We're live blogging Final X - Lincoln. What a time to be alive!
We had weigh-ins at 3:30, broadcast live at the Railyards, a lovely place to enjoy a beverage and the company of friends. Right now we are about 10 minutes or so from showtime and the Devaney Center is filling up.
Willie has his hot pink shirt on so you know we are ready to rock.
Folks, we got seven ridiculous bouts scheduled for tonight, all in best 2 out of 3 series.
A fantastic anthem and now the graphics. The most impressive pre-event graphics I've ever seen for wrestling, I must say.
Men's freestyle 70kg
James Green, Lincoln, NE (Titan Mercury WC/Nebraska WTC) vs Jason Chamberlain, Fresno, CA (Titan Mercury WC/Valley RTC)
1st period: And we're underway! Green being very aggressive with his ties. Chambo said at the press conference he wanted to control the pace so he's digging back in.
We have a passivity warning on Jason. Another passivity and Chambo goes on the clock first. He has 30 seconds to score. Jason can't get through Green's head and hands so Green gets the first point of the match. A couple half shots but mostly heavy handfighting as we go to the break.
2nd period: More fierce collar ties. Not a ton of action but both guys are working extremely hard. Less than 2 minutes to go. Chambo is once again put on the clock. He's got 30 more sections to score. He can't so it's 2-0 Green with 60 seconds to go.
Jason taking shots now, trying shrugs, Green defending well. Finally, Chambo has a leg up in the air but Green sprawls as time expires.
Green takes the first match 2-0. Perhaps an inauspicious start when there were no offensive points, but defense is what both wrestlers are known for, so not a big surprise either.
Yeah don't recognize either walk out song and Nomad is gone to do interviews should they be required this round so ON TO THE WRESTLING WE GO.
1st period: Green with a level change and gets in on a leg by the border. And a step out score in the first 30 seconds, so already we exceed the first match's offensive point total.
We're back in the center with collar ties and handfighting for the next 2 minutes. Shot by Chambo but Green is too quick and it goes nowhere. The first period ends with Green leading 1-0.
2nd period: More handfighting before a passive on Green. Both guys warned. 2 minutes remain. Chambo goes on the clock with about a minute to go. A big double for Chambo and he gets a caution and one on fleeing. It was after the shot clock expired though so it's 2-1 Green with 20 seconds left. Jason attacking furiously but Green fends everything off. Time expires and we have out first world team member! Jason Green will man the 70kg spot on Team USA for the fourth consecutive year with his 2-1 victory over an impressive Jason Chamberlain.
James leads the Devany Center with two GO BIG RED chants and we move on to the next match.
Women's freestyle 59kg
Alli Ragan, Colorado Springs, CO (Sunkist Kids/Hawkeye WC/OTC) vs Jenna Burkert, Colorado Springs, CO (U.S. Army WCAP)
Mr. Worldwide himself serenades us before our next match. I can feel the Devany Center is grooving to Pitbull.
Jenna runs out to 'Back in the NY Groove'. I didn't catch Ragan's song, I'll try to do better with these in the future.
1st period: They're scrapping early, going upper body and then fighting for collar ties. Now Jenna is in on a shot, switches to a double. Great defense by Alli and she sprawls and goes behind for 2 after freeing an arm. 2-0 Ragan.
A minute left in the first. We get a whistle for Alli's contact lens. Ragan goes right back into a russian tie. She's been working that all match. Shot from space by Burkert but blocked away. Another half shots by Jenna but nothing. Ragan leads 2-0.
2nd period: Alli cirlcling. Now Ragan drops down to a leg but Burkert slaps in a merkle. They blow it dead after a scramble. With about a minute to go Jenna shoots in, Alli sprawls and picks an ankle, she scores again on her countering ability. 4-0 Ragan. 30 to go now.
Jenna shoots head on but Alli catches her. Time runs out and Ragan will take the first match, 4-0.
1st period: No scores after a minute. Burkert goes on the shot clock with about a minute 30 on the clock. She can't solve Alli's defense and Ragan goes on the board first. Burkert goes headlock hiptoss but Ragan defends, then scrambles for 2 to make it 3-0 in Alli's favor. That's how they'll go to the break.
2nd period: Collar ties and handfighting until Burkert changes levels on a shot but it's Ragan that again counters and scores the points. It's 5-0 Ragan. 90 seconds to go. Down to a minute. 30 seconds. Armspin by Burkert is white paddled for a slip. Time runs out and we have our first women's freestyle national team member! The returning world silver medalist Alli Ragan wins 5-0 and will represent the USA in Budapest.
Men's freestyle 97kg
Kyle Snyder, Columbus, Ohio (Titan Mercury WC/Ohio RTC) vs Kyven Gadson, Ames, Iowa (Sunkist Kids/Cyclone RTC)
Snyder walks out to the 2001: A Space Oddesy theme song. Which is tremendous. Gadson comes out to a hip hop song that neither I nor Nomad recognizes (sorry we are not very cool).
1st period: Snyder, AKA Captain America, has an Iron Man singlet on, which is odd for anyone who's seen the Marvel movie 'Civil War. Gadson already has a gable wrap on his head.
Snyder snatches a single, works his way up and converts for 2. Righty hi crotch that Snyder finishes super clean and it's 4-0 with 30 seconds left in the 1st. A step out on a Snyder double makes its 5-0. Snyder works the head snap sweep single but Gadson eludes him. Time expires in the 1st and it's 5-0 at the break.
2nd period: Snyder catches a Gadson shot, then chases him around the mat looking to counter, finally picking an ankle and getting 2 more. Gadson looking for an opening but there is none on Snyder. Kyle looking to finish this match but Kyven is defending everything. A snatch single turns into a go behind after Gadson limp legs out of it. The chain wrestling is the difference. 9-0 Snyder, 30 seconds to go.
Snyder in on a shot, Gadson sprawls, almost gets a belly tilt but it's white paddled. And that's how the match ends. 9-0 for the reigning 97kg champ.
1st period: Gadson in quickly on a double and he blows Snyder off the mat. I mean literally off the mat! And stage! Snyder goes into the VIP seating! Quite the start to round 2! Gadson leads 2-0, now with about 90 seconds left in the first.
Folks, get ready for that highlight. I may have cursed, rather loudly, on press row. Snyder answers though, getting two after avoiding a head pinch counter by Gadson. Snyder leads by criteria, 2-2 at the break.
2nd period: Snyder on the reattacks gets two more and it's 4-2. Snyder ankle picks, Gadson steps out of it but Snyder chases him down for another TD. It's 6-2 Snyder. 1 minute left in the match. Snyder drops to a single, Gadson tries another head pinch but instead, Snyder will be awarded two on the edge and it's 8-2. Kyven digging deep at the end of the match but Synder gets two more to make it a 10-2 victory, and Kyle Snyder is going to try and make it back-to-back-to-back-to-back 97kg championships!
Women's freestyle 55kg
Becka Leathers, Choctaw, OK (Titan Mercury WC) vs Jacarra Winchester, Colorado Springs, CO (Titan Mercury WC/OTC)
Becka comes out A hip-hop song I don't recognize and Nomad isn't helping me out either. Normally I count on him for these things. He's young and stays up with the trends. Jacarra comes out to Kanye, that I can tell. The 21st Century thing. OK moving on!
1st period: Single leg early from Leathers, she converts for 2. Winchester answers right back, chains a shrug with an inside trip to get four, then a high gut for 2 more. Now it's 6-2 Winchester. Leathers comes storming back with a double and eventually 2 more. Cuts the lead to 2. 6-4 Winchester right now. Elbow post high crotch for Leathers but that's defended and Winchester goes back with a thigh pull and almost catches Becka for 4 but it's a mere 2.
And we've got our highest scoring match of the night and it's only the first period. Winchester up 8-4 at the break.
2nd period: Leathers, a defending world silver medalist, now looking for a big move to come back. Winchester though with a slick duck under and extends her lead to 6 .10-4 Jacarra.
1 minute to left and Winchester has an answer for everything Leathers is throwing at her. Another Double leg goes nowhere for Becka. Leathers in deep now but only 12 seconds to go. She converts that final attack but its 5 seconds to go and that's it. Winchester takes match one 10-6.
1st period: Leathers in deep on a double but a ferocious cross face and some heavy hips by Winchester keeps points off the board. A sweep single attempt by Leathers but Winchester makes her leg dissapear before Leathers can get to it. Jacarra gets put on the shot clock with a little over a minute left in the first. Leathers' attacks keep Winchester on her toes and Becka scores first with the shot clock point.
Winchester picks and ankle and runs Leathers to the mat for two. She takes a 2-1 lead into the break as Lil Jon says OKAY over the Devaney Center speakers.
2nd period: Another double leg shot by Leathers but Winchester's hips are a brick wall and it's still 2-1 in favor of Jacarra. Leathers on the edge and Winchester takes the easy point with a step out. 3-1 Jacarra. One minute left. Snap-down and Winchester is trying to score in short offense. A mean throw by and go behind and Winchester has a 5-1 lead with 38 seconds to go. Winchester getting the better of Leathers physically in both matches. Leathers throwing everything at Winchester but to no avail, Jacarra Winchester makes her first senior women's freestyle world team with a dominant 5-1 score in the second match!
Men's freestyle 57kg
Thomas Gilman, Iowa City, Iowa (Titan Mercury WC/Hawkeye WC) vs Daton Fix, Sand Springs, OK (Titan Mercury WC/Cowboy WC)
Here's what amounts to our co-main event. This is Jordan Burrough's house but there are a lot of Iowa folks here for Gilman and plenty others for Fix.
Thomas runs out to whoever does the song about owing their soul to the company store. Which I think is delightful. Daton stumps be and Nomad again. Somersault and leap from Daton, shake hands and we're on.
1st period: A minute of feeling each other out. Heavy hands from Gilman (obviously). Some dropping to a knee from Fix. Collar ties. Both guys now with passivity warning. Gilman goes on the clock. Doesn't like his opportunities and gives up the point without a committed shot. 30 seconds to go in the first. And Gilman has a cobra like low double ankle pick for 2. He's on the board first but Fix gets an exposure has he reverses Gilman and ties it up. We go to the break tied 3-2, Fix in the lead.
2nd period: Gilman gets a body lock and is pushing Fix to the edge. Fix drops down into a whizzer and they go out of bounds but it's grounded. Now Fix gets put on the clock. Gilman keeps the pressure on and Fix can't get by his head and hands. It's 3-3 now, Thomas with criteria. 1 minute to go.
Gilman, still pressuring, throws an arm in the crotch looking to maybe metzger but gets a pushout. Fix attacking late but Gilman counters and scores at the buzzer. Gilman takes it 6-3.
1st period: Fix on a single quickly but Gilman now has him in a front headlock. They wrestle out of it to neutral, no score. Underhook from Gilman and he's looking for that far ankle. He'll settle for a step out and the first point of the match. He leads 1-0 with 90 seconds left in the first.
A straight-ahead shot by Fix but it's blocked by Gilman. Fix's corner want a passive call but he doesn't get one. Gilman takes a 1-0 lead into the break.
2nd period: Three more minutes on the clock. Single leg by Gilman. Fix trying to cut the corner and sink in a crotch lock. A long scramble but nothing. It's blown dead. Fix with another shot, Gilman counters and runs Fix out of bounds for one more. It's 2-0 Gilman with 90 seconds remaining.
Gilman put on the clock with a little over a minute left. Fix waits it out and gets a point. Any score will give Fix the lead. Gilman stays tough though and gets the 2-1 win! Gilman makes his second straight world team and will try to get the gold after placing silver last year.
Women's freestyle 68 kg
Tamyra Stock, Colorado Springs, CO (Titan Mercury WC/OTC) vs Randi Beltz, Colorado Springs, CO (U.S. Army WCAP)
I don't know Tamyra's song but it's pretty rad. I'm hearing hints of nu-metal. Randi's got Fall Out Boy the Remember Me one. Nice. Classic.
1st period: Stock immediately in on a single off the whistle and laces for 2 more. It's 4-0 Stock. Make that 6-0, it was 2 rotations with the leglace. Beltz now slowing down the action. Beltz looking to score on short offense but it's Stock that comes out on top to make it 8-0. A double in short time and it's a tech fall, 10-0 for Tamyra Stock.
1st period: Double leg from Tamyra off the whistle makes it 2-0. Leg lace out of bounds and it's 4-0. Another takedown and turn and it's 8-0. Another takedown and it's a second straight dominant win for Stock! She's going to Budapest!
Men's freestyle 74 kg
Jordan Burroughs, Lincoln, NE (Sunkist Kids/Nebraska WTC) vs Isaiah Martinez, Leemore, CA (Titan Mercury WC/Illini RTC)
Our final match one of the evening. Jordan comes out to the Champ is Here, which, as I have been informed, is what he's been doing for a while. IMar coming out to Sweet Dreams by the Eurthymics is an absolute baller move that I salute.
1st period: IMar with the Gable wrap on, about 4 inches thick. Both guys leaning in but Burroughs gets put on the clock early. Off the restart JB gets a single immediately, trying to finish but will settle for the step out for one. Imar with a single leg but Burroughs stands him back on. Underhook pressure from IMar gives a step out point and the underdog takes the lead on criteria. Burroughs with a lightning-quick single and settles again for one. Actually, that was a caution for fleeing on IMar so he picks up a caution and the score is the same, 2-1. We go to the break with that score in favor of Burroughs.
2nd period: A couple GO BIG RED chants during the towel down and Burroughs comes out swinging, picking up yet another step out. A fake shot from IMar makes JB sprawl heavy on the mat but no harm done. Arm drag almost lands for IMar but Burroughs somehow recovers. IMar throwing everything at him but Burroughs able to counter, and almost gets another step out but it's white paddled as grounded action.
One minute to go, still 3-1 JB. IMar deked into a sprawl and Jordan times his reattack perfectly and gets another step out. Burroughs too fast for IMar who is looking exhausted with 30 seconds to go. Incredible athleticism from Burroughs and amazing effort by IMar leaving it all out on the mat but the champ takes the first match 4-1.
1st period: It's either our last match of the evening or our penultimate match. IMar is going to try to take it to a third and final match, Burroughs looking to end it right here.
IMar underhook and he charges ahead, running JB out of bounds and gaining a slim 1-0 lead in the first 15 seconds. Snapdown and double attack for Burroughs but IMar nimbly defends. A deke and insane low single ankle pick gives JB the lead. Burroughs transitioned right into a lace and got 2 turns to make it 6-1 just like that. The crowd is on their feet in the Devaney Center.
IMar once again battling with Burroughs and is right there with him and they go to the break still 6-1 Burroughs.
2nd period: More intense battling but it's Burroughs who, by keeping IMar off balance, gets a step out and its 7-1. Counters and reattacks gives Burroughs another TD to run it to 9-1. IMar digging deep to keep going. Another reattack has Burroughs slamming Martinez to the mat and going behind for the tech fall. Jordan Burroughs makes his eighth straight world team at home in Lincoln with a 11-1 tech fall. Jordan Burroughs will try to defend his title this fall!
That does it for the first ever Final X, here in lovely Lincoln, Nebraska. The Husker fnas showed up once again and the action on the mat was steller. Thanks for reading, apologies for the typos and see you in State College!