As a recent cutscene showed, Reilly is actively petitioning Rocha to allow his Who’s the Boss partner, Ben Bateman, to join the Horsemen. The faction is currently light on numbers, and is looking to recruit!
However, Rocha has made it abundantly clear that he has no interest in letting one half of the now-defunct Team Action join him, which has led many to suggest that Rocha might have to choose between letting Bateman join and seeing Reilly leave.
But what about Bateman? What can he do to convince his fierce rival that he deserves a place in what is perhaps the most prestigious faction in the Schmoedown?
Here’s my list of five realistic changes that the Boss could make, to sweeten the deal.
Convincing Rocha that he’s turned over a new leaf is going to be hard enough, but if Who’s the Boss comes with the Outlaw’s long-time and perhaps greatest rival attached, it goes from a tough sell to an impossible one.
Dagnino is the greatest manager in the history of the Schmoedown, and may even be turning over a new leaf himself, but nothing he ever does could ever convince Rocha to work with him. More than that, there’s no place for a manager in the Horsemen, since this is a role that Rocha already fulfills. If Bateman were to ditch his manager as a show of good faith, he could start to convince Rocha that he has abandoned his old ways, and is in fact Horseman material.
Win the Team Belts
While this is obviously something that Bateman is aspiring to do anyway, doing so would massively strengthen his Horsemen application. When the Five Horsemen were first revealed, every member had won at least one title, so securing his first belt would turn Bateman from one of the best players yet to win a belt into a clear contender to join a faction that’s all about the silverware.
After all, if Who’s the Boss have the belts, Rocha is less likely to want to risk losing Reilly, and he might be more open to allowing Bateman into the group. It would also help Bateman shed the ‘young buck’ tag that Rocha has so often labelled him with, since the only currency of the Schmoedown is titles.
If nothing else, a belt means that Bateman would have to be taken seriously.
Join the Innergeekdom Division
A while back, Bateman mentioned that he’d worked out the exact number of films that made up the Innergeekdom division, and was planning to work his way through them, with an eye on taking a run at the Innergeekdom belt at some point.
Obviously, playing in multiple divisions is tough, and I have no idea if this is still an ambition of Bateman’s but if so, proving his Innergeekdom credentials would massively strengthen his case to join the Horsemen. With Inman on a break from the Schmoedown, Rocha doesn’t have a player in his faction that might win the Innergeekdom belt, meaning that their mission statement of “All the belts, all the records” becomes somewhat harder to achieve.
If Bateman is able to prove that he is a player that can help the Horsemen achieve this goal, he could make himself indispensable to the Outlaw.
Bateman has a huge match coming up this week, in which he’ll be playing his former partner, Andrew Ghai. And while Rocha’s beef has been with Team Action, it’s Ghai that tackled him, Ghai that has been the focus of the Schmoedown fans, and Ghai who recently picked up a ridiculous number of Schmoedown awards.
If Bateman can not only defeat his former partner, but do so with conviction, the symbolism will be pretty clear. Not only that, but Ghai will be playing on a team with Robert Meyer Burnett, a former member of the Four Horsemen. For Bateman, this is an opportunity to beat not one but two of Rocha’s rivals. If Bateman is able to apply his trademark needle, he’ll certainly catch Rocha’s eye.
Don’t Turn Face
This is a more interesting point, since the narrative around Bateman seems to be that, now that he’s joined Reilly, he is undergoing a face turn that might convince Rocha to allow him to join the Horsemen.
But Bateman isn’t a face, and more than almost any other player, it’s important that he doesn’t become one.
After all, if you think about Bateman, it isn’t long before you’re thinking about the little jibes and clever tactics that make up his character. These aren’t just gimmicks, but an essential part of The Boss’s gameplay, which he would be wise to retain in some way.
Bateman is clearly moving away from being a heel, but that doesn’t mean he needs to be a face. Rather, he should model himself as a tweener (essentially, somewhere in between heel and face). In fact, Bateman might be following the journey of one of his early Schmoedown idols: John Rocha. The Schmoedown’s original heel has since moved into the middle ground, abandoning the shouting and attacks on his opponents, while retaining some of his edge.
I suspect Bateman might be about to do the same thing. He and Rocha really are very similar, and, like any two people that are alike, they despise each other.
It’s a long shot, of course. Rocha is nothing if not stubborn, but, if Bateman can follow some or all of these tips, he’ll give himself the best chance of joining the Horsemen. Whatever happens, it promises to be an exciting storyline this season, that is absolutely going to blow up sooner rather than later!