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Wait, people don't like David Taylor because he flaps his arms or does the raise the roof thing? I mean, it's cool to root for KD or Burroughs if you're more partial to them, but to actually dislike DT seems like a real reach. Guilt by association perhaps? People are anti-Penn State, so they have to be anti DT? 

 

One of the most likable wrestlers on the planet. Good head on his shoulders, great family, big ears ... I mean, if the minor post-match antics make you dislike someone, try unbunching your britches. 

 

Just my two cents, which I know you didn't ask for. 

Your right, I think he's great off the mat, and yes Im a Penn-State hater so that doesn't help.  I also love the goonies but hate DT. hahaha

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Taylor looked awesome!  Just got done watching the match.  Sweet TD off whistle.  Loved locking up the cradle while on defense. Guy looks to score from all positions.  Tremendous.  Love watching him.  

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Taylor is a risk taker, can be careless as well as exciting. He has upside if he learns how to grind and improves his defense (when to take chances). I don't believe he will ever be the consistent winner that Burroughs is, simply because he does not have the explosive JD TD. But DT is creative and relentless so he will have his tournaments. I may be wrong but I don't see Dake with as much upside as DT. Dake's been ahead for a few year's but my opinion is that DT will break through and they will take turns winning soon. But both will have to wait for JB to slip a notch before either gets a chance at the top. The way Dake gets better is showing firepower on his feet, and not only the countering moves that he does as well as anyone right now. Don't know whether he is capable of improving at initiating TDs. We'll see.

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Jordan Burroughs may well get pinned by David Taylor. Last time they met Taylor had a couple of Cradles started, didn't he? If he can cinch things up a bit he has a solid Pin.

Yes, Burroughs stepped it up at the end and pulled it out but he can't count on that.

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Every year we excited after the BTS, and every year we wonder why we struggle at worlds. The reason is BTS is the offseason, and we're competing against foreigners who are just happy for a free trip. But at worlds, everyone comes prepared and ready to win. When our competition actually wants to win, we don't do as well. 

 

Right now our entire team is JB and Dlagnev. After that we don't have any medal contenders. Take a look:

 

57kg- Ramos is our best guy here but he got beaten by Bonne 14-1 at BTS and pinned at the World Cup. It's tough to expect a lot with results like that. You also have to wonder where Ramos's head is right now. He's the king in America, but if he steps out the country by 90 miles he seems to hit an impossible barrier. How does that alter his mental game? Will the skill and power of foreigners bring on a period of maturation like we've seen from Metcalf? I love Ramos, but maybe a change of strategy and mindset could help him. 

 

61kg- Humphrey is a beast in the US, but internationally he just hasn't been able to put it together. He's nearing 30 and it just doesn't seem like it's going to happen for him. I'll be rooting for him, but it's hard to say he's a favorite to medal. 

 

65kg- Metcalf, He's really grown on me. He was quite the stud in high school and came really close to having an undefeated season in college. But he had the Iowa mentality, and it turned me off. The Iowa style also didn't do him any favors technically, and at the senior level he seemed to be outgunned both offensively and defensive. He's really matured as a man and as a wrestler. He's come to understand who he is and what he can offer. He's much more respectful and humble, and wrestles within his physical abilities, so now I can truly say I am a fan. After getting things together, he had some marvelous results at tournaments and exhibitions. But when everything is on the line, he just doesn't seem to get it done. He's close to 30, and has only won one match at worlds. At some point you can't blame bad luck anymore. It is what it is. Pico is also nipping at his heels, and it could be affecting his confidence. When an 18 year old comes out and goes toe to toe with you, it's not something you can easily brush off. 

 

70kg- Marable. Very solid defensive wrestler who comes up with fantastic strategies. Unfortunately, you're going to also need fantastic offense to win a medal. I love Marable but I just don't see it happening. 

 

74kg- JB all day. I know some of you think we have a deep bench here, but we don't. First, let's look at Dake. Sure Dake beat Tsargush after Tsargush gave up. But that's nothing to bank on. Foster beat 2x world champ Aldatov, but then has trouble at home, and as far as I know has not won any major international tournaments.That's basically Dake's record so far. Dake is also coming off multiple injuries, so we don't even know if he's at top form. Now let's look at Taylor. Got teched by Tsargush twice, and hasn't won any major international tournaments. Nothing in his resume suggests he'd be a favorite to medal. I know Dake and Taylor did really well in college, but if NCAA titles won world medals, we'd be Russia. (We're not.) 

 

86kg- Herbert just got manhandled by Salas, who in turn got manhandled by Sadulaev. Meanwhile Ruth is already signing MMA contracts. 

 

96kg- Right now our top dog is a teenager - Snyder. I'm excited for his future. I think he could soon be one of our best guys and a world medalist. Unfortunately right now he's a step behind where he needs to be to medal. Hopefully he'll be there soon, but just not this year. Varner is an amazing champion, but he seems to have lost a step. I don't see Varner medaling this year either. 

 

125kg- Dlagnev. A true stud and a rare bright spot on the team. Always in the hunt for a medal. Our second best guy. 

Edited by Katie

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Jordan Burroughs may well get pinned by David Taylor. Last time they met Taylor had a couple of Cradles started, didn't he? If he can cinch things up a bit he has a solid Pin.

Yes, Burroughs stepped it up at the end and pulled it out but he can't count on that.

 

Last time they meet in WTT JB adjusted and did not get locked up in any cradles. JB will not get pinned by DT he does not fall in those positions. No matter this is JB year again for sure. JB can and will step it up at end that's what he does 103-2 for a reason

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We have heels, the thing is, a lot of those heel-types aren't exactly making World & Olympic teams. Take 74kg -- Burroughs, Taylor, Dake, Caldwell, Howe ... all are extremely likable people off the mat. Gracious to fans. I think while a "heel" makes good drama, we, as a sport, are in a situation where the good people are best served to carry the torch for the sport with the media -- guys like Burroughs and Taylor are great for marketability beyond our own fanbase, too!

It's too bad Ben Askren stopped wrestling. He would be the perfect heel - super good, a motor mouth and witty as hell. Man, I'd love to hate that guy. ;)

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It's too bad Ben Askren stopped wrestling. He would be the perfect heel - super good, a motor mouth and witty as hell. Man, I'd love to hate that guy. ;)

Askren was never going to win a world medal. Freestyle just doesn't suit his skill set and abilities. It's probably better that he went to MMA where he can gain some attention and some market for folkstyle techniques. Sadly for folkstyle fans, it's looking like he'll never fight in the UFC, where he would have the most exposure. 

Edited by Katie

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Jordan Burroughs may well get pinned by David Taylor. Last time they met Taylor had a couple of Cradles started, didn't he? If he can cinch things up a bit he has a solid Pin.

Yes, Burroughs stepped it up at the end and pulled it out but he can't count on that.

 

What exactly had Taylor done to show he could beat a 3x world champ in his prime?

Edited by Katie

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I'm generally with Katie when it comes to the USA team. I love the optimism around team USA and love the excitement as we need to cheer our guys on, but on any levels I care about USA men's freestyle is in a lull with few serious medal contenders and a team that gets significantly worse if any of those get injured. 

 

Regarding Taylor I am increasingly seeing him like a lower level grandmaster in chess. In college he was competing against masters. When a master plays a grandmaster the master has virtually no chance of winning. The grandmaster knows too much. Taylor was way ahead of everyone but Dake in college in terms of maturity, experience and technique. So he crushes everyone like a decent college wrestler who never won states can crush most HS state champs all day long. But now he's up against equals in maturity, experience and technique and isn't showing to be the competitor he needs to be.

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IDK, I think the Magicman is very dangerous in any given match. Yes, the BTS wins against Hasanov and Lopez were exhibition, and he hasn't beaten Tsargush, JB or Dake yet. But he did get Bronze at University Worlds where he lost only to Tsargush.and he beat Georgia 4-1, Greece tech fall, Iran pin, and Mongolia 10-3.

 

This Trials bracket is gonna be great,.and JB is not a lock. He still has to go on the mat and beat the best guy out of this field.

 

That said, I still have the Champ as the favorite, and I still think he's the best p4p in the world. 

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Taylor is a lot of fun to watch, but might not ever have the right formularto beat elite international talent (includng JB).  He may or may not start beating Dake, but I can't see his style ever allwoing him to consistently beat guys like JB and Tsargush.  I really really hope I am wrong as I am big fan of the guy, but need to keep it real.

Edited by Angry_Fish

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Who cares about who beat who. All that is in the past. Let's all sit back and let the three of them work it out at the trials. The three of them are great people and wrestler just support them in their best effort to win. Its easy for us to sit back and criticize them but let's support all of them and the one that wins the WTT's will represent our country. I think its a good problem to have, depth like in Russia they're deep at weights. Now we are having more depth so we are moving in the right direction. Quote Mark Shultz "if we paid our best wrestler's like Russia we would have more depth".

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I agree with Katie's assessment with our Senior team. However, I am hopefull that a couple of decent draws and home court advantage for this year's World's will translate into a couple of more medals for us this year. Let's just keep our fingers crossed.

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It is generally difficult to assess how someone from one country will do against the senior world elite just by looking at domestic results. DT is a perfect example.

 

When you wrestle and study someone a lot, which tends to happen most often within the same country, you learn to optimize your style and strategy for that opponent. DT benefits from wrestling JB more often than anyone else and I have to believe a significant portion of his training leading up to WTT or US nationals is focused on JB. No matter how good you are, if a very good wrestler (like DT) studies you enough, you will get a very tough match against him.

 

It is no surprise to me that JB's only two international losses came against a World champ (understandable) and against an inferior American, Marable (also understandable given what I just said).

 

Even John Smith near his peak has been know to have wrestled tight goes he would sometimes lose against Alan Fried, his training partner who saw and studied him every day.

 

Saying DT is a world threat because he is a threat to JB is therefore more wishful thinking than reality based on his world level track record. A stronger argument would be his performances at Beat the Streets where he has easily handled very impressive opponents. However, that argument also has limited merit given the low correlation between BTS performance and senior world performance.

 

The reason I root for JB over DT is simply because I think it'll be very hard for DT to get enough international experience to win at worlds, and that is mostly JB's fault. Since JB is at the top, he gets the most valuable experience to the detriment of guys like DT and Dake. Even if DT and Dake narrow the gap with JB, they are not necessarily narrowing the gap with the rest of the world elite.

 

As a fan of US wrestling, I'd love to see and upset with someone other than JB on top at WTTs. But as a guy rooting for USA versus the world, it's hard to root against someone as proven as JB to represent us.

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It is generally difficult to assess how someone from one country will do against the senior world elite just by looking at domestic results. DT is a perfect example.

When you wrestle and study someone a lot, which tends to happen most often within the same country, you learn to optimize your style and strategy for that opponent. DT benefits from wrestling JB more often than anyone else and I have to believe a significant portion of his training leading up to WTT or US nationals is focused on JB. No matter how good you are, if a very good wrestler (like DT) studies you enough, you will get a very tough match against him.

It is no surprise to me that JB's only two international losses came against a World champ (understandable) and against an inferior American, Marable (also understandable given what I just said).

Even John Smith near his peak has been know to have wrestled tight goes he would sometimes lose against Alan Fried, his training partner who saw and studied him every day.

Saying DT is a world threat because he is a threat to JB is therefore more wishful thinking than reality based on his world level track record. A stronger argument would be his performances at Beat the Streets where he has easily handled very impressive opponents. However, that argument also has limited merit given the low correlation between BTS performance and senior world performance.

The reason I root for JB over DT is simply because I think it'll be very hard for DT to get enough international experience to win at worlds, and that is mostly JB's fault. Since JB is at the top, he gets the most valuable experience to the detriment of guys like DT and Dake. Even if DT and Dake narrow the gap with JB, they are not necessarily narrowing the gap with the rest of the world elite.

As a fan of US wrestling, I'd love to see and upset with someone other than JB on top at WTTs. But as a guy rooting for USA versus the world, it's hard to root against someone as proven as JB to represent us.

Great points. I'm a huge JB fan and got world wrestling tickets just to watch him win it

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Taylor can get a lot of international experience without making a world team. There are examples of people who waited their turn for many years. Kenny Monday is my go to example. I think the very important point here is that we wouldn't want DT to just make the world team. We would want him to make the team and win the worlds. Right now it seems unlikely either would happen but even if he pulls a Marable and Bears JB it still seems unlikely he wins.

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Liván López Azcuy

 

Summer Olympics Bronze medal – third place 2012

London 66 kg

 

World Championships

 

Bronze medal – third place 2014 Tashkent 74 kg

 

Silver medal – second place 2013 Budapest 66 kg

 

Bronze medal – third place 2011 Istanbul 66 kg

 

Pan American Games

Gold medal – first place 2011 Guadalajara 66 kg

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Dude he just beat elite international talent. Lopez medaled at the last 4 worlds I think. There aren't too many Burroughs around, most world class wrestlers still drop matches.

 

He also got spanked badly and very recently at an official tournament. That match without weigh-ins that is a charitable exhibition does NOT trump the recent results, in my view.

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