Cincinnati is known as the Queen City, and this weekend it will reign supreme over the wrestling world as it plays host to the inaugural RTC Cup presented by Titan Mercury. With six of the nation's best RTC's squaring off for a big payday, we are sure to get fire dual after fire dual, but these six potential matchups stand out from the rest.
65kg - Anthony Echemendia vs James Green (2 PM ET)
We got a better idea of where Echemendia stands when he fell to Evan Henderson a few weeks ago, but I'm still excited to see him against one of the top guys in the U.S. It will also be interesting to see how James Green looks down at 65kg (plus 3kg) before he enters the 150 lbs 8-man bracket in a few weeks in Austin, Texas.
Green talks about making 150 lbs.
65kg - Anthony Echemendia vs Yianni Diakomihalis (3 PM ET)
Before Henderson knocked off Echemendia on the Burroughs-Zahid card, this was one of the hypothetical matches we got asked most about when requesting FRL questions on social media. Yianni is definitely the favorite, but I believe that Echesmendia will be game enough to create some exchanges that will blow our minds.
Watch Echemendia talk about how big of a fan of Yianni he is back in September.
65kg - Yianni Diakomihalis vs James Green (4 PM ET)
This one is not only one of the most anticipated matches of the day, but it might be the biggest one of the weekend. Yianni has beaten the best the United States has to offer (Retherford, Molinaro, Oliver, etc), but this would arguably be his biggest domestic test to date. Green is a two-time world medalist, has made five world teams, and was in the 2017 World finals. While Green won't be shocked by anything he sees, Yianni's unique style and scrambling ability give the best wrestlers in the world trouble.
Watch Green talk about a practice match he had with Yianni.
125kg - Mason Parris vs Gable Steveson (6 PM ET)
We waited all NCAA season long to see this one, and when we finally saw it in the Big Ten finals, it didn't disappoint. It was the last match both guys wrestled before the COVID-19 shutdown, and when the dust finally settled, there were 14 points on the board, and it was Gable Steveson coming out on top 8-6 with three takedowns compared to just one for Parris. Despite the takedown disparity, there were some incredible exchanges, and Parris showed he belongs on the same level as Gable.
Watch their match from the Big Ten finals.
125kg - Mason Parris vs Nick Gwiazdowski (7 PM ET)
Fresh off a match with Steveson, Parris will take another step up in competition as he takes on three-time World team member and two-time World bronze medalist Nick Gwiazdowski. Of note, in the Junior World finals, Parris pinned Zare from Iran, and then a few months later, Zare tech falled Gwiazdowski in the bronze medal bout of the Alans.
Watch Sean Bormet talk about how Parris is ready for Steveson and Gwiazdowski.
125kg - Gable Steveson vs Nick Gwiazdowski (8 PM ET)
Steveson came as close as you can to knocking off Gwiazdowski when he lost both matches of their Final X - Rutgers showdown on criteria. Can he get over the hump and dethrone the three-time defending World Team member or will Gwiazdowski's show he's still the baddest big man in the United States?
Watch match one between Steveson and Gwiazdowski at Final X - Rutgers.