SPOILERS for the Collider Collision II.
The Movie Trivia Schmoedown has been one of the most consistently entertaining programs online over the last several years and it seems to only be growing. More competitors have arrived to throw their hat into the ring and give it a go. So when it comes time for one of the big events, you know there is going to be a great time had by all.
I love writing about the Schmoedown because it always seems that these posts have the most views of anything that I put on Twitter or Facebook. Plus, the players and creative individuals involved always take the time to like or retweet the post which I appreciate so much.
I don’t want to just do a recap of the show. Last time I wrote a piece on Andrew Ghai’s heel work which dealt with the last live Schmoedown. Today, I am going to list my favorite 5 moments from Collider Collision II, posted on YouTube on July 13th and give my thoughts on them as well as some speculation on what these moments mean for the Schmoedown moving forward.
Once again, there are spoilers involved here so please do not read until you have had the enjoyment of watching the two-video event on the Collider channel.
My Top 5 favorite moments from Collider Collision II
#5. The announcement of the team Ultimate Schmoedown Anarchy theme. Every year they have a team Ultimate Schmoedown tournament and the winner receives a shot at the champions at the Spectacular. Last year Above the Line started their impressive run during this tournament. So it was going to shake things up when Commissioner Thadd Williams announced that this year’s Ultimate Schmoedown team tourney would have the theme “Anarchy.” That meant that the 16 teams in the tourney would all go into a hat and they would be randomly drawn out and whichever competitor you get as a partner, that is who you play with. Imagine the possibilities… Rocha and Bibbiani, Murrell and Ghai, Cushing and Washington, Wolfe and Reilly, Bateman and Mantz. It is a wild concept and when Thadd announced it, let’s just say that the audience and competitors in attendance did not find it as interesting as I did. Thadd getting swarmed as Mike “KO” Kalinowski stood back and laughed was a perfect way to go off the air. This KOrruption storyline has really been a dominant force in the Schmoedown since its introduction. More on that later.
#4. Dominant performances from Rachel Cushing and Alex Damon. Rachel Cushing was showing just how much of a Crusher she was in the Innergeekdom division with her crushing victory over a game Eric Zipper. And we have a new Star Wars Champion as Alex Damon destroyed Bruce Greene, who stepped in at the last minute for former champion Sam Witwer, who could not defend the title and had been stripped. Rachel had her second straight perfect first round in Innergeekdom and, actually, she did not miss a question in the entire match. Hard to beat someone who gets every question correct. As impressive as the Innergeekdom champion Jason Inman is, he has to be concerned over the challenge of one Rachel “The Crusher” Cushing. She seems not to have a weak spot in the entire list of categories of the division. As for Damon, the real money match will be a match versus Witwer sometime in the future as he showed himself to be so far above most of this division. A match with Ken Napzok would be entertaining as well.
#3. KOrruption all over the place. As I mentioned earlier, Mike Kalinowski has been one of the highlights of the storylines in the Schmoedown since his departure from the League. With some kind of info that he is holding over Thadd, Kalinowski has been pulling strings on the puppet for months. We see even more machinations going on here at the Collision. Envelopes were appearing in every cut scene to many of the heel factions from the Schmoedown including little tidbits that Kalinowski has been using to sow the seeds of dissension among the competitors. All the while, Kalinowski lurks in the background with a Cheshire Cat grin on his face. KO had a hand in the collapse of the Lion’s Den. He was behind the announcement of Anarchy. One of my favorite moments was when he screwed over his former League compadre, Jonny “The Mouth” Loquasto. Loquasto was told by Thadd that he was going to be at the desk with Kristian Harloff and Jason Inman asking questions and Jonny was very excited for the opportunity. He started off a house of fire when suddenly Thadd came out and told Jonny that he couldn’t do the announcing and Thadd had another replacement … Kalinowski. That was an epic heel move and it played very well in the story. I do not know what exactly Kalinowski has over Thadd, but I am anxious to hear what it is. However, I must say to those complaining about the story going too long, I disagree. I am happy to see the slow build and letting chaos reign for awhile. It is a top notch storyline and has a chance to really affect everything from here on. Don’t let your desire for the immediate gratification ruin what is potentially a fantastic pay off in the end.
#2. The Lion’s Den implodes after losing the Iron Man Match to Above the Line. You have seen this coming ever since the Patriots lost the titles, but the Lion’s Den officially collapsed at the Collision after losing to Drew McWeeny and Samm Levine. Those Iron Man matches are just tough, but it certainly highlighted the strengths of Above the Line, including the last two minute lightning round with the buzzers. Above the Line’s victory was not a surprise, but it was hard fought and well deserved and you could see how proud the champs were, especially Drew McWeeny who let out a primal roar of victory. Then, the story developed even further at the interview with Jenn Sterger when Ken Napzok pulled out one of the KO notes and said to Lion’s Den manager Tom Dagnino that he knew what Dagnino was trying to pull. He claimed Dagnino was recruiting replacements for Ken and Mark Donica. He claimed he was trying to break up the Patriots by trading Jeff Sneider to the Viper Squad. Ken said he had had enough and he was out of the Lion’s Den, forming his own faction called The Knights of Ken. I don’t know if that is a face turn for Ken or if he will remain a heel, but in a different faction. Either way, once Ken left, Jeff Sneider started asking questions, claiming to have heard talk involving Dagnino’s back stabbing as well. Sneider decided that he was following Ken’s lead and leaving the Lion’s Den, to focus on his singles career. Finally, JTE decided to stick with Dagnino and called Sneider and Napzok losers. The Lion’s Den has been down for most of 2018, so this is a way to freshen the scene up. Still, the Lion’s Den was one of the first and most successful factions in Schmoedown history and it will be weird seeing them broken up. Perhaps, one day, there will be a huge face turn and the Patriots will return to take out some new heel team. That could be really cool.
#1. Ghai wins! Ghai wins! Ghai wins! Are you kidding me? No way was Andrew Ghai going to defeat the returning GOAT “Dangerous” Dan Murrell one on one with no horseplay. It just was not going to happen. And then, it did. Shocking is not a large enough term to do this justice. Andrew Ghai has been doing tremendous work as a heel in the Schmoedown, getting under people’s skin and creating a character that everyone wants to see put in his place. Everybody thought that was going to be at the Collision. They were wrong. If you were paying attention though, you should have seen this possibility rearing it’s head. Andrew Ghai has been improving his trivia game ever since returning from his “suspension” for tackling Rocha at last year’s Spectacular. If you watch the live event with Team Action vs. the Shirewolves, you can see that Ghai was performing well and knew the questions that were missed by his teammate. When Ben Bateman answered incorrectly, you can see the anguish on Ghai’s face because he knew the correct answers. Not only has Ghai been improving, but he was catching Dan Murrell at the right time, returning for the first time after, arguably, one of the greatest moments in Schmoedown history with the reveal of the Five Horsemen. Being overlooked by everyone, Ghai was able to relax and play his game. He had nothing to lose. No one thought he could win and he played that card hard in this match. Then, his antics seemed to be getting to Murrell a bit. It is a lesson that you have to learn when you play Team Action or Andrew Ghai- do not engage or devolve into the trash talk (Top 10 learned it. Watch how Above the Line refused to get involved and how much that helped them). Dan was clearly bothered by it and, who knows how much it might have affected him. Then, one has to wonder what would have happened if Dan had stuck with the Pixar slice he spun on the first spin in the wheel round. Credit should still go to Ghai for choosing Romance for Dan when Opponent’s Choice came up on the wheel since “Sports” movies was available and some in the crowd could be heard suggesting that. Ghai said that sports movies had done in Dan last time and he may have prepared for them. That was great strategy. What does this match mean for the Schmoedown? Immediately, you have lost some luster from the image of the 5 Horsemen who desperately need a match to reestablish their dominance, but, with the Anarchy team tourney, they may not get one for awhile (might put some huge importance on the Rocha-Bateman match). And in Andrew Ghai, there is a new star as he has easily had the biggest win of his career and, most possibly, the greatest upset in the Schmoedown history. Do not mistake though- upset or not, Ghai deserved the win. He outplayed Dan, TKOing him. No one has ever been able to say that.
There you have it. There was also a great triple threat match between Marc Andreyko, of the Fyffe Club, and Jeanine the Machine and Stacy Howard of the Viper Club where Andreyko got a win despite a strong performance from Jeanine.
What is next for the Schmoedown. I can’t wait to find out.