The Forgotten Moments of the Schmoedown

The Forgotten Moments of the Schmoedown

The Movie Trivia Schmoedown continues to go strong despite the current pandemic bringing an end to live and studio matches and forcing the league online. Given the unavoidable circumstances, Season 7 is well on its way to being a resounding success.

Each season, we so many wonderful moments – either story beats moments within a match. Some will live on forever, like the XX5XX moment from the inaugural Free 4 All, the reveal of the 5 Horsemen at the LA Live event and The Tackle, but there will also be many moments that are also worth celebrating and remembering that seem to fade out of conversation after a year or 2 due to the people involved no longer competing or the storyline it was involved in having come to an end. Today I want to give some love to those forgotten moments.

The breaking of the 4 Horsemen

mts collision four horsemen break-up i betray you john rocha matt knost william bibbiani ricky hayberg

Season 3 saw the beginning of factions within the Schmoedown, as John Rocha put together the 4 Horsemen: Rocha, Matt Knost, William Bibbiani and Robert Meyer Burnett, while Tom Dagnino put together the Lion’s Den to counter them. It’s safe to say that the Lion’s Den had the greater success, while the 4 Horsemen came to an end at Collision of Season 4.

Despite a starring debut, William Bibbiani was struggling to get over with the fans, but his yell of “I BETRAY YOU!” as he left the Horsemen to form the Growling Commandos with Ricky Hayberg and Witney Seibold was a big step in helping “The Beast” truly come into his own and set up a rivalry with Rocha. Likewise, after being the top heel of the league, this betrayal gave Rocha the chance to turn away from this and become a more respectful character, leaving a space at the top of the heel tree for Team Action to swagger into.

The “perfect” game

When someone talks about playing the perfect game, thoughts immediately go to William Bibbiani, Dan Murrell, Robert Parker and Kevin Smets. One name that is often forgotten, though, is that of Mark Ellis.

mts mark ellis jteWay back in Season 1, Mark Ellis was pitching a perfect game going into the final round of his quarterfinal against JTE. Now back in those days, the final round was a Jeopardy round, similar to the current betting round in title matches but with Schmoedown Pros able to be as many points as they had.

Both Ellis and JTE got the question right, but “Baby Carrots” had taken the risk of expecting JTE to miss and not bet enough points, losing 11-14. While this match does live on in infamy due to it leading to the Trial of JTE, Ellis’ perfect game is a moment that gets forgotten when we look back at the match.

Reilly’s greatest flub

Back in season 3, John Rocha (who hosted a Star Wars podcast) forgot that Bespin was featured in The Empire Strikes Back and has never been allowed to forget it. Over time, many of the top competitors have had their own “Bespin moments” that they have never been able to fully live down: Mike Kalinowski’s “Pudding” and “Flash”, Kevin Smets’ “Don’t tell Peter” and Ben Bateman’s “Giancarlo Stanton”. One man who always seems to get away with it, though, is Mark Reilly.

mts john rocha mark reilly“Then I hit Opponents Choice. I could have let that bad luck beat me. But I kept going and had fun. Then I had the Sandlot moment – and kept going. Who cares. Answer the questions as they come. There were no nerves, just trivia. I kept smiling and knowing that if it was meant to be, it was meant to be.” ~ Mark Reilly

During the Speed Round of Reilly’s Championship Match against John Rocha, the pair were asked “Which film features the following characters: Billy, Gale, Sidney, Dewey, Tatum, Cotton, Ghostface?” When horror-buff Reilly buzzed in, everyone was certain the he would be giving the correct answer of Scream, but instead he guessed The Sandlot and lost the point. Reilly’s reaction when the correct answer is revealed is priceless, but somehow (probably because he still managed to win the match) this great flub is often forgotten by all but Reilly.

2 in a row

feat mts collision triple threat singles championship dan murrell mark reilly john rochaEverybody remembers Ben Bateman’s recent feat of winning 2 matches in 1 night at Spectacular, where he TKO’d William Bibbiani in the Ultimate Schmoedown Singles Tournament final and then later KO’d Paul Oyama to win the title. While Impressive, it is not even the first time a Schmoedown Pro has won 2 5-round matches in a day.

That feat was achieved by “Dangerous” Dan Murrell at Season 4’s Collision. With Mark Reilly holding the Singles title, Murrell defeated both him and John Rocha in a Triple Threat to win the belt back, then had to immediately defend it as Samm Levine crashed his post-match interview to cash in his Free 4 All prize and challenge Murrell for the title.

Now Levine’s logic makes sense, that Murrell would be tired after such a big match and not be able to hit the heights again right after, but the GOAT earned his first Perfect Round 1 in the 8 question format (though he did miss the bonus question) on his way to a 26-23 defence.

The great JTE-isms

mts japeto jteJTE will always hold a special place in our heart and it is a shame that we do not get to see him compete as much anymore. While he played the heel so well, you could never bring yourself to truly hate him as you were always looking forward to his JTE-isms.

Now some have lived on better than others. His “Jew Bear” from last year’s Free 4 All remains in peoples minds due to the recency and the famous “Tricenatorustops” from the first ever Schmoedown against Cobbster is too good to ever forget! But there were also plenty of others from the littlest of evils over the years, from “The jungle rules the kingdom” to the classic answers of “Gwelmo del Toro” and my personal favourite from his Singles match against teammate Jeff Sneider “Japeto”.

The other table clear

mts free 4 all samm levine hector navarro marc andreyko robert meyer burnett dennis tzengWhen we think of table clears at the inaugural Free 4 All, our minds understandably go to XX5XX, but there was actually another one later in the event that could have massively changed the Schmoedown.

The penultimate entrant was Samm Levine, who came to the table and with a score of 3-2-2-2-2 eliminated Robert Meyer Burnett, Dennis Tzeng, Marc Andreyko and Hector Navarro. This meant that the fight for the prize would be between Levine and none other than Tom Dagnino, Leader of the Lion’s Den. Now thankfully Levine won the final round 3-1, but just imagine an alternate universe where Dagnino had won the Free 4 All and had a title shot guaranteed for one of his faction. The second half of Season 4 could have looked very different.

The Force is with Sam Witwer

As the voice and likeness of Galen Marek/Starkiller in the The Force Unleashed games and the voice of Maul, Emperor Palpatine and The Son in the current Star Wars canon, it looks like Sam Witwer may have picked up some real-life knowledge of using the Force.

When most people think of Witwer competing in the Schmoedown, they think of his last gasp victory over Ken Napzok to win the Star Wars title at Spectacular II, there were some other moments that really shouldn’t be forgotten.

Season 3’s match between The Council (Ken Napzok and John Campea) and the Force Bros (Witwer and Freddie Prinze Jr) is probably best remembered for Freddie getting a point in Round 1 that he shouldn’t leading to the rule now that answers must be spoken and written on the whiteboard, but that led us to Sudden Death and a great moment. Sudden Death was different back then: A question on the buzzer, if the Schmoedown Pro buzzed in and got the answer right, they had the chance to answer the next question for the win. Now by this pin in the match, Witwer has shown that knowledge isn’t really his problem, but he is not fast on the buzzer. So trying to get the win, he jumps in midway through the question, not realising that this would stop the question being completed. With the question standing at “Who is surrounded by droids…” Witwer somehow correctly guesses Obi-Wan Kenobi, before answering the next question correctly to win the game.

mts sam witwer captain needa 2Witwer’s next appearance was at Celebration in a Fatal Fiveway for the first ever Star Wars title. After missing his 3-pointer in the final round (though I would challenge the wording of the question), Sam seemed off his game and when asked “In The Empire Strikes Back” who barked the order “Shields up!” just before the Falcon buzzed the Star Destroyer’s bridge?” he was unable to pull the correct answer of Captain Needa. This miss meant that Napzok and Campea would go to Sudden Death, which Napzok won. Witwer made his return to the Schmoedown in another Fatal Fiveway #1 Contender Match just ahead of Spectacular and found himself in similar circumstances. If he hit his 5-pointer he would win, a miss would see Alex Damon and Joseph Scrimshaw go t Sudden Death. As the question “In The Empire Strikes Back who said “Get a shuttle ready. I shall assume full responsibility for losing them and apologise to Lord Vader.” was read out, Sam’s face was shocked as he realised the correct answer was none other than Captain Needa, earning him redemption and a shot at the title (as well as handing Damon his only loss to date).

As George Lucas famously said: “It’s like poetry, they rhyme.”

Macuga v Finstock

mts finstock marc andreyko tom dagnino josh macugaThe Wildberries became so beloved, it’s hard to remember that they were not always a team. But before that, Josh Macuga had been teamed with Finstock, a pairing that did not end amicably. This led to a moment in Season 4 where Josh Macuga and Finstock were set to play a match against each other, with the loser being banned from the league.

The day of the match came, Macuga made his way to the table and then the impossible happened: Tom Dagnino walked out alongside “Finstock” – clearly Marc Andreyko in the Finstock attire (still to date the only other person we have seen don the mask). Somehow the idea that Finstock could be anyone meant that the match continued, and in a complete shock, Josh Macuga somehow managed to come away with the victory over “Findreyko”, leading to Dagnino being (briefly) ejected from the league.

Actin v DC Movie News

So this is one that I have to include in its entirety as I absolutely love it. Action were at their heelish best with Andrew Ghai back from suspension and their constant goading of DC Movie News led to a match. Kalinowski had recently found himself without support during his #1 Contender Match against Clarke Wolfe and clearly wasn’t happy in the pre-match promos. The match was hard-fought with DC Movie News running through James Bond in Round 2 but gifting Action a strong category of Sci-Fi/Fantasy after they hit Opponent’s Choice. Action got the win and then in the post-match interviews things went crazy as Mike Kalinowski severed ties with The League and went off on his own after reducing Adam Gertler to tears.

And this then led to…

Thadd Williams v Mike Kalinowski

mts thadd williams tells mike kalinowski no

Following Kalinowski’s break from the league, we were treated to about half a year full of scenes showing Kalinowski taking over control of the Schmoedown by bribing Commissioner Thadd Williams. As well as leading to huge impacts on the league – such as the first ever Innergeekdom Tournament, the debut and rise of Mara Knopic and the Anarchy Tournament – these scenes were also great viewing and deserve remembering as we watch Thadd get further and further out of his depth.

The other Odd Couple

One of the teams to form during Anarchy was that of William Bibbiani and Matt Knost. Not even taking into account their history as former members of the Horsemen, Knost’s focus on the game and Bibbiani’s love of theatrics never felt a good mix and it was no surprise to hear Bibbiani state on the Finstock Exchange Podcast recently that the first thing they managed to agree on was making their team name “The Odd Couple”, only to find that Andreyko and Sneider had beat them to it.

Knost’s humour is something many fans have missed since his retirement and one of the best examples was during one of the Cinemaniacs’ entrances, where Bibbiani and manager Emma Fyffe came out dancing and playing with a beach ball while Knost trudged out sulkily alongside them, only for him to catch the beach ball and stat to smile and dance as he slowly deflated it.

Please come back Knost!


What other great moments can you think of that seem to have been forgotten over time?

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, 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 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 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

Faction Rundown: The 5 Horsemen

Faction Rundown: The 5 Horsemen

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.”

4revealAndrew 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.

The Jane Fonda moment was a low point for Top 10 this season, now they have a new stable, is their stock set to rise?

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.

The 3 great rivals in the early days of the Singles League are now in the same faction

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

Only the Lion’s Den (24, soon to be 26) can come close to the number of title matches competitors have been involved in. Matches containing more than one of the competitors are counted for each competitor

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

The New Horsemen?

The New Horsemen?

4return“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.”

Since John Rocha teased the return of the Four Horsemen following his defeat of JTE at the Schmoedown Live event, everybody has been wondering at who will be joining The Outlaw’s new stable. The Schmoedown’s first faction, the original Four Horsemen comprised Rocha and his Top 10 teammate “Mighty” Matt Knost, William “The Beast” Bibbiani, who was being touted as a future singles champion follow his debut victory and the then-Innergeekdom Champion “The Captain” Robert Meyer Burnett. Though arguably still one of the fan-favourite factions, the Horsemen’s success did not last, with Rocha winning the Singles belt against Dan Murrell but losing in his first title defence against Mark Reilly, while Burnett also lost his first title defence to Hector Navarro. Bibbiani betrayed Rocha at Collider Collision to join new manager Ricky Hayberg and for the Growling Commandos, while Burnett’s betrayal was not far behind as he jumped ship to the Lion’s Den.

The original Four Horsemen

Knost has always stuck by Rocha through his heel and face days and Top 10 have created a bitter rivalry with the Patriots, helped largely by their 3 team matches and the perceived injustices that have favoured the Patriots and the Den. However Rocha’s win over JTE appears to be part of a personal crusade against the Lion’s Den, and I can see the Den taking on the new-look Four Horsemen regularly throughout the season. Yet even if Rocha does find 2 competitors to join his stable, the Horsemen are still outnumbered. Mark Donica has just joined the Den after an impressive entry into this season’s Innergeekdom League, and while Grace Hancock’s not been present this season due to other commitments, there is nothing to suggest that the Lioness has parted ways with the Faction. While Rocha may choose quality over quantity, a recent interview with the Schmoedown Rundown suggested that Rocha may not limit his numbers and choose to bring more than 2 competitors into the faction. So who could be joining him and Knost?

justiceJason “Justice” Inman

The reigning Innergeekdom Champion is a friend of John Rocha’s and even walked out with him for his Ultimate Schmoedown match against Samm Levine. A player with experience in all 3 of the main leagues, it was a shock to see Emma Fyffe try to bring Donica into the club rather than Inman, especially considering Inman is very much a face persona whereas Donica appeared to embrace a heel persona right from the off. Inman could choose to create his own faction, but given Top 10’s rivalry with Team Action, he may be persuaded to join the Horsemen, giving the faction not just a bona fide Innergeekdom presence but also a Belt. With Donica joining the Den and earning a title shot against Inman, the title match would be the perfect moment for The Horsemen to unveil their latest recruit by accompanying him out for the match.

Bringing in Inman could also lure in another experienced competitor in the form of his Team Trek teammate Scott Mantz. “The Mantzman” may have been Rocha’s first rival in the Schmoedown but time can be a healer and the chance to take down the heels with the Horsemen may be too big a lure to ignore. This would also help tie towards a father v son exhibition match between Rocha/Mantz and Andrew Ghai/Hal Rudnick, which I’ve seen a lot of people hoping for online.

KOprofileMike “KO” Kalinowski

Another competitor who the Outlaw would call a friend, Kalinowski’s future is at a crossroads. He had success in the Ultimate Schmoedown both on his own and as part of DC Movie News and was the posterboy for The League. However The League have been pretty quiet since DC Movie News were TKO’d by Top That and Kalinowski has more recently been seen with Miss Movies. He has only played once this season, where he was thoroughly outclassed by JTE and Rachel Cushing.

Joining the Horsemen would give him the chance to go up against the heels of the league, while also bringing in the option of a rivalry with Jay Washington’s Viper Squad. Like Inman, Kalinowski has experience in Singles, Teams and Innergeekdom, so could always pair with Rocha to create a new team to face The Patriots if their reign as Team Champions continues and Top 10 continue to be banned from challenging them for the title again.

However, the reveal that Kalinowski has been picked as Clarke Wolfe’s opponent in her Number 1 Contender match could be part of a plan to bring KO into the Fyffe Club, as this has given him a shot straight back into title contention without going through a number of other teams first. Again, this could further his feud with the Viper Squad as they appear to be targeting the Fyffe Club at the moment following Clarke and Rachel both turning down Jay Washington’s invitations last season. Or perhaps he and Brianne are in the process of creation their own faction…

Dale “The Dude” Gibbs

One of the competitors who may benefit most from an expanded stable is Dale the Dude. A reactor living in Arizona, Dale may not be able to feature as often as some of the more local competitors, but he has been a big part of Top 10’s recent appearances. A big fan of The Outlaw, after Top 10 saved him from Team Action when they accosted him in a corridoor, he came out with Top 10 at Schmoedown Spectacular II and got under Andrew Ghai’s skin when he ruffled his hair. The Dude was also one of the first over to Rocha following The Tackle and has continued to be closely linked to Rocha and Knost since. Dale was accompanied by Rocha when he came out for his debut against Ben Bateman and was quick to repay the favour by jumping a railing in the crowd to help Knost shepherd Sneider, Ken and Dagnino offstage at the Live Schmoedown when they crashed Rocha’s match with JTE. If Rocha is looking for competitors who have his back, look no further!

dtdrochaDale the Dude has already made clear that he is here to try to deal with the heels of the league. He has already faced up to Team Action and has continued to make clear that his endgame is defeating Dagnino, while Ken Napzok has also appeared to catch his eye following some disparaging comments when announcing matches. Even if Dale doesn’t become a Horseman, I expect him to continue featuring with the faction, which will be interesting once his idol Dan Murrell returns to the league.


While I feel these are the most likely competitors to join the Four Horseman as it stands, there are a couple of other competitors who could potentially join the faction, but for one reason or another I feel unlikely.

Above The Line: Samm “The Inglorious One” Levine & Drew “The Godfather” McWeeny

If Rocha is serious about creating a faction that holds all the belts and all the records, look no further than Above The Line. Samm Levine is certainly in contention to be called the GOAT as he looks like he could hold the Singles belt for a long time and has a great chance of becoming the first competitor to hold 2 belts at the same time when ATL take on the Patriots in their next title match. In my opinion bringing in ATL would give the Four Horsemen 2 of the top 5 teams and also 3 of the strongest singles competitors (sorry Knost).

However, I don’t see this happening for a couple of reasons. First of all is Samm and Rocha’s rivalry, which does not appear to be slowing down if his Jane Fonda joke against Modok is anything to go by. Also, Above the Line are so impressive it feels like they don’t need a faction to be successful!

codyvJTE“The Olympian” Cody Miller

I can’t imagine that this one would ever happen, but if Rocha ever wanted to get really under JTE’s skin, he would bring in Miller as an honorary member of the Horsemen. Back in October 2016, JTE challenged Olympic gold medallist Cody Miller to a match in the hopes of ending a horrible losing streak. Despite taking an early lead in Round 1 “Little Evil” fell apart in Round 3 and missed his 5 point question to hand Miller the win, much to the joy of the crowd.

JTE showed at the 2017 Awards that he was not happy with being named Comeback Player of the Year as it is just a reminder of how poor a run he had, bringing out Miller ahead of a match could be the perfect way to put JTE off his game and it would be great to see the crowd’s reaction.

Team Action: Ben “The Boss” Bateman & “Dastardly” Andrew Ghai

Team Action have said in the past that the old Rocha heel persona was their inspiration. While Rocha may not be turning back into a heel, he is looking much more like the old Outlaw that fought his way to the title, so could this lure Team Action to join the Horsemen? It could also be part of the reconciliation between father and son Rocha and Drew once he returns from his ban.

However, for me there is too much bad blood between Top 10 and Team Action as it stands and I think a reconciliation so soon after The Tackle would not feel right. Perhaps Ben and Drew could join the stable much further along the line, but I think that for the foreseeable future they will continue to antagonise the Horsemen at any chance they get and see where things go from there.


Regardless of who joins the faction, the big question is will they finally be able to wrest back control of the Schmoedown from Bobby Gucci and the rest of the Kitten Club? Sound off in the comments who you can see joining the Horsemen and how you see things going for the faction as they reform.