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Flaws of Our Top Wrestlers

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This may come off as a bash topic, but it's really not. As I watch more and more wrestling at the world level, I get more curious about the finer details of the sport. In this topic I'd like to examine some of the tendencies of our wrestlers, and what the theme is in their losses. Hopefully people can chime in with more analysis of different wrestlers. I'll go first with two wrestlers:

Kyle Snyder

2015 - Gold

2016 - Gold

2017 - Gold

2018 - Silver

Obviously top notch. Something he lacks however is a good par terre offense. Relying on takedowns and good defense has worked for him so far, but wrestlers can score a quick bunch on him then sit on a lead. Making a comeback 2 points at a time is harder than if he could get 2 + 2 via a turn. If he had an explosive top game like Dake... well then he'd be Sadulaev. The only thing separating the two. 

Frank Molinaro

Love the tank. Just a gritty, physical wrestler. But against highly technical foreign opposition he gets moved around. It looks like he is heavy with his posting and ties, and relies on his strength advantage. But against great technical wrestlers, they are able to misdirect this linear strength and use it to their advantage to create angles on shots. Also it seems he only has one shot (lefty high crotch) so when that gets shut down he doesn't have much offense. 

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This may come off as a bash topic, but it's really not. As I watch more and more wrestling at the world level, I get more curious about the finer details of the sport. In this topic I'd like to examine some of the tendencies of our wrestlers, and what the theme is in their losses. Hopefully people can chime in with more analysis of different wrestlers. I'll go first with two wrestlers:
Kyle Snyder
2015 - Gold
2016 - Gold
2017 - Gold
2018 - Silver
Obviously top notch. Something he lacks however is a good par terre offense. Relying on takedowns and good defense has worked for him so far, but wrestlers can score a quick bunch on him then sit on a lead. Making a comeback 2 points at a time is harder than if he could get 2 + 2 via a turn. If he had an explosive top game like Dake... well then he'd be Sadulaev. The only thing separating the two. 
Frank Molinaro
Love the tank. Just a gritty, physical wrestler. But against highly technical foreign opposition he gets moved around. It looks like he is heavy with his posting and ties, and relies on his strength advantage. But against great technical wrestlers, they are able to misdirect this linear strength and use it to their advantage to create angles on shots. Also it seems he only has one shot (lefty high crotch) so when that gets shut down he doesn't have much offense. 
Molinaro tries to over power everyone. He was lost out there against the Russian giving up 15 points. He iniated almost all the action only to get countered (crotch lifted) most of the time.

And let's face it, Snyder is several levels higher than the Frank. The real Tank hangs out in Dagestan.

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Kyle hit some turns at the Kolov which was a bit surprising. Glad he is working on his par terre game. 

I haven’t wrestled a lot of freestyle. Does his body type make turns unlikely or something? I figured by now he’d be hitting turns against higher level guys

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On 3/8/2019 at 8:17 AM, Housebuye said:

Kyle hit some turns at the Kolov which was a bit surprising. Glad he is working on his par terre game. 

I haven’t wrestled a lot of freestyle. Does his body type make turns unlikely or something? I figured by now he’d be hitting turns against higher level guys

I didn't watch him at the Kolov, but I'm glad that's the case. And I don't think it has anything to do with body type. Most of our guys are a folkstyle product, so introducing par terre later in their development (and not truly emphasizing it until after college) would probably make most of them not as confident in that skillset against higher levels of competition. Obviously there are some notable exceptions such as Kyle Dake and Joe Colon, but that's just how I see it. 

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13 hours ago, Crash said:

Molinaro is one of our top wrestlers?

He's currently like 4th best in the USA at his weight.

Is Jordan Oliver one of our top wrestlers? The guy has never even made a world team. You don't have to be captain literal man. Any person that has a fair chance of making the team can be deemed on the list of our top wrestlers. I like how that's what you chose to contribute instead of posting any meaningful insight into technique, tendencies, etc. 

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On 3/8/2019 at 8:16 AM, Housebuye said:

Frank is undersized at 70kg. His style relies on his power, speed and strength. Two of those go away at 70kg. He is a completely different wrestler at 65kg and he plans to be down by the Open. 

Frank’s a bit of a “tweener”.  He’s way too big for 65 kg with multiple weigh ins shortly before competition.  In 2016 he was able to rehydrate to around 160.   That is no longer possible. Don’t expect much at the open If he’s at 65 kg. I predict a quick exit for the tank followed by some sort of macho, jersey-style outburst of bravado.

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On 3/8/2019 at 8:17 AM, Housebuye said:

Kyle hit some turns at the Kolov which was a bit surprising. Glad he is working on his par terre game. 

I haven’t wrestled a lot of freestyle. Does his body type make turns unlikely or something? I figured by now he’d be hitting turns against higher level guys

I wouldn’t say so. Someone with his strength could be quite explosive with a gut wrench it would seem.  I think it’s more like he’s been so good on his feet he’s just never had to develop any par terre  game.

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In general (a couple exceptions), we stink at par terre offense and defense.  We transition very poorly from takedown to par terre and do not score in multiple guts and laces as the Euros do  Not like this is news, though.

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Taylor seems to work a lot of folk style into is par terre offense with tilts and bars, I wonder why this isn’t more common among the US guys. 

Some guys do. Taylor has the perfect folkstyle top game for this though. We see it with Spencer lee too.

But...look at guys like Daton. He is tough on top in folkstyle, but his freestyle turns are freestyle specific. Not every folkstyle top game, even the good ones, transition well.

I do think our pinning game is better than most because of folk though. There is nothing like the top control we learn in folk.


My name is Housebuye. I watch a lot of wrestling, but as Pish says, I don’t know what the hell I’m watching.

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1 hour ago, Housebuye said:


Some guys do. Taylor has the perfect folkstyle top game for this though. We see it with Spencer lee too.

But...look at guys like Daton. He is tough on top in folkstyle, but his freestyle turns are freestyle specific. Not every folkstyle top game, even the good ones, transition well.

I do think our pinning game is better than most because of folk though. There is nothing like the top control we learn in folk.


My name is Housebuye. I watch a lot of wrestling, but as Pish says, I don’t know what the hell I’m watching.

Folkstyle wise Daton is a great rider not so much turner at this point in his career in comparison Zains freshman year he was the same really good rider not so much turning the top guys. 

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On 3/8/2019 at 8:17 AM, Housebuye said:

Kyle hit some turns at the Kolov which was a bit surprising. Glad he is working on his par terre game. 

I haven’t wrestled a lot of freestyle. Does his body type make turns unlikely or something? I figured by now he’d be hitting turns against higher level guys

Hitting turns against higher level guys is incredibly difficult. The wrestler with the best par terre (the Russian Tank) in the world could not turn Kyle and he has proven he can win with TDs and not getting turned.  It would be nice, but wildly unrealistic, to think that in his next match against Sadulaev he is going to be able to win by turning him.

 

 

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On 3/13/2019 at 5:25 PM, Jim L said:

Hitting turns against higher level guys is incredibly difficult. The wrestler with the best par terre (the Russian Tank) in the world could not turn Kyle and he has proven he can win with TDs and not getting turned.  It would be nice, but wildly unrealistic, to think that in his next match against Sadulaev he is going to be able to win by turning him.

 

 

Maybe being shorter and stockier makes getting certain turns difficult, but Townshend Saunders was an absolute fireplug but could turn almost everyone if he got a chance on top in 96.

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