Hello Schmoedown fans, Tim here with the preview to the last regular match of Season Five before the arrival of the Schmoedown Spectacular!
This is the culmination of the month-long Ultimate Schmoedown Singles Tournament, where we are down to these two of the best competitors in the Singles Division: the elegant veteran and the top rookie. The prize, the #1 Contender spot and the opportunity to face the champion “The Outlaw” John Rocha for his Movie Trivia Schmoedown Championship at Spectacular’s main event.
For five rounds, we will see which one will be the one to reach the summit and face the champ. It’s the Ultimate Schmoedown Singles Finals between “Classy” Clarke Wolfe and Ethan “Big Time” Erwin!
Before we look into this matchup, let’s recap their paths to the Finals. For Clarke, it began after claiming the Movie Trivia Schmoedown Team Championship with her partner Rachel Cushing. Faced with a fearsome opponent to start the tourney, Clarke finally escaped the 1st Round doldrums with one of her best performances over the surging Ben Bateman. Then, in the friendly Fyffe Club Semifinal, she defeated her fellow stablemate Marc Andreyko by answering the 5-point Ready to Rumble question, despite both missing some crucial questions overall.
For Ethan, it began when he accepted the invitation to join Jay Washington’s Viper Squad to amplify his edge. It started with a strong victory over the rookie Chance Ellison in the 1st Round. Then, in his biggest win to date, he outperformed Dan Murrell via TKO by staying consistent and relentless to take the Semifinal and face Clarke Wolfe in the Finals.
If you look at Ethan’s season so far, it has met and more likely surpassed Kristian Harloff’s claim that he is the “next Dan Murrell.” With his combined trivia of movies and his vast experience in the movie industry, Ethan Erwin has emerged as one of the newest elite competitors to grace the stage of the Schmoedown. His performances throughout the season in Singles have made everyone step up their training. You think he was here this whole year to enjoy the ride? No, he is here because he wants to be the best of the best. That means that he wants the Movie Trivia Schmoedown Championship before this season ends.
In this tournament, Ethan Erwin is making a statement that this is his year to claim. Despite some setbacks in the Anarchy Tournament and the loss to Marc Andreyko this past Summer, he his seeking to win the entire tournament and the belt to close the gap against the frontrunner for Rookie of the Year: the Innergeekdom Champion Mara Knopic. If he can win this tournament and the main event at Schmoedown Spectacular, then the conversation between Ethan and Mara for Rookie of the Year will be intense.
However, this will be his first ever five-round match and it will be against a veteran in Clarke Wolfe, who already has experienced these type of matches before. The knowledge is there, and the game plan is there as well from experience, so what he needs to do is be familiar with the betting and speed rounds. His disadvantage in this match will definitely be in the speed round, where Clarke Wolfe has practiced for that round many times with her manager Emma Fyffe. He needs to be familiar with the buzzers in order to maintain that solid consistency of points earned. If he can balance out that round, then it should be a closely-fair game for him to take the entire tournament.
Ethan and Mara are now the only rookies to get to this point in tournament format, but Mara won the Innergeekdom Tournament overall and the Innergeekdom Championship. Can Ethan do the same thing in Singles? It will be challenging, as the classy one will give a fight for that opportunity.
Out of all the tournament appearances Clarke Wolfe has done in her Schmoedown career, this tournament is her best so far. After missing a Sudden Death question from claiming the Singles Title from Samm Levine, her singles campaign was put on hold when she focused on earning the Team Championship belts with Rachel Cushing as her partner as The Shirewolves. Then, she’s given another chance to continue her singles campaign and go far for that title again.
It was nerve-whacking to see Clarke back in the Singles Tournament because her previous two appearances were cut short by upsets. However, she avoided the unfortunate hat trick and finally advanced past the 1st Round and also the Semifinal to get to this point. She has been phenomenal with her recent singles performances, mostly due to her newfound confidence that was instilled by her manager Emma Fyffe.
With all the talk of how long it will take for Clarke to finally claim Singles gold, will that pressure her into failure? So far, it has not. While debates continue everyday between Samm Levine and Rachel Cushing for Overall Player of the Year, you have to consider this: if Clarke Wolfe wins this tournament and possibly the singles title from John Rocha, then you have to include her in the mix, depending on if her team The Shirewolves can defend their titles against Who’s The Boss; especially if she possibly becomes the second competitor to hold two belts simultaneously. How can you not deny that?
For all that to come true, she needs to defeat Ethan Erwin, who is a competitor that Clarke Wolfe cannot underestimate. He has been playing a consistent game throughout all season, but she has the advantage in five-round match experience. Along with her vast training on the buzzers with her faction, what she needs to win are categories she is familiar with, some luck to go her way with the wheel, and those deep pulls from tough questions like before. If she can get those and that same level of focus from the tournament overall, then it will be a confident chance for Clarke Wolfe to defeat Ethan Erwin and face John Rocha for the title at Spectacular.
One storyline that is particularly interesting in this matchup is the rivalry between The Fyffe Club and The Viper Squad. Since Marc Andreyko’s come-from-behind victory over Stacy Howard and Jeannine “The Machine” in that triple threat match at Collider Collision, this rivalry was considered done. Between Collision and the Ultimate Schmoedown Tournaments, manager Jay Washington was able to invite the top rookie Ethan Erwin to his stable to invigorate more power and make a final push to the top at the end of this season.
Despite some uneven meetings between the two, the Ultimate Schmoedown Singles Tournement gave The Viper Squad that needed reinvigoration through Erwin’s victories where now, they finally face The Fyffe Club once again. The rivalry has returned in full power. For Jay Washington, he can be satisfied with the year if his top ace Ethan can steal what could be The Fyffe Club’s fourth attempt at the singles title of this season. As for Emma Fyffe, she remains unfazed at facing Jay Washington and his faction again. With history backing her up, Emma is confident that Clarke will win the tournament to face Rocha for the Movie Trivia Schmoedown Championship.
Make no mistake about it, this matchup will go down to the wire. While Clarke Wolfe has that experience of five-round matches, Ethan Erwin’s relentless consistency of right answers will help him keep this competition neck-and-neck for all five rounds. These two know their movies, though Ethan might have the edge thanks to his experience as a movie executive. Between the two however, Clarke Wolfe will be the slight favorite to win the tournament and face John Rocha for his title at the main event in Schmoedown Spectacular.
This entire tournament, and the entire season overall, has been phenomenal in the history of the Movie Trivia Schmoedown. It will all come down to this last match of the regular season as we get ready for the “Grand Showcase of the Schmoedown” to close Season Five.
It’s the battle of the classy vet and the top rook for the shot at the Movie Trivia Schmoedown Championship!