Everyone loves a winner, but every winner has to defend themselves. (Unless they retire… Samm.) The current crop of Movie Trivia Schmoedown title holders may very well be the most impressive that the league has ever seen, but they’re all going to have to put their belts on the line in the near future.
So let’s take a look at who each of our current champions are likely to face in a title match, and what their honest-to-goodness odds are of winning under those conditions! Will your favorites hang on to their titles… or will it slip away from their grasp?
“Dangerous” Dan Murrell
The newly re-crowned King of the Schmoedown, “Dangerous” Dan Murrell has been at the top of the heap three times, and is considered by many to be the GOAT of the whole league. Although he had a rough start in Season 5, he scraped off the ring rust and quickly ascended back to the title position, in a brutal match against Ethan “Big Time” Erwin, in which Murrell accomplished one of the rarest feats: a perfect game.
With a win only just now under his belt, Dan is sitting pretty for a while. The start of the Schmoedown season means an influx of new competitors, none of whom are going to be title contenders for at least a few months (if not longer, if ever), so there’s even less time in the schedule for the top ranked contenders to earn their title shot.
However, the highest ranked Singles competitors are a real threat to Murrell’s dominance. Ethan Erwin is still ranked #1, and is probably just one win away from a third match against the “Dangerous” one. Erwin won his first match against Murrell by TKO, so that match could go in any direction. Flip a coin. Their record against each other is 50/50.
The second and third spots are held by former Champions John “The Outlaw” Rocha and Mark “Yodi” Reilly, both of whom have held the Singles Championship on two non-consecutive occasions, and both of whom are part of Murrell’s Faction, The Five Horsemen. Of those two competitors only Rocha has actually defeated Dan Murrell in Singles combat, although Reilly – after a rough Season 5 of his own – has been in top form lately, in Teams and in his recent win against Drew McWeeny.
The fourth and fifth ranked competitors are “Classy” Clarke Wolfe and Marc “The Android” Andreyko, both of whom have played for the Singles Championship, but neither of them have ever won the belt. Andreyko is one of the most impressive competitors to never win a championship, and Wolfe is also riding on a career high with her dominant string of wins as one-half of The Shirewolves. But Murrell has defeated Wolfe twice before, and Andreyko once, so the champ would be the odds-on favorite in both rematches.
Dan Murrell seems likely to hang onto his belt for a long time, and the Chairman is unlikely to push for another Singles Championship right away, after two title bouts in a row: the conclusion of Season 5 and the premiere of Season 6. And again, Murrell has a winning record against most of the competitors who are closest to a title shot. But never count out Rocha and Reilly, and also be wary of Rachel Cushing. She’s sitting proudly in the #6 spot in the Singles rankings, and it may only be a matter of time before she returns to the division. She’s the most accurate overall player, when you factor in every division, and she’s a genuine threat to every competitor in her path.
Mike “The Killer” Kalinowski
There aren’t many players who could claim to have a more monumental 2018 than Mike “The Killer” Kalinowski. The charming face turned smug heel in the second half of the season, manipulating then-Commissioner Thadd Williams behind the scenes, and engineering an Innergeekdom Tournament to give himself a path to a title shot. Kalinowski’s plan backfired, and the title wound up going to rookie Mara Knopic, but Kalinowski once again played his “Korruption” card, and won his eagerly-pursued belt in a rematch at Schmoedown Spectacular III.
Of the current Schmoedown Champions, Kalinowski is the next in line to defend his title. He’ll play Rachel “The Crusher” Cushing in a title shot on the first episode of Schmoedown Live on February 23, 2019. And it’s a rematch that’s been a long time coming.
At the start of last year’s Innergeekdom Tournament, Kalinowski and Cushing seemed destined for a face-off. Kalinowski seemed uniquely threatened by Cushing, and it could even be said he manipulated the scheduling just to postpone a match against the player whom many consider the GOAT of the Innergeekdom division. But Rachel’s path to victory was also sidelined by the amazing rise of Mara Knopic, and now, finally, they are going head-to-head.
But Mike Kalinowski was right to worry about Rachel Cushing. The competitors have gone head-to-head twice before, once in a close Innergeekdom match, but also in a three-way Singles match where Cushing knocked out Kalinowski as well as former team title-holder JTE.
What’s more, Cushing has been hungry for the Innergeekdom championship. It’s her signature division, her most dominant skillset, and yet she has never actually held the IG title. Kalinowski may put up a fight but Cushing is bound to be the favorite going into the match.
If Kalinowski defeats Rachel Cushing he seems likely to keep his belt for a while, as the Innergeekdom division is in the middle of a rookie season, with upcoming matches with promising contenders on the horizon. All he has to do is defend his title once to secure his position… but his position is anything but secure.
The most accurate team in the Schmoedown, with a devastating record of five wins, no losses, and two knockouts, The Shirewolves are easily the most intimidating duo in the Teams Division. And like Kalinowski, they also have a title match looming on the horizon.
Unlike Kalinowski, that match will be against yours truly, William Bibbiani, in the team of Critically Acclaimed. Which makes writing this article a little awkward. But let’s take me out of the equation and just look at the vital stats. The Shirewolves have a superior record to Critically Acclaimed, but not by much. Critically Acclaimed has four wins and one defeat, and all of those wins have been by knockout, which isn’t half bad. The only other team with four wins right now is Who’s the Boss, and they lost in a close match against The Shirewolves at Schmoedown Spectacular III.
But Critically Acclaimed has a lot going against them. Witney Seibold has never played a championship match before, and the buzzer round is notoriously brutal on new players who aren’t used to the rigorous time limit or the technology involved. Also, his partner, William Bibbiani (that’s me), is notoriously susceptible to rushing his answers and – let’s be honest – totally blowing the final round of play. The only time Critically Acclaimed has even been forced to play their final round was also the only game they lost, even though it was just by one point. And it’s extremely unlikely that the Shirewolves will go down via TKO, so those last rounds are probably going to be very important.
Is it possible that Critically Acclaimed could take down The Shirewolves? Perhaps, but the safe money is on Rachel Cushing and Clarke Wolfe retaining their titles and then going up against the winner of the upcoming live event Contenders Match between Who’s the Boss and a competitor who has yet to be determined. And even then, The Shirewolves are bound to be the odds-on favorites.
Anything can happen (it’s the Movie Trivia Schmoedown, after all) but it looks like The Shirewolves are probably here to stay.
Alex “The Demon” Damon
One of the fiercest competitors in the league, and the most dominant competitor in the Star Wars division since the currently-retired Sam Witwer, Alex Damon had such a phenomenal run in 2018 that it’s hard to believe anyone could defeat him. He thoroughly trounced any and all comers in Season 5, and it’s quite possible that Season 6 will go exactly the same way.
But there are new contenders for the Star Wars title. The rookie Andrew Dimalanta has set his sights on Damon’s crown, and for all we know he could win it, but he’s untested in the league so for now he’s just a big question mark in Damon’s future.
What we do know for sure is that Alex Damon will be defending his title at Star Wars Celebration in Chicago, against an unknown competitor who will earn their spot that same weekend. And if there’s anyone who knows more about Star Wars than Alex Damon it’s probably someone who’s going to Star Wars Celebration.
Still, none of Damon’s competition is a known quantity right now, since Witwer is still unavailable for scheduling reasons. It’s possible the Schmoedown will find an even more formidable demon than Damon, but the odds aren’t good. Damon is astoundingly accurate in the Star Wars division, with an eye-popping 88% accuracy rating. If you’re betting on the future of the Star Wars championship, you should probably bet on Damon.