As fans, we spend so much time talking about “Who is the greatest Schmoedown singles player?”, “Which Schmoedown champion had the greatest run?” and ‘Who is the Schmoedown GOAT?’, but that kind of conversation can be restricting. Today, I want to turn to a different group of players. In this article, I’ll be looking at underrated players, and exploring exactly why fans are yet to give these players the plaudits that I feel they are due.
The most obvious reason a player is underrated is because they haven’t won a belt. Too often, discussion of the Schmoedown greats revolves around the limited pool of players that have held belts. So let’s look at some of the players that, for one reason or another, aren’t the fan favourites that they should be.
A long-serving Schmoedown competitor, had Atchity won a title, he would surely be considered one of the Schmoedown greats. Indeed, his MODOK team came as close as anyone when they took the Patriots to sudden death last season. However, fans seem to count that as Atchity’s only achievement of note, and indeed is one that is often characterized as a near miss, rather than an achievement that few teams have topped.
This doesn’t tell the full story. With Rotten Tomatoes/MODOK, Atchity has defeated powerhouse teams like Nerd’s Watch and IGN (now Top That), and this season he played The Odd Couple closer than many expected with The Paddington 2.
Perhaps it’s Atchity’s 0-1 singles record that prevents him from getting the acclaim he deserves. In my opinion, he’s one of the best team players who has yet to win the title.
In his two Schmoedown appearances, Scrimshaw has come away with two losses, and of the four Star Wars players that have become the core of the league (Napzok, Witwer, Damon, Scrimshaw), he is the only one who has yet to win the title. In fact, Scrimshaw has never even played a title match, yet despite this, he has put in two huge performances.
In his first match, Scrimshaw played Witwer close, finishing with 28 points, a score which saw him lose to the then future Champion by just 2 points. At the same time, Scrimshaw tied Damon’s score. In his next match, not only did Scrimshaw beat former Champion Napzok, but he played the current champion incredibly close, finishing with 27 points to Damon’s 28.
All of this means that, across two matches, Scrimshaw has scored just one point less than the current champion. However, because he is yet to win the Star Wars belt, Scrimshaw is yet to receive the plaudits that his performances clearly merit. It’s surely a matter of time before he gets his own title shot: hopefully he’ll be given another chance to win the belt next season.
Donica started this season as the hot new Innergeekdom player, winning his 5 way match and then beating Haibon to earn a title shot. Since then, high profile losses to Inman and Kalinowski have seen his stock fall considerably, and while I still see Donica as one of the better Innergeekdom players, here, I want to discuss his Schmoedown character.
Few players have entered the league with such a clear idea of the place in the Schmoedown storyline as Donica did. His Enforcer character made an immediate impact, moving quickly to join the Lion’s Den. After the breakup of the Den, Donica has been allied with his manager Ken Napzok. However, Anarchy saw Napzok managing KOrruption, and so Donica seems to have gone by the wayside.
Personally, I think that Donica’s performance both in the Schmoedown ring and outside of it deserves praise. His appearances on the Rundown and in the Facebook group have demonstrated his passion for the show, which will surely turn him into a fan favourite at some point.
Having discussed some of the Schmoedown players that are perhaps underrated because of a lack of achievements, I’d like to turn to a more puzzling group of players: those that have won belts, yet still seem to be underrated. Let’s have a look at those players, and why they aren’t as well-regarded as they should be.
Brianne Chandler remains one of the most underrated Schmoedown players around, despite pulling off a phenomenal Free For All win. Her detractors saw it as a win that she was gifted, perhaps because of her late entry into the competition. However, in her winning round Chandler outscored players like Ethan Erwin and William Bibbiani, so to say she didn’t earn the victory is clearly nonsense.
She followed this up with a KO defeat with Sick in the Head for her team title shot, but there is no shame in losing to a powerhouse team like the Shirewolves. However, all of this has given some the ammunition necessary to claim that Chandler is not as good of a Schmoedown player as she clearly is. Take, for example, her integral part in Take the Cannoli’s huge win over the Self-Righteous Brothers, or her Ultimate Schmoedown upset win over Clarke Wolfe.
Chandler knows her stuff, and more impressively, is a studying competitor. The effort that she puts into broadening her knowledge base means that she is only going to get better, so I hope it won’t be long before her detractors no longer have a leg to stand on.
I’ve noticed something odd in fan opinion towards McWeeny: he’s still seen as a future champion. Which is odd, because he was a champion! I have to wonder if he was somewhat overshadowed during his title run with Above the Line, because, at the time, his teammate was on a historic run. While Above the Line were winning the team titles, Levine was the double belted GOAT.
Of course, McWeeny is a top-tier Schmoedown player, and in that team run, he was the better of the two on individual questions. The fact that this form has translated over to singles play, where McWeeny sits at 4-4, has led to the ridiculous situation in which McWeeny is underrated. For my money, he’s a future singles champion, will one day reclaim the team belts, and will enter the GOAT conversation before he’s done.
That’s right, I think that Rachel Cushing is underrated. Let’s look at her achievements: she’s an Innergeekdom tournament semi-finalist, has played for the singles title, and currently holds a team belt. That would be enough to put most players in the GOAT conversation, but for Cushing, it seems like nothing she does will ever be enough for some fans.
Perhaps it’s because Cushing doesn’t play a character, or because she doesn’t engage in the same trash talk that others do. That said, there’s always a nagging feeling that fans wouldn’t be underrating her if she were a man.
After all, it’s not true to say that Cushing doesn’t engage with the theatrical aspects of the Schmoedown. One of only a handful of players to consistently pull off big entrances, she is part of the Fyffe Club and she was a key part of the Napzok heel-turn storyline.
Cushing is one of only two genuinely successful triple threat players (the other being Kalinowksi), and one of the scariest players in the league. It’s time we started treating her as such.
Having discussed players that are underrated both in spite of achievements and because they are yet to win belts, there’s one more person I want to talk about. It’s not just Schmoedown players that can be underrated, but also Schmoedown personalities, as this next person demonstrates….
Since he became the Schmoedown Commissioner, Thadd has been one of the main storyline focuses for the show. Often cast as the bumbling idiot and Kalinowski’s puppet, he is usually the punchline to the joke. What often goes unsaid is just how well “The Warlord” performs his thankless role.
Thadd is the model of consistency, and always delivers the scene that the storyline needs. His playing career might essentially be over (the upcoming Commissioner match notwithstanding), but Thadd is still an underrated personality. Let’s take a moment to appreciate one of the quieter personalities that keeps the storyline ticking over.
And there we have it. Those were my picks for the Schmoedown’s underrated competitors. Do you agree with me? And more importantly, which Schmoedown competitors do you think are underrated? Jump in the comments and spread some Schmoedown love!