If you’re a Schmoedown fan, then this week has likely been one you’ll back on very fondly.
The MTS Awards helped ring in the new season before the much-anticipated Patreon was launched as fans were finally able to contribute towards growing the league. All that, and now we finally get ourselves a match to watch!
Yet again plenty of announcements have been made as the new season continues to be teased, and we’ve been across it all….
LEVINE, CUSHING & THE DEN CLEAN UP
With Hollywood currently in the midst of awards season, the Schmoedown was not about to miss out on all the action, with the 2017 MTS Awards ceremony commemorating the great and good of the movie trivia world over the past 12 months.
The big individual winners of the night were Samm Levine and Rachel Cushing, who pocketed seven prizes between them following stellar years.
Singles champion Levine claimed two solo prizes – Singles and Overall Player of the Year – while Above the Line only being active for the second half of the campaign did not stop him and Drew McWeeny from picking up the Rookie and Babyface Team of the Year accolades.
Cushing was unsurprisingly named the Rookie of the Year, but also beat off strong competition to take home prizes for Babyface of the Year and the Best Solo Entrance of 2017 as the fan favourite rounded off a memorable season.
There was success, too, for the Lion’s Den, with the Schmoedown’s premier faction cementing their position at the top of the tree with five gongs, albeit Ken Napzok’s only win came for Match of the Year following his defeat to Sam Witwer at Spectacular.
Tom Dagnino displayed no loser behaviour in winning both Manager and Heel of the Year while JTE reluctantly accepted his Comeback Player prize before returning to the stage alongside Jeff Sneider as the Patriots took home Team of the Year.
There were wins too for Team Action, Late to the Party, Jason Inman, Marc Andreyko and Wolves of Steel while Mark Reilly picked up the inaugural Yodi Award – a ‘lifetime achievement’ style prize which will be presented every year moving forward.
POWER STRUGGLE REMAINS ON THE TABLE
You will likely recall that last week Thadd Williams remained steadfast in his belief that he would stay as Interim Commissioner until the six months that he and Kristian Harloff had agreed upon was up, and as such he would be rejecting “The X-Factor’s” challenge of a match to decide who would be running things heading into Season Five.
As speculated right here, though, it seems we have not heard the last of this rift, and Harloff insists that he will be doing all he can to claim his title back before the summer.
Speaking to Take 3 Productions, he said: “I got a letter from the Commissioner that said this match will not be happening. But, I am not done with trying.”
It remains to be seen as to whether Dagnino will attempt to get involved should this match go ahead, but do not count it out!
THE BEAST UNLEASHED ON THE GODFATHER
Regular readers of the blog will know that since John Rocha’s defeat to Levine in the Ultimate Schmoedown, this writer has been calling for the grudge between “The Outlaw” and William Bibbiani to finally be settled in the ring.
Inexplicably(!), however, the Schmoedown hierarchy have yet again ignored our speculation, instead announcing that “The Beast’s” first match of Season Five will see him face off against Drew McWeeny.
Both competitors were tipped as potential champions this time last year after stunning debut performances, but both struggled to deal with the weight of expectation during singles play during 2017, culminating in them being eliminated in the opening round of the Ultimate Schmoedown.
The two trivia heavyweights are looking to put things right this term, however, and this is sure to be a battle for the ages. It’s just a shame there is not the potential for either to lose their hat at the end of it…
CAN YOU GROW CARROTS IN-SNEID?
In one of the quirks of the current Schmoedown rankings, there are currently three competitors locked together on 5-4 records just below those competing in Friday’s season opener.
They are Clarke Wolfe, Jeff Sneider and Mark Ellis, but it has now been announced the latter pair will be facing off as they both look to get their singles careers back on track.
Ellis is winless since victory in the final of the 2016 Ultimate Schmoedown over John Rocha, losing three singles matches as well as a team bout during a thoroughly disappointing Season Four.
Sneider, meanwhile, made a blistering start to 2017, only to lose to Kristian Harloff at Collision and subsequently JTE having beaten Matt Knost in the opening round of the singles tournament.
Both players are in desperate need of a win if they to have any chance of getting close to a title shot during the first half of the campaign, and it does feel like this could be “Baby Carrots'” final hurrah if things do not go his way.
IS FINSTOCK FINISHED?
Given the antics of Tom Dagnino in 2017 it might seem like Bobby Finstock never actually left, but fans of the man in the mask will be glad to hear that his Schmoedown suspension is officially over on 3 February – just 24 hours after the Season Five premiere.
Despite that, there are many questioning whether Finstock will in fact come back right away, and if he does will it be Dagnino with the knitted beard mask or someone else altogether.
Whatever the plan is, those at Schmoedown Towers are keeping it well under wraps, though “Tricky Tom” has questioned whether the time is right to move on from the show’s first major heel figure.
“The ‘Bobby Gucci’ character has come a long way,” he told Take 3 Productions. “The answer could be yes. It could be no. It depends on whether or not we are able to find an avenue for him that makes sense.
“He’s the best character of all time, but is the Schmoedown bigger than him now? Is it past him? Does Tom Dagnino pull the same thing as him? It’s a very interesting predicament.”
Will Finstock return, and if he does is it the right call? The blog tried to break it down earlier this week if you missed out…
WILL MACUGA GET SEDUCED?
They might not win any belts – or even any matches – in 2018, but there are few teams with as much buzz around them heading into the new campaign as the Wildberries, particularly after their already legendary turn when presenting a prize during the awards ceremony.
And while Josh Macuga and Eliot Dewberry’s first match of the season as a team has not been confirmed as yet, “The Wildman’s” singles bow in 2018 has been announced.
As luck would have it, one of the other players who was hotly tipped to be partnering Macuga when he formed his new team last season will be his opponent, with Nick Scarpino set to make his return to competition.
‘The Producer/Seducer’ is yet to taste victory having lost out to both Marc Bernardin and Rachel Cushing, but he certainly made an impression with his over-exuberant entrances and his eye-catching ‘I ❤️ Macuga’ t-shirt.
Whether his love for the “The Wildman” will be addressed during their match-up remains to be seen, but what we do know is it will be the first ‘Patreon Exclusive’, with fans who have pledged $10 will have access to the match a week early. No doubt plenty of Wildberries fans will be signing up to see what antics Macuga gets up to even without Dewberry beside him.
TAYLORED FOR SCHMOEDOWN SUCCESS
Just when you thought you had enough new competitors for the 2018 season, more just keep getting announced!
With the promise of additional undercards and an increased Innergeekdom presence should the Patreon reach the expected levels, floods of fresh faces are flocking to the movie trivia arena, with movie pundits and Schmoedown supporters alike throwing their collective hats into the ring.
The latest fan to be given the opportunity to prove themselves is Taylor Robinson, whose reaction videos over at the ‘Finely Taylored‘ channel have seen her quickly become a staple of what is now being dubbed the ‘Schmoedown Press’.
Robinson – who could be seen presenting the Heel Team of the Year prize at the Schmoedown Awards alongside Dale Gibbs – will be making her debut in the Innergeekdom division during Season Five, it was announced on Tuesday’s ‘Harloff Carpool‘.
With Late to the Party, Tim Franco, Jeannine the Machine and Gibbs all also confirmed as competitors for 2018, is it too much to ask whether we could have a fan clean sweep of the belts by the time Spectacular rolls around…?
REJECTS STILL THE REEL DEAL
One of the many unanswered questions regarding the team division heading into Season Five was the fate of the Reel Rejects.
Last seen losing out to Top 10 during the Ultimate Schmoedown, it was teased by then-Commissioner Harloff that John Humphrey and Greg Alba would likely be split up and handed fresh team-mates in a bid to improve their fortunes having combined to produce a lowly 1-4 overall record.
However, it seems that there has been a change of heart, with Tuesday’s edition of the ‘Harloff Carpool‘ revealing that not only are Humphrey and Alba still a team, but a potential match is being lined up for them in 2018.
Speaking about the potential of the Schmoedown’s first live event of the year potentially taking place in Los Angeles at some point in the near future, “The X-Factor” revealed that his hope would be to place the Reel Rejects on the undercard against fan favourites, the Wildberries.
Both teams are currently right at the bottom of the rankings and as such a match between them certainly makes sense. Whether it will also serve as Reel Rejects’s final farewell remains to be seen, but for now their presence remains.
What are your thoughts on all the big news that broke this week? Did the right competitors win at the Schmoedown Awards? Have your say in the comments below!