The Best Who's Number One Matches Ever: Year-By-Year

The Best Who's Number One Matches Ever: Year-By-Year

Our favorite matches from the past eight years of Who's Number One.

Sep 8, 2021 by JD Rader
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Over the past eight years, the best of the best have put on a show. This year’s card is sure to bring the heat, but it's also worth appreciating our favorite matches from years past.

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Over the past eight years, the best of the best have put on a show. This year’s card is sure to bring the heat, but it's also worth appreciating our favorite matches from years past.

We went back and pulled the “best” match from each Who’s Number One event. Whether it be for the match itself, the stakes involved, or the athletes competing, all of these matches are worth rewatching.

2013: Jason Nolf vs Joey McKenna (138)

The best match from FloWrestling’s inaugural event. Jason Nolf, a two-time PA state champ at the time was putting his #1 spot on the line against Cadet World Team member and two-time Prep National champion Joey McKenna. McKenna got the first takedown, but the offensive from Nolf proved to be too much. 

WATCH MATCH HERE

2014: Larry Early vs Jo Smith (150)

One of WNO’s more heated rivalries, Larry Early and Jo Smith did not care for each other and truly wanted to win. While this was the third time the two had wrestled, it was the first time in folkstyle. Smith came out of the gate swinging, but Early proved too much in the end, and reminded everyone how many times he had beat Smith.

WATCH MATCH HERE

2015: Chad Red vs Luke Pletcher (132)
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High school turned college rivalry, this rubber match lived up to all the hype and then some. After Red defeated Taylor Lamont and Pletcher beat Yianni Diakomihalis, the two squared off in the Snake Pit. Another long 1-1 overtime match, but this wasn’t your basic 1-1 overtime match. It was constant attacks and scrambling from #1 Chad Red and #2 Luke Pletcher. Plus, per usual, an electric celebration from Red.

2016: Jordan Decatur vs Gavin Teasdale (120)

In the preview for this one, Kyle Bratke wrote, “Teasdale and Decatur are both known for being offensive dynamos, so we should be in for a high-scoring affair on October 2!” He wasn’t wrong. Plenty of offense from a variety of attacks. The credentials coming into this match were insane. Just entering his junior year, Teasdale was already a two-time Pennsylvania state champion, two-time Cadet World Team member, and coming off a Fargo title. Decatur was coming off a summer where he won his second Fargo title, and while Teasdale kept coming the entire match, Decatur’s gas tank held up.

WATCH MATCH HERE

2017: Kurt McHenry vs Malik Heinselman (113)
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A battle between two freestyle savants, Kurt McHenry was coming off his second-straight Cadet World title while Malik Heinselman had made three-straight age-level World Teams. The extremely undersized Kurt McHenry got up early, got thrown to his back, and then used a last second takedown to dethrone #1 Malik Heinselman. Who doesn’t love a buzzer beater?

2018: Alex Facundo vs Brevin Balmaceda (160)

#2 ranked Alex Facundo took a while to get going, but the Cadet World bronze medalist looked as good as ever in that third period. Very few can disappear on a duck like that against three-time Florida state champion and Super 32 champion Brevin Balmaceda. Lucky for all of us, we get to watch Facundo once again at Who’s #1 this year when he takes on Cael Valencia at 170 lbs.

WATCH MATCH HERE

2019: Shayne Van Ness vs Jesse Mendez (132)
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This was six minutes of incredibly high level and high paced wrestling. #1 Jesse Mendez came out looking like the clear #1 132-pounder in the country, but Shayne Van Ness wowed everyone with some of the slick stuff he was able to do. These two will once again in a four-man group at Who’s #1 this year. If Van Ness defeats Jordan Williams and Mendez gets past Joel Vandervere, we get to see these two run it back.

Bonus A - 2014: Mark Hall vs Anthony Valencia (170)

To quote The Wrestling Nomad from a previous article, “Come on, you think we'd do a WNO list and NOT include this match? It wasn't just for the #1 spot at 170, it was for the unofficial pound-for-pound crown in high school at the time. The year before, Valencia beat Hall at the Freak Show, and Hall wanted revenge.”

WATCH MATCH HERE

BONUS B - 2014: Nick Suriano vs Daton Fix (120)

Ah yes, the marathon match. 2014 really was a great year. With unlimited overtime, these two wrestled for over 30 minutes before Nick Suriano finally got a takedown. Although this rivalry followed the pair all the way to the NCAA finals and is still ongoing, at the time, the two were just a sophomore and junior. This match was a historical 30+ minute war. The rules have since changed and we will probably never see anything like this again at the high school level.

WATCH MATCH HERE


Don't miss a match like one of these while it goes down live. Make sure you tune in October 3rd for the 2020 edition of Who's #1.

2020 Who's #1 Card

138 Shayne Van Ness vs Jordan Williams

138: Joel Vandervere vs Jesse Mendez

182: Lenny Pinto vs Rylan Rogers

112: Sage Mortimer vs Mia Palumbo

126: Jordan Titus vs Dean Peterson

152: Victor Voinovich vs Jagger Condomitti

285: Kyonte Hamilton vs Chase Horne

220: Kyle Haas vs Nick Feldman

145: Cody Chittum vs Wyatt Henson

195: Seth Shumate vs Tate Picklo

73 kg: Kennedy Blades vs Amit Elor

132: Nic Bouzakis vs Ryan Crookham

160: Paddy Gallagher vs Travis Mastrogiovanni

120: Richie Figueroa vs Drake Ayala

170: Alex Facundo vs Cael Valencia

138: Van Ness/Williams vs Vandervere/Mendez