Final X will be the the event that determines who represents this country at the world championships in Serbia this year. There are some wrestlers that have already secured their spot and some that will still need to punch their tickets via the world team trials.
I have put together a list on who has already qualified and who the probable competitors are.
57kg- Thomas Gilman vs Nick Suriano
Gilman has not competed for a bit but he does have the spot at Final X should he choose to take it. As far as the challenge tournament goes I would pick Suriano unless someone else can come up big here.
Vito is a big competitor but did not have the greatest showing at the NCAA Tournament with a 3rd place finish (at least compared to what I felt he was capable of). Another big competitor might be Pat Glory depending on how he performs.
61kg- Daton Fix vs Nathan Tomasello
Who Fix actually sees in Final X is just dependent on who shows up for the challenge tournament. Fix beat Gilman for the 2019 world team spot and Tomasello last year for the spot where he went on to win world silver letting him sit in Final X.
A lot of guys could shake things up but I do not see anyone beating Fix. Nahshon Garrett should he be at 61kg is a big one for the 2018 world team member, Joe Colon is always solid with his world bronze, and Tyler Graff personally I feel gave Fix the best match at the trials last year.
65kg- Yianni Diakomihalis vs Joey McKenna
Neither of these guys are sitting in Final X and most likely this will not be your final but this is what happened last year so we can just roll with it. Yianni has a couple adjustments to make should he want to medal on the world level but we just have to see how far he has come since last year.
As far as guys that could compete a lot of them are up at 70kg so we have McKenna who might be the biggest one. Nick Lee should not be counted out by any stretch of the imagination as he posted a 16-8 win over Diakomihalis and a 10-4 win over Retherford at the Olympic Trials when he last competed.
70kg- Ryan Deakin vs Alec Pantaleo
It seems like it finally may be Ryan Deakin’s time here. Falling short in the finals twice to James Green, but with Green announcing retirement this is huge for Deakin as he might just be the favorite to win this.
Pantaleo is one of the best in the world should he perform to his abilities. He has two straight wins over Jordan Oliver and has a win over Green as well. He has been insanely solid ever since he made the move up to 70kg and is a real threat.
Outside competitors can not be overlooked at this weight class cause we have guys like Jordan Oliver, Zain Retherford and more who have made teams in the past.
74kg- Kyle Dake vs
Honestly could not give you a prediction here with a lot of the fields top competitors heading up to 79kg. Either way no matter the circumstance Kyle Dake should not lose here.
79kg- Jordan Burroughs vs Alex Dieringer
Burroughs is sitting in Final X having just accepted his bid recently. The field at 79kg is stacked but Ringer made it through last time so we have him their as the projected champion of the challenge tournament.
Other competitors at the weight include guys like Isaiah Martinez, Carter Starocci, Jason Nolf, and Chance Marstellar should they all be competing.
86kg- David Taylor vs Zahid Valencia
At this point in time 86kg is weird with not knowing who will even compete. The biggest fight here for most of the guys is to even get the chance to wrestle Taylor which as we have seen before just does not go their way.
Some of the outside competitors at this weight class are exactly who you would expect with Mark Hall, Myles Martin, Nate Jackson and guys like that. Can anyone break through and beat Taylor however, it is unlikely.
92kg- J’den Cox vs Kollin Moore
This was the final at the world team trials last year and Moore got shut out both matches. However that being said Moore has been making crazy improvement match to match and he is still one of the best in the world at 92kg.
I do not see anyone really stopping Kollin Moore at the challenge tournament but one of the competitors that could make it happen is Mike Macchiavello and even that would be a big maybe at this point.
97kg- Kyle Snyder vs Kyven Gadson
Honestly a lot of people fled this weight class going down to 92kg or going up to 125kg. The most obvious answer is nobody can touch him and if they can make the bump or cut decently why not shoot their shot at Cox or Gwiz.
Gadson will probably be the person to book his ticket through the challenge tournament with his performance recently if he is back up at 97kg.
125kg- Nick Gwiazdowski vs Greg Kerkvliet
Gwiz is the guy and I do not see that changing here. The only guy that was a straight up better wrestler was Gable and he is gone and done with wrestling. Gwiz vs Parris was the finals last season and that was pure domination for Gwiz both matches as he swept Parris with ease 6-0 and 10-3.
Kerkvliet finally looks to be coming into his own this season as he had some great wins putting it on Mason Parris 3 times in a row. Cassioppi looks not to be 100 percent healthy so it does not look like he will be competing rumored to have suffered a mcl tear before nationals. I also have not seen confirmation that Kerkvliet will be competing so this is just assuming he does.
Other guys in this weight class include Dom Bradley, Hayden Zillmer, and Tony Nelson but Zillmer is still adjusting to heavyweight, Bradley and Nelson look to be getting up there in age.