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1999 Stephen Neal vs 2017 Kyle Snyder

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Neal was just as big as Coon, stronger, faster and a better athlete.  I don't think Neal would beat Snyder by a lot but I don't think he would be able to deal with Neal's length, strength and footwork/quickness.  Neal was out hustling world championship heavyweights and made them look like they were standing still while still being able to match them in strength.  I'll never forget the double Neal hit Schumilin with in the world finals and Schumilin looked scared.

 

Neal was not as big as Coon.

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I doubt Lesnar was particularly juiced in his college days. He was always a monstrous human but his usage took off after college. But still significantly stronger than Snyder. 

Apparently you never saw Lesnar in his college days.  He was like a 171 in high school and about 280 lbs. of  muscle with single digit bodyfat in college.  If he wasn't heavily juiced then nobody was. 

The idea that Snyder was as strong as Brock is obviously absurd.  Don't get me wrong, Kyle is practically superhuman but this doesn't even make sense. 

 

Honestly, I think that anyone who picks Kyle Snyder never saw Neal wrestle.  Between the length of his arms and explosiveness of his double I don't see a smaller heavyweight like Kyle being able to stop him.  Neal was much much better than Coon or Gwiz.   Sure he wrestled a close match with Brock, but while Brock was a beast that year I think it had more to do with respecting him too much. He was basically an automatic TF against everyone else. Nobody in the last 30 years has been nearly as dominant as he was his last two years.   First year of doing any serious freestyle training a few months after college and he wins worlds.  McCoy often had his number, but not in 1998-1999.  I can't recall what the circumstances were in 2000, but I feel like there was something more to Neal's loss like he'd either been injured and not training or his attention was headed toward Football. I could be wrong on that though, maybe McCoy presented a matchup for him but believe me Neal was the guy we wished we had at the Olympics.  Basically, if you think Snyder could win at heavyweight for worlds then you think he could beat Neal I guess.  I don't see it.

 

Last thing, I feel like so many get Snyder's freshman season wrong.  Some act like Gadsen pulled off the upset of the century, others act like Kyle magically became twice as good in winning worlds six months late.  Neither is true.  He was very beatable that year, in fact four different guys beat him. As a Buckeye Fan, I'd watch everyone get to his legs and be like "where's the guy we watched wrestle Gatsalov last summer?".  Bottom line is that with a college one hour (vs. freestyle 24 hr) weigh in, Snyder was basically wrestling 20 lbs. below his optimal weight to make 197.   Call it 10%.  What wrestler could compete 10% below their optimal weight and be as effective?   What do you think Nolf at 141 looks like? Retherford at 133?   Valencia at 157?   None is remotely as effective and neither was Snyder.  Moving back to his optimal weight and he was instantly a new guy.  As I recall he weighed in at 228 at Beat the Streets a month or two after the college season.  He carries no bodyfat so it's not rocket science how tough this cut had to be. 

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Apparently you never saw Lesnar in his college days.  He was like a 171 in high school and about 280 lbs. of  muscle with single digit bodyfat in college.  If he wasn't heavily juiced then nobody was. 

The idea that Snyder was as strong as Brock is obviously absurd.  Don't get me wrong, Kyle is practically superhuman but this doesn't even make sense. 

 

Honestly, I think that anyone who picks Kyle Snyder never saw Neal wrestle.  Between the length of his arms and explosiveness of his double I don't see a smaller heavyweight like Kyle being able to stop him.  Neal was much much better than Coon or Gwiz.   Sure he wrestled a close match with Brock, but while Brock was a beast that year I think it had more to do with respecting him too much. He was basically an automatic TF against everyone else. Nobody in the last 30 years has been nearly as dominant as he was his last two years.   First year of doing any serious freestyle training a few months after college and he wins worlds.  McCoy often had his number, but not in 1998-1999.  I can't recall what the circumstances were in 2000, but I feel like there was something more to Neal's loss like he'd either been injured and not training or his attention was headed toward Football. I could be wrong on that though, maybe McCoy presented a matchup for him but believe me Neal was the guy we wished we had at the Olympics.  Basically, if you think Snyder could win at heavyweight for worlds then you think he could beat Neal I guess.  I don't see it.

 

Last thing, I feel like so many get Snyder's freshman season wrong.  Some act like Gadsen pulled off the upset of the century, others act like Kyle magically became twice as good in winning worlds six months late.  Neither is true.  He was very beatable that year, in fact four different guys beat him. As a Buckeye Fan, I'd watch everyone get to his legs and be like "where's the guy we watched wrestle Gatsalov last summer?".  Bottom line is that with a college one hour (vs. freestyle 24 hr) weigh in, Snyder was basically wrestling 20 lbs. below his optimal weight to make 197.   Call it 10%.  What wrestler could compete 10% below their optimal weight and be as effective?   What do you think Nolf at 141 looks like? Retherford at 133?   Valencia at 157?   None is remotely as effective and neither was Snyder.  Moving back to his optimal weight and he was instantly a new guy.  As I recall he weighed in at 228 at Beat the Streets a month or two after the college season.  He carries no bodyfat so it's not rocket science how tough this cut had to be.

 

Well said

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Neal was just as big as Coon, stronger, faster and a better athlete.  I don't think Neal would beat Snyder by a lot but I don't think he would be able to deal with Neal's length, strength and footwork/quickness.  Neal was out hustling world championship heavyweights and made them look like they were standing still while still being able to match them in strength.  I'll never forget the double Neal hit Schumilin with in the world finals and Schumilin looked scared.  

 

 

Agreed Neal every match. Far more athletic and quicker than Coon....and not that much smaller. Snyder doesn't look "impressive " in beating Coon either time , I mean yes the weight difference is a factor, but he didn't exactly blow out Kasper or White , who I see Neal destroying both. And it's not like Coon is blowing out every other HVY like Neal basically did OFTEN. 

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Here's a quick highlight of Neal blasting through guys just as big as him.  I don't think Snyder has an answer for that double.  

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9GmTruIdFc

 

 

I should add that watching Snyder drill with Agkul, while not in true competition mode, lends to the idea that the sheer size difference plus the athletic ability tips the scales in favor of the larger man. 

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Perhaps, but he is more athletic. Coon never even attempted the types of low shots on Snyder that Neal took on great wrestlers. Coon is athletic, but Neal is even more athletic.

 

Agreed. Imo being more athletic is a bigger advantage than being bigger in size which is why I don't agree with all the people that whine and complain about Snyder being undersized and trying to use the comparison for Zain wrestling 174lbers.

 

MOST 285lbers are considerably less athletic and coordinated than the other weight classes making the size advantage not nearly as big a factor. 149lbers and 174lbers are typically pretty close in athletic ability and coordination making the size advatage the entire factor.

 

Every once in a blue moon you run into a very athletic big guy like Stephen Neal, but that's not the norm at that weight. Where as at the other weight classes, very athletic wrestlers are much more common.

Edited by BigTenFanboy

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Agreed. Imo being more athletic is a bigger advantage than being bigger in size which is why I don't agree with all the people that whine and complain about Snyder being undersized and trying to use the comparison for Zain wrestling 174lbers.

 

MOST 285lbers are considerably less athletic and coordinated than the other weight classes making the size advantage not nearly as big a factor. 149lbers and 174lbers are typically pretty close in athletic ability and coordination making the size advatage the entire factor.

 

Every once in a blue moon you run into a very athletic big guy like Stephen Neal, but that's not the norm at that weight. Where as at the other weight classes, very athletic wrestlers are much more common.

 

 

That is totally spot on. 

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That is totally spot on.

 

Bottom line, when people say "that guy wrestles like a typical heavyweight," it's not a compliment.

When they say "that heavyweight wrestles like a middle weight" it is a big compliment.

 

Kyle Snyder wrestles like a very good middleweight at heavyweight.

Adam Coon wrestles like a very good heavyweight at heavyweight.

Edited by BigTenFanboy

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Agreed. Imo being more athletic is a bigger advantage than being bigger in size which is why I don't agree with all the people that whine and complain about Snyder being undersized and trying to use the comparison for Zain wrestling 174lbers.

 

MOST 285lbers are considerably less athletic and coordinated than the other weight classes making the size advantage not nearly as big a factor. 149lbers and 174lbers are typically pretty close in athletic ability and coordination making the size advatage the entire factor.

 

Every once in a blue moon you run into a very athletic big guy like Stephen Neal, but that's not the norm at that weight. Where as at the other weight classes, very athletic wrestlers are much more common.

 

 

Consider however a 125 pounder wrestling a 150 pounder both elite, it's not going to matter how more "athletic" the 125 pounder is the weight is going to take a toll in a few ways. #1. The  more "athletic" 125 pounders offense from neutral is pretty much negated, from top position it's gone. #2. If you've ever rolled around full go with someone weighing 28% more than you ( close enough for this discussion) much like the example above with the 125 pounder, you're drained much more quickly trying to put together an offense, and even mores defending against getting turned and leg attacks. Zain isn't the most athletic guy out there at 149.....for example Suriano is VERY athletic, both top tier at there weights .......Zain's going to crush him and do things to him Lee could NOT. The size advantage is a BIG factor, and will negate offensive scoring from the MOST athletic with that difference. My opinion is they are both big factors. 

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Consider however a 125 pounder wrestling a 150 pounder both elite, it's not going to matter how more "athletic" the 125 pounder is the weight is going to take a toll in a few ways. #1. The more "athletic" 125 pounders offense from neutral is pretty much negated, from top position it's gone. #2. If you've ever rolled around full go with someone weighing 28% more than you ( close enough for this discussion) much like the example above with the 125 pounder, you're drained much more quickly trying to put together an offense, and even mores defending against getting turned and leg attacks. Zain isn't the most athletic guy out there at 149.....for example Suriano is VERY athletic, both top tier at there weights .......Zain's going to crush him and do things to him Lee could NOT. The size advantage is a BIG factor, and will negate offensive scoring from the MOST athletic with that difference. My opinion is they are both big factors.

 

That's my point thought. The gap in athletic ability and coordination between an elite 125 and 149lber is not that great. So even if a Suriano is more athletic than Zain Retherford, the gap between them is so narrow that the size difference plays a main factor in the result. In terms of heavyweight the athletic and coordination gap is so wide that the size difference does not play as big a factor. This is why you will often see at various levels light heavyweights that weigh 225lbs easily handle top level 285s. I've seen 215-220lbers bump up to 285 for the postseason becuase it was an easier path to a state title/medal. A kid I coached a long time ago wrestled 285 instead of 215 because it was an easier road. He weighed about 207lbs and was a 4x state qualifier and 3 time medalist at 285. Had he gone 215 he probably would not have qualified for the state tournamnet until his junior year. Edited by BigTenFanboy

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Neal was not as big as Coon.

 

Neal was 6'4 and was at least 270 or bigger.  Coon is 6'5 and 290. Not a huge difference but Neal was definitely not a small heavyweight by any means.  I don't think Neal was cutting to make 285 in college, but he was still on the upper end as far as actual weight for being a heavyweight.  

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Neal was 6'4 and was at least 270 or bigger.  Coon is 6'5 and 290. Not a huge difference but Neal was definitely not a small heavyweight by any means.  I don't think Neal was cutting to make 285 in college, but he was still on the upper end as far as actual weight for being a heavyweight.  

 

Every article I ever read on Neal stated he weighed about 260.

With that said, I'm of the opinion that his greatness was not in regards to his size, but his extreme athletic ability and coordination.

Put him in a machine that shrinks him down proportionally to 149lbs he would be just as successful. Same goes for Snyder.

 

Proportionally shrink most typically successful heavyweights down to 149 and theyre no longer all that successful IMO.

Edited by BigTenFanboy

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Apparently you never saw Lesnar in his college days.  He was like a 171 in high school and about 280 lbs. of  muscle with single digit bodyfat in college.  If he wasn't heavily juiced then nobody was. 

The idea that Snyder was as strong as Brock is obviously absurd.  Don't get me wrong, Kyle is practically superhuman but this doesn't even make sense. 

 

Honestly, I think that anyone who picks Kyle Snyder never saw Neal wrestle.  Between the length of his arms and explosiveness of his double I don't see a smaller heavyweight like Kyle being able to stop him.  Neal was much much better than Coon or Gwiz.   Sure he wrestled a close match with Brock, but while Brock was a beast that year I think it had more to do with respecting him too much. He was basically an automatic TF against everyone else. Nobody in the last 30 years has been nearly as dominant as he was his last two years.   First year of doing any serious freestyle training a few months after college and he wins worlds.  McCoy often had his number, but not in 1998-1999.  I can't recall what the circumstances were in 2000, but I feel like there was something more to Neal's loss like he'd either been injured and not training or his attention was headed toward Football. I could be wrong on that though, maybe McCoy presented a matchup for him but believe me Neal was the guy we wished we had at the Olympics.  Basically, if you think Snyder could win at heavyweight for worlds then you think he could beat Neal I guess.  I don't see it.

 

Last thing, I feel like so many get Snyder's freshman season wrong.  Some act like Gadsen pulled off the upset of the century, others act like Kyle magically became twice as good in winning worlds six months late.  Neither is true.  He was very beatable that year, in fact four different guys beat him. As a Buckeye Fan, I'd watch everyone get to his legs and be like "where's the guy we watched wrestle Gatsalov last summer?".  Bottom line is that with a college one hour (vs. freestyle 24 hr) weigh in, Snyder was basically wrestling 20 lbs. below his optimal weight to make 197.   Call it 10%.  What wrestler could compete 10% below their optimal weight and be as effective?   What do you think Nolf at 141 looks like? Retherford at 133?   Valencia at 157?   None is remotely as effective and neither was Snyder.  Moving back to his optimal weight and he was instantly a new guy.  As I recall he weighed in at 228 at Beat the Streets a month or two after the college season.  He carries no bodyfat so it's not rocket science how tough this cut had to be. 

 

I'm pretty sure Lesnar wrestled 215 or heavyweight in high school.  When he went to the juco he went to he started at heavyweight, so I don't think he hit that much of a growth spurt in less than a year to make him go from 171 to heavyweight.  As far as him juicing, I honestly don't think he did that stuff until after college.  I remember reading something how when he got to Minnesota nobody believed he wasn't juicing and he got drug tested more often than anybody else, I think maybe J said something about how they did it because they were sure he was on something and how annoying it was that they made him take UAs so often.  Lesnar was just a big guy who grew up on a farm and liked to lift a lot and was incredibly strong.  His technical wrestling skill never really was up there, he lost by tech fall in juco to Vlad Matyushenko who he had 70 or 80 lbs on.  As you said I think Neal gave him too much respect but watching their match you can see that Neal wasn't at all threatened by anything Lesnar tried.  He knew Lesnar couldn't do anything offensively and just made sure to stay away from any situation where Lesnar might have been able to do anything.  

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Last thing, I feel like so many get Snyder's freshman season wrong.  Some act like Gadsen pulled off the upset of the century, others act like Kyle magically became twice as good in winning worlds six months late.  Neither is true.  He was very beatable that year, in fact four different guys beat him. As a Buckeye Fan, I'd watch everyone get to his legs and be like "where's the guy we watched wrestle Gatsalov last summer?".  Bottom line is that with a college one hour (vs. freestyle 24 hr) weigh in, Snyder was basically wrestling 20 lbs. below his optimal weight to make 197.   Call it 10%.  What wrestler could compete 10% below their optimal weight and be as effective?   What do you think Nolf at 141 looks like? Retherford at 133?   Valencia at 157?   None is remotely as effective and neither was Snyder.  Moving back to his optimal weight and he was instantly a new guy.  As I recall he weighed in at 228 at Beat the Streets a month or two after the college season.  He carries no bodyfat so it's not rocket science how tough this cut had to be. 

 

 

So the issue with Snyder his frosh season is he was wrestling below his optimum weight and that's unique to him?      Nearly everyone at that level wrestles below their optimum weight.   The weight cut culture demands it, or the wrestler will be undersized, despite being at optimum weight.     First i hear of this excuse.  

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Snyder is P4P best in the world, but I think the videos of he and Akgul sparring in training I've us a pretty good indicator of what this may look like. Not that Akgul and Neal wrestle the same, but size+athletiscism+world champ abilities.

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I'm pretty sure Lesnar wrestled 215 or heavyweight in high school.  When he went to the juco he went to he started at heavyweight, so I don't think he hit that much of a growth spurt in less than a year to make him go from 171 to heavyweight.  As far as him juicing, I honestly don't think he did that stuff until after college.  I remember reading something how when he got to Minnesota nobody believed he wasn't juicing and he got drug tested more often than anybody else, I think maybe J said something about how they did it because they were sure he was on something and how annoying it was that they made him take UAs so often.  Lesnar was just a big guy who grew up on a farm and liked to lift a lot and was incredibly strong.  His technical wrestling skill never really was up there, he lost by tech fall in juco to Vlad Matyushenko who he had 70 or 80 lbs on.  As you said I think Neal gave him too much respect but watching their match you can see that Neal wasn't at all threatened by anything Lesnar tried.  He knew Lesnar couldn't do anything offensively and just made sure to stay away from any situation where Lesnar might have been able to do anything.  

 

I believe Lesnar was a 152 and a freshman, 171 as a soph, and 215/275 junior and senior. I saw a documentary where is coach said they learned pretty quick with him that he couldnt cut/hold weight so they decided to feed him as much as possible and get him to be as big as possible.

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After considering this for awhile, which is ridiculous considering the futility of getting an answer, I think one thing to consider about it or, rather, to ask is: Is this for just one match, or 3 matches over a weekend or even year. What if they wrestled over multiple years?  
 

In light of that one thing to consider about Neal first is that he was indeed a beast of a freestyler as well as a two time NCAA champ. A stud of the highest order. But the year after he was voted best in the world, he was beaten in the Olympic trials by Kerry McCoy, olympic years being bigger events for most humans on this planet. McCoy went on to do well but only got 5th that year. So Neal went from being the best in the world, maybe at any weight or at least was voted that, to 6th-10th best in the world at HWT. I think he must have been considering Football for a long enough time in the back of his mind. So he retired and went to a great football career.

 

In light of all that, its at least a 50% chance that Kyle may have difficulty in a HWT match in collegiate style. I see Kyle being the favorite in almost any rematch scenario, though.  And over the course of 5+ years or more in freestyle, Kyle would eventually win 80% or more of the matches IMO. 

 

That being said: I think Neal is an American great of the highest order in athletics and wrestling particular. Kyle has the drive and motor that seems to be the difference between him and nearly any American I can remember.  His technique is great, but certainly there are better. And a few better athletes, although few better motors and abilities to retain oxygen.  

 

I think the more interesting match-up would be Kyle vs Haselrig. But really, Kyle took one hard challenge and did what he had to. He isn't really a HWT. 

Edited by Fishhook

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Snyder is P4P best in the world, but I think the videos of he and Akgul sparring in training I've us a pretty good indicator of what this may look like. Not that Akgul and Neal wrestle the same, but size+athletiscism+world champ abilities.

I think that Neal might beat Akgul 1-2 times out of 10.  Akgul is one of the best I have seen when at his best. 

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After considering this for awhile, which is ridiculous considering the futility of getting an answer, I think one thing to consider about it or, rather, to ask is: Is this for just one match, or 3 matches over a weekend or even year. What if they wrestled over multiple years?  

 

In light of that one thing to consider about Neal first is that he was indeed a beast of a freestyler as well as a two time NCAA champ. A stud of the highest order. But the year after he was voted best in the world, he was beaten in the Olympic trials by Kerry McCoy, olympic years being bigger events for most humans on this planet. McCoy went on to do well but only got 5th that year. So Neal went from being the best in the world, maybe at any weight or at least was voted that, to 6th-10th best in the world at HWT. I think he must have been considering Football for a long enough time in the back of his mind. So he retired and went to a great football career.

 

In light of all that, its at least a 50% chance that Kyle may have difficulty in a HWT match in collegiate style. I see Kyle being the favorite in almost any rematch scenario, though.  And over the course of 5+ years or more in freestyle, Kyle would eventually win 80% or more of the matches IMO. 

 

That being said: I think Neal is an American great of the highest order in athletics and wrestling particular. Kyle has the drive and motor that seems to be the difference between him and nearly any American I can remember.  His technique is great, but certainly there are better. And a few better athletes, although few better motors and abilities to retain oxygen.  

 

I think the more interesting match-up would be Kyle vs Haselrig. But really, Kyle took one hard challenge and did what he had to. He isn't really a HWT. 

 

I don't think it's so much that Neal's skills dropped off more that a guy he had wrestled often figured out a way to consistently beat him.  If the Russians or others got to wrestle Neal more than once per year, they would probably figure out something too.  McCoy wrestled Neal quite a few times leading up to the 2000 trials.  I think if Neal had won he would have probably medaled at the Olympics that year.  I still think Neal was a top 3 heavyweight in the world for 2000 and 2001.  Also the format then did not favor returning world champions/medalists either.  

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I think that Neal might beat Akgul 1-2 times out of 10. Akgul is one of the best I have seen when at his best.

Wouldn't disagree with that. But again, I was merely talking about the size+athleticism+world champ abilities. In other words, the guys much larger than Snyder that he's been able to beat haven't had that combination.

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I don't think it's so much that Neal's skills dropped off more that a guy he had wrestled often figured out a way to consistently beat him.  If the Russians or others got to wrestle Neal more than once per year, they would probably figure out something too.  McCoy wrestled Neal quite a few times leading up to the 2000 trials.  I think if Neal had won he would have probably medaled at the Olympics that year.  I still think Neal was a top 3 heavyweight in the world for 2000 and 2001.  Also the format then did not favor returning world champions/medalists either.  

 I agree. But the same hasn't happened to Kyle and they have been gunning for him non-stop. Not only that, he has proven to be able to overcome some of these difficulties. He has been practicing since day one against Tervel , who had a longer career than Stephen and did well too.  If Kyle doesn't beat Neal the first time, it gets more likely that Kyle wins the next match and if not, then the next, and on and on.  In the first match, I might well favor Neal. If the first match was the Olympic gold medal, I'd put $ on Kyle though. 

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