By Jared Prestwidge
The opening week of Schmoedown Season Five has come and gone, concluding with promising newcomer Lon Harris besting his (shockingly competent!) opponent Cody Hall in a true nailbiter.
Now with a record of 2-0, “The Professor” has most likely moved up into the top ten rankings of the singles division. With ranked competitors Clarke Wolfe, Stacy Howard and Marc Andreyko yet to even have a match scheduled for the new campaign, they would normally be the most likely choices for who Harris can smack away with his immense mental fortitude in his next bout.
However, it turns out he isn’t interested in rankings, being the No.1 contender or even championship belts! All “The Professor” wants to do is pass on his knowledge to the younger generation of the Movie Trivia world.
With that in mind, instead of singling out one of the league’s heavyweight competitors for his third match, he opted to challenge Cobbster – a competitor that has never won a Schmoedown bout. While most would be dreaming of holding the belt aloft after going two from two, all Harris is interested in is handing out further lessons to his potential acolytes.
This is not an angle us Schmoedown fans have seen before. The status quo has always been for a competitor to win a few matches so they can challenge for the championship. There will most likely be a grudge match or two along the way so as to further potential storylines, but the end game is always the belt.
So it is only right that fans now ask the question – are all Schmoedown matches in this new season designed primarily as a path for the belt? This writer does not believe so. If the early signs are anything to go by, there will be a number of matches throughout 2018 driven predominately by story, free from the shackles of rankings logic.
We have had bouts in the past played without the rankings in mind. Josh Macuga took on Tom Dagnino in a grudge match that otherwise had no reason to be scheduled while the new format being used in celebrity matches sees competitors take to the ring with absolutely no bearing on their overall standings. These matches, however, are in the minority.
When Mike Kalinowski faced Brianne Chandler for the first time, despite there being clear story implications, the main reason for them facing one another was to determine who would have the better seeding heading into the Ultimate Schmoedown.
On a similar note Macuga took on Jeff Sneider in a bid to settle their feud, but viewers then watched on as the winner went onto face Drew McWeeny for a spot at the inaugural Collider Collision.
A competitor’s stock in the league over the past two seasons has based on whether they can realistically be a contender. Those who cannot (sorry Tuff Beats!) were cast aside in a bid to make the league as strong as possible. Times, however, are a changin’, and this writer is all for it.
Let’s face it – the Wildberries are never going to be champions, but they are without a doubt one of the most entertaining and popular teams in the league right now. Don’t believe me? I saw a guy in a shopping mall sporting a shiny new Wildberries t-shirt. This was not in Los Angeles, however. It wasn’t even in the US. This was in BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA for crying out loud!
Though the Schmoedown hierarchy have previously admitted they would be pushing for this change over the next 12 months, there is no doubting that the creation of the Patreon page is in part responsible for this altered focus. If the right goals are met, the plan is to air four matches a week, with an Innergeekdom bout every fortnight. That’s at least 16 matches a month, as opposed to the eight shown in 2017.
To put that in perspective, we could well see “The Professor” work his way through every young scamp that needs a good lesson, and it would not take away from the time required to build up the next big title clash.
As fans we are about to get the best of both worlds. Ever since Ken Napzok’s heel turn there has been a divide between a portion of the Schmoedown community. Some watch only for the trivia, others feed off the next post-credits scene or crashing of an interview.
The more freedom the Schmoedown decision makers are awarded, the more the league is going to change and grow. We will get more competitors, more post-credits scenes, more production value, more belts, more events, and more god damn Schmoedown Blog articles (whether you like it or not!). It’s a ride you will not want to get off.
What do you make of the “The Professor” seemingly ignoring the rankings and the changing focus of the Schmoedown? Have your say in the comments below!