By Sarah Hussain
Since the creation of the Schmoedown back in 2014, has had the ability to spark many reactions from both its competitors and fans, whether it is stress, laughter, rage or even tears.
For a show that is primarily about movie trivia, it’s a testament to both the competitors and those working behind the scenes that the scripted storylines mixed with the organic moments of each match have the ability to evoke so much emotion in us fans.
So with that in mind, let’s grab a box of tissues and take a walk through the most tear-jerking moments Schmoedown history…
JOHN ROCHA VS DAN MURRELL
Whether you love or hate “The Outlaw”, you have to admit that Rocha’s championship win was one of the most emotionally satisfying moments in Schmoedown folklore. Having entered the singles league with his infamous ‘Bespin moment’ before following it with a historic run in the Ultimate Schmoedown, concluding with him earning a title shot at the end of the 2016 season.It would have been enough to just see Rocha win after a year of chanting “all the belts, all the records.” But when the Commissioner announced his victory, there was a catch in Rocha’s voice as he stood up and cheered that was enough to make even his biggest naysayers feel happy for him.
It was immediately followed by his former stable-mate, William Bibbiani, running up and hugging him so hard his signature hat fell off (and while that friendship later ended in betrayal, I choose to believe that the Beast was still loyal at that time) and Murrell graciously congratulating him as well. Rocha had tears in his eyes, and so did the rest of us.
ABOVE THE LINE VS NERD’S WATCH
They may be a newly-formed team, but Above the Line certainly know how to break up Schmoedown favourites! After an honourable loss against Drew McWeeny and Samm Levine, Ken Napzok shocked everyone, including his own partner, when he decided to stop holding Rachel Cushing back (his words, not mine). Seeing the current Star Wars champion feeling so defeated and unconfident broke the hearts of fans everywhere.The knife was twisted further by Jay Washington, who ran into the interview to affirm “The Pitboss’s” beliefs that he was the weak link. And while his offer to Cushing to join the MissFits is still on the table, here’s hoping that “The Crusher” stands by her partner and that Napzok is able to gain his smile back and get back on track to take down the Patriots.
KRISTIAN HARLOFF VS JOHN ROCHA
This writer’s personal favourite match of all time had so many memorable moments, from the appearance of Freddie Prinze Jr. at the table to “The Outlaw’s” blindfold method to the “Curse of Michael Meyers” pull from Rocha that was so impressive it made Harloff reach across the table and bump his fist.But the moment that surprisingly gets me choked up every time is after Rocha secured his victory. This was the match that followed Mantz vs Rocha II, where “The Outlaw” had become a complete heel. And yet, once the blindfold was off, there was no poor sportsmanship or bragging from either side. Instead, Rocha and Harloff just hugged it out, knowing that they both just played their best game. It was a sign of respect and for this writer, it will always be Rocha’s best moment in the Schmoedown
FREE 4 ALL – JOHN HUMPHREY’S ELIMINATION
Is there anything better than watching a Schmoedown competitor shock you with an awesome performance? Going into the Free 4 All, everyone predicted that the usual suspects (Rocha, Murrell, Bibbiani, etc.) would be those going the distance. And while they weren’t too far off, one of the biggest headlines of that event was John Humphrey surviving throughout the entire first half of the event.When he was eliminated at the end of the 11th round, watching the entire room, including former champions like Murrell and Rocha, stand up and applaud for him warmed the heart of everyone who loves a good underdog story. It’s one of the most honourable losses in Schmoedown history, and watching this Reel Reject competitor earn the respect of the several greats will always bring a slight tear to my eye.
PATRIOTS VS TOP 10 I
It’s no secret that JTE had a rough 2016 season, whether it was blowing back-to-back title shots, going from “Every Man’s Hero” to “Little Evil,” failing to qualify for the Ultimate Schmoedown, or infamously choking against Olympic swimmer Cody Miller. The one silver lining of his year was his surprisingly successful formation of the Patriots with Jeff Sneider, which led to them becoming the most hated team in the Schmoedown by the time they faced off against Team Top 10 at Spectacular.And while the Outlaw fan in me wanted to cry after seeing Rocha lose the team title, the real clincher was seeing JTE literally get down on his knees and finally hold the belt after an absolutely abysmal year in the singles league. It still stands as one of the best Schmoedown moments of all time.
HARLOFF VS SNEIDER & HARLOFF VS MURRELL
Does Kristian Harloff know how to bring the tears or what?
While running the league is his main priority, it’s always a treat to see the Commissioner step into the ring from time-to-time, and when he announced his revenge tour at the end of 2016, fans were excited to see him take on old rivals.
What nobody, including Harloff himself, expected was that this revenge tour would eventually turn into a championship pathway that ended with him defeating Sneider at Collision for a chance at the title.
When he nailed that final ‘Scores and Soundtracks’ question, the entire room leapt to their feet in applause, which appeared to overwhelm the Commissioner. For the viewers, it just felt so satisfying to see the man behind the Schmoedown be commended not only for the work he puts into the league, but also for being an amazing competitor in his own right. Even the “Dagnino for Commissioner” fans had to admit that it was a pretty incredible win.This all led up to a highly anticipated match between the unquestionable best player of all time, Dan Murrell, and the co-creator of the game. And while it was a fairly low scoring match, seeing the Commissioner hold up the singles belt in victory at the end felt strange, yet completely cathartic.
And for those of us who were disappointed to see his revenge tour cut short after Collision, it was a nice consolation to know that he had, in a way, gotten revenge by taking away “The Outlaw’s” record of being the only competitor to earn a belt in multiple leagues. Plus, with the possibility of him defending the belt in December, it also opens up the door for a potential rematch between Harloff and Rocha, or even a chance to finally see both Schmoes go head-to-head.
As for Murrell, it was sad to see him dethroned after having two incredible back-to-back title matches at Collision, but there’s no doubt we’ll see him return for that belt soon.
And there you have it, the most tear-jerking moments in Schmoedown history. Now it’s your turn- wait, a minute. Did Murrell just say he’s retiring? Is this some sort of joke?! We barely get to see him play in general, and now we won’t get to see him at all. And on top of that, he has to end his legacy on his worst performance to date? What is happening right now?!
It’s bad enough that Harloff already has one foot out the door as a competitor and he’s going to be taking a break as the Commissioner soon, but now this? Reilly’s retiring, Wolves of Steel are done, the status of Nerd’s Watch is up in the air, the Four Horseman are dead, and the Young Bucks are – okay that doesn’t matter, but now we’re losing the greatest player of all time?! I am feeling so many emotions right now, I don’t know what else could possibly make it worse…That’s it. I’m done here. Tom, you’re going to have to finish this article for me, because I’m out!
Which Schmoedown moments made you shed a tear, whether happy or sad? Have your say in the comments below!
(Special thanks to Cameron Haas (@Cameronm76) for the suggestion.)