In some movies, there is a demon who curses all its enemies. When John Rocha was a heel, did he ever piss off a wizard or some other magical being? We have seen time and time again that if any member of The Horsemen has a belt, they immediately lose it in their next match. Despite working hard, having several members leave, and adding new competitors, John Rocha appears to be the only person who benefits from within the faction.
Before The Horsemen were created, Top Ten won the Team Belts when they knocked out Team Schmoes on October 25, 2016. John Rocha and Matt Knost had their first taste of victory and wanted more. They decided to go after who they viewed as “the best” in the Schmoedown. “I want all the belts, all the records,” The Outlaw stated multiple times.
Several weeks later, William “The Beast” Bibbiani won his match with Marc Andreyko with a new record score of twenty-three points. Rocha approached The Beast to offer the third spot in The Four Horsemen to him. Without hesitation, Bibbiani accepted the offer and became the third Horseman.
After winning the Innergeekdom Belt in the first Schmoedown Spectacular, Rocha, Knost, and Bibbiani recruited Robert Meyer Burnett as the fourth Horseman. With The Four Horsemen together, they were designed to be made of champion potential. However, in a surprising twist of fate, Top Ten lost the Team Belts to their rivals The Patriots at a time when they were still thought of as a relatively weak team. Rocha’s only silver lining in the Spectacular was his victory over Mark Reilly in a No. 1 Contender Match, which led to him winning the Singles Belt from Dan Murrell.
At first nobody suspected a curse fell onto The Four Horsemen. Matt Knost confidentially said The Patriots were not going to hold onto the belts. “Toonland. Just tell yourself, Toonland. Just keep repeating that to yourself, Toonland.” But they held onto the Team Belts for a year and a half, and the team to defeat them was Above the Line. Not to mention, Robert Meyer Burnett lost the Innergeekdom Belt to his rival Hector Navarro on February 10, 2017 and Rocha lost the Singles Belt to Mark Reilly on April 21, 2017.
Rocha had a chance to win the belt back from Reilly at the 2017 Collider Collision in a Triple Threat Match, but Dan Murrell reclaimed it in the end. In the post-match interview, William Bibbiani was tired of Rocha’s “leadership” and was the first to leave the Four Horsemen to form the Growling Commandos. The next Tuesday Burnett announced his departure and joined The Lion’s Den. People started to suspect a curse had settled in over the faction.
On June 2, 2018, The Four Horsemen reformed with Rocha, Knost, Mark Reilly, and the current Innergeekdom Champion Jason Inman. Everyone cheered at the Live Event, but a fifth hooded figure emerged from the shadows. Rocha revealed that Dan Murrell returned from retirement to challenge Andrew Ghai to a match at Collision. “Fine,” Ghai grudgingly responded.
Everyone laughed at the thought of Ghai defeating the G.O.A.T. before the Collision, but the curse was not laughing. Andrew beat Dan Murrell by T.K.O. and went on to defeat Mark Reilly as well. Only Rocha succeeded in winning his match against Ghai. The curse doesn’t mean the Horsemen will lose every match, but it does mean they will suffer great loss.
The curse is so strong that not even leaving the faction is enough to break it. During last year’s Spectacular, Tom Dagnino and The Lion’s Den abandoned Burnett in an empty room screaming to himself. William “The Beast” Bibbiani after many years won the Singles Belt only to lose it to Rocha in his first defense match.
The curse could also be blamed for the Anarchy Tournament. It separated every Horsemen except for John Rocha and Dan Murrell. They became the Founding Fathers while Matt Knost was partnered with former stablemate William Bibbiani in Cinemaniacs and Mark Reilly partnered with Ben Bateman who was accused of stealing his dog Kal. Jason Inman avoided the tournament but lost the Innergeekdom Belt to Mara Knopic.
Every team that was composed of past and current Horsemen lost the Anarchy Tournament except for Reilly and Bateman. Oddly enough, the team that everyone expected to fail seemed to have performed the best. Who’s The Boss had the best chance to take the belts from The Shirewolves.
In 2018’s Spectacular, Rocha lost the belt once again to Ethan Erwin, Matt Knost announced his retirement from the Schmoedown, and it was revealed that Robert Meyer Burnett will be back in 2019. Although Knost’s departure wasn’t met with bitterness like Burnett and Bibbiani, it appears something is preventing the Horsemen from keeping the belts on their shoulders.
If Robert is coming back, he better be prepared for that curse. Unless… unless he discovered something during his long absence. Maybe burning Finstock’s mask meant something more than an announcement of his return? The Lion’s Den were the rivals of the Horsemen, and Tom Dagnino was very worried about his missing mask. He did say it was “his good luck charm.” What if Finstock’s mask was the curse that kept the Horsemen down and burning it was the only way for all Horsemen, past and current, can hold onto the belts after they won it?
Tune in next season to see if the curse has finally been lifted.