Robert Meyer Burnett has not had the best of luck when joining factions.
He became the fourth Horseman at the first Spectacular following his victory in the inaugural Innergeekdom match, but then “The Captain” struggled to establish himself in the league, losing the Innergeekdom Title to Hector Navarro in his first defence before losing to Jeremy Jahns in a #1 Contender Match. Blaming the Horsemen for his demise, he took advantage of William Bibbiani’s betrayal to walk away from Rocha and Knost and join their arch-rivals the Lion’s Den.
Things didn’t improve much for him there. He lost in Innergeekdom to Jay Washington and lost in a Fatal Fiveway Qualifying match for the 2017 Ultimate Schmoedown. His only real success in the Lion’s Den came as one half of Blofeld’s Cat, who went 1-1 in the Ultimate Schmoedown before TKO’ing Rachel Cushing in a 2v1 handicap match. Following Marc Andreyko’s defection to Emma Fyffe, Burnett was deemed surplus to requirements and let go from the faction, finding himself locked in a room for six months then disappearing for the rest of the year to plot revenge.
Now back and managing The Family, things appeared to be on the up for him. Burnett convinced Drew McWeeny to turn to the dark side and join him and Drew Ghai, with their debut match as a victory over Ben Bateman and Tom Dagnino. While Ghai took a knock with a KO loss to Ben Bateman at Houston (and his subsequent chair-induced KO), a recent win for The Family over Inky and the Brain put things back on track for the faction.
But while the faction as a whole may be in a decent place, is Burnett’s place in the faction once again at risk, this time from one Roxy Striar?
Roxy’s history with Ben Bateman has seen her take a side in the Action Civil War, with her frequently calling herself a “Ghai Girl”. Chicago’s live event saw her take things one step further by slapping her former flame in the face, something that got immediate respect from Ghai, who proceeded to blatantly flirt with her via video in front of Bateman. Roxy travelled to the Houston live event to support her new Ghai, while she also crashed The Family’s latest post-match interview to congratulate the team on their win before giving the dastardly one a kiss on the cheek.
While Roxy’s managing of The League had mixed results, she has been much more hands on since being assigned to The Odd Couple as a part of the Anarchy shake-up, and it’s paying off. In the 2018 Ultimate Schmoedown, she managed to get Marc Andreyko and Jeff Sneider working together as an effective team as they TKO’d Team Seb’s, beat the Paddington Two and then lost to The Harris Brothers – a match that now looks like an aberration given their other results. Such was her impact on the pair, Andreyko immediately decided to ask her to continue managing him when he heard that Emma Fyffe was disbanding the Fyffe Club to become Commissioner, and Sneider also agreed to keep he trio going.
Since then, both players have played well in the Free 4 All, Andreyko had a narrow loss to John Rocha and Sneider began his next run for the Singles Title with a victory over Mark Reilly, while The Odd Couple TKO’d the Scream Queens, shocked Who’s The Boss in Chicago and recently defeated the 5-0 Shirewolves to win the Teams Title. Arguably, Roxy is one of the frontrunners at this point for Manager of the Year!
A manager of such quality, it would be stupid for Ghai to avoid bringing her into The Family considering she’s clearly on his side, while Andreyko and Sneider also showed themselves to be against Ben Bateman by refusing to shake his hand in Chicago. Bringing in The Odd Couple would make The Family a deadly faction in Teams and Singles, worthy of taking on The Horsemen.
But if the three of them join, or even just Roxy, does The Family need two managers? Arguably not. The only faction that could be considered to have two managers is KOrruption, but Grace Hancock has clearly taken on a manager’s role, whereas Ken is now more of a mouthpiece for the faction. While Burnett could certainly be a mouthpiece, he has a tendency to get distracted by personal rivalries – “NAVARRO!!!!” – and this role could easily be filled by Andrew Ghai alongside his competing.
What role would this leave for Burnett? He is the obvious Innergeekdom competitor for the faction, but his previous performances have suggested that he would be some distance off from competing against Cushing, Kalinowski and Smets. There is a very real possibility that Roxy joining the family would see him as surplus to requirements again.
So now Burnett needs to make sure the Drews don’t want to bring Roxy on board, and that will be easier said than done. Drew McWeeny looked focused on winning back the belt he was forced to give up, which could leave him at odds with Burnett if he chooses to focus on personal gripes. And as for Ghai, Houston was meant to be his big moment, but Burnett could do nothing to stop his man from getting blown out in the ring. Further than that, it was Burnett who supplied Ghai with the chair to attack Bateman. The very same chair that left him battered and bruised. A manager who lets his man get physically beaten in the ring versus a manager who would do anything for him… it sounds like an easy choice for Ghai.
The big factor could be the upcoming Manager Bowl at Collision. Rather than have the managers compete, they will have to pick a member of their faction to represent them in the match, with the winning faction’s manager being in charge of the Commissioners for a month. If Burnett chooses the wrong competitor and The Family loses this – especially if The Horsemen emerge victorious – then this will not go down well with the Drews. And if he were to lose to Tom Dagnino – who has challenged him to a match – then that could just be the straw that breaks the camel’s back and forces Ghai to turn to Roxy.
Watch your back, Robert…