The Schmoedown Spectacular III was an incredibly intense, fun, and emotional event for not just fans, but the competitors involved. But the event ended up on a bit of a somber notes for long time fans of the series, as Matt Knost, one of the game’s longest running competitors, announced his retirement from the league.
After the shock wore off, fans had two realizations from the announcement: the first, is that Top 10 is likely to never compete as a team again (but hey, at least there’s a great Top Ten Show podcast that fans can tune in to get their dose of Knost and Rocha mayhem!) and secondly, this leaves The Five Horsemen without one horse person. What could be next for this faction, and who could take the place of Matt Knost? Well, that’s what we’re here to explore!
As we all know, William “The Beast” Bibbiani has a bit of a past with the Horsemen faction. One of the original members of the famed crew, Bibbiani had a notoriously nasty fallout with Rocha and the faction. In the time since, both the Horsemen and the Beast have seen the highest highs and lowest lows, with both Rocha and Bibbs each holding the title of Movie Trivia Schmoedown Champion of the World during the 2018 season. With a new sort of respect to have been found between The Outlaw and The Beast following their heavyweight match, could we see an official offer extended to William Bibbiani to return to the Horsepeople stable?
Bibbiani offers a lot for the stable coming off the 2018 season. After an amazing showing at the Free 4 All II – where he went a record 21 rounds, for a whopping total of 86 points – Bibbiani went on a tear through the singles league that led him to a belt winning championship match against Marc Andreyko. He’s been having an absolutely great year, and he’d be bringing some massive firepower to the Horsemen that they could use right now. Once a stable of multiple belt holders, the Horsemen currently lack any titles, but with Bibbiani, Murrell, Rocha, Reilly, and Inman altogether, there’s a good chance that the 2019 season could see the entire faction holding belts across multiple leagues.
Speaking of belts, one belt that the Horsemen haven’t had their hands on just yet is the Star Wars Championship Belt. So it wouldn’t be outside the realm of possibility for Rocha and his ilk to approach the reigning Star Wars champion for the now vacant spot within their ranks. Damon has shown to not only be a great presence in the league, but one that seems fairly incorruptible, which could play to the benefit of the Horsemen. This is a group of big personalities, and while it’s clearly a faction of faces, there’s no denying that Rocha still wears his passion on his sleeves to the point that some could see him still as a heel. Alex would bring a really great sense of heroism to the Five Horsemen, especially after going toe to toe with Korruption at Spectacular III.
Alex has also made it no secret that he’d love a shot at the innergeekdom belt, and with Jason Inman at his side, it would give the Horsemen a huge advantage at the chance of taking the belt from Mike Kalinowski. The Horsemen need all hands on deck for the new season, and if they’re still coming for all the belts, and all the records, then it would only make sense to get the one guy who holds a belt you don’t have, while also teeing him up for a potential run in another league. Alex seems like a perfect fit for the Horsemen moving forward.
This seems like it could very well be the best choice for the now vacant Horsemen spot. Following the events of the Spectacular III, Bateman has decided to stay with Mark Reilly and keep giving Who’s the Boss? a shot at the team title belt next season. But a small moment showed that Bateman was good at heart, showing a small face turn. It’s clear that Reilly has had a profound impact on him during their time together in Anarchy this season. After Ghai tackled him through a table following Boss’ match against The Shirewolves, it may be that Ghai’s actions will push Ben to the light side.
More than that, Ben is hungry for the belts. Not just a belt, or any belt. All. The. Belts. That is a motto that we’ve heard whispered from this faction before. Not only that, Bateman had a truly spectacular showing throughout the year, proving to be one of the most dynamic players of the game. He’s powerful, and has a lot to offer the Horsemen as far as potential big wins go for the 2019 season. It would be hard to pass up on the chance to get a younger player with many years ahead of him, who already has a relationship with one of your best players in the faction. While Rocha and Bateman have had their own history, I can see them burying the hatchet hear, especially in the face of standing against Ghai, who is both Ben’s former partner, and Rocha’s potential son. It’s a match made in movie trivia heaven.
Now, this may seem like a long shot, but with Mike now losing his power over Thadd Williams, and ultimately the league, Mike is potentially in some trouble. There are a lot of people who would like nothing more than to take Mike’s newly won Innergeekdom belt, and more than that, there’s many more who are probably ready to get rid of Mike from the league altogether following what he pulled throughout the 2018 season. I mean, with so many enemies, and so few allies, it may be high time for Mike to consider a new option moving forward. It just happens to be that Mike has a belt, and the Horsemen like having those in their possession, so could we see Mike go face, and join a group that can protect him from those that may be after him?
Rocha and Mike both have a bit of a past, with the two showing the possibility of working together in the past, but I wouldn’t put it past Rocha not to accept Kalinowski… at first. But if K.O. can show real remorse for his actions, and show he’s willing to play the game, and respect the league, in the way that the Horsemen do, maybe some sort of alliance could be forged here. Kalinowski is one helluva player, and even with his meddling behind the scenes, he still made a case for being one of the best players of the season, especially with the devastating triple threat loss he had at the beginning of the year. Kalinowski proved he not only knew the game, but he could be among the strongest players in the league. Even if he hadn’t used Thadd to his advantage, he would have earned both his Innergeekdom title shots on his own merits, and that enough makes him Horsemen material.
Josh “JTE” Tapia
We haven’t seen JTE in a bit, as JTE recovered from his accident outside of the Schmoedown, but we all know he’ll be back in the ring next year. 2019 is a big season, and Josh is going to want to make a splash entrance back, so what splashier way than joining the Horsemen? Josh is currently like Tom Hanks in The Terminal, he has no country or allegiance as far as factions go. We saw him go off with Tom after the Patriots broke, and now Lon has seemingly found his new partner with his brother Jon, so JTE is going to be looking for not only a faction, but a partner as well. Could Josh join the Horsemen, and then potentially team up with Jason Inman? The possibilities are always there.
Josh has continually showed to be a dominant force in the league, both in singles and teams. The Horsemen could use that type of skill, and it would give them a real shot at not just the Single’s belt, but the team belt as well. JTE also has the potential to be face, and I could see him joining the ranks of the Horsemen as someone who will fight for the integrity of the game, even if he isn’t sure how to spell the word integrity. There’s no denying he’d also add some fun smack talk to the faction, and who doesn’t want to see him coming out with the hood on? Rocha, JTE, lets bury the hatchet on the past, because this could be an absolute dynamite team up!
BONUS: Could Tom “Finstock” Dagnino Become the Horsemen‘s Manager?
Now, stay with me here. This is clearly the dark horse choice (no, I won’t apologize, that pun is fully intended), but if Ben Bateman were to join the Horsemen, would that mean Finstock would get to don the hood and also become a Horseman? Or at least manage the faction? It isn’t out of the realm of possibility, and as improbable as it may sound, Finstock has actually proven to be a pretty great manager. He led the Patriots through nine title wins, and took Who’s the Boss? all the way to the a potential belt winning match this year. He’s a dominant force as a manager, and honestly, maybe the Horsemen could use that type of guidance. Time and again, the Horsemen’s Curse has been uttered by fans across the internet, and it’s hard to argue that. Rocha lost the belt. Inman lost the belt. Dan lost to Ghai. Knost walked away altogether. Reilly lost to Ghai, and couldn’t get the team belt.
Under Dagnino’s watchful eyes, maybe the Horsemen could wipe this whole curse rhetoric away altogether. But not only that, for Tom, being in the presence of the Horsemen would be a protective bubble which he’s going to very much need. With Robert Meyer Burnett burning the Finstock mask, it’s clear that he has a war to wage, and Tom is public enemy number one. If Robert comes at Dagnino, Dagnino would be wise to have the players to back up his trash talk, and to take on whatever Burnette decides to throw at him. For the Horsemen, they’d get a guiding light, and for Dagnino, he gets an arsenal of weapons at his disposal that few managers are lucky to wield, and that could make him the scariest manager of the 2019 season.