It was Senior Night for Michigan last season in early February and Michigan was hosting Penn State. It was tough duty for the Wolverines as Cael's squad was on their way to a 4th straight NCAA title. At 149, Eric Grajales (Michigan) faced off against Andrew Alton (Penn State) as they were two similarly up and down wrestlers always bouncing around the rankings. What happened was one of the strangest, most exciting, and poorly officiated matches you will ever see.
Below is my recap of the events in this awesome show they put on:
- I love as the video starts off we see the 5th year Senior, Grajales, has a major of General Studies....because why make a man choose when the school has so much cool shit to offer?
- Another puzzling thought from all this was after this embarrassment on national television the ref ended up at the NCAA Finals with a match on the big stage. I think they need to check their ratings system.
- Alton comes out firing with 2 great takedowns and a very quick near fall count. And I mean very frickin quick. I don't know how he gets a 2 count in there, but hey he's the ref.
- Another controversy (in the soon to be many) is the takedown that isn't called with 9 seconds left in the first. Cael challenges and gets it, but then the ref erroneously tries to just start the 2nd period. Michigan correctly argues that there should be time to when the takedown is called. The refs then go back to the monitor and somehow decide that 3 seconds be put on the clock. Luck would have it for the ref, Grajales nearly pulls off the reversal in these 3 ticks. He makes the right "no call" there, but there really should have been 9 or 10 seconds instead of 3.
- Near the end of the 2nd, Grajales hits a tilt and Alton rolls shoulder to shoulder on it bridging. Somehow the ref doesn't give a 2 count possibly confused by the constant motion of the situation. Of course Michigan is upset after the lightning quick 2 that was given in the 1st to Alton.
- At the 9:48 mark of the video you can see myself (in the light green t-shirt) raise my fist for bottom call stalling right before it is called. Kevin & I do not try to hide the fact we are Michigan homers.
- Now things start to get weird. Alton gasses during Grajales' comeback. Three times he releases him with hands in the air at the ref, and isn't given an escape or a stall call! You think it would be one, the other, or both. He also stops the action on a shot as Grajales is clearly inbounds.
- Alton then out of nowhere uses Grajales' momentum to hit the garbage roll for an awesome 4-point move. The ref calls potentially dangerous which either that or a stalemate was likely to be called as Grajales was no longer exposed.
- Now the ref has to go check the score which brings up 2 points:
1) The assistant ref was essentially a spectator this whole frickin' time (actually the whole stupid dual). The guy didn't help with the time stoppage, the headlock potentially dangerous, and the score check here. I mean look where the tool is in the picture above! That was short time, out of bounds, and a pinning situation at the end of the match and he is over there??!! I sure hope he wasn't getting paid for this mat-side seat.
2) How was Alton so gassed? There was the replay in the first, blood time in the 2nd, and then a score check in the 3rd. I know he was in and out of the lineup with injuries and such, but this was a match with a ton of break time.
- Continuing with last point, Alton gives up the escape and looks no fresher from the break. He gives up a stall call just pushed around with Grajales chasing him.
- Finally Grajalas gets the takedown and the pin comes with just 5 seconds left. It was 15 minutes of real time drama, 27 combined points, and a crowd pleasing pin. It was amazing to see two talented guys give that kind of fireworks and enough controversy to write a term paper on.