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Yesterday on FRL, the Gorilla Hulk announced that he is officially hanging up the shoes and stepping away from the sport of wrestling as an athlete.
Being a fan of hard hand fighting and a good hard plant through the mat finish, I loved watching Molinaro compete.
Frank Molinaro is a four-time NCAA All-American, national champion, Olympian, and competed on the Senior-level circuit for six years, so he’s had more than his fair share of high-level matches. Here are five of my favorites.
2017 US Open vs Jimmy Kennedy
Molinaro advances to the 2017 US Open finals by taking out Jimmy Kennedy and “shaking the South Point Arena” with an iconic Molinaro feet-to-back plant in the process. Molinaro actually referenced the double leg in this match as one of his favorite moves that he’s hit in his wrestling career on yesterday’s FRL.
2014 World Team Trials vs Reece Humphrey
Down with 20 seconds to go against Reece Humphrey at the 2014 World Team Trials, Gorilla Hulk transforms into a honey badger, goes absolutely crazy, and picks up a huge head pinch four-pointer for the win.
In addition to an awesome match, Frank’s celebration gave us this iconic photo from Tony Rotundo.
2016 World Cup vs Sayed Ahmad Mohammadi
Another late comeback win for Molinaro. This time over 2014 World silver and 2015 World bronze Sayed Ahmad Mohammadi of Iran at the 2016 World Cup. With this match being on US soil, the entire crowd (including CP and Bader on the call) really get into it.
2016 World Cup vs Magomed Muslimov
We’re going to stay at the 2016 World Cup for match #4. Remember when I said I was a fan of hand fighting? Well, this match has plenty of it, plus a little extra as things got a little chippy with Magomed Muslimov of Azerbaijan.
2016 Olympic Team Trials vs Aaron Pico
The match to make the Olympic Team. You knew it had to make the list. So much was on the line here after going through two-time NCAA champion Kellen Russel, two-time NCAA champion Brent Metcalf, four-time NCAA champion Logan Stieber, and falling in the first match to 19-year-old phenom Aaron Pico, Frank Molinaro got it done with a textbook four-point head pinch.
Honorable mention: 2012 University World Team Trials vs Kevin LeValley
Back in the three-period days, Molinaro used possibly his hardest and best high-C/double finish to beat Kevin LeValley at the 2012 University World Team Trials.
Extra Bonus: If I could have found video for this match it would have made it into the top five, but remember when the Ukrainian bit Frank at the Olympics and then Frank beat him to make the bronze medal match?
Om nom nom nom pic.twitter.com/WqddDnN9WB— Andrew 🐯 Spey (@SpeyWrestle) August 21, 2016
Yeah, that was awesome.