I was flipping through my channels last night in Tampa, FL and couldn't believe it when I saw that ESPN was replaying the US GRECO NATIONALS. Usually when I scroll through the channel guide and see "Wrestling" on ESPN, I am teased and it ends up being Classic "Professional" Wrestling.

I just happened to catch it right as it came on. I didn't get a chance to watch all of the matches but did get a chance to watch Mango-Durlacher, , Gruenwalk-Betterman, Deitchler-Rial and Dantzler-Bisek. My observations:

Youth will be served. Mango just had too much energy for Durlacher. Durlacher seemed to have superior technique for Mango would just not give him any space. The key was the 2nd period lift with 2 seconds left by Mango. That took the match to the 3rd period where Mango's energy level could not be matched by Durlacher.

Gruenwald kicked the crap out of Betterman. Turned him and lifted him at will. Betterman didn't know what hit him.

In Deitchler v Rial, Jake walks right into a 5 point move to begin the match. He looked nervous and a bit jumpy as would be expected. After that, Jake dominated Rial but still lost in two periods. Jake ends the first period with two 2 point rolls to bring it to 5-4 and then almost gets him a third time but ends up not getting it. In the 2nd period nothing happens on their feet but when Jake goes down, Rial doesn't come close to turning him. His defense after the initial five point move was VERY solid. When Rial goes down, Jake actually gets it locked up a couple of times and has Rial grimacing badly as he almost turned him twice. Alas, it didn't happen and Jake ended up losing 5-4, 1-1 even though he looked to be the better conditioned athlete.

In the last match I watched Bisek v Dantzler, Bisek comes across as a guy with absolutely no technique. Just a brawler. Dantzler had a little bit of trouble with him early as Bisek did get out in front of him and surprisingly turned Dantzler. T.C. then just wrestles a pretty conservative match and you can just tell he is waiting to get in the clinch as he feels confident he can turn Bisek. It looked to me like Bisek was trying to turn this into a fight the whole match. If this is the best competition that T.C. can get at the US Nationals then I was pretty disappointed by that I guess.

All in all, its obvious to most that I don't remember much from my "freestyle" days so it becomes abundantly clear that I knew very little about the Greco-Roman rules and strategies as I haven't seen or wrestled in a Greco match in almost 20 years. I enjoyed the pace of the matches and the step out rule. It definitely came in to play in the Mango-Durlacher match.

Kudos to ESPN for putting this on television.