Episode 38 of the Five Point Move Podcast focuses on a variety of topics that have popped up recently. First on the docket is the conversation surrounding wrestling coverage in the United States. With FLOWrestling putting on an extravagant match card coming up featuring top freestylists — but leaving out Greco-Roman athletes and women’s freestyle competitors — many in the social stratosphere have spoken out regarding what they see as purposeful exclusion. This subject is given a healthy, if not at times contentious debate due to co-host Dennis Hall’s insistence that Greco-Roman cannot grow without being featured in stand-alone events such as the one FLOWrestling is hosting, even though FLO (or any other for-profit media companies, for that matter) are not mandated to do so.
After that, the concept of “hybrid matches” brought to light thanks to Joe Rau‘s (87 kg, TMWC/IRTC, world #7) recent victory over freestyle star Pat Downey earlier this month takes over. Both hosts agree that while these special one-offs would build the sport’s profile in a more robust manner, it is hard to picture freestyle wrestlers enthusiastically participating due to fear of either looking bad, or getting hurt. Finally, the opening segment closes out with United World Wrestling’s decision to schedule a Senior World tournament in December, and the peripheral issues at play should that event in fact come to fruition.
The special guest for E38 is none other than MWC founder/multi-time World Team coach Zac Dominguez, who is involved at every level pertaining to the United States Greco-Roman National program. Dominguez — a wrestling lifer and member of Northern Michigan’s inaugural class back in ’99 — shares what it has been like reopening his club in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the massively-attended Senior camp he is hosting this week, and the new GRIT (Greco-Roman Innovation Team) initiative that is geared towards the development of youth coaches.
A Few Highlights
Hall on why he thinks “hybrid matches” might be a hard sell for more freestylers
“They can’t defend a gutwrench if their lives depended on it without using their legs. How about getting your ribs broken by a guy who actually knows how to do a gutwrench? Or a lift, and getting thrown on your head?”
Hall on why he would view the 2020 Senior Worlds as a legitimate Worlds without an asterisk attached
“Even if there are some countries that hold out, there are still plenty of guys in there who make you a World Champion. So I don’t think it’s a problem at all. I think if it’s a World Championships, get ready, get over there and compete to try to become a World champ. It’s pretty simple.”
Dominguez on the process he went through to re-open MWC after the spring
“Every week, I told the parents what I know, I told them what was coming down the line, what USA Wrestling was saying about this… I just tried to be open and transparent as much as possible. If I knew something, then they knew something. If they felt like they were on the same page as me, it might make them feel better if they know exactly what is going on.”
Dominguez on hosting the National-level Senior camp at his club this week
“In June, I saw camps starting to go off, which I was super-excited about because I want everyone to wrestle. And then Herb (House) called me in late-June like, ‘Hey, we got you on the list. Are you ready to go?’ For real? You want me to run one? I am so excited! It’s really fun for me to be able to do this.”