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GranbyTroll

Who was the worst...

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Also Herbert beat olympic gold and bronze and world gold and bronze winning Sharifov in 2009. just sayin.

 

btw solid troll post. had lots of good info but was thoroughly inflammatory all at the same time. 

 

Dang! How'd I miss that win? Monday morning, I'll update this with Eggum, McCoy, Stieber and Kelly. At first I was going to rule out anyone with an Olympic medal just because that's automatically better than an world medal, but then I realized that I already included Slay. 

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TS just used a crude way of asking who the most improbable world finalist has been, which is completely fine.  Has to be Jamill.  Never a state champ, never an AA, never made a US team before or after.

 

If you want to look at the wrestler who made the finals with the least amount of technical skill, I would say Rulon.  He beat really good guys with conditioning, heart, determination, and the ability to follow a game plan to a T.  Comparing guys who win with technical ability vs other intangibles is no knock on anyone's accomplishments IMO.

 

Jamill made the world team in 2003 and finished in 10th or something.  

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I am disappointed in myself that I didn't know Slay had an asterisk for his gold medal and that he only wrestled in one international tournament ever. Crazy.

In a podcast probably 3 years ago now, Slay talked about how everyone speaks as if he just popped onto the scene for this one tournament. Said that he had lots of age group experience, maybe winning an Espoir world title. Seedbed really bothered by the lack of recognition for his earlier achievements.

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In a podcast probably 3 years ago now, Slay talked about how everyone speaks as if he just popped onto the scene for this one tournament. Said that he had lots of age group experience, maybe winning an Espoir world title. Seedbed really bothered by the lack of recognition for his earlier achievements.

 

He got hot at the right time and made it work for him.  I do sometimes wonder if Leipold hadn't dropped dirty if Slay would have kept going and tried again.  In some ways his lack of exposure actually helped him because his skill set was a problem for Saitiev and Saitiev also took him lightly, not realizing until late in the match that Slay wasn't exactly a pushover.  

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He got hot at the right time and made it work for him.  I do sometimes wonder if Leipold hadn't dropped dirty if Slay would have kept going and tried again.  In some ways his lack of exposure actually helped him because his skill set was a problem for Saitiev and Saitiev also took him lightly, not realizing until late in the match that Slay wasn't exactly a pushover.  

The olympics are every 4 years.  I can't honestly believe Saitiev took Slay lightly at any point in the match.  It's not like in an olympic match you go out there and declare "I'll try 75% in this match because I haven't heard of this guy."  

 

Obviously Slay being less scouted helped him a ton.  And obviously Saitiev would wrestle a rematch differently and not give away the same stuff.  But the loss had nothing to do with a world class athlete not taking Olympic matches seriously.  

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Here are three very bad choices for this list IMHO:

 

Brandon Slay- first, he beat the GOAT freestyle wrestler, in a legit way, not based on some obscure penalty point when the guy was almost 40 years old.  He blast doubled him to the mat multiple times.  Second, for whatever reason Slay was an entirely different wrestler that year.  He also beat Joe Williams who would have likely come home with a medal at that point imo. Williams barely lost to Satiev himself in 1998.  Had another super impressive win to make the final at Olympics I believe but cannot recall the details but maybe someone else can recall the credentials of who he beat in the semis. As for his loss to Leipold, man was that screwy.  This was back in the old upper body clinch era, they could give you a two point penalty on a whim for not letting your opponent get the best lock possible on you, and that's what happened here.  Then, they call Slay for grabbing fingers.  Two completely subjective penalties put him in a 3-0 hole.  That may not sound like much, but in an era where takedowns were one point, there was no pushout, and against a true defensive specialist, that was a hell of a whole to come back from.  I honestly felt like the match proved absolutely nothing other than the idiocy of FILA.  If he would have kept going I'd bet that he would have took home more world medals, he was a force at that point.  

 

Kerry McCoy- only took home one world medal, but was always a top contender he just never seemed to put it together at the right time.  I'd guess he's beaten a half dozen or more World Medalists.  Hell he kept two off the team right here in the USA including Stephen Neal, and in 1996 he was a hair behind Kurt Angle to make the team at 220. 

 

Jamill Kelly- Just a completely different wrestler in international freestyle than he was in college. Made the team twice over some VERY stiff domestic competition including Lincoln Mac and Bill Zadick in his prime. 

 

If the category is the more positive, "who came out of nowhere" as opposed to "worst", I'd say:

 

1. Eggum (a country Mile behind Cael and I don't think he was ever even our #2 guy other than this year).

2. M. Zadick (always a stud domestically but his style did not result in many high level wins other than the improbable run where he knocked off Batirov, amazing)

3. Gilman (within a point of elimination at the last chance qualifier to world finals, amazing)

4. Tolly Thompson (never beat Kerry McCoy outside of one time in college that I recall but wins a World Medal in his one shot whereas Kerry tended to fall a bit short most years). 

Edited by Cradle1

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The olympics are every 4 years.  I can't honestly believe Saitiev took Slay lightly at any point in the match.  It's not like in an olympic match you go out there and declare "I'll try 75% in this match because I haven't heard of this guy."  

 

Obviously Slay being less scouted helped him a ton.  And obviously Saitiev would wrestle a rematch differently and not give away the same stuff.  But the loss had nothing to do with a world class athlete not taking Olympic matches seriously.  

 

I agree he didn't have Slay scouted much if at all and he was probably expecting Joe Williams.  I think it was a lack of anything available on Slay in a pre-Youtube world and add to the fact that I definitely feel Saitiev took him lightly and maybe it wasn't that he wasn't trying that hard, but he didn't expect Slay to come right out and score 3 points that quickly.  Then he realized that Slay was actually dangerous enough to score quickly.  He would have wrestled much differently and arguably won if he got a rematch or even knew what kind of skillset Slay had.  But it seems like a combination of Slay being unknown, Saitiev not feeling threatened by him and Slay just getting hot at the right time were the main factors that led to Saitiev losing.  

 

Also Slay beat Adem Bereket of Turkey in the semis 3-1.  

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I agree he didn't have Slay scouted much if at all and he was probably expecting Joe Williams.  I think it was a lack of anything available on Slay in a pre-Youtube world and add to the fact that I definitely feel Saitiev took him lightly and maybe it wasn't that he wasn't trying that hard, but he didn't expect Slay to come right out and score 3 points that quickly.  Then he realized that Slay was actually dangerous enough to score quickly.  He would have wrestled much differently and arguably won if he got a rematch or even knew what kind of skillset Slay had.  But it seems like a combination of Slay being unknown, Saitiev not feeling threatened by him and Slay just getting hot at the right time were the main factors that led to Saitiev losing.  

 

Also Slay beat Adem Bereket of Turkey in the semis 3-1.  

I think it's likely Slay not only loses a rematch, but 10 out of 10 rematches.  Obviously Saitiev was great and would adjust in future matches.  But it had nothing to do with Saitiev taking olympic matches lightly.  In OT Slay clearly has his complete attention and he takes him down for the win.  He just flat out beats him that day.  It may be a fluke that would never be repeated, but it was not about one guy not taking an olympic match seriously.  Saitiev didn't train his whole life for the olympics to not get up for a match against USA.  

Edited by boconnell

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In a podcast probably 3 years ago now, Slay talked about how everyone speaks as if he just popped onto the scene for this one tournament. Said that he had lots of age group experience, maybe winning an Espoir world title. Seedbed really bothered by the lack of recognition for his earlier achievements.

 

Slay did have Cadet and Junior Medals. That doesn't change the fact that he has the least amount of Senior level competition out of any recent world medalist. 

 

Here's the complete list of his five Senior level (non-championship) events:

2000- Dave Schultz, 1999- Dave Schultz, 1998- Fila Five Continents Cup, 1995- Pacific Ocean Games

 

Compare that to Herbert's 12:

2015- Pan-Am, 2015- Beat the Streets, 2015- Paris GP, 2015- Yarygin, 2014- Intercontinental Cup, 2011- FILA Test Tournament, 2011- Pan-Am, 2011- Golden GP AZE, 2011- Golden GP RUS, 2010- NYAC, 2010 Golden GP AZE, 2009- Golden GP AZE, 2008- Dave Schultz

 

Slay traveled out of the US twice to compete, besides the Olympics. The Pacific Ocean Games only had two other entrants. Herbert traveled to top level Senior events (Yarygin, GGP AZE) before and after his world finals appearance. I think it's fair to say that Slay did not have a lot of Senior experience. 

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This thread is ridiculous...

 

Most other sports don't have this weird "since you're not a world finalist, who are you to criticize??" attitude. When Charles Barkley goes on national TV to analyze basketball, people don't say "since you were never an NBA Champ, who are you to criticize??"

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Most other sports don't have this weird "since you're not a world finalist, who are you to criticize??" attitude. When Charles Barkley goes on national TV to analyze basketball, people don't say "since you were never an NBA Champ, who are you to criticize??"

actually they do, and you sir are no Sir Charles

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Most other sports don't have this weird "since you're not a world finalist, who are you to criticize??" attitude. When Charles Barkley goes on national TV to analyze basketball, people don't say "since you were never an NBA Champ, who are you to criticize??"

 

Nobody would bat an eye at the conversation if it weren't for the fact that they know you're trying to illicit a reaction from that crowd.  

 

And as for Slay, something was... different... about him that year.  I can't quite pinpoint it, but I think it may have helped him beat Saitiev in Sydney...

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I think it's likely Slay not only loses a rematch, but 10 out of 10 rematches.  Obviously Saitiev was great and would adjust in future matches.  But it had nothing to do with Saitiev taking olympic matches lightly.  In OT Slay clearly has his complete attention and he takes him down for the win.  He just flat out beats him that day.  It may be a fluke that would never be repeated, but it was not about one guy not taking an olympic match seriously.  Saitiev didn't train his whole life for the olympics to not get up for a match against USA.  

 

Saitiev was pretty arrogant and I think he expected to roll over Slay and pretty much anybody else.  Especially since Slay was an unknown, I don't think the Russians believed for a second that Slay was going to be in a close match, let alone win.  Just goes to show what can happen if you overlook somebody at that level.  Kind of interesting too how the US had 3 big upsets over defending world champions from Russia in those Olympics.  

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Nobody would bat an eye at the conversation if it weren't for the fact that they know you're trying to illicit a reaction from that crowd.

 

And as for Slay, something was... different... about him that year. I can't quite pinpoint it, but I think it may have helped him beat Saitiev in Sydney...

Rather than implying that he was on roids in 2000, have some balls and come right out and say it. Didn't he test negative anyway? Edited by spladle

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Saitiev was pretty arrogant and I think he expected to roll over Slay and pretty much anybody else.  Especially since Slay was an unknown, I don't think the Russians believed for a second that Slay was going to be in a close match, let alone win.  Just goes to show what can happen if you overlook somebody at that level.  Kind of interesting too how the US had 3 big upsets over defending world champions from Russia in those Olympics.  

It doesn't matter if the Russians believed it would be a match before hand.  They fully believed it would be close in OT when the match was decided.  This was not a case of some guy taking the Paris Grand Prix lightly.  This is a guy in the Olympics against a rival nation.  There is no way Russian Olympians are not up for matches against the USA.  They love to beat us and show their superiority.  

 

This isn't a guy taking Olympic matches lightly.  This is a guy losing to an unknown who he wasn't prepared for.  

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Here are three very bad choices for this list IMHO:

 

Brandon Slay- first, he beat the GOAT freestyle wrestler, in a legit way, not based on some obscure penalty point when the guy was almost 40 years old.  He blast doubled him to the mat multiple times.  Second, for whatever reason Slay was an entirely different wrestler that year.  He also beat Joe Williams who would have likely come home with a medal at that point imo. Williams barely lost to Satiev himself in 1998.  Had another super impressive win to make the final at Olympics I believe but cannot recall the details but maybe someone else can recall the credentials of who he beat in the semis. As for his loss to Leipold, man was that screwy.  This was back in the old upper body clinch era, they could give you a two point penalty on a whim for not letting your opponent get the best lock possible on you, and that's what happened here.  Then, they call Slay for grabbing fingers.  Two completely subjective penalties put him in a 3-0 hole.  That may not sound like much, but in an era where takedowns were one point, there was no pushout, and against a true defensive specialist, that was a hell of a whole to come back from.  I honestly felt like the match proved absolutely nothing other than the idiocy of FILA.  If he would have kept going I'd bet that he would have took home more world medals, he was a force at that point.  

 

Kerry McCoy- only took home one world medal, but was always a top contender he just never seemed to put it together at the right time.  I'd guess he's beaten a half dozen or more World Medalists.  Hell he kept two off the team right here in the USA including Stephen Neal, and in 1996 he was a hair behind Kurt Angle to make the team at 220. 

 

Jamill Kelly- Just a completely different wrestler in international freestyle than he was in college. Made the team twice over some VERY stiff domestic competition including Lincoln Mac and Bill Zadick in his prime. 

 

If the category is the more positive, "who came out of nowhere" as opposed to "worst", I'd say:

 

1. Eggum (a country Mile behind Cael and I don't think he was ever even our #2 guy other than this year).

2. M. Zadick (always a stud domestically but his style did not result in many high level wins other than the improbable run where he knocked off Batirov, amazing)

3. Gilman (within a point of elimination at the last chance qualifier to world finals, amazing)

4. Tolly Thompson (never beat Kerry McCoy outside of one time in college that I recall but wins a World Medal in his one shot whereas Kerry tended to fall a bit short most years). 

Slay didn't wrestle Joe Williams at the Olympic Team trials. Williams lost to Brian Dolph in the challenge tourney finals and Slay beat Dolph in the best of 3 finals.  Dolph was Slay's assistant coach at Penn and they had trained together a lot.  I do believe that Slay beat Williams at Nationals that year and that is why he was sitting in the finals.

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Slay didn't wrestle Joe Williams at the Olympic Team trials. Williams lost to Brian Dolph in the challenge tourney finals and Slay beat Dolph in the best of 3 finals.  Dolph was Slay's assistant coach at Penn and they had trained together a lot.  I do believe that Slay beat Williams at Nationals that year and that is why he was sitting in the finals.

vague recall of Slay hitting a big double leg on Williams at Nationals, ran him off the mat iirc

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Nobody would bat an eye at the conversation if it weren't for the fact that they know you're trying to illicit a reaction from that crowd.  

 

 

If by "illicit a reaction from that crowd" you meant "share the research that Granby did with the community to have a conversation about the greats of our sport" then you're spot on! 

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So if Slay beat Williams, and Williams had a close one with Saitiev, then the Russians would have at least known that Slay was legit. 

 

Or that the Russians know how our trials works and we don't just pick our guy and send him.  We've left guys home who could have won world/Olympic medals because they happened to run into somebody at the trials who was a bad matchup for them, or just got hot at the right time.  McCoy beat Neal, but Neal was a world champion already and the best McCoy ever did was a silver in 2003.  Hazewinkel beat Simmons who was 5th at worlds the year before and had beaten defending Olympic champ Cejudo.  I think Simmons would have done better.  Les Gutches lost to Charles Burton who still nearly medaled anyway.  The Russians know how unpredictable our system at the time was, and how it means whoever did well at one high stakes event got the Olympic team spot.  I really don't think Saitiev took Slay as a threat but realized that he was in trouble pretty soon and had to wrestle from a position of being behind that he wasn't used to being in very often.  

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