With MY first ever Schmoedown Awards drawing near, I thought I’d talk about my picks for who should win. Just focusing on some of the categories I’m most excited to see, Player of the Year, Team of the Year, Manager of the year, Entrance and Rookie of the Year.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
I don’t think you need to have a belt to be player of the year. If you’ve proven yourself consistently to be a great player who knows their trivia and strategy, who appreciates some creative flair in character, entrances and interviews, then, in my book, that makes for an all around great player.
Andrew Ghai had some impressive wins and is always bringing the heel fire. He proved a lot of people wrong and, at this point, has had the best character moments for me this season. Bibbiani knows film inside and out. His accuracy is mind blowing and he has more creativity than any other competitor I’ve seen. He broke records in the Free 4 All, had funny and thoughtful entrances for every match and went on to win the belt. Pretty sure he’s the only competitor with a trademark move with the “match standing.”
But I can’t deny the impressive season my former opponent Ben Bateman has had as well. He brings the heel talk to the table, knows the game well and plays very strategically. While he’s not one for a flashy entrance, his music choices are impeccable and him coming out with “The Intern” showed his commitment to character and the Action Army fandom. What gives him the edge for me is the fact that he’s dominated 2 leagues in singles and in teams with Who’s the Boss.
TEAM OF THE YEAR
Teams are easy for me. While we got some entertaining pairings through “Anarchy”(insert eye rolling emoji), it’s down to Who’s the Boss and the ShireWolves for me. A former champ and an up and comer blowing away the competition. And having Dagnino manage them just makes watching them all the more fun. They compliment each other so well and as much as I love Action, I wouldn’t mind seeing this team stay together.
But it’s all about the ladies for me. Clarke And Rachel C. Have proven their skill in multiple, leagues and seasons. They put in the work, the creativity and have endured a lot of mess to get to where they are. It was an inspirational moment to see these women win the belts. They’ve consistently impressed and for that I’m giving ShireWolves that honorary slice.
MANAGER OF THE YEAR
Same thing I said about Player, you don’t need to manage someone with a belt to be considered. The obvious pick would be Emma. She made moves to become a manager, and put together an amazing team. Andreyko has had some stellar matches and she manages the current team champs. She’s encouraging, supportive and helps her competitors study. Dagnino, while looking like he smells of Bus Stop and cheap cologne, is so fun to watch. He’s ridiculous yes, but he gives great interviews and he’s always part of the decision making process whether it be for the wheel or challenges.
Call me biased AF, I really don’t care. But I think Jay Washington is the most entertaining manager in the league. He’s funny, he’s sad, he’s angry, he’s loud. It’s always a show with Jay. I can tell you firsthand how he quizzes me before matches, how he gives me pep talks to keep me calm, he helps me navigate the wheel. And at the risk of sounding like Lady Gaga(Of Bradley Cooper) on the “A Star Is Born” press tour, with the same sappy anecdote, I can’t stress enough how much it meant to me that after just 3 days out of the hospital, with a legit hole in his throat, Jay came to be with me for my first match because he knew how nervous I was. He gets hate and discounted most of the time. But he understands the entertainment aspects of the game better than any manager and he’s a master on the mic.
ENTRANCE OF THE YEAR
You know by now how much I appreciate the effort that goes into a good entrance. Stacy’s clueless entrance was super memorable and so much fun to be a part of. When she asked me to do it, the ‘90s girl in me did the Macarena. The costumes looked great down to the flip phones and Jay made the perfect Murray. The ShireWolves definitely made an impression with their Thor Ragnorok Entrance. Rachel looked bad ass as Hela, Clarke made sparks as Thor and Emma leading them into battle as Odin was perfection.
But my pick is Bibbiani’s MST3k entrance. So unique, creative and funny just like the show it’s inspired by. I don’t see anyone thinking outside the box like that and having it turn out so fun. Bibbiani is a master at a thoughtful entrance. I hope competitors take him up on his consulting offer.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
It was nice thinking I had a shot at this early on but there were some impressive new competitors this season. Mara Knopic is undefeated and made her way to an innergeekdom belt in a short time. Her first match out she already had 2 shirt designs. But I think I give the edge to Ethan Erwin. He came out of nowhere with a strong showing in the free 4 All and has consistently performed well against some heavy hitting competitors. Now he’s looking at a possible shot at the belt. I can only imagine what we could’ve done as a team.
I can’t wait to see the nominees and all the other categories! I’m not expecting anything this year but it will be a great way to reflect on my first and possibly one of the most exciting seasons in the Schmoedown.