MACHINE MONDAYS: Does This Mean We Have To Start Fighting…?


If you’ve been with me from the start you’ll know I was all about Team Action. I was lucky enough to be invited to Spectacular 2 last year as a fan. Emma spotted me in my self-designed Team Action shirt and decided to interview me to find out why I loved Action. I shyly remember saying “who doesn’t love a bad boy?” and waxed poetic about how they shouldn’t be underestimated and that they actually knew their stuff.

When I was later asked to compete, I always had the thought that if I ever had to go up against Ben or Andrew it would be akin to Selina Kyle and Bruce Wayne, discovering each other’s identities and wondering if they had to let their personas take over and battle it out a la Batman Returns. So when I found out I’d be competing against Ben, I was excited and slightly terrified. They were my inspiration on “how to heel”. Could I match his knowledge? Or his trash talk?

I do consider myself a sassy individual in my everyday life, but to do that, turned up to 11, as a heel, to a camera, made me feel like the “cover your eyes, see no evil” monkey emoji. Pre and post interviews scared me. But Jay was the most amazing mouth piece and had all the attitude to help bring mine to the surface. I loved the entrance aspect and being at the table, but never felt completely confident with any of it until my match against Ben.

What made this match different? A lot. Seeing two leagues conquered by women was so inspiring #AllTheLadiesAllTheBelts. Also, doing it now, enough, and having the support from fans, Jay and other competitors built my confidence. Not to mention the need to prove to myself that I wasnʼt just a fluke, that I belonged here, that I was as just good as Ben, someone I admired. So my entrance, interviews and most importantly, trivia game had to be on point.

Entrances of course are the most fun for me, so this was a blast to put together. I wanted to represent a strong black female character and with Misty’s bionic arm, it was a perfect choice for The Machine. I had study sessions with fans and watched movies I’d never seen before. On the day, I went into the pre interview feeling excited. I, for once, knew what I wanted to say and how I wanted to say it.

Once that happened, I was having fun and let myself bounce off Jay’s energy. From there I was in it. No nerves, no conflict on going against the source of my fandom. Just the desire to make it fun and show what I knew. No frustrating brain farts, but one big steal and I had a bit of a climb ahead. After hitting that 5 pointer I was so proud of everything I’d done that day.

Ultimately it was an honor to go up against Ben and hold my own. From interviews, to entrance, to game play I was completely in my element for what felt like the first time. I’ve had fun with every match I’ve played but this time, I let that be the focus. Not what people would think, not worrying about looking silly or feeling intimidated. Just being confident in what I know, having fun, and knowing that’s really all I could do.

I hope I can keep this feeling going into next season. See you there!

– The Machine


  1. Great read and insight into, what I can imagine would be similar to other fans who get the opportunity to compete. You kicked ass in the match and to see the help provided really shows this league is great!

  2. Janine!!!! You are Action Army forever!!! There is no one in this league who does all aspects as well as you do. Trivia on point! Interviews on point! Character work on point! Imagination on point!!! Janine is definitely in my top 5 Schmoedown competitors. She is also so interactive on twitter, instagram, etc. She is a true brand ambassador for the Schmoedown and will become the face of this ish next season. Next season the machine gonna grind up some fools…

  3. Well played! I love to hear these behind the scenes pieces and I’m so glad that you also feel like Jay helped elevate you. I think you can go far in the Schmoedown and I’m looking forward to seeing you again. 🙂

  4. This match is definitely one of the highlights of the season for me, mostly because it established both Janine as a serious competitor, and the Machine as one the premier performers in the league. Bringing Bateman all the way down to the wire with that splendid third round was exhilarating to see, as was both the pre-match promo, the entrance (amazing, both in terms of attitude and costume) and the post-match interview.

    I would have loved to see a round robin format for this tournament (a too-expensive pipe dream, I know), simply because the thought of having to wait months to see Janine (and plenty of her co-competitors) compete again is disheartening.


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