2023 Final X - Newark

Final X Match-up: Kennedy Blades vs Adeline Gray

Final X Match-up: Kennedy Blades vs Adeline Gray

A preview of the match between Kennedy Blades and Adeline Gray at Final X on Saturday, June 10.

May 26, 2023 by Kyle Klingman
Final X Match-up: Kennedy Blades vs Adeline Gray

Final X, presented by Tezos, is Saturday, June 10 at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, and will be streamed LIVE on FloWrestling. Final X determines the 2023 U.S. Senior World teams in all three Olympic disciplines: men’s and women’s freestyle and Greco-Roman.

Below is a women’s freestyle preview of the 76-kilogram match between Kennedy Blades and Adeline Gray

Key Credentials

Kennedy Blades, 19
— 2023 US Open Champion (76 kg)
— 2023 Ibrahim Moustafa champion (76 kg)
— 2021 Jr. World Champion (72 kg)
— 2021 UWW Junior Nationals Champion (72 kg)
— 2020 Olympic Trials finalist (68 kg)
— 2019 Cadet World team (73 kg)
— 2019 UWW Cadet Nationals Champion (73 kg)
— 2019 Junior National champion (164 lbs)
— 2019 16U National champion (164 lbs)
— 2018 16U National champion (152 lbs)

Adeline Gray, 32
— 2021 World champion (76 kg)
— 2020 Olympic silver medalist (76 kg)
— 2019 World champion (76 kg)
— 2018 World champion (76 kg)
— 2016 Olympian (75 kg)
— 2015 World champion (75 kg)
— 2015 Pan-American Games champion (75 kg)
— 2014 World champion (75 kg)
— 2013 World bronze medalist (72 kg)
— 2012 World champion (67 kg)
— 2011 World bronze medalist (67 kg)

Match History

Blades leads the series, 1-0

2023 US Open finals: Blade over Gray, 12-2.

How They Reached Final X

Blades reached Final X by winning this year’s US Open. She entered as the two-seed and won by fall over Galilea Garcia (R16), 10-0 over Ashley Lekas (quarters), fall over Yelena Makoyed (semis), and 12-2 over Adeline Gray (finals).

Gray reached Final X by winning the World Team Trials Challenge Tournament. She entered as the one-seed and won by fall over Skylar Grote (quarters), 14-3 over Kylie Welker (semis), and 12-1 over Dymond Guilford (finals).

What Can You Expect?

How much can a wrestler improve in three weeks? By leaps and bounds if you’re Adeline Gray.

The six-time World champion looked vulnerable at this year’s US Open in late April, which was her first competition since winning the 2021 World Championships. The 32-year-old recently gave birth to twins and it was her return to the mat. 

Gray had a shocking semifinal win over Dymond Guilford where she fell behind 8-0 but earned three straight cautions for a victory by disqualification. She eventually fell to Blades, 12-2, in the finals. 

America’s most prolific winner silenced all doubters with her impressive performance at the World Team Trials. She pinned Skylar Grote, then teched Kylie Welker and Dymond Guilford. Most importantly, the leg lace was unleashed — one of the most potent offensive weapons in the world. 

That will be the story of this match. Blades can’t get turned if she wants to win this best-of-three series. Her takedown game is the best of anyone in the weight class — perhaps the world. 

The Sunkist Kids wrestling star has looked impressive this season. She defeated Welker in straight matches at the U20 World Team Trials, pinned Makoyed at the US Open, and has the win over Gray. And she won an international ranking tournament in February.

Gray and Blades are the last two standing in the uber-loaded 76-kilogram weight class that features five of the best wrestlers in the world.

This Final X series is one of those rare historical moments where a bright young superstar faces off against an established superstar. This should be one for the ages. 


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Kennedy Blades won the Ibraham Moustafa ranking tournament in February


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Adeline Gray dominated her match against Dymond Guilford in the World Team Trials finals

Final X is the Beat the Streets New York Benefit

It is the second straight year Final X will serve as the Beat the Streets New York Annual Benefit. This year’s event will be the 13th BTSNY Annual Benefit. These unique and electrifying annual events help BTSNY raise more than $1 million each year to support local youth wrestling programs which empower young people in New York City. The BTSNY Annual Benefit after-party will follow the conclusion of Final X. Benefit tickets and sponsorship packages (Final X plus exclusive after-party celebration access), that also provide the best wrestling-event seats, are available at give.btsny.org/beatthestreetsbenefit2023. For more information on ticket packages, email Katrin Pokalyukhin at katrin@btsny.org. Event-only tickets for Final X without access to the BTSNY after-party celebration are available on Ticketmaster.