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Former Penn State Wrestlers To Compete In New American Wrestling League

Former college wrestling stars can finally make a living on the mat.

A special event dual will kick off the American Wrestling League, a newly formed professional freestyle wrestling league, on November 30 when two newly formed all-star teams face off at at the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Former Penn State star and reigning world champion David Taylor will captain one of the league’s original teams at AWL I: The Beginning. Of the 20 wrestlers Taylor drafted Saturday night, three are Nittany Lions: Nico Megaludis, Zain Retherford, and Dan Vallimont.

Frank Molinaro will be the lone former Penn State wrestler on the opposing team, which will be led by Kyle Dake, a four-time national champion at Cornell and one of only two wrestlers to beat Taylor during his college career. 

There are 608 wins and and seven national championships among Taylor and the four former Penn State wrestlers competing. Other notable wrestlers include Michigan’s Adam Coon, Iowa’s Brandon Sorensen, and  Illinois’ Isaiah Martinez, who’s otherwise known as the fAcE oF nCaA wReStLiNg.

Tickets for The Beginning can be purchased here, starting at $30. Vaunted as “The Greatest Wrestling Show on Earth!” the dual will also be streamed online by Track Wrestling for $14. Starting lineups for AWL I: The Beginning will be announced on Track Wrestling on November 10.

The dual will feature ten men’s matches and two women’s matches. Each match will have a purse worth $10,000 and follow the Unified Rules of American Wrestling.  

Taylor’s and Dake’s teams are the first two members of the AWL. Additional members, which will compete in AWL 2 and beyond, will be announced after the inaugural dual. More than 60 eligible wrestlers entered this weekend’s draft, so plenty of former Penn State wrestlers can still hear their names called in the coming weeks as wrestling continues to expand its following and reach bigger and bigger audiences.

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About the Author

Anthony Colucci

Anthony Colucci was once Onward State’s managing editor and preferred walk-on honors student who majored in psychology and public relations. Despite being from the make-believe land of Central Jersey, he was never a Rutgers fan. If you ever want to know how good Saquon Barkley's ball security is, ask Anthony what happened when he tried to force a fumble at the Mifflin Streak. If you want to hear the story or are bored and want to share prequel memes, follow @_anthonycolucci on Twitter or email him at [email protected]. All other requests and complaints should be directed to Onward State media contact emeritus Steve Connelly.

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