Updated: June 8, 2023

The wrestling fate of 60 wrestlers — hoping to get one of 30 2023 World Championship spots on men’s freestyle, women’s freestyle and Greco-Roman teams — will unfold in just two days when they will compete in the 2023 Final X event, June 10, in Newark, N.J.

With that in mind, WIN Magazine is almost done with its 10-day countdown to the event that will be held at the Prudential Center. Below you will find a preview of three of the 30 best-of-3 match-ups: 97 kilos in men’s freestyle, 72 kilos in women’s freestyle and 97 kilos in Greco-Roman.

The first round of matches begin at 2 p.m. (EDT) on Saturday with the second-round (and possible third-round) matches starting at 6 p.m. in the Prudential Center.

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The following is WIN’s daily preview of all 30 weight classes. Click on previous days to view those previews:

  • June 9: I (1) Day before Final X: 125k MFS, 76k WFS, 130k GR

June 8 Final X Previews

Men’s Freestyle – 97k/213lbs: Kyle Snyder (Nittany Lion WC) vs. J’den Cox (Cliff Keen RTC/TMWC)

Kyle Snyder

Cox could have competed at 92 kilos at Final X after he earned a silver medal at that weight class in the 2022 Worlds (which would have given him an automatic spot in Newark). Instead, the 28-year-old native of Columbia, Mo., announced after the Worlds he would move up to 97 kilos to challenge Snyder; not just to try make the 2023 World Team but has eyes set on trying to claim the 2024 Olympic spot at 97k next year.

These two could have met in the 2020 Olympic Trials in 2021, but Cox failed to make weight. But, they did meet in a Rudis Super Match exhibition prior to the 2022 NCAAs in Detroit where Snyder won two matches, 5-5 and 7-2. This is a rivalry that actually started in 2011 at the Cadet Nationals in Fargo, where Cox beat Snyder in Greco before Snyder beat Cox in the freestyle. A year later, they met again in the Junior Nationals, but flipped the results; Snyder winning in Greco and Cox in freestyle. They also met in the 2015 NCAAs with Snyder (of Ohio State) beating Cox (Missouri), 3-2 in a 197-pound match. Each man would eventually earn three NCAA titles at different weight classes.

J’den Cox

In Senior freestyle, Snyder, the 27-year-old native of Woodbine, Md., has been the man to beat at 97k since 2015. He has medaled in eight straight World/Olympic tournaments; four gold (2015, 2017 and 2022 Worlds and 2016 Olympics); three silver (the 2018 and 2021 Worlds and 2020 Olympics) and one bronze (2019 Worlds).

Cox, meanwhile, surprised many when he earned a spot on the 2016 Olympic Team at 86 kilos, where he earned a bronze medal in Rio, and earned a similar finish in the 2017 Worlds. He then moved up to 92 kilos, winning World championships in 2018 and 2019 before settling for a bronze medal in the 2021 Worlds and a silver medal last year.

Women’s Freestyle – 72k/158lbs: Amit Elor (NYAC) vs. Joye Levendusky (NYAC)

Amit Alor

No American woman has made as much of an impact on USA Wrestling at this early of an age as Elor, currently a 19-year-old native of Walnut Creek, Calif., who eventually moved to and trains in NYC. This early success was especially true last year when — under the guidance of coach Valetin Kalika — she won three different age-group World Championships: Juniors, U23 and Senior Worlds, which earned her an automatic spot in 2023 Final X. The 2021 season was almost an equal as she claimed a Cadet and Junior World championship after she also collected a bronze medal in the 2019 Cadet Worlds.

Joye Levendusky

Levendusky, 23, is a native of Avon, N.Y., who eventually was a five-time All-American; four at McKendree before she ended her college career at Southern Oregon (losing to 2022 World Team member Dymond Guilford in the NAIA finals). She earned the shot at Elor in Final X when she won by technical fall over Rose Cassioppi in the finals of the 2023 U.S. Open. This was her first national tournament championship after losing five times in the finals: 2020 Junior Nationals; 2021-23 NCCWC/NAIA nationals and the 2023 U23 Nationals.

Greco-Roman – 97k/213lbs: Joe Rau (Titan Mercury WC) vs. Christian DuLaney (Minnesota Storm)

Joe Rau

Rau earned his place at Final X when he won by technical fall over Nicholas Boykin in the finals of the U.S. Open. DuLaney, who lost to Boykin in the semifinals of that April event in Las Vegas, made the most of his second to earn a Final X berth, when he defeated Cade Lautt in the finals of the World Team Trials Challenge tournament in May.

Christian DuLaney

Rau, a 32-year-old native of Chicago, is an assistant coach at Northwestern. The former NCAA Division III All-American from Elmhurst College in Chicago has also enjoyed a successful international career at different weights. That included wrestling in the 2019 Worlds, where he wrestled at 87 kilos. He also made the 2016 Olympic Team at 98 kilos, but failed to qualify the weight for Team USA. In 2021, he qualified the weight class at 87 kilos, but lost to John Stefanowicz in the finals of the 2020 Olympic Trials (that were delayed for a year).

DuLaney is a native of Ohio, who grew up in Shakopee, Minn., and attended Benilde-St. Margaret’s,where he was a two-time state runner-up. He first wrestled at Northern Iowa (2015), but later attended Iowa Lakes Community College — earning two NJCAA All-American honors — before he wrestled at SIU-Edwardsville. While his Greco experience is limited, he did qualify to compete in the 2020 (2021) Olympic Trials at 87 kilos.