Given that the wrestling scene in Australia is still very much growing…
…I almost missed the Australia Cup entirely due to its lack of exposure. It was only through a chance conversation with a Throwdown follower that I found out about the event, but after what I saw, I’m glad I did.
When I arrived, having hurried inside to escape the Melbourne Winter, weigh-ins were finished and the competitors were in the process of warming up. After a quick chat with a few familiar faces from my previous gym, matches got underway and the takedowns started flying.
The level of competition varied from those who may have never wrestled competitively before, to those who had previously represented their state or country, which made for some interesting and impressive bouts. Some found themselves locked head to head in standing battles, neither competitor willing to give an inch. Others sent their opponents flying through the air and crashing to the mat in powerful displays that reminded everyone in the room how tough and demanding the sport really is.
After spending my day at the Australia Cup, my appreciation of wrestling and the athleticism of its competitors is at an all time high. There is nothing easy about it, but that’s what makes it great. People actively seeking that adversity in competition. A Dan Gable quote on a spectators t-shirt, “Once you’ve wrestled, everything else in life is easy” seemed to sum things up pretty well.
While there is still plenty of room for it to grow, I think it’s only a matter of time until wrestling gets the recognition it deserves in Australia. If I can suggest one thing, it’s looking up highlight clips from around the world to see how impressive this sport can be. It’s hard not to be a fan once you’ve witnessed a suplex.