WARNING! THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS ABOUT THE WINNER AND MVP OF THE FREE-FOR ALL!
I would say that the Free-For-All is most peoples’ favorite event of every Schmoedown year. Anywhere from 35 to 48 competitors come to the table and compete for a game-changing prize: an automatic title shot at any belt of their choosing. Five competitors at a time, answering five questions, with the lowest scoring competitor eliminated. It’s without a doubt the most thrilling event… you never know who’s coming to the table next!
The Free-For-All seems to top itself every year, and this year was no exception. We saw competitors return to the game, competitors we underestimated go over ten rounds, and we saw maybe the most impressive performance in the Schmoedown ever.
But in the end, only one person could the grand prize.
And your winner…
Murrell had a great number, coming into the competition as the 31st competitor. However, he also entered a table with William Bibbiani, Drew McWeeny, Marc Andreyko, and Jeff Sneider (four of the competitors from the infamous XX5XX moment). Murrell steadily worked his way through the competition, eventually reaching sudden death against Bibbiani and JTE. The sudden death lasted two rounds, but eventually Murrell came out on top, with a final score of 6 to 5 to 5.
So now Murrell is in a very interesting position. He’s currently the singles champion, but he’s going to have a big threat coming soon. In two weeks, Bibbiani, John Rocha, and Ethan Erwin are going head-to-head-to-head in a #1 contenders match for a shot at the singles title. All three of these competitors are intimidating and could take the belt off of Murrell. If one of them does, it’s very possible that he would have a rematch, maybe immediately. We’ve seen him play two matches in a row before, why not again?
The other factor to consider is the Founding Fathers. He and John Rocha have two matches coming up, one against the Wildberries, and the other in Houston against Double Toasted. If the Founding Fathers win both those matches, their record will be 3-1 and they could be looking at a #1 contender match. If the Founding Fathers lose either of those matches, however, their chances may be slimmer. We know that Murrell is a team player, always looking out for his fellow Horsemen, and Rocha hasn’t held the team championship since 2016, so it’s possible that he will want to do something with that shot that benefits both himself and his stablemate.
I personally think it’s more likely that he’ll use the shot in teams, but the singles belt is also a possibility. I think Innergeekdom is pretty much off the table, but you never know.
Although Murrell took the top prize, there was one more prize to give out: the MVP award. The MVP of the Free-For-All gets an automatic #1 contender shot at any belt of their choosing.
And your Free-For-All MVP…
Remember when I said earlier that we might have seen the most impressive performance in Schmoedown history? This is the performance I was referring to. For all intents and purposes, Bibbiani should not have lasted as long as he did. He was the first competitor on the table. He had #1 out 40 people. And somehow, he lasted until the very end of the Free-For-All, just barely losing to Murrell. He’s also the third person in history to clear the table. It’s clear that the Free-For-All is Bibbiani’s event; he’s been MVP two years in a row.
So now Bibbiani has a #1 contender shot that I would assume he can use against anyone in the top 10 ranked singles players and the top 10 ranked teams (again, I think Innergeekdom is probably off the market). As I said earlier, Bibbiani already has a #1 contender match coming up very soon, so if he loses that match or he loses to Murrell, I think the chance of him using the shot at singles is higher. If he wins the triple-threat and gets the belt, then the focus will probably turn to teams.
He and Witney Seibold came within inches of taking the belts off the Shirewolves in the highest-scoring five-round team match of all time. However, Bibbiani has been very vocal about his support for the Shirewolves and their reign as champions. This makes me think that he might not want to cash in his #1 contender match on teams immediately, and would rather wait to see the results of their match between either Who’s the Boss or the Odd Couple.
If either of those teams beats the Shirewolves, I think that Critically Acclaimed will likely use the #1 contender match, but if Clarke and Rachel successfully defend, I think that we’re more likely to see him use his shot in singles.
What do you think? Which division will Murrell and Bibbiani use their prizes in? Will either of them surprise us and try to get the Innergeekdom belt?