Power struggles are rarely pretty. Various parties believing it is they who should be in control, and will almost do anything to ensure that is the case. Right now in the Schmoedown the battle for supremacy is about to hit fever pitch.
Kristian Harloff’s decision to step down as Commissioner and place Thadd Williams in interim charge was widely accepted by viewers. A surprise choice, certainly, but “The Warlord’s” love of contracts and adhering to the rulebook saw him go from a part-time competitor to a fan favourite almost overnight.
Such was his wish to have everything on record, he ensured Harloff put pen to paper on a contract, rubber stamping the handing of the baton over to the new man at the helm.
Only later did it materialise, however, that the clauses within the deal included both an agreement that Williams would remain in charge for six months – no matter whether “The X-Factor” wanted to return or not – and that should there be overwhelming support for the new Commissioner and/or opposition to the former head honcho returning to his post, Williams would remain in situ past that agreed date.
Understandably, Harloff has felt betrayed by someone who he deemed his ally, almost immediately calling him out for a match which would determine who would be running matters going forward. Williams, as is his want, was having none of it.
“I’m not a singles competitor and I never have been. I’ve never requested to join the singles league,” he told the Schmoedown Rundown in January. “I don’t have any intentions of joining the singles league in the foreseeable future, especially while I’m the Commissioner.
“As of now I have no intentions of facing him at the table for this proposed match of his. He can ask all he wants but at the moment I’m going to gracefully decline his offer. I don’t think it’s right for me to agree to his challenge because I don’t want to take over the Commissioner-ship full-time.”
While remaining in charge long-term might not be what Williams truly wants, his steadfast refusal to break from his contracts means that is exactly what he is doing. So how does Harloff wrestle back control? Two words – Tom Dagnino.
Dagnino has made no secret of the fact that he believes he would be able to do a better job as Commissioner than both Harloff and Williams, with the Lion’s Den patriarch bemused by what he perceives as unfair treatment of his faction by the Schmoedown’s decision makers.
As such, with Harloff struggling to coax Williams into a one-on-one match, “The X-Factor” might instead be forced to look for an alternate method back to the top of the movie trivia tree, and Dagnino could be his key.
No Schmoedown personality has showcased more underhand skulduggery than Bobby Gucci. He obtained the services of Ken Napzok from right under Harloff’s nose just five months ago while back at the start of Season Four he managed to get himself out of a match with adversary Josh Macuga by claiming Marc Andreyko had taken over the Finstock persona.
So make yourself comfortable as the Schmoedown Blog tells you the story of how this writer thinks this could – and let’s face it, should – all play out…
Before a match is about to air, Thadd Williams is sat at his desk when Tom Dagnino walks into the room, brandishing a contract. The leader of the Lion’s Den wants the Interim Commissioner to sign off on all markers being tested by an independent adjudicator before every match after Dagnino’s suspicions that his faction do not get the same treatment as other competitors.
Noting this as just another one of “Tricky Tom’s” ridiculous claims, Williams signs with no hesitation before handing the contract back to Dagnino before unceremoniously removing him from his office.
Cut to a scene post-match, where Dagnino is using a phone box to call an unspecified Schmoedown personality. He tells said person that it’s done before checking that he can choose whomever he wants. Having got the answer he wants, he insults his new ally before hanging up.
The following week an episode ends with Harloff entering “The Warlord’s” office. Without even greeting his former friend he tells him that at this summer’s Collider Collision they will be playing in a match that will decide who takes on the role of Commissioner full-time – an offer Williams obviously declines.
However, “The X-Factor” has an ace up his sleeve. In his possession he has the markers contract Dagnino had Williams sign the previous week. Detailed within it, however, is a clause that those who have signed it will play a Schmoedown match at Collision, with the prize the Commissioner-ship. At the bottom are three signatures – Harloff, Williams and Dagnino.
With “The Warlord” helpless but to play the match, the first bout of Collision is set in stone. However, given Dagnino is well aware that despite his hubris he is unlikely to beat Harloff at movie trivia, he ensured a supplementary clause was inserted into the contract. That clause – that he can pick whomever he wants from his faction to compete on his behalf!
You might ask why Harloff would allow Sneider, JTE or anyone else in the Den to compete on Dagnino’s behalf, but given this is likely the only way in which he can shift Williams off the throne he has to take the risk.
Pulling back the curtain, however, and it makes even more sense. The Williams story – though entertaining – is starting to come towards its natural conclusion, and having his reign end in the ring would allow the show to remain true to its roots that the trivia always comes first. Of course he could win, but he would be a massive outsider and a relatively safe bet to finish third in this race.
As such that leaves the writers with two options – either Harloff wins and the show returns to the formula that made it so popular in the first place or Dagnino runs the ship and viewers tune in just to see the chaos that has ensued.
Of course Dagnino could still force his way into power even if his horse in the race loses out, given we are still unaware of the contents of his Gucci bag from Spectacular, and it would make for a great twist if Harloff was to think he has won everything back only for “Tricky Tom” to pull the rug from under him by stabbing him in the back. The show has legitimised his bid to become Commissioner in the past and no doubt have stories planned should they ever decide to take that route.
Alternatively Harloff is back at the wheel, and only staunch Lion’s Den supporters would have any real issue with that.
Either way, given the switch back to focusing on storylines began with a conversation between Williams and Harloff, this is a narrative that will not be going away. We’ll just have to wait till Collision to see how accurate our’s, and everyone else’s, theories really are!
How do you think the Schmoedown power struggle will end? Have your say in the comments below!