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TripNSweep

Lesnar and how good was he?

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I had a conversation with somebody about this.  So I figured why not put it out in the open.  His position is that Lesnar was a great wrestler because he was an NCAA champion and had over 100 wins in college.  My opinion is that Lesnar wasn't that great, due to his limited technical skills and that he didn't face a lot of particularly talented wrestlers in college.  The year after he finished 2nd to Neal, all of the other All Americans at heavyweight graduated.  To me this means that he managed to win the next year because he was the next guy up.  My friend contends that being able to win NCAAs and have over 100 wins means he was good.  Of his few losses in college, one was to Wes Hand, the other to Neal, and in juco he had a few losses, I know one was where he got majored or tech falled by Vlad Matyushenko.  Despite his winning % in college and his NCAA title, I don't feel he is really an elite heavyweight wrestler.  So what do you think?  

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I coached at JROB camps in the summers at the U when Minny was winning NCAA's.  Lesnar was also coaching the camps.  From a technical standpoint, he was way ahead of most heavyweights.  Very smooth, very fluid, and it was very obvious he mastered heavyweight positioning.  From an athletic standpoint, watching him in real life, he could possibly be the greatest ever, or at least top 3.  Physical attributes are 100% a factor in how good of a wrestler you are.  At heavyweight, its even more important.

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Skip to about 8:15. If Yianni or DT hit something like that, our jaws would drop, and rightly so. He hit it as a full sized heavyweight in the NCAA semis. He also hit a beautiful toe drag blast double and a gorgeous outside step swim high crotch to a big lift to his opponents back. You can't get more perfect than that high crotch.

A lot of time, the skills of freak athletes get overlooked because people assume they win on their athletic ability. People talked like that about Burroughs early in his international career. Eventually, they figured out he was incredibly skilled too. Lesnar was very good. 

 

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7 hours ago, olddirty said:

I coached at JROB camps in the summers at the U when Minny was winning NCAA's.  Lesnar was also coaching the camps.  From a technical standpoint, he was way ahead of most heavyweights.  Very smooth, very fluid, and it was very obvious he mastered heavyweight positioning.  From an athletic standpoint, watching him in real life, he could possibly be the greatest ever, or at least top 3.  Physical attributes are 100% a factor in how good of a wrestler you are.  At heavyweight, its even more important.

He coached when he was in WWE?  Didn't know that.  

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1 hour ago, TripNSweep said:

He coached when he was in WWE?  Didn't know that.  

He had just signed  prior to the 1st camp I did.  He wasnt on TV or anything yet.  No one outside of wrestling knew who he was.  He also was still very close to the Gophers when he was starting to get famous.  Outside of his TV persona, he seemed like a nice guy and a team player.

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To say anything other than that he was in the top 1% of the top 1% is just disingenuous. Yes, he was/is an athletic freak but he was also very technically proficient. At the highest levels of folkstyle, if you aren't, you'll be exposed very quickly. 

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3 hours ago, qc8223 said:

Skip to about 8:15. If Yianni or DT hit something like that, our jaws would drop, and rightly so. He hit it as a full sized heavyweight in the NCAA semis. He also hit a beautiful toe drag blast double and a gorgeous outside step swim high crotch to a big lift to his opponents back. You can't get more perfect than that high crotch.

A lot of time, the skills of freak athletes get overlooked because people assume they win on their athletic ability. People talked like that about Burroughs early in his international career. Eventually, they figured out he was incredibly skilled too. Lesnar was very good. 

 

I never thought that about JB.  He had outstanding movement on his feet and perfect timing on balance with his leg attacks.  That doesn't come naturally, you have to work on that.  Also people tend to overlook his setups. He's a lot craftier and sneaky than people give him credit for because he was able to hide them so well.  Like you knew the blast double might be coming, but he would use a variety of setups to get to it.  

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1 minute ago, PSUMike said:

To say anything other than that he was in the top 1% of the top 1% is just disingenuous. Yes, he was/is an athletic freak but he was also very technically proficient. At the highest levels of folkstyle, if you aren't, you'll be exposed very quickly. 

I never thought he was all that good technically.  He got majored or teched in jucos by Matyushenko who was really a 177/184 lb guy.  If somebody who doesn't have the size or strength he does but is able to beat him that badly can mostly on technical ability, I'd say he wasn't at that level of technical prowess.  If you had to rank all the heavyweights who won it in the last 20 years I don't think he would even be in the top 10.  Maybe not even in the top 15.  

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He was at 145 pounds in high school, so he likely developed a good amount of technique to survive competing with kids at smaller weights. I don't know how he ever got to be so big (maybe I do : ), but he wasn't that way when he was younger.

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6 minutes ago, Bryan said:

Some on this thread want to claim that BL was taking illegal steroids/juicing but did he ever test positive for anything while in college?

Case closed, because not having ever tested positive is irrefutable evidence that he never took PEDs (said Lance Armstrong for about 13 years).

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12 hours ago, olddirty said:

He had just signed  prior to the 1st camp I did.  He wasnt on TV or anything yet.  No one outside of wrestling knew who he was.  He also was still very close to the Gophers when he was starting to get famous.  Outside of his TV persona, he seemed like a nice guy and a team player.

I know people from the mma world that are close with him and/or have worked with him. They all say he is easy to work with, a nice guy and pretty smart, especially when it comes to branding. 

 

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12 hours ago, TripNSweep said:

I never thought he was all that good technically.  He got majored or teched in jucos by Matyushenko who was really a 177/184 lb guy.  If somebody who doesn't have the size or strength he does but is able to beat him that badly can mostly on technical ability, I'd say he wasn't at that level of technical prowess.  If you had to rank all the heavyweights who won it in the last 20 years I don't think he would even be in the top 10.  Maybe not even in the top 15.  

Thirteen individuals have won 285 in the last 20 years, so it would be pretty hard for him to not even make the top 15. 

If you go conservative and say Rowlands, Mocco, Konrad, Nelson, Gwiz, and Snyder are clearly ahead of Lesnar, that means you think at least four of the following were better in order for Lesnar to not make the top 10:  Lockart, Fox, Ellis, Zabriskie, Rey, Cassar.

 

Edited by jchapman

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On 9/23/2019 at 2:11 AM, TripNSweep said:

I had a conversation with somebody about this.  So I figured why not put it out in the open.  His position is that Lesnar was a great wrestler because he was an NCAA champion and had over 100 wins in college.  My opinion is that Lesnar wasn't that great, due to his limited technical skills and that he didn't face a lot of particularly talented wrestlers in college.  The year after he finished 2nd to Neal, all of the other All Americans at heavyweight graduated.  To me this means that he managed to win the next year because he was the next guy up.  My friend contends that being able to win NCAAs and have over 100 wins means he was good.  Of his few losses in college, one was to Wes Hand, the other to Neal, and in juco he had a few losses, I know one was where he got majored or tech falled by Vlad Matyushenko.  Despite his winning % in college and his NCAA title, I don't feel he is really an elite heavyweight wrestler.  So what do you think?  

It is always funny that when people see someone truly dominant a lot of times it is chalked up to weak competition. When someone is so good that you automatically take them against the field it really shouldn't reflect on the field. If Retherford wasn't at 149 for his last three years a lot of those wrestlers such as Sorenson are looked at differently. Because Retherford dominated it means the competition was bad. Just because Snyder was good doesn't mean there were no good 285's during his time.

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1 hour ago, JeanGuy said:

It is always funny that when people see someone truly dominant a lot of times it is chalked up to weak competition. When someone is so good that you automatically take them against the field it really shouldn't reflect on the field. If Retherford wasn't at 149 for his last three years a lot of those wrestlers such as Sorenson are looked at differently. Because Retherford dominated it means the competition was bad. Just because Snyder was good doesn't mean there were no good 285's during his time.

You can't deny that the lack of competition had something to do with his success that year.  I mean D1 wrestling is still very competitive, but if any serious threats graduate and there isn't anyone left, it makes the path to an NCAA title a little easier than if say half the AA's from the previous year returned.  Both of your examples don't really fit since those guys made a world/Olympic team while in college, so obviously they were elite talents. Lesnar never even entered the US Open.  The only times he faced elite talent he lost.  

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4 hours ago, Bryan said:

Some on this thread want to claim that BL was taking illegal steroids/juicing but did he ever test positive for anything while in college?

Also, I don't have any DWIs, therefore I've never driven drunk.

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16 hours ago, TripNSweep said:

I never thought that about JB.  He had outstanding movement on his feet and perfect timing on balance with his leg attacks.  That doesn't come naturally, you have to work on that.  Also people tend to overlook his setups. He's a lot craftier and sneaky than people give him credit for because he was able to hide them so well.  Like you knew the blast double might be coming, but he would use a variety of setups to get to it.  

All true, but that wasn't the general discourse around him when he first got started. A lot of people only thought of him as a freak athlete. They were obviously wrong.

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