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jmachinder

World Cup thoughts

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Very fun time at the forum this weekend. Lots of notes and observations after being on the floor for two days and interviewing a lot of the athletes and some of the coaches.  

--Tony Ramos is a smart wrestler.  His style always seemed well-suited to freestyle and I think he's made some serious adjustments in under a year.  He's not remotely done improving and seems very hungry.  

--Coleman Scott just didn't seem in shape.  Had some good ideas while wrestling.  Conditioning just not there. Provided the weight isn't too much of a struggle, I think he'll get there.

--Metcalf is so solid now.  He seems less prone to making mistakes early and then needing to mount a comeback.  I really think he would have medaled last year if he didn't get injured in the second round.  The transition to being a complete senior level freestyler isn't an easy one.  I think Metcalf has completed that journey.  

--Marable needs to find a few more attacks.  He does a lot of good things and is active.  Just seems a few takedowns shy of the full arsenal you need to be successful at this level.  

--Burroughs is in his prime.  Looked better this weekend at the World Cup than last year.  His personality is so well suited to help promote the sport, too.  Total class act.

--Can't figure out just how talented Ed Ruth is and what his potential is.  Makes some mistakes, but his offense is pretty relentless.  I think Zeke working with him is a good fit.  

--Varner is not in top form.  He's definitely heading in the right direction.  Just doesn't quite have his attacks as dynamic as they were in 2012.  I do think he can get there though.  

--Dlagnev is there.  He's just injured.  Hope he gets better.  His consistency is not luck.  Like Metcalf, he's not a folkstyler in freestyler's clothes.  Hope he gets healthy.  

 

Lots of young guys drilling with the senior level athletes.  Yeah Pico was on the roster, but I also saw Kyle Snider, McKenna, Mark Hall ,etc.  USAW doing a great job getting our younger guys to mix it up with our senior level athletes.  For the second year in a row, our junior world team should be very strong.  It would be great to beat Iran at the Junior level.  They are really phenomenal right now.  

 

Reza Yazdani looked very out of shape against Sharipov. It was no surprise that they sat him against Varner.  

Asgarov looked half-interested in his match with Iran.  He was listed as a 70KG entry, so I was surprised to see him at 65KG

Kasumov is dangerous.  And from risky positions.  Belonovskiy is quite good as well.  I know they are not Russia's number one guys right now, but I wouldn't be surprised if they were later.

Iran fights with a lot of heart.  And they are mostly in better shape than they have been in the past.  I can't help but think of Kolat's 1997 world finals loss to Kenari and how dated it seems in terms of the endurance of the Iranian wrestlers.  

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What a great weekend of watching wrestling.  I sat through the entire event, watching Mat A most of the time.  

 

My observations:

 

1)  Show the team score of the matches!!!! This is a team event and the team score was not displayed. Show classification points also.  Buy a couple of more screens if needed.  I think I paid enough in parking to help that cause. 

 

2)  Where are all these Iranians from?  LA?  How do they get more fans than the US? 

 

3)  The match criteria in the program was incorrect.  Everyone in my area thought we needed a pin from Tervel to beat Russia. 

 

4)  Why blast music the whole event?  I couldn't hear the announcer at all most of the time.  

 

5)  If you are going to stall,  do it in the first period.  Seems like if you get the shot clock in the first half, the other guy gets it in the second regardless of action.

 

6)  I can't hear out of one ear due to some Iranian dude blowing a horn in it.  

 

7)  The refs stop the action way too much.  10 seconds, whistle,  10 seconds, whistle.  No no no no no can't do that.  Then the wrestlers do it again.  

 

8)  USA looked tough.  Seems like many of the other teams spend more time on upper body moves than we do.  

 

9)  That arch thing with the smoke was kind of a waste.  Couldn't understand the announcer and most guys didn't seem to want to run through it.  

 

Some thoughts on the final match

 

Ramos looked tough.    I thought he should have had more points on the questionable exchange.  

Scott:   Looked great for a while.  Day 2 was much better than day 1.   One good sprawl away from winning the meet for us.  

Metcalf:  Great 2 days of wrestling.  65 KG is very competitive.  Would love to see him medal this year.

Marable:  Strong and great defense. One tripod finish away from winning the meet for us. 

Burroughs:  The greatest US athlete in any sport right now.  

Foster:  Wrestled a wrecking ball.  

Varner:   Unleashed the beast with 5 seconds to go.  Great win.  

Rey:  Very tough, but we should have went with Tervel.  He was looking very good and deserved the shot to win it for us.  

 

 

Overall a great event.  I thought that the action was good and in general, the teams were exciting to watch.  

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As usual the US looks great in an event that doesn't mean much...it will be a different story at Worlds this year (but the same old story for the US).  

 

JB looks like he is primed to regain his place at the top of the podium, but getting past Tsargush will be no easy challenge.  They both look like they are at the top of their games.

 

Metcalf, I want him to get a medal, but in all reality he has not shown he can do it when it counts.

 

Ramos looks tough, but this is pretty much an exhibition for the other teams, not really sure what he will look like when it counts, but he could get on the podium.

 

Ruth, couldn't tell from this past weekend, probably not a chance to medal though. His defense is not where it needs to be. I would have liked to seen him against Iran if he were healthy...what happened to him in is loss? Is it serious.

 

Tervel injured also?  That was the word on why they didn't wrestle him when they really needed him most.

Edited by wiedsworld

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Despite the first loss by Ramos, he put himself on the map, His match against Rahimi was a barnburner.  He pushed the pace and was frustrating the multi time world medalist, loved the Iranian's hissy fit at the end of the match.  Ramos should have had exposure points and won the challenge in the first period.       I think he is improving exponentially and may just be in the mix in 2016.  

 

 

FILA is a dog and pony show.  What is the deal with the Ref always holding up the start of the match,   Directing stuff going on off the mat. One ref held up a match to move Mark Hall a couple spots to the left.  I didn't see Hall blocking anything.     

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The World Cup was fantastic. I was there all Saturday, and for half of Sunday (I missed the early portion on Sunday). 

 

The atmosphere was excellent and the wrestling overall was great. If you there's a chance you can attend the event next year, make it happen. It will be back in LA next June. 

 

Here's my quick thoughts:

 

If we can put a man on the moon, we can put up the running score of a dual in an arena. This is a no-brainer. 

 

If this weekend was any indication, the strategy to work the refs in a potential close, low-scoring match is to be a little passive in the first period, let the other guy potentially get a passivity point, the count on the ref giving you a chance to get a passivity point in the second period. I don't recall one match where the same guy was put on the passivity clock twice and the advantage goes to the person who scores last. 

 

The scoreboard had errors far too often. A couple of times over the weekend there was a sequence, the ref indicated the score, the scoreboard put up the wrong score, a challenge brick was thrown when the coaches saw the wrong score go up, then the score was corrected and the coaches had to yell at the ref to get the brick back because there was nothing to challenge once the scoreboard figured it out. This type of thing should be very rare, not commonplace, at a world level event. 

 

The volume of the announcer needed to be louder. It was hard to hear him much of the time. 

 

The Iranian fans are awesome but I wouldn't want to be seated right next to them. Haha. 

 

There is something magical about nations competing in a dual format. It really keeps sustained tension in the air for a long time which is part of what makes sports so great.

 

I was really impressed with Ramos. I loved his passion and thought he wrestled really well, all things considered, and definitely not at his peak. 

 

Coleman Scott gassed in every match I saw (I only missed Mongolia). He had some really solid moments, but couldn't compete for the duration against athletes with superior conditioning. If he doesn't fix the lung issue, he's going to continue to have a hard time. 

 

Metcalf is a stud. He wrestled great. I thought he put in the second best American performance. 

 

I really liked the way Marable looked but he was outclassed in some matches. In the finals against Iran, he looked to be the physically stronger wrestler, but it was the Iranian who controlled the mat. This surprised me. His Iranian opponent Yadzani was one of my favorite non-American wrestlers to watch over the weekend. The guy is a stud. 

 

Burroughs continues to be awesome. Every moment watching him is a gift. IMO, he put in the best American performance.

 

Ruth needs to not put himself in so many bad positions. I loved his aggressiveness, but he needs to work on his technique. In the match against Russia, I thought he could have bailed out when he was on his butt to prevent going to his back (where he got pinned) but maybe his shoulder (which appeared to be hurt afterwards) presented him from bailing out. If he can progress his technique and positioning, I think he has what it takes to be very competitive internationally.

 

I only saw Forster against Iran. So I haw him get a nice takedown then get hit with the same move until he was teched. 

 

Varner isn't in gold medal form at the moment. He has more to give than he showed this weekend. The good news is, it's not August 2016 and he has time to get back into form. He pulled out an awesome takedown to beat Iran in the closing seconds and looked pretty fired up afterwards. Hopefully he can keep that kind of fire. 

 

I thought Rey wrestled good and was just beaten by slightly better opponents.

 

I thought Dlagnev looked great, but I only say his match against Russia. 

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What did the program say the criteria was?  The classification points were announced at the end of every bout in the final, but not before.  

Dlagnev didn't know he had to shut out his opponent until the 30 second break.  

 

I think Metcalf could have medaled last year.  He won't talk much about his injury in the second round, but it was a serious factor.  Metcalf really isn't making the errors he was 3-4 years ago.  

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I see alot of progress in this team from when Iran dominated us in the train station in New York City a couple years ago

 

That whole match was like Marable's, the Iranians owned the center of the mat, the ties, etc

 

So outside of Marable , I think we were much more physical controlling the mat this time.

 

This USA roster is really good. We are getting to the point where we have horses up and down the lineup with medal contenders. And if they don't medal, they will fight and make the opponent work for it. That's what I see in a kid like Ramos. He may not be the most talented on our roster, but man, he wrestles smart and tough and makes the opponent beat him. 

 

The only two weak spots I see are Scott and Ruth weights. Scott said in his postgame presser he was feeling fine physically after getting dominated twice in one day that it was just mental. So that tells me it wasn't all getting gassed. This was the weakest weight for us.

 

Ruth has the potential but I'm not sure he will ever be able to feel this international style. The international style you have to feel their position and not be over aggressive when these tactitions that are just coiled up in a defensive stance waiting for you so they can counter. I am not sure Ruth can improve on this through coaching, it's him who has to feel them out, which makes it a difficult improvement. 

 

At the same time I'd rather see Ruth than Clayton Foster any-day of the week. That was horrible.

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Yeah. Didn't Iran used to be known for lack of conditioning?

 

Not now.

 

and particularly stacked and jacked. There are ways to augment reasonably hard work.

It's just when things change from top to bottom, if begs for some reasoning.

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Everyone watch Iran vs Azerbayjan. 61,65 and 70 are instant classics with an insanely high pace, gorgeous technique and intense physicality. Seriously, watch them now.

 

That Yazdanichara is something else. Such a crazy awkward but somehow it works. Here he literally slips under the Azeri and bucks him off like a horse for the winning score.

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Everyone watch Iran vs Azerbayjan. 61,65 and 70 are instant classics with an insanely high pace, gorgeous technique and intense physicality. Seriously, watch them now.

 

That Yazdanichara is something else. Such a crazy awkward but somehow it works. Here he literally slips under the Azeri and bucks him off like a horse for the winning score.

I think we need to give UWW credit for introducing the right rule changes. Now if only the NCAA would follow suit.

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fila gets credit for absolutely squat.  They f-ed up the rules so bad in the first place they are barely getting back to something watchable.  A tech fall is only a 5 takedown or turn advantage.  A takedown should only be worth 1.  A push or step out should be nothing.  A takedown going out of bounds should still count.  Turns should either be exposure for 2 or hand to hand for 1.  High amplitude needs to be 5 point or 5 plus 1 for lift.  Catch the pattern?  Those are the old old rules.  Not the 2 out of 3 crap with sac grabs.

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Seems like matches are more fun now then with the old old rules, in the 90s anyway. But it's a matter of opinion and I don't feel like getting into a big argument about it. Hope you enjoyed the wrestling even if you don't like the current rules.

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Back to a pool system or a double elimination line draw that includes first round losses.  Hold events over a full 3 days per weight with stagger starts to allow adequate rest between matches.  Shot clock is stupid but tolerable but refs won't put the same wrestler twice on the clock.  Sudden death OT as opposed to criteria.  Passivity is ok and worked in the 90's.  In essence I want 1992 rules with the exceptions of double dq.  I will tolerate the push out but it is a bull**** rule.  If I wanted to watch sumo, I will watch sumo.

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Burroughs and Metcalf are apparently individual champions. Anyone know the others? It gets tricky because the best guy might not wrestle all the matches. I assume they add up classification pts to determine a winner.

 

My guesses: 57- The Cuban? Probably scored more classification pts than Rahimi with his pin 61- Iranian? Huge win over Aliyev 65- Brentcalf 70- Yazdanichari 74- JB 86- who wrestled more matches? I think Dauren from Russia and Jojar from Iran were both undefeated. Fwiw Salas withdrew after the Ruth match. 97- Sharifov 125- no idea. Lots of teams splitting matches. Dlagnev has 2 techs so 8 class points, anyone beat that?

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current rules are great. also criteria + stepout = action at the end of matches.

Agreed...BUT I don't like the matches ending in a tie going to last one who scores wins. No Overtime at all?  Even in duals and placement matches. In the early rounds of a big tournament, it would keep wrestlers fresh. BUT in a dual, give us one minute of OT. I'm all about action, but not one person wrestling desperate.  that only results in sloppy takedowns.  I would like to see top men get about 10 more seconds to do something as well, but with the techfall scores so low, that might ends matched too fast.

 

I propose 15 point techfalls; I propose a one minute OT in duals and placement matches; I propose about 5-10 more seconds on top for exposure.  Those are my biggest things. Everything else is pretty sweet right now.  

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