WHERE WERE THE BELTS: The Heavy-Hitting History of Team Action!

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Whether you hate them or love them, Ben “The Boss” Bateman and “Dastardly” Andrew Ghai have made their presence known to the fans. They have competed against the top tiered competitors in the Schmoedown and mocked anyone in their path for a belt. People tried to defeat them, suspend them, and tear them apart but they would end up being their own worst enemies.

On March 14, 2017, two teams debuted in the Schmoedown. Ben Bateman and Andrew Ghai made up Team Action while Emma Fyffe and Joelle Monique formed the Night Sisters. “We’re here to put the f*cking league on notice,” Ben boasted. As promised, Team Action managed to walk away with a TKO. Their next match was with Nerd’s Watch, but they were more concerned with their next entrance.

Team Action surprised everyone when they came out with their mothers and appeared to be respectful young men throughout the match. Rachel Cushing and Ken Napzok took an early lead scoring eleven points in round one and eight points in round two. Team Action stole two points away from Nerd’s Watch but needed a great category to bring them back into the game. They landed on Action and Adventure and added nine points to their score.

With a great second round under their belts, Team Action was still behind with the scores being nineteen to seventeen. Ben Bateman successfully answered his two-point question to send the game back to Nerd’s Watch. Ken sent it back to Team Action, and Andrew Ghai failed to answer the three-point question. Both Ben and Andrew managed to score their five-point question while Rachel was able to tie the match with her three-pointer. Nerd’s Watch did not win their five-point question but was able to win the match in Sudden Death.

During their post-match interview, Team Action’s mothers left the building and they returned to their heel personas.

After their first loss in the Schmoedown, Ben and Ghai went on to battle Late to the Party’s Robert Montano and Vanessa Fitzsimmons. Team Action defeat them thirty-one to twenty-six, which set the new high score record. They would continue in the 2017 Team Tournament for a chance to win the Teams Belts from The Patriots. For the first three rounds in the tournament, Team Action defeated Deep Cuts, Team Trek, and Top Ten. However, the final match would not be held until the Singles Tournament ended.

Rather than waiting two months for another match, Ben Bateman decided he was going to enter the Singles Tournament Qualifier. His opponents were Scott Mantz, Eliot Dewberry, Jason Inman, and Robert Meyer Burnett. Ben managed to gain enough points in round three to eliminate Dewberry and Mantz on his three-point question. Inman was only able to answer his five-point question, removing Burnett from the table. Unfortunately, Ben did not correctly answer his last question and Jason Inman won the Singles Tournament Qualifer.

Once the Singles Tournament was finished, Team Action was ready to face Samm Levine and Drew McWeeny in the No. 1 Contender’s Match. The winner would face The Patriots at Schmoedown Spectacular II for the Team Belts. Above the Line achieved an eleven point lead despite Team Action spinning Action and Adventure in Round Two. Ben and Andrew managed to score a total of three points in rounds three and four, but they were still behind by six points.

Team Action successfully answered all their round five questions and avoided the TKO. Still, Above the Line won the match by answering their two and three-point question. After this defeat, Ben and Andrew learned they would have to fight Top Ten again. They stormed into Commissioner Thadd Williams’ office to voice their displeasure, but Thadd offered special terms to the match if both teams would agree to a meeting.

Immediately as everyone sat at the table, Top Ten and Team Action were insulting each other. Thadd calmed them down by listing the stipulations for their match. If Top Ten won, they can have a No. 1 Contender’s match. On the other hand if Team Action won, they would get a Title Match and Top Ten would split up for a year. Rocha was not happy with this arrangement, but he suggested to remove Opponent’s Choice and Spinner’s Choice from the wheel.

John Rocha and Matt Knost had an incredible first two rounds, scoring twenty-two points. Team Action were in knock out territory with only twelve points. Andrew took the two-point question and failed to answer it. Chaos ensued when Ghai tackled Rocha to the ground, and Commissioner Thadd Williams gave him a three-month suspension from the Schmoedown.

In the 2017 Schmoedown Awards, Andrew Ghai was nominated for several awards including Moment of the Year for tackling John Rocha. Ben Bateman was nominated for Rookie of the Year. Team Action had nominations in Match of the Year and Rookie Team of the Year, but was awarded Heel Team of the Year.

On April 13, 2018, Ben Bateman entered into the second Free4All as the thirty-first competitor. He survived six rounds eliminating John Rocha, Eliot Dewberry, Robert Meyer Burnett, Mark Reilly, and Sabina-Lissette Graves. Dan Murrell’s entrance music played, but Andrew Ghai exited the curtain returning from his suspension. Although he was eliminated in his first round, it didn’t stop him from claiming he beat Dan Murrell.

Following his victory against Dale Gibbs, Ben was confident to challenge Marc Andreyko. They were tied in Round One, but one person would take the lead in Round Two. Andreyko scored seven points in the Musicals category and stole two points from Bateman. Ben was able to only get four points in Action/Adventure and tied Andreyko with his five-point question. Marc answered his two-point question, winning the game eighteen to sixteen.

Ben Bateman and Andrew Ghai returned to the Schmoedown, facing DC Movie News. Going into the match, Team Action was favorited to win and took the lead in Round One. Adam Gertler spun James Bond Movies and Mike Kalinowski scored eleven out of twelve possible points. Team Action was forced to take Fantasy SciFi after Ghai landed on Opponent’s Choice. They tied the score twenty-one to twenty-one. Ultimately, Team Action won answering their three and five-point questions. Mike was so upset with the loss, he left his faction to begin his reign of KOrruption.

Ben and Andrew went on to the El Portal Theater to take on The Shirewolves, but were defeated by a single point. Andrew came back on stage and belittled Ben, who was dressed as Dan Murrell. Suddenly, the theater lights went dark and emerged four cloaked figures. John Rocha, Matt Knost, Mark Reilly, and Jason Inman revealed themselves as the new Horsemen. A fifth cloaked figure appeared on stage. As Rocha pulled down the mystery man’s hood, Dan Murrell was revealed. He joined the Horsemen and challenged Ghai to a match at Collision.

A week before Collision took place, Ben Bateman requested a stipulation match. If he was able to defeat Scott Mantz on his own, his face would appear on the Movie Release Date category. Mantz agreed to the match and lost it by two points in Round Three. Ben was later accused of kidnapping Mark Reilly’s Dog, prompting Thadd to ban him from Collision. Andrew would have to face Dan Murrell on his own.

In a shocking twist, Andrew was the first person ever to TKO Dan Murrell. Mark Reilly congratulated him on the victory and challenged him to a match. Both competitors had a low scoring match ten to nine with Andrew knocking out Reilly. John Rocha, leader of the Horsemen, did not stand for this. After defeating Ben Bateman, he managed to take a victory over Andrew Ghai, earning himself a No. One Contender spot.

After losing to Team Action, Mike Kalinowski blackmailed Commissioner Thadd Williams into doing an Innergeekdom and Anarchy Tournaments. Ben and Andrew ignored Innergeekdom, but they were scheduled to appear in Anarchy. Ben was partnered with Mark Reilly while Tom Dagnino would become their manager. Andrew Ghai and Rachel Cushing were supposed to be a team, but since The Shirewolves won the Team Belts, Andrew did not compete in Anarchy at all.

Even though Mark Reilly was not happy working with the man accused of kidnapping his dog, they formed Who’s The Boss to take the belts. Sensing their potential greatness after defeating Crazy Eighty-Greats and Cinemaniacs, Tom Dagnino found video footage showing Mike Kalinowski framing Ben. It was this moment that united Who’s The Boss against KOrruption.

On November 2, 2018, Reilly turned from his hero personality, calling Kalinowski “a little ninny b*tch.” Both teams were tied at the end of Round One, but Who’s the Boss took a commanding seven point lead in Round Two. In spite of tying the game in Round Three, KOrruption lost the match when Reilly answered his two-point question and got his revenge against Mike Kalinowski.

After defeating The Harris Brothers, Ben turned his eyes set for the Singles Belt as well. He defeated Jeannine the Machine and Lon Harris but would have to get pass Clarke Wolfe. Both competitors were tied throughout most the match. Ben was asked, “In Hook, what word does Rufio and the Lost Boys constantly use as an excited battle cry?” “Believe” was his response, and it cost him the match.

Fortunately, Ben had one more match before facing Clarke Wolfe again at Spectacular III. An Ironman Movie Release Dates Match was released a few days later for the patrons. Whoever won this match, would have their picture on the Movie Release Dates slice. Scott Mantz jumped at the opportunity to reclaim his slice but so did Samm Levine and Adam Hlavac. All four competitors fought hard for thirty minutes, but Scott Mantz succeeded in his task to have his face return on the wheel slice.

One December 21, 2018, The Shirewolves and Who’s the Boss competed for the Team Belts. The champions were behind by a single point in the beginning but took the lead in the Speed Round. Both teams correctly answered every question in Round Five, resulting in The Shirewolves winning the match. Ben congratulated to both competitors for their superior skill in the post interview.

Andrew greeted his old partner with a suggestion to start a new faction. Ben smiled as he thought Action Army would grow in 2019. Shockingly, Andrew tackled Ben to the ground, destroying a table in the process. Mark Reilly and Tom Dagnino were quick to chase Andrew away before making sure Ben was not injured in any way.

Before the 2018 Schmoedown Awards, Kristian Harloff called Andrew Ghai into his office, warning him not to do anything at the awards show. Ben Bateman was nominated in Upset of the Year, Heel of the Year, and Player of the Year. Andrew won Upset of the Year, Heel of the Year, and Best Singles Entrance while being nominated in Moment of the Year. Team Action was awarded Heel Team of the Year for the second year in a row.

As Mark Ellis began to wrap up the award show, Andrew interrupted him to say a few words. He started out thanking the Schmoedown community for being a part of it. “You never know when one is going to pay off. You never know what it’s going to be like,” he added. Andrew would continue to praise the fans, the competitors, and people behind the scenes until he spewed out that he was the Schmoedown’s main draw. Harloff jumped onto the stage to remove Ghai from the premises.

At the Season Six premiere, Kristian informed everyone his decision for Andrew Ghai. It would be a yearlong suspension because his continued behavior would not be tolerated. Then Ben Bateman walked on stage to tell Kristian suspending him would not do anything. Instead, he proposed to face him and his new partner in a match. They settled on a one month suspension before Ben faced Andrew in the Schmoedown.

During his suspension, Andrew was not simply waiting to fight his former teammate. He approached Tom Dagnino to join his new faction but was rejected immediately, in favor of supporting Ben and Reilly. Ghai smiled as he revealed Robert Meyer Burnett to be on the same side. Soon after, Drew McWeeny surprised everyone when he also sided with Andrew Ghai.

Helmut Zemo said it best in Captain America: Civil War, “An empire toppled by its enemies can rise again. But one that crumbles from within, that’s dead.” Team Action has been destroyed with Ben choosing to stay with Mark Reilly and Andrew Ghai forming a new heel faction.

There are only two questions left unanswered: Who else will join Ghai’s new faction and which side are you on… Team Bateman or Team Ghai?

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