Two weeks to go. Only two weeks to go. It’ll fly by, don’t worry about it. Just two weeks…
Apologies, Schmoedown Blog readers. Lost myself a bit there, but it’s true – there are now fewer than two weeks until the first Schmoedown match of the season! Before then we have the awards and a Season Five preview to look forward to, but it’s fair to say most fans are starting to get itchy feet when it comes to getting their movie trivia fix.
However, like any good sporting off-season, the past seven days have been packed with little newsy nuggets, hinting at what we could be in store for heading into the new campaign.
So, in the first of what will hopefully become a weekly article looking back at and discussing the big issues arising from the Schmoedown, let’s break down everything we have learned since last weekend…
IS CLASSY ABOUT TO TURN SASSY?
She may have turned down the chance to join the MissFits during the 2017 season, but it seems Clarke Wolfe is not totally against adding a little sass to her character during Season Five.
Still on the lookout for a new team-mate, “The Classy One” is obviously still a little sore from Wolves of Steel’s devastating loss to Above the Line in the semi-finals of the Ultimate Schmoedown, a defeat that was quickly followed by a bracket-busting reverse to Brianne Chandler in the singles tournament.
Such results has seen a section of the Schmoedown fandom begin to question her title credentials, but Wolfe took to social media to suggest she will be back with a vengeance, and potentially with a fresh outlook on the league to boot:
You made a wise choice… “Classy” may turn a little “sassy” this season. I’m kind of over Schmoeville sleeping on me! You are ahead of the curve. 😉 https://t.co/MhTWsBc89a
— Clarke Wolfe (@clarkewolfe) January 16, 2018
As if anyone needed any further proof that “The Classy/Sassy One” is turning over a new leaf should look no further than her response to John Rocha’s claim that he yet again was setting out to win all the belts in 2018:
Are you a heel or a face? Make up ya damn mind, Rocha! Or in addition to all the belts do you want all the personalities too?
— Clarke Wolfe (@clarkewolfe) January 18, 2018
Needless to say this writer is ridiculously on board with this. As someone who has previously championed Josh Macuga turning heel in 2018, the thought of the Schmoedown old guard turning on the new blood is an epic storyline I would be well behind…
THE RISE OF THE “SUPER TEAMS”
If you’re a Schmoedown fan and not a regular viewer of the “Harloff Carpool”, then you’ve been missing out on some key Schmoedown info over the past few months.
This week the former Commissioner has been in overdrive when it comes to dropping Schmoedown bombs during his commute into the Collider studios, and none bigger than his clue regarding what he hopes will be the overall narrative in 2018.
Speaking on Tuesday, he said: “My plan every year is to have a narrative. The narrative this year is to have a super team. Last year the super team was who? [Samm] Levine and [Drew] McWeeny. That was the first super team. You might see a couple more super teams this year.”
Quite who could make up those super teams remains to be seen, but one name who Harloff mooted as being involved was Alonso Duralde.
Duralde made his debut as part of What the Flick?! during the 2017 campaign, but they were brushed aside by Rotten Tomatoes/MODOK during their march towards a title match. Duralde returned for the Free 4 All and racked up 18 points during his five rounds at the table, with only five players answering more questions correctly during the entire event.
Now he is set to return, with a new team-mate potentially in negotiations to partner up with him. Who could that be? The usual suspects – Wolfe, Marc Bernardin, Rachel Cushing, Marc Andreyko – have all been rumoured, but one thing is for certain; whomever is chosen – the team is sure to be super.
THE DUDE REACHES THE BOSS LEVEL
In a move that this writer is widely in favour of, the Schmoedown decision makers have opted not to give fans too many clues when it comes to confirmed matches for the 2018 season.
Ahead of this week we have three matches scheduled and in the diary for the first week of February, while others (Cushing & ? vs Napzok & Dagnino/Harloff vs Williams/Above the Line vs MODOK) have all been heavily hinted at either within the show itself or in posts by those at the top of the movie trivia tree.
This week, though, fans were given a sneak peek behind the scenes as another match was agreed upon for 2018, with Ben Bateman set to attempt to ignite his singles career against none other than Dale Gibbs.
Here is a confirmation match for Season 5! pic.twitter.com/qdAMYAPvLU
— Kristian Harloff (@KristianHarloff) January 18, 2018
Following in the footsteps of Late to the Party and Tim Franco, “The Dude” will be the latest fan reactor to step into the ring, and after watching his superb documentary from behind the scenes at Spectacular, this is a match that has plenty of potential for fireworks.
Gibbs’s decision to mess up Andrew Ghai’s hair during Team Action’s defeat to Top 10 at the event has been cited as a potential catalyst to ‘The Tackle’ that came about in the aftermath of that match, and no doubt “The Boss” will be out for revenge.
It might be early to say but it seems as if we will be seeing plenty of both Bateman and Gibbs in 2018, and the result of this match could yet have huge ramifications for the year ahead. If they could also chuck in some cut scenes with Robert Meyer Burnett – as per a previous blog post – then it could be one of the all-time greats!
WILDBERRIES WON’T BE SQUASHED
After an 0-2 start to life together, some fans have questioned as to whether the Wildberries are in danger of being split up before they have even had chance to properly get going.
Both the Wangers and Tuff Beats were broken up after suffering three straight defeats during 2017, and many have pondered whether Josh Macuga and Eliot Dewberry would be dealt the same fate if they were to lose out on their next appearance.
That, it seems, is not the case, with Harloff easing any fears that the fan favourites would be squashed by the system if they did not improve their results.
Speaking on the ‘Harloff Carpool’ on Wednesday, he said: “The Wildberries crack me up, man. There is no rule by the way. If you lose three in a row as a team, there is no rule that you have to break up. We had certain players and certain teams that we didn’t think had a future at 0-2 or 0-3 so we’d do a break-up match.
“When Tuff Beats played Six Degrees, for Six Degrees it was a case of them being two really good players who weren’t vibing as a team. They might have been friends but they weren’t vibing as a team so we could put them on other teams. They won and went onto become the Six Degrees that we know and love now.
“Tuff Beats had one great match and then it just wasn’t working, and the same thing with the Wangers. But the Wildberries can go 0-15 and I’m never breaking them up! They’re too funny and too entertaining.”
So if you’re one of those who flocked to the TeePublic site to get yourself a Wildberries shirt – fear not!
BABY CARROTS CONTINUE TO SPROUT
It’s fair to say that 2017 was a rough year for fans of Mark Ellis. The 2016 Ultimate Schmoedown winner lost all three matches he was involved in during Season Four as well as lasting just a single round during his surprise Free 4 All appearance.
Such performances and the increased workload that goes into presenting Movie Talk saw some – including this writer – suggest that “Baby Carrots” could be considering retirement heading into the 2018 campaign.
However it was revealed during Tuesday’s ‘Harloff Carpool’ that Ellis does in fact have a match arranged for the early weeks of 2018, with his opponent set to be revealed in the near future, potentially even at the Schmoedown Awards.
“At the Schmoedown Awards, you might found out who Ellis’s next match is, but I definitely know who it is against. He will be competing again in 2018,” Harloff said.
So there you have it – “Baby Carrots” will be back and looking for a JTE-esque comeback in the new year…
HAVE THE LION’S DEN FOUND AN INNERGEEKDOM FORCE?
The Lion’s Den might be the most fearsome faction within the Schmoedown heading into 2018, but one thing they lack is an Innergeekdom presence.
For months this blog predicted that they would make a move for Jeremy Jahns at Collision given Tom Dagnino’s kind words for the “The Joker” during appearances both on the main show and ‘Inside Schmoedown’.
However, instead of moving for the former No.1 contender, “Tricky Tom” outdid himself by stealing the former champion, Robert Meyer Burnett, from the already beleaguered Horsemen in a bid to bring as much hardware into the Den as possible.
Things, though, did not work out. “The Captain” slipped to a shock defeat to Jay Washington in his first match since defecting to the Den, and after some underwhelming displays alongside Marc Andreyko for Blofeld’s Cat, the decision was taken at Spectacular for Burnett to be cast aside.
All that means that the Den are likely to again be scouting around for a competitor to represent them within the Innergeekdom division, and a returning favourite could be the answer to their prayers.
I can confirm that Sara Stretton is back! She’ll return to the Schmoedown. Fact: She’s officially the FIRST Schmoedown manager of all time. She escorted Finstock to the ring in the 2014 Tourney. She will be competing in the Innergeekdom as well!! Season 5 is going to be insane. pic.twitter.com/j0XAz8wfW8
— Kristian Harloff (@KristianHarloff) January 18, 2018
It was confirmed that Sara Stretton – former host of Box Office Breakdown alongside Dagnino and JTE – would be joining the Schmoedown family in 2018 as an Innergeekdom competitor. Will “Tricky Tom” use his connections to bring her into the Den in early 2018? Nothing is off the table when it comes to the man formerly known as Finstock…
VEJVODA REMAINS ON THE BENCH… FOR NOW
Disappointing news now for anyone who, like me, drafted Jim Vejvoda for their fantasy team.
Ever since his debut for IGN/Top That, the Schmoedown community have been raring to see exactly what Vejvoda can produce when thrust into the singles division. There have already been a few false dawns regarding his solo debut, the latest of which came in late 2017 when it was trailed that he would be taking on Adam Hlavac late in Season Four.
That match never materialised, however, and now if what “The X-Factor” is saying is correct, supporters are going to have wait even longer to see Vejvoda finally make his mark in singles play.
Speaking on Tuesday’s ‘Harloff Carpool’, he said: “Look at Vejvoda. I didn’t know how good Vejvoda was going to be, and I’ve still not put him in singles yet. I want him to focus on teams, but Vejvoda is scary.”
Scary – certainly. In the singles division – (still) not yet.
ANNOUNCERS: AN ANNOUNCEMENT
Last but by no means least, not only has the league been busy in trying to find new or returning competitors for the 2018 season, but it has also been putting in the hard yards to bring in some guest announcers.
As of the time of writing, both Chris Jericho – the former WWF World Champion wrestler – and comedian Doug Benson are in talks regarding potential appearances at the desk in Season Five, and hints have been dropped that even bigger names could enter the world of the Schmoedown as the year goes on. Exciting times, I’m sure you’ll agree!
Have you entered the Schmoedown Blog’s prediction contest to win Schmoedown-related goodies? And what do you make of all this week’s Schmoedown news? Have your say in the comments below!