MACHINE MONDAYS: And the Wheel Slice Goes To…


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.



  1. Just rewatched Stacy’s Clueless entrance after reading this article and I really hope she wins best entrance this year. It’s not so much an individual entrance she has but every single time Stacy steps out to play, she puts so much thought into her entrance and outfit and involving other people in the entrance. While Bibbiani’s Clue entrance(s) and the Shirewolves Thor Ragnorak entrance were awesome, Stacy always has an unforgettable entrances, even during Free 4 All when most people didn’t do a costume. Except Brianne! 😀

  2. I like the list to an extent, and a lot of her points are solid, however, I don’t think Bateman should be player of the year, yes, he’s phenomenal but no, there’s still up in the air honestly. Is he in the running, yes, will he win it? No.
    Yes Jay is the most entertaining manager of the year, period, & I love Jay, is he in the running, ABSOLUTELY, but he’s not taking it either.
    As for player of the year that is going to be a toss-up between Mara and Ethan Irwin. Honestly either one truthfully deserves to win and it’s anyone’s guess who will win at the end of the year.

    • I’d have them more as rookies of the year, as being new to the game they had incredible showings. Compared to last season Bateman is on fire. Just my personal opinion

  3. I appreciate a sound and logical argument when it comes to making the case for these types of awards. That’s exactly what Jeannine has done here.

    I will disagree with Bateman as POTY. I think a lot of the points laid out for what makes a great POTY not only applies to Bateman but I think applies even more so to Clarke Wolfe. Then you take into account that Wolfe has beaten Bateman twice this year in each division. If Wolfe defends at Spectacular then she will have my vote for POTY (regardless how her final two singles matches go). She has made incredible runs in both leagues.

    Team of the Year – this one is easy since it will be decided at Spectacular. Go Shirewolves!

    Manager of the Year – I’m a numbers guy so what do you expect from me?! To me it is clearly Emma. A lot of the reasons laid out for Jay are the same for Emma. Clarke Wolfe spoke to it on the Schmoedown Rundown and now Jeannine has also done that here. I can’t say the same for Bobby Gucci/Tom Dagnino/Finstock. If you listened to the Reilly Roundtable episode with Bateman recapping their tournament run they didn’t exactly sing his praises the way we’ve heard Jeannine and Clarke do. Again I am the numbers guy and Emma’s record is far beyond anyone else. It could quite possibly stand as the greatest year for a manager ever. Something that I think could stand for a long time.

    Entrance of the Year – There have been some really fun entrances this year but I think Jeannine nails it here with the MST3K entrance. There’s really nothing left to say!

    Rookie of the Year – As of this Tuesday, December 11, 2018 I would give it Mara Knopic. Although, if Ethan Erwin wins the Singles Tournament Final AND wins the title at Spectacular then I will vote for Ethan Erwin. He’s accomplished a lot this year – who can forget that Free 4 All showing! He’s been dominant like no other player has been. So, now what if Mara defends at Spectacular and she’s undefeated for the year? Well, I would still give it to Erwin (given he goes all the way) purely based on their respective levels of play. Erwins numbers are through the roof at the moment. Mara’s have been good as well but nowhere near as dominant as Erwins.

    One thing is for sure – this years awards are going to be insane! This year has been filled with the best this league has ever seen it’s gonna be hard to pick just one winner for each of the categories.

  4. I agree with everything except the manager of the year. Jay has his moments but just because he’s loud, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s entertaining. We need Jay, but I’m throwing my vote in for Dagnino or Emma.

    • These are just my opinions from the perspective of someone who’s in it and sees behind the curtain. I know what jay has done for me as a manager. I know his background in wrestling plays into his character and he understands that aspect of what the show is very well. Emma’s job as manager is easy in a sense as she has already established competitors. I give jay the edge for having to work more as he built something from the ground up.

  5. Really good picks and incite into potential award winners. I too agree on Bibbiani’s entrance being the best, but I also agree with Brianne’s take that there are two styles of entrance and as such should be two categories for entrance.

  6. I guess I get why we’re supposed to comment here instead of the FB post, but to be quite honest, I think it’s unrealistic and basically reduces the correspondence between fans and the SD significantly for these. People comment on FB. People comment on Twitter and Instagram. But they don’t comment on websites anymore. That’s my observation anyway. Comment sections on websites are usually also far less practical than those on social media.
    Of course I’ll do it if it serves a purpose and helps the Schmoedown, but I don’t think this will become a thing.
    Great variation of “from the wheel and not the pegs”, though. 😬

  7. As to your picks, Jeannine … I must admit, I kinda disagree with all of them except Best Team. If it boiled down to stats only, I’m sure Emma would win best manager with Finstock as a close second, but this is not just about stats. As much as it pains me, but his run with the Patriots and then his second run with Who’s The Boss makes Finstock my MOTY. I also find him more entertaining than both Emma and Jay.

    Player and Rookie are tough. Sure, Ben had a great end to the season with Reilly, but Team Action didn’t have the greatest run this year.

    Concerning Rookie, I’ll have to go with Mara. Not just because she is 5 in 0 and a reigning champion, but also because her personality and weird humor endeared me more than Ethan Erwin. He’s beginning to find his groove and starting to talk smack and it’s beautiful but Mara has been flawless in her IG run.

    For POTY, I still think Samm Levine needs to be up there. He was the first ever to have both belts at the same time. If Erwin beats Rocha and wins the belt, he might be my POTY after all.

    Keep up the great work, dear Machine!


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