World Wide Web Fights Presents
What is Grudge Match?
What is Grudge Match?

The Scenario

The desolate pier on the River Thames just outside London looks like a war zone. A large ship continues to smolder after the previous night's fire, and charred corpses cover the dock. Firefighters and policemen swarm the area, battling the blaze, aiding the few survivors ... and trying to figure out exactly what happened.

Two new men arrive at the scene. The taller one takes in the scene keenly, sometimes employing a magnifying glass, as he puffs on a large curved pipe.

"Dastardly work last night, Watson. For crimes so depraved, my suspicion would usually fall on Professor Moriarty. However, the name that one mangled victim cried out at us must surely belong to the perpetrator."

"But Holmes," says Dr. Watson, "I never heard that strange name before. We're no closer to solving this case. And please, don't tell me it's elementary."

"No, not this time. This case will test me to my limits." Sherlock Holmes peers around. "Where did Inspector Lestrade get to?"

"He said he was going off to round up the usual suspects."

"I should have known." Holmes relights his pipe. "It would all be much simpler if we could answer one question: Who is Keyser Soze?"

So, Shane, can the consummately clever crime consultant crack the case of the cruel but crafty Keyser?

Anyone who has not seen the film The Usual Suspects
is going to have the ending utterly ruined for them by this match.
Guaranteed. Don't come crying to us. You have been warned.

Sherlock Holmes Keyser Soze, The Usual Suspects

Sherlock Holmes vs. Keyser Soze

The Commentary

SHANE: Boy, has this secretive criminal mastermind pulled a boner. He's caught the attention of history's greatest detective, and that means a long trip to the clink for him.

Sherlock Holmes created modern police work. He combined meticulous observation and dispassionate analysis with his own incredible genius to transform the profession of fighting crime. His study of everything from footprints to tobacco ashes, along with all those chemistry experiments that stank up 221B Baker Street, gave him a breadth of forensic knowledge unmatched in the world. He is a one-man 19th-century CSI, only he may not need one hour minus commercials to catch his man.

And there's nothing about this case that will trip him up. He's dealt with American criminals before, with ease. He's a master of disguise who knows exactly how to see through someone else's camouflage - meaning a couple of fake deformed limbs won't fool him for a second. He's familiar with foreign languages, so he'll know that "Soze" is Turkish for "talks too much": excessively 'Verbal', get it?

And yes, there's some bizarre time-warp going on to bring these two characters together, but Holmes always prefers bizarre cases, because their own improbabilities point to the solution. Once he's determined by three footprints and a cigarette butt that his quarry is medium height, balding, is faking a left-footed limp, and is carrying two gold statuettes of naked men, all he has to do is track reports of a stranger asking for something called a "Starbucks", and he's got his man.

Solving this case isn't just elementary. It's a sure lock.

BRIAN: You think Holmes can catch Keyser Soze? You think a guy like that comes this close to getting caught, and sticks his head out? If he comes up for anything it'll be to get rid of you for that Starbucks comment. After that, my guess is we'll never hear from him again... well, until we finally figure out a way to work his Kirgo character from "See No Evil, Hear No Evil" into a Grudge Match. But I digress.

If there's one thing we learned from "The Usual Suspects", aside from the fact that it is possible for a Baldwin brother to not ruin a movie, it's that Keyser Soze can do whatever he wants, however he wants, and still get away with it. He was just toying with those cops the whole time, even making up his elaborate (yet consistent) story on the fly based on what he saw on a bulletin board. That's cunning. That's criminal genius. And that's out of Sherlock Holmes' league. Sure, Holmes is probably a lot smarter than Primo Sidone and Nick Tortelli, but look how much leeway he has to work with. Before trying such a stunt in Holmes' territory, he'll know that he can't be quite as cavalier about it. To that end, you'll notice there's one thing missing from the above scenario: Keyser Soze. Nobody would have gotten close to him before without an interrogation, so this time his capture won't be a necessary part of his plan.

Of course, even if Sherlock is lucky enough to conclude that the criminal has a limp, he'll only begin to suspect his partner, Watson, who walked with a limp due to his mysterious "war wound". Then, given how without a clue Holmes really is, he'll decide that who they're really looking for is a skinny, Indian peace leader. And like that... they're gone -- off to New Delhi on a wild Hindu chase and a 2 week bender. Meanwhile, Soze retires to his beach house on the Black Sea while he figures out a way to get himself worked into the script of L.A. Confidential 2.

SHANE: Brian, you tripped yourself up so fast, even Inspector Lestrade would notice it. You imagine that Holmes will suspect Watson because of the limp, but you yourself said we haven't seen Soze, and his limp, yet. All Holmes has is a name, and he never theorizes without data. Watson is in the clear, and Holmes remains on the right scent.

And before you make your next error, let's preempt some tedious misconceptions about Doctor Watson. He's been played as a buffoon for decades, thanks to movie producers condescending to their audience. (Good thing that doesn't happen today, huh?) In the original stories, though, Watson emerges as brave, loyal, and energetic, a worthy right-hand man for Holmes. He steadies Holmes' sometimes bizarre personality tics, and was tenacious enough to wean him off the cocaine, and keep him off. Granted, Watson himself modestly admits he's not that bright compared to Sherlock Holmes. Does anybody win that comparison? You see where Hollywood went wrong now, but we won't make that mistake.

Soze would perhaps have a chance to elude Holmes in L.A., but this is London. Holmes knows every grimy back-alley and underworld dive by heart. His scouts on the streets, the Baker Street Irregulars, will sniff the fugitive out. There's nowhere Keyser can go that Sherlock cannot follow. At best, he can make a stand and try to win a gunfight, but he's accustomed to modern automatic pistols. If he tries to fire a 19th-century double-action revolver, held sideways in a misguided inner-city chic, he's going to look more stupid than shooting a gun sideways usually makes you look. Doctor Watson drills him, then keeps him alive to stand trial.

Sherlock Holmes is going to smoke Keyser Soze like his favorite pipe.

BRIAN: Um... Shane... you're the one that suggested "his quarry" had a limp, and I was just playing along. Reading what you yourself write might help in the future. FYI.

There are two other factors here that cannot be overlooked, and both will ensure victory for Soze. The first factor is will. Remember, Soze is the guy that killed his own family just to show some men of will what will really was. That's what makes him a pitiless, psycho, f'd-up butcher. On the flip side you have Holmes, who is clearly wrought with vices and weaknesses. And you don't become a master criminal without learning how to exploit the vices and weaknesses of others. Cocaine? You think Soze might be able to get his hands on cocaine? A typical George Jung shipment probably has less coke then Soze could find between his couch cushions. Once Holmes starts "sniffing" around, it's just a matter of time before he finds himself once again in the arms of the white lady, and utterly useless. More so.

The second factor is experience. You seem convinced that Keyser Soze is an "American criminal" from L.A. That couldn't be further from the truth. He's as international as international gets. Sure, Holmes knows London, but that won't do him much good given that Soze will already be in Istanbul by the time Holmes steps on the dock. In fact, I wouldn't put it past Soze to be in Constantinople. He's the kind of guy that could pull off something like that. In addition, Soze has taken on and defeated all comers. The most treacherous and most vile of humanity use his name to scare the rest of the most treacherous and most vile of humanity. Meanwhile, Holmes continually battles with... Professor Moriarty. Sorry, but the most evil things professors are responsible for are really hard mid-terms. How is this a contest exactly?

And don't even get me started on allies. Soze is protected from up on high by the Prince of Darkness. Who does Holmes have? The Prince of Wales?

Thanks to J. R. Parsons for suggesting this match.

The Results

Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes (1866 - 68.2%)

sniffs out

Keyser Soze

Keyser Soze (869 - 31.8%)

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Voter Comments


You know why Sherlock Holmes used cocaine in the first place? To deal with the times he didn't have a mystery to pursue! Anybody so addicted to solving those sorts of puzzles that he needed to snort a couple kilos of Columbian white to deal with the withdrawal has got a SERIOUS commitment to getting his man; it's just too bad for Keyser Soze that he's Sherlock's next fix.

Come to think of it, I wonder if mystery-solving addiction is responsible for Shaggy and Scooby's behavior...

- My name is "Mad Dog" Mike, and I'm a mystery addict...

Silver Grudgie ROTW Silver Medal GrudgieTM

Sherlock Holmes is a character so beloved that his fans would not permit him to die. Keyser Soze is a murdering psychopath trickster.

To put in other terms, Holmes is the guy at the party who knows where the booze is, while Soze is the guy who spills red wine on your carpet and blames it on the dog, while doing the "You got something on your shirt" bit.

Besides, "No Shit, Soze!" just doesn't have that same ring to it.

- Tracer Malone (Now, "No Way, Soze!", that we can work with)

Bronze Grudgie ROTW Bronze Medal GrudgieTM

In the stereotypical English parlor of a stereotypical English Manor on a stereotypical stormy night as part of the stereotypical ending of an English murder mystery, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson gather the suspects to reveal the identity of Keyser Soze.

"You see," Holmes said while lighting his pipe, "the identity of Keyser Soze is rather obvious. He disappears by making people believe that he is some harmless fool when he is really a diabolical criminal mastermind. Therefore, I have gathered the five of you here because one of you simply MUST be Keyser Soze while the others are mere cretins."

Holmes confronts the first suspect. "Mr. Simpson, would you explain-" "It's true! It's true! I couldn't help myself! It's always Flanders this and Flanders that!" Homer stands up stats acting sarcastic and mocking. "Look at me! I'm Ned Flanders! Everything works out for me in the end! God loves me! And look, I bought donuts today!"

Homer slams his hand on the desk. "Well I took Mr. Perfect Flanders' donuts! That's right! I stole them because I'm a donutholic! Oh, why can't I be a normal alcoholic like all the cool people?"

"Whoa. He, like, stole donuts. That's, like, glucose and stuff." said Keanu.

"Whatever" said Jack from Will & Grace. "I would simply ignore the donut so I could fit in the new outfit I bought at Saks Fifth Avenue."

"Please be quiet!" snaps Holmes. "Now, Simpson, this has nothing to do with donuts. It has to do with Keyser Soze."

"Not Krispy Kremes?"
"Oh, never mind."

Holmes closes his eyes and shakes his head in frustration. "Let's move on. Mr. Connery-"

"Do what you like, Trebek."
"My name is Holmes."

"Oh, trying to be fancy changing yer name and acting like an Englishman, eh?" said Sean Connery from Saturday Night Live's Celebrity Jeopardy skit. "Well, I always knew you had to be English, Trebek, and not a manly Scotsman like me. In fact, if there's anyone less manly than you, which I doubt, it's the curly haired fellow next to me."

A high pitched, annoying voice answers, "I'm manly as they come!" Screech from Saved by the Bell is astonished at being insulted.

"Look," said Connery, "if you were manly you'd 'ave nailed that fine bit of crumpet that starred in Showgirls. Instead, you wallow in yer virginity!"

"I could make a man out of him." said Jack. "Well, first we'd have to dress him up like the biker from the Village People. I love '70s retro, don't you?"

Keanu said "I could act like an Englishman, too. I did it in Dracula. Uhm, I say, Count Dracula, if I have offended thee, then I'm, like sorry, Dude."

"Enough!" shouts Holmes. "This has gone on far enough. It's over, Keyser Soze!" Holmes grabs the false hair and beard of Sean Connery, tearing them off to reveal a surprised Kevin Spacey. Watson wrestles him to the ground and slaps the cuffs on him.

"By the devil, Holmes, how did you know?"

"Elementary, my dear Watson. The real Sean Connery was too busy killing the other James Bonds and Mike Myers to be here. That and even Keyser Soze could not act as stupid as the others."

"Whoa." said Watson.

- The Admiral - My roommate let slip it was Kevin Spacey during the opening credits. That jerk!

Have you ever wondered why so many hero types are accompanied by annoying sidekicks? Wouldn't they be more inspiringly heroic without being saddled with the presence of someone who's a constant irritant to those around them? Of course they would. They know this perfectly well. Yet they hang onto their sidekicks and even risk their lives to avoid sidekick lossage. Why do they do this?

Because they know that the guy with the sidekick wins, that's why.

Even ultra-American(tm) eighties type heroes of the Stallone and Schwarzenegger mould, who make a fetish of being a Lone Wolf(tm) or even a One Man Army(tm), will discreetly pick up a temporary sidekick when they need to face a dangerous mission. By any Ahnuld(tm), you will always find a Rae Dawn Chong kicking alongside, however much they try to make his or her presence look accidental and meaningless.

This is why Holmes is certain of victory. Because Keyser Soze, fearsome as he his, has become overconfident and failed to recruit a sidekick. Which isn't too surprising, actually -- any quick overview of the history of ruthless criminal masterminds shows that many of them have very poor sidekick retention skills.

- Mr. Glag

What about Kobyashi? - Eds.

This one is simple - if you've read any Doyle, that is.

If you've ever read A Scandal In Bohemia, then you know that, while Sherlock Holmes always figures out who commits the crime, he doesn't always catch the perp.

Keyser Soze, though, always gets away. Even when Chazz Palminteri has him in his grasp, he gets out. So Keyser Soze has a perfect record, and he's against someone who let a regular blackmailer get away.

And, poof, Soze is gone again.

- 32_Footsteps, the Eve of Destruction

It's elementary who wins this: Keyser. Why? Let me break it down for you, Shane.

1. First, Keyser Soze has come back through time, why can't he take back modern weapons with him? He is accustomed to them, as you say, and they are also more powerful. I didn't see anything about a Terminator-style time warp, where you can't take anything back with you.

2. Even if Keyser does get stuck with 1800s guns, he is not a stupid man. He has done his homework, and knows how to use them. If all else fails, those Oscars make good blunt instruments.

3. Holmes is Data! STAR TREK MUST LOSE!

4. Holmes power as the master of deduction is useless here because he must deduce everything about his opponent. Keyser has all the Sherlock Holmes tales to fall back on and already knows everything he needs to about Holmes.

5. Keyser will remember the age-old saying, "The enemy of my enemy is my friend." Accordingly, he will contact Prof. Moriarty, who will launch diversions, distractions, and red herrings galore while Keyser gets away. The professor has already seized control of the Enterprise computer in the past. He can do it again and let Holmes capture his quarry on a holodeck while the real Keyser is somewhere in Turkey. Or maybe just blow Holmes to bits from orbit.

By the way, the Enterprise computer can also wreak havoc with 21st century computers, so if this response isn't published, you will know what happened. Professor Moriarty thanks you.

- mtk1701

I think this'll be one o' those "Unsolved Mysteries" on Lifetime that I watch on lonely Saturday nights while eating a gallon of ice cream. Which is, in fact, another unsolved mystery: why is a boy-toy like myself sitting at home on a Saturday night watching Lifetime while eating ice cream?

- Grudge-Pops(tm): Worst....response....ever!

When I watched Usual Suspects for the first time, I figured out who Keyser Soze was two-thirds through the film. Then I ruined it for my roommates, who were watching it with me. Because I'm that evil.

So the question should be, can Sherlock Holmes defeat....Some Girl From San Francisco???

- The Fiendish Dr. Cathy Moriarty

What kind of an idiot cop doesn't know what's on the bulletin board behind him??? Holmes gets the match, simply because he's observant enough to figure out that Kevin Spacey is lying through his teeth.

- The Mad "I know what brand my coffee cup is" Josher

Let's get one thing straight, right off: there are only three places on earth that Holmes-style overweening deduction actually works: PBS, BBC, and British murder mysteries. Anywhere else, that sort of reasoning does nothing but get the case kicked out for over-reliance on circumstantial evidence.

Now, while Holmes has been languishing on public television for years, a mass murder down at the docks is not going to fly well between pledge breaks. If you don't get killed in some mansion in the British countryside with a huge garden and a saucy maid with a dark past, you won't see it on PBS.

So, this whole thing is happening on network television, or possibly some HBO special presentation. This means that the sort of forensic masturbation that murder mysteries so love is not going to fly. Deprived of this simple shtick, Holmes goes down quicker than Dubya Bush at an Exxon Executives' convention.

If nothing else, imagine this scenario:

"Simple, Watson. We know the killer wore size 9-1/2 shoes, and had a taste for Turkish coffee, therefore, we can surmise--"

[a small, luminescent red dot appears on Holmes's chest. Holmes, oblivious, keeps rattling on]

"--that the killer was obviously a woman wearing her husband's shoes, and almost certainly educated in a public school. Therefore, we are led to the conclusion that--"

[The dot travels up from Holmes's emaciated chest to his forehead. Holmes, still trying to get into Watson's pants shows of cerebral stamina, keeps going.]

"--These shoes were not worn by the killer, who is clearly a black-haired, balding man of medium height and knows how to fake a limp, and whose real name is--"

[The bullet shatters Holmes's skull, and tears apart that stupid hat he always wears. Watson, free of Holmes's veiled sexual harassment, quickly closes the case and moves to somewhere it doesn't rain all the time. Fade out, roll credits, start reading some Kinky Friedman.]

Now after that Poirot loser,

- Rosencrantz

Now usually between long lingering kisses that my boyfriend plants on me I would have agreed with him that Holmes would win. Home territory, years of literature versus one movie, etc. However, talk about Watson got the ol' grey cells burning into action.

See, years of coke abuse would get the dear detective paranoid by this point. And he know that the man he's dealing with isn't a "usual suspect" of any sort... the limp is fake... this is true...'s by this time Holmes questions the "war wound" his sidekick bears.

The wound was in the shoulder in "A Study in Scarlet". It migrated into the leg in "The Sign of Four".

Now, could the hypothesis be correct? A criminal genius working undercover as a bumbling sidekick to the world's greatest detective for all these years? Eliminating such rivals like Moriarty and the Red-Headed League to his growing empire... Surely Holmes, with his immense memory and eye for detail, would remember the status of the original injury....would he recall it now? Why else all those years of working closely with Holmes, studying him and his detective methods...?

Or maybe that's just what Soze wants him to think. And Watson's the perfect patsy to take the fall.

Just who can you trust?

Either way, Soze wins. And you don't even need to take another trip to the falls to do it.

- cygnia

Hmmm... let's think about Sherlock for a minute: English, hangs around with people he towers over in the intelligence scale, has had a few different portrayals and guises over the years, always has a cunning plan... wait, cunning plans?

Good grief, Sherlock must be a distant relation of Edmund Blackadder! I can see it now: Sherlock Blackadder-Holmes earns money by using his intellect to solve crimes (the majority of which he was probably involved in somehow), and he succeeds because he actually has a semi-competent companion in Dr. Watson, hence no Baldrick, Percy or George to screw things up. That way, he could seek favour with Queen Victoria, and eventually take the throne and rule the world.

Well, catching Soze will be a walk in the park, if Blackadder episodes are anything to go by they probably unknowingly end up in a drug plot together before Sherlock discovers the truth, backstabs Soze cunningly, gets all the money and glory, and then loses said money and glory in a humourous fashion.

Sorry, Keyser, but you are in the stickiest situation since Sticky the Stick Insect got himself stuck on a sticky bun.

- Mixmaster Flibble - What, Brain, have you got a team of monkeys working on your commentary round the clock?

From The Adventure of the Speckled Band:

"He seems a very amiable person,' said Holmes, laughing. 'I am not quite so bulky, but if he had remained, I might have shown him that my grip was not much more feeble than his own.' As he spoke, he picked up the steel poker, and with a sudden effort, straightened it out again."

So, the man is not only super-intelligent and a master of disguise, but he can bend a steel poker with his bare hands and survived a plunge off Reichenbach Falls that was supposed to kill him.

This Mr. Soze will be in gaol by nightfall.

- Ubiq

Oh, how positively WONDERFUL the timing for this match is!

Even IF I had the foggiest clue as to who the hell this Keyser Soze (whose name sounds rather like a particularly nasty form of gangrene to me) is, the fact remains that, since getting Kazaa on my computer two months ago, I have downloaded the first three complete seasons of Sherlock Holmes on radio (starring Nigel Bruce and the immortal Basil Rathbone).

Hence, with that much more knowledge of Holmes's true genius at my fingertips, I can assure you that this German(?) upstart has absolutely no chance of eluding Holmes's BEYOND GODLIKE oberservations. Consider just a few of these cases:

1.) "The April Fool's Day Adventure" - Holmes figures out that a stolen emerald is hidden in a bottle of creme de menthe (a green liquor, natch).

2.) "The Lion's Mane" - Holmes somehow manages to figure out that the killer in this mystery is a form of poisonous JELLYFISH with only a few odd lacerations on the corpse to go by.

3.) "The Problem of Thor Bridge" - Holmes uncovers the specifics behind an elaborate suicide meant to frame someone which involves a jury-rigged catapult (must be read to be believed)

and, arguably the kicker...

4.) "The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge" - Holmes manages to solve a murder (involving poison) simply by observing HOW FAR A SPRIG OF PARSLEY HAS SUNK INTO A BUTTER DISH!?!

Do the words "Able to spot the fleas on a mouse's back at 500 yards" mean anything to you?

Case closed, dear doctor. Now pass me my Boswell...

(P.S. - This seems like an excellent time to mention that I'm trying to form a Sherlock Holmes acting troupe. If anyone reading this has theatre experience and happens to live in the Baltimore/DC area, drop me a line at

- RoboGoober98 (and a pox on ANYONE who mentions Data being reason enough for a Holmes defeat. That's dirty pool, boys...)

Hey Brian, you IMBECILE. The last time I checked, the "Prince of Darkness" wasn't on high, he was stuck in the fiery depths. I thought you, being the Spawn of Satan, would at least get that right.

- ticklewigglejigglepickle

It's elementary. Holmes wins. Why? Because Holmes is British and being British is a winning card in mainstream movies. This Mr Soze may be a criminal mastermind but he's 'not a God and just an American' as Biggles would say. The best criminal masterminds are always British and Holmes is expert in putting them away. Mr Soze by comparison will be an open and shut case for him.

- dworkin

Keyser Soze, because I'd rather meet a guy named Sherlock Holmes in a dark alley than a guy named Keyser Soze.

- Dawn

If ever an award for greatest match were to be issued, this one would be a mortal lock for the coveted prize. Really, this one is just phenomenal in its complexity, its intrigue, and its genius.

The world's greatest detective vs. a man who doesn't exist.

I'm speechless. This one turned my mind inside out contemplating every possibility, contingency, and swerve that such a titanic battle would present.

Holms brought down Moriarty and his minions, and in later works, albeit by different authors, matched wits with the likes of Fu Manchu, and Dracula.

Kaiser Soze convinced law enforcement and even his own underlings that he didn't even exist.

I went with Holmes for one reason and one reason alone: Mycroft, his brother, president of the Diogenes Society and, supposedly, even more brilliant than Sherlock himself. IF Holmes couldn't figure this one out on his own, and there's better than even odds that he could, he could, as a last resort, turn to Mycroft for assistance. And together, the Holmes brothers could take down Soze... but not without some major difficulty and perhaps one or both of them perishing in the process. But this is about bringing down Soze, not survival.

- Walker, Plexus Ranger

Clearly Holmes will win this match. Even when his own creator tried to kill him he couldn't do it. What chance does the so-called Keyser have? What is more: In the final paragraph of your comments you mention BOTH Istanbul and Constantinople. Why do I mention this, you may ask? All in good time. As you are no-doubt aware, there is a well known song called "Istanbul Was Constantinople" by none other than They Might Be Giants. But IS IT NOT TRUE that there is a movie of the same name that "chronicles the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in modern day New York City"? Clearly this has a very great deal of bearing on who will win this match.

- Matt "Hippo Floss"

Sherlock Holmes is older than Keyser Soze, and as Moe Scyzlac(tm) says: "Old people are no good at everything." All hail Kaiser Keyser!

- Emmy the Homicidal Maniac (You can call me Mmy!)

Bastards. I can't even read the commentary without ruining a movie I haven't seen. And probably won't ever see. Bastards.

- One of Many Marks that is pissed at the WWWF for ruining my movie going experience.

{Sigh. Which part of the HUGE SPOILER NOTICE did you miss? - Shane}
(Sigh. And if you subscribed to our mailing list, you'd have had two weeks warning! - Brian)

You know, I didn't think that Keyser Soze would be so short....

But enough of Keyser Soze. Given that Sherlock Holmes is set to crack this case (the present voting results have Sherlock Holmes with a commanding lead over Soze), we need a much better case to test his limits.

Something so difficult, so terrible, so twisted, so horrifying.
Something that not only tests Holmes' limits, but goes beyond them.
Something that cannot be solved by rounding up the usual suspects.
Something that not only twists the resolution, but also mangles and throttles it.

And yes, something in which the solution could not only be potentially harmful, but also fatal for poor Sherlock Holmes and dear Doctor Watson.

Like, who and where is Dan Willis?.....

- Tahna Los (....fade to black....)

Although Holmes is the master, he can't take down Soze. Holmes is used to catching clever, but petty crooks. Soze is a crime BOSS. Not only that, but he's the only one in his criminal empire, so as not to leave any leads. Only Keyser Soze could pull off having a one-man empire, and every criminal in the world would do anything for him for fear of their lives. If Holmes ever caught up with Soze, he could easily kill Soze with Watson's help. But he won't ever catch up to him. Holmes mainly seems to solve cases for the enjoyment and stimulation (the same reasons as his drugs). He doesn't care about the other officers on the case (who will probably get ticked off at him and screw him up) and he probably doesn't have the social skills or patience to get all the vital information from all the witnesses. Considering what a master manipulator Soze is, Holmes will end up at a three card Monte table trying to get money for smack, completely unconcerned about Soze.

- Noman

I forget what channel it was on, but a few months ago I watched the second half of an episode of a cartoon called something like "Sherlock Holmes 2400" or something like that. (No, seriously!) On this show, for whatever reason, Dr. Watson was a robot.

Now, a simple criminal mastermind vs. crime-fighting mastermind match might be hard to call, but give the good guy a robot sidekick and it's all over. When did anyone with a robot sidekick ever lose anything?

- The Seer

What's one of the first things you see when this page loads? That at the Grudge Match, "Worthless Knowledge Breeds Champions". And who, in all of history, has seized victory by gathering knowledge and evidence that any other person would deem worthless? Mr. Sherlock Holmes. He's my hero, and he's a much better person than any bloody terrorist.

- Oxymoron ("Now, let's see if Holmes can find Dan Willis")

Alright, I don't want to seem to be jumping on the bandwagon here, but Keyser Soze has to carry this off. I think Holmes is cool as shit, but lets face it, have you read the books? I worked half of the cases out before Holmes did, and I'm no genius. Maybe because the plots have been lampooned so much by crappy TV writers, I dunno, but Holmes is just out of date. The Usual Suspects, on the other hand, had me totally fooled.

Here's what I see happening: Holmes comes up with a theory, and Lestrade replies, "Yeah, no shit, uh, Sherlock, I saw that episode of Murder She Wrote too." Then they all laugh at Holmes expense and go home. The End.


Holmes will win this easily!

We're talking about an opponent who, to compensate for his crippled arm, ordered unrestricted submarine warfare! He couldn't even beat the FRENCH, and...

Oh... damn... I thought you were talking about Kaiser WILHELM. You wanted Keyser Soze! Shoot... never mind!

- Dan McD.

FOOLS!!! Do you realize what you just did by placing the Keyser in the 1800's? There's more than one of him!

He's now a Dread Pirate Roberts, you idiots! There could be dozens, possibly hundreds, of Keyser Sozes! There is no way Holmes can find them all! All the local Keyser needs to do is call up his predecessors and successors and Holmes will be knee-deep in confusion: "They're all the Keyser. But only one was at the docks. But if the Keyser was at the docks, then they all had to be there. But none were." He'll OD on purpose to avoid the humiliation of losing a case!

I'll say it again... FOOLS!

- Rainwoman

If this match is in 19th century London, then half the people have limps and mangled limbs. Products of the industrial revolution. Soze is away scot free

- Todd Girdler

I'll just be happy if this ends with a weasel chomping on Holmes' privates.

- Monkeydog
"Watson, you idiot, I'm pitching a tent in my trous--" er, sorry, that's a different joke.

If you'll recall, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle tried to kill off Sherlock Holmes in one story, but the public forced him to bring Holmes back to life. So tell me: are we to root for the agent of evil, or for one who can survive a death brought by the omnipotent creator of his own Universe?

- Affy

This is a no-brainer. Sherlock. I mean, come on. Dectectives ALWAYS win. Sides, he's the best. (Oh man, I'm doing this in school...AH! Did Mr. Gold look this way? Whew, he's helpin' Chris.) Anyways, as I see it, it'll take place in a dark alley, and then (Yes sir, I'm typing my report!) Sherlock would say, "Bloody Hell, let's get this over with." Pulls up a gun...(oops, this is school)....errrr switch that to a knife, and kill the bloody hell outta him. (AHHHH! Mr. Gold, please Not detention! I'm going to watch a movie.....NOOOOO!)

- In Detention....Again!

There is a pub in my home town named the 'Sherlock Holmes'. The day that Keyser Soze gets a pub named after him is the day that I vote for him.

- Benjamin Massey

Neither can win, Sherlock obviously has the wrong guy. What's the old standby in murder mysteries? THE BUTLER DOES IT

And though I'm not familiar with The Usual Suspects, I'm pretty sure this "Soze" fellow isn't a Butler.

So he couldn't possibly have done it.

- Ryan Neilan

well, i don't even know who this Keyser Soze character is, but since I go to an evil private Christian college, and smoking is not allowed, I am going to have to vote against Sherlock. Something about not being able to get to heaven if you smoke or I don't know. Going to have to start staying awake during chapel.

- maverick

The time warp that brought these two characters together seems to have had some other effects, namely that Soze is facing off against the Sherlock Holmes of Without A Clue and the Watson of The Strange Case of the End of Civilisation as We Know It. Having lucked out this way, he easily makes his escape when Watson accidentally gets a whiff of Holmes' bad acting and kicks him into the harbor.

- ryan

This match will go the way of the great Sherlock Holmes. As cited by Entertainment Weekly in one of its issues, Sherlock is THE most portrayed character. This will easily lead him to victory. However, the one actor that can beat Keyser Soze is Sir Michael Caine. As mentioned in the commentary, he played the parody of Sherlock Holmes, but that's his path to victory. Not only is he a badass actor, THE MAN HAS MOJO. Not only does he have it, he has more of it than his son, Sir Austin Powers. He's the man who taught Austin all he knows. The man may have played a parody of Sherlock, but he can still win the day. If mojo can help Austin win a grudge match, then it will surely help Nigel. The match will prolly go like this:

Kobayashi: Mr. Holmes, you have caused Mr. Soze a great deal of worry. But you did not know this, which is why you are still alive.
Holmes: Ello Ello JUDO CHOP (Knocks Kobayashi out)
Keyser Soze w/ a gun: I am about to show you what true will really is, Mr. Holmes.
Holmes: You must be joking. Do you know who I am? Have you any idea how many times I've had a gun pointed in my face by a ruthless, bloodthirsty crimelord bent on world domination and then killed him. You've got no chance.

With that, Keyser pulls the trigger but Sherlock, in true mojo fashion, moves out of the way, pulls out his own gun, and blasts Keyser Suze away. And with that Holmes walks away, having solved the mystery of the Usual Suspect. His next case, figuring out why women go to the bathroom in groups.

- Reservoir_Dog

If Keyser Soze turns out to be a damn sled from some newspaper magnate's childhood, you'll discover Holmes' pipe in a place you never thought a pipe would go!

(And figuring out how to remove the pipe won't be elementary.)

- Mark Wentz - Same goes if Keyser Soze is the teddy bear of some cartoonish nuclear power plant owner!

I can't believe this. I'm actually abusing the voting forum. I've only voted for Keyser Soze 3 times, but I feel bad...

Bad that one of the greatest criminal masterminds that ever graced our movie screen is being outvoted by an outdated English detective.

Bad that we would stoop to such a low as to vote against one of the best actors of our time.

Bad that one of the coolest endings ever in a movie is being outwitted by some guy whose only movie representation I've seen is some Disney movie with mice and rats and stuff.

Look at any of the bonus material on The Usual Suspects DVD, and you'll see that Keyser Soze is so mischievous that Gabriel Byrne thought HE was Keyser Soze until he saw the finished movie!

So, The Unseen Evil outwits the English Private Eye, at least in my little Grudge Match in my head.

- 005

I was really wavering for awhile. That is, until I saw that one sentence in Brian's commentary, "More so." That was it, my will power was broken. Holmes just can't compete with incomplete sentences.

- foxy the stone cold fox and advocate of syntax warfare

From the Diary of Dr. John Watson:

We are undoubtedly hot on the trail of this mysterious "Keyser Soze"! Holmes had spent the last several afternoons wandering around the site of the attack. I must admit that even I had begun to doubt his abilities in this matter! There seemed to be no possible clue left by the mysterious Soze. On the fourth evening, Holmes bent down next to the spot where the man had cried out Keyser Soze's name. He held his magnifying glass in one hand, staring intently at the ground as he prodded with his pipe. Suddenly he stood up, he face aquiver with excitement. "I have found it!" he cried, "Soze will not escape justice!" He rushed off to find Inspector Lestrade. I walked to where he had been, seeing nothing of particular interest. After a few moments, Holmes returned with Lestrade in tow. Holmes bent down, retrieving a miniscule fragment of white paper. "This," he said, "is a shred of a rare type of Turkish paper used for rolling the manner of cigarettes preferred by criminal masterminds!" He then proceeded to sift through some of the surrounding rubble. Presently he came up with a scrap of handkerchief. "Here, look!" he exclaimed, "This handkerchief is embroidered with the initials K.S., most likely standing for Keyser Soze!" These handkerchiefs are manufactured only in a small boutique in the Western part of Marseilles!" We proceeded immediately to said boutique, requesting to speak with the owner, a Mr. Fosbleau. He had, it turned out, monogrammed a handkerchief for a shifty-looking Turkish man. Fosbleau gave us an address, and we proceeded to a small village in the Northern region of Turkey. Coming upon the address given to us, Holmes asked me to get my revolver ready. I did so, and he knocked at the front door. A woman dressed in black, with a black veil covering her face answered. Holmes requested to see the man who ordered the monogrammed handkerchief. "Oh, haven't you heard the dreadful news? Our dear Martin was visiting the shipyard when that fire broke out!" Holmes looked taken aback, "What are you talking about? The man who had these made must have had the initials K.S." The woman smiled through her tears, "Oh, that was our Marty. Always thinking about business. He had that monogrammed to promote his company. He owned a German moving-picture industry called "Kaiser's Shows". Later that night, Holmes and I sat at the fire, enjoying a good smoke. "Well, it appears we may never know who set that fire. Our one clue was merely a man's last attempt to promote his business before death. There is no 'Keyser Soze'". So we had followed a wild goose, and were no nearer to the truth concerning the ship's demise.

- sPeciAL eD

Didn't Sherlock have to face a starved, crazed, attack dog in "Hound of the Baskervilles"? That sounds a lot like the Rottweiler here at Grudge Match.

Looks like Sherlock Holmes has what it takes to be a Grudge Match champion. And if that's not good enough for you, remember that this man went after Jack the Ripper. He has what it takes to track down this man, lock him up, and then investigate the issue of who hacked into Grudge Match in the Willie/Wallace fight, and any loophole Grudge Match might need to get that Barney(tm) issue over with.

...I'll resist saying, "Elementary, my dear Grudge Match." Oops, too late!

- Groucho Magmarx

There are many ways to look at this match. The way I prefer to look at is thus:

As an avid mystery story fan throughout childhood, I was not able -- not even once -- to figure out the solution to a Sherlock Holmes mystery. On the other hand, I figured out who Keyser Soze was just by reading the back of the video box at Blockbuster.

Another way to look at it is that Kevin Spacey sucks.

There's no way around it, Sherlock Holmes will easily track Keyser Soze to Kevin Spacey (probably by matching the initials). The only obstacle I see him having is the bastard lawyer Kobayashi, but Sherlock will find away around him, most likely by beating him up. (I've read these stories; he'll do it.)

- Infraggable Krunk

Well. Just when I thought you guys were losing your touch...

This one would take a while, I gotta say, and it had me baffled for several days. I mean, one of the coolest crime lords of all time (played by one of the coolest actors of all time) versus the most awesome consulting detective ever?

However... for me, there's really only one source of Holmes' coolness: The Mary Russell books. That's right, Mary Russell, Sherlock Holmes' wife and partner. She's tough, smart, astoundingly capable, and something of a tomboy... so much that Holmes though she was a boy when he first saw her..........

Hold up.

Keyser Soze all the way. (He could at least determine a fifteen-year- old's gender... And what's with Holmes, apprenticing a fifteen-year- old girl and then marrying her, anyway? Sicko. I'll take my Grudgies without sexual perversion, thankyouverymuch.)

- The Last Innocent Catholic Schoolgirl

Sherlock Holmes was repeatedly belittled by a Frenchman (Hercule Poirot)! Soze in a walk.

- Hobo Bob, who knows the difference between the French and Belgians but chooses not to care.

The greatest detective of all time, and you're pitting him against Keyser Soze? That's like hiring Rockford to figure out Red Green stole your ladder!

- Safety Swami Pippin

It's simple, really. Sherlock Holmes is a coke-fiend. Keyser Soze is rumored to have a boatload of cocaine. Nothing can stop a cokehead from finding a stash.

- Sosua

How smart can Keyser Soze be? I mean, c'mon. K-PAX?

- KingOfDomaDelux

For at least 100 years, people have been saying, "No kidding, Sherlock! Who gave you the first clue?" or other less-family friendly versions thereof.

Nobody I know of has ever said, "Great evil plan, Keyser Soze! Who shipped you the first kilo of coke?"

Therefore, Holmes must be superior. Really, it was elementary.

- Mr. Silverback missed a great chance to say "Sherlock Holmes opens up a big 'ol can of Smite!"

Who the hell is Keyser Soze? We all know that if *I* don't believe in something it can't exist... Like Santa.. that was my fault.

I doubt Sherlock would waste his time hunting down figments my imagination, or lack thereof, so since I have no idea who the heck Keyser Soze is I have to vote for him...

Don't think I'm slipping though.. still don't believe in him.

- Sandiyah, the GAT Titan of Caffeine Induced Frenzies and Nicotine Withdrawals

Not only does Keyser Soze have the entire world working for him, but he also has access to unlimited supplies of automatic weapons. Watson might have a pistol. End of story.

- Dan D Man

After doing long (5 minutes) and difficult research on Keyser Soze, and already reading many Sherlock Holmes books (2 books), I have determined that Sherlock Holmes will be the winner. I have broken it down into five categories, anger, motivation, physical strength, intelligence, and weapons.

Sherlock Holmes- doesn't really get angry, unless Watson gets whacked, Sherlock will keep his cool, which can be a bad thing, especially in this match-up
Keyser Soze- One sentence for you, just Keyzer Soze in a nutshell- He killed his family and everyone associated with those Hungarian mobsters!
Winner- Keyzer Soze

Keyzer Soze- Just another job to do for him, no biggie.
Sherlock Holmes- I get the feeling that if he fails this time, not only is he out of any detective jobs, he's also DEAD.
Winner- Sherlock Holmes

Physical Strength (In case they need to duke it out)
Keyzer Soze- average killer relies on guns and knives, not strength
Sherlock Holmes- read the books, he once bent a thick pipe from a straight pipe to a circle pipe with his bare hands
Winner- Sherlock Holmes

Keyzer Soze- criminal mastermind
Sherlock Holmes- makes criminal masterminds seem like George W. Bush
Winner- Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes- regular 19th century guns, but he's gonna be with Watson and a lot of cops, so there will be about 6-10 of them
Keyzer Soze- modern pistols, but there's only one of him
Winner- I can't decide, this part's a tie

Overall winner- Sherlock Holmes, but of course, he'll tell Watson it's only "elementary", Watson will go nuts at him, and another Grudge Match will start. Holmes vs. a Disgruntled Watson, but that's another day.

- The Geek Next Door

Keyser Soze. Gotta love a guy who hides out for years.

- Dan Willis Jihad (There is no Jihad)

I think the Baker Street Irregulars wouldn't have had that problem if Sherlock hadn't been so damn stingy with the fiber...

- Scotty J.

Although my reflex instinct was to plug for the Great Detective(TM), I quickly realized my error. Holmes will be foiled in this instance because - Keyser Soze is a European from the Continent! Holmes has a truly ass track record in cases rooted on the other side of the Channel. He screwed up the Irene Adler case on behalf of the King of Bohemia (just down the road from Romania); he got thrown off a cliff in the Reichenbach in Switzerland (where they speak Romanich, which is a bit like Romanian), and there are cases that Watson mentions (something about the sewers of Marseilles, and some Cardinal) that aren't described -- because they must have been failures. Let's face it -- Anglo-Saxons fare poorly on the continent. Maybe it's the atrocious accents; maybe it's the rude waiters; maybe it's centuries of withering under French condescension. But judging by his track record, Holmes won't even figure out that Kobayashi's a Brit.

- Genghis Kong (one big, angry monkey)

So, we have Keyser Soze, criminal mastermind, vs. Sherlock Holmes, the greatest deductive mind in history.

It's got to be a draw. Holmes works out that Mr. Kint is Keyser Soze after an evening of rumination over a packet of strong tobacco, and next day reveals his solution to Watson and Lestrade. Soze is arrested and Holmes relaxes that evening with his 7% solution; only to discover too late that his supplier was in the employ of a certain mysterious criminal mastermind and cut his stash with rat poison.

- Duc de Nevers

What most people don't realize is that Victorian criminals were actually tougher and more evil than 20th century ones. And there was more crime. In the mid 19th century, a single tenement building could rack up a few hundred murders a year. And in 19th century London, likewise, times were hard and life was cheap. And that means that Sherlock Holmes was tougher than any of us are giving him credit for.

Keyser Soze is tough, by modern standards, but he could team up with Hannibal Lecter, Dr. Evil, and Dick Nixon, and Sherlock Holmes would still be equal to tracking them down.

- Nongo, the highly chalant but always plussed

Holmes looks up from the bullet-riddled body of Watson. A figure moves in the shadows, and Holmes raises his voice: "You've done well - better than most."
In the shadows, someone responds: "You still don't know who I am."
"No I'm afraid not, but it hardly matters now."
"What do you mean? It's over. I won!"
As he responds, Holmes takes something from his pocket. "Not exactly. You see, before the last match I visited Grudge-Match headquarters and borrowed something. It caused quite a stir at the time, but I knew I'd need it."
"What did you get?"
"A trifle really. I'm hesitant to use it, but it seems I end up the same either way. At least this way you're gone, too."
As he presses the button, Holmes can just barely make out the words "All Mangled and Killed" etched into the device...

- Albatross

(As Keyser Soze is led off in chains)

Watson: Magnificent, Holmes! How did you do it?

Holmes: Quite easily, my dear fellow. Firstly, this Kint fellow was the *only* person who survived association with Keyser Soze without so much as a scratch. That aroused my suspicion. As you well know, Watson, when you remove the impossible, whatever remains, however unlikely, is the truth. Having decided to consider him a suspect, I looked for some sign that he was, indeed a criminal mastermind. Note that Kint was, in every respect, incapable and seemingly harmless. Only a man of surpassing intellect and discipline can convincingly pose as a fool. My suspicions fully aroused, I had but to scrutinize him in order to expose his charade.

Watson : What of it then, Holmes? What was the last bit of evidence?

Holmes : Elementary, Watson. If indeed, this Kint fellow was lame, then the forward edge of his right shoe would have borne significant scuff marks from being shuffled along. Since there were no such marks, it followed that the lame leg, as well as the entirety of his story, was nought but a fiction.

- AndyS.

The cops in "The Usual Suspects" were idiots. Columbo, Matlock or Mrs Fletcher could have easily discovered Verbal's duplicitousness and kept him in the office long enough to get the picture back from the sketch artist. Hell, just the endless parade of "One More Question, Sir" questions from Columbo would have kept Verbal sitting in that office until the sun went supernova, the way Verbal kept prattling on.

Sherlock Holmes, on the other hand, is smug and brief. That would be his downfall. The only way Sherlock could have kept Verbal in that office would be to have Watson sit on him. While Sherlock sat silently in an opium-induced haze, Verbal would be sitting idly at the desk, staring out the window until someone finally lets him go. Which would happen shortly after the local Vice squad got a whiff of the smoke pouring out of the interview room.

So, in the end we have (1) Sherlock Holmes arrested for possession of a controlled substance, (2) Dr. Watson arrested for possession with intent to sell a controlled substance (somebody has to be Sherlock's supplier... why else would he keep the Dr. around? Prescription Pads, of course!) and (3) Verbal Kint wandering out of the room in a dizzying haze of second hand smoke looking for the nearest restaurant, food stand or snack machine.

- Hurricane Andrew

after borrowing the DVD version of the usual suspects, and a few Sherlock homes books, I'm voting for Verbal because that Holmes crap is boring as HELLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- Potman the predator

Brian, I find it mighty suspicious that you're defending Keyser Soze . . .

Scenario ends: Shane is found stabbed by a 19th century revolver (according to Sherlock, the assailant misfired several times before the killing) with a note attached to him reading, "THIS is for the Starbuck comment. Steve's next." Meanwhile, Brian is still roaming the streets on a rampage.

Perhaps I've said too much.

- Riddleable - is now in hiding.

There is no question, that Sherlock Holmes was a genius a crime solving... in his time. But Keyser Soze is all-to familiar with the little clues that Holmes relies on. While Holmes would be observing footprints and irregularities in the dust, he would be disturbing and outright destroying any microscopic clues such as cloth, tissue, and fingerprints. This is just a fact of the times... Criminal, as well as Investigational masterminds have just gotten better. In fact, I believe strongly, that a modern day investigators would easily be able to some many Holmes' cases that he would perhaps have trouble with.

It's just a simple matter of what tools one has available, and I'm afraid Sherlock needs much more than a magnifying glass.

- Lothar243

One thing both Shane and Brian failed to take account of is that this Grudge Match takes place in the most inhospitable place on earth: the London docklands.

Keyser Soze may be able to deal with LA and "hi beach house on the Black Sea", but we are talking about LONDON here, the city with a higher murder rate than New York, and that takes some doing.

First, you have the language barrier: Soze may be able to speak English, but I'd put money on him not being able to speak Cockney- rhyming slang. He'll be noticed as an outsider by the local crime- lords and pushed down the Apple-and-Pears faster than to can have a Greg Dyke. Sherlock Holmes will speak the lingo, and will get away with it.

Second, the London underground: it's not a mass-transit system; it's an attempt by Londoners to drive visitors mad. But, it is the fastest way to get round the city. Soze will find himself in Brixton, and that's not a good idea at night. Holmes will use the extensive CCTV system to keep tabs on Soze, and probably enjoy it.

Face it; Keyser Soze is out-classed by the city, and will eventually find his way to Scotland Yard and give himself up. That's if Jack the Ripper doesn't get him first.

- Jeff-B: Survivor of the City of London


Ever notice you never see Holmes and Soze at the same time?

- KP, the connoisseur of conspiracy

If you liked this match, check out these other past matches:

Pulp Fiction v. Lethal Weapon
Godfather v. Equalizer
The JonBenet Ramsey murder case on Law & Order

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Next Match: Roses are red, reality is blue.
ETA: Monday, February 3rd, 2002

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