2022 NWCA All-Star Classic

Sammy Sasso vs Austin Gomez All-Star Classic Preview

Sammy Sasso vs Austin Gomez All-Star Classic Preview

Sammy Sasso attempts to pick up his first college win over Austin Gomez at this year's All-Star Classic after dropping a pair of matches last season.

Sep 29, 2022 by Kyle Klingman
Sammy Sasso vs Austin Gomez All-Star Classic Preview

The NWCA All-Star Classic presented by Cliff Keen will be held on November 22 in Austin, Texas, and will be streamed LIVE on FloWrestling. Below is a preview of the 149-pound match between #4 Sammy Sasso (Ohio State) and #3 Austin Gomez (Wisconsin). 


Sammy Sasso, JR
2020: 24-3 (NQ), 149 (Ohio State)
2021: 16-2 (2nd), 149 (Ohio State)
2022: 26-4 (5th), 149 (Ohio State)

Austin Gomez, JR
2019: 24-7 (R12), 133 (Iowa State)
2022: 23-4 (4th), 149 (Wisconsin)

Match History

Gomez and Sasso met twice last season: once in the B10 finals and once in the consolation semifinals at the NCAA Championships. Gomez holds a 2-0 series edge. 

March 6, 2022: Gomez dec. Sasso, 8-5

March 19, 2022: Gomez dec. Sasso, 6-5

What You Need To Know? 

An All-Star match between these two seemed next to impossible following the 2019 season. Not only was the event on the chopping block, but Gomez was wrestling at 133-pounds for Iowa State and planned to retire due to concussions. 

The Carol Stream, Illinois, native missed the 2020 and 2021 seasons then transferred to the University of Wisconsin where he moved up to 149 pounds last year. Gomez claimed a B1G title and placed fourth at the NCAA Championships during his first year with the Badgers. 

Sasso finished second to Iowa’s Pat Lugo at the 2020 B10 Championships and qualified for the national championships that were canceled due to COVID. He reached the NCAA Championship finals the following year, losing a 3-2 match to North Carolina’s Austin O’Connor. 

Gomez and Sasso met in the consolation semifinals at the 2022 NCAA Championships with the Badger star winning, 6-5. Gomez finished fourth and Sasso finished fifth. 

What You Can Expect?

This should be one of the better matches at the All-Star Classic if history has its say. Ohio State coach Tom Ryan calls Sasso Houdini because of his ability to scramble out of compromising positions. This makes for entertaining wrestling and could lead to long scrambles — even if no one scores. 

Gomez finished clean on multiple takedown attempts, which led to a pair of wins last season over Sasso. His ability to stay poised and gritty during those situations is the formula for Gomez again this time around. Gomez’s powerful and hard-nosed style allows him to be competitive every time he toes the line. 

This match might be determined by who can maintain control from the top position. Gomez won a key exchange at nationals where he scored a reversal in the second period when Sasso attempted to lock up a cradle. These moments will be important for both wrestlers as they look to get a big win early in the season. 

Chaos is key in this match. Sasso will win if he can create it; Gomez will win if he can control it.  


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Watch highlights of Gomez's 6-5 win over Sasso during the 2022 NCAA Championships