Since its debut at the inaugural Schmoedown Spectacular, the Innergeekdom Division has been going from strength to strength. With a limited number of movies to pick from, it’s a division that goes deep into the details but can also be more effectively studied for. Last year saw the first Innergeekdom Tournament as Mike Kalinowski tried to take control of the league, while this season saw “The Killer” become the first Schmoedown Pro to win the title on two separate occasions.
While we have seen some big names step away from competition, including two recent champions and legends of the division, a look at the roster suggests that the Innergeekdom Division is the strongest it has ever been:
Mike Kalinowski’s win in San Diego saw him gain back the title in the division where he first began to become a star. The level of work he put in to elevate himself to the top of the rankings is incredible, ensuring that he has no weaknesses… only areas of slightly less strength.
Rachel Cushing finally won the belt that she coveted at the inaugural Schmoedown Throwdown and became the first double-belted Champion to compete in the Innergeekdom division. She is without a doubt one of the best in the division when it comes to sheer knowledge. Jason Inman was the first superstar Innergeekdom champion as the quality of the division improved and was the only one of the last four champions to manage a successful title defence. Sadly, Inman stepped away from competition at the end of last season and Rachel has just announced that she will no longer be competing, but if they ever do return they will be able to quickly re-establish themselves as a part of the Innergeekdom elite.
From two who have stepped away to one who has recently returned, Mara Knopic left the league after losing the title to Mike Kalinowski but has recently returned and will surely compete for the title again in the future – nobody else can boast victories over three current/former/future champions within the division!
Though they arguably do not fall into quite the same bracket as the aforementioned Schmoedown Pros, inaugural champion Robert Meyer Burnett and his nemesis Hector Navarro should never be overlooked. Their current status within the division is questionable given Burnett’s role as manager/commissioner and Navarro’s defeat at the hands of Kevin Smets but they both have categories that you don’t expect them to drop points in and a concerted study effort could see them rise back up the rankings.
With a 4-1 (4KO) record and some incredible accuracy stats, Kevin “The Smasher” Smets is arguably the best in the division to have never won a belt at this point. Adam Hlavac’s 3-4 record also doesn’t do him justice, as his losses have all come to highly ranked players Smets, Kalinowski, Cushing and Mark Donica; if he can improve in Middle Earth and Harry Potter then he will be able to start getting results against the top opponents.
Donica himself looked a great competitor and earned a title shot in his first run for the belt. Sadly no longer in the division, if the chance ever comes for him to compete again, his opponents better watch out!
Looking at some of the more recent debutants from this season, Brandon “The Hitman” Hanna seems to have picked up some study tips from his time as Ben Bateman’s intern and his victory in the Fatal Four-Way victory over Chance Ellison, Keetin Marchi and Chandru Dhandapani will have made veterans sit up and take notice. If he can get the victory over Emily “The Rose” Jacobson this week then his path to a title match will get much clearer. Chandru also looked good on his debut and he backed that up by earning victory over War Father and David Moore, suggesting a run for “that thicc belt” is not out of the question.
The other Innergeekdom debutant in that Fatal Four-Way, Chance Ellison, has the Schmoedown experience from the Teams and Singles Divisions and the Innergeekdom knowledge to be competitive in the Division. With Kalinowski coaching him, the thought of an all-KOrruption title match is not out of the question.
Emily “The Rose” Jacobson has been one of the hardest to judge at this point, as her debut against Winston Marshall was less than stellar (an 8-7 TKO), but if she can get a stronger result against “The Hitman”, then she will be making her rivals take notice.
Recent debutant the War Father put in a strong performance in his debut; now that he has experience under the lights he will surely improve, while his opponent David Moore looks to be on the up and that elusive first victory will come soon if he can just face the right opponent.
Returning to the Schmoedown after a 14-month break, Jared Haibon has the statistically interesting record of 1-2 (4KOs) after dominating his debut Fatal Five-Way, before losing to Donica and Kalinowski. In both those losses, he had bad luck with the Wheel, so if he can turn his Round 2 fortunes around, he looks to have a good enough knowledge to hold his own in the division.
Eric Zipper, Keetin Marchi, Coy Jandreau, Winston Marshall, Sean Gerber, Jay Washington and Emma Fyffe (if she returns to competing) have all had mixed or disappointing results in the division so far, but they all have categories that they are very strong in as well as having a wide enough knowledge to get the victory on their day; never forget, Coy beat Kalinowski on his debut!
Still to Come…
While the Innergeekdom is in a strong place, the beauty is that it can only get stronger. The fan leagues have already shown that they can develop the stars of the future with Smets and Paul Oyama, and we will surely see more future pros coming through over the next few seasons.
And let’s never rule out more veterans trying their luck in the division, as there are some big names in the Teams and Singles Divisions (most notably in the Horsemen’s stable) who could hold their own in Innergeekdom and – with enough studying – challenge for the title!