He came up just short at the greco trials this year, falling 2-0 to two-time Olympian Ben Provisor in the finals.
Well, if he can't make the team in greco, might as well try his hand as freestyle, right?
Last weekend he competed in freestyle wrestling for the first since 2012 when he wrestled in the Canada Cup. Last time he grabbed a leg was at Midlands in 2014.
It was not his leg grabbing that was impressive, rather it was his nasty head pinch!
Joe Rau cruised through the field in freestyle at the Last Chance Qualifier at 86kg, going 4-0 on the day, picking up two pins and two tech falls.
In his semis against Quinton Godley and in the finals against Vic Avery, Rau locked up tight head pinches where he was able to control the entire body of his opponents and rag doll them around the mat like rubber chickens.
He now gets his opportunity to enter the Freestyle World Team Trials on June 10, in Lincoln, NE for a chance to make the World Team. This will be a big test for the greco veteran as David Taylor will enter as the favorite to win the mini tournament to earn the right to wrestle J'den Cox in a best-of-three series to make the World Team.
While Rau is a long shot to win the mini tournament, much less beat Cox, it will be a lot of fun to see him test himself in freestyle. I, for one, am curious to see if he will be able to get his arms around someone else's head and pinch them all over the mat like he was able to do last weekend.