The United States has been witnessing a surge of popularity in wrestling over the last decade. This has partly been down to the large number of successful wrestlers who have been able to make the American dream as a reality. There were not too many wrestlers in the early 1980s, but a string of success has been achieved since then. It has boosted the popularity of the sport as a whole. Some of the popular wrestlers that you can come across are:
A winner of the Olympic gold and a world championship, Gable is easily one of the famous wrestlers from the United States. He was immensely successful in the early 1970s at a time when the Soviet Union were producing some amazing wrestlers. Gable also made his name when freestyle standard in the USA was only starting to grow. The success achieved by the wrestler from Iowa was so great that he became inducted into the legend category of the ‘Hall of Fame’ for world wrestlers. He became only the third wrestler to achieve this distinction.
A winner of an Olympic and world championship, Angle was able to pick up success at the Olympics against all the odds. After managing to enjoy every successful short freestyle career, this wrestler from Pennsylvania was able to enjoy an equally successful career in the world of professional wrestling. Not been pleased with his incredible achievements, Angle tried to make a comeback at the 2012 Olympics but injury kept him out of the action.
A winner of six World Cup titles in succession, John Smith has an incredible reputation when it comes to wrestling. Four of these titles came at World Championships while two more came at Olympics. Crucially, none of these titles were at non-boycotted events. The achievements of Smith have earned him a place in the list of top 100 Olympians of all time. Apart from his successes at senior level, Smith has also been able to win a lot of gold in the junior category as well. His senior record stands at an impressive 100-3, which translates into a 97% winning rate.
A member of the world team from 1982 to 1996, Baumgartner has picked up numerous accolades including the world championship in five times, three worlds, and two Olympic gold medals. The incredible successes achieved by Baumgartner have been so good that he is part of only a handful of freestyle wrestlers to have picked up a medal in four different Olympic games. The gold Olympic medals for Baumgartner came at the 1984 and 1992 event, where there was a silver medal in 1988. He picked up a bronze in 1996.
After picking up an incredible five golds, Burroughs became one of the famous wrestlers from the United States. Hailing from New Jersey, this American claims to have been involved in wrestling since the age of five. After turning professional in 2011, he has picked up gold medals in the recent 2012 Olympics in London and multiple world Championships since then. Burroughs has also had immense success at the Pan American games and Pan-American Championships. The senior level record of this wrestler stands at a whopping 163-7.
An amateur wrestler from Ohio, Lee Kemp has been involved in the world of wrestling since ninth grade. He has picked up multiple World Championships and titles at the Pan-American game to become quite a famous name for those who look upon American wrestlers. The win rate of Kemp stands at quite an impressive 91%. Even though Kemp did not enjoy much in the way of media coverage during his active career, his popularity has soared in recent years.
A winner of an Olympic gold medal along with two world championship titles from 1991 to 1995, Kevin Jackson is well placed on this list as one of the famous wrestlers from the United States. There were also gold medals at the Pan-American games. This wrestler from New York has been able to gain prominence in recent years as a coach at Olympic training centres.
A freestyle wrestler who managed to pick up Olympic gold medals, Dave Schultz managed to achieve a lot of fame during his relatively short career which ended with his death in 1996. Born in California, Dave Schultz had a very successful 1980s when he picked up the 1984 Olympic gold medal after having just won the world championship in 1983. Even though he went on to conclude his playing career with time in coaching, his death and the circumstances came as a shock to wrestling fans around the globe. Dave Schultz has been featured in the media through feature films, non-fiction books, and documentaries.
Kenny Monday was a professional wrestler who managed to pick up gold medals at the 1988 Seoul Olympics and 1991 Pan-American games in Havana. After having grown up into the world of wrestling from a very age, Monday was able to pick up many NCAA titles before his immense success in the professional game. After retiring from the playing days, he has been involved in coaching. Apart from his wrestling presence, Monday has also made his debut in the mixed martial arts, although this happened in the later years of his career.
J’Den Cox is undoubtedly one of the new generation of wrestling stars to enjoy a lot of fame and success. Born in Missouri, the 25-year-old has been able to pick up an Olympic bronze medal along with two medals at world championship level. He has also been able to pick up the NCAA Division I title on three occasions. Despite having won gold medals at major championships, J’Den Cox is waiting for his first major Olympic gold medal. Since he has time on his hand, this freestyle wrestler can be expected to pick up this coveted title one day or the other.