Eight matches, 16 teams and countless memorable moments – the opening round of the 2017 Ultimate Schmoedown team tournament has left the remainder of tournament season with a lot to live up to.
But while eight teams prepare themselves for round two and begin to dream of taking on and defeating the Patriots at the Schmoedown Spectacular, there are eight others who are licking their wounds, pondering their next moves and asking just what the Commissioner has up his sleeve for them in the months to come.
As such, it is only right that the blog steps in and tries to give an idea as to what each team that lost out could and should do next. So without further ado…
As detailed in a previous post, Cinemablend are one of those competitors across the three divisions whose overall record does not reflect the standard of their performances thus far. Despite racking up 51 points in their two appearances thus far, they are yet to taste victory, and as such – if previous precedents are to be adhered to – are at risk of being forced into Schmoedown retirement.
With that in mind, and without trying to offend anyone, one option may be for the Commissioner to tempt the Night Sisters out of their tentative retirement so two teams with 0-2 can face-off in a ‘Losers Split-Up’ match.
Cinemablend would go in as favourites, and if they can pick up a victory then it would at least get that monkey off their back and allow them to move forward within the league. Obviously should they suffer defeat to one of the weakest teams the Schmoedown has seen, then there should be few arguments as to their suitability for the league and splitting them up would make sense despite their previous impressive showings.
Selling such a match as a main event might be something of an issue, but having it as an undercard on a title match in early 2018 would certainly go down well with the majority of the audience. Cinemablend need a break – this might just allow them just that.
DEEP CUTS (1-2) & WILDBERRIES (0-1)
Defeats to IGN and Team Action have left Deep Cuts – this writer’s pick for a place in the tournament final 😢 – with a negative record, and though it is not irreversible, they probably should play another team with a similar record for their next bout.
As for the Wildberries, though Josh Macuga’s reveal that Eliot Dewberry was in fact his partner may not have landed for some fans, their chemistry certainly won them a huge number of immediate supporters, and as such getting them back on screen early in 2018 should be one of the Commissioner’s priorities.
Facing Deep Cuts would be a good match-up for the Wildberries, whose performance in defeat to Wolves of Steel did not – in this writer’s opinion – reflect their true talents, and it would leave the victor without the stigma of a negative record and potentially being forced into splitting.
Obviously the team that is defeated will find themselves in a difficult position, but the key to making the Schmoedown successful is ensuring there is as much jeopardy in the matches as there is the opportunity to go for the belts. Not every team can be successful no matter how many fans they have, and as such, pairing these two duos off would make for a close match with real consequences on both sides.
REEL REJECTS (1-4)
Despite putting in arguably their best performance to date, it seems the Reel Rejects have played their final match as a Schmoedown team. The not unexpected revelation that the Young Bucks are no longer a factor within the league was followed by an admission from the Commissioner that he may have to step in and split John Humphrey and Greg Alba up given their overly negative record of wins and losses.
It certainly does not seem this will be the end of their Schmoedown careers, however. “The Mad Hatter’s” MVP-earning performance at the Free 4 All means he should get another shot at kickstarting his singles career while the Commissioner has stated his intention to find new team-mates for both players.
A post will be going up on the blog in the near future as to who their potential new partners could be. But for now remember the Reel Rejects as a team who won plenty of hearts, if not Schmoedown matches.
CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED (1-1)
The overwhelming favourites to win the whole tournament, William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold came crashing down to earth with a bang as they were humbled by Late to the Party in one of the biggest upsets the Schmoedown has ever seen.
In terms of next opponents, there are plenty of potential options for Critically Acclaimed to face, though they might not all be too clear right now. Defeats for Above the Line or Blofeld’s Cat in round two would see them move level with the Growling Commandos’ premier team in the rankings and as such would make for worthy opponents.
One match that this writer does not want to see immediately, however, is a clash with Top 10. Understandably the Commissioner wants to pit “The Beast” up against John Rocha as soon as possible so that the storyline that dominated the first half of 2017 does not fade away into the background too quickly, but there are other avenues to explore with Critically Acclaimed first.
Even defeat for Top 10 to Blofeld’s Cat would leave them with a record of 6-4, which in comparison to the 1-1 that Critically Acclaimed bring to the table is far superior. Bibbiani and Seibold must at least earn themselves a positive record before even being considered for a match against Top 10, and the Commissioner might be better served exploring other avenues for the Beast vs Outlaw match that he so covets.
Their singles records are far more comparable, and should they reach a similar stage of the upcoming tournament without either facing one another nor winning it themselves, then it would make far more sense for a singles match between the two to take place rather than rushing into a team contest that this fan, at the very least, is happy to wait for.
Despite Jon Schnepp’s luck with the wheel helping the new iteration of Heroes push Blofeld’s Cat almost to the limit on their debut outing, their drop in the rankings in the aftermath of the defeat does at least give a more accurate representation of where they are in terms of the talent currently on show within the Schmoedown.
Given the fact it is highly unlikely they will fall out of the top ten rankings by the time the tournament comes to a close, they should get the opportunity to try and prove themselves against another team with a positive record. Perhaps another team who is having to go through some changes of their own…?
Jim Vejvoda and Eric Goldman have vowed to return to the Schmoedown with a new name following the latter’s move away from IGN to Marvel, and taking on Heroes in their first match back would certainly make sense from a rankings perspective. A win for either team would likely put them within reach of a title shot given their previous records, and with many already crowning the team formerly known as IGN as potential future champions, setting them on such a path would certainly go down well.
SIX DEGREES (2-3) & THE NERD’S WATCH (2-2)
In a fortnight which brought about plenty of memorable moments within the ring but offered little in the way of background story development, the final post-match interview of the week ensured that fans did not end the first round without something to desperately theorise on.
The blog will be giving its full thoughts on the future of Rachel Cushing, the MissFits and the Nerd’s Watch later this week, but one potential way of closing out the story would be to pit “The Crusher” and Ken Napzok against Six Degrees, with the future of the almost undisputed ‘Rookie of the Year’ on the line.
Imagine this for a second. In a post-match scene during tournament season we see Jay Washington, Brianne Chandler and Stacy Howard approach Cushing behind the scenes with a formal offer of joining the MissFits. “The Crusher” retorts with the offer of a team match, with the vow that should she lose then she will agree to join the Schmoedown’s only all-female faction. A trial by movie trivia combat, if you will.
Though I am not totally convinced by this idea myself, it would certainly work from both a story and rankings point of view for two teams who are coming off crushing defeats and at a crossroads in terms of their overall records. Whether the Commissioner has something else up his sleeve, however, remains to be seen…
What do you want some of the losers from round one of the tournament do next? Have your say in the comments below!