By Jared Prestwidge
The 2017 season has come and gone, the Schmoedown Bloggies have been handed out and now all us fans can do is tread water until Season Five arrives in early February.
Speaking of the Bloggies, the harsh truth about any awards show is the fact that not everyone comes out completely satisfied by the results. And you know what? I’m one of those people! There were so many matches and moments worthy of acclaim this season, so I have decided to shine a light on those forgotten, those under the radar, those who just missed out. I present to you, the blog’s most underrated Schmoedown matches of 2017…
Here’s a contest so evenly matched, there should be no surprise that Mark Reilly and Samm Levine both ended up winning the belt in 2017.
After somewhat disappointing 2016 seasons, both competitors were itching to kick the new year off in a big way. They traded the lead multiple times throughout the rounds until “Yodi” managed to come out on top by a mere one point.
Levine and Reilly knew they played a great game judging by their post-match interviews, and they also gave it a shout out at Schmoedown Spectacular after “The Inglorious One” beat Kristian Harloff for the title.
Also, keep your eye out for Levine’s beyond impressive Godfather Part III pull in the second round without multiple choice.
I’m going to be real with you all – this is my favourite match of 2017! It may seem like blasphemy to a large majority, with matches like McWeeny vs JTE, Murrell vs Rocha and Patriots vs Above the Line to choose from, but hear me out!
If I was to show any newcomer a match to start with, it would be this one. Here we have two new teams coming out the woodwork, with Mike Kalinowski the only competitor to have even played the game previously.
By the time Cinemablend’s Eric and Conner went up for their turn in Round Two, it looked like they had the upper hand, only for DC Movie News to come up with crucial steals to make it a real contest.
Along with excellent commentary by Mark Ellis and the crowd genuinely getting into the match, it ramped up to a thrilling finish with a 30-25 score.
This match and the Innergeekdom fiveway the previous week cemented Kalinowski as the bonafide contender we know today, and Cinemblend – despite sporting an 0-2 record at the time of writing – certainly have the ability to trouble the rankings in 2018.
Do yourself a favour, go back and revisit this criminally underrated gem. You won’t regret it.
While this match’s predecessor may reap all the acclaim, the follow up to the classic Macuga vs Findreyko has many merits in its own right.
First off, this is the funniest match of the year. Period. Nevermind the reality of Tom Dagnino competing in a five-round match being one of the most bizarre circumstances in the Schmoedown, but he actually played well! Like really well!
Remarkably, Dagnino’s haul of 14 points is not the lowest score achieved in a five-round match, and you could see the sheer panic on Josh Macuga’s face that “Tricky Tom” was keeping pace for much of the match.
Despite eventually falling to defeat, Dagnino outplayed “The Wildman” by answering 12 questions to his Macuga’s nine. One may be forgiven for pondering as to whether Tom Dagino had pulled off the upset quite where this match would rank among some of those being ranked as the best of 2017.
Besides being a qualifier for the Ultimate Schmoedown singles tournament, this match was heavy with storyline implications.
This was the first time we saw Ricky Hayberg in William Bibbiani’s corner since he split from the Four Horseman at Collision, and this was to be “The Beast’s” first step in his path towards John Rocha. Throw in a little Hayberg/Mantz animosity, some impressive knowledge and Bibbiani coming clutch in the third round, and we were treated to a more than solid contest.
Another important titbit was how Bibbiani responded to his new heel lease on life, with the crowd constantly jeering him despite racking up 22 points. It even led to a rare contemplative moment in the second round when he lamented: “Nobody cares about me anymore…”.
Could we see this kind of attitude leak into 2018? Could we see “The Beast” regret his actions and turn on Hayberg as well? Judging by the admittedly few client/manager interactions we’ve been given, there has been some hostility between the pair. We’ll just have to wait and see…
There we have it! I’d be remiss to quickly list some honourable mentions: Heroes vs Blofeld’s Cat, Macuga vs Sneider, Reel Rejects vs Double Toasted and Sneider vs McWeeny are all fantastic bouts that I felt slipped under the radar.
I hope I’ve given some of you some worthwhile matches to revisit along with your favourites during the end of year break. Either way though, 2017 was a hell of a year. See you in Season Five!
What do you make of Jared’s picks and what were your most underrated matches? Have your say in the comments below!