DON’T TELL PETER: The Top 10 Mind-Blowing Moments of Schmoedown Collision III

DON’T TELL PETER: The Top 10 Mind-Blowing Moments of Schmoedown Collision III

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 As some of these are almost a year old, some of them are somewhat outdated and may have proved to be completely off the mark.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 4/7/2019


Season 6 of the Schmoedown really has been the Magic Season so far and it’s safe to say that Collision III was no exception! After the success of the Schmoedown Throwdown earlier this season, the crew took on the daunting task of live streaming the entire four-match event and pulled it off with great aplomb, so before we get into the main part of this article, let’s take a moment to congratulate everyone involved in putting on such a wonderful event!

Here at TriviaSD.com, we love to break down the big events and look at the highlights of the event. Of course, Collision as a whole was a highlight, so it wasn’t easy to narrow it down to just 10 moments and as you will see, I did cheat a little with a few of these selections, so if you think I missed something that deserved a spot on the list, let me know in the comments.

10. Let Him Finish

With Mark Ellis on the desk you can guarantee there will be some fun moments during matches. Having previously idolised Kristian’s golden throat in the earlier seasons, it looks like Baby Carrots has now taken pride in his own voice and wants every chance to use it. So imagine how he felt when competitors were so confident in their knowledge, they were answering before he had the chance to complete his question. Poor Mark looked crestfallen at not being able to show his full range of question-asking skills and kindly asked the competitors to allow him to finish the question… only to be cut off again a few minutes later!

9. Checking Rachel’s Buzzer

One of the joys of the live streams has been getting to see some of the behind the scenes action that would usually get edited out. One example of this is going into the Speed Round of Title Matches and checking that each competitor’s buzzer works so that nobody is at a disadvantage. Rather than just asking each competitor in the Shirewolves vs. The Odd Couple match to test their buzzer one by one, Mark Ellis chose to ask each competitor a question for them to buzz in and answer. Coming finally to Rachel Cushing, he hit her with “Who is the greatest Innergeekdom player of all time?” As Rachel buzzed in, fans were left wondering if she would be modest and give praise to one of her fellow competitors in the division, but to the joy of the crowd, she backed herself and declared that it was her. Extra motivation for Kalinowski at San Diego Comic-Con? Most likely. But I doubt many people would argue with her.

8. Top Promotion

While the quality of the entire Schmoedown product has been on the rise in recent seasons, one thing that has really shot forward in quality this year has been the pre-match promos. Combining the history needed for the upcoming match, the competitors’ smack talk and a clear view of the prize for victory, the promos have done a great job of bringing the hype before the match starts. With two of the most dominant Innergeekdom competitors of the moment facing off for a shot at Rachel Cushing, there was already plenty of hype for Kalinowski vs. Smets, but the pre-match promo took things to another level and gave the competitors the hard task of trying to do it justice by putting on a great match – SPOILER: they did!

7. Facing Off

With the rivalry between KOrruption and The Dungeon and so much at stake in the match between Mike Kalinowski and Kevin Smets, any chance to get the mental edge on their opponent would be huge. Mike Kalinowski got in an early shot by managing to infiltrate the Dungeon and face off with Smets in his own environment. Rumours that “The Smasher” punched a hole in the wall just after the camera cut are still to be confirmed.

As if that wasn’t enough, both competitors chose to come out with the rest of their faction as their representatives for the Manager Bowl made their way to the table. With their match on next, Smets and Kalinowski found themselves nose-to-nose and it didn’t look like either was willing to back down, leading Chairman Kristian Harloff to order them to leave or forfeit their #1 Contender match. Between these two events, it was clear that neither competitor would be giving the other any quarter during their match.

6. Manager Face-Off

It wasn’t just Smets and Kalinowski who were facing off against each other early in the match as managers Tom Dagnino, Kaiser and Jay Washington all faced off, proclaiming that their competitor would win the manager Bowl. Throw in accusations from Tom about what really happens in the dungeon and Jay flipping off the other two while wearing the Infinity Gauntlet, and this was a great light-hearted scene between three of the most entertaining mouthpieces in the league.

5. Kaiser’s Top 3 Managers

While on the subject of entertaining mouthpieces, Kaiser came out with an absolute zinger just before the start of the Manager Bowl, announcing “It’s an honour to be here with three of the greatest managers ever to perform: Tom Dagnino, Bobby Gucci and Bob Finstock!” While a fun comment in itself, it also has a great little nod to the craziness that is Tom Dagnino and his many alter-egos over the years.

4. Winning in Primetime

Those of us unfamiliar with the fan leagues likely didn’t know the name Paul Oyama when this season started, but he has been quickly making a name for himself in the Singles Division. Having seen off Brendan Meyer, Josh Macuga and Chance Ellison, “Primetime” faced off against Liz Shannon Miller for the chance to challenge Dan Murrell for the title. Miller came into this league with a recommendation from Ethan Erwin but Oyama saw her off in stunning fashion to earn a title shot. Oyama’s victory makes it this high not just for the way he won, but also for the legitimacy it is giving to the fan leagues as a proving ground, as he becomes the first competitor to come from the fan leagues and earn a shot at a title.

3. Wheel-y Fun Round

The wheel may be old and on its way out, but it still appears to have a mind of its own. Never was this more obvious than in Round 2 of the Manager Bowl, which was probably one of the most fun rounds of competition in a while. From competitors continually deferring their spin to three of the first four competitors landing on Spinner’s Choice (sorry Zipper), to John Rocha continually spinning slices that had already been selected, leading to him accepting a questionable category just to keep the game flowing. The fun with the wheel gave Round 2 a fun undercurrent, while also showing us a high level of movie trivia knowledge.

2. Making History

Success for the Shirewolves is becoming a staple of these big event Top 10 moments articles and this one is no exception. Having lost to The Odd Couple in their last match, the Shirewolves came out victors in this rematch as neither Jeff Sneider nor Marc Andreyko could correctly answer their 5-point question. This victory saw Rachel Cushing and Clarke Wolfe make Schmoedown history once again as the first Team to regain the Title, while it once again showed the strength of The Odd Couple. Don’t be surprised to see Sneider and Andreyko in contention again by the end of the season.

1. An Emotional Finish

I’ve mentioned the build-up to Kalinowski v Smets a couple of times on this list, and now its conclusion takes the top spot. There was hardly anything between the two throughout the match and going into the 5-point questions it was still level. Both competitors were so invested in the match, that when Smets missed his 5-pointer – incorrectly quoting “Don’t tell Peter” instead of “Don’t tell Harry” – Kalinowski’s reaction was a reflection of Smets’. Then when Mike correctly answered his 5-pointer – something he had gone through backstage right before the match – he was clearly overcome with emotion as the rest of his faction rushed to congratulate him. If ever you needed a reminder of how much this means to the competitors, this moment was it!

SCHMOEDOWN COLLISION III: The Biggest Winners and Losers!

SCHMOEDOWN COLLISION III: The Biggest Winners and Losers!

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 2/7/2019


The biggest Schmoedown event of the summer is now in the rear-view mirror. Four huge matches with plenty at stake: two competitors earned Title shots, the Shirewolves won their Teams Title back and The Family now find themselves in charge of the Commissioners for the next month.

As with any big event, there are those who greatly benefit from the results and those who have far less to celebrate, so in this article we are going to look at five parties who can be considered the big winners coming out of Collision and three who suffered the biggest losses of the evening.

THE COLLISION WINNERS

Fan Leagues

History was made last year as the first competitor made their way from the fan leagues to the Schmoedown in the form of Chance Ellison, but Season 6 has seen even more competitors making the jump from the fan leagues up to the pros. Two of them were competing in #1 Contender Matches at Collision: Kevin Smets and Paul Oyama.

Oyama earned a shot at Dan Murrell’s title with a win over the highly touted Liz Shannon Miller, while Smets fell only just short against Mike Kalinowski in arguably the most suspenseful match of the event. In addition to Oyama and Smets, Jeannine “The Machine” continues to improve her already great reputation in the league with a strong performance in the Manager Bowl that saw her lose to Drew McWeeny, but still beat John Rocha, Stacy Howard and Eric Zipper.

All three of these competitors showed amazing levels of knowledge and have quickly become ones to watch in the league, which gives such great validation to the fans and the associated leagues.

The Family

After Andrew Ghai’s loss in Houston, The Family needed some success to get their season back on track. Their recent win over Inky and the Brain was a great start, but Drew McWeeny winning the Manager Bowl was huge. On a personal level, for “The Godfather,” his Singles record has never really matched up with the level of knowledge he clearly has, so to win in a stacked group that includes one of the all-time greats in John Rocha will do wonders for him.

But on a wider scale, Robert Meyer Burnett now has control of the league for an entire month and can use this opportunity to benefit the faction. Will he look to reward McWeeny or Andrew Ghai with title shots (either in Teams or Singles)? Will he give them matches against seemingly weaker opposition in order to improve their records? Time will tell.

Production Crew

The guys that don’t get enough credit from all of us, but without whom the Schmoedown would grind to a halt. From promos and preparing the wheel to camera work and editing, the production crew do an amazing job every week. Putting on a live stream adds extra pressure, and this was one of the longest live streams yet, but it went off with barely a hitch. Congratulations and thank you to all of you!

The Shirewolves

Obviously the Shirewolves are the winners on paper, but it goes far beyond that. They made history once again by becoming the first team to regain their titles, and with a 7-1 record they are moving steadily closer to beating the Patriots’ 9-2 record. Being double-belted once again helps the argument that Rachel Cushing is the GOAT, while Clarke Wolfe’s legacy is also greatly improved by becoming a two-time Champion. No matter what happens from here, the Shirewolves will live on in Schmoedown history.

Mike Kalinowski

Aside from the obvious, that he now gets to challenge for the Innergeekdom Title again, Kalinowski’s emotional victory over Kevin Smets will elevate him even higher in the history books. Smets looked unstoppable in his run for the title, yet Kalinowski – despite being considered the underdog by many fans and competitors – came out on top. His presence and confidence in front of the camera makes him one of the premier competitors in a live environment and he has the knowledge to back it up. While Rachel may be considered the greatest Innergeekdom competitor, “The Killer” is not far behind and if he can defeat Rachel Cushing at San Diego, he may take that honour along with the new belt.

THE COLLISION LOSERS

Samm Levine, Emma Fyffe & Jenn Sterger

Jenn and the Commissioners end up in this list not because of anything that they did badly, but instead as a result of Drew McWeeny winning the Manager Bowl. This put The Family in the driving seat for the league, which means Robert Meyer Burnett is now in charge of Samm and Emma. Besides likely needing hearing tests by the end of the month, Samm and Emma now have to start hoping they aren’t going to see Burnett ruin everything they hold dear to the league, while Jenn may find herself out of a job since Burnett mentioned changing interviewers, though she may be able to get around it, if he specifically bans “Jessica Sterger.”

Stacy Howard

Things haven’t really gone to plan for Stacy so far this year. After leaving the Viper Squad for KOrruption, she then found herself finishing behind her former stablemate Jeannine in both a 1v1 match and the Manager Bowl. While this loss may not hurt her record, it won’t help her standing in the Singles Division, especially given the strength of her faction. It may be that she takes a break from Singles for a while and focuses on her new partnership with Tim Franco as part of Crimson Fury.

The Horsemen

While they weren’t overly involved in Collision, the Manager Bowl could have left the Horsemen in a dangerous situation. Rocha lost the Manager Bowl, but he put in a strong performance to be proud of. However, Drew McWeeny’s victory means that the Family are in charge of the league for the next month. Burnett is on bad terms with both Rocha and Dagnino after their previous associations, and Andrew Ghai’s war against Ben Bateman leaves a lot of hostility between the two factions. The Horsemen could find themselves marginalised or even suspended for the near future, depending on how Burnett exerts his control.

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…?

HFS: The Top 10 Moments of Schmoedown Spectacular III!

HFS: The Top 10 Moments of Schmoedown Spectacular III!

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 1/1/2019


Now that the dust has settled and we’ve feasted far too much over the holidays, I’m sure we can all agree that the biggest event in the Schmoedown calendar was (as its name suggests) Spectacular! Schmoedown Spectacular 3 gave us six wonderful matches and so much more besides, enough to keep us busy discussing the possibilities while we await Season 6.

With so many hours of footage, there was obviously a lot to take in, but I have tried to put together what I feel to be the top 10 moments from the event!

10. The Future of the Schmoedown

Maybe not as flashy or funny as some of the other moments on this list, Kristian’s announcement of the future of the league going into Season 6 was so important it had to appear on my list. It is understandably a controversial decision to some people but it is also an exciting moment as we look to see the Schmoedown growing into live streams.

9. Alex Uses The Force

Alex confronted Ken, Kalinowski and Chance ahead of the Star Wars title match. The KOrruption boys tried to jump the champion and steal the belt, only to fall through what was revealed to be a Force projection. This was a great little moment to hype up the coming match and include Alex – who appears more confident with each match – in the storylines. The cameo from Nathan Hamill as his teacher saying that it worked out better than the last guy who tried it was a great little surprise.

8. One Letter Off

The Commissioner Bowl may not have been the best match of the event, but it was certainly an exciting one with a lot of fun moments. Probably the best moment of the match itself was Tom Dagnino’s first question of Round 3. Asked “Who wrote and directed the 2016 film Suicide Squad?” he answered David Ayers rather than David Ayer, missing out on the point despite one of the most questionable challenges I have ever seen. What makes this moment such a standout is that Dagnino was eliminated with 11 points, while none of his opponents could score higher than 12, meaning that we were just 1 letter away from having Dagnino as Commissioner!

7. One Last Dance

I’m a big Horsemen and Top 10 fan so a bit of bias may have come into this pick. Following John Rocha’s unsuccessful title defence, Matt Knost announced that he would be stepping away from the Schmoedown and with one last shimmy exited the league. I’ve really enjoyed Knost’s wit and humour over the years while his knowledge has probably made him one of the more underrated players in the Teams Division, so it is a real loss to the league. Hopefully he will find the time to return in the future to call a couple of matches at the desk. As if the emotion at Knost leaving wasn’t enough, there is also the excitement to build now for who will replace him as the 5th Horseman, something that I’m sure will keep us theorising until the reveal.

6. Perfect All Round

You always want a good performance in a title match and The Shirewolves vs. Who’s The Boss? did not disappoint. With the scores at 12-13 in favour of the challengers after Round 1 (only 7 of a possible 32 combined points dropped), The Shirewolves spun a strength in Sandra Bullock and fired through the round to go 6/6 for a perfect 12 points. Who’s The Boss? got stuck on Festival Darlings, which they didn’t appear confident in, but knowing the need for a good score to keep in touch, Reilly and Bateman matches Clarke and Rachel’s feat, going 6/6 for a perfect 12 points. Frank Janisch will know better than I will, but both teams going perfect in Round 2 is a rare feat and just highlighted the quality of the teams on display.

5. Burning The Mask

After hours of watching Tom Dagnino look everywhere for his missing mask, Spectacular III ended with us seeing the grubbiest piece of knitwear in Los Angeles being thrown in a bucket and set alight by a mysterious figure, revealed to be Robert Meyer Burnett. Last seen being abandoned by the Lion’s Den at Spectacular II, it will be interesting to see what impact “The Captain” has on the league in Season 6. He will surely be looking to win back his Innergeekdom title in what has become a much stronger division, while it looks like he may now have a feud with Dagnino to go along with his feuds with Rocha and Hector Navarro.

4. It Was Him All Along

The KOrruption storyline had clearly been building to a head in recent months and we finally found out who was behind Mike Kalinowski’s evildoings following the Commissioner Bowl. Thadd shredded an envelope containing sensitive information that was meant to be revealed if he lost, only for Paulie G to come out and announce that he had a second copy, the contents of which would be announced by his employer… Kristian Harloff! The former Commissioner announced that he had always been aware that the contract stated he would revert to Commissioner after four months, only for Thadd to hide the page. Harloff announced himself as the Chairman of the Schmoedown and said that Emma Fyffe will be a Commissioner with other Commissioners still to be announced.

While bringing a great end to the KOrruption and Commissioner storylines this season, we now have the excitement of seeing how the Chairman runs the league with multiple Commissioners, while it will be interesting to see if Kalinowski begins a vendetta against Harloff now he sees how he was manipulated.

3. The Mystery Basterd

With some Schmoedown competitors actually working in movies, there is always a chance that one day they will eventually be the answer to a question in the Schmoedown. This happened perfectly in Rocha v Erwin when during the speed round they were asked “Who played Pfc Hirschberg in the war film Inglourious Basterds?” Now with so many Basterds, it’s difficult to remember each one’s name and you could tell that both competitors wanted to guess Samm Levine but didn’t want to look foolish if it was wrong. When it was announced that the former Singles Champion was indeed the right answer, the moment got even better as it turned out he was in the crowd and he came on to take the belt that neither of them deserved. Any time we get to see Samm is a great moment and for this to happen in the main event of Spectacular 3, one year after he became champion, was just perfect!

2. Who Run the World?

The Shirewolves vs. Who’s The Boss? match makes this list for a second time, this time for the Shirewolves’ entrance. Coming out to “Run the World” by Beyoncé, the Shirewolves used their entrance to showcase the wealth of female talent in the league, being accompanied out by a number of female competitors including then-Innergeekdom Champion Mara Knopic, and Vipers Jeannine the Machine and Markeia McCarty. We always know to expect a great entrance form Clarke and Rachel, but following Clarke’s statement that “We are the league” following their first title victory, this was a beautiful way to remind everyone that the Schmoedown does not need a women’s league as the women involved are more than capable of beating the men put in front of them.

1. The Tackle II

Andrew Ghai’s tackle of John Rocha stole the headlines at Schmoedown Spectacular 2 last year, and he did it again. The wannabe linebacker came to commiserate with former teammate Ben Bateman following his loss in the Team Title Match. When Bateman expressed an interest in sticking with Reilly, Ghai accepted it, announcing that he had found a new teammate and suggesting the four of them make their own faction before leaving. Bateman was clearly so happy that Ghai understood and his comment in the post-match interview of “Action Army for life” showed that he was still committed to his brother in arms… right up until the moment Ghai tackled him through a table. The hearts of the Action Army broke as they watched Ghai show his disgust for Bateman’s newfound respect and spitting on his former brother before being chased off by Reilly.

Now the Army must decide if they are #TeamGhai or #TeamBateman and Ghai’s feud with Ben is surely going to play a part in Season 6, while William Bibbiani may also be after Ghai unless he repays the former champion for the broken table!

So those were my top 10 moments, what are yours…?

Who Can Beat the Patriots?

Who Can Beat the Patriots?

Ahh the Patriots, possibly the greatest team in the history of the league. Every fan has an opinion on them, they are either loved by their fans and considered the greatest of all time or hated and called arrogant, with controversy following them like a bad smell. But regardless of your opinion on them, they are dominating the league and deserved champions.

Obviously I am talking about the Patriots from the Schmoedown, not the New England variety that lost in Super Bowl LII, though as can be seen above, there are certainly some similarities! Despite Jeff “The Insneider” Sneider being “Little Evil” JTE’s fall-back option after being turned down by “Classy” Clarke Wolfe at The Decision, the Patriots have gone on to be the most successful team in the league. Their 8-0 record includes a 17-18 victory over Top 10 to claim the Teams belt and 5 successful title defences against Team Trek, Wolves of Steel (Wolfe & Mark “Yodi” Reilly – who she picked over JTE), Top 10, Modok and Above the Line have seen them hold the belt for over a year now. Though they have not had quite the same success in the singles division, JTE was runner-up in the 2017 Ultimate Schmoedown to current champion Samm Levine and opened the 2018 season with a 2nd place in a #1 Contender Triple Threat match against Mike Kalinowski and Rachel Cushing. Sneider had his own shot in the singles with a #1 Contender match against the commissioner Kristian Harloff at Collider Collision 2017 and it was a loss to teammate JTE that halted Sneider’s progress in the Ultimate Schmoedown, so who knows how far he could have gone.

But it is as a team that they have been so dangerous. They cover for each other so well in matches, whilst JTE is probably one of the most dangerous competitors in a buzzer round – a staple of Title matches. They have come through JTE’s horror 2016 where he was unable to win a singles match and have also continued to dominate despite issues in both competitors personal lives during 2017 – just look at Sneider’s reaction to beating Above the Line and you can see what it meant to him!

So why do so many people root against them? Well to put it bluntly, they are jerks! As part of Tom Dagnino’s Lions Den they play their heel role to perfection, and their unbeaten record and obvious quality in the Schmoedown give them an arrogance that makes them a clear target for any babyface looking to right the wrongs in the league and triumph over evil.

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JTE may not be winning any spelling tournaments, but is one of the best competitors in the Singles and Teams Leagues

Aside from their desire to beat such heels, the Patriot’s belts are clearly a target for any team trying to prove their worth and I’m sure many would love to be the team that hands the Patriots their first ever loss. But who is most likely to dethrone the Patriots?

Top 10 – “The Outlaw” John Rocha & “Mighty” Matt Knost

The obvious team to discuss first as their victory over Top That has earned them a shot at a 3rd match against the Patriots. Top 10 are previous Team Champions having defeated Team Schmoes in October 2016, but they lost the belts to the Patriots at Schmoedown Spectacular and when they competed against them again on July 4th 2017 they were blown out the water. The only remaining members of the Four Horsemen have worked their way back since them and after working their way back and slowly turning face, they made it to the semi-finals of the 2017 Ultimate Schmoedown where they lost to Team Action, only to earn a #1 Contenders match by demolishing Team Action 12-22 in their Stipulation match at Schmoedown Spectacular II.

Rocha is a former Singles Champion having defeated Dan Murrell in 2016 so clearly knows his movie trivia, but as 2017 went on he did appear to lose his focus a little bit as he struggled to figure out if he was a heel or a face. The loss to Team Action appears to have given him a new lease of life to prove himself again and against Top That he was probably the most focused I had ever seen him, going so far as to keep the mask on throughout the match. When I first started watching in 2017, Knost appeared the weak link in the team, but as Rocha began to struggle his performances improved and since the Top 10! Show returned he has been even better, to the point that he and Rocha combined against Top That to have the first ever Perfect Round 1 (including the bonus question) for both team members.

“The second time didn’t happen! The first time was a fluke!” – Matt Knost after defeating Top That

With their focus at an all-time high and the prospect of another meeting against their old enemies, they are out for revenge and I think that it could be third time lucky for Top 10!

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

The first super-team to enter the Schmoedown, the Rookie Team of the Year did not form until after Collider Collision, but ran the gauntlet in the 2017 Ultimate Schmoedown, defeating Nerd’s Watch, DC Movie News, Wolves of Steel and Team Action on their way to setting up a title bout at Schmoedown Spectacular II, where they lost on the final question in Round 3.

Levine is the current Singles Champion and won both Singles & Overall Player of the Year in 2017 and while McWeeny has maybe not gone on to the heights expected in singles competition so far, his partnership with the Inglorious One has been a match made in heaven by Kristian Harloff. Their victory over Wolves of Steel in the semis of the 2017 Ultimate Schmoedown – just their third ever match as a team – saw them set a new record points haul for a Team match with 35 points – a feat recently matched by Top 10 against Top That. If only they’d Remembered the Titans, they would have the singles belts already.

Where they do lack at the moment in experience in the title matches, as they are not used to the buzzer and betting rounds, however with 1 unsuccessful title match under their belt as a team and (at time of writing) 2 singles title matches to Levine’s name, they will be getting more used to the longer format and the extra rounds. Between the 2 of them, they have already shown that the categories many would wish to avoid – 70s, 80s, Movie Release Dates etc. – are arguably strengths and have also already shown that they are not afraid to go away and work on their weaknesses, with Levine’s decision to watch animated movies highlighting the lengths they will go to.

When they get another title shot – and I’m sure they will soon – I think that they have every chance of taking the belts off the Patriots if they still hold them at this point.

Modok – “The Kahuna” Matt Atchity & Grae “Lights Out” Drake

Before Above the Line can get another shot at the title, they first have to come through a #1 Contender match against the next team on the list: Team Modok. Formerly Team Rotten Tomatoes, Atchity and Drake earned their title shot following a victory over Nerd’s Watch at Collider Collision and actually took the Patriots to Sudden Death Overtime, only for JTE to get the winning answer.

However the game wouldn’t have even gone to Overtime if Atchity had paid more attention to the rules of the buzzer round and less to keeping his Russian spy persona intact! There is clearly a deep movie knowledge there and they are fun to watch, but right now I think there are stronger teams out there and I would be surprised to see them take down Above the Line.

Top That – Eric Goldman & Jim Vejvoda

Their 3-2 record following defeat to Top 10 may not stand out, but the team formerly known as Team IGN have been very impressive in the Schmoedown. The have a KO and 2 TKOs to their name and if not for a controversial call in their match against Rotten Tomatoes, it could have very easily been these guys fighting Nerd’s Watch at Collider Collision.

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Could one of these teams be the Patriots’ eventual downfall?

Jim Vejvoda is a competitor the fans can’t wait to see in the Singles League as he doesn’t appear to have many weaknesses, while Eric Goldman also clearly knows his stuff having worked for IGN but really comes into his own with categories like Comic Book Movies. Their losing score of 30 points against Top 10 would be enough to win them most matches by at least TKO!

However as well as they have done, their recent #1 Contender match against Top 10 probably showed a dangerous weakness: they are not regular viewers of the show. They have a general idea of what most competitors will struggle with but not the idea of what an individual’s strengths and weaknesses are, which came back to bite them on the ass big time when Top 10 spun Opponents Choice but were handed Biopics – a Rocha specialty – and answered every question correctly. They also don’t appear to use their challenges and the JTE rule (3 question repeats) as well as other teams, maybe by not watching they don’t fully understand them? If they were to have a better understanding of the game and their competitors I would feel much more comfortable predicting them as a possible team to take down the Patriots, but I currently feel this, combined with their lack of experience in Title matches – I get the feeling they would struggle in the buzzer round – stops them being the heroes that can take down the Patriots.

The Shirewolves – “Classy” Clarke Wolfe & Rachel “The Crusher” Cushing

The team everyone has been hoping for ever since Yodi stepped away from competing and Ken Napzok lost his smile has finally formed! 2 of the most successful females in the league and the last 2 Rookies of the Year, the Shirewolves have plenty of beef with the Lions Den and will be looking to take them down, starting with Ken and Dagnino and hopefully ending with the Patriots.

Wolfe faced the Patriots as part of the Wolves of Steel in their second title defence, and while she hasn’t yet played a title match, Cushing will have likely faced Samm Levine for the Singles title and may even hold the belt by the time the Shirewolves earn a title shot. Having not seem them in a match together yet it is hard to judge, but I have the feeling they will be a formidable opponent.

It will take at least a few months before they have enough wins to take on the Patriots so it is very possible the Team title will have changed hands by then, but if not I think this would be a great match to watch from both a story and competition perspective.

The Wildberries – Eliot “The Mountain” Dewberry & Josh “The Wildman” Macuga

“0-10 is our goal!” – Josh Macuga at the 2017 Awards

Enough said! If the Patriots ever face the Wildberries then it’s because they have already lost the belt.

 Looking to the future?

yodi“But these heels… Don’t make me come out of retirement. Cos I eat heels for breakfast. You saw that.” – Mark Reilly on accepting the Yodi Award at the 2017 Awards

So picture this: Top 10 come up short against the Patriots for the third time in a row. Above the Line dispose of Modok but once again fail in their title match. The Shirewolves demolish Napzok & Dagnino and go on an unbeaten run to a title match, only to fail like everyone before them. On the sidelines, Mark “Yodi” Reilly watches his former teammate Clarke Wolfe miss out on the belt once again and is forced to watch the Lions Den gloat again.

While Dagnino and the Patriots crow at their latest victory in the post-match interview, Yodi crashes the interview and warns them that their time at the top is coming to an end, because he’s coming back with the sole purpose of taking them down. A team match is arranged for Yodi’s return, but nobody seems to know who his teammate will be. The match arrives and Reilly walks out alone, takes the mic and introduces his new teammate – former Singles Champion Dan Murrell. Team Champs are back! These 2 guys were teammates for the 2015 Ultimate Schmoedown and Murrell is a former member of the Lions Den and I’m sure he would relish an opportunity to cut his old faction down to size.

Like the Shirewolves before them, they beat all comers, taking down a few heels on the way to the Patriots. Would they be able to beat the Patriots? I can’t guarantee that but I’m sure it will be a match for the ages!

 

Do you think any of these teams will beat the Patriots? Do you think there’s another existing team that could beat them? Kristian Harloff has already teased that we will see more super-teams in 2018, so perhaps the team that ends the Patriots’ reign hasn’t even formed yet.