It was October of 2008 that saw the very first review from a new YouTube channel called “Schmoes Know”. The two Schmoes in question were Kristian Harloff and Mark Ellis, close friends and stand-up comics who decided to put their movie thoughts on the internet for all the world to see. It’s a familiar story beginning (hell, it’s why Zach and I started The Filmsmiths as a short lived YouTube channel in 2014), but there’s more to it.
They ended up starting a podcast and a website for reviews and news (now wait a minute, that’s also very familiar) and then later merged with Collider as their presence continued to grow. Along the way, the ever growing group of Schmoes came up with an idea. This idea would merge their knowledge of film with their love of professional wrestling. This would become the Movie Trivia Schmoedown.
The Schmoedown isn’t much different from what you’d expect of a movie trivia game show of sorts. The key that separates the Schmoedown from other trivia shows is the wrestling aspect. Now, there isn’t any actual physical wrestling, it’s all in the characters. Various competitors will portray themselves as “faces” (good) or “heels” (bad), build rivalries and factions, and deliver in-character promos before and after the match.
It began with Kristian and Mark and their friends/coworkers, but it has expanded since then. They’ve included personalities from Screen Junkies and Rotten Tomatoes, and have even had celebrity matches featuring the cast of Netflix’s GLOW, the cast of the new Power Rangers film, and even a few matches with Freddie Prinze Jr.
Here are a couple recent matches that might get you interested:
Dan Murrell v. Kristian Harloff
This is the most recent of the featured matches, but it’s also arguably the most important. There are three main championship titles in the Schmoedown: the primary singles championship, a tag team championship, and a secondary “Innergeekdom” championship that focuses on more on things like comic book movies and Lord Of The Rings. This match is for the top prize in the game. Dan Murrell (a Screen Junkies personality) is one of the only two-time champions thus far, and has been one of the most dominant competitors since the show debuted after the Collider merger last year. Kristian Harloff, as previously stated, is one of the men who invented the game and also happens to have the record for most knockouts. Each match has a little video package at the start to get you caught up on the history of the competitors, which is helpful, but you should know that these two are heavyweights in the movie trivia world even on their off days.
Ultimate Schmoedown Team Tournament Semi-Finals
There has been a tournament in the fall every year to determine the new #1 contender to the Movie Trivia Schmoedown Championship, but 2017 started putting a lot more focus on the tag teams. The tag tournament was heated all the way throughout, but the two semi-final matches were arguably the best of the entire tournament. The first match features Mark Reilly (the first ever Schmoedown champion) going up against Samm Levine (of Freaks And Geeks and Inglorious Basterds), but their teammates are equally impressive. The second match features former tag team champions (and one of them a former singles champion) facing the hot new up-and-coming team more than ready to take that top spot while trash talking the whole time. I don’t spoil too much of these matches, but I will say that there are some scoring records that are broken.
Celebrity Schmoedown: The Loser’s Club
Not only is this the most recent match with people who are known outside of the Schmoedown, it’s arguably the highest profile of the bunch considering the record-shattering success of Andres Muschietti’s It. This match obviously lacks the recurring story of most other Schmoedown matches, but the young actors make up for it with their charm and sense of fun in this debut. The format is changed to a one-on-one elimination style until all but one of the actors have been eliminated, and the questions are a little bit easier due to their age, but it still isn’t entirely a cakewalk either. If you were a fan of It like I was (and statistically, you probably were), this is definitely something you should give a watch as well.
I get excited every time I see a new upload for this movie trivia show, and I’ve actually convinced several people to follow along with me. A new Schmoedown episode has become a little event during dinner time at my house, where I play along with my mother and brother, and I even keep my own score to see how well I do against the actual competitors (if you want a hint, I do VERY well). I know that I talked up the professional wrestling angle quite a bit, but you don’t actually have to care about WWE at all to appreciate this the same way that I do.
The Movie Trivia Schmoedown is one of the very best things on the internet that you don’t know about, and I sincerely hope that this pitch has made you believe that you need to catch up.