Top Five Controversies From World's

Top Five Controversies From World's

As we know, referees don't always make the right calls leaving all of us with something to talk about seconds, days, months and years later. Well this year's World Championships was no different. Check out our top five most contreversial moments of this year's tournament.


5. Metcalf Too Close For Comfort

In the round of 16, Brent Metcalf took on Katai Yeerlanbieke of China. Metcalf held a narrow lead throughout the bout after he scored a takedown when he was on the shot clock in the first period. A 2-2 exchange and shot clock violation on Metcalf brought the score to 4-3 in the waning seconds of the match.

With just seven second left on the clock, Yeerlanbieke flurried to a right side underhook and Metcalf was forced to turn away when Yeerlanbieke dug into double unders. Metcalf knew there was short time and fell into a quad pod position preventing the takedown. The controversy in the situation is that Metcalf originally hit his head as he was taken into the quad pod. Countless times we have seen the points confirmed when the head touches the mat.

The Chinese coach reluctantly threw in the challenge brick, and many thought the call would be reversed. But to the dismay of the Chinese coaches, it wasn’t overturned and Metcalf won, 5-3. Interpretations are not always in the rule book, but take a look for yourself and decide if the rule was applied correctly. The examples never address hands and head. I am going to assume that the review got it correct, but this rule should be clarified at all levels. However, lucky for you we did the digging and found the rule for you.

It states: (courtesy of the United World Wrestling Rulebook)

"To the wrestler who overcomes and then controls his opponent by passing behind (three points of contact: two arms and one knee or two knees and one arm or head)."

Also...

"To the wrestler who brings his opponent to the ground and passes behind him, and while in this position holding him down with control (three points of contact: two arms and one knee or two knees and one arm or the head)."


4. Robby Smith (USA) vs. Bilyal Makhov (RUS)
Robby Smith got things going at the end of the first period with a two-point body lock to fend off a match ending step out point. Smith got to another body lock shortly into the second period too. This is when the controversial exchange happened.

He attempted to go for a side headlock just after the takedown looking to turn the Russian for exposure. Makhov’s arms were intertwined with Smith’s legs and he ultimately climbed up the far hip to score a one-point reversal. The American fans believed Makhov should have been called for a leg foul in the exchange, but unfortunately, it didn't happen. Smith lost his challenge and surrendered an additional point for doing so.

The match ended 10-8 in Makhov’s favor so this ultimately could have been a four-point swing for Smith if the leg foul was called. That would have changed the complexion of the match and the final two minutes would have been drastically different, as well.


3. Phantom six points in Novachkov vs. Ramonov
Boris Novachkov was in a tight match with reigning World Champion Soslan Ramonov of Russia. Novachkov held criteria in the 3-3 match one minute into the second period then Ramonov pulled out of a two-on-one tie and attacked Novachkov with a high single. As the action moved to the edge of the mat, Ramonov stopped pressing forward and Novachkov seized the moment to elevate Ramonov to his back and score a 4-2 exchange as Ramonov came out on top with counter exposure.

Everything looked good until the Russians threw in the challenge brick. The review lasted a full three minutes, almost an unprecedented amount of time for a challenge that didn’t have any technical difficulties. It was a difficult exchange to score, but three minutes? The challenge was eventually won by Ramonov and they adjusted the score to, 9-5. That means they scored the initial four points for Ramonov, two point counter exposure for Novachkov, and two points for Ramonov to finish the sequence. That's hard to believe, but I could be on board with a 7-5 score in favor of Ramonov as he initially started the action and could have been awarded the four points.



Before action resumes they adjust the scoreboard to, 7-5, with 4:21 left and Novachkov trailing. Suddenly at 4:40 the score is returned to 9-5. Not only is it a terrible scoring of the situation, but it led Novachkov to believe he was only down by a takedown before the restart. When coach Mark Perry sees the scoring change he throws the challenge brick onto the mat. The brick was ignored and Novachkov scored a takedown to close the match to, 9-7.

When the takedown was secured, Novachkov looked at the scoreboard three times in sheer disbelief that he is still behind by a takedown. Ramonov still would have held the criteria advantage with a four-point maneuver, but you have to believe Novachkov’s tactics would have been different knowing he trailed by four and not two. Ramonov scored a late takedown to finish the match, 11-7, but it was a complete travesty.


2. Chamizo Benefits From Inconsistent Falls
There are not a lot of technical aspects to investigate here. The fall is a basic concept, but the timing has changed over the years and freestyle has different criteria than folkstyle, which most Americans are used to. The ambiguity in the language allows for open interpretation here. During the match it looked like Asgarov had Chamizo pinned. After rewatching the match, it's not so clear anymore.

Chamizo was on the winning end of both pin calls in very similar situations. In the flurry against Mohammadi he seemed to have Mohammadi pinned right away, but when the confirmation was asked for, it looked like Mohammadi clearly had his left shoulder off the mat.




1. Bonne Rodriguez (CUB) and Kumar (IND) vs. Lebedev (RUS)

In the second round, Bonne Rodriguez took on Lebedev in a highly anticipated match that fell short of fans expectations from start to finish. This controversy holds the number one spot for a variety of reasons, but the bottom line is that the mass confusion took place because of the subjectivity of the call and its inconsistent application.

Anyway, both guys were passive throughout, but Bonne Rodriguez, who is usually a pretty good counter wrestler when guys get to his legs, appeared to be the more aggressive one. However, the officials saw it the other way around and put him on the shot clock for a second time when he led the match 1-1 with criteria. This leads us into our controversial call.

Bonne Rodriguez chased Lebedev in the last ten seconds trailing, 2-1. The referee called him for a fleeing the hold, which is supposed to result in a caution and one-point that should have put Bonne Rodriguez in the lead, 2-2, with criteria. The judge did offer confirmation for the call, but it's not clear whether the referee saw it or not, so he did not stop the action.

Lebedev took a shot in the closing seconds and Bonne Rodriguez went for his flying cement job, but was unsuccessful. After a conference (that can be heard on the video), they confirm one-point for a correct hold for Bonne Rodriguez. The caution for fleeing the hold was never mentioned. You can’t see the caution held by the official or the confirmation from the judge in the video, but from where we were sitting it was clear that it was confirmed. But none of the mattered and Lebedev moved on to the next round with the win.

The very next round the controversy surrounding Lebedev continued, but the role was now reversed as Kumar held criteria against Lebedev in a 1-1 match. Lebedev chased Kumar as the clock hit 5:57. Then with just three seconds left in the bout, Kumar was called for fleeing the hold and dropped the match, 2-1.












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