#1 Chris Bono (Chicago Groove) fall (2:21) over #8 Mike Ellsworth (Pennsylvania Hammer)
#4 Doug Schwab (Iowa Stalkers) decision over #5 Jared Frayer (Oklahoma Slam), 16-3
#6 Tony Davis (California Claw) decision over #3 Jared Lawrence (Minnesota Freeze), 12-10
#2 Eric Larkin (Texas Shooters) decision over #7 Jesse Jantzen (New York Outrage), 19-14
Schwab decision over Bono, 4-2 OT
Larkin decision over Davis, 10-7
Finals (May 15th):
Schwab (Iowa Stalkers) vs. Larkin (Texas Shooters)
Teams California Claw; Chicago Groove; Iowa Stalkers; Oklahoma Slam; Minnesota Freeze; New York Outrage; Pennsylvania Hammer; Texas Shooters.
Before the tournament started, the 145-pound weight class was looked forward to with great anticipation and excitement. Not only is it comprised of the top six freestyle wrestlers in the United States, but also some of the most electrifying, young stars in the sport. True to form, episode three of Real Pro Wrestling didn`t disappoint.
Doug Schwab of the Iowa Stalkers and Eric Larkin of the Texas Shooters both advanced to the Real Pro Wrestling finals of the 145-pound weight class, which will be shown on PAX TV on May 15th.
Schwab, the fourth seed, reached the finals by first toppling fifth-seeded Jared Frayer of the Oklahoma Slam in the quarterfinals, then defeating top-seeded Chris Bono of the Chicago Groove to reach the finals.
In the quarterfinals, Schwab gave up the opening takedown of the match to Frayer, but dominated the action the rest of the way. Schwab`s relentless, Iowa style proved to be too much for Frayer to handle, as he cruised to an easy 16-3 victory.
“Frayer is a big-move guy,” said Schwab. “I had to stay out of those positions, stay on his legs, and finish real clean. That`s what I did.”
In the semifinals, it was a classic battle of Iowa versus Iowa State, as Schwab, a former Hawkeye national champion, met Bono, a former Cyclone national champion. The match was tied 2-2 after the first period, as Bono scored with two push-outs and Schwab a takedown. But after a scoreless but action-packed second period, the match was sent in overtime. In overtime, Bono was the aggressor and earned a bonus opportunity, but was unable to convert it into points. After nine long, grueling minutes, Bono shot a single-leg, but Schwab countered nicely and initiated a tilt. Bono was initially awarded the winning takedown, but Stalkers coach Tom Brands requested a TV challenge. Upon further review it was determined that Schwab did in fact initiate a tilt, exposing Bono`s back, before the takedown occurred. The result was a 4-2 overtime victory for Schwab.
The two were training partners in 2001 as Bono prepared for the World Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria. This time, however, their past relationship took a backseat and tempers flared, as the two wrestlers swung at each other in the first period then exchanged words after the match.
Larkin, a four-time NCAA All-American and national champion from Arizona State, had a challenging road getting to the finals, as he had to battle through two former NCAA Champions, Jesse Jantzen of the New York Outrage and Tony Davis of the California Claw.
In the quarterfinals, Larkin and Jantzen squared off in one of the most exciting matches seen in RPW. At the start of the match, Larkin suffered an incidental headbutt, which caused a cut on his eye. When action resumed, Jantzen scored a pair of takedowns and appeared to be in control of the match. Larkin, however, battled back, reversing Jantzen, then earning a bonus. In the bonus, Larkin was able to secure body lift and throw Jantzen for four points. Larkin stayed on the offensive, taking Jantzen down at the beginning of the second period then turning him twice with an ankle lace. Jantzen mounted a late rally, but it was too little too late as Larkin held on for the 19-14 victory.
“I wanted to go out there and push the pace, but unfortunately I got a little stinger on my eye,” said Larkin. “I didn`t know what to do when I walked out there. I wasn`t sure if I wanted to go upper body or down. But at the last minute, I said â€˜I`ll try to throw him.` It felt good.”
In the semifinals, Larkin battled back from an early 4-0 deficit to defeat the quick, athletic Davis by a score of 10-7. Throughout the match, Larkin showcased a wide array of impressive techniques on his feet, in the par terre position, and in scramble situations.
Upcoming TV Schedule (check local listings for more information)
PAX TV: April 17, 24; May 1, 8, 15. Fox Sports Net: Wednesday; April 13, 20, 27; May 4, 11, 18, 25.