The smoke machine. The black cloak. The sharp intakes of breath. The shocking reveal.
Ken Napzok’s defection to the Lion’s Den had everything a good Schmoedown twist requires. Subtle foreshadowing, good turning evil and a dramatic reveal.
“The Pitboss” has been telegraphing this move for weeks, yet barely any viewers can truly admit that they saw it coming. It is no surprise that theories as to what happens next have already begun to dominate conversations between movie trivia fans.
Napzok’s heel turn has unsurprisingly had this writer frantically reassessing everything he thought he knew about the Schmoedown, and theories have been running around his head as to what further twists the powers that be at Collider have up their sleeve ahead of Schmoedown Spectacular on 22 December.
So, without further ado, here’s my take on a potential twist we are yet to have been privy to – there will be SEVEN – not six – matches at Spectacular!
Given its placement within the Schmoedown calendar, Spectacular really should be a celebration of all that has been good within the movie trivia world over the past 12 months.
At present, the six scheduled matches do pretty much that. Kristian Harloff and Samm Levine have been the outstanding singles players of 2017. Ditto Patriots and Above the Line in teams.
Meanwhile the rise of Team Action and the trials and tribulations of Top 10 means they are more than worthy of their places at the biggest event of the year. In terms of factions, the Lion’s Den, the Growling Commandos and the MissFits have all been at the forefront of a number of storylines, and will be represented by their respective kingpins in the much-debated Manager Bowl.
Two individuals who are conspicuous by their absence from the card that have shone in 2017 are Rachel Cushing and Mike Kalinowski. Their impact on fans has been matched for the most part by their performances within the ring, and yet they will likely be restricted to watching from the sidelines come Spectacular.
While there is unlikely to be a way to throw them both onto the card, there is a process that could, if followed, allow one to secure a spot on what is likely to be one of the most-watched videos of the year.
As of the time of writing, the only match scheduled ahead of Spectacular is the team bout between Nerd’s Watch and Blofeld’s Cat. The hastily arranged encounter comes in the immediate aftermath of Napzok’s aforementioned switch to the Lion’s Den, with “The Crusher” hopeful that taking on a team from the Schmoedown’s premier stable will help her partner see the light and turn his back on Tom Dagnino.
For what it’s worth, win or lose, this writer believes Tuesday’s match will the last we see of the Nerd’s Watch. Whatever happens I cannot see the Schmoedown hierarchy wasting such a huge reveal, only for the man at the centre of it to switch back to his original position so quickly. I do think the match will go ahead, but Napzok’s turn to the Dark Side will be complete when he knifes Cushing in the back and leaves her in the movie trivia wilderness.
As a consequence to this, I predict that interim commissioner Thadd Williams (how good a job is “The Warlord” doing, by the way?!) will draw up a contract that would allow Cushing to get back into the ring as soon as possible. There is currently no match scheduled for Friday 15 December, and breaking kayfabe for a moment, there has to be a reason behind that.
My theory is that Cushing will be offered the chance to renew her rivalry with fellow Ultimate Schmoedown losing semi-finalist Kalinowski, with the winner offered a No.1 contender match at Spectacular. Their opponent at the event – whomever the winner of the Manager Bowl puts forward!
The eagle-eyed among you will have noted that the Manager Bowl is the first bout on the card, meaning there would be enough time for the winning competitor to prepare their client for a No.1 shot later on in the event, perhaps ahead of the Top 10 vs Action grudge match in what will, for now, be dubbed ‘Video Three’.
It’s a long shot I know, but given the lack of scheduled matches ahead of Spectacular (predicting Tuesday 19 December will be a preview show), a match that continues the big pre-Spectacular storyline would make sense, and allowing Cushing or Kalinowski to compete at an event their whole year has been geared towards would certainly please the fans. Will it happen? Probably not.
Do you think there could be an extra match added to the Spectacular card? And who could play in it? Have your say in the comments below!