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Sunday, July 09, 2017
On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with Raul Ramirez of the Catch Wrestling Alliance.
Our main topic was the update to the format of the 2017 Frank Gotch World Catch Wrestling Tournament.
This event, which had its inaugural edition last year, has emerged as the biggest and most important tournament in the world in catch wrestling.
This year's edition will take place Saturday, July 15, at Humboldt High School in Humboldt, Iowa. Humboldt is the hometown of the legendary wrestler Frank Gotch, who was world heavyweight champion in the early 1900s when professional wrestling was still a real sport.
Unlike last year's event, this year there will be one open-weight bracket for all male wrestlers. This will also be a double-elimination tournament.
We spoke with Raul Ramirez by phone Thursday.
"We were getting a lot of interest from heavier weights," he said. "So, since last year we had four-man divisions, and because of the demand for the heavier weights, so then we just opened it up. So we want to try to let more people in, and since we're also getting most of the champions back from last year, they're all really tough guys, so we figured even a lighter weight champion would be willing to go up against a larger man.
"So we're turning the format into a double-elimination, weightless division. It's like an absolute division. So we're going to have a champion of all the different -- regardless of weight."
As of now, 13 wrestlers have signed up to compete, and have been divided up into two groups. The top bracket has six wrestlers while the bottom bracket has seven wrestlers.
The top bracket has two opening round matches, with the winners each facing opponents who have been given byes to the next round. The first opening round match is Ned Morales vs. Jake Lahniers. The winner will take on last year's champion and a favorite to win this year, Travis Wiuff. The second opening round match will have James Bunn vs. Nicholas "The Giant" Caggia, with the winner facing Chris Morales.
The lower bracket has three opening round matches. Wil Bunn will face Mark Benge in one, while Curran Jacobs, another of this year's favorites, will face Joshua Hightower, with the winners of these two opening round matches wrestling each other next. The third opening round match will have Sean Duckworth vs. Kody Konicki, with the winner facing Anthony Pacheck.
We discussed who these wrestlers are and the matchups, more on the format of this tournament, plans for regional qualifying tournaments, plans for more seminars and educational work about catch wrestling, the worldwide growth of interest in catch wrestling in many places including Asia and Europe, plans to livestream this event on YouTube, and much, much more.
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No Holds Barred is sponsored by:
The 2017 Frank Gotch World Catch Wrestling Tournament. On Saturday, July 15, 2017, catch wrestlers from all around the world will compete in Humboldt, Iowa, the hometown of the legendary world champion wrestler Frank Gotch. Organized by the Catch Wrestling Alliance (CWA) and co-sponsored by City of Humboldt Chamber of Commerce, Sprout Living (official protein powder of the CWA), and Ultima Replenisher (official electrolyte drink of the CWA), the event will take place at Humboldt High School. For more information, go to CatchWrestlingAlliance.com.
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USA Combat Wrestling, the official U.S. governing body for combat wrestling and U.S. delegate of the International Combat Wrestling Federation (FICW), which was founded by the legendary wrestler Noriaki Kiguchi of Japan. For more information, go to CombatWrestling.us.