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MonagFam

Historical Query: Was it more surprising that Karelin lost or that Gardner was the one that beat him?

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I never followed wrestling much in the past.  I knew about Gardner hanging Karelin his first loss in years, but was curious about the history.

Was Karelin ripe to lose? Was there anyone that was seen as a threat?  Or was that man Gardner?  Just curious if the bigger shock was who beat him rather than when he ended up losing?

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17 minutes ago, MonagFam said:

I never followed wrestling much in the past.  I knew about Gardner hanging Karelin his first loss in years, but was curious about the history.

Was Karelin ripe to lose? Was there anyone that was seen as a threat?  Or was that man Gardner?  Just curious if the bigger shock was who beat him rather than when he ended up losing?

Not to be cute, but Gardner beating him had to be more surprising. For Karelin to lose--to anyone-- was surprising. For him to lose to Gardner, Gardner had to make the finals AND beat Karelin.

 

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Its was more  surprising that Rulon did it. Rulon was blip in Karelin's. If you 'd asked him before the tourney who his career top foes were,  Rulon wouldn't have made Karelins top 30.  He was just some guy who Karelin destroyed in 97 and in general was Gaffari's back up. Yes Rulon did win the worlds in 01. But he was never a truly great wrestler, always had a lot of losses,  and was quickly supplented by the more talent Yuri, khasan, and Lopez. 

Karelins last dominant torunament was the 99 euros. By the 99 worlds, his age took away his offensive. He could no longer score tons of points agianst the elite guys. Consider this. In 2000 he won the Russians and Euro finals 1-0 both times. In 99 worlds he had a controversial 0-0 match. Now no one could score on him in true wrestling fashion, but they didn't need to as Rulon demonstrated with the BS rules that never belonged in greco.

Who could have  predicted to beaten him? Sergie Mureiko. He is the one who went 0-0 with him in 99 and then  had a 1-0 loss at the Euros. He was always really good at defending karelin's lifts (not that Karelin was lifting people anymore by then) and after being close so many times. Hector, Bardos Debelka, Rulon (courtesy of his pans) , Saladze, and  Deblka all had a spin wheel chance of being the luck  close match no score winners against him and lady luck gave it to Rulon.  

 

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12 minutes ago, NJDan said:

Not to be cute, but Gardner beating him had to be more surprising. For Karelin to lose--to anyone-- was surprising. For him to lose to Gardner, Gardner had to make the finals AND beat Karelin.

 

I disagree. I think the bigger shock was that Karelin lost. Gardner was World Champion the following year and took Bronze in 2004. If someone was going to beat him, it's not that surprising that it would be the guy who was World Champion the next year too and then repeated as a Olympic medalist. Gardner beating Karelin was certainly his burst onto the scene, but his success following Gold in Sydney makes it less of a shock to me that Gardner was the one who did it. 

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My opinion might be controversial, but I remember watching Karelin's matches that Olympics and he just did not look like he was in the kind of shape he needed.  I'm not sure but I don't remember him completing a reverse lift on anyone.  He just wasn't as sharp.  So when it came to the finals, I thought he might be vulnerable.  And he was.  I think it was more surprising that Rulon beat him than someone else, but it had to be Rulon.  And he proved it was no fluke the next year, becoming World Champion.  It had to be someone that believed they could beat the Russian Bear.  I think only Rulon had that mindset. 

More surprising that Rulon was the one because of his relative inexperience on the senior level.  Not so surprising that Karelin lost.  He was not sharp that year in my opinion. 

mspart

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As an analogy. 

Pretend that Sadulaev had never lost to Snyder,  but at the 2020 individual world cup they met and  it was 0-0 after regular time. The officials begin reviewing something and the judges give a mystery point that hands Sad the match. Sad barely wins Russian Nationals, has  a 1-0 final win. Then Snyder faces Sad just before the games again at Aliev and Sad wins with a single caution point.  That was Karelin's situation going into those Olympics. 

If this forum had been around then and the information available. A decent of amount of people would have predicted something other than Gold for Karelin. With predictions that Rulon would beat him as rare as the people predicting that Coon would win gold at Tokyo.  

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It was the perfect storm.  Karelin was obviously on the decline.  The rules at the time.  And the fact that once Rulon took over Ghaffari, Ghaffari immediately turned coach and began prepping him specifically for Karelin.  Remember Ghaffari went 1-0 with Karelin in Atlanta.  And I"ll never forget, I was close by when he was literally in the back halls of the arena talking with rulon about gameplan for training, right after rulon beat him in the trials finals.  They did develop a game plan, leaning on the rules of the time, and was executed to perfection.   I think it was a suprise only in the fact that Karelin and never lost and Rulon was on his first world team.  But if you look back at all that was involved leading up to it, it wasn't a huge suprise.

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1 hour ago, Lurker said:

It was the perfect storm.  Karelin was obviously on the decline.  The rules at the time.  And the fact that once Rulon took over Ghaffari, Ghaffari immediately turned coach and began prepping him specifically for Karelin.  Remember Ghaffari went 1-0 with Karelin in Atlanta.  And I"ll never forget, I was close by when he was literally in the back halls of the arena talking with rulon about gameplan for training, right after rulon beat him in the trials finals.  They did develop a game plan, leaning on the rules of the time, and was executed to perfection.   I think it was a suprise only in the fact that Karelin and never lost and Rulon was on his first world team.  But if you look back at all that was involved leading up to it, it wasn't a huge suprise.

Karelin was injured in Atlanta. If he was reasonably healthy it would have been the best version of Karelin seen at the Olympics. His bicep was messed up from the Euros but he was so much better than everyone that he still won it severely compromised. Had he been healthy it would have been the olympics he pinned everyone, with lots of 5 point throws. Mureiko was an even tougher match for him in Atlanta than Gaffari.  Karelin faced ghaffari again in  the 98 worlds and pinned him quickly.  Not to mention Karelin beat Rulon 6-0 after Atlanta at the 97 worlds. 

Rulon didn't do anything that unique, aside from getting the official W. It was the fourth tournament in a row where Karelin  got stalemated by someone (99 worlds, 2000 Euros, 2000 Nationals). If Rulon had scored on Karelin with true greco techniques, it would have been a first in a very very long time. 

 

 

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One of the things Rulon did was when Karelin attempted to pick him up in a reverse  lift, Rulon started walking sideways with his hands to get Karelin off balance and it worked.  I had never seen that technique before that but it worked great.  Must have been one of the things they worked on. 

mspart

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22 hours ago, HawkY said:

Its was more  surprising that Rulon did it. Rulon was blip in Karelin's. If you 'd asked him before the tourney who his career top foes were,  Rulon wouldn't have made Karelins top 30.  

 

This statement seems factually incorrect. 

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30 minutes ago, Plasmodium said:

I think the size of Rulon's chest helped him during those clinches, which is ultimately how he won.

He won by getting one point (the only point scored, if you call it scoring in 9 minutes) when Karelin broke his grip. Hardly an advertisement for greco or for wrestling in general. Here is the video

 

Edited by NJDan
added video

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20 minutes ago, NJDan said:

He won by getting one point (the only point scored, if you call it scoring in 9 minutes) when Karelin broke his grip. Hardly an advertisement for greco or for wrestling in general. Here is the video

 

More breaking news:  Dan Gable was upset by Larry Owings in the 1970 NCAA Finals.  This prevented Gable from having an undefeated college career.

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9 minutes ago, jchapman said:

More breaking news:  Dan Gable was upset by Larry Owings in the 1970 NCAA Finals.  This prevented Gable from having an undefeated college career.

What's wrong with you? No one said it was news. I just posted the details and the video.

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17 hours ago, NJDan said:

He won by getting one point (the only point scored, if you call it scoring in 9 minutes) when Karelin broke his grip. Hardly an advertisement for greco or for wrestling in general. Here is the video

 

I'll say this about Rulon....if anyone deserves a Gold Medal for pummeling, he is your MAN.

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I think it was a combination of both. If I remember correctly I think Gardner was outside shot to even medal and  Karlin was destroying everyone in his path still. I watched the match but was 12 years old so the details are fussy and didn't know Greco wrestlers like I did freestyle. Internet was not yet a big part of my life and many others. So basically I had no idea who Gardner was at the time but knew Karlin.

Edited by Sublime607

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If not for that clinch point, how would the match have gone?  Who would have won?  I think Rulon was put down twice so he probably would have lost on criteria.  You would think that the Russian Bear would have known better than to lose his grip.  Slight mistake cost him the 4 Olympic Golds he wanted. 

mspart

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