Wrist wrestling comes to Newville

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Eric Schmoldt
Friday, November 8, 2013

Wrist wrestling is coming to Newville.

And with a competition in the area, you can bet Rollie Christensen will be there taking aim at titles.

Christensen, a one-time international champion and 10-time world-title winner from Stoughton, will compete Saturday in an event sanctioned by the World National Wristwrestling Association at Dockside Bar. Weigh-ins go until noon leading up to the all-day event.

“It’s a one-day event,” Christensen said. “Back in ’95 and ’96, it was a two-day event. It’s about half the size, but it’s a sanctioned World National Wristwrestling Association. It’s a world title, but it’s basically amateur—there’s no money.”

The event will serve as somewhat of a throwback to the days when Christensen and his team—the Edgerton Armbenders, a group formed in 1979—were some of the toughest competitors in wrist wrestling.

Christensen traveled the world in the ’80s and early ’90s, winning enough trophies to fill an entire room in his house.

He was officially recognized by the state of Wisconsin for his success in the competitions in 1995, and that came before he put together his best performance on the world stage.

He won a gold medal in the men’s 110-kg left-handed class in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

“I might not have made it to the top left if I would’ve sacrificed and gone right and left,” Christensen said. “Everyone said, ‘You got the gold.’ But I said, ‘Maybe I could’ve had two.’ You never know.”

Christensen also was named the top male wristwrestler at the world championships in Newville in 1996, when Dockside was called Captain’s Katch. Thus, the throwback to yesteryear for him.

The 55-year-old isn’t simply getting nostalgic, however. After a 13-year hiatus, he returned to competition last year and has added more hardware to his medal collection.

He intends to put up a fight in the Masters division, which Saturday includes competitors age 35 and older.

“(Fans) going to see a good competition—they’re going to see the armsport competition at its best,” Christensen said. “They will have weight divisions, just like high school wrestling. They’ll have teams and go by points, and whichever individual end ups with the most points is the Wristwrestler of the Year.”

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