Now that the dust has settled and we’ve feasted far too much over the holidays, I’m sure we can all agree that the biggest event in the Schmoedown calendar was (as its name suggests) Spectacular! Schmoedown Spectacular 3 gave us six wonderful matches and so much more besides, enough to keep us busy discussing the possibilities while we await Season 6.
With so many hours of footage, there was obviously a lot to take in, but I have tried to put together what I feel to be the top 10 moments from the event!
10. The Future of the Schmoedown
Maybe not as flashy or funny as some of the other moments on this list, Kristian’s announcement of the future of the league going into Season 6 was so important it had to appear on my list. It is understandably a controversial decision to some people but it is also an exciting moment as we look to see the Schmoedown growing into live streams.
9. Alex Uses The Force
Alex confronted Ken, Kalinowski and Chance ahead of the Star Wars title match. The KOrruption boys tried to jump the champion and steal the belt, only to fall through what was revealed to be a Force projection. This was a great little moment to hype up the coming match and include Alex – who appears more confident with each match – in the storylines. The cameo from Nathan Hamill as his teacher saying that it worked out better than the last guy who tried it was a great little surprise.
8. One Letter Off
The Commissioner Bowl may not have been the best match of the event, but it was certainly an exciting one with a lot of fun moments. Probably the best moment of the match itself was Tom Dagnino’s first question of Round 3. Asked “Who wrote and directed the 2016 film Suicide Squad?” he answered David Ayers rather than David Ayer, missing out on the point despite one of the most questionable challenges I have ever seen. What makes this moment such a standout is that Dagnino was eliminated with 11 points, while none of his opponents could score higher than 12, meaning that we were just 1 letter away from having Dagnino as Commissioner!
7. One Last Dance
I’m a big Horsemen and Top 10 fan so a bit of bias may have come into this pick. Following John Rocha’s unsuccessful title defence, Matt Knost announced that he would be stepping away from the Schmoedown and with one last shimmy exited the league. I’ve really enjoyed Knost’s wit and humour over the years while his knowledge has probably made him one of the more underrated players in the Teams Division, so it is a real loss to the league. Hopefully he will find the time to return in the future to call a couple of matches at the desk. As if the emotion at Knost leaving wasn’t enough, there is also the excitement to build now for who will replace him as the 5th Horseman, something that I’m sure will keep us theorising until the reveal.
6. Perfect All Round
You always want a good performance in a title match and The Shirewolves vs. Who’s The Boss? did not disappoint. With the scores at 12-13 in favour of the challengers after Round 1 (only 7 of a possible 32 combined points dropped), The Shirewolves spun a strength in Sandra Bullock and fired through the round to go 6/6 for a perfect 12 points. Who’s The Boss? got stuck on Festival Darlings, which they didn’t appear confident in, but knowing the need for a good score to keep in touch, Reilly and Bateman matches Clarke and Rachel’s feat, going 6/6 for a perfect 12 points. Frank Janisch will know better than I will, but both teams going perfect in Round 2 is a rare feat and just highlighted the quality of the teams on display.
5. Burning The Mask
After hours of watching Tom Dagnino look everywhere for his missing mask, Spectacular III ended with us seeing the grubbiest piece of knitwear in Los Angeles being thrown in a bucket and set alight by a mysterious figure, revealed to be Robert Meyer Burnett. Last seen being abandoned by the Lion’s Den at Spectacular II, it will be interesting to see what impact “The Captain” has on the league in Season 6. He will surely be looking to win back his Innergeekdom title in what has become a much stronger division, while it looks like he may now have a feud with Dagnino to go along with his feuds with Rocha and Hector Navarro.
4. It Was Him All Along
The KOrruption storyline had clearly been building to a head in recent months and we finally found out who was behind Mike Kalinowski’s evildoings following the Commissioner Bowl. Thadd shredded an envelope containing sensitive information that was meant to be revealed if he lost, only for Paulie G to come out and announce that he had a second copy, the contents of which would be announced by his employer… Kristian Harloff! The former Commissioner announced that he had always been aware that the contract stated he would revert to Commissioner after four months, only for Thadd to hide the page. Harloff announced himself as the Chairman of the Schmoedown and said that Emma Fyffe will be a Commissioner with other Commissioners still to be announced.
While bringing a great end to the KOrruption and Commissioner storylines this season, we now have the excitement of seeing how the Chairman runs the league with multiple Commissioners, while it will be interesting to see if Kalinowski begins a vendetta against Harloff now he sees how he was manipulated.
3. The Mystery Basterd
With some Schmoedown competitors actually working in movies, there is always a chance that one day they will eventually be the answer to a question in the Schmoedown. This happened perfectly in Rocha v Erwin when during the speed round they were asked “Who played Pfc Hirschberg in the war film Inglourious Basterds?” Now with so many Basterds, it’s difficult to remember each one’s name and you could tell that both competitors wanted to guess Samm Levine but didn’t want to look foolish if it was wrong. When it was announced that the former Singles Champion was indeed the right answer, the moment got even better as it turned out he was in the crowd and he came on to take the belt that neither of them deserved. Any time we get to see Samm is a great moment and for this to happen in the main event of Spectacular 3, one year after he became champion, was just perfect!
2. Who Run the World?
The Shirewolves vs. Who’s The Boss? match makes this list for a second time, this time for the Shirewolves’ entrance. Coming out to “Run the World” by Beyoncé, the Shirewolves used their entrance to showcase the wealth of female talent in the league, being accompanied out by a number of female competitors including then-Innergeekdom Champion Mara Knopic, and Vipers Jeannine the Machine and Markeia McCarty. We always know to expect a great entrance form Clarke and Rachel, but following Clarke’s statement that “We are the league” following their first title victory, this was a beautiful way to remind everyone that the Schmoedown does not need a women’s league as the women involved are more than capable of beating the men put in front of them.
1. The Tackle II
Andrew Ghai’s tackle of John Rocha stole the headlines at Schmoedown Spectacular 2 last year, and he did it again. The wannabe linebacker came to commiserate with former teammate Ben Bateman following his loss in the Team Title Match. When Bateman expressed an interest in sticking with Reilly, Ghai accepted it, announcing that he had found a new teammate and suggesting the four of them make their own faction before leaving. Bateman was clearly so happy that Ghai understood and his comment in the post-match interview of “Action Army for life” showed that he was still committed to his brother in arms… right up until the moment Ghai tackled him through a table. The hearts of the Action Army broke as they watched Ghai show his disgust for Bateman’s newfound respect and spitting on his former brother before being chased off by Reilly.
Now the Army must decide if they are #TeamGhai or #TeamBateman and Ghai’s feud with Ben is surely going to play a part in Season 6, while William Bibbiani may also be after Ghai unless he repays the former champion for the broken table!
So those were my top 10 moments, what are yours…?