|3||Francisco 'Paco' Bautista||Spain|
|10||Gustavo Badell||Puerto Rico|
Comments About the 2002 Night of Champions
From visitors of and the awesome Ron Avidan!
Justice at the NOC!
Well, after all in his fourth try, Marcus Ruhl, got what he deserved at least on two previous occasions. Man, after I saw everybody, I told my friends that if he doesn't take it this time, there has to be something seriously wrong with the whole judging panel. I mean, if he didn't win, well, he would have come back next year! Marcus was so surprised with the victory, that I think, he didnt want to leave the stage - maybe he was thinking that it was a mistake, and the medal would be taken away from him? He looked great though. may be not as hard as he was before, nevertheless, still, very good, with improved shoulders and triceps, tight stomach, he looks to be heading for top three this year - I mean, if all thigs are fair. Second place - Bob Cicherillo, now I am sure that he is a nice guy, but common, second? Bob did a great job, improving his shape from last year, where he simply looked out of place, but his legs were small, hamstrings and glutes were smooth. Who would I have put second? The German guy who didnt make the top 15, somehow, and outside of Ruhl and Bautista was the only other guy in serious shape.
Francisco Bautista was huge, a crowd favorite, in tremendous condition - was even harder than Marcus, with tremendous vascularity, but has serious structural flaws - his rib cage and waist around the same size (he has a huge rib cage), short legs. Man, those legs are something else. Is a bit similar to Paul DeMayo, but Paul was better structurally. Anyway, was a sight to see, but as far as proportions and especially aesthetics, he is not the most gifted guy out there. His place, which was well deserved too, was just an indication that the field was weak.
How did Darrem Charles win the Southwest Pro show, I have no idea - the guy looks like more of the same thing. No legs, narrow, with flat back, he was also slightly watery, compared to what he looked like in the past. Big gift! Fifth for Craig Titus - another gift. Craig looked like he was suffering from wasting syndrome as he probably weighed around 220 at most. He was hard, but had nothing left besides his arms and shoulders.
Ok, now we go to the very wierd part. Paul Dillet in 6th? Come again? Man, he looked not just bad - awfull. He was fat, lost most of his size, no torso whatsoever, legs down in size. Posing, forget it, he looked like he was drunk. Paul needs to hang up the trunks for good and not take up space, and recieve gifts that rob other far more deserving people. Tom Prince, seventh, was understandably off after the knee injury. Legs half way down in size, torso also. I think he tore the medial (inner) head of his gastrocnemius muscle on his left leg. Anyway, he was not top 15 material.
Whoever said earlier today, that Melvin Anthony was gonna win, should better check with psychiatrist on the subject of delusions . He was soft as usual, weak quads, no calves, small chest and his usual wierd posing. The guy who really looked worthy to beat most of the above guys, and could have been in top 5, was Mustafa Mohammad. Platz-like quads, huge arms, he was a bit lacking in torso, but not as much as Bautista, and had much better shape to his muscles. Anyway, someone please explain how that German, can't remember his name, but I am sure it will soon be very well known got out of top 15 when he could have easily been second. So, finally the judges have learned how to pick a winner. Now its a small part - to properly place others. But it wouldn't be NOC then.
Long time listener. First time caller. Just got back home after long drive from NYC where I attended both prejudging and evening events. My top 8 after the prejudging: 1) Markus Ruhl -- massive 2) Bob Cicherillo -- still has symmetry to go with added size, excellent poser 3) Francisco Bautista -- shredded to the nth degree but missing in a few areas. 4) Craig Titus 5) Paul Dillett -- missing legs.. I'd heard this was a strength. 6/7) Tom Prince/Melvin Anthony -- couldn't decide. at one point I commented that if you ignored coloring they had the same body. 8) Darrem Charles 9 and up) cast of thousands.
Considering the final results - not too bad. I'm no bodybuilding judge (but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night). Melvin Anthony was definitely having the most fun up there. While Bautista's initial showing drew attention (his legs were amazing), looking at different areas pointed out weaknesses (chest for instance). I think Tom Prince was hurt by dehydration/cramping during comparative mandatories. Impressive nonetheless considering his description of his injury. Credit to Darrem Charles on one level; he looked much better in his evening showing. This might account for his final placement (versus my subjective rankings) since it was very close.
First, Marcus was the well deserved winner. He was huge and hard! Bob & Paco were in great condintion, and Dillett looked very good too! I thought in the prejudging, it was between him and Ruhl, as Paul was very improved since the Southwest Pro! I also noticed that Mustafa Mohammad was in great condition, and he deserved to be at least in the top four. He was very huge, symmetrical and hard, while Darrem, Titus, Melvin, Tom, J.D and Willie were all a little off, especially Darrem Charles, who does not deserve to be in the top five. I canâ€™t wait for the Toronto Pro, as I predict there will be major changes in the placings.
Regarding Bob Cicherillo.
This is a very ironic finish. Tuesday in Vegas, Bob and I were discussing his competition and his comment was "It will be between Markus and me... it will be apples and oranges, just depends what they want." Another ironic thing; if you take Markus and Paco out of the line-up, its the Southwest Texas Pro Show again and Bob beats Darrem.
Hmmm, will irony be in the future also? Lets see Bob was the 2000 GB champ, its "2" years later and he has "two" "2nd" place finishes... whats next? He is finally using the force and starting to living up to his potential, bringing the doubters over from the dark side. Maybe its just the mix of working with Chad, the California sun and having sexy Tiffany by his side. Whatever it is, keep it up Big Man and Congratulations. Now lets get back to having fun, at least until its time to prep for the Big O.
One thing I have learned over the years of going to shows is that the judging is very subjective... even from the audiences standpoint. Just based on knowing the competitors and their history of conditioning and shape and posing ability. I'm sure Bob gained the majority of his points over the others in the posing rounds, he obviously couldn't compete with Markus or Paco in mass, but Bob definitely out poses both (that is where Jay lost to Ronnie at the O, posing ability does matter).
It's not just the best physique or the biggest mass monster (even though they are crowd favorites), its the guy who brings in the best total package in all 4 rounds, the guy who can keep it together between pre-judging and night show (by his own admission Bobs previous flaw). This is where the IFBB has changed for the better. It used to be where you were after pre-judging was where you finished, not anymore, now they are looking at ALL 4 rounds. Its been a little over a year now since someone looked awesome during pre-judging then went and had a Big Mac and came in at night looking like ass and still wins the show.
Regarding Bob Cicherillo.
Now, will all the Chick haters please play a neat little game of hide and go f*ck yourself. Seriously, after the Southwest Texas Pro Show, all the haters said 'wait until the NOC because the field will be stronger and he has no chance there.' Well, he took second again. At least admit you were wrong. Give the dude some credit for Christ's sake. He kicked ass again. I can hear it now: "Wait until Toronto, GNC or the Olympia." Blah! Blah! Blah!
Regarding Francisco Bautista. What a comeback for Francisco 'Paco' Arreobla Bautista. At the 1999 IFBB World Amateur Champions, on November 13, 1999 in Bratisflava, Slovakia, Francisco beat every competitor there, and won the Heavyweight division and the Overall, becoming the 1999 IFBB World Amateur Champion. But Francisco failed the drug test, and thus was disqualified, and suspended for two years. At this show, this guy was awesome, and hopefully, he will pass the drug test this time around! By the way, did the competitors take a drug test this time? If he does, it will mean that another competitor competing in his first pro show is going to the Mr. Olympia!
Regarding Francisco Bautista. Paco didn't enter his first pro show like some other rookies, shouting and insulting everybody, and he did great! So do you guys still think all that smack talking is necessary to be recognized in this buisness? I think NOT! Actually he speaks very little English, so at non-European contests the Spaniard has to let his body and presentation do the talking. Happily he seems to have left a powerful "message" in his Olympia-qualifying pro debut. Go Paco!
He has the physique that allows him to get noticed without causing a WWF-type stir. Actually he has got huge limbs and conditioning going for him, otherwise his physique lacks a lot of things.
I wasn't too impressed with Paco's physique; however, we will see what he has to show at the O. It is going to be a great show with more competitors than last year!
Regarding Francisco Bautista.
I thought Paco looked pretty good. He was is bloody great condition, sure those shoulders look like they were shaped in the bathroom rather than the gym, but he still looked better than a lot of the others. However only Ruhl has a realistic chance of cracking the top ten at the Mr.O. I can't see any of them besides Ruhl beating Kamali, and with Priest and maybe Flex in the show this year, it's going to be hard for Ruhl to beat his 7th of a few years ago.
Regarding Markus Ruhl. Markus outmuscled EVERYBODY. He was a man among little boys up there. WAY too much size. A clear-cut victory for the Kraut.
Regarding Markus Ruhl. Markus deserved this win! It was one in which many of us fans here in New York were waiting for! Markus was huge, and freaky, and definately one of the fan's favorites here. But Markus needs to take care of his belly button that just sticks out. Hopefully, by the Olympia, this simple surgery will be done, and then Markus will just look even more awesome.
Regarding Tom Prince. So sick of all of you complaining about Tom Prince. Let's see you bust your ass getting ready for 10 weeks, then blow out your knee 2 weeks out because of some freak gym accident caused by a wanna-be, and still have the gonads to follow thru and get up on that stage. There is no score high enough for that! It just makes Tom the most hardcore mother out there!
For some reason, there was no usual entertainment at NOC this year. They had Juliette Bergman guest posing. Nice physique, but she has a voice deeper than Barry White. Kamali and Shawn did not do anything special - I wish they would box or something :). Just once, Shawn started talking about something and it took him 5 minutes to say what could be said in one word. He was asked if he is retiring, and the answer I guess was no, but he made it sound so complicated than I am still am not sure. Kamali was urging people several times to cheer for some athletes, who were posing in total silence. Show was kind of boring, to be honest.
Regarding Mr. Olympia Qualified.
Based on the lists I have seen, there are now 24 people qualified for the Mr. Olympia, with one contest left. This should make for a very interesting Olympia, with 10 of the 24 competitors from outside of the United States. Congrats to Markus Ruhl, Francisco Bautista, and Craig Titus for qualifying for the Olympia at the Night of Champions! Too bad Paul Dillet can't get an invite since he was sixth at the NOC and defiantely deserved it. J.D., if placed higher, could of received a special invite but since he played 9th at this show, it won't happen.
Markus Rules! Markus Ruhl is a freaky mass lover's dream and thus he won over the crowd and the judges at the 24th NOC. What's the difference between Ruhl (1st) and Francisco Bautista (4th)? Markus knows how to use synthol. Markus injects deep in the muscle, so his delts and biceps don't look tumor ridden as Bautista's side delts do. Anyone who doubts Markus is on the synthol needs only take a gander at the scars on his delts and his back double biceps. Have you ever seen a front lat spread turned into a delt pose? Check Markus out.
Bautista represents the best and worst in our sport. Freaky mass, even freakier conditioning. The man's legs are outrageous; he outdoes Jim Quinn in the old Twin Lab ad. But, the delts, the bitch tits, the thick waist! What were the judges thinking? After marking Ernie Taylor, Dennis James and other members of the big-gut-synthol-brigade down in earlier shows this year, they give Markus 1st and Bautista 3rd? Well, I guess if Ronnie gets away with his calves every year, Markus was due.
Darrem Charles (4th) has the type of body that guys in the gym think they could look like. Markus Ruhl has the type of body guys in the gym want to have. Actually, Darrem has a fantastic natural shape and has built some beautiful muscle. I'm sick of people complaining on him. The man represents the best in the sport and I bet he'll long outlive Ruhl and Bautista.
Paul Dillett is a has-been. The man's rear delts overshadow and spill over his back in back double biceps poses. He has NO back detail (in a back double biceps) and can't spread his lats. Maybe if he just stood there looking freaky and wide he'd be better off. If Tom Prince (7th?) ever dials it all in like he did last year, he's a potential future Olympia (gotta get rid of the belly button like Markus did though!).
Before Results Are Known:
Markus Ruhl must be the clear winner at the NOC. Second place should be interesting, between Bob Cicherillo and The Freak, Francisco Bautista. Paul Dillett still loses his impressiveness when he poses, but he should battle with Craig Titus for the other two Olympia-qualifying postitions. The next five should be JD Dawodu, Tom Prince, Darrem Charles, Melvin Anthony, and Willie Stalling. The last five positions to pose tonight should be from among Gustavo Badell, Eddie Abbew, Jason Arntz, Mike Morris, Charles Kemp, Mustafa Mohammad, Charles Kemp, Johannes Eleftheriadis, Milton Holloway, Alison Maria, and Paul Baker. The final ten in descending order should be Christian Lobarede, Erwin Marquez, Rod Ketchens, Valentine Jabes, Tevita Aholelei, Mohsen Yazdeni, Dennis Francis, Berry Kebov, Shaun Davis, and Ken Jones. Not the greatest number of competitors, but Markus and The Freak are worth the price of admission.
Before Results Are Known:
During the prejudging, the first callout was Chick, Marcus and Dillet. Markus is HUGE, looks to be holding a little water, Chick is dryer than I have ever seen him, looks great, Dillet looks good too, just not as big as usual. JD and Titus look to probably round out the top 5. Prince looks great from the back and side, but bloated and watery from the front. Paco is shredded but looks syntholish. Darrem looks samll and shredded but not big enough to do any damage at the NOC. The night show could be intersting. Melvin was not too impressive, looks soft.
Before Results Are Known:
Markus looks mighty impressive and so does Bob Cicherillo. Paul Dillet looks soft and the posing does not do him justice. Titus looks pretty flat and small. Tom Prince looks great from the back and side. Charles is super cut, maybe 3rd place. Paco looks ridiculous, his delts are filled with synthol and have taken on a shape out of this world!
Before Results Are Known:
Melvin looks awesome. The man will win the NOC tonight. Watch out!! But, actually looking the best and winning too do not go hand in hand in IFBB Pro contests.
Before Results Are Known:
Any man can look good by himself. The report I just got was he is either 8th, 9th, or 10th at best. Heard Ruhl may be the winner with Chic in the top 3, also some Francisco guy is shredded to the bone. Titus also looked good, and TP probably is out of top 5. They tryed to get Dillet up there, but my bud said he looked no better than he did at the SW.
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