I can not believe what was announced at the beginning of the most recent Friday Night Titans. It shook me to the core.
The episode featured two fun matches that were very difficult to watch. Barbarian defeated Brandon “The Hornet” Hanna and two new teams including Chance Ellison’s new team defeating Zipper and Paige. They were good matches but they paled in comparison for the announcement made by Kristian Harloff and Mark Ellis at the beginning of the episode.
This season, season 9 of the Movie Trivia Schmoedown will be the final season. The MTS is ending.
This blew my mind. I never expected this and I immediately started wondering why. I suppose it had to do with money and the cost of running the show at the level that they were going.
I have spent the better part of the last nine years watching, supporting and enjoying the content provided by the Schmoedown. Some of the great moments of entertainment over the years have come with the Schmoedown.
One of the things that immediately crossed my mind, here at EYG, was that I established the Schmoedown wing of the EYG Hall of Fame just this past year and I intended on continuing over the years to induct Schmoedown competitors. So I am going to induct a few more competitors into the Schmoedown wing tonight and then close it down. Three of these would have been inducted this coming February.
Final inductees from the Schmoedown into the EYG Hall of Fame are: Mark Reilly, Shazam (William Bibbiani & The Kid Brendan Meyer), Samm Levine, William “The Beast” Bibbiani and Ethan Erwin.
The Schmoedown will continue to run until October where the Spectacular is scheduled to end it all.
Major events happened on this week’s Friday Night Titans. The opening match was Robert Parker TKOing Moose in an Innergeekdom match. This was a basic IG encounter to show the strength of “The Spider.”
However, the main event saw the team of King Arthur, including King Kan and “Downtown” Griffey Neums, defeating Shazam, who had held the team titles for about a year and a half and had successfully defended them four times.
Shazam, who are William “The Beast” Bibbiani and “The Kid” Brendan Meyer, have been dominant over this period of time and had been in argument as the greatest team of all time. They were chasing the Patriots’ record of six consecutive title defenses. Unfortunately, they have come up a little short for that.
They lost by two points, 44-42. In the end, what cost Shazam was the movie Boss Baby: Family Business. The question was what the the subtitle of the sequel to Boss Baby. Both Bibbs and Brendan put down “Back to Business” which is a Netflix show, but King Arthur both got it right. This was the only point Brendan missed in the first round, costing them a chance at the bonus point. If they had gotten the Boss Baby question and the extra point in round one, they would have been able to hold off King Arthur.
Shazam is usually one of the best round one teams around, but this time, they ended up with 17 points, trailing King Arthur by 4. They were near impeccable the rest of the way, but that first round made the difference.
King Arthur has been an impressive team and they deserved that victory. They have some deep knowledge and could develop into one of the great teams in the Schmoedown. Since they have dumped Gucci, they are much easier to root for and they have been very entertaining and funny. King Arthur will be a very challenging team to defeat for those titles. Shazam indicated that they would be using their automatic title rematch down the line so King Arthur-Shazam III will happen.
I also wanted to weigh in on Shazam’s place in team history. I do believe they are the best team of all time. The Patriots had more title defenses, but they were not face the number of powerhouse teams that Shazam has and, to be fair, there was a couple of technicalities that allowed the Patriots to keep winning. They could have (should have…even may have) been beaten by Team Trek and MODOK. The game has evolved from when The Patriots were here and it is a much more difficult task with all the studying and the depth. I do have The Patriots at number two overall, but Shazam is still number one because the number of defenses would be the only thing holding them down and the game is so different now that a comparison is unfair.
So it was tough to find myself cheering against him tonight as he teamed with Ben Bateman in Danger Zone against King Arthur. King Arthur declared themselves a sovereign nation and left the Finstock Exchange, which helped me cheer for them (because I really enjoy “Downtown” Griffey Neums). And I really hate the character of Ben Bateman.
It also goes to show that, although there is a lot of scripted material in the Schmoedown, the Schmoedown matches themselves are 100% above the board, because, if they were scripted, King Arthur would not have defeated Danger Zone tonight. With all of the time spent on building up the heel Danger Zone, they would not have lost if this weren’t real.
But they did lose.
King Arthur is a great team, but I did expect Ben and Dan to win that match up. However, a big 2-point steal in the second round switched momentum to King Arthur and Danger Zone missed their tough 5-pointer in the third round and King Arthur won again to earn a championship match next week on Friday Night Titans against Shazam.
The undercard Innergeekdom match featured “The Hornet” Brandon Hanna versus Brother Lomas. Hanna is another competitor that I have never liked much, but I have to say his new Hornet persona has really been a breath of fresh air. He is funny, quick-witted and a knowledgeable competitor. Hanna was great here and, although he stumbled in the third round, he was able to defeat Lomis in Sudden Death.
Hanna’s new character is great, and… he still holds that feel that he could turn on his new faction some time in the next year. It is an intriguing character.
Big match feel this week as we got the second ever match-up in singles of Ben “The Boss” Bateman and Mike “The Killer” Kalinowski.
Mike is now the face which helped in this match-up because Ben Bateman has totally embraced his obnoxious heel role, which makes him extremely difficult to deal with. I have never been a fan of Bateman so it was nice to cheer against him. Unfortunately, Bateman was able to defeat Kalinowski. Mike battled hard all match, but Ben was in control most of the way.
The two of them were animated with their banter and trash talk. It seemed as if they were frustrating Mark Ellis and Ken Napzok at the desk with the continual talking.
With Ben Bateman winning this match, he earned a number one contender match against “Lady Justice” Marisol McKee. Marisol gave Ben a piece of her mind when he tried to interrupt the interview with Mike and Shannon afterwards.
Opening match had two new debuting teams. Last week I complained about team names and there is another example this week. The Culture is a team of Amaru Moses and Klee Wiggins. I like the team, but that name is just about as non-descript as it can get. They took on The Dojo, which I liked better as a name because you had a legend in Mark Riley and a young competitor learning at his side in Jacoby Bancroft. The Dojo worked. And the Dojo won. Riley and Jacoby could be a very capable team in the future.
Oh, and what the heck was Winston Marshall doing?
I’m curious how the tournaments are going to work this season with Friday Night Titans having two matches a week. I have been enjoying the show each week, but I am curious how it will work out.
How can Friday Night Titans go even more WWE? Two words: Contract Signing.
The final scene of the show was a contract signing between Ben Bateman and Mike Kalinowski and it was just like a contract signing in the WWE except the table did not get flipped. Bateman made some snide remarks toward Shannon and Mike responded by trying to strangle Ben. Just like the contract signings from pro wrestling.
There have been a bunch of new teams forming this season, but I have to say that I am unsure about some of the team names. Tonight we had the Movement vs the System and The Next Chapter vs. Pure Energy. However, I am not sure I know any of those names. Sure they are new teams, but they do not tell me much about these players/teams. There is also The Appointment and Coast 2 Coast. Coast 2 Coast is probably the one new team where their name works to give some info on the players.
The Movement is JTE and The Paul Preston and they won a tough match with The System, who is Jeanine the Machine and The Database. There was a controversial challenge over one of JTE’s spelling errors, but it became a moot point because the System missed their 5-point question and the Movement answered theirs.
The opening match was fun, with Rachel Silvestrini and Moose winning against Beth May and Rick Hahn. The match was well done, but definitely down the list of teams in the Schmoedown. I ask myself do either of these teams have a chance to dethrone Shazam? No. However, they could provide entertaining matches.
The Movement vs. Shazam would be an interesting match, though I still see Shazam as the favorites. It sounds as if we might be getting a Movement vs. Coast 2 Coast match first and that will go a long way to showing what kind of teams these are. Then there is still Danger Zone who is owed a number one contender match. By the way, somebody is missing a chance if they do not call The Movement, The [Bowel] Movement.
Friday Night Titans was fun this week. It may not have been as powerful as some weeks, but it helps to develop these teams so that maybe some day I’ll recognize their team names.
This week’s Friday Night Titans featured one of the greatest rivalries of the Innergeekdom division. Champion and the best IG player of all time Mike “The Killer” Kalinowski defended against Kevin “The Smasher” Smets.
This was the third time these two powerhouses of IG played each other. The first time was the infamous “Don’t Tell Peter” answer that temporarily halted Kevin Smets’ ascension, giving Mike the victory. In their second meeting, Kevin Smets dominated Kalinowski and took the IG title from him.
However, Smets’ momentum was stopped. First by Chandru the Chosen and secondly by a real life battle with prostate cancer. As Smets begin his recovery, inside his head, he was always hoping to return to the Schmoedown. Meanwhile, Mike Kalinowski was cementing himself as the greatest IG player we have ever seen, by regaining the championship for a third time and by defending it successfully against the best the Innergeekdom division could provide. He beat Chandru. He beat Robert Parker. He beat Amaru Moses. Despite being champion, these players all were expected to beat Kalinowski. They did not. Each time, Mike looked as if he was ready to falter, but each time he came back as IG Champ.
When Kevin Smets returned to the Schmoedown at the Spectacular, cancer free, a rematch with Kalinowski was what everyone had hoped for. Smets had to go on a journey to earn the rematch, defeating Chandru and then Saul, but the match was set up for episode 13 of Friday Night Titans.
And it did not disappoint.
Kalinowski, with his new face persona, was quipping throughout the match. He was having fun with the game. Kevin Smets was more intense, but did allow himself a few moments of levity as the game progressed.
Smets and Kalinowski were close through the first three rounds, ending up tied. The speed round was next. Kevin Smets nailed the first three questions like a machine and it looked as if the speed round would be the end of Kalinowski, but he showed what kind of champion he was by battling back and grabbing the final two questions of the speed round in a dramatic style.
In the end, Mike was given an extremely difficult 5-point question about 2012’s Dredd and Kevin Smets was crowned IG Champion once again.
Jenn Sterger carried out two extremely emotional post-match interviews because there was so much undertow of real life creeping into the story. Mike and Kevin are close friends outside the Schmoedown and they became even closer with Smets’ cancer that the respect and the love between them came out clear as day in the interviews. Both men added to their legacies with this excellent encounter.
Two underrated competitors were the undercard for Titans with Witney Seibold and Rachel Silvestrini matched up. Both of these competitors had yet to win a singles match, and they put on a good show. Both are remarkably knowledgeable. Seibold, in particular, were does plenty of podcasts with William Bibbiani, has always seemed to be underachieving in the Schmoedown.
Seibold got the victory over Silvestrini in a competitive match up that was fun to watch. Some of the most entertaining aspects of the match was the inclusion of Zaflertinflouse as manager. The character created by Kristin Harloff and Brett Sheridan on SEN Live, is completely wild and funny with his faux German accent and strange dance moves. He announced the formation of the faction, The House of Flouse. Even Witney cracked up several times during the match from Zaflertinflouse’s antics.
The new team of Adam Collins and Paul Oyama, team name Coast 2 Coast, wound up playing two games on tonight’s Friday Night Titans. One fun and lighthearted game with The Reel Rejects and a more tense and challenging main event against the new team of Mr. Erwin and Slick Nick Harley, The Appointment.
As soon as I had heard about Collins and Oyama were forming a new team, I thought this would be a real challenge for anyone, and we definitely saw this tonight as they competed against two very different teams.
And they won both. They were more dominant against the Reel Rejects, and won a close matchup with The Appointment.
Collins, now a member of Swag with Winston Marshall, is playing a character trying to look like he has more personality and has some dance moves. In reality, neither of these are Adam Collins’ strength, but his awkwardness is fun to watch.
The Appointment is a member of the Stars and Roxy Striar is doing some of the best heel work in years. The new Mr. Erwin character is great too. Nick Harley, however, may have been the standout character work of the show. Though Nick made several mistakes that helped lead to the loss, his character work as Mr. Erwin’s mouthpiece and overall dude with a bad attitude was very strong. I have said it before but Nick reminds me of WWE superstar Kevin Owens, and that is a really good thing. As he continues to learn the game, he has been excellent in the entertainment part of the show. The Appointment may have lost tonight, but I see big things for this pairing.
During these two games, there were two challenges made, both by Winston and I think both of them were BS. Winston had both of his challenges upheld, but I really disliked both of them. I thought both challenges were pickiness in situations where the others knew the answers.
Next week, Innergeekdom championship with Mike Kalinowski vs. Kevin Smets.
It is Friday night and it is time again for the Movie Trivia Schmoedown’s weekly show, Friday Night Titans. This week we get a number one contenders match for the Innergeekdom championship on task with Saul facing off with Kevin “The Smasher” Smets. The winner of the match would earn a title match against the IG Champion Mike Kalinowski in a couple of weeks.
With all due respect to Saul, who I have gotten to like more this year, the Smets-Kalinowski rematch is clearly the match that everyone would want to see.
And after a solid performance from the Smasher, we will be getting that rematch.
Smets defeated Saul by TKO. There were some questions that Saul struggled with as it seemed as if he knew the answer and just could not pull it or just missed. He answered Travis “Wyatt” for the director of Bumblebee instead of Travis Knight. I am sure Saul knew the answer, but just lost it in the moment.
While Saul was respectable in his game, Kevin Smets looked like his old self. He was powerful and even survived the dreaded “opponent’s choice” spin under a Wild Card.
Smets dedicated the match to a Schmoedown fan, J.J. Singleton, who has been fighting his own battle against cancer since 2015. Smets, of course, had a year of cancer treatment and “Smashed cancer” but he wanted to continue to shine the light on those heroes who battle the horrid disease every day. Prayers to J.J. Singleton as the entire Schmoedown community wishes him the best.
In the opening contest of the show, the Wildberries defeated Jay Washington in a teams match. Yes, I said a teams match as Jay had to compete 2 on 1. In storyline, Kristian Harloff, who is in charge of the show, was punishing Jay for his involvement in last season’s attempt to oust him. Jay was commissioner last season, but now has been reinstated as a player and Harloff is going to put him through the ringer. The handicap match was the first step.
Being fair, first round questions for Jay counted as 2-points instead of one, which definitely helped him out. In fact, he was ahead at the end of round one. Sadly, the lack of a partner hurt Jay in round two when he got a category that was not in his wheelhouse.
Of course the Wildberries were out there loud and proud and promoting t-shirts. They always bring amazing charisma and an unmatched energy.
The end of the show featured a recorded message from the current Star Wars Champion Thomas “The Major” Harper who announced that, in order to spend time with his family, he was retiring from the Schmoedown and vacating the Star Wars Championship that he won last year. It was a surprise, but he talked about how much time the Schmoedown took away from his family, including his young children, and you could understand his eventual choice. He was a dominant force in Star Wars, but it will be interesting to see what happens next.
What a shocking heel turn. If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, I never would have believed it.
Ben Bateman and Kate Mulligan set up “PG” Peggy Gubbins and The Survivor for a team match with Ben and, a player he called a patreon of his. Nicknamed “Geoff” the guy came out, pretended to be really shy and was covered from head to toe.
Kate had told Peggy that after the match that she would be welcomed back into the Den, because Ben wanted the Den to head in a different, more positive direction.
If you did not see that swerve coming, you haven’t been watching wrestling.
The match was fine, but Ben and Geoff dominated, winning by TKO. And then it happened.
Geoff took off his mask and his outfit to reveal…
The one player who I never thought would go heel and who always looked uncomfortable when Ben would make his snide remarks or use his bad behavior last year when they played together as Danger Zone had gone heel. And with this win, Danger Zone had earned a number one contenders match that had been negotiated at the beginning of the year by Kaiser in an attempt to keep Danger Zone in the Dungeon.
The show had recapped that whole early season storyline, which I thought was odd, but it was clear now why they did that.
Dan Murrell turning heel was something I thought Dan would never do. Kristian had said before that he tried to get Dan to go heel, but Dan always told him that he wouldn’t feel comfortable doing it. Times must have changed since then because he went real heel tongiht.
As they kept calling the mystery player Geoff, I was sure that it was Jeff Sneider. This would have been right up his alley, but I assume that is what the Schmoedown wanted you to think by calling him Geoff the whole match. There was just no way that this was Dan Murrell. And then it was.
Dan Murrell has been my favorite Schmoedown player by far since the Schmoedown’s early days. His match against John Campea brought me into the league to start with. I have cheered for him in every match he has played, even those with Danger Zone. I have never been a fan of the way Ben Bateman plays, but I do respect him as a player. I’m curious to see what will happen when Danger Zone plays again.
The undercard was a decent Innergeekdom match between Amaru Moses and Saul. I kind of like the way Saul has been carrying himself this year and he was inserted into the storyline with Kate Mulligan as well. Saul pulled the upset, defeating Amaru who beta Saul last year.
With this victory, Saul gets a number one contenders match in IG against “The Smasher” Kevin Smets. They had a very respectful, but intense promo confrontation with Jenn in the interview segment. Saul came up with a great line after Kevin spoke about how he had always embraced being the underdog. Saul said “You’re not the underdog anymore.”
I have to say, I enjoyed Saul’s work the last few weeks. It’s going to be difficult to knock off Kevin Smets, but, if you get the right questions, you never know.
Titans was very good this week. Two entertaining matches and a massive heel turn.
They talked about the main event slot of this episode being Kristian Harloff pulling the numbers for tomorrow’s Free-4-All, which sounded incredibly dull and it was potentially ruining one of the best parts of the Free-4-All, the mystery of who was playing in the match and when people were coming out. The entire idea sounded like a poor idea and would require a bunch of shenanigans to make entertaining.
Little did I know that it was all a ruse.
Paul Oyama came out to the stage and cashed in his Free-4-All win from last season and challenged Samm Levine, the Singles Champion, to a match.
Before making the challenge, Paul teased that he and his new partner, Adam Collins, could challenge Shazam. Oyama and Collins? What a powerhouse team that is. That could be a true challenge for Shazam, but more about them later.
Doing what Samm had done years before when he challenged Dan Murrell on the spot, Oyama brought out Levine and they had a championship match.
The match was entertaining, but it took a massive turn in the third round when an Action/Adventure question about Jason Statham led to Samm gaining 3 points in the betting round after he got the question correct and Oyama losing 3 points after missing it. That took a reasonably close match up and made it a ten point deficit and essentially ended the match.
It set up Samm for a chance to get a KO in the speed round. Samm Levine has got to be considered one of the best speed round players in Schmoedown history, and he showed it once again. Samm did not rest back on his laurels with a strong lead. He came out aggressive and was able to end the Speed Round up by 11 points, triggering the KO.
Samm Levine, who has not gotten a question wrong since he came back to compete in season 9, was not going to lose a ten point lead after round three without some major bad luck, and, of course, they never got to the 5th round.
Samm Levine continues to be dominant and announced that he will be playing in the Free-4-All tomorrow, which allows him to perhaps miss a question or two without being placed in a situation where his title could be taken from him.
The undercard of the show was another title match with Shazam playing for a third time versus Korruption, Mike Kalinowski and Chance Ellison. The match had a stipulation added to it where if Korruption lost this match, they would be forced to break up as a team. High stakes for sure and it was a much more entertaining (and competitive) championship match than our singles match.
Korruption started off fast, grabbing a lead after round one and they increased the lead after a 2 point steal in round two. When both teams answered the betting round question correctly, it was looking as if Korruption was going to unseat Shazam.
However, William Bibbiani had a brilliant speed round, taking a couple of massive risks to get to questions first and wound up answering the final four questions correctly to pull to within 2 heading into the championship round.
It all came down to a 5-point question. Shazam answered all three of their 5th round questions correctly, leaving Korruption with their five pointer. Unfortunately for them, they came up one short for the number of times that Tony Scott directed Denzel Washington, and Shazam retained their team titles for the fourth time.
The studio was filled with a lot of emotions over what had happened, with Korruption now forced to no longer play together. Mike Kalinowski was already known as an emotional player and he took the defeat hard, taking the blame for the five point error.
It is nice that these players are working now as Faces because they were able to really embrace that emotion without having to play it off. Korruption is certainly one of the best teams ever to compete in the Movie Trivia Schmoedown.
Which made me think, what are the best teams ever? Here is my list:
The Odd Couple
Above the Line
The Founding Fathers
Shazam is on a historic run and has faced considerably tougher competition than the Patriots ever did. Shazam is 14-2 and has four title defenses. Two more and they tie The Patriots title defenses. Fact is that every team Shazam has faced have been bangers. I placed the Odd Couple ahead of Korruption because of their victory over the Shirewolves. Above the Line did not last long enough. Had they struck around longer, they surely would have been in the top 5, maybe the top 3.
This was one of the few times that we have seen Shazam back on their heels, but the fact that they were still able to come back and get the win should finally put to bed the question of which team is best of all time.
Big Titans this week. Free-4-All is tomorrow and is always one of the best events of the year.
The new week of the Movie Trivia Schmoedown’s flagship program, Friday Night Titans, arrived on YouTube tonight with a very intriguing show. I made a comment last week about the main event this week being a “squash match,” borrowing the pro wrestling term, with the new team The Appointment of Mr. Erwin and Slick Nick taking on Eric Zipper and Adam Gertler. I just did not find that to be main event worthy.
I commented that they needed a strong opening match to help this episode out and the MTS absolutely pulled that off. Two debuting teams, including the Barbarian and… Gold Leader (???) against Jeanine the Machine and a mystery partner.
I’m going to start off with the reveal of the mystery partner, which I thought fell totally flat. They tried to build it up, but someone we have never seen with no noticeable character came out. I think they needed some kind of vignette to introduce and highlight the Database, which was a cool name, but meant nothing.
However, having said that, this kid named Database was unbelievable. His trivia knowledge was amazing and his game play was like a veteran, not a rookie in his first match. It was an impressive performance to make Jeanine look like the secondary team member, and she is absolutely an epic player.
They have a real chance to build a huge teams match up. Jeanine and Database, who have been dubbed the System, and The Appointment is clearly a feud that could develop into a huge match. The elevation of the Stars as the top heel faction of the Schmoedown has been very solid this season and with Jeanine at the heart of the one team, this is a match to build for.
Unfortunately, Gold Leader really pulled down the Barbarian and, had they not gotten spinner’s choice and got to pick Star Wars, this game would not have been anywhere near as close as it turned out. The Barbarian could use a better partner. I would say Eric Zipper is in the same boat. He needs a partner better than what he got in the main event. Sure Gertler was entertaining and eccentric with his wrestling mask, but he is a comedy act, not a real threat. Zipper and Barbarian would make a powerhouse team.
Perhaps Gold Leader and Gertler will make me eat my words and they will become great partners for their respective teammate, but there is a lot of work to be done.
There was good character work in the main event, but the Appointment definitely dominated the match. I enjoyed Zipper’s confusion over what was going on with Mr. Erwin and Nick Harley’s constant bodyguard type schtick. And Roxy is absolutely GOLD in her heel manager character right now.
The Free-4-All has begun to be promoted. It is next Saturday and includes 40 competitors. Should be a huge day. They also continued to build toward Shazam vs. Korruption title match as Korruption accepted the match with the champs.
Welcome back to the Friday Night Titans review here at EYG. Episode number seven has come and gone with two very exciting and competitive matches.
The main event this week featured Mike “The Killer” Kalinowski, the IG champion, playing singles against “The Boston Badass” Paige Frabetti. Frabetti made her name last season with a major victory over Ben Bateman and she hoped to continue that momentum after joining the Fan Favorites recently.
This was a great match between a Hall of Famer and an up and comer. And it came down to a new rule biting Paige in the butt.
One word cost her this victory.
We learned tonight that the Movie Trivia Schmoedown adjusted the rule about articles this season. According to Mark Ellis, this season a competitor cannot add an article such as “the” at the beginning of a movie title and have it be accepted.
It was Paige’s two point third round question with her behind Kalinowski by a point after he got his 2 point question correct. She held the advantage going into round three after a difficult set of questions for Mike in round two. Paige answered “The Last Action Hero” instead of just “Last Action Hero” for the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie and it cost her those two points, gave Kalinowski the advantage in round three and he did not miss again.
Real tough break. However, if that is a rule adjustment that has been made clear to the players prior to the taping, then it is fair game. Unfortunate for Paige, but fair.
She also got one of the easiest 5-point questions I have heard with the Belfast new release question. Mike’s question may have been easy too, but I did not know it because I have never watched the Saw franchise. I’m sure William Bibbiani knew that question easily.
It was weird because I found myself rooting for Kalinowski, and I am not sure that has happened in years. Perhaps Shannon’s face turn this season has done wonders for Mike and Paige felt more like a heel since she joined Adam Witt and the Fan Favorites.
Another match that came down to the 5-point question was the opening encounter between Klee “Sweet Tea” Wiggins and “The Dealbreaker” Jacoby Bancroft. Klee won this match when Jacoby could not get his five pointer. I swear, every time I see Klee play, I never think she has a chance, but she does great. It seems as if she is an underrated competitor and, now that she is with Winston and SWAG, she may have found a push. Unfortunately for Jacoby, the last few weeks in storyline, he’d been featured only to be defeated tonight. Not sure how that will go for him since there are so few matches this season.
We have also learned that Roxy Striar’s Stars faction is going to be teaming Mr. Erwin up with Slick Nick Hartley as a new team named The Appointment. That team looks formidable since Nick is a solid young player and Mr. Erwin is an all-timer. They announced a squash match for next week with Eric Zipper and Adam Gertler. At least, that is how it feels. I hope I am wrong because Zip deserves better. Adam Gertler has not been around for years and this team is a huge underdog against The Appointment.
By the way, Roxy’s heel work has been on fire this year and her meet up with Shannon at the end of the show was awesome.
I hope there is another big match next week because this one feels like a lesser match.
Also, Andrew Ghai was back behind the desk this week after a couple week dalliance with Ben Bateman and Team Action. Welcome back to the desk, Drew.
On time this week, without any hint of the technical troubles that caused problems for episode five, Friday Night Titans returned to Friday night with two new matchups that had a huge flavor of last week.
Ben “The Boss” Bateman took on Rick “The Rager” Raddus after Team Action came back and defeated Raddus and Brother Lomis last week. Andrew Ghai returned as Bateman’s manager for the night, pounding on a drum and showing how tremendous of a jerk he could be.
While the match was good, I had a problem with this. I did not have someone to root for. Yes, I know Ben Bateman is one of the greats of the game and that he is an excellent competitor, but his style and his gameplay has never been something I enjoyed. Raddus is another heel and not one to elicit my support. You want to see him get his comeuppance. I don’t care how much they try, Ben Bateman will never be a face. He is, at best, a tweener. The character of “The Boss” just does not inspire me to cheer for him.
Of course, Bateman doesn’t care what I think, nor should he. He just has to do the best he can to win as many matches as he can.
Neither man had a good round two tonight, struggling through with several steals involved. Bateman received a spin of Dreamworks animation and Raddus go the 1990s. Bateman had some tough questions and was in danger of getting wiped out, but Raddus’ round two questions switched the momentum of the match. Raddus had a perfect round one, but trailed by five coming out of round two. It was quite a flip.
At the winner’s interview with “Jessica” (Jen Sterger), Andrew Ghai revealed that he would not be returning to full time competition or to managing. He had found a place he feels comfortable, and it is behind the desk. So Andrew removed his sunglasses and left Team Action in the past.
The undercard featured a very impressive Innergeekdom debut for Brother Lomis. I was not sure what was going to happen, but Lomis was great as he completely dominated the new FCS performer “The Pun-isher” Alana Jordan. The puns that she kept giving were, at first, interesting, but eventually annoying. I do not see this character being a long time player in IG, but Brother Lomis could be fascinating. How about Lomis vs. Saul?
Next week is Mike Kalinowski vs. Paige Frabetti. The Killer vs. The Boston Badass. Paige joined the Fan Favorites and Korruption has seemed to have turned face. Will that be Kalinowski as well? We’ll have to see.
Technical issues delayed the Friday night program on YouTube until Saturday morning. While I understand that things happen, the Movie Trivia Schmoedown’s new program Friday Night Titans cannot afford to repeat these tech troubles. If you want to make the Movie Trivia Schmoedown something more than just another YouTube show, then you must be able to show the episode when you promote it is going to be shown. I’m sure that everyone behind the scenes at the MTS was frustrated, and I do not mean to pile on, but I am saying that this needs to be an exception.
Putting that behind us, the full episode came out Saturday and featured a major storyline.
Ben Bateman came out to the set and challenged last year’s rookie sensation Rick “The Rager” Raddus, the best 3-0 competitor. However, The Rager came out and instead and said that he would accept the challenge only if Ben found himself a partner and took on himself and his partner Brother Lomis in a teams match. Raddus was sure that Ben would never be able to find a partner because of the number of bridges he had burned. Ben had until the second part of the episode to find someone.
I knew immediately who it was going to be. I have seen this story happen in wrestling several times over the years and there was only one competitor who fit the bill and who was most likely there. It was Andrew Ghai, Bateman’s former partner in Team Action.
The seemingly one time reunion of Team Action was fun and reminded everyone what great jerk characters Team Action was. Ghai, who was always the B-player on Team Action, played the best game he had ever played (with the possible exception on the match with Dan Murrell), secured his first ever perfect round one and showed his personality throughout the match. It had to be disjointing for The Reckoning, the team of Raddus and Lomis.
Andrew Ghai has been doing a ton of Schmoedown podcasts, looking at questions and discussing proper strategies and you could tell he was a stronger competitor than when we last saw him. Bateman looked remarkably calm and relaxed, something he had not been in awhile. Together, they were in complete control and The Reckoning looked like they were deer in the headlights.
Team Action got the big TKO victory and celebrated as they were wont to do.
including with some selfies…
I do not know if this is a total return to competition for Andrew Ghai or just a one off. Ghai has been a sensational member of the hosts at the desk and that seemed as if it was going to be his future involvement in the Schmoedown. However, he definitely looked good today and he and ben were able to easily step right back into the jerk-chemistry that had taken them so far a few years ago.
This is something that could not have happened last year during the faction race and it supports the idea to make the season more scripted and less real sports (even though the matches are completely competitive). These kind of surprises certainly are a benefit of the new format for Season 9.
There was an Innergeekdom undercard match with Brandon Hanna’s new gimmick, The Hornet. Hanna’s new incredibly friendly and nice persona is begging for a heel turn at some point in the season. If he can have some success before that re-turn, it could be huge. Hanna won in a average performance against Jesse Swift.
And the building of the heel faction The Stars continued as Nick and Jacoby from Chaos Theory tried to talk to Roxy, but it led to Nick turning on his partner and joining the Stars. Nick Hundley reminds me of WWE superstar Kevin Owens and when he turned his back on Jacoby, DON’T TRUST ANYONE.
Next Friday, Bateman vs. Reddus is scheduled and should be epic.
Now that 2022 Movie Trivia Schmoedown season is underway, it is time to officially announce the official opening of the Movie Trivia Schmoedown Wing of the EYG Hall of Fame.
We will be inducting our first class of Movie Trivia Schmoedown competitors/personalities into the Embrace Your Geekness Hall of Fame in 2022. Every year, in February, we will induct 2-3 new members into the Schmoedown Wing. I will cap the inductees for future years at 3 (although it could be two singles competitors and a team or some variation as such). However, the Class of 2022 will be the largest number of inductees that we will have.
I will say that some of the decisions about who to induct this first class was difficult and, since I did not want to have a huge number of inductees this first group, there are a couple of competitors that have been left out of the first class. I understand there are some people who may disagree, but understand any exclusions made are not personal. I have the utmost respect for the players and, if they are on the outside looking in right now, I expect that they will be inducted soon.
So, without further adieu, here is the Class of 2022 for the Schmoedown Wing of the EYG Hall of Fame.
“Dangerous” Dan Murrell. Of course. He is the recognized GOAT and a multiple time champion. One of the most respected players of all time. First competitor to 20 wins.
The Patriots (JTE and Jeff Sneider). The longest reigning team champions of all time. The Patriots won the first nine matches they played. Created amazing antagonists for the crowd to cheer against.
Kristian Harloff and Mark Ellis. The creators. The Schmoes. The driving force behind the league. Former team champions as well.
Rachel “The Crusher” Cushing. A powerhouse in three divisions. A leader among the women in the Schmoedown.
Mike “The Killer” Kalinowski. Multiple time Innergeekdom champion and team champion. Always underestimated. One of the top heels in the game.
“The Outlaw” John Rocha. Multiple time champion. One of the first and most successful “characters” in the Schmoedown. Set a tone for what a heel was supposed to be.
Congratulations to the Class of 2022. If your favorite has not been inducted yet, February 2023 is the next opportunity. Good luck.