carrying Finstock, JTE chose to bring an end to Team B.O.B. and contact Clarke Wolfe, inviting her to team up. In a special episode, Clarke joined JTE, Finstock, Kristian and Mark at the table, where she announced that someone else had reached out to her about a team-up at the same. The Superman theme began to play and through the curtain stepped none other than reigning Singles Champion Mark “Yodi” Reilly, forming the Wolves of Steel.

Any hopes that JTE had of running back to Finstock were quickly dashed as the masked enigma announced that “Finstock doesn’t play second fiddle” and that he had also decided to drunk email a potential new teammate. The unmistakeable chords of “Wild Thing” began to play and out stepped Finstock’s new teammate: Josh “The Wildman” Macuga, looking pumped to form the Megapowers.

Thankfully, JTE had one arrow left in his quiver and announced that he had someone on the backburner in case Clarke turned him down. “Shipping up to Boston” began to play and out jumped Jeff Sneider, marking the formation of the most successful team in Schmoedown history: The Patriots.

2. Ken Napzok and the Lion’s Den

After Sam Witwer won the Fatal Fiveway #1 Contender Match to earn a title shot against Ken Napzok at Spectacular II, Tom Dagnino and Grace Hancock crashed his interview at the table. Dagnino announced that the Lion’s Den had the best Star Wars competitor. The throne room music from Return of the Jedi began to play and a hooded figure emerged through the curtain and smoke, only for Grace to remove their hood to reveal none other than Ken Napzok, shocking the world as he turned from hero to villain.

1. The Horsemen Return

After defeating JTE at the first LA live event, John Rocha hinted that he was about to re-form the Horsemen. After branding himself “The Ghai that beat the GOAT”, Andrew Ghai brought Team Action teammate Ben Bateman on board to make fun of Dan Murrell to get over their loss to the Shirewolves. Before they knew it, they found themselves being played offstage by a mysterious music and the lights went down. When the light returned, four hooded figures stood onstage, hands raised in the symbol of the Four Horsemen. One by one they revealed themselves: Matt Knost, John Rocha, Innergeekdom Champion Jason Inman and Mark Reilly, back from retirement.

As the fans went wild to see the new stable, the Horsemen changed their symbol from a four to a five, before the lights went out again, coming back up to reveal a fifth hooded figure. Rocha pulled off the hood to reveal none other than Dan Murrell, coming out of retirement as well, to challenge Ghai to a match!

What has been your favourite reveal…?

INTO THE STALLION-VERSE: What’s The Best Horsemen Stable Ever…?

INTO THE STALLION-VERSE: What’s The Best Horsemen Stable Ever…?

Back in 2018, I made a decision to expand my focus to include the Movie Trivia Schmoedown – a combination of movie trivia and WWE entertainment. As the brand grew, my writing on here came to an end in November 2018 as I was given the chance to write for their new website, TriviaSD.com along with a number of other Schmoedown bloggers. Recently it was announced that as the crew’s focus is needed elsewhere, it was announced that the site will be coming to an end. This means that the Schmoedown will be making a return to this site!

First of all, I want to give a big thank yous:

  • To Schmoedown creator and Chairman of the league Kristian Harloff and TriviaSD.com Managing Editor William Bibbiani for giving me the chance to write for the site
  • To the cast and crew, who continue to create an amazing product that is just going from strength to strength
  • To the fans, who have helped to create such an amazing community

Over the space of a couple of weeks, I am posting my articles from the site onto here. As some of these are almost a year old, some of them are somewhat outdated and may have proved to be completely off the mark.

Posted to TriviaSD.com 28/5/2019


Houston’s live event will go down in history as a grand day for the Horsemen. The Founding Fathers took a step closer to the Teams Belts with a KO victory over Double Toasted, while Ben Bateman’s KO victory over Andrew Ghai saw “The Boss” and manager Tom Dagnino join their teammate Mark “Yodi” Reilly as the 4th and 5th members of the Horsemen.

This is the 3rd iteration of the Horsemen, who were the first faction to form back in Season 3, which gives us the chance to ask: what is the best iteration of the Horsemen?

Considering the latest iteration has just formed, and Jason Inman only played one match after joining the 2nd iteration of the faction, a lot of this will be based on the theoretical potential that each iteration had.

The Four Horsemen

STABLE: John Rocha, Matt Knost, William Bibbiani, Robert Meyer Burnett

The original Four Horsemen were headlined by “The Outlaw” John Rocha, who won the Singles Championship during their tenure and, though he did not successfully defend his title, was still one of the elite competitors in the division.

While Knost was a decent Singles competitor, he was not going to be challenging for that belt. However, his partnership with Rocha created one of the elite teams of the time in Top 10. They defeated the Schmoes to win the Teams Title and were very close to defending their title against the Patriots at Spectacular. Had Sneider and JTE not hit their 5-pointer, the Schmoedown would have been a very different place, but Top 10 always looked like one of the teams more likely to end their run.

Invited to join the faction after his stellar debut against Marc Andreyko, William “The Beast” Bibbiani was touted as a future Singles Champion right away, but struggled to live up to the hype before leaving the faction. Bibbiani clearly had the knowledge, but he became famous for his struggles in the final round and did not have the strategic side to his game that he has developed over more recent years. If we were looking at 2019 Bibbiani, he would be a huge strength for the faction, but back in 2017 he was unfulfilled potential.

The final Horseman to join the faction was Robert Meyer Burnett, who was invited to the stable after winning the inaugural Innergeekdom match to become the division’s first Champion. While he clearly had a strong knowledge base and was dangerous in Star Trek, “The Captain” benefitted in that match from a format that saw the scores reset after each round and would not have won if the match had been played in the format we are now used to. He lost the title in his next match to Hector Navarro and was defeated in a #1 Contender Match by Jeremy Jahns. He created strong pairings as part of the revolving door of Team Heroes, but with his partners not being Horsemen, their achievements were not often noted as wins for the faction.

While a strong faction for the time, the Four Horsemen did not live up to the hype before breaking up after the first Collision. If they were to be compared to the league’s current factions, they would be way down the pecking order.

The Five Horsemen (1st Stable)

STABLE: John Rocha, Matt Knost, Mark Reilly, Jason Inman, Dan Murrell

John Rocha may have had an up and down time in the Singles Division of late, but he is still a top tier competitor and won the Singles Title again by defeating Bibbiani. His Anarchy team-up with Murrell also created an elite team in the form of the Founding Fathers, who I think are destined to win the title at some point.

Murrell’s return to the league did not go as planned – losing to Andrew Ghai by TKO – but once he was back in his stride, he showed himself to once again be one of the elite competitors, winning the Singles Title at the start of the season before winning the Free 4 All.

Like Murrell, Reilly was TKO’d by Ghai on his return, but has since shaken off the rust and got back to proving himself as a top tier Singles competitor. His greatest accomplishments since his return have been as part of Anarchy team Who’s The Boss, who came close to defeating the Shirewolves at Spectacular after winning the Anarchy tournament. However, like Burnett with Heroes, the Horsemen may have allowed the pairing but not overtly come out in support of it due to Rocha’s history with Bateman and Dagnino.

Jason Inman was the Innergeekdom Champion by the time he joined the Horsemen, however in his one match as part of the faction, he lost to Mara Knopic before stepping away from the league indefinitely. However, his depth and breadth of knowledge, combined with a good sense of strategy, is such that he will likely go straight back into the elite category of Innergeekdom competitors if he returns, while he also remains a strong 2nd member of a team and with the right partner could push for a title match in the Teams Division.

Knost remained a strong 2nd competitor on the team, but with Top 10 being broken up by Anarchy, his impact for the Horsemen was limited and he chose to step away at the end of Season 5. Before leaving, however, he put in a couple of strong performances alongside William Bibbiani as part of the Cinemaniacs that suggested if he had stayed in the league and teamed back up with John Rocha going into Season 6, they could still be a top-level team.

This iteration of the Five Horsemen certainly had the competitors to be at the top of the bunch, but the breaking of teams for Anarchy and a lack of time together before losing Knost and Inman hurts the legacy of this stable.

The Five Horsemen (2nd Stable)

STABLE: John Rocha, Dan Murrell, Mark Reilly, Ben Bateman, Tom Dagnino

Dan Murrell has arguably cemented his place as the GOAT by winning the Singles Title in New York and this year’s Free 4 All. Rocha and Reilly remain top-tier singles competitors, and though his record may be just 5-4, I would consider Bateman a high-quality Singles competitor and with his knowledge in categories like Oscar Movies and Movie Release Dates, I see a belt in his future.

In the Teams Division, the faction now has two elite teams in the Founding Fathers and Who’s the Boss, both of whom I can imagine challenging for the title again by the end of the season, maybe even against each other!

On the surface, the new faction is missing representation in the Innergeekdom and Star Wars Divisions, but that may not actually be the case for long. John Rocha has stated his desire to enter the Star Wars Division and while Alex Damon and Joseph Scrimshaw will be very difficult opposition, Rocha’s training techniques will give him every chance of being competitive. Meanwhile, both Bateman and Murrell have previously discussed the option of entering the Innergeekdom Division, where either of them could quickly establish themselves in the top tier.

While Tom Dagnino’s performances in matches are probably not worth going into too much detail about, he has a good enough knowledge to be competitive in Manager Bowls. Where Dagnino comes into his own is as one of the premier managers in the league. He managed the Patriots through their unbeaten run and then Who’s the Boss to within one question of the title. He is quick to get involved and give his two cents to his competitors (whether it’s helpful or not), and helps his players on advice as to whether a competitor should use their challenge. Rocha has been known to get inside his own head and burn too hot at times but adding a manager could help avoid those moments. (Not only that, but as a manager, it is possible that he could be excluded from consideration as one of the Five – similar to how the Four Horsemen of 80s wrestling fame had 4 competitors and a manager, J.J. Dillon – which could mean that the stable still has a spot for an Innergeekdom specialist.)

The current iteration of the Five Horsemen may not have as many active competitors as the last iteration, but they are strong across the board and the addition of a manager takes this faction to a new level. This group also has the mutual respect and togetherness that the Four Horsemen did not appear to have, so you can imagine them working well as a unit.

For this reason, I think that the new-look Five Horsemen has the potential to be the strongest iteration of the Horsemen to date. What do you YOU think…?

“Horsemen! Let’s mount up, it’s time to ride!” – John Rocha

THE SUM OF ALL FEUDS: All The Season 6 Schmoedown Rivalries!!

THE SUM OF ALL FEUDS: All The Season 6 Schmoedown Rivalries!!

Back in 2018, I made a decision to expand my focus to include the Movie Trivia Schmoedown – a combination of movie trivia and WWE entertainment. As the brand grew, my writing on here came to an end in November 2018 as I was given the chance to write for their new website, TriviaSD.com along with a number of other Schmoedown bloggers. Recently it was announced that as the crew’s focus is needed elsewhere, it was announced that the site will be coming to an end. This means that the Schmoedown will be making a return to this site!

First of all, I want to give a big thank yous:

  • To Schmoedown creator and Chairman of the league Kristian Harloff and TriviaSD.com Managing Editor William Bibbiani for giving me the chance to write for the site
  • To the cast and crew, who continue to create an amazing product that is just going from strength to strength
  • To the fans, who have helped to create such an amazing community

Over the space of a couple of weeks, I am posting my articles from the site onto here. As some of these are almost a year old, some of them are somewhat outdated and may have proved to be completely off the mark.

Posted to TriviaSD.com 21/1/2019


We’re all well aware that the Schmoedown is equal parts movie trivia and entertainment, and as such we often see a number of rivalries and grudges developing in the league. As we approach a big event like Spectacular or Collision, we usually see a number of storylines come to the fore. Right now there are plenty of grudges between competitors and factions, so let’s have a reminder of who hates who in the build-up to Collision!

Who’s The Boss vs. The Family

Let’s get one of the most obvious ones out of the way first. The Civil War between Ben Bateman and Andrew Ghai has been ongoing since Ghai tackled his former teammate through a table at Spectacular. Ghai now has a faction of his own to go up against Who’s The Boss in the form of The Family: Drew McWeeny and manager Robert Meyer Burnett. While the enmity between Ghai and Bateman is obviously the driving force of this war, let’s not forget that Burnett has his own score to settle with Tom Dagnino, who threw him out of the Lion’s Den at Spectacular II after deeming him surplus to requirements.

I get the feeling that Bateman and Ghai going toe-to-toe in Houston is only going to take this war to a new level.

Who’s The Boss vs. The Odd Couple

While I include all of The Odd Couple in this section, Sneider and Andreyko don’t appear to have too much enmity with Who’s The Boss here – despite Sneider’s history with Dagnino – but they are willing to back up Roxy Striar. Roxy and Bateman have a history and the live match in Chicago showed that this was too much for her to ignore as she struck her former flame in what has become known as “The Slap Heard ‘Round the World”. Whether you think it was fair or not, Roxy has completed her penance (thanks to Sneider beating Reilly), but she has still refused to apologise for her act and on a recent edition of Inside Schmoedown, she made it clear that she would do nothing different if given the chance to turn back time. On both Inside Schmoedown and Collider Live, she has made it clear that she was very much against Bateman, calling herself a “Ghai Girl” but also fired shots at the rest of his team: Tom Dagnino and even Mark Reilly, going as far as to call the former Singles Champion a sheep.

Don’t expect Who’s The Boss to take these insults lying down. As for Andreyko, who found himself reinvigorated in the league after leaving the Lion’s Den and turning face with the Fyffe Squad, how will he react if his new manager continues to walk down a darker path?

The Odd Couple vs. KOrruption

It’s safe to say that the members of KOrruption probably aren’t on Roxy’s friends list either, as let’s not forget she used to be Mike Kalinowski’s manager before he walked away from The League and brought KOrruption into the Schmoedown, something that remains a bone of contention between them. More recently, Roxy has also accused KOrruption manager Grace Hancock of some underhand tactics which led to Roxy missing her team’s matches, although fans of Collider Live may be inclined to believe that Grace is innocent and that Roxy just ignored her sat nav again.

With Sneider and Andreyko also being former members of The Lion’s Den, they have history with Grace and know just how sly “The Lioness” can be and will also be quick to back Roxy up if this feud continues.

KOrruption vs. Founding Fathers

This is an interesting one, as it’s not clear quite how far this rivalry currently stretches. John Rocha and Mike Kalinowski clearly have great respect for each other – it was Mike who got rid of the 3-match stipulation that set The Outlaw on his way to winning the title off Bibbiani – but it’s not yet clear how this has been affected by the agonising Sudden Death loss that knocked the Founding Fathers out of the Anarchy tournament. Kalinowski’s teammate Chance Ellison, however, does not have the respect of “The Outlaw” and it has become clear that the Founding Fathers want a rematch with KOrruption to knock Chance down a peg or two and help them push for a title shot.

While this rivalry could be limited to just the two teams, don’t be surprised if more of the faction get involved, especially Grace Hancock, who as a former manager of the Lion’s Den has plenty of history against Rocha.

KOrruption vs. Trivia Dungeon

KOrruption really haven’t been looking to make friends recently. Mike Kalinowski is without a doubt one of the elite Innergeekdom competitors, but with the rise of Kaiser and his new competitor Kevin Smets, it has been clear for a while that the 2 titans of Innergeekdom trivia have been on a collision course for the chance to take on Rachel Cushing in San Diego.

While this may be relatively tame, Kaiser has recently taken on 2 more competitors in the form of unlikely teammates Paul Oyama and Eric Zipper. Zipper has had a bone to pick with Kalinowski ever since “The Killer” arranged for him to face Rachel Cushing in the second round of last year’s Innergeekdom tournament (which saw Cushing win by TKO) and has not enjoyed Kalinowski’s nickname for him of “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah”. More recently, Zipper’s frustrations spread to the whole faction as a quiet word in his ear from Grace made him think that abandoning his World’s Finest teammate Winston Marshall would lead to him replacing Mike as leader of the faction, only to find himself friendless and embarrassed when he found it that it was all a lie. Meanwhile, Paul Oyama has his eyes set on a match with Chance Ellison in an effort to prove that “The Cobra” is nothing special despite having been the first competitor promoted from the fan leagues.

With so many big personalities in these factions, expect fireworks at some point!

Time Machine vs. KOrruption

How many times is Kalinowski going to steal people away from Jay Washington? Spectacular II saw The Missfits come to an end as Brianne Chandler drove off into the sun with “The Killer” and now this season he’s stolen away Stacy Howard from the Viper Squad too become a part of KOrruption! Add in his verbal sparring online with Jeannine and there are plenty of reasons why Time Machine will want to take him down.

Stacy’s defection clearly hit a nerve for Jay and Jeannine. They understandably felt betrayed, whereas Stacy didn’t feel that she was getting the support she deserved, so Jeannine’s TKO victory over her last month will make her keen to get one over on her former stablemates.

Emma Fyffe vs. Samm Levine

The final ongoing feud in the league does not involve any factions but could end up having one of the biggest impacts.

Emma Fyffe has thrown herself into her role as Commissioner of the Innergeekdom and Teams Divisions and has clearly been annoyed with the former Double Champion’s much laxer attitude to running the Singles Division. After being given a kick up the ass by Fyffe, Levine found himself taking a more active role and whether it was down to taking an easy option or wanting some form of revenge, he scheduled his fellow Commissioner into a match with Chance Ellison, leading to her being TKO’d. Fyffe’s response to this has now been to suddenly throw Ellison into the Innergeekdom Division.

What will Samm’s next act of “Commissionin’” be and how will Fyffe react to that? Will she be looking for a way to force Samm to compete in Innergeekdom considering he is officially retired from Singles and Teams? Most importantly, how many competitors will get caught in the crossfire during the battle of the Commissioners? Only time will tell.

Have your say: Which is your favourite feud currently going in the league? And who do you think will be involved in the next one?

Nuclear Fallout: Who Will Manage in Season 7?

Nuclear Fallout: Who Will Manage in Season 7?

Following Mike Kalinowski’s defeat of Jeannine “The Machine” in the latest Schmoedown Throwdown, Chairman Kristian Harloff released the first information of the Nuke. Initially teased and proposed by Robert Meyer Burnett during his run as Commissioner, the original plan was apparently heavily revised by the chairman to become what was announced: Season 7 will begin with a draft, with 10 managers taking turns to pick 10 players each from the Schmoedown roster in a shake-up that suddenly makes Season 5’s Anarchy like child’s play.

Personally, I’m excited to see how this goes. But the first thought I had on hearing this was that we’re going to be getting new managers, as there aren’t currently 10 active managers in the league. So who will we see managing next year?

The current crop

As one of the original managers way back in Season 3, I can’t imagine Tom Dagnino not being one of the managers. The impact he has on his teams can maybe be questioned and his run in the Horsemen has had limited success, but he led one of the most dominant factions in the Lion’s Den and has managed 2 of the best/most successful teams in the history of the league: Who’s The Boss and the Patriots. Able to do a job on a mic, it takes the pressure off a competitor pre-match and you’re bound to have a few fun lines sticking in your mind.

mts Jay-Washington-Brianne-Chandler-Stacy-Howard-Missfits-1024x576Another of the earlier managers still going strong is Jay Washington. Often going under the radar due to limited success at the top level, Jay has done a great job of helping his teams find their feet in the league, going as far as to turn up for Jeannine’s debut just days after having vital surgery! With his comedic and wrestling background, Jay is a pro on the mic and will do whatever he can to take the pressure off his competitors.

feat mts Movie-Trivia-Schmoedown-Robert-Meyer-BurnettAs the brains behind the first version of the Nuke, it’s hard to imagine Robert Meyer Burnett not being one of the 10. “The Captain” has had a good degree of success since returning to the league with The Family, bringing in former Teams Champion Drew McWeeny and upcoming Innergeekdom star Brandon Hanna. Prepare for some very loud rants as he drafts his competitors.

mts Movie-Trivia-Schmoedown-Grace-Hancock-Ken-Napzok-KOrruption-1024x576Another former member of the Lion’s Den who has gone on to manage another faction is Grace Hancock. Returning to take charge of KOrruption, “The Lioness” has overseen the capture of Stacy Howard and Tim Franco and the rise of Mikey 2 Belts. Expect her to keep working with Ken Napzok who has become the mouthpiece of the faction.

mts Movie-Trivia-Schmoedown-Roxy-Striar-1024x576Though she has had experience managing a faction previously, it has been since she joined up with the Odd Couple that Roxy Striar has really come into her own. You just have to listen to Andreyko and Sneider talk about the impact she has had on them over the last year, so much so that she is one of the frontrunners for Manager of the Year. Though she may not feel able to compete herself, she clearly knows the game well and will always be there to support those on her side.

One of Roxy’s biggest rivals for Manager of the Year, John Kaiser has been one of the big additions to the league this season. Coming in along with Kevin Smets, the pair have looked almost unbeatable, while he has also created an underrated team in the Loose Canons and got a Champion in his first season with Paul Oyama’s victory in the Singles Division. Another who is great on the mic, it will be interesting to see if he drafts Smets… or if someone snatches “The Smasher” before Kaiser has the chance.

mts jonathan harris lon harris harris brothersAnd the final existing manager from this season is Jonathan Harris. Harris had his ups and downs competing but has looked good as a manager when given the mic pre- and post-match. He’s had limited experience managing this year but a strong draft could see him become a key component of the league in Season 7. Now how high does he draft brother Lon…?

So that’s 7 managers (if we count the Grace/Ken partnership as 1 manager), but Kristian said there would be 10 managers. So who else could we see?

A grand return?

mts Movie-Trivia-Schmoedown-Emma-Fyffe.jpg2018 was the season of the Fyffe Club and Emma Fyffe was a deserved Manager of the Year, however her role as Commissioner of the Teams and Innergeekdom Divisions meant that she had to give up managing a faction to avoid a conflict of interests. Perhaps the pressures of running 2 divisions (3 if you count picking up much of Samm Levine’s work in the Singles Division) will see her choose to step down as Commissioner and go back to managing. Only Marc Andreyko remains of her old faction, but I feel that the work she did to bring the old Fyffe Club together could be replicated on a grander scale in Season 7.

mts Movie-Trivia-Schmoedown-Clarke-Wolfe-1024x576If Emma Fyffe chooses not to step down as Commissioner, perhaps one of her old faction will step into the role. Enter Clarke Wolfe, who has stepped away from competing but has talked about remaining involved with the Schmoedown. We’ve already seen her appearing on the desk, but perhaps she will choose to take on a more active role and pass on her experience as a former champion.

Change of focus

feat mts Movie-Trivia-Schmoedown-John-Rocha-The-Outlaw-LiveCompeting at the top of the Schmoedown is a hard task and requires a lot of time and focus, so it is no surprise that so many former champions have stepped away from competing or had a hiatus from the league. One man who has been competing since Season 2 without a break however is John Rocha. “The Outlaw” and teammate Dan Murrell will be putting their partnership on the line in their Championship Match against KOrruption, who included the stipulation that the Founding Fathers must split up if they lose. Perhaps if this happens, Rocha will take some time out from competing and pass on his experience by becoming a manager. He has the knowledge of the game and the ability on the mic to be a great manager and with the limited success of the Horsemen this year, it could be just what he needs to build a new successful faction.

Going Live

Collider Live has become important viewing for Schmoedown fans in 2019 with a healthy dose of Schmoedown content. From talking about the recent matches and live events, to a number of announcements. Roxy has started and built on a number of her feuds this year on the show, but perhaps it will be the source of the next manager.

mts brett sheridan free4all3Fan favourite Brett Sheridan made his Schmoedown debut at the Free 4 All and may choose to take on a more active (but not competing) role as a manager. Like many of the managers above, his comedic background gives him a great presence on the mic that will be so helpful for a competitor who would rather focus on their performance at the table.

mts cody hall lon harrisCody Hall is arguably the MVP of Collider Live every week but has rarely featured on the Schmoedown since the old fantasy stats segments with Josh Macuga and his match against Lon Harris to kick off Season 5. Though having recently having a child may limit his availability, his quick wit and comedic timing would surely make him a fan favourite manager.

 

Looking even further into recurring members of the Collider Live group, Dorina Arellano and Kate Mulligan have been regulars on the show so would not feel out of place if they transferred over to the Schmoedown as a new manager, while they would also be able to create new characters for themselves due to not being already established in the league.

If you can’t beat them…

mtscoyFollowing on from the suggestion of Clarke Wolfe becoming a manager, there were a few other competitors who came to mind as potential managers. Coy Jandreau’s record as a competitor isn’t great, but he has always been such a great personality in matches and I thought his promo at the LA live event during Anarchy did a great job of highlighting his ability on the mic.

Winston Marshall has also had a limited impact on the league since Eric Zipper brought an end to the World’s Finest, but he always did a great job on the mic. He has made a few appearances on Collider Live and in the early SEN live streams that will surely be adding to his popularity. Another who always seems seconds away from a great line, he is another with great mic skills and I am confident that he would also do a great job switching to a managerial role.

mts Movie-Trivia-Schmoedown-Joseph-ScrimshawThe final name that came to mind was that of Ken’s old rival in the Star Wars Division: Joseph Scrimshaw. With a number of new faces appearing in the Star Wars Division and only a few matches per season, he may decide that management is a good way to take a more active role in the league, while his previous matches have highlighted his ability on the mic that will again alleviate the pressure for a competitor who wants to focus on the trivia rather than the showmanship.

The great unknown

And finally… we could have some new personalities that we don’t yet know about. Kaiser wasn’t even part of the league a year ago and now he has a faction with 3 competitors, including the current Singles Champion. The great news about the Schmoedown is that it is still growing and therefore there is a great chance of us finding not just great new competitors, but also great new managers.

 

Let’s see who comes out on top in the nuclear fallout…

FACTION WITH FANGS: The Year of Jay Washington and the Viper Squad

FACTION WITH FANGS: The Year of Jay Washington and the Viper Squad

Back in 2018, I made a decision to expand my focus to include the Movie Trivia Schmoedown – a combination of movie trivia and WWE entertainment. As the brand grew, my writing on here came to an end in November 2018 as I was given the chance to write for their new website, TriviaSD.com along with a number of other Schmoedown bloggers. Recently it was announced that as the crew’s focus is needed elsewhere, it was announced that the site will be coming to an end. This means that the Schmoedown will be making a return to this site!

First of all, I want to give a big thank yous:

  • To Schmoedown creator and Chairman of the league Kristian Harloff and TriviaSD.com Managing Editor William Bibbiani for giving me the chance to write for the site
  • To the cast and crew, who continue to create an amazing product that is just going from strength to strength
  • To the fans, who have helped to create such an amazing community

Over the coming weeks, I will be posting my articles from the site onto here. As some of these are almost a year old, some of them are somewhat outdated and may have proved to be completely off the mark.

Posted to TriviaSD.com 11/1/2019


What a difference 12 months can make in the Schmoedown. This time last year, Jay Washington was left reeling after Brianne Chandler walked away from the Missfits and jumped in a car with their rival Mike Kalinowsk. Now, he has just become the first manager to lead a competitor to the Singles Title!

It’s been a year of up and downs for Jay, and it starts and ends with Schmoedown Spectacular…

From the Ashes

Brianne failed to show up to support Jay ahead of Schmoedown Spectacular II’s manager Bowl – in which he came 3rd, behind Emma Fyffe and Tom Dagnino – but she arrived later, to tell Jay that she was leaving the Missfits. She tried to convince Stacy Howard to come with her, but Stacy chose to stick with Jay.

This moment brought an end to the Missfits, but Jay took this as a chance to rebuild and the Viper Squad was created, with rookies Markeia McCarty and Jeannine the Machine being brought into the new faction.

Early Success

2018 started well for the Viper Squad. Jeannine won on debut against Bonnie Somerville – with Jay even turning up to support her despite having left the hospital just three days earlier! – and a victory for Stacy Howard over Josh Macuga was quickly backed up by The Machine beating Emma Fyffe via TKO, as the Vipers began a feud with the Fyffe Squad.

With Stacy at 4-1 and Jeannine at 2-0, things were looking good for Jay and his faction.

Mid-Season Struggles

Things did not go so well in the Innergeekdom Division, however. Jay Washington looked to take on Emma Fyffe in the first round of the Innergeekdom tournament but could not keep the momentum going and lost 16-17. Meanwhile, Markeia made her debut in an unenviable first round matchup against an in-form Rachel Cushing and she fell to a loss via KO.

The run of bad results continued at Collider Collision II, as both Stacy and Jeannine were set to compete against each other and Marc Andreyko in a triple threat match, with the winner set to compete in a Number 1 Contender match. Unfortunately for the Vipers, neither of them could pull out the victory over the Android and he went on to beat Ethan Erwin for a shot at the vacant title.

Anarchy

Things became even more difficult for the Vipers as factions and teams were split and reorganised for the Anarchy of the 2018 Ultimate Schmoedown Teams Tournament. Stacy Howard suffered a first round exit along with Winston Marshall at the hands of the Founding Fathers, but Jay must have thought Christmas had come early when Jeannine was paired with Ethan Erwin. However, due to scheduling issues, they had to swap teams and Jeannine instead was paired with Brian Walton, and they in the first round to The Paddington Two.

Ethan Erwin was moved to partnering Sabina Graves, and they also went out in the first round, to the Cinemaniacs. But Jay was able to get special dispensation from puppet-Commissioner Thadd to manage both Jeannine and Ethan’s teams during Anarchy and continue working with Ethan for the remainder of the season.

Markeia was also involved in Anarchy, but as a manager of Take The Cannoli rather than a competitor, and was the only member of the Viper Squad to make it into the second round of the tournament, where they lost to The Harris Brothers.

Ultimate Victory

With Ethan Erwin and Stacy Howard both in the 7 confirmed competitors for the 2018 Ultimate Schmoedown Singles Tournament and Jeannine in the Qualifying Gauntlet, Jay was very busy as the season came to an end.

Jeannine was unable to beat Ben Bateman in the Gauntlet and Stacy Howard lost to an in-form Dan Murrell in the first round. The Viper Squad’s season was over.

But Jay was still going: Ethan Erwin defeated Chance Ellison, Murrell and Clarke Wolfe, on the way to winning the final that gave Jay the perfect end to the year, with a TKO victory over John Rocha at Spectacular III.

Trouble Ahead?

While having the Singles Champion under his management may sound great, things may not be quite as rosy as they first look for Jay. He’s been famous in the Schmoedown for having a rather angry and combative approach to his faction’s opponents, but has had to change to being a sweet and smiling presence to please Ethan Erwin. This new, nice Jay does not match at all with the rest of the Viper Squad, so it will be interesting to see what happens moving forward.

Right now, Ethan is not a part of the Viper Squad. He’s just sharing their manager. I have a couple of possible theories as to what we may see happen:

1. Ethan gets corrupted by the Viper Squad and joins them – Personally I can’t imagine this happening right now as Ethan seems far too chill to turn heel, even if he were to lose the belt.

2. Jay continues with 2 separate personalities, his new nice guy act with Ethan and his usual attitude with the rest of the Vipers – which could have hilarious consequences if both Ethan and the Vipers are around at the same time.

3. Jay tries to stay a nice guy to keep Ethan with him, which results in the Viper Squad dismissing him – Markeia noted how free she felt managing Take The Cannoli and that experience could lead to her taking over control of the Vipers

What do you think will happen going forward? Can Jay keep managing the Viper Squad and Ethan Erwin? With Ethan defending his title at the New York live event on January 26th, we probably won’t have long to wait until we find out!

#GOATWATCH: Which Faction is the Greatest of All Time?

#GOATWATCH: Which Faction is the Greatest of All Time?

Back in 2018, I made a decision to expand my focus to include the Movie Trivia Schmoedown – a combination of movie trivia and WWE entertainment. As the brand grew, my writing on here came to an end in November 2018 as I was given the chance to write for their new website, TriviaSD.com along with a number of other Schmoedown bloggers. Recently it was announced that as the crew’s focus is needed elsewhere, it was announced that the site will be coming to an end. This means that the Schmoedown will be making a return to this site!

First of all, I want to give a big thank yous:

  • To Schmoedown creator and Chairman of the league Kristian Harloff and TriviaSD.com Managing Editor William Bibbiani for giving me the chance to write for the site
  • To the cast and crew, who continue to create an amazing product that is just going from strength to strength
  • To the fans, who have helped to create such an amazing community

Over the coming weeks, I will be posting my articles from the site onto here. As some of these are almost a year old, some of them are somewhat outdated and may have proved to be completely off the mark.

Posted to TriviaSD.com 23/11/2018


Ever since John Rocha began planning the domination of the Schmoedown with the creation of the Four Horsemen, factions have been running rampant through the league.

The benefits of a faction are clear: you have the support of other experienced competitors around you, who can help you improve your knowledge and your tactics, give you moral support and help you stand up to your rivals… and most importantly join you in your theatrical entrances!

Some factions have had limited success and soon disbanded or faded away, while some have gone on to great heights and will likely go on forever in the memories of Schmoedown fans. But, as with the debate over who is the greatest competitor of all time, the same debate can be had for the factions.

So, let’s have a look at them!

The Four Horsemen

Members: John Rocha, Matt Knost, William Bibbiani, Robert Meyer Burnett

The first faction to form in the Schmoedown. Top 10 teammates John Rocha and Matt Knost brought in William Bibbiani following his debut victory over Marc Andreyko, where he set a new points record in the Singles Division, and then completed their stable at Schmoedown Spectacular with the addition of inaugural Innergeekdom Champion Robert Meyer Burnett.

In direct competition with the Lion’s Den, the Horsemen struggled to live up to expectations. Rocha beat Dan Murrell to win the Singles title, but lost it on his first defence against Mark Reilly. Top 10 lost the Teams Title at Spectacular to The Patriots. Burnett lost his title to Hector Navarro in his first defence and Bibbiani lost to JTE (his first solo victory in over 2 years), then TKO’d Eliot Dewberry, but then lost to Kristian Harloff.

And then, following Rocha’s title loss at Collider Collision, Bibbiani betrayed Rocha and announced that he was forming his new faction – The Growling Commandos – with Ricky Hayberg managing. Then, just days later, Burnett also announced that he was leaving the faction and joined the Lion’s Den, bringing an end to the Four Horsemen.

Opinion: Aside from Rocha’s title victory, there was very little for the Four Horsemen to write home about as they were too often on the losing side, especially in big matches.

The Lion’s Den

Members: Tom Dagnino/Finstock, JTE, Jeff Sneider (former), Marc Andreyko (former), Ken Napzok (former), Mark Donica (former), Robert Meyer Burnett (former), Grace Hancock (former), Dan Murrell (former)

Following “The Decision,” JTE split with Finstock but was turned down by Clarke Wolfe, so instead he teamed up with Jeff Sneider to create The Patriots. Finstock later returned to manage The Patriots following his split with Josh Macuga and brought in Marc Andreyko as a 4th member, as he wanted a second shot at new Horseman Bibbiani. The Patriots won the Teams Title by beating Top 10, while the faction also convinced Singles Champion Dan Murrell to join them following his victory over Mark Ellis.

Murrell lost his belt soon after to John Rocha and left the faction, citing a lack of support and Findreyko (Marc Andreyko as Finstock) and Dagnino both lost to Josh Macuga, but these were small blips in the faction’s fortunes in 2017.

The Patriots went unbeaten for the year, Jeff Sneider made it to a number 1 contender match, where he lost to Kristian Harloff, and JTE started winning again! The Lion’s Den then picked up Burnett after he chose to leave the Horsemen following Bibbiani’s betrayal, and he joined with Andreyko to create a second team, Blofeld’s Cat.

The big moment came in December 2017 as after Sam Witwer booked his place in the Star Wars title match, Dagnino emerged to announce that Ken Napzok had joined the Den, closely followed by Ken betraying his Nerd’s Watch teammate Rachel Cushing and making her take on Blofeld’s Cat in a 2v1 handicapped match (which she almost won). Napzok lost his Star Wars title at Schmoedown Spectacular 2, Tom Dagnino came up just short to Emma Fyffe in the inaugural Manager’s Bowl, Napzok lost his Star Wars title and Andreyko defected to the Fyffe Club, leading to Burnett being cast out as there was no longer any need for him with Blofeld’s Cat gone.

Following an impressive debut, The Den brought in Mark Donica to be their new Innergeekdom competitor and he made it to a title match, where he lost to Jason Inman. JTE lost in a triple threat number 1 contender match to Rachel Cushing to start the year and then to Rocha at the first live event, then The Patriots’ streak of victories came to an end when they lost to Above The Line in their 7th title defence, and they lost again to the Champions in an Iron Man match at Collision 2.

It was at this moment that the Den fell apart, as Ken left after finding out Dagnino was trying to trade some of the faction to other managers, Donica left with him and Sneider also walked away, leaving the Den with just Dagnino and JTE.

Opinion: The Patriots’ title successes are the foundation of this faction, along with some runs in singles from JTE and Sneider and a strong start from Donica. However, the faction’s overall record sits at almost .500 now including 7-5 in title matches. The real strength of this faction has been their ability to keep rebooting with new members, so it will be interesting to see who Tom Dagnino/Finstock brings in next.

Fyffe Club

Members: Emma Fyffe, Marc Andreyko, Clarke Wolfe, Rachel Cushing, Sam Witwer

Created at Schmoedown Spectacular 2, Marc Andreyko secretly defected from the Lion’s Den, allowing Emma Fyffe to win the inaugural Manager’s Bowl. Following Sam Witwer’s victory over Ken Napzok, he was also brought into the Fyffe Club. Off the back of Napzok’s betrayal, Rachel Cushing joined up with Clarke Wolfe to become the Shirewolves and they quickly joined the Fyffe Club to create the league’s babyface faction.

The Shirewolves got revenge on The Lion’s Den with a debut victory in the Teams Division and went on to win the vacant Teams Title with 4 unbeaten matches. The Singles Division has been rather successful for the faction too. Rachel Cushing came to the faction with a title shot confirmed but, playing in the 5-round format for the first time, she came up just short against Samm Levine. Fyffe used her reward for winning the Manager’s Bowl to arrange a number 1 contender match for Wolfe against Mike Kalinowski. She won this but lost to Levine in Sudden Death. Andreyko won against Ben Bateman, a Triple Threat at Collision against Stacy Howard and Jeannine and then a number 1 contender match against Ethan Erwin to set up a shot for the vacant Singles Title against William Bibbiani, but like the ladies before him he came up just short.

In Innergeekdom, Emma managed to reach the 2nd round of the tournament, where she lost to Mara Knopic, while Rachel lost to Knopic in the next round in one of the most amazing (no pun intended) Sudden Deaths we will ever see. Unfortunately for Sam Witwer, he has been unable to play this year, which saw him being stripped of the belt, which was won by Alex Damon. Marc Andreyko also had some early success with Jeff Sneider as part of the Anarchy team The Odd Couple, where they won 2 matches before losing to the Harris Brothers.

Opinion: If picking the faction of the 2018 season, they Fyffe Club win hands down as they have had three competitors fight for the Singles title while the Shirewolves are Team Champions and arguably one of the strongest teams in the division. If they can start getting more victories in title matches, then they will arguably become the greatest faction of all time.

The Five Horsemen

Members: John Rocha, Matt Knost, Dan Murrell, Mark Reilly, Jason Inman

After beating JTE at the first live event, Rocha suggested that he would be reforming the Four Horsemen to take down the Lion’s Den once and for all. After plenty of time speculating who would be the new Horsemen, we finally got the reveal in stunning fashion at the next live event, with Jason Inman and Mark Reilly – back from retirement – joining the Top 10 boys on stage.

But there was more: after weeks of Andrew Ghai going around claiming he had beat Dan Murrell, the GOAT came out of retirement and was revealed as a fifth Horseman, making arguably one of the strongest factions on paper to ever feature.

Things didn’t start as they’d have hoped though: both Murrell and Reilly were TKO’d by Andrew Ghai on their return and Jason Inman lost his Innergeekdom title to Mara Knopic. John Rocha has once again been giving the Horsemen their title success with a run in the Singles Division that saw him beat both members of Team Action before winning the belt back from Bibbiani. In Anarchy, Rocha and Murrell formed one of the favourites for the title in the Founding Fathers, but they lost their second-round match to KOrruption in controversial fashion to bring an early end to their campaign. Knost was paired with former stablemate Bibbiani, who also lost in the second round to Who’s the Boss?

Reilly has seen success in the tournament, though alongside Ben Bateman, as part of Who’s The Boss? as they won the Anarchy tournament and will now face the Shirewolves at Spectacular. Murrell is the only competitor featured in the Ultimate Schmoedown Singles Tournament, the winner of which will face Rocha for the title at Spectacular.

Opinion: It’s still early to judge the Five Horsemen but they have recovered from some early stumbles to win the Singles title, while Murrell could conceivably win the Ultimate Schmoedown to set up an all-Horsemen title match. They may have lost the Innergeekdom title but Jason Inman is still one of the top competitors in the division. There was a good level of success in the Teams division and there is a chance Reilly could end the season with a belt, however with the success he is having with Bateman and Dagnino… will he remain a Horseman for much longer?

Viper Squad

Members: Jay Washington, Stacy Howard, Markeia McCarty, Jeannine LC, Brianne Chandler (former)

Originally formed when Jay Washington joined up with the team Six Degrees, and they were initially called the Missfits. The Missfits had mixed success in 2017, with both Howard and Chandler making it into the second round of the Ultimate Schmoedown Singles Tournament, while Six Degrees went out in the first round of the Teams version.

Following her loss to Mike Kalinowski, Chandler chose to step back from competing, but then reappeared at Spectacular 2 to announce that she was leaving the Missfits, before jumping in a car with Kalinowski. Stacy and Jay stayed together and brought in rookies Jeannine and Markeia to create the Viper Squad.

Results have been mixed for the Vipers this season. Stacy and Jeannine both started on strong runs in singles but lost to Andreyko in a Triple Threat match at Collision, Jeannine fell just short against Ben Bateman in the Gauntlet to enter the Ultimate Schmoedown Singles Tournament, while Stacy will face Dan Murrell in Round 1. Markeia has competed in just the one match, losing to Rachel Cushing in the opening round of the Innergeekdom tournament, while Jay also went out at the same stage.

The faction has not had much representation in the Teams Division this year until the Ultimate Schmoedown, where both Stacy and Jeannine went out in Round 1, as did Ethan Erwin, who was being managed by Jay Washington, while Markeia made it to Round 2 as manager of Take The Cannoli.

Opinion: The Viper Club have had a mixed season and not been able to make it to any title matches. However, Jay Washington has done a great job as a manager of taking on rookies and helping them bed into the league and they could still have some success in the Singles Tournament. Jay is continuing to manage Ethan Erwin for the rest of the season and if he can add Erwin and Jeannine’s War Machine teammate Brian Walton to the Vipers full-time, then 2019 could be their breakout season.

Wildberries

Members: Josh Macuga, Eliot Dewberry, Ricky Hayberg

Eliot Dewberry and Ricky Hayberg had some success in the early days of the Teams Division as ETC, however this was largely off the back of Dewberry carrying Ricky and they lost in two number 1 contender matches before Ricky brought an end to their partnership. Josh Macuga was also left without a partner after Finstock walked out on him, so the Wildman and Dewberry teamed up for the 2017 Ultimate Schmoedown Team Tournament to create the Wildberries (WILDBERRIES!).

The Wildberries went out in the first round and then lost their next match to Only Stupid Answers, before winning 2 in a row against the Reel Rejects at the first live event and the Kingsmen by TKO. When all the teams were split up and the new Anarchy teams created, the Wildberries were miraculously drawn together with Ricky as their manager, and he immediately proved to be a perfect fit to round out the faction, but they lost in the first round to the Evil Geniuses.

Ricky and Eliot have not competed in other divisions this year, but Macuga has played 3 matches, beating Nick Scarpino, losing to Stacy Howard and recently losing to Lon Harris in the first round of the Gauntlet of the Ultimate Schmoedown.

Opinion: It doesn’t matter how much you believe in the “Macuga Magic”, the best chance the faction has of appearing in a title match will be one of their competitors being the last to the table at a Free 4 All. That said, they are a fun faction to watch and they sell t-shirts, so don’t expect them to change anytime soon.

Growling Commandos

Members: William Bibbiani, Witney Seibold, Ricky Hayberg (former)

As we approached the first Collider Collision, we saw Ricky Hayberg around the Collider studios scheming, but didn’t know what was going on. We got our answer following Rocha’s loss in the Triple Threat match to Dan Murrell, as Bibbiani betrayed Rocha and walked away from the Four Horsemen to join Ricky and create the Growling Commandos, bringing in Witney Seibold to become his teammate as part of Critically Acclaimed.

Since their formation, Critically Acclaimed have gone 3-1 with 3 TKOs to their name but suffered a shock loss to Late to the Party in the first round of last year’s Ultimate Schmoedown. Bibbiani’s Singles Career has been mixed since leaving the Horsemen: Round 3 struggles continued early on as he went 1-2 before becoming MVP of Free 4 All 2 to earn a number one contender match against Jeff Sneider. A KO in that match and a win over Andreyko in the title match saw Bibbiani win the belt, but he lost it to Rocha in his first defence to end his season.

Ricky played in the Managers Bowl at Spectacular, but his performance was anything but spectacular and he left the faction ahead of Critically Acclaimed’s match against Superhero News, unhappy with the team’s nice attitudes. In the Anarchy tournament, Bibbiani made it to Round 2 as part of Cinemaniacs before losing to Who’s The Boss? while Seibold went out in the first round as part of an impressive performance for the Self-Righteous Brothers with Marc Edward Heuck and manager Jonny Loquasto.

Opinion: They are a faction very much on the backburner at the moment and besides Bibbiani’s title victory there has been limited success. There was even uncertainty as to whether Critically Acclaimed would reform following Anarchy, but their return has since been confirmed. Regardless, if they bring in Heuck and Loquasto it could be the start of a much more successful (and fun) faction.

The League

Members: Mike Kalinowski, Adam Gertler, Jonny Loquasto, Roxy Striar

Kalinowski was already an established competitor in the Singles Division, but he finally got a faction around him as Striar, Gertler and Loquasto came to join him ahead of his Innergeekdom debut. Kalinowski lost this match in the infamous “Pudding” moment and later lost to Rachel Cushing to go 0-2 in Innergeekdom, but he finished 3-2 for the season in Singles, including a run to the Ultimate Schmoedown semi-final.

Gertler joined Kalinowski in the Teams Division and DC Movie News went 2-2 for the season, but cracks appeared to be forming, following a poor loss to Top That, and Kalinowski was seen leaving Spectacular with Brianne Chandler.

Kalinowski opened this season in the Triple Threat number 1 contender match against Rachel Cushing and JTE accompanied by Miss Movies rather than his faction but had a poor match and was out early. He was selected by the Fyffe Club to face Clarke Wolfe in her number 1 contender match where he lost in Sudden Death, again with nobody from The League present. Then following DC Movie News’ loss to Team Action, Kalinowski went on a tirade against his faction and walked out on them.

Opinion: With Jonny only competing in Free 4 All 2, this faction relied on the results of Mike and his partnership with Adam for DC Movie News. They had a good degree of success in the Singles Division, while Kalinowski’s ability as a triple threat across all divisions gave them a strong base to work from.

Young Bucks

Members: Cobbster, RB3, Greg Alba, John Humphrey, Hector Navarro

Following the Wangers’ retirement match loss to the Reel Rejects, Cobbster announced that he would be forming a faction that he would manage, taking on RB3 and the Reel Rejects. Hector Navarro then joined the faction after winning the Innergeekdom Title from Robert Meyer Burnett.

Now many newer fans of the league may be reading this and wondering why they’ve never heard of the faction and there’s a good reason for that: aside from Navarro’s title defence over Jeremy Jahns, this faction just didn’t win matches and they soon disbanded.

Opinion: In a time when the Lion’s Den and Four Horsemen were vying for dominance in the league, this faction never had the strength to stand out from the bunch. Bringing in Navarro was a coup but there was just not enough success overall for them to spot high on the rankings.

Heroes

Members: Jon Schnepp, Hector Navarro, John Campea (former), Robert Meyer Burnett (former)

Were they ever really a faction? Maybe not, but they deserve a mention. Formed by Schnepp and Burnett, they beat the much-vaunted Wolves of Steel in their debut before losing to The Patriots in a number 1 contender match. Schnepp was unavailable to face Superhero News due to injury so John Campea was brought in as a third member, helping the team get back to winning ways.

The original line-up was back for another victory, this time against Team Trek. Burnett also had some success on his own as he won the inaugural Innergeekdom match, however he lost his title to Hector Navarro in his next match. Through much of this run Burnett was a part of the Four Horsemen, but after his defection to the Lion’s Den, Schnepp threw him out of the team and replaced him with his ultimate rival – Hector Navarro.

Burnett got his revenge though, as his new team Blofeld’s Cat beat Heroes in the first round of the 2017 Ultimate Schmoedown.

Opinion: As Burnett was part of the Four Horsemen at the time, they were not technically a faction, but their early success during Seasons 3 & 4 still deserves a mention and were it not for Schnepp’s untimely passing this could have been the basis for a strong faction

The Verdict:

If we’re looking to crown the greatest faction of all time, then we need to look at results rather than potential. As such, the Five Horsemen fall just short for now, but continued success could see them enter the discussion. The Fyffe Club have a better winning percentage overall than the Lion’s Den, but thanks to The Patriots the Lion’s Den have the best record in title matches (7-5 compared to 1-3). Dagnino has done a great job of keeping his faction legitimate for such a long time and modifying the line-up to keep them competitive.

But for me, the Fyffe Club’s dominance through the season and their strength in every division (when everyone is available) gets my vote, which will only get stronger if the Shirewolves defend their title and Clarke Wolfe has a strong showing in the Singles Tournament.

And now I throw the question to you: Who would you pick as the greatest faction of all time?