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BigTimeFan

The upside case for Snyder

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I watched Snyder VS Sadulaev with one hand on the remote and after taking a cold hard look I think he’s more in there than at any other point even 2017 when he won. Yes. Even then. 

In 2017 Snyder was handled pretty much in the first period and there’s no question that Sad faded. In my view that’s the principle reason Snyder won. Pure power differential. Sad was more athletic, better motion and had many more tricks up his sleeve. 

The match in 2018 was so quick it was hard to say anything for sure except that Sadulaev was as so much quicker on his feet and so much more agile it’s hard to say anything positive. 

In 2019 I saw Snyder as a plodding over the hill bull. Able to overpower lesser foes but unable to consistently score on people of his strength and experience. 

This year was a completely transformed Snyder. He was simply not the same wrestler. He’s slimmed down, moves lighter on his feet, more capable or penetrating but made a number of fundamental mistakes but he looked to me a lot more like Cael Sanderson out there than 2017 Kyle Snyder. If the mistakes he was making can be remedied as he continues to evolve his new I think he has a shot. 

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I think it will come down to how the two age. They're essentially the same age at 25 (KS is about 6months older), so developmentally and physically, they've both reached maturity. There may have been questions in the past about this, to do with who might have an advantage after both emerged early from age-group levels, but I think that discussion is now closed. 

I didn't recognize Snyder's improvement to the extent that you described, but I'll take your word for it. -I think it's just as likely that KS faced inferior competition compared to Sad. What I did notice is that Sadulaev, while obviously still dominant, has slowed down. This could be more mature tactics, but it could also be that he's physically slowing down. Snyder doesn't wrestle at the same pace as before, either - So, same speculation as Sad. Certainly, Kyle's commitment to make changes and improve play in his favor. I don't know how that compares to Sadulaev's decisions/options for training, facilities, partners, etc. 

Barring injury, I think Sadulaev holds all the advantages for the foreseeable future. I'll never rule Snyder out because he's a great competitor and I'm a huge fan!

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I saw no improvement. The short time of 27s left was telling. If the stronger, bigger, better conditioned guy can't even sniff a point with the match on the line and Sadulaev in blocking mode, I don't see a path to victory. Snyder wasn't even able to move Sadulaev out of position once the entire time.

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There's definitely some positive takeaways. Snyder's style in these big matches is to wear his opponent down and score at the end of the match. He got the style of match he wanted, he just made mistakes on those low singles and gave up the chest wraps to put him in too big of a hole. Sad did not score a takedown on him and was clearly fading at the end (though Snyder was too).

 

Snyder is definitely a notch below Sadulaev, but he's the best wrestler in the planet, so I don't understand the criticism. Snyder has done nothing but bring home hardware on the international stage and unless Cox steps up, he'll get more shots at Sad.

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11 minutes ago, wrestlingnerd said:

I saw no improvement. The short time of 27s left was telling. If the stronger, bigger, better conditioned guy can't even sniff a point with the match on the line and Sadulaev in blocking mode, I don't see a path to victory. Snyder wasn't even able to move Sadulaev out of position once the entire time.

Time will tell. Pointless to debate all that. I think he’s on a path. 

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Let’s see how Snyder does at worlds. I saw nothing to suggest he has improved, but based off of the performance of the rest of the NLWC, I wouldn’t be surprised if Snyder has in fact improved. And I mean relative to the rest of the field. Sad is on a different level
 

 

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9 minutes ago, Crotalus said:

Snyder is definitely a notch below Sadulaev, but he's the best wrestler in the planet, so I don't understand the criticism. Snyder has done nothing but bring home hardware on the international stage and unless Cox steps up, he'll get more shots at Sad.


Sent from my SM-G998U using Tapatalk
 

This is important to remember. Snyder has taken some freestyle loses here and there. But the guy has an Olympic gold and Olympic silver medal to his name. There’s not a long list of Americans that can claim the same thing. He may never beat Sad again because Sad is once in a lifetime level good, but Snyder has had a hell of an international career. 

Edited by goheels1812

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1 hour ago, BigTimeFan said:

I watched Snyder VS Sadulaev with one hand on the remote and after taking a cold hard look I think he’s more in there than at any other point even 2017 when he won. Yes. Even then. 

In 2017 Snyder was handled pretty much in the first period and there’s no question that Sad faded. In my view that’s the principle reason Snyder won. Pure power differential. Sad was more athletic, better motion and had many more tricks up his sleeve. 

The match in 2018 was so quick it was hard to say anything for sure except that Sadulaev was as so much quicker on his feet and so much more agile it’s hard to say anything positive. 

In 2019 I saw Snyder as a plodding over the hill bull. Able to overpower lesser foes but unable to consistently score on people of his strength and experience. 

This year was a completely transformed Snyder. He was simply not the same wrestler. He’s slimmed down, moves lighter on his feet, more capable or penetrating but made a number of fundamental mistakes but he looked to me a lot more like Cael Sanderson out there than 2017 Kyle Snyder. If the mistakes he was making can be remedied as he continues to evolve his new I think he has a shot. 


As a Snyder fan, I'm naturally inclined to agree with this take and feel there's been a good amount of less-than-convincingly-supported negativity regarding his recent progression and the finals match. 

Over his past 25 matches or so, IMO Snyder has looked considerably improved than the 25 matches or so leading up to 2019 worlds.  In my view, as he approached 2019 worlds, Snyder increasingly started to wrestle like a HWT (maybe years wrestling NCAA HWT, having a HWT for a coach/training partner, the added bulk, etc. increasingly played a role).  He would routinely lunge for opponent's heads, lean on a heavy lead-hand club,  push/pull, and look to drive/shuffle opponents backwards.  He was leaning very north/south and more agile opponents found it easier to slip of the tracks and cleanly get to his legs (I recall several times it looked like Snyder would almost fall over opponents on their shots he was caught so off-balance).  He also started to regularly try to shoot through his own ties, which again allowed the more agile guys to feel/anticipate his attacks coming and beat him to the corner.
 
In his last 25 matches or so he has looked to have much more active hands when hand fighting (especially utilizing his left hand more effectively), much more active feet, and better balance.  I think there's some DT in his hand fighting now.  One result has been opponents have rarely sniffed his legs over that span.  He's also started to get back to more consistently sliding off of his own ties, clears, and snaps to cleaner shots during opponents' reaction time.  He's not as quick to the leg as he was when he came onto the scene, but I think the active hands and feet have made him better defensively and opened up more step out opportunities.  I think a quick perusal of match scores over the last 50 or so matches reveals a more dominant wrestler over the last 12+ months.
 
As for the Sadulaev match, I think different tactics could lead to a better result.  I was surprised to see Snyder going back to low level attacks so frequently this tournament.  In recent tournaments I had been seeing much more commitment to hand-fighting/pressuring opponents to the edge and looking for snap downs or Hi-C's and doubles that could be converted into step outs if well defended.  I don't know if some of the low singles and pick attempts throughout the tournament were something they thought they could exploit against Sadulaev, or if it was just Snyder defaulting back to what used to get the job done for him in big moments.  Sadulaev had hit a beautiful chest wrap or two earlier in the tournament and it was clear he's now Dake-ish from that position.  Scary stuff for a 97kg-er.
 
Sadulaev's better-rounded scoring potential from par tarre and shot defense give him more routes to victory for sure, but the positives for Snyder are that Sadulaev didn't come particularly close to a clean TD and Snyder got one of his own off his Hi-C- almost to a trap arm too.  The last two times they wrestled Sad got to Snyder's legs fairly cleanly early on, but not here.  Better shot selection from Snyder and a commitment to more pressure through handfighting could certainly lead to a tighter match down the stretch when hopefully Snyder can pull Sadulaev into deep water.  Sadulaev did look quite worn down in that final 90 seconds or so (he also looked as large/muscular as I've ever seen him, so maybe those two things are related).  

Finally, per the "NLWC" thread, it's just not the case that Snyder had a cake draw compared to Sadulaev.  Per UWW database, entering the tournament Conyedo served Sharifov his most recent loss (June '21), Karadeniz's gave Odikadze his most recent loss (April '21), and Snyder teched Salas in his most recent loss (2020 PanAms).  It's been nearly two years since the last world championships- a lot has changed in the field.

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How exactly has he improved? Is not getting pinned a win? What big wins does he have since 2019? Salas (who moved up 13kg for the Olympics)? He still tries to win matches on his feet and hasn't changed his tactics that I've seen. He hasn't improved his ground game at all. He got zero turns in the Olympics unless I missed something and got turned twice vs Sadulaev.

Edited by DocBZ

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6 hours ago, wrestlingnerd said:

I saw no improvement. The short time of 27s left was telling. If the stronger, bigger, better conditioned guy can't even sniff a point with the match on the line and Sadulaev in blocking mode, I don't see a path to victory. Snyder wasn't even able to move Sadulaev out of position once the entire time.

Agree, 100 percent.  Sadulaev improved by figuring out Snyder's game.  

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6 hours ago, goheels1812 said:

This is important to remember. Snyder has taken some freestyle loses here and there. But the guy has an Olympic gold and Olympic silver medal to his name. There’s not a long list of Americans that can claim the same thing. He may never beat Sad again because Sad is once in a lifetime level good, but Snyder has had a hell of an international career. 

Along with two World Golds, a Silver and a Bronze.  There are very few US wrestlers that have had that great of a career, and Snyder has many years left. 

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Snyder figured out the way to beat Sadulaev - he has to convert hi-c’s. Easier said than done but that is the way… it’s also the way to get teched off the mat by the current P4P champ so don’t listen to me. But yeah step one of unlocking Sad’s defense was exposed. Hopefully they meet up in Oslo.

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I suspect, could be wrong, but I suspect a portion of this is in the mindset.  If you watch his early matches (gadisov, 2016, 2017), he disrespected his opponents with his pace and pressure.  He did it to jake varner, he did it to everyone.  Just out there to get it, and if you could stay with him and what he put on you, then good for you, nobody could hang.  His was a gas pedal style brought by a mohawked wolverine.

That is something that seems a bit different ever since he got fat boy rolled and pinned by sadulaev.  I hope they can get him some gilman treatment.

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Unfortunately Kyle is no doubt heavily scouted and game planned for, so he has to evolve and change tactics. However, I did think that SnyderMan looked good out there in his three matches leading up to the Finals. I think that he moved well and was pretty quick. I liked what one of the other bloggers said about his hand fighting, his balance and footwork, and I agree with it. Hopefully SnyderMan continues to find ways to improve and innovate and we are still be talking about him winning at the next Olympics. As far as the Saduleav match is concerned, I hope that in the future Kyle can figure out how to get Sads out of position and score on him. And if he can, it should bode well for Kyle. 

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I understand the enthusiasm, and I understand the need for us as fans of American wrestling to find a positive in Snyder's defeat. However, I think people are overstating his improvement and I do not think he has closed the gap on Sad. I understand that he got to Sad legs, but are we going to ignore that Sad scored off of those attacks? It is not as easy as "if he could have just finished those two shots." Well he didn't finish them, because Sad has world class counter attacks, and he is comfortable and in control in those situations. Getting to a leg means very little, when you are giving up exposure points every time you get in there. I also disagree that Snyder somehow found the recipe to beat Sad, if he can just somehow figure out how to finish those shots. Sad has always been a phenomenal counter wrestler, and it was only further proven by this last match with Snyder. You can get to his leg all you want, if you cannot score, did you really expose a flaw in Sad, or did Snyder just further prove that Sad is that much better than him? I think it is the latter. Sad just proved that even with a leg injury, his counter scoring was better than Snyder's offense. Snyder was lucky that Sad was debilitated a bit and unable to get his own offense going this whole tournament, or else that match would have been even more lopsided. 

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1 hour ago, TBar1977 said:

Snyder got the only 2 point TD in the match. 

The next go around he should just never shoot those low singles where he ends up giving up the chest wrap exposure. That alone can make the match competitive. 

Well he can stop shooting those low singles, but then he will never touch Sad leg again, and people will stop being able to pretend that he is closer than he is to beating Sad, because he grabbed his leg.

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Well was Saduleav actually injured or was he just saying that to deflect criticism of him not shooting. I say this because I didn’t see Sads limping or favoring his leg while walking around or in his matches. But injured or not, Kyle is just going to have to get better. 

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