Rankings vs Story – the Schmoedown match that really matters most

As the Schmoedown enters Titles Week, it does not take an expert to note that we are heading into the most important few days of Season Five so far.

The introduction of a series of new competitors has seen the momentum that the show built at the end of 2017 slow somewhat, but after the heavyweight clash between Drew McWeeny and William Bibbiani the campaign is beginning to pick up speed once again.

Bibbiani

In the aftermath of his defeat, “The Beast” spoke to the Schmoedown Rundown regarding his potential next match, and after teasing as much on Twitter he called out hot new thing, Lon Harris.

“What is interesting is a certain opponent who looks suspiciously like me has specifically said that he is not interested in being a contender and wants to play people down at the bottom of the rankings. Well guess who’s there now, Lon Harris?!” he said.

Now, the Schmoedown Blog did not originally take kindly to the prospect of a player with a record of 2-0 having to face a 3-4 competitor…

To further explain that point, when the blog speculates on potential bookings in terms of rankings, there are two factors to take into consideration:

  • Do the competitors have identical records?
  • If not, will the lower ranked competitor have a better record than their opponent should they win their match?

Bibbiani’s remarkable accuracy rate makes him a bit of an anomaly in terms of low-level competition, but even if he was to beat “The Professor” a 4-4 record does not – at least in this writer’s book – equate to the same as a 2-1 record, which lest we forget includes a win over Marc Bernardin.

That said, “The Beast’s” argument as to why he should be pitted against Harris is a solid one for those who are fans of the storylines, of which the blog certainly is.

Critically Acclaimed’s motto states that they are smarter than all other Schmoedown competitors while “The Professor” himself has suggested that it is  in fact he that is bringing the most knowledge to the table when it comes to movie trivia.

Harris

A clash of those two characters certainly makes sense, but it would need plenty of build-up. All we have seen from Harris thus far is him wanting to take on smaller fish in lieu of going for the belt, and as much as Bibbiani’s claim that he too is swimming in that pond after two straight defeats has some credence, he is not on the same level as a Cody Hall or a Cobbster.

That leaves those involved with booking the matches in a quandry – do they stay true to the rankings and give Bibbiani a match for fitting of his record (while also furthering a somewhat forgotten storyline – more on that later!) or try and play up a story thread that is certainly dangling there for them to use but has not been pulled upon as yet?

It is an issue that the Schmoedown faces as it enters a new era. More and more matches are going to start to reflect storylines, meaning it will move further away from its roots as a seeded competition.

It is no secret that rankings were manipulated somewhat in a bid to further story arcs during the 2017 Ultimate Schmoedown, and expect that to continue as the show takes further inspiration from WWE et al.

One example of such a match being teased came just last week.

It was telling that Jeannine The Machine called out Mike Kalinowski in the immediate aftermath of her debut victory over Bonnie Somerville, only to receive a backlash from fans for apparently aiming too high too quickly.

Machine

“The Machine” eventually backtracked slightly, suggesting she is well aware that she needs to further climb the ladder before clashing with “K.O.”, but she need not have done.

There is a clear story angle to anyone from the Viper Squad facing Kalinowski following Brianne Chandler’s apparent defection to the light side, and with Stacy Howard slated to take on RB3 and “K.O.” reeling from a crushing loss in the series premiere it would make some sort of sense to book this match so as to avoid yet another big storyline going cold before it can reach a natural conclusion.

This is the fine balance that the Schmoedown is trying to find in 2018. The promise of undercard matches – which for this writer are far more important to the growth of the show than live events or video games at this moment – should alleviate the problem somewhat,

The potential for four competitors/teams appearing in every video naturally means there would be more opportunity to knit storylines together between episodes while also ensuring the rankings do not get forgotten. As it stands, given the sheer number of personalities, two 30-45 minute episodes a week is not enough.

That all leads me to back to whom my pick for Bibbiani’s next opponent would be taking both record and storyline into account…

It is easy to forget, but “The Beast” betrayed the Four Horsemen all the way back at Collision in July. What followed was a clear attempt by the league to build to a match – be it in singles or teams – between Bibbiani and John Rocha. They even filmed a post-credits scene that did not further the storyline; instead only serving to build up anticipation to their eventual meeting.

Eight months on and that match is yet to materialise, and after “The Beast’s” latest defeat, a singles clash between the two seems further away than ever.

However, there is a certain Horsemen with a 2-3 record who is just coming off his best Schmoedown showing of all time, albeit in the team division…

Knost

The blog was hoping Matt Knost would be pitted up against Ben Bateman in the wake of the  recent Top 10/Action storyline, but with “The Boss” instead taking on Dale Gibbs, the road is open for “Mighty Matt” to take on Bibbiani and gain revenge for the Schmoedown’s greatest betrayal to date.

Will it happen? Probably not. But would it strike the right balance between rankings and story? Most definitely, and this is what the Schmoedown must be contemplating as Season Five rolls on…

Do you prefer Schmoedown rankings to be booked in terms of rankings or storyline? Have your say in the comments below!

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