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JohnnyThompsonnum1

Strongest wrestlers

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well 46 matches in a college career is very few- and how would Hodge have done against Ed Ruth, that seems like a legit hypothetical question?

 

I'm not the one to ask, I'm arguably the biggest Hodge fan of all time. :)

 

Seriously, Hodge vs Ruth, I don't know. I will say this, the only guy that I for sure what pick over Hodge (around his weight) would be Cael. Although, I believe there would be at least one very scary moment for Cael in that match where Hodge gets a hold of him and Cael feels his strength.

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SheerStress, loved the posts. However, I must correct one error. Len Kauffman who I wrestled with in the Army in his three years of varsity wrestling at Oregon State had a pinning percentage of 81% which is the all time high in college. Hodge is second. I am very fortunate to have personally known many of the guys listed;; Bill Nelson, Bill Weick, Danny Hodge, Doug Blubaugh, and Mark Schultz. Each was strong in their own way. Hodge was unmatched in grip strength.

 

Wayne Wells was an assistant coach my first year at OU, it was his last year. He was very strong, he would hang from the basketball goal by one hand, then the other for quite awhile prior to his match. He said you win with technique in wrestling, strength is the trump card you use to get out of a bad situation. Of course I think Wayne put more people in bad situations because of his technique and strength, than him having to get out of a bad situation.

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glancing at some of the guys that Jay Hammond lists, top pinners in college Gable with 72 pins out of 97 matches-- Gene Mills with 107 out of 150 matches and Wade Schalles with 106 out of 159 matches have THE most pins ever college ---

 

Kaufman not listed. Hodge 36 pins out of 46 matches slightly better % than Gable. Chris Taylor 64 pins out of 81 looks to me like slightly better % than Hodge or Gable. i think Taylor the top % pinner, Schalles and Mills the career top numbers. ...s/BobP

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glancing at some of the guys that Jay Hammond lists, top pinners in college Gable with 72 pins out of 97 matches-- Gene Mills with 107 out of 150 matches and Wade Schalles with 106 out of 159 matches have THE most pins ever college ---

 

Kaufman not listed. Hodge 36 pins out of 46 matches slightly better % than Gable. Chris Taylor 64 pins out of 81 looks to me like slightly better % than Hodge or Gable. i think Taylor the top % pinner, Schalles and Mills the career top numbers. ...s/BobP

 

Boomer's wrestlingstats.com website lists NCAA Champs Pin Leaders so if you did not win - you are not on that list

 

Looks like Len Kauffman was "only" a 2X AA...

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According to the Oregon State wrestling records Len Kauffman had a career record of 75 wins, 4 losses and no times with 66 pins. That is a pinning percentage of 83.5%. Len told me that he did get injured in his freshman year (when he wasn't eligible to wrestle on the varsity) and his sophomore year. He took 2nd and 3rd in the NCAA tournament.

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Oh Bob :

 

Methinks that---if Mr. Ruth gets out from bottom position---on the whistle---well then Ruth would likely have been okay (not stuck, that is). Don't get out on the whistle ? Well, just ask those 36 who did not (get out on whistle, or soon thereafter).

 

I like dreaming , 'cause dreaming' can make me right :P

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According to the Oregon State wrestling records Len Kauffman had a career record of 75 wins, 4 losses and no times with 66 pins. That is a pinning percentage of 83.5%. Len told me that he did get injured in his freshman year (when he wasn't eligible to wrestle on the varsity) and his sophomore year. He took 2nd and 3rd in the NCAA tournament.

 

Wow. Okay, for simplicity allow me to take some license. Let's settle Len's pin % at 84 %. Now folks that's some powerhouse wrestling. I wish that all of you folks could have seen Kauffman in live wrestling.

 

The year Len took 3rd he actually wrestled a good tourney. But he ran into a stud in the semi's, who was just having fun - and - who wrestled the tournament of his entire wrestling life. My teammate and friend, Donny Millard (or..."Duck"....if you will). On the way to the 67's title in 1964, Millard stuck the # 1 seeded Peckham. Then Millard ran into Mr. Len Kauffman. Jeeez what an incredible bout! It ended up about 9 or 10 to 7 (didn't look it up....I was there).

 

Not all was lost for Len Kaufman during that tourney in 1964. You see, he walked away with the coveted Gorriaran Award. Plus, I have always thought that 3rd place is not too shabby.

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The next year lost to Greg Ruth 11-6.

 

I felt that Len could have made the 1968 Olympic team, but instead he was flying in Vietnam.

Jim Pleasant was his roomate at Oregon State, was in my unit in RVN. He said Len took 2nd in the 1964 trials. He tells a funny story. Len got excused from the first two weeks of the ROTC summer camp to compete in the trials. He reports in, the sergeant is all over him,who do you think you are, etc? Len keeps his cool just says yes and no respectively. The sergeant then tells him I am going to run you ragged on a 5-mile run tomorrow morning. They go out and Len runs him into the ground. The sergeant says your in really good shape what have been doing the past two weeks? Len said I competed in the Olympic trials. The sergeant asks what sport? Len says wrestling. The sergeant says how did you do? Len said I took second. Jim said the sergeant became Len's best friend the rest of the camp.

 

I've seen Len several times since then. We both flew in the guard, he retired as a full colonel. He heads up the Oregon Chapter of the NWHOF. Probably the most modest guy you'd ever meet for how good he was. I told him how much I owed him. He said we were just two young guys who loved wrestling. When I mentioned that he had the highest pinning %. He said yeah i read that somewhere.

 

One day i let him lock up a nearside cradle which was his favorite pin hold. I have an extraordinarly strong neck. Not once did he get me on my back. He finally yelled in frustration i lead the nation in pins for two years and you just wrestled in high school and i can't get you on your back! He thought he had all the daylight out, but i had a strong enough neck to keep my chin far enough from my chest that i could get out of it. Believe that was the most success I had against him. Took him down once, stopped. He said why did you stop? I said I'm in shock I never got this far before.

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Two Oklahoma State stars of the early 1960s were mentioned in an earlier post -- Phil Kinyon and Joe James -- as among the stronger wrestlers in college history. Both were definitely physical specimens.

 

Here's an article I wrote about newly posted, complete film of the 1962 NCAAs, showing both Cowboys in action.

http://www.examiner.com/article/complet ... now-online

 

... and a photo album of some of the finalists, including Kinyon and James:

http://www.examiner.com/list/see-ten-ma ... b_articles

 

BTW, Kinyon was voted "Best Physique" in his junior and senior year at Stillwater High School, the same years he was an Oklahoma HS state champ. He was put together, even back then.

 

Mark

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How about guys that looked incredibly strong, that might not have been and guys that looked like they weren't, that most certainly were.

 

 

One of the best physiques in wrestling I remember was a Purdue wrestler from about 10 years ago, give or take named Dan Jankowski. The guy was ripped like no other, but never really seemed all that strong out on the mat. I believe he was a two time NCAA qualifier, but I don't think he won but maybe 1 match in both qualifications.

 

 

Then you have a guy like Chris Pendleton, who had virtually no definition at all, yet seemed to just pretzel anyone and everyone. Another example would be Jacob Volkman of Minnesota. I never thought he looked all that impressive, yet he'd easily get armbars on guys all the time.

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There are plenty of guys that "looked like Tarzan, wrestled like Jane", to steal a quote from a HS coach. The beach muscle look doesn't always translate into functional power. I never had trouble with the stocky, super muscular types. The long, athletic build always seemed to present more challenges.

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I found this an interesting topic. Port Robertson told me it was easier to coach guys with big arms. Some guys who looked great in a singlet didn't use their muscles. Others who didn't look imposing in warmups sure were imposing once the action started. I thought I'd add two new categories to this thread. First, list weight by weight who were the strongest guys to ever wrestle for your school. Second who were the strongest per each weight class that you ever saw in action or on film. I know the weight classes have changed over the year, so I've combined some create narrow ranges. Being a Sooner, here is my all-time strongest team.

 

115-118 - Chris Bollin - in freestyle he and Terry Brands had some real battles, Brands didn't out muscle him.

125-130 - Mickey Martin, Mickey for a small guy had one of the strongest grips. Bobby Douglas said he thought Mickey was going to break his wrist with just his grip.

133-136 - Wayne Martin, Mickey's dad was a 3-time champ an OW. I met him one time at Mickey's house. He was in his 60s then and still very strong

137-142 - Andre Metzger

147-150 - Tommy Evans, Wayne Wells and Bill Lam tell stories about him wresting each guy in the middle weights which included Greg Ruth and whipping all of them. I saw him work out every day in the spring of 1972 with Wayne Wells. Wayne wasn't overpowering him.

152-157 - Wayne Wells

158-165 - Greg Ruth based on what Wayne Wells and Len Kauffman told me about him. Jeff Callard was the strongest I ever saw in person.

174-177 - Danny Hodge

184 - Mark Schultz, I had to put Schultz at this weight class because he and Hodge were two of the all time strongest

190-197. Dan Chaid

Hwt. - Bill Kalkbrenner, he bearhugged Chris Taylor to his back and kept him there for about 1 minute until the 1st period ended. Phil Parker didn't call the fall, and Taylor pinned Bill in the 2nd period. Taylor came up to Bill at the Big 8 and said Mr. Kalkbrenner I was stuck!

 

I'll have to work on my all-time strongest team by weight class.

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About Wayne Wells -- We went to Japan on the first Athletes in Actions team (ever).

 

We spent the summer of 67 preparing for the trip.

 

One thing that I remember about Wells that impressed me was that if his opponent whizzered (sp) him, Wells would rise up go over the opponent's head / neck with his other arm, lock his hands and double double his opponent to the opponent's back. (I hope this makes sense -- I'm not real sure of the names of the moves any more. Maybe somebody else who saw him do this move could explain it better.)

 

I always wondered how he could do that -- and I don't think I ever saw anybody else do it against really good wrestlers.

 

I think he had sort of long arms -- but maybe more than that -- was just plain power / strength.

 

Wayne was a great guy. Haven't seen him since '68 when we won the NCAA's together. I assume he's still a lawyer in Oklahoma City?

 

Best -

 

DA

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Wayne was extremely strong in that position. His nickname while wrestling at OU was "double-double" Wells because he hit the move you described regularly. One day in practice Tommy Evans had Wayne Wells show a half nelson tight waist on me. He had me lay flat, put a half nelson then while on his knees pulled me off the mat, and squeezed his elbows together. He said this was more effective than trying to turn the wrestler while he was on the mat on his belly. I thought I had pretty strong forearns until I felt him squeeze his around me. He said this was actually better than the double-double. Of course he had a great duckunder and he'd finish with the double-double a lot.

 

Wayne retired from law practice this past year. He was instrumental behind the scene in getting a coaching change made at OU. He and I worked together drumming up support for the coaching change. He had a serous health problem about 4-5 years ago that almost killed him, some sort of a rare virus. He'd got some land northwest OKC that he works on, kind of a gentleman farmer/rancher I think. I think he was getting an ankle replacement, I think he said he's had his shoulder fixed. We usually set together when we are both at the same event. One thing about Wayne, people always knew where they stood with him.

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One thing that I remember about Wells that impressed me was that if his opponent whizzered (sp) him, Wells would rise up go over the opponent's head / neck with his other arm, lock his hands and double double his opponent to the opponent's back. (I hope this makes sense -- I'm not real sure of the names of the moves any more. Maybe somebody else who saw him do this move could explain it better.)

Is this the same as the Cobra that Johnny Thompson used to hit?

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You mean the snake, not the cobra. Sort of, but Johnny's snake was just a cement mixer. The double trouble, which is probably what he meant (not double double) is a 3/4 nelson - basically, the cement mixer with hands locked under the far armpit.

 

Actually Johnny's "Snake" was more of cowcatcher than it was a cement mixer. He wouldn't take you in a full circle like Rob Rohn did to Josh Lambrecht in the 2002 finals. Johnny would just cup you by the chin with his left hand and then shoot his right arm on through torking the ever lovin' hell outta your shoulder and whip you right over.

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You mean the snake, not the cobra. Sort of, but Johnny's snake was just a cement mixer. The double trouble, which is probably what he meant (not double double) is a 3/4 nelson - basically, the cement mixer with hands locked under the far armpit.

 

Actually Johnny's "Snake" was more of cowcatcher than it was a cement mixer. He wouldn't take you in a full circle like Rob Rohn did to Josh Lambrecht in the 2002 finals. Johnny would just cup you by the chin with his left hand and then shoot his right arm on through torking the ever lovin' hell outta your shoulder and whip you right over.

 

Depends on your terminology, I suppose. I was taught the name cement mixer by Cary Kolat (I think he still has a youtube video demonstrating the technique, which was one of his go-to moves in college), but he is not from the original Lehigh Valley area that I hear coined those terms. Cement job, maybe. The point is, underhook on one side, head on the other, and you turn him to his back (not roll to his back as in an alligator roll in freestyle).

 

Anyway, the double trouble is a 3/4 nelson, not a half of any kind, cement mixer, job, or whatever else with cement in front of it.

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Found Kolat's cement mixer video:

 

Very wortwhile view. His technique is right up there with the best of the best, in my opinion.

 

And not to digress too much, but as I write all this, as far as raw strength is concerned, I can't believe nobody has mentioned Cary Kolat. Pound for pound, he was incredibly strong, even as a kid in junior high. He could put up some monster lifts in the weight room. He had a perfect build for lifting: short legs, low hips, stocky, with wide shoulders.

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Long before Johnny Thompson, that move was known as the Front Head Chancer. When I was at OU, we called the Breece Special, because the 4 Breece brothers especially Steve would hit it.

 

I teach the front head chancer so that you drive the opponent in a circular motion while forcing his head downward. Wade Schalles would hit from a standing position and do a backwards sommersault. The cement mixer you are rolling underneath the opponent (can be standing or kneeling when you start) from the front head chancer position. You can also use the front headlock the same way, then change off so you go from over the arm to under the arm, which give you a half nelson. The front head chancer (snake, etc.) is just a standing half nelson from the front, because without changing your hold you wind up with the opponent on his back with a half nelson. Just a variety of ways to get to it.

 

I'll have to consider Cary Kolat at 133-137, I was thinking Tom Brands might be the strongest I saw. Shawn Charles the ASU coach reportedly benched over 300 while wrestling at 126.

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so who was the strongest......

 

smelling?

 

I don't know about college, but for Junior High it was a kid wrestling 145 pounds for Oolagah at the Skiatook Wrestling tournament in 1979. That guy smelled like boiled ****. Found out from his teammates that he always quit showering a few days before big wrestling tournaments.

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