Chris Van Vliet
|Chris Van Vliet||20||—|
Chris “The Cooler” Van Vliet said before the match that he watched Chris Jericho take on Kevin Smith last season and felt like he could hang in the Schmoedown. As it would turn out, he and his opponent, Doug “High Time” Benson, would put on a near-identical performance to that match a year ago.
Yet, unfortunately for The Cooler, he ended up looking more like Chris Jericho than Kevin Smith.
After six questions of Sudden Death, Val Vliet (0-1) fell 21-20 to Benson (2-0) in the Friday night thriller.
“It’s great to come into something like this with my spirits high,” Benson said. “And then, to win it, that’s another kind of high. I feel like I have never experienced runner’s high, but it may be like what I have now.”
The match was a close one to the bitter end. Both competitors put up a valiant effort in the first round, but it was Van Vliet who walked away with a 6-5 advantage heading into the second.
Out in front, The Cooler chose to defer to the Usual Suspect rookie, who spun a secret strength of Sports in the top of Round Two. High Time had no issue securing a perfect 8 PTS and did not leave much room for error for Van Vliet. To make matters worse, the Dungeon rookie could not quite match his opponent’s performance. Van Vliet only put up 4 PTS in the bottom of the second and sent 2 steals over to his opponent in the category of Reese Witherspoon to fall behind 15-10.
Down 5 PTS, things started to look especially dire for The Cooler when he missed his 2-point question at the start of Round Three. Fortunately, he had no issues with his next two questions to retake the lead and force Benson to win the game. High Time struggled in the final round of regulation, putting up just 3 PTS. That effort would be enough to tie, but not win, the match, sending it to Sudden Death.
While the rest of the match was relatively high-scoring, Sudden Death was very much the opposite. The wheels began to fall off for both competitors when they missed three straight questions near the end of the match. Fortunately, Benson was able to end that streak first taking home the 21-20 victory and the 2 PTS for the Suspects.
Doug Benson does not have an immediate match lined up next, but manager Samm Levine wants to get him fast-tracked for title contention.
“If he doesn’t get a title shot, I cry foul,” Levine said following the win. “I don’t know how the rules work anymore. It’s all crazy these days, but I want Doug to get a belt tomorrow and I’m going to call whoever I have to.”