For those who missed Thursday’s ‘Inside Schmoedown’, the Commissioner announced that this year’s Ultimate Schmoedown would in fact see the league’s 16 top competitors face-off one-one-one over a period of four weeks rather than the Fatal Five-Way format that was originally mooted.
I, for one, much prefer the decision, and applaud the Commissioner for making the choice. Factored in with the team league we will get seven weeks of knockout Schmoedown matches through August and September to determine the next Ultimate Schmoedown champions and in turn – presuming the format remains as it has in previous years – No.1 contenders.
But who will be the 16 singles competitors? Well, at time of writing, of the top 16 ranked competitors, we as an audience can be pretty optimistic that 12 will certainly appear. They are:
|At least two of Murrell/Reilly/Rocha (presuming the champion will not compete)|
|Sneider (if not already champion)|
|Winner of Chandler vs Kalinowski (winner will ranked in top 10!)|
|Winner of Atchity vs Franco|
That leaves four slots. Though not all of these are certainties, I would not expect any of these four to compete for various reasons:
|Harloff (Either champion or retired)|
|Levine (Already guaranteed a title match & scheduling)|
|Macuga (On singles hiatus – could play in teams though!)|
So if there are four slots to fill to complete the draw, who should the Commissioner be looking at? Here’s who I would pick:
LOSER OF CHANDLER (1-0) VS KALINOWSKI (1-1)
In any other sport preparing for a competition between it’s top 16-ranked players, then the upcoming match between Brianne Chandler and Mike Kalinowski would be a straight play-off for a place in the tournament.
A win for either would see them climb into the top 10 of the rankings and as such guarantee qualification for the tournament, but what of the losers?
Given both have become such great characters within the league over the past six months, it would be remiss not to have them on screen as much as possible, and as such should be a straightforward decision to have them both compete no matter what.
It would be disappointing not to see both members of Six Degrees compete and potentially face-off while it would be great to have The League’s presence within the tournament so it does not just turn into all the heel factions repeatedly smack talking one another for seven straight weeks. I fully expect both to compete no matter what the result of their upcoming clash – one will just have a much better draw than the other.
WINNER OF KNOST (1-2) VS DAGNINO (0-1)
As if this match does not have enough going for it in terms of it being a battle between the Four Horsemen and the Lion’s Den, then why not make it a play-off for a place in the Ultimate Schmoedown too?!
Adding stakes to any match just adds to the tension and, as such, the entertainment, and it would be great to see these two wise-crackers face off with something more than just pride to play for.
Of course, if Knost wins then his ranking will mean he would qualify automatically anyway should he wish to do so, but adding the incentive for Dagnino to be in the running for a shot at the belt would likely lead to some of the best lines the Schmoedown has seen. This is one I’d love to see!
We wouldn’t have the Schmoedown if it was not for JTE competing in the very first match, and despite his gradual slide down the rankings he remains one of the most popular competitors among fans.
Factor in his presence within the team league and the entertainment he can provide alongside the Lion’s Den, and it makes perfect sense to throw him in, albeit as one of the lowest ranked for the draw.
That does mean that he would need to beat some of the best competitors the Schmoedown has ever seen just to reach the semi-finals, but if anyone can upset the odds it’s JTE. On his day he can live with anyone and, despite his record, could even start as a real dark horse to go all the way.
JIM VEJVODA (0-0)
All good tournaments need a wildcard entrant, and IGN’s very own Jim Vejvoda could be just that for this year’s Ultimate Schmoedown.After defeat to Rotten Tomatoes he admitted he was keen to get into singles, so why not throw him in at the deep end and see if he really can live with some of the show’s biggest and best competitors.
His movie trivia knowledge can clearly match that of those at the very top of the rankings, and though as a wildcard you would probably need him to play whomever is the No.1 ranked competitor in his first round match, I wouldn’t bet against him winnning through and suddenly becoming a real challenger to win the whole thing. Hopefully the Commissioner has something like this up his sleeve…
If those four do not take your fancy, then there are a couple of other options. At time of writing the Atchity vs Franco match has not gone online, but the loser of that match might be offered a shot, particularly if it is Franco as the Commissioner hinted Late to the Party could be invited back to compete in the Ultimate Schmoedown despite defeat to Team Action.
(Poster by Brian Ward)
There is also the prospect of a match between Jon Schnepp (1-1) and Eliot Dewberry (1-2) that was originally scheduled before disappearing from the diary. If that match can be organised for before the Ultimate Schmoedown starts, the winner would be ranked highly enough to gain an automatic place within the tournament if they want it.
HOW WOULD THE DRAW LOOK?
So if my four picks were brought in and the Ultimate Schmoedown started today, how would the first round draw look? (NB. Have gone with the “favourites” for the undecided matches)
|Murrell (1) vs Vejvoda (16)|
|Andreyko (8) vs Knost (9)|
|Ellis (5) vs Cushing (12)|
|Wolfe (4) vs Atchity (13)|
|Sneider (3) vs JTE (14)|
|McWeeny (6) vs Howard (11)|
|Chandler (7) vs Bibbiani (10)|
|Rocha (2) vs Kalinowski (15)|
Before the angry comments come in, this is all likely to change, particularly with Collision around the corner and the Commissioner having his own ideas about who could be wildcards. But if this doesn’t make you excited for the Ultimate Schmoedown, I’m not sure anything will!
That’s it – is there anyone else you want to see competing in the Ultimate Schmoedown, and are you excited for the tournament? Have your say in the comments below!