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Wade Schalles - The Best Wrestler You Probably Don't Know

Updated on May 11, 2012

The inventor of the "spladle" and Guinness World Record Holder for Most Pins

Wade Schalles, the best wrestler you probably have not heard of, has invented moves, pinned opponents with ease and grace and given back to the wrestling community throughout his career. Schalles does not promote himself and chose not to become a collegiate coach so his name is not as well know as a few of the other greats in wrestling but Schalles is without doubt in the running for the title as best wrestler of all time.

Not only has Schalles proven himself on the mat but he also has continued to be invloved through motivational speaking, coaching clinics and camps, creating an instruction DVD series, written best selling books and running is own youth program now that his children are grown. Watch these videos and read a little more about this wrestling phenomenon.

Early Years and College

Wade Schalles was born in Pennsylvania is 1951 and began his pinning dominance while wrestling in high school. His senior year in high school Schalles pinned his way through his entire season and met in the state finals against a wrestler who was an undefated 2x state champion at the time. This match was voted on by Pennsylvania sports writers, coaches and officilas as the most exciting match in state championship history. Not surprising because anyone who has watched Schalles wrestle will tell you he is definitely exciting.

While wrestling at Clarion University Schalles won NCAA titles and pinned a collegiate record of over 100 opponents. One of the things of legend about Schalles is the story of how his teammates placed small tape "x's" on the mat and Schalles would pin his opponent on that "x". It seems like an urban myth but it is true, Schalles had that level of skill and talent.

His prolific pinning ability also earned him the recogntion of the Guinness Book of World Records as the holder of the record for most colege wrestling pins, a record he still holds today.

Schalles vs. Kemp, Olympic Trials Final

Awards and Accolades

Wade Schalles is so well respected that there is a national award presented each year to the wrestler who exhibits not only pinning and winning on the mat but also exemplifies the character off the mat that Schalles did himself. The award is aptly named The Schalles Award. Wade Schalles won 15 national championship and 5 all-american titles in 5 different competitive styles during his competition days, these were folkstlye, freestyle, greco-roman, sambo and judo. Schalles was MMA before there was MMA!

Legendary coach and wrestler Dan Gable said that Schalles was the "grestest pinner I've ever seen!" Sports Illustrated said that he "was the most exciting wrestler to ever walk on the mat." In 2005, the NCAA's put together their 75th Anniversary list of greatest wrestlers and Wade Schalles was one of only 15 wrestlers to be honored on this list. Another redord that still stands is in Pennsylvania high school wrestling where Schalles' pinning percentage of 96% his senior year has not been broken

Schalles on Relaxation from Legal Pain series

Coaching and Inventing

Now that his children are grown Schalles has returned to the northeast and is currently operating Eagle Hawk Academy, so if you are lucky enough to live in the Baltimore/Washington DC area check it out. But anyone can learn from Schalles through his Legal Pain DVD series, a best selling instruction series and pure entertainment. He has also been a syndicated columnist for wrestling, best selling author, motivational speaker (and motivation he is!!), volunteer coach, mentor to youth wrestlers and official.

Schalles is the kind of person you can be proud to say you know, he lives life with energy and enthusiam as well as compassion and fire. Schalles wrestled with the goal to win and has used these one the mat lessons to become a man that can truly be respected. He continues to be engaged in inventing moves and training techniques as well as speaking and coaching. A few of the moves attributed to Schalles include the spladle, cement mixer, reverse ball and chain and the clemson roll. If you have ever used these moves, or had one used against you, thank Wade Schalles the originator of funk wrestling.

If you ever have a chance to meet Schalles, attend a camp or clinic or hear him speak, don't hesitate, GO! he will change the way you look at the sport and he is honestly the best wrestler you probably didn't know but definately should.

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      Scott 10 months ago

      I saw Schalles wrestle in college watched him pin people by sitting on them to this day I'm still amazed at the pins he had you had to see it for yourself to believe it. I go Schalles, Sanderson, Gable as best ever.

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      Dave Robinson 13 months ago

      He was possibly the best wrestler of modern history. We should be proud and supportive.

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      mike jannuzzi 2 years ago

      i saw wade wrestling numerous times at the wilkes open. he became so well known to the local fans that as he was wrestling another wrestler the crowd noticed wade giving his leg for the wrestler to grab and in unison the crowd chanted " dont grab his leg". the opposing wrestler backed up at looked into the crowd a lil bewildered. the match continued and wade gave his leg again and the crown once again yelled to not grab his leg. well, as you can imagine, he did grab wades legs and he was quickly pinned. best wrestler of all times