TRIPLE THREAT PREVIEW: Ethan Erwin vs. John Rocha vs. William Bibbiani – WHO YA GOT?!

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Hello Schmoedown fans, Tim here with a preview to an epic match!

Before the curtains rise on the Chicago live event, we have to determine the next #1 Contender for Dan Murrell’s Singles Championship. Taking part in Commissioner Levine’s special clash are three of the very best contenders in the Schmoedown Singles Division: one who is seeking an immediate rematch to their New York bout, two others seeking a path back to the title they once held last season. This is as intense and star-studded as a match will ever get.

It’s the #1 Contender Triple Threat between Ethan “Big Time” Erwin, “The Outlaw” John Rocha, and William “The Beast” Bibbiani!

The last several weeks for William Bibbiani have been very special. He managed to overwhelm Lon Harris to be in the Triple Threat match via TKO, then recently he was in this year’s Free 4 All (after his MVP appearance in the one before). However, he was facing an impossible gauntlet after drawing #1. Through every round and every opponent he eliminated, Bibbiani kept moving all the way to the final table with his relentless endurance and unbound movie knowledge. It’s this format where “The Beast” is truly crowned king. Although he failed to beat Dan Murrell in Sudden Death to win it, he was crowned as back-to-back Free 4 All MVP for the unbelievable performance he put out from the very beginning.

Now, he comes into this #1 Contender Match with an insurance policy in his back pocket. While he does best in Round One with the similar Free 4 All tendencies, he is well documented to not finishing his matches strong, with the exception of his championship victory last year. For him to succeed against his two elite opponents, Bibbiani will need to start strong in Round One and get a great category he knows in Round Two. That way, he can afford a large cushion of points to fall on if his Round Three performance is lacking. (Happy now Rocha?) It’s this cushion that Bibbiani needs in order to win by TKO or the slimmest of margins, but will he face Murrell or succumb to his other opponents?

Ever since his surprising loss of the championship title to Ethan Erwin at last year’s Schmoedown Spectacular, John Rocha has been determined to refocus his movie knowledge and his performance to reclimb the mountain that is the Singles Division. After a to-the-wire victory over Andreyko, Rocha is now in prime position to earn his next singles title shot but against two juggernauts of movie trivia.

As the face of the Schmoedown, his priority for this season is those belts. With a plan for the Team Championship set (depending on Murrell’s use of his Free 4 All victory), “The Outlaw” now places his all of his focus on this match to be the next three-time Singles Champion. He is still a force to be reckoned with, given that he is still a top contender that keeps himself up-to-date with constant movie knowledge and constantly scouts his potential opponents.

If his game has a flaw, it’s an obvious one, and we’ve seen it the last two seasons: his emotions. No doubt, John Rocha wears his emotions on his sleeves proudly, but that leads to an unstable mental game where one bad answer or one unhappy ruling can throw off his focus and cost him points. That’s been clearly documented in his team matches against Patriots and KOrruption, his singles matches like the Triple Threat Championship match at Collision in Season Four, and recently in the Free 4 All with his debate over the specificity of the question regarding diamonds and jewels. If Rocha wants to win, he has to keep his emotions in check. An unhappy Rocha will lead to a defeated Rocha. The knowledge will be there, it all depends on if he can keep himself from blowing up.

Finally, there’s the 2018 Rookie of the Year. After losing the singles title to Dan Murrell in New York earlier this season, Ethan Erwin seeks to triumph in this Friday’s matchup and earn an almost immediate rematch. The “Big Time” himself is no longer a rookie, but now an elite contender. While preparations are made for him to compete in the Teams Division with Jeannine, Ethan is currently placing all of his attention towards getting another singles title shot. He has proven to keep up with his toughest opponents with amazingly-consistent games, and proven that he’s not one to underestimate.

Now sitting as the current #1 Contender in the Singles Division, a win in this Triple Threat match will give him the hotly anticipated trilogy match with Dan Murrell. For his manager Jay Washington, this is an opportunity for both him, his team, and for his competitor Ethan to step back up with the singles title and stay ahead against their newest foes: Smets and KOrruption.

If there is one weakness we can see in Ethan Erwin, it has to be in the category of Animated Films. This category is responsible for his first defeat against Marc Andreyko last season, and responsible for losing the Singles Championship to Dan Murrell in New York. Ethan’s key to victory will be how he will manages Animated Films. For any of these questions he comes face with, if he can get correct than wrong in the most clutch situations then he will be looking at another rematch with Murrell. And so long as he can give us a great performance, regardless of whether he wins or loses, he will dodge any accusations that he’s in a “sophomore slump.”

This #1 Contender Triple Threat Match will be an exciting appetizer to this weekend’s Chicago live event and an exciting supplement to Star Wars Celebration. A matchup between three of the best competitors we have seen in the Singles Division. Ethan will be the favorite for his immediate rematch, but if Bibbiani can clutch up in the final round and Rocha maintain his mental mindset, it will be extremely close.

On Friday, prepare for a clash of trivia monsters where only one will face Dan Murrell for the Movie Trivia Schmoedown Championship!

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