“Dastardly” Andrew Ghai… you either love him or you love to hate him. Since his debut in the league as one half of Team Action in March 2017, Ghai has been finding ways to provoke almost everyone in the league. He’s been suspended twice and now he’s getting ready to headline the Houston Live Event, in part two of the Action Civil War, with a Singles match against his former brother Ben “The Boss” Bateman.
In honour of his upcoming match, I’ve picked at his top 10 moments in the Schmoedown, otherwise known as his rap sheet. What would make your top 10? Let me know in the comments.
10. Crashing the Party
Team Action’s third match in the league was against reactors Late to the Party, who were making their debut. While this 31-28 match was arguably the moment that Action began to hit their stride, this match makes the list for their entrance alone. Choosing to make a mockery of their opponents, the pair came out each carrying a large comfy chair, sat down with a laptop and with a look of nerdy joy on their face exclaimed “We’re reacting!”
9. Taking on the Watch
After looking like a pair of jerks in their debut against the Night Sisters, it looked like Team Action had turned to their light with their entrance against Nerd’s Watch. Coming out with their mothers to “Take My Breath Away” – an odd choice as Mark Ellis pointed out – the Action boys were perfectly behaved gentlemen. This continued through the match, where they eventually lost to Ken Napzok and Rachel Cushing in Sudden Death, 25-24. They continued to be gracious losers in their post-match interview… until their mums left. The moment they walked out, Ben and Drew were back to being the loud, obnoxious guys that we now come to associate with Team Action, leaving poor Emma Fyffe completely confused.
8. Welcome to The Family
The first match of the Action Civil War saw Ben and Drew face off in the Teams Division, partnered by their managers Tom Dagnino and Robert Meyer Burnett. Or at least, that’s what we all thought. While Burnett and Dagnino were busy slagging each other off, Ghai had a quiet word in Commissioner Emma Fyffe’s ear. When the match came around, Ghai walked out with Burnett, but before the match started, he announced that “The Captain” would not be partnering him and introduced his new partner, Drew McWeeny! The added firepower of “The Godfather” was enough to see The Family win 30-25 and take an early 1-0 lead in the Action Civil War.
7. Adding Insult to Injury
Having just lost a #1 Contender match and slapped by your ex in front of a 1000-strong audience, Ben Bateman was surely thinking things couldn’t get any worse. He was quickly proved wrong though as Andrew Ghai suddenly appeared on the big screen to rub salt into his wounds. Accusing Ben of always blowing it on the big stage, Drew called him a disappointment and said that after they face off in Houston, Ben’s career in the Schmoedown will be over. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he revealed that he’d broken into his former teammate’s apartment and got his puppy Snickers (whose cameo almost pushed this to number 1) to take a poop in Ben’s pillow and finished everything off by hitting on Roxy Striar… That’s cold-blooded.
6. Beating Reilly
So far, the focus has been largely on Ghai’s antics away from competing, but this one is a big focus on the match itself. While it was anything but a high-scoring match and Reilly was rusty on his return to competing, Ghai took a 4-3 lead in Round 1, which he expanded to 10-4 by the end of Round 2. Reilly was unable to answer his 5-pointer in Round 3 and Ghai walked away with a 10-9 TKO victory over the former double-champion. He didn’t break any records, but the fact that he came out of his first two Singles matches with a 2-0 record (and 2 TKOs) against former champions set him up for a #1 Contender Match against John Rocha and showed that he could not be overlooked.
5. 2017 Ultimate Schmoedown
Team Action’s first time in the Ultimate Schmoedown put them on the map. Coming into the tournament with a 2-1 record, they defeated Deep Cuts with a 20-19 TKO and followed this up with a 23-21 TKO victory over Team Trek. Trek were former title contenders (arguably being unlucky to lose given a controversial buzzer call) and yet Ben and Drew managed to get under their more experienced opponents’ skin and put them off. Despite this, Top 10 were the clear favourites in the semifinal, but the former Team Champions found themselves on the losing end of a 25-23 scoreline. They may not have won the final, but a 28-27 loss against Above The Line – arguably one of the strongest teams in the history of the league – is more than respectable and made sure that the other teams in the league would be taking notice of them moving forward.
4. The Tackle
The moment that made Andrew Ghai infamous. After Top 10 won their rematch with Team Action at Spectacular 2 with a 22-12 TKO, Ghai decided to get his revenge in his own way. As John Rocha celebrated, everyone watched on in shock as Ghai channelled his inner linebacker and tackled The Outlaw to the floor. It took both Ben and Commissioner Thadd Williams to drag Ghai away while Kristian Harloff and Dale “The Dude” Gibbs helped Rocha back to his feet. Physical violence was something new in the Schmoedown and Ghai was rightly banned for three months.
3. The Tackle II
While The Tackle was iconic, The Tackle II just beats it to a top 3 spot. Following Ben Bateman’s successful run in the Anarchy tournament with Who’s The Boss, he was left considering the future of Team Action. After their loss to the Shirewolves at Spectacular, he explained to Ghai that he wanted to stick with his new team. Like a good friend, Ghai supported this decision and announced that he’d sorted himself a new partner, suggesting that the four of them create their new faction. With Ghai leaving, Bateman was left to think about how well things had gone, until he found himself blindsided by his former brother and tackled through a table. The hearts of the Action Army broke just like Bibbiani’s table as they watched Ghai stand over an injured Bateman and spit on him. While not as much of a shock as the tackle on Rocha, the added emotion of watching Team Action split apart and the setting up of the Civil War sees this one rank slightly higher on the list.
2. The Free 4 All Return
With Ghai’s ban for tackling Rocha coming to an end just before Free 4 All II, people were excited for his return to the league. However, the manner of his return definitely caught people out. With just two competitors left to be revealed, the Jaws theme music began to play. The crowd went wild as Kristian announced Dan Murrell’s return to the league following a hiatus… only for Ghai to emerge through the curtain and announce that he had left the GOAT six feet under the ground. Entrance of the Year? Not in my opinion. But a fantastic swerve that led to Murrell’s return at the second live event.
1. The Ghai That Beat the GOAT
Let’s be honest, there was only one moment that could make number one: Ghai’s Singles debut against Dan Murrell at Collision. From the moment Murrell returned and challenged him to a match, nobody thought Ghai would have a chance. However, a combination of Murrell’s rustiness and Ghai’s off-putting antics made things hard for the GOAT. Ghai led 7-6 after Round 1 and extended that to 16-9 by the end of Round 2. Murrell hit his 2- and 3-pointers but missed his 5-pointer to leave Ghai with an unbelievable 16-14 TKO victory over the GOAT.
Just go back and look at Kristian’s face after announcing the winner and I think that sums up how pretty much everyone watching was feeling!
What do YOU think were Andrew Ghai’s best moments in the Schmoedown? Let us know in the comments!