As Schmoedown fans we are spoiled at times, but this next fortnight is perhaps the most anticipated period of movie trivia face-offs the league has seen since its move to Collider back in 2016.
All three major titles are on the line while both the singles and teams will have new No.1 contenders waiting to take the belt for themselves in the near future. Factor in the return of Mark Ellis, and not even the definite loss of one of the Schmoedown’s most beloved teams and the potential retirement of Kristian Harloff can temper expectations.
So what better time than halfway through the year and just before the league goes through a major shake-up to look back on the previous six months of Schmoedown action? Here are the front-runners for each end of season award as we head into the second half of what has already been a thrilling year of action…
ENTRANCE OF THE YEAR – REEL REJECTS (VS DOUBLE TOASTED)
Though William Bibbiani, both members of Six Degrees and Team Action – among others – all excel when it comes to making entrances to the Schmoedown arena, none have actually incited violence. The same cannot be said of the Reel Rejects.
On the face of it, their karate routine with pieces of toast did not make for the greatest television in the world, with Cobbster and RB3 slightly hidden from the cameras. But the reaction of Korey Coleman to smash John Humphrey over the back with his whiteboard in retaliation provided the Schmoedown with its first – whether it was scripted or not – truly violent moment.
MOMENT OF THE YEAR – ANDREYKO’S FREE 4 ALL KNOCKOUT
If at some point the Schmoedown is able to top this for organic shock value, then we as fans are in for a treat. Marc Andreyko arrived into the Free 4 All arena amid a potential future Mt. Rushmore of movie trivia stars.
Then champion John Rocha and the man “The Outlaw” beat to the belt, Dan Murrell, to his right and future behemoths William Bibbiani and Drew McWeeny to his left, Andreyko proceeded to produce a perfect round and in turn knockout all four other players in one go.
The reaction of the crowd, the commentators and of the competitors themselves was one of shock and admiration for what “The Android” had managed to pull off. Undoubtedly the greatest moment in Schmoedown history to date.
MANAGER OF THE YEAR – JAY WASHINGTON
While the Schmoedown awaits the return of Ricky Hayberg in his new guise as manager of a yet unknown competitor (Here’s my thoughts on who that could be), the current best smack talker in the league is someone who came from nowhere to become a key personality within the league.
When Jay Washington showed up alongside Brianne Chandler for her singles debut against Perri Nemiroff, it was not originally clear whether this was just a one-off gimmick or something to be taken seriously. But as we have seen with Six Degrees over the past couple of months, they are the real deal as bonafide heels, and Washington’s ability on the mic is a huge aspect of that.
This may be showing the now infamous “Loser Behaviour”, but for now “The Urban Gladiator” just edges this one.
ROOKIE TEAM OF THE YEAR – NERD’S WATCH
When Ken Napzok announced he would finally be stepping into the new Schmoedown ring alongside the almost unknown Rachel Cushing, it was met with both excitement at seeing more of the “The Pitboss” but also intrigue as to whether Cushing could hold her own in front of the lights.
We need not have worried.
Having won both of their opening matches, Nerd’s Watch now just stand one victory away from a shot at the belt and are the only team other than the Patriots to have played more than one match and be undefeated.
A word of warning though – last year’s rookie team were Tuff Beats. Six months on, and they may not even exist by the team you are reading this!
SINGLES ROOKIE OF THE YEAR – TIM FRANCO
The past six months has seen the arrival of a number of new faces into the singles division, but none have quite had the impact in terms of their knowledge of movie trivia as Tim Franco.
“The Tank” had shown alongside Late to the Party that he could answer questions from the comfort of a couch, but the question remained as to how he would fare under the lights. He responded by becoming just the second player in singles history to claim a perfect opening round, and the first player in the division to also pick up the bonus point.
Matt Atchity’s arrival into singles play has been anticipated for some time after his performances for Rotten Tomatoes, so for him to be TKO’d by Franco may have come as a shock. But the first fan to compete in singles is certainly the real deal, and do not be surprised to see him climb up the rankings over the next year or so.
OVERALL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR – RACHEL CUSHING
From behind the scenes at Schmoes Know to a triple threat contender in the Schmoedown in the space of six months – “The Crusher” has done exactly that in her movie trivia career thus far.
Her only defeat in four matches across the three divisions came to Jeremy Jahns in an Innergeekdom five-way match that she dominated until the final round, and it would be a surprise to see her compete for at least one of the belts before the year is out. The clearest winner of any of these awards.
FACTION OF THE YEAR – LION’S DEN
Team champions, a potential No.1 contender within the singles division and even Tom Dagnino put in a respectable showing to begin life after Finnstock. The Lion’s Den seem to be the most tight-knit of all the established factions, and their performances continue to impress.
Both Jeff Sneider and Andreyko have enjoyed unbeaten runs in singles while the Patriots remain seemingly untouchable when it comes to team play. All they are missing is a competitor within the realm of Innergeekdom, though Dagnino’s comments during his appearance on ‘Inside Schmoedown‘ hinted at a potential approach for Jeremy Jahns. If he can secure “The Joker”, then it might be some time before we any faction challenge them for supremacy.
TEAM OF THE YEAR – ROTTEN TOMATOES
Rotten Tomatoes have always promised much as a team within the Schmoedown without ever quite reaching their potential. That is until 2017.
After seeing off What the Flick with some style, they then went onto set what was then a record for points in a team match in an epic encounter with IGN. The latter were already being tipped as future champions following their own debut showing, but in Atchity and Grae Drake they came up against opponents who are in inspired form.
Collision will see them take on Nerd’s Watch in a bid to secure No.1 contender status and in turn earn themselves a shot at a belt that many feel they deserve after some stellar showings.
SINGLES PLAYER OF THE YEAR – MARK REILLY
Having lost the belt he held for much of 2016 to Dan Murrell and slipped up during the Ultimate Schmoedown, there was a feeling that Mark Reilly would slowly slip back into the singles ranks while others vied for the status of champions.
But after three wins during 2017, “Yodi” has regained the belt and seems to have rediscovered his best form just at the right time as we head into Collision. An underwhelming showing at the Free 4 All apart, the league’s ultimate good guy has fought hard both in and out of the ring and is looking to become the first player to win 10 matches when he faces off against Murrell and John Rocha next month.
SCHMOEDOWN PLAYER OF THE YEAR – JEFF SNEIDER
Four matches. Four wins. Team champion. Ranked #4 in singles play. The first half of the 2017 Schmoedown season has belonged to “The InSneider”.
Not only have he and JTE stretched their run of victories in the team division to five but Sneider himself has emerged from the middle of the road to become one of the top competitors in the singles league.
Victory over Drew McWeeny last time out confirmed his status as one of the strongest competitors on the circuit, and if he can take out Kristian Harloff at Collision then no one can argue he has not deserved his shot at the belt. He may be a villain, but he is a villain who knows his movies!
What do you make of my picks for 2017 so far? Have your say in the comments below!