Kyle Dake takes a shot on Frank Chamizo (Photo/Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com)
AUSTIN, Texas -- This was an event wrestling fans were looking forward to. And with good reason.
FloWrestling's freestyle wrestling card on Saturday night in Austin, Texas, delivered with top-notch competitors and high-level matches.
Anytime you have superstars like David Taylor, Kyle Dake and Frank Chamizo wrestling, you don't want to miss it.
Kudos to Flo for making this night of wrestling happen after sports were shut down for several months during the pandemic.
There were technical difficulties, and the stream was down for more than half an hour after the first bout, but the wrestling was entertaining once we got rolling again.
Here is my breakdown from the five matches:
Vito Arujau (Photo/Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com)
140 pounds: Vito Arujau vs. Sammy Alvarez
Vito came out strong with some good forward pressure, scoring an early step out. He followed with a slick leg attack into a single that resulted in a second step out. The wrestlers were involved in a wild scramble late in the first period with Alvarez countering beautifully to gain four points. Alvarez led 5-3 at the break. Great action in the opening period. It's awesome to be watching live wrestling again. Vito fired in on a pair of strong leg attacks and added a pair of turns to lead 11-5 early in the second period. Vito finished with strong before prevailing 16-5. He is an accomplished young freestyle wrestler with a huge upside. He's going to be a force on the Senior level.
Roman Bravo-Young defeated Jack Mueller (Photo/Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com)
137: Jack Mueller vs. Roman Bravo-Young
RBY charged out aggressively after the long break, driving in on a quick leg attack to convert for a takedown. Bravo-Young followed with another takedown and turn to lead 6-0. He looks explosive and sharp despite being away from competition for several months. RBY stayed on the attack, striking for another takedown to build an 8-0 advantage in the second period. Bravo-Young has been impressive and is moving extremely well. He wins 8-1.
Luke Pletcher notched a 9-2 victory over Darrion Caldwell (Photo/Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com)
149: Darrion Caldwell vs. Luke Pletcher
This was an interesting matchup with the 32-year-old Caldwell returning to wrestle for the first time in many years after competing in MMA. Caldwell scored first on a step out, but Pletcher came back to counter a shot and secure a takedown. Caldwell came back to score another step out early in the second period to draw within 3-2. The 23-year-old Pletcher kept the pressure on, coming back to spin behind Caldwell and lead 5-2. Caldwell tried to jump over Pletcher in the closing seconds before dropping a 9-2 decision. The powerful Pletcher wrestled aggressively, pushed the pace and controlled the center of the mat.
David Taylor gets in a shot against Myles Martin (Photo/Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com)
200: David Taylor vs. Myles Martin
This looked like another intriguing bout with the Magic Man, a 2018 world champion, returning to the mat this year. He faced a quality opponent in Martin, who took the bout on short notice. Taylor came out firing, hitting a pair of early single-leg shots for a step out and takedown. Taylor kept the pressure on with an array of leg attacks to build a 9-0 edge. Taylor overpowered Martin with one last shot to win by an 11-0 first-period technical fall. Taylor looks fantastic. He's big, strong and fast. He turned in a dominant performance.
Kyle Dake being interviewed after beating Frank Chamizo (Photo/Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com)
174: Kyle Dake vs. Frank Chamizo
The battle of two-time world champions was scoreless for most of the first period before Chamizo scored a point after Dake was put on the shot clock. Dake shot in late in the opening period to force a step out and tied the bout 1-1. Chamizo scored in a scramble to lead 3-1 before Dake came back with a reversal and gut wrench to grab a 4-3 edge. Chamizo nearly scored on a shot late in the match, but Dake countered effectively to hold him off.
Craig Sesker has written about wrestling for more than three decades. He's covered three Olympic Games, written 10 books and is a two-time national wrestling writer of the year.