TEAM NAME: Top 10
COMPETITORS: John “The Outlaw” Rocha & “Mighty” Matt Knost
FACTION: The Horsemen
OVERALL RECORD: 5-3
FORM (Most recent first): LWLWW
By Jamie Gakuo
Brought together through their love of listing their favourite films in numerical order, Top 10 have gone onto become one of the most feared and notorious Schmoedown teams after being one of the founding members of the league back in 2015.A relatively unknown quantity heading into the inaugural team tournament, Rocha and Knost gave notice of their credentials when beating Team Champs in the second round. Mark Reilly and Dan Murrell had been expected to waltz with ease to the final, only for Top 10 to stand in their way and ensure everyone knew they were here to play.
Defeat to B.O.B stopped them in their tracks come the semi-finals, but they would not have to wait long to get their shot at the belt as, having seen off Rotten Tomatoes, they took on the Schmoes in October 2016. Victory by 19 points to eight saw them crowned, though, as Rocha has since accustomed to in the singles division, their reign did not last long.
Patriots swept in at the first Schmoedown Spectacular to claim the belts for themselves, leaving Top 10 and the newly-formed Four Horsemen to lick their wounds. Despite beating the Schmoes yet again, they would have to wait until July for a shot at redemption against the Patriots, only for the darlings of Outlaw Nation to blow their big chance and be forced to look to the Ultimate Schmoedown tournament as their next route towards a title shot.
Though Top 10 remain firmly in the upper echelons of the rankings, the league has moved on considerably since their 2015 debut, and the competition being provided by a series of new stars could yet see them relegated to also-rans if their recent defeats continue.
Rocha, in particular, is in need of an upturn in fortunes. Though the clearly the stronger of he and Knost when it comes to overall movie knowledge, being perhaps the most emotional Schmoedown competitor does come with its downsides. His decision-making has been clouded at times, and while his respect for Knost is certainly good to see when it comes to team comradery, there have been times when he potentially should have grasped the bull by the horns himself, most notably when sticking with the wheel category of ‘Comedy’ in their second clash with the Patriots for the only reason that Knost is a stand-up comedian, rather than weighing up if there were options in which they were both strong.
Though in this particular case it proved a weakness, the relationship between the pair does seem to be one of the most genuine within the Schmoedown, and they are only likely to get tighter following the breakdown of the Horsemen and the return of the ‘Top 10 Show’. With a former champion in two disciplines at their disposal, Top 10 are unlikely to fall away into obscurity. If they continue to improve with the league they could certainly sit atop it once again.