Isaiah Martinez at Final X in 2019 (photo courtesy of Sam Janicki; SJanickiPhoto.com)
Happy Friday to all my Jagoffs and Jaggettes! Looks like the weather finally broke and we're quickly approaching the Middle X portion of the World Team qualifying process. What more can one ask for but for sunny days and elite wrestling? Not much to discuss here as everything seems to be running smoothly so let's get right into the questions before I lose your interest and you go to the park or something.
Thoughts on Final X New York being on a Wednesday afternoon? @Rhino184
It's not exactly the best time to have it, but I guess that's the price you pay when you book a room in the World's Most Famous Arena. The good news is that the second session takes place in the evening, so if you're busy during the day you can catch the final matches when you get home. It's doubling as the Beat the Streets event, so I suppose it brings a little more star power and competition to the show instead of just a US beatdown on some other country. We saw enough of that last week.
What will be the biggest offseason surprise of college wrestling? @PelikanHead
A former 197 lb national champ will take his talents elsewhere and not necessarily to another wrestling mat. Where there's smoke there's fire. And I'm an expert on smoke.
Last Chance Qualifier is in Atlantic City NJ, which I know about from Monopoly and the Springsteen song. Which of those two gives a more accurate portrayal of the city? @OldestGreatest
Man, Atlantic City is such a good song. It might be Bruce's most covered song, too.
Which is more fitting to the real place? Well, they both leave you broke or depressed, but I'll go with the song, as I've yet to see top hats and monocles walking around the casino. AC only got legal gambling in 1977 and they didn't exactly promote it as a family-friendly place back then. So when Bruce sang it on his bed in 1982, he really captured the darkness and desperation of a town and people struggling their way through as a seedy alternative to the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas. Now I can just gamble on my phone. Imagine Bruce trying to write a song about struggling to get by because of online gambling. The internet has ruined everything.
If you could convince one Flo Wrestling employee to join #WrestlingShirtADayinMay, which one would it be and why? @DutrowJim
We don't need them for this. If the folks in Austin don't want to be part of the community, then it's their loss. The wrestling world does not start and stop with Flo.
Besides, if you block everyone, does anyone really see it anyway?
Which teams do you think made mental changes in the quickest of seconds this past season? @SethPetar
I'd have to say Army. Have singlet, will travel. If you go and take on a dual with Iowa on short notice you better be able to make mental changes. Luckily, the lads at West Point are America's best and brightest who are fueled by Wegmans sandwiches that Scott Green makes weekly trips to New Jersey to purchase.
If you could transfer to one state, which one would it be? What would your NIL package include? @AustinSommer
North Carolina seems like a good fit for the Jagger lifestyle. First off, you've got tons of wrestling programs. Second, you've got tons of tobacco. Thirdly, the Hidlay brothers. And I want some kind of NASCAR sponsorship. Which reminds me, how long before singlets are just plastered with logos and moves have sponsors?
Imagine the interviews afterward. "Well Rock, my Zaxby's Chicken single leg was really working today, but I've got to get to my Home Depot cement mixer a little more often. I've really been working on my top game in the room and I think it showed in my Wolverine double boots out there today, but I really need to work on my Gander Mountain catch and release or they're going to pull their sponsorship."
Which wrestling team do you think is most influential on the success of the New York Mets thus far? @Wiems19
Now you're just trying to troll my editor. I try to wait until Memorial Day to get excited for the Mets. Usually, it ends up being a memorial for the season, but that might not be the case this year.
Enjoy the Last Chance for Love Open this weekend! I am certainly interested to see if IMar can get back to his old self and run the gauntlet all the way through to Final X. It wasn't that long ago when he was a serious threat to knocking off Jordan Burroughs. Can he recapture that magic? We'll find out soon enough. Put your makeup on, fix your hair up pretty, and meet me this weekend in Atlantic City.