- Brandon Cain
Final X New York, Beat the Streets' 2022 Annual Benefit, set for June 8 at Hulu Theater at MSG
Fifteen weight classes will be contested in a best-of-three series to determine Team USA members at the 2022 World Championships.
What happens when two of wrestling’s most popular event properties combine forces? You get something that truly must not be missed.
USA Wrestling and Beat the Streets New York are working together to present Final X New York on Wednesday, June 8 at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
The Final X series will determine the 2022 U.S. Senior World Teams in all three Olympic disciplines: men’s and women’s freestyle and Greco-Roman. There will be two Final X events this year, the first on Friday, June 3 at a location to be announced and the second one in New York City.
There will be 15 weight classes contested in Final X New York, five in each Olympic discipline. Those weight classes will be announced at a later date. The top two U.S. athletes in the nation in these weight classes will compete in a best-of-three series to determine who will wrestle at the 2022 Senior World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia.
This will serve as the Beat the Streets Annual Benefit event for 2022. These unique and electrifying annual events help Beat the Streets New York raise millions of dollars to support local youth wrestling programs which empower young people in New York City.
Beat the Streets provides a safe, positive atmosphere for student-athletes to learn the essential life lessons of discipline, perseverance, self-reliance, humility and a strong work ethic through wrestling. The Beat the Streets Annual Benefit will follow the conclusion of Final X New York. Ticket information for Final X New York, as well as the Beat the Streets Annual Benefit, will be announced at a later date.
Session times will be at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern time, with the Beat the Streets Annual Benefit to immediately follow.
“We are pleased to partner again with Beat the Streets New York, one of the most respected wrestling programs in the nation. They serve young people in New York City and impact their lives through wrestling. Partnering with Final X allows us to not only select the athletes for our Senior World Team, but also to promote the sport at a unique and exciting level. We are hopeful that wrestling fans around the nation will mark their calendar to attend this showcase for wrestling,” said Rich Bender, USA Wrestling Executive Director.
“Beat the Streets is beyond excited to host Final X for our Annual Benefit this year at the same location that we sold out in 2019, at MSG's Hulu Theater. This event is our largest fundraiser of the year and will support 75 percent of our annual expenses, so we can continue to meet the needs of the 2,500 boys and girls in New York City that rely on us. There have been so many incredible moments that have taken place at this annual event in New York City, whether it was the U.S. taking on Iran or Russia, Coleman Scott securing his spot on the Olympic Team or Jordan Burroughs wrestling Ben Askren in front of a sold-out crowd at the Hulu Theater. We have no doubt that this year’s event will provide more exciting moments for the men and women looking to earn a spot on this year’s World Team, so they can represent USA Wrestling at the World Championships in Serbia,” said Brendan Buckley, Executive Director of Beat the Streets New York.
The Hulu Theater at MSG is where the Beat the Streets “Grapple at the Garden” event was held before a sold-out crowd of more than 5,000 fans on May 6, 2019. The card’s Main Event featured 2012 Olympic champion Jordan Burroughs against 2008 Olympian and MMA star Ben Askren.
FloWrestling will be the presenting sponsor of Final X New York and will serve as its host broadcasting partner.
This will be the third year Final X will determine the U.S. Senior World Team. In 2018, Final X was held in three locations: the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, Neb., Penn State University in State College, Pa. and Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa. In 2019, Final X was held in two locations, Rutgers University in Piscataway, N.J. and again at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, Neb.
Final X was not held in 2020 because it was an Olympic year, and the Olympic Games were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. USA Wrestling used a different format to select its Senior World Team in 2021, when both the Olympic Games and the World Championships were hosted the same season only a few months apart.
This will be the 12th Beat the Streets Annual Benefit. The fan-favorite event is a major showcase of the best of international wrestling. These competitions have been at iconic locations across New York City.
The first Beat the Streets Annual Benefit event was in 2010 on the U.S.S. Intrepid, an aircraft carrier docked on the west side of Manhattan. Six of the events have been held in different locations in Times Square. The 2013 event was hosted in Grand Central Terminal. In 2018, the competition was held in the Seaport District, and then moved in 2019 to the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden. The 2020 Beat the Streets Annual Benefit was a virtual competition without fans due to pandemic, and was held outdoors in the Frank Sinatra Pavilion in Hoboken, N.J. There was no Beat the Streets Annual Benefit in 2021.
The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden is a historic location which has been the site of many great sports and entertainment events for more than 40 years. The theater, which has as many as 5,600 spectator seats, hosted the 1998 Goodwill Games wrestling competition, the 2018 “Grapple in the Garden” college wrestling event and the 2019 Beat the Streets “Grapple at the Garden” Benefit Event. The Hulu Theater has hosted world-class competitions in many sports, including some of the most famous boxing competitions in history.
(Graphic by Geoff Riccio of Riccio Productions)