FACTION WITH FANGS: The Year of Jay Washington and the Viper Squad

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What a difference 12 months can make in the Schmoedown. This time last year, Jay Washington was left reeling after Brianne Chandler walked away from the Missfits and jumped in a car with their rival Mike Kalinowsk. Now, he has just become the first manager to lead a competitor to the Singles Title!

It’s been a year of up and downs for Jay, and it starts and ends with Schmoedown Spectacular…

From the Ashes

Brianne failed to show up to support Jay ahead of Schmoedown Spectacular II’s manager Bowl – in which he came 3rd, behind Emma Fyffe and Tom Dagnino – but she arrived later, to tell Jay that she was leaving the Missfits. She tried to convince Stacy Howard to come with her, but Stacy chose to stick with Jay.

This moment brought an end to the Missfits, but Jay took this as a chance to rebuild and the Viper Squad was created, with rookies Markeia McCarty and Jeannine the Machine being brought into the new faction.

Early Success

2018 started well for the Viper Squad. Jeannine won on debut against Bonnie Somerville – with Jay even turning up to support her despite having left the hospital just three days earlier! – and a victory for Stacy Howard over Josh Macuga was quickly backed up by The Machine beating Emma Fyffe via TKO, as the Vipers began a feud with the Fyffe Squad.

With Stacy at 4-1 and Jeannine at 2-0, things were looking good for Jay and his faction.

Mid-Season Struggles

Things did not go so well in the Innergeekdom Division, however. Jay Washington looked to take on Emma Fyffe in the first round of the Innergeekdom tournament but could not keep the momentum going and lost 16-17. Meanwhile, Markeia made her debut in an unenviable first round matchup against an in-form Rachel Cushing and she fell to a loss via KO.

The run of bad results continued at Collider Collision II, as both Stacy and Jeannine were set to compete against each other and Marc Andreyko in a triple threat match, with the winner set to compete in a Number 1 Contender match. Unfortunately for the Vipers, neither of them could pull out the victory over the Android and he went on to beat Ethan Erwin for a shot at the vacant title.

Anarchy

Things became even more difficult for the Vipers as factions and teams were split and reorganised for the Anarchy of the 2018 Ultimate Schmoedown Teams Tournament. Stacy Howard suffered a first round exit along with Winston Marshall at the hands of the Founding Fathers, but Jay must have thought Christmas had come early when Jeannine was paired with Ethan Erwin. However, due to scheduling issues, they had to swap teams and Jeannine instead was paired with Brian Walton, and they in the first round to The Paddington Two.

Ethan Erwin was moved to partnering Sabina Graves, and they also went out in the first round, to the Cinemaniacs. But Jay was able to get special dispensation from puppet-Commissioner Thadd to manage both Jeannine and Ethan’s teams during Anarchy and continue working with Ethan for the remainder of the season.

Markeia was also involved in Anarchy, but as a manager of Take The Cannoli rather than a competitor, and was the only member of the Viper Squad to make it into the second round of the tournament, where they lost to The Harris Brothers.

Ultimate Victory

With Ethan Erwin and Stacy Howard both in the 7 confirmed competitors for the 2018 Ultimate Schmoedown Singles Tournament and Jeannine in the Qualifying Gauntlet, Jay was very busy as the season came to an end.

Jeannine was unable to beat Ben Bateman in the Gauntlet and Stacy Howard lost to an in-form Dan Murrell in the first round. The Viper Squad’s season was over.

But Jay was still going: Ethan Erwin defeated Chance Ellison, Murrell and Clarke Wolfe, on the way to winning the final that gave Jay the perfect end to the year, with a TKO victory over John Rocha at Spectacular III.

Trouble Ahead?

While having the Singles Champion under his management may sound great, things may not be quite as rosy as they first look for Jay. He’s been famous in the Schmoedown for having a rather angry and combative approach to his faction’s opponents, but has had to change to being a sweet and smiling presence to please Ethan Erwin. This new, nice Jay does not match at all with the rest of the Viper Squad, so it will be interesting to see what happens moving forward.

Right now, Ethan is not a part of the Viper Squad. He’s just sharing their manager. I have a couple of possible theories as to what we may see happen:

1. Ethan gets corrupted by the Viper Squad and joins them – Personally I can’t imagine this happening right now as Ethan seems far too chill to turn heel, even if he were to lose the belt.

2. Jay continues with 2 separate personalities, his new nice guy act with Ethan and his usual attitude with the rest of the Vipers – which could have hilarious consequences if both Ethan and the Vipers are around at the same time.

3. Jay tries to stay a nice guy to keep Ethan with him, which results in the Viper Squad dismissing him – Markeia noted how free she felt managing Take The Cannoli and that experience could lead to her taking over control of the Vipers
 
What do you think will happen going forward? Can Jay keep managing the Viper Squad and Ethan Erwin? With Ethan defending his title at the New York live event on January 26th, we probably won’t have long to wait until we find out!

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