Kyle Snyder (left) and Kollin Moore at the 2020 Olympic Trials (photo courtesy of Tony Rotundo; WrestlersAreWarriors.com)
Final X is set! Just over two weeks from now, our 2022 world team will be set. There will be 30 matches across three styles at two different locations. Before we dig deep into previews for each of the individual Final X bouts, we've decided to look at some storylines that have developed as the lineup was confirmed. And by some storylines, we mean two for each matchup. Basically, what are we thinking about when breaking down these contests and why may they be exciting to follow (aside from the high stakes of a world team).
57 kg - Thomas Gilman vs. Vito Arujau
- Olympic Trials final rematch
- Can Gilman continue to perform at his 2021 level?
61 kg - Daton Fix vs. Seth Gross
- Daton Fix in front of the home crowd
- Gross remains one of the most exciting, high-scoring wrestlers
65 kg - Yianni Diakomihalis vs. Evan Henderson
- Two former training partners at Spartan Combat
- Veteran Henderson continues to improve
70 kg - Zain Retherford vs. Jordan Oliver
- Two Pennsylvania legends squaring off
- Can Oliver finally get over the hump and make a world team?
74 kg - Kyle Dake vs. Jason Nolf
- Cornell/Penn State legends square off. Final X 2019 controversy
- Is the dominant Nolf ready to take that next step?
79 kg - Jordan Burroughs vs. Chance Marsteller
- Can Burroughs remain on top in his second decade of international competition?
- The incredible redemption story of Chance Marsteller
86 kg - David Taylor vs. Zahid Valencia
- Another veteran trying to fend off the up-and-comer
- How has Valencia changed/improved during his time away?
92 kg - J'den Cox vs. Nate Jackson
- Two close friends/training partners competing for world team spot
- Nate Jackson's near-disastrous drug testing fiasco
97 kg - Kyle Snyder vs. Kollin Moore
- Olympic Trials rematch
- Former teammates/training partners
125 kg - Nick Gwiazdowski vs. Hayden Zillmer
- Zillmer continues to move up in weight and find late-career success (Final X 2018 @ 92 kg)
- Gwiazdowski competes in his home state after moving back to coach/train at Cornell
50 kg - Sarah Hildebrandt vs. Alyssa Lampe
- Can Hildebrandt improve from a pair of medals in 2021?
- Past world medalist Lampe is fresh off a dominating performance at the Trials.
53 kg - Felicity Taylor vs. Dom Parrish
- New weight and great results for Parrish
- Can Taylor continue her rapid ascent up 53 kg?
55 kg - Jenna Burkert vs. Jacarra Winchester
- Colossal rematch between two world medalists. Most anticipated women's series?
- Can Winchester get back to world championship form?
57 kg - Helen Maroulis vs. Alex Hedrick
- How much has Hedrick improved since their last Final X/wrestle-off meeting?
- Hedrick emerges from a balanced WTT's field.
59 kg - Abby Nette vs. Lexie Basham
- Nette missed significant time with a shoulder injury, but may be better than ever
- Basham performs despite coaching controversy at Texas Wesleyan
62 kg - Kayla Miracle vs. Jennifer Rogers
- Miracle went through the Open w/o surrendering a point and pinned Page in 0:18. Does the dominance continue?
- Can the vaulted NLWC staff made adjustments to bring this to a more competitive match?
65 kg - Forrest Molinari vs. Mallory Velte
- The most physical of any women's freestyle series this year
- Velte back to world medalist form at new weight and training situation
68 kg - Tamyra Mensah-Stock vs. Sienna Ramirez
- A win gives Mensah-Stock seven straight world/Olympic teams. Most consecutive on women's side.
- Who is the young Sienna Ramirez?
72 kg - Skylar Grote vs. Amit Elor
- Does the correct weight class equal a world team for Grote?
- Is the future now for 2021 Cadet and Junior world champion Elor?
76 kg - Dymond Guilford vs. Yelena Makoyed
- Who gets the spot in Adeline Gray's absence?
- Could Yelena Makoyed be North Central's first Senior World team member?
55 kg - Max Nowry vs. Brady Koontz
- Final X Rutgers rematch (2019)
- Ohio State slowly becoming solid location for Greco hopefuls
60 kg - Ildar Hafizov vs. Dalton Roberts
- Army WCAP teammates clash
- 2021 WTT's rematch (won by Roberts in three matches)
63 kg - Sam Jones vs. Jesse Thielke
- Perhaps the best Greco matchup of Final X
- At almost 30, is Jesse Thielke back to his Olympian form?
67 kg - Alex Sancho vs. Alston Nutter
- Sancho made 2020 Olympic Team, but fell in 2021 WTT's. Can he get back on the world stage?
- Is Nutter ready to take the next step? Has made three age-group world team (1 Jr bronze medal)
72 kg - Patrick Smith vs. Benji Peak
- Rematch of tight 2021 final series, won by Smith
- Possible passing of the torch from veteran Smith to up-and-coming Peak
77 kg - Kamal Bey vs. Britton Holmes
- Army WCAP teammates clash
- Is Bey back to â€œFace of American Grecoâ€ status?
82 kg - Ben Provisor vs. Spencer Woods
- Fifth World/Olympic Team for Provisor?
- Can Woods continue to narrow the gap against the savvy vet?
87 kg - Alan Vera vs. Timothy Young
- Is Vera most dominant in domestic Greco; comparable to weight class?
- From Old Dominion University to Final X for Young
97 kg - G'Angelo Hancock vs. Braxton Amos
- Olympic Trials Finals Rematch
- The first of many world medals for Hancock
130 kg - Cohlton Schultz vs. Tanner Farmer
- The most prominent collegiate wrestler on the Greco side in Schultz
- Farmer's journey from the U of Nebraska gridiron to Final X