All he does is win.
Kyle Snyder's nearly-unblemished record as a freestyle wrestler was in no danger in Lincoln, Nebraska, on Saturday night, as he once again defeated challenger Kyven Gadson for the right to represent Team USA at the Men's Senior Freestyle World Championships this fall in Kazakhstan. Snyder earned his way onto his fifth straight world team after handing Gadson back-to-back losses in the best-of-three series.
Kazakhstan, 2019. All glory to God. pic.twitter.com/DSTOykO4zD— Kyle Snyder (@Snyder_man45) June 16, 2019
Final X is the best-of-three event to determine each spot on Team USA across all three disciplines: men's and women's freestyle, and Greco-Roman. The world team selection process began months ago as wrestlers competed at the U.S. Open for a spot in the World Team Trials Challenge Tournament; Gadson earned his way into Final X by advancing through that process, while Snyder earned an automatic bid as a reigning world medalist.
If you're not up to speed on the World Team selection and are curious, here is an explainer from FloWrestling, the USA Wrestling media partner who produces Final X.
Snyder showed no signs of weakness under the bright lights, dusting Gadson 4-0 in the first match with 2 points coming from exposure and 2 points from a single-leg takedown.
Wearing a custom Captain America singlet, he flexed his muscles in the second round, landing a go-behind off Gadson's opening shot, hit two trap-arm gut wrenches to extend his lead to 6-0, and racked up a half-dozen more for the 12-1 tech fall, punching his ticket to another world championship tournament.
Gadson is a familiar foe for Snyder, dating back to Captain America's freshman season as a Buckeye. The three-time All-American for Iowa State pinned Snyder in the finals of the NCAA Championships at 197 pounds, the one time in his career Snyder failed to win the NCAA title.
Since then, however, it's been all Snyder in their rivalry for the 97 kg spot on the men's freestyle team. Snyder has been Team USA's man at that weight since 2015, when he won his first of three world championships in a row, including the 2016 Olympic gold medal.
With his victory Saturday night, he'll have a shot to pick up another.