New Delhi: There could not have been a better way for the JSW Bengaluru Yodhas to open their campaign in the inaugural Pro Wrestling League than with the display that they put in against the UP Warriors at the KD Jadhav stadium on Friday night. A 6-1 demolition of the UP Warriors after being 4-0 up at one point gave an emphatic indication of what is to come from the Yodhas' stable in this edition of the League.
In a light-spangled wrestling arena in New Delhi, the Yodhas won the toss and decided to block the UP Warriors' 75 kg women's category. This meant that Alina Stadnik played no part in the tie along with Yodhas' Navjot Kaur. The Warriors for their part dropped the 125 kg men's category which meant that the Yodhas' giant Georgian Davit Modzmanashvili watched from the sidelines.
The tie began with the men's 57 kg bout pitting Yodhas' Sandeep Tomar against Ukraine's Sergey Ratushny. Tomar began in strong fashion, picking up two quick points through a leg-lock and managed to hold off Ratushny's challenges going into the breather. In the second period, Tomar powered ahead, using another swift leg-lock after evading tackle to move into a 4-0 lead. Ratushny picked up two points in the last 10 seconds but they would merely serve as consolation.
Next up was the 65 kg category with Bajrang Punia taking on Rahul Mann. Bajrang, the 2013 World Championship bronze medallist, began the bout in a cagey fashion, probing for a weakness in Mann's technique. In the second minute, Bajrang found what he was looking for, a swift dive to Mann's midsection seeing the wrestler come down heavily and Bajrang opened his account with three points. In the second period, Bajrang added a few more points, outclassing Mann 10-2 with a display of aggressive wrestling.
The moment of the night though arrived in the next bout where Alyssa Lampe, the 48-kg wrestler from the USA, effected a stunning comeback victory over Oleksandra Kogut from the Ukraine. Trailing 4-0 at the break, Alyssa began the second period in blistering fashion, targeting the Ukrainian's torso and drawing level through a couple of quick take downs. With just 15 seconds to go, Lampe pushed Kogut off the mat and into the danger zone, earning a point and victory.
With three victories already sealed, Ukraine's Pavlo Oliiynik put the tie to bed, prevailing over Satyawart Kadian 2-1 in a close bout to give Bengaluru Yodhas full points. UP Warriors' icon player Babita Kumari managed to earn victory against Lalita Sehrawat but that was the only piece of success that the Warriors would taste on the night.
In the very next match, Yodhas' Yuliya Ratkevich delivered the Pro Wrestling League's first ever 'Victory By Fall', pinning down Ritu Malik in just 53 seconds to give the Bengaluru side a 5-1 lead.
Icon player Narsingh Yadav then added the final touches to a comprehensive victory, dismantling Mongolia's Purevjav Unurbat in the 74 kg category. Unurbat, who defeated Narsingh in the World Championship semi-final earlier this year, was no match for the 26-year-old wrestler as Narsingh defeated him by a 9-1 scoreline. The highlight of the bout was in the second period with Narsingh executing a rolling take-down on Unurbat, giving him four points.
The Yodhas will now face Mumbai Gaurdas in the Guru Nanak stadium in Ludhiana on the 15th of December.