As the Schmoedown prepares for arguably its biggest week since the move to Collider, it has never been in a better place. Fandom is at an all-time high, with as many viewers coming back for the gripping storylines as they are to test their own movie trivia knowledge.
But, like any great show, it can only get better, and the renaissance of one of the major characters would certainly make things more interesting heading into the second half of the year. I’m talking, of course, about JTE.
As he prepares to defend the team title alongside Jeff Sneider against Top 10 on Tuesday, it’s clear that everyone’s favourite intern-turned-engineer is part of the Schmoedown furniture. His heel turn has played extremely well with fans, and though it seems to have adversely affected his form in singles play, few question his ability when he is at the top of his game. You only need look at his dominant showings when leading Team B.O.B to the first final of the team Ultimate Schmoedown tournament for evidence of what he is capable of.
Many felt such a return to such form was on its way when he shocked the world in beating William Bibbiani, but defeat to Clarke Wolfe has left him right back at square one. Though some would argue he should just concentrate on teams, that would be waste of his obvious talent both as an on-camera presence and a knowledgeable film fan.
(Art by Bryan Ward)
As mentioned in a previous blog, JTE would be the most frustrating competitor to schedule were I in the Commissioner’s shoes. Popular with fans, a key member of a top faction and team champion, and yet his singles record of four wins and six defeats sees him languishing in the lower reaches of the singles ranking. It would make sense from a spectacle point of view to have him take on the biggest and best competitors on a regular basis, but context dictates he likely will need to work his way back up the leaderboard to get him back in the conversation.
Given the Ultimate Schmoedown is on its way, seeing such a move before the end of the year would seem unlikely, but over the past week a potential light at the end of the tunnel has started to flicker.
The Commissioner’s announcement that there will be a fatal five-way match to determine the final qualifier for the tournament on the eve of the first round matches may have just opened the door for JTE to begin his march back towards the league’s elite players.
Of course, it is not a given that he will either play in the qualifier nor that he will win. The likes of Jim Vejvoda, Matt Atchity and Eliot Dewberry could be thrown into the mix at the same stage, but winning against such competitors may be the fillip JTE needs to finally get back to the big time. He missed out last time in his qualifying match against Josh Macuga, and around 12 months on the time is right for some sort of redemption.
Whether it is the infamous ‘Trycenataurustops’ answer or losing out to Olympic Gold medallist Cody Miller, “Little Evil” provides moments that will go down in the Schmoedown Hall of Fame. For the good of the league, though, it’s about time he was on the right side of ridicule once again.
Would you like to see JTE back flying high in singles? Have your say in the comments below!
NB: On Friday, I will be live tweeting the Collider Collision as soon as it lands on Youtube. If you want to join in the conversation, follow @SchmoedownBlog.