Who are the best wrestlers that never won a title?

Random4598375

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I will go with Tyler Caldwell that finished 5, 2, 3, and 2.

Lost in the NCAA finals to Jordan Burroughs and David Taylor both that went on to win Olympic Gold Medals.

Can anybody else say they got by beat in the NCAA finals by two guys that would move on to capture Olympic Golds"? To lazy to look up.......
The closest I found was Mike Sheets, who lost to eventual champion Mark Schultz in 1981 in the first round (then wrestled back to AA in 7th place) and to Dave Schultz in the finals in 1982. Both Schultz brothers won Olympic gold in 1984.
 
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El-Jefe

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Dylan Ness had unfortunate habits of being injured and getting stuck behind Molinaro and Martinez.
 
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RoarLions1

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Four-time AA's that were close, but no cigar...

Sam Hazewinkel (Oklahoma) 3rd, 3rd, 3rd, 2nd
Jake Percival (Ohio) 4th, 5th, 2nd, 3rd
Tyrone Lewis (Oklahoma State) 6th, 3rd, 5th, 2nd
Bryan Snyder (Nebraska) 4th, 5th, 2nd, 2nd
Chad Kraft (Minnesota) 5th, 3rd, 2nd, 5th
Dwight Hinson (Iowa State) 3rd, 2nd, 4th, 3rd
Mike Mena (Iowa) 7th, 3rd, 5th, 2nd
Babek Mohammadi (Oregon State) 6th, 5th, 2nd, 2nd
Gerry Abas (Fresno State) 4th, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd
Eric Akin (Iowa State) 8th, 3rd, 4th, 2nd
Shawn Charles (Arizona State) 5th, 7th, 2nd, 2nd
Joe Melchiore (Iowa/Oklahoma) 4th, 7th, 2nd, 3rd
Kevin Jackson (Iowa State/LSU) 3rd, 3rd, 7th, 2nd
Greg Elinsky (Penn State) 7th, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd
Greg Elinsky (Penn State) 7th, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd
Roger Frizzell (Oklahoma) 4th, 3rd, 3rd, 3rd
Mike Mann (Iowa State) 7th, 4th, 2nd, 2nd
Steve Williams (Oklahoma) 6th, 5th, 3rd, 2nd
Mike DeAnna (Iowa) 3rd, 6th, 2nd, 2nd
Mike Brown (Lehigh) 5th, 3rd, 2nd, 7th
 

lions#1

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Four-time AA's that were close, but no cigar...

Sam Hazewinkel (Oklahoma) 3rd, 3rd, 3rd, 2nd
Jake Percival (Ohio) 4th, 5th, 2nd, 3rd
Tyrone Lewis (Oklahoma State) 6th, 3rd, 5th, 2nd
Bryan Snyder (Nebraska) 4th, 5th, 2nd, 2nd
Chad Kraft (Minnesota) 5th, 3rd, 2nd, 5th
Dwight Hinson (Iowa State) 3rd, 2nd, 4th, 3rd
Mike Mena (Iowa) 7th, 3rd, 5th, 2nd
Babek Mohammadi (Oregon State) 6th, 5th, 2nd, 2nd
Gerry Abas (Fresno State) 4th, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd
Eric Akin (Iowa State) 8th, 3rd, 4th, 2nd
Shawn Charles (Arizona State) 5th, 7th, 2nd, 2nd
Joe Melchiore (Iowa/Oklahoma) 4th, 7th, 2nd, 3rd
Kevin Jackson (Iowa State/LSU) 3rd, 3rd, 7th, 2nd
Greg Elinsky (Penn State) 7th, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd
Greg Elinsky (Penn State) 7th, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd
Roger Frizzell (Oklahoma) 4th, 3rd, 3rd, 3rd
Mike Mann (Iowa State) 7th, 4th, 2nd, 2nd
Steve Williams (Oklahoma) 6th, 5th, 3rd, 2nd
Mike DeAnna (Iowa) 3rd, 6th, 2nd, 2nd
Mike Brown (Lehigh) 5th, 3rd, 2nd, 7th

These guys too:

Mike McMullan (NW) 3rd, 2nd, 3rd, 3rd
Tyler Caldwell (OK St, OU) 5th, 2nd, 3rd, 2nd
Dylan Ness (MN) 2nd, 4th, 2nd, 6th
 
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nerfstate

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Four-time AA's that were close, but no cigar...

Sam Hazewinkel (Oklahoma) 3rd, 3rd, 3rd, 2nd
Jake Percival (Ohio) 4th, 5th, 2nd, 3rd
Tyrone Lewis (Oklahoma State) 6th, 3rd, 5th, 2nd
Bryan Snyder (Nebraska) 4th, 5th, 2nd, 2nd
Chad Kraft (Minnesota) 5th, 3rd, 2nd, 5th
Dwight Hinson (Iowa State) 3rd, 2nd, 4th, 3rd
Mike Mena (Iowa) 7th, 3rd, 5th, 2nd
Babek Mohammadi (Oregon State) 6th, 5th, 2nd, 2nd
Gerry Abas (Fresno State) 4th, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd
Eric Akin (Iowa State) 8th, 3rd, 4th, 2nd
Shawn Charles (Arizona State) 5th, 7th, 2nd, 2nd
Joe Melchiore (Iowa/Oklahoma) 4th, 7th, 2nd, 3rd
Kevin Jackson (Iowa State/LSU) 3rd, 3rd, 7th, 2nd
Greg Elinsky (Penn State) 7th, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd
Greg Elinsky (Penn State) 7th, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd

Roger Frizzell (Oklahoma) 4th, 3rd, 3rd, 3rd
Mike Mann (Iowa State) 7th, 4th, 2nd, 2nd
Steve Williams (Oklahoma) 6th, 5th, 3rd, 2nd
Mike DeAnna (Iowa) 3rd, 6th, 2nd, 2nd
Mike Brown (Lehigh) 5th, 3rd, 2nd, 7th
I feel ashamed for not having thought of Elinsky--so I'm glad you listed him twice ;)
 

nitlion6

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Stud high schoolers that underperformed at college would have to include Nathan Galloway from State High. 3x'er that looked absolutely bored wrestling in high school but never put it together in college, eventually transferring from PSU to Rider. Think he qualified for 4 NCAAs, but never made the podium.
Nathan never got in elite shape.
 
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mcpat

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Joey Wildasin was among the 2-3 best I’ve seen come through PA in the last several decades. It wasn’t just the wins and titles but how he won. Brutal on top. I think I read he was a junior college national champ and, after that, OKST had him down at 118 somehow (he terrorized the PIAA at 130, I believe) where, if memory serves, he was ranked 3rd in the country but couldn’t make weight for the postseason. I think I read injuries then caught up to him. Please correct anything that is wrong in this post, but the point being that if you saw him in high school, you were certain he was destined for NCAA titles. The only guy, at the time, you would dare to also mention while taking about Kolat.

Edit: before I get called out on “2-3” best… if that’s a stretch, it’s not by much. For folkstyke… he was a brute!
 
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El-Jefe

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Joey Wildasin was among the 2-3 best I’ve seen come through PA in the last several decades. It wasn’t just the wins and titles but how he won. Brutal on top. I think I read he was a junior college national champ and, after that, OKST had him down at 118 somehow (he terrorized the PIAA at 130, I believe) where, if memory serves, he was ranked 3rd in the country but couldn’t make weight for the postseason. I think I read injuries then caught up to him. Please correct anything that is wrong in this post, but the point being that if you saw him in high school, you were certain he was destined for NCAA titles. The only guy, at the time, you would dare to also mention while taking about Kolat.
I don't remember Wildasin's ranking but otherwise yes. Insane that he cut from HS boy 130 (and probably had at least a minor cut there) to college man 118.

He suffered a back injury at OKST that he attributed to having insufficient muscle for his activity, because cutting.

Which is ironic because IIRC he became a building contractor after college. Not the easiest career field for someone with back injuries.
 
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The Kid Twist

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McIntosh was a beast but just had bad timing.
So true!! I was always rooting for him but he just couldn't get across the finish line! Great kid. I thought Matt Brown might fall in that category as well but he pulled it out in the end!!
 
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The Kid Twist

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Joey Wildasin was among the 2-3 best I’ve seen come through PA in the last several decades. It wasn’t just the wins and titles but how he won. Brutal on top. I think I read he was a junior college national champ and, after that, OKST had him down at 118 somehow (he terrorized the PIAA at 130, I believe) where, if memory serves, he was ranked 3rd in the country but couldn’t make weight for the postseason. I think I read injuries then caught up to him. Please correct anything that is wrong in this post, but the point being that if you saw him in high school, you were certain he was destined for NCAA titles. The only guy, at the time, you would dare to also mention while taking about Kolat.

Edit: before I get called out on “2-3” best… if that’s a stretch, it’s not by much. For folkstyke… he was a brute!
On Cary Kolat, not sure if you saw his Flo story? What a childhood. His father would use a fully charged cattle prod on him. He was having problems getting out from bottom when he was young. If he didn't get out quickly his Dad would give him the cattle prod! Cary said he learned fast under that pain regime! Horrible story. Cary was the man! Glad he got his life together and is coaching.
 
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The Kid Twist

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Seems like we've had this discussion before but I couldn't find a specific thread.

I stumbled upon the pic below on Hawk Central of all places (I think the photographer is Joseph Cress at the Iowa City Press-Citizen). Interesting photo for several reasons, but it struck me that Daton Fix is now 0-3 in NCAA title attempts despite being heralded by many as the "next 4-timer" when he came to Okie State. It's a good reminder that this sport we love can be wildly unpredictable and that matches are won on the mat, not on paper.

Also made me wonder who some of the other noteworthy hammers are that were projected to dominate the NCAAs but never did, or at least not to the extent people expected. One example would be Gable Steveson, who ran into Ant the Champ on his way to the 4-timer coronation.

I am going to say the Long Island Legend former PSUer Adam Mariano!! His Dad made him do 20 pushups everytime he opened the refrigerator door! Stud in HS but not so much at PSU?
 

RoarLions1

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Joey Wildasin was among the 2-3 best I’ve seen come through PA in the last several decades. It wasn’t just the wins and titles but how he won. Brutal on top. I think I read he was a junior college national champ and, after that, OKST had him down at 118 somehow (he terrorized the PIAA at 130, I believe) where, if memory serves, he was ranked 3rd in the country but couldn’t make weight for the postseason. I think I read injuries then caught up to him. Please correct anything that is wrong in this post, but the point being that if you saw him in high school, you were certain he was destined for NCAA titles. The only guy, at the time, you would dare to also mention while taking about Kolat.

Edit: before I get called out on “2-3” best… if that’s a stretch, it’s not by much. For folkstyke… he was a brute!

I don't remember Wildasin's ranking but otherwise yes. Insane that he cut from HS boy 130 (and probably had at least a minor cut there) to college man 118.

He suffered a back injury at OKST that he attributed to having insufficient muscle for his activity, because cutting.

Which is ironic because IIRC he became a building contractor after college. Not the easiest career field for someone with back injuries.
Joey was from my high school, albeit a generation or so after I graduated. Still, I had a chance to see him more than most. He was an unbelievable talent, the best I ever saw (never saw Kolat till college). Injuries are listed as the reason his career was cut short, but other factors entered in too. He's still living and working in the Hanover, PA area.
 
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horraybeer

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I remembering watching him beat Shawn Nelson in Rec Hall. Nelson had no answers for him. I don't think he won by major, but Wildasin wasn't in danger of losing. It was a bit surprising that he was THAT dominant against Nelson, who was an outstanding wrestler.
Nelson beat up Wildasin in a dual at rec hall in 93.
 
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mn78psu83

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Nelson beat up Wildasin in a dual at rec hall in 93.
My error. I had my wires crossed. They wrestled at 118. Maybe I was thinking of the Nick Purler (Tony's twin) vs Abe match. Purler won something like 5-2, and Abe was not really in it. Also, Alan Fried hammered John Hughes in that match. In all fairness, I think that John was really sick. He looked terrible. Anyway, neither Nelson nor Wildasin made weight in their conference tournaments in 1994.
 
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horraybeer

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My error. I had my wires crossed. They wrestled at 118. Maybe I was thinking of the Tony Purler vs Abe match. Purler won something like 5-2, and Abe was not really in it. Also, Alan Fried hammered John Hughes in that match. In all fairness, I think that John was really sick. He looked terrible. Anyway, neither Nelson nor Wildasin made weight in their conference tournaments, and both missed NCAAs.
Psu was crap that day. Kolat almost lost to a freshmen.
 
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PSU Mike

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Joey was from my high school, albeit a generation or so after I graduated. Still, I had a chance to see him more than most. He was an unbelievable talent, the best I ever saw (never saw Kolat till college). Injuries are listed as the reason his career was cut short, but other factors entered in too. He's still living and working in the Hanover, PA area.
Malone said he’d rolled with him as well, although Aaron I believe ended up around 6’2.”

Early 80’s Dallastown here!
 

mcpat

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On Wildasin… I found this:


He split matches with Nelson that season. Nelson went 21-1 that year, losing only to Wildasin.

Henson, the NCAA champ, beat Wildasin 12-4. Along with beating Nelson, Wildasin also had wins over Gonyo (6th that year) 4-1 and Mena (7th that year) 6-1.

Also interesting:

- OKST had the one-seed at 126 that year (is that why he was at 118?)

- Steve Krause, whom Wildasin beat at states in a close match when Wildasin was in 10th grade, was NCAA 6th in 1994.
 
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mcpat

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My error. I had my wires crossed. They wrestled at 118. Maybe I was thinking of the Tony Purler vs Abe match. Purler won something like 5-2, and Abe was not really in it. Also, Alan Fried hammered John Hughes in that match. In all fairness, I think that John was really sick. He looked terrible. Anyway, neither Nelson nor Wildasin made weight in their conference tournaments, and both missed NCAAs.
Or maybe you also attended the Lock Haven Tournament that year (where Wildasin beat Nelson) and simply had the memory switched?
 
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mn78psu83

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On Wildasin… I found this:


He split matches with Nelson that season. Henson, the NCAA champ, beat him 12-4. He beat Gonyo (6th that year) 4-1 and Mena (7th that year) 6-1.

Also interesting:

- OKST had the one-seed at 126 that year (is that why he was at 118?)

- Steve Krause, whom Wildasin beat at states in a close match when Wildasin was in 10th grade, was NCAA 6th in 1994.
He was at 118 because John Smith told him he would be at 118. :) Nick Purler (Tony Purler's twin) was the 126 pounder and #1 seed. He took 7th at NCAAs in 1994. His brother Tony had won NCAAs at 126 in 1993.
 
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BigFella235

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Off the top of my head:

Jamill Kelly- Olympic Silver

Greg Elinsky- PSU’s first 4x AA. I actually met him in person early last fall while winterizing a buddy’s boat in NY and he’s a super nice guy

Mike McMullen- 4x AA, just so happened to exist in the same era as Gwiz, Coon, Tony Nelson, etc

Ness- one of the most fun wrestlers to watch when he was competing

Mitchell Port- Ran into Stieber and Maple when he made the finals

And one lots of people projected to be a super stud coming out of HS: Chance Marstellar
 

amattaro

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The one dude I felt sympathy for in a loss to a Penn State guy was Hidlay in 2019. It was surreal seeing someone go toe to toe with Nolf.
 

RB-Old

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So true!! I was always rooting for him but he just couldn't get across the finish line! Great kid. I thought Matt Brown might fall in that category as well but he pulled it out in the end!!
That Matt Brown final against Evans was a thing of beauty.
 

Cali_Nittany

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The PRC
I'm not saying he's it, but I still think he's in the conversation--look at who he took his Ls from. Mark Hall, Zahid Valencia, Ferrari, and AB. That's a pretty good list. How many other names mentioned here medaled at the Olympics?

I just wanted to expand further for Amine with what you and @El-Jefe said because he's definitely in contention in my opinion:

2017 - Lost to Zahid twice for 4th place the year Hall won
2018 - Won 3rd place with the loss coming to eventual champ Zahid
2019 - Won 3rd place with the loss coming to 2nd place Hall (who lost to Zahid)
2021 - Won 3rd place with the loss coming to eventual champ Ferrari
2022 - 2nd place to Brooks

So that's losses to;
NC Champ Hall (should be 2x champ because of lost covid year)
2x NC Champ Zahid
1x NC Champ and Counting Ferrari
2x and future 4x NC Champ Brooks

Impressive resume

Also, to add to the 4x AA list that I didn't see mentioned yet:
Isaac Jordan 7-7-2-4
 

nitlion6

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Joey Wildasin was among the 2-3 best I’ve seen come through PA in the last several decades. It wasn’t just the wins and titles but how he won. Brutal on top. I think I read he was a junior college national champ and, after that, OKST had him down at 118 somehow (he terrorized the PIAA at 130, I believe) where, if memory serves, he was ranked 3rd in the country but couldn’t make weight for the postseason. I think I read injuries then caught up to him. Please correct anything that is wrong in this post, but the point being that if you saw him in high school, you were certain he was destined for NCAA titles. The only guy, at the time, you would dare to also mention while taking about Kolat.

Edit: before I get called out on “2-3” best… if that’s a stretch, it’s not by much. For folkstyke… he was a brute!
Joey was a high school phenom. Even Kolat has acknowledged he was unsure he could have beaten Wildasin. 118 was way too much of a cut in college.
 
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El-Jefe

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Wasn't there a controversial call that went in Brown's favor?
Wilps stalled for approximately 16 hours of a 7-minute match, got one counter takedown, and then Pitt screamed bloody murder when Brown baited him into a locked hands call.

BTW, that may have been the #2 all-time post match interview (behind Bo). Brown said: You grow up dreaming of hitting a home run to win the World Series, but sometimes you win with a bunt.
 
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oldcougar65

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Going waaay back: Mike Johnson ---- considered the GOAT in the 60's. 4xer from Lock Haven. Took a second his Sophomore year for Pitt, (lost in OT). But that's about it. Weight loss and burnout, I'd guess.

Chris Kwortik ---- mentioned above--- A wrecking ball of a wrestler. Chewed kids up and spit them out. 3X state champ.

Ty Moore, Joey Wildasin, Ray Brinzer Ty was an inspirational wrestler. Joey believed in total offense, damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead. Loved him. Brinzer was just plain weird. But he brought the goods. He just couldn't bring himself to care that much.

and not to be snarky, but: Kenny Courts when he was a freshman. His performance at the Beast was beyond belief. With a seriously injured knee going into the finals, he was forced to take injury time again and again. Still in the 1st period, he had about 10 seconds left of injury time. He did the only thing he could think of, I guess. Everyone expected him to be disqualified. Instead, he pinned the kid. At a middle weight in the Beast of the East finals. I was sold. As I recall, he didn't wrestle again for the rest of the year. When he came back, he had the talent but not the fire.
 
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