If the Founding Fathers KO’ing in Double Toasted and Ben Bateman KO’ing Andrew Ghai (twice!) wasn’t thrilling enough, the Houston live event gave us the answer to a question that has been asked all season: who will replace Matt Knost and Jason Inman in the Five Horsemen?
As a fan of the Horsemen who has really come to appreciate Bateman’s dedication to the competition an found myself siding with him and Tom Dagnino (something I’d have never thought possible even a year ago) as part of Who’s The Boss, seeing the remaining Horsemen step out with Dagnino to support Ben and then seeing all five of them throw up the symbol of the Five Horsemen after Ghai’s second KO was an amazing moment to watch on the stream.
But was it the best reveal? Over the years, we have had a number of times that players have revealed a new teammate or factions have revealed a new member in a shocking moment, so I have picked my top 10 shock reveals.
10. Elliott Dewberry and the Wildberries
Going into the 2017 Ultimate Schmeodown, everybody knew that Josh Macuga was making a return to the Teams Division, but after a less-than-amicable breakup with Finstock, nobody knew who his partner would be. The Wildman left it as late as he could to reveal his new teammate ahead of his Round 1 match against the Wolves of Steel, going as far as to even emerge on his own without so much as revealing the name of the team. With a can of Coors and a bottle of Fireball beside him, “The Wildman” introduced none other than Eliot “The Mountain” Dewberry and they immediately chugged a can of Coors each, a perfect representation of what the Wildberries would become!
9. Clarke Wolfe and the Shirewolves
Following Ken Napzok’s betrayal of Rachel Cushing to join the Lion’s Den, “The Crusher” challenged her former teammate to a Teams match: Napzok and new manager Tom Dagnino against her and a new partner that she would find. With the reveal of her partner not coming until the next season, fans had months to speculate about who could be the mystery partner. It looked like we were going to be teased again as we saw Rachel go to meet her partner the other side of a doorway, closing the door behind her. However, the picture returned after a fadeout and the door opened to reveal none other than “Classy” Clarke Wolfe, who confirmed fans’ wildest dreams were coming true with the proclamation: “Of course it’s me! Shirewolves!”
8. Tim Franco and KOrruption
A big part of Stacy Howard’s defection from the Viper Squad to KOrruption was the promise of a teammate, something she felt wasn’t being prioritised by Jay Washington. Weeks passed with both Stacy and new manager Grace Hancock teasing that they had a partner but refusing to tell anyone outside of the faction. Grace eventually decided to announce the newest member of KOrruption with a Team match, picking Late to the Party as their opponents. The reveal of their team name (Crimson Fury) gave nothing away and after Stacy emerged with the rest of the faction, the music usually associated with William Bibbiani began to play and a masked figure was led out. The hood and mask were removed, revealing none other than Tim “the Tank” Franco, who had no qualms about taking on his former friends.
7. Marc Andreyko and The Fyffe Club
After Thadd Williams announced that Tom Dagnino, Jay Washington and Ricky Hayberg would compete at Spectacular II in the first ever Manager Bowl, Emma Fyffe approached the Commissioner asking for a spot in the match as she had found a secret competitor to manage. Fyffe was escorted out for the match by a masked competitor and went on to win it. As her celebrations began, her competitor returned and unmasked himself to reveal none other than Marc Andreyko, who to everyone’s knowledge at that point was still a member of the Lion’s Den. Bringing in a top-quality competitor and hurting your rival faction all in one move… perfect!
6. Tom Dagnino, Ben Bateman and The Five Horsemen
With the Five Horsemen two men light, Mark Reilly and Dan Murrell had both suggested to John Rocha that he bring in Ben Bateman to fill one of the spots, something that Rocha was against due to his history with “The Boss”. For Bateman’s match with Ghai in Houston, an agreement was made that no managers or teammates would be allowed to feature with heir competitors, but as the match goes on, Team Ghai broke the agreement with both Robert Meyer Burnett and Roxy Striar coming out in support of the dastardly one, outnumbering Bateman 3-1, until halfway through Round 2. The Founding Fathers’ entrance music began to play, but out of the curtain stepped Tom Dagnino, followed by Mark Reilly, Dan Murrell and finally John Rocha, who all made their way ringside to support Bateman. After Bateman finished off his rival, Ghai attempted to attack him in the ring with a chair, but Booker T took the chair off him and gave it to Bateman. Rocha grabbed Ghai and shoved him towards Bateman, who used the chair to finish him off, before the five of them raised their hands in the symbol of the Five Horsemen.
5-3. The Decision
They may not be as theatrical as the ones above, but three new teams forming in one video was such a historic moment and they could not really be separated. After feeling like he was carrying Finstock, JTE chose to bring an end to Team B.O.B. and contact Clarke Wolfe, inviting her to team up. In a special episode, Clarke joined JTE, Finstock, Kristian and Mark at the table, where she announced that someone else had reached out to her about a team-up at the same. The Superman theme began to play and through the curtain stepped none other than reigning Singles Champion Mark “Yodi” Reilly, forming the Wolves of Steel.
Any hopes that JTE had of running back to Finstock were quickly dashed as the masked enigma announced that “Finstock doesn’t play second fiddle” and that he had also decided to drunk email a potential new teammate. The unmistakeable chords of “Wild Thing” began to play and out stepped Finstock’s new teammate: Josh “The Wildman” Macuga, looking pumped to form the Megapowers.
Thankfully, JTE had one arrow left in his quiver and announced that he had someone on the backburner in case Clarke turned him down. “Shipping up to Boston” began to play and out jumped Jeff Sneider, marking the formation of the most successful team in Schmoedown history: The Patriots.
2. Ken Napzok and the Lion’s Den
After Sam Witwer won the Fatal Fiveway #1 Contender Match to earn a title shot against Ken Napzok at Spectacular II, Tom Dagnino and Grace Hancock crashed his interview at the table. Dagnino announced that the Lion’s Den had the best Star Wars competitor. The throne room music from Return of the Jedi began to play and a hooded figure emerged through the curtain and smoke, only for Grace to remove their hood to reveal none other than Ken Napzok, shocking the world as he turned from hero to villain.
1. The Horsemen Return
After defeating JTE at the first LA live event, John Rocha hinted that he was about to re-form the Horsemen. After branding himself “The Ghai that beat the GOAT”, Andrew Ghai brought Team Action teammate Ben Bateman on board to make fun of Dan Murrell to get over their loss to the Shirewolves. Before they knew it, they found themselves being played offstage by a mysterious music and the lights went down. When the light returned, four hooded figures stood onstage, hands raised in the symbol of the Four Horsemen. One by one they revealed themselves: Matt Knost, John Rocha, Innergeekdom Champion Jason Inman and Mark Reilly, back from retirement.
As the fans went wild to see the new stable, the Horsemen changed their symbol from a four to a five, before the lights went out again, coming back up to reveal a fifth hooded figure. Rocha pulled off the hood to reveal none other than Dan Murrell, coming out of retirement as well, to challenge Ghai to a match!
What has been your favourite reveal…?