UWW Rule Changes
After a holiday break, Ben Askren kicks off the podcast giving United World Wrestling (UWW) some credit. UWW has amended the procedures for 2019’s Ranking Series along with changing its associated events. Askren explains the most meaningful change in his opinion, is that UWW will always count seeding points from the previous year. Also, if one of the top four wrestlers isn’t available to compete at the World Championships in their original weight, UWW will bump the other seeds up accordingly. This guarantees four seeds in each bracket unlike in the past. The World Championships points are much greater than the Continental Championships or Ranking Series. Points will be allocated to participating athletes in a weight category and are not transferable to other athletes (they lose to) or weight categories. Points will also reset after the World Championships or Olympic Games with the points from the previous year’s championships or games used for following year’s rankings. Ben and Matt believe this will cause athletes to move weight classes earlier. Overall, they are optimistic that the changes to the rules will result in better seeding and limit early-on high ranking matchups.
The first Ranking Series event of 2019 is the Ivan Yariguin hosted in Krasnoyarsk, Russia from January 26 to 28. Kyle Snyder and Abdulrashid Sadulaev could meet for the third time at Yariguin. Askren is in the process of organizing an episode of the RUDIS Wrestling Podcast with Kyle Snyder. This episode is set to release before Yariguin.
Reno Tournament of Champions
Jumping into recent tournament discussions Ben and Matt agree this year’s Reno Tournament of Champions was not all that special. In previous years the Tournament of Champions was an action-packed event. This year’s tournament did not feature many high-level matchups. Daton Fix was able to secure a 133 lbs first-place finish fairly unchallenged. Kaid Brock lost in the 141 lbs semi-finals to Sam Turner who went on to beat Austin Eicher 6-0 in the finals. This was a disappointing loss for Kaid as well as for Ben. Askren feels Kaid has a lot of talent that he can’t seem to put together as of recently. Moving into the 174 lbs weight class Jacobe Smith got the win over his teammate Joesph Smith in the finals.
Could RBY Win it All?
Askren answered a question from one of his wrestlers, “Who wins 133 lbs at Nationals?”. Without thinking, Ben responded Roman Bravo-Young. Is Ben that impressed with RBY that he automatically picks him as the 133 lbs Champion? At this point in the season, you really can’t find any holes in RBY’s wrestling. It’s a big statement to make this early in the wrestling season but Ben is trusting his gut reaction. The pair is excited for the Southern Scuffle next week to see RBY get tested by elite level competition. He could potentially meet Daton Fix.
Beast of the East
After discussing Penn State running away with the team race in the NCAA tournament, Matt brings up the dominant Blair Academy. Blair won their 19th straight team title with seven wrestlers claiming individual titles last weekend at Beast of the East. Kurt Mchenry defeated Anthony Ferrari 5-4 at 113 lbs. Ben was more impressed with Anthony Ferarri then with Mchenry. He felt Mchenry wasn’t aggressive or dominant enough considering Mchenry is a senior and Anthony Ferrari is a freshman. Next is the 120 lbs division final with Nic Bouzakis vs Eddie Ventresca. Ben was extremely impressed with the high maturity level from both of these freshmen. Shane VanNess of Blair Academy defeated Nick Raimo for the 132 lbs final. This makes the third major tournament VanNess won this year with a win at Super 32, Ironman and now Beast of the East.
Where to find the RUDIS Wrestling Podcast:
Ben Askren and Matt Dernlan host the RUDIS Wrestling Podcast. Ben Askren, World Champion, and Olympic wrestler joins RUDIS from the T-Row & Funky Show in an official partnership as a content provider for all things RUDIS. Matt Dernlan joins from a D1 college coaching background with family roots grounded in Ohio wrestling with a collective 10 state titles on the shelf.