All hail Mark Reilly – but what does his break mean for the Wolves of Steel?!

When the Movie Trivia Schmoedown eventually creates its own Hall of Fame somewhere down the line, few will argue when Mark Reilly is one of the first inductees. The first Schmoedown champion, first two-time champion and a competitor who truly embraced all factors of the show, his presence in the ring will be missed while he takes a well-deserved break.

ReillyHis announcement following a disappointing defeat in the triple-threat title match to take some time off from competition came as something of an immediate shock, but when considering that these competitors have lives outside the Schmoedown, they can be forgiven for prioritising other things. Only Josh Macuga – who is also currently on hiatus – has played more matches than Reilly in singles competition, and hopefully his return can be used to further a future storyline.

From the early days of the Schmoedown in 2014 right through the potential behemoth that it has become in recent months, Reilly has been able to develop as a character along with the show. His Superman-themed entrances helped set the tone for the elaborate set-pieces we see nowadays, and he was able to adapt, alongside Clarke Wolfe, with a series of planned out costumes and musical choices over the past 12 months. Factor in his substantial movie knowledge and it is clear why so many show their support for “Yodi” whenever he takes to the stage.

And while his step down from singles play has widely been accepted, questions remain as to what will happen to Wolves of Steel, particularly given the Ultimate Schmoedown is just around the corner. Given some of the other absentees from the tournament they would easily be ranked highly enough to compete while despite some indifferent performances, on their day both Reilly and Wolfe can beat anyone in the league.

Wolves of SteelOf course, the easy decision for Reilly would be for him to compete alongside Wolfe in the tournament and then take a break if they suffer defeat. But the Commissioner hinted on last week’s ‘Inside Schmoedown‘ there was a big announcement coming regarding the WoS that the fans would be able to see. He has continued to suggest there is still news to come regarding the team league before the tournament kicks-off even after the drama with Team Heroes that occured on Tuesday’s show.

This all points to Reilly deciding not to compete, but given his face personality and the camaraderie he has shown with “Classy Clarke” since they teamed up last year, it is unlikely he will leave her in the lurch. Instead it is my belief that he will find her a temporary team-mate to compete alongside in the tournament before returning in the new year.

In terms of who that replacement could be, there are two main candidates: Josh Macuga or Mark Ellis.

MacugaWhile Macuga is taking a break from singles play, he has been hinting for some time that he is working towards re-entering the team league after the dramatic break-up of the Megapowers. Speculation has been rife as to whom it could be that joins “The Wildman”, but it seems we are no closer to finding out their identity. That could leave Macuga open to help out his long-time friend Reilly and step in, with his knowledge (and guesswork!) sound enough to not weaken the team considerably.

That said, this writer and many other fans are hopeful that it will, in fact, be “Baby Carrots” that steps into the breach. After just two competitive appearances in 2017, supporters are understandably keen to see more of one of the most popular competitors, and the news that the Schmoes will not compete in the team tournament has left many disappointed.

EllisIt was clear when Ellis faced Wolfe last month that the pair have a great respect for one another as well as some great chemistry, and potentially teaming up under the guise of the Wolves of Steel (or perhaps Baby Wolves!) would serve as both a good warm-up for the singles tournament and ensuring there is yet another realistic challenger for the title in the team competition.

Whatever happens with the Wolves of Steel, it should not detract from everything Mark Reilly has and continues to contribute to the Schmoedown. The man is a movie trivia legend – and he will be back!

What are your favourite Yodi moments, and what do you think will be the fate of Wolves of Steel? Have your say in the comments below!

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