Memorable Matches

Smith Smash – Robby’s Arm Throw Leads to Super-Fast Tech

robby smith greco roman arm throw
Photo: Tim Foley, UWW

While Robby Smith (130 kg, NYAC) might not be a one-trick pony, there is no denying the power and efficiency of his arm throw. It’s a move he has perfected over the years and can execute just about any time an opponent’s limb is within reasonable striking distance. You’ve seen it before; there are many examples. The 2016 Olympian came out and nailed one right away in Rio against eventual bronze medalist Sabah Shariati (AZE). He had only been given two on the maneuver, but the argument could have been made four points were more appropriate. Adam Coon (CKWC) was victimized by the Smith arm throw himself in the Olympic Trial finals, as well. These are, of course, more recent references, but come on: there are just too many to count.

It’s one thing for any high-level Greco Roman wrestler to hit an arm throw against other skilled opponents, but it’s quite another when we’re talking about a heavyweight who can do so with the speed of a lightweight. That’s what you have with Smith. It’s fast. These tosses can either come from him grinding it out inside of a tie or off of an exchange in space. One way or another, he’s snagging arms and converting them into scores.

Case in point is this match from the 2015 Pan American Championships in Santiago, Chile. The opponent, Luciano Del Rio (ARG) really didn’t have too much of a shot going in against someone like Smith, who would go on to win this tournament via a thin 1-0 decision over Ramon Garcia (DOM). For his part, Del Rio later took a bronze.

There isn’t much to cover here. It was all over within 15 seconds of actual wrestling. Two four-point arm throws and whoosh — peace out.

The first one is virtually right off the whistle. As soon as Smith pummeled through, Del Rio offered up his arm for just a second, and that’s all it takes for Smith to turn on it.

Robby Smith greco roman arm throw

The first arm throw happened a mere few seconds after the whistle. Smith loves to catch guys right out of the gate.

It almost looked like they were drilling. Because as soon as Del Rio popped back up, Smith was at it again, this time for the match-ending points.

Robby Smith USA Greco Roman wrestling arm spin

“Thank you sir, may I have another?”

Two arm throws back-to-back against a solid opponent, and Smith was moving on. Under the current rule-set, we see plenty of the garden variety tech’s where a wrestler will run a trap-arm bodylock to a gutwrench and just roll the guy out (or more commonly, a passivity par terre opportunity leading to four consecutive guts). So a match like this with its breezy conclusion brought to you by an American hitting a couple of arm throws in quick succession is a nice change of pace. But hey, it’s what Robby does.

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