JOHN ROCHA VS. ETHAN ERWIN: Schmoedown Spectacular Preview – WHO YA GOT?!

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Hello Schmoedown fans, Tim here with the final part of my special preview to the Schmoedown Spectacular!

This is the big one. The finale of Season 5’s finale. The main event. It is the culmination of two long journeys for two individuals, and it ends here with the most coveted championship title: The Movie Trivia Schmoedown Championship, emblematic of the whole Schmoedown, made possible by Kristian Harloff and Mark Ellis. The greatest superstar in the Movie Trivia Schmoedown gets another chance to earn his first title defense, while the greatest rookie of all time seeks to cap off his amazing year with the singles title and be part of history.

Two icons, one representing the now and the other representing the future. It’s “The Outlaw” John Rocha defending his crown against Ethan “Big Time” Erwin!

Since the end of the Singles Tournament. Kristian Harloff called this matchup as a harkening to the historically-famous main event in Wrestlemania III between Hulk Hogan and Andre The Giant. One of the most popular professional wrestlers defending his Heavyweight World Championship against a relentless giant. For this main event, Andre the Giant symbolizes Ethan Erwin, and Hulk Hogan symbolizes John Rocha, and it’s an analogy that truly describes this match. Two famous and powerful competitors, in the ring for five rounds to duke it out for the title.

Kristian Harloff described Ethan Erwin as the “next Dan Murrell” of this league. Back then, many did not know the impressive might Erwin had, which Harloff knew about as one of his friends. Before the Schmoedown, Ethan Erwin was a movie executive in Silver Pictures looking at ideas and greenlighting projects into production. All while knowing a lot of movies as his favorite hobby throughout his life. When he came onto the scene in his debut match against Yolanda Machado, we were swept off our feet with how impressive he was with answering movie trivia questions at a nearly-constant pace.

His next appearance was in the Free 4 All where we saw his impressive endurance at getting questions right for 15 rounds. Then he was tested with Lon Harris and Drew McWeeny, where he pulled out impressive victories from those two matches. At that point, many saw that Ethan had the potential to be a future champion. His first opportunity to be in a title match came against Marc Andreyko, where it went the distance but Ethan couldn’t answer the 5-point Peter Pan question which led to his first defeat.

But that was not the end of the story, and after a brief stint in the Anarchy Team Tournament, Ethan Erwin joined forces with Jay Washington as his manager to power through the Ultimate Schmoedown Singles Tournament. He blazed through his two matches against Chance Ellison and Dan Murrell to face Clarke Wolfe in the Finals. It truly went the distance and tested his limits, but Ethan barely won by one pronoun to finally have his one shot at the title against John Rocha.

The defining characteristic of Ethan “Big Time” Erwin is his consistency; his ability to answer nearly every movie question right. According to the calculations of Frank Janisch, Ethan Erwin’s accuracy is at an unbelievable 82%. That ranks as the 2nd best accuracy all time. For a rookie, it’s amazing to be that accurate in your debut year. What it shows is that Ethan never skips a beat. He might as well represent the next generation of Schmoedown superstars in the years to come, with himself spearheading the movement. With the support and encouragement his manager Jay gives, Ethan is truly in his prime to shock the world and take the championship, something that has only happen twice during a competitor’s first year in a Schmoedown Division (e.g. Dan Murrell and Mara Knopic).

He is in line to win Rookie of the Year and possibly Singles Player of the Year should he be able to win the title. However, he must go against one of the founding fathers of the Schmoedown to earn it.

John Rocha made his debut in 2015 during the Ultimate Schmoedown Team Tournament. He was one of the favorite competitors of that tournament with Matt Knost as Team Top 10, but he didn’t truly breakout until next year. In his singles debut against Scott Mantz, John donned the cowboy hat and the rest was history.

From that match onward, Rocha became the first true superstar of the Movie Trivia Schmoedown with his aggressive attitude towards competition, achievements, and character. His approach to attacking the work in front of him gained him a lot of fans. Rocha worked hard for his first singles title attempt in both 2016 and 2017, where he finally had his title shot against then-champion Dan Murrell and won it by going the distance. However, his stint would only be brief as he got overconfident in his head and lost the title to Mark Reilly a few months later.

From there on, it was a journey of ups and downs for Rocha to reclaim the singles title. From not being able to win the Collider Collision’s triple threat main event of 2017, to being eliminated by the current GOAT Samm Levine in the 2017 Ultimate Schmoedown Singles Tournament, Rocha had to rethink his focus for 2018. He started this year with a determination to defeat The Lion’s Den one-by-one, starting with JTE via TKO at the first live event. His next match was against Jeff Sneider where he had him for the win but could not figure out Black Philip from The VVitch.

While figuring out his choices after that loss, John was given another path by the mysterious dealings of Mike Kalinowski. He would be able to go through both Team Action members Ben Bateman and Andrew Ghai to face his rival that left The Horsemen, William Bibbiani, for the Movie Trivia Schmoedown Championship. That match went through all five rounds, and Rocha was able to outlast Bibbiani to claim the title for the second time and has another chance at earning his first ever title defense in the “Grand Showcase of the Schmoedown.”

There is no doubt that “The Outlaw” John Rocha is the most popular superstar in the Movie Trivia Schmoedown, and helped make the league what it is today. However, what separates him from the greatest competitors to play the game in Mark Reilly, Dan Murrell, and Samm Levine is not successfully defending the belt. John Rocha is 0-2 in title defenses overall. As much as everyone praises John Rocha as the greatest superstar of the league, there is still an asterisk over his head.

If he wants to be considered both a famous superstar and truly one of the top elites, he has to earn his first title defense. This is his best chance to prove to the world on the biggest stage and in the main event. A successful title defense would be the ultimate happiness for “The Outlaw,” who worked very hard all year even in times of being down to keep going for the title and be the greatest champion. A successful title defense would be the payoff of the days and months dedicated to becoming a better Schmoedown competitor; an indicator that the blood, sweat, and tears poured into this game was all worth for defending the belt. A successful title defense would also be for the numerous fans of Outlaw Nation, including Chris Alexakos, to see their dedication in supporting the superstar from his successes to his darkest times finally paying off. You think they will be watching the main event?

A successful title defense would be the crowning achievement of “The Outlaw,” where he can finally add that elusive objective to his stellar history. It is of the upmost importance for John Rocha to win this title defense, otherwise he will live with the “Yeah but…” circling above his head.

For Ethan Erwin to pull off the victory, nothing needs to be said with these keys to victory: maintain that relentless consistency of movie knowledge, don’t feel intimidated by Rocha, and improve his reactions to the buzzer during the speed round. That round is the only one that can be detrimental for Erwin to win the title and possibly Rookie of the Year. As for John Rocha, this is a whole different stage when it comes to title defenses. For his keys to victory, “The Outlaw” must not get emotional in the five rounds, he needs to pay attention to every detail, and use the repeats and challenge to his advantage. When it comes to title defenses, everything gets more intense like being in Game 7 of the World Series. If he can maintain his composure and study very well against the ruthless consistency of Erwin, then it’s without a doubt that this match will be competitive.

Speaking of being competitive, with Rocha’s intense focus and Erwin’s relentless consistency at play, the main event of Spectacular will go all the way through five rounds, and could end very close in the final round or in Sudden Death. This is the culmination of two singles campaigns that began in the start of Season Five, and now they compete in the conclusion of Season Five for the right to earn the Movie Trivia Schmoedown Championship and defend it against the next #1 Contender at live season premiere in New York City.

Two icons, the past and the future, will go toe-to-toe for the title. Who will win in the clash of icons?

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