A year after successfully putting on their first wrestling show, All-Americans turned wrestling’s favorite brothers turned promoters are back for the sequel to 2021’s Wrangle in the Wild, “Wrangle 2.”
Trent and Hayden Hidlay are now - and likely forever - known as the two-headed monster that’s anchored down the NC State wrestling lineup for half a decade, but after a month of preparation, the two realized they had a knack for promoting.
With the new NIL rules in place for collegiate athletes, the Hidlays had just enough time to “throw something together and hope for the best.” However, instead of simply “throwing something together,” the two squeezed every second out of every hour and put on a show even they were surprised by.
“We didn’t have that much time to raise money or put that much time into it, but we worked hard,” Trent Hidlay explained. “Going into it, we didn’t really know what to expect. We didn’t know if we were going to get 100 people or 500 people, so we were pretty stressed out going into it. We were just totally blown away, though. The county really rallied behind us, and they loved it. Everyone had a great time. We really didn’t have anything go wrong with the event.”
Wrangle in the Wild featured two teams handpicked by the Hidlays, wrestling individually and banking total points similar to an NCAA dual, followed by a main event matchup between Trent and Hayden. After a full day of commentary, younger brother Trent would go on to defeat Hayden, but the individual matchups didn’t even bring half the bragging rights for Trent.
“I’ve gotten my ass kicked by Hayden so many times in my life that I’ve learned to be humble anytime I get a win,” Hidlay said. “I took it gracefully, but the thing about us, and the thing about being brothers, is you never know when that next ass beating is going to come. I was just so happy with how everything turned out, and I was so happy that we were able to do it and just do such an awesome thing for the first time. I will say, though, there were some serious bragging rights on the team end of things. We each had a team and my team won by a pretty good margin.”
Despite the smashing success of Wrangle in the Wild, Wrangle 2 will feature a distinct change from last year’s showdown. Instead of watching a Hidlay vs Hidlay match to round out the evening, Trent and Hayden are opting to stay in the commentary booth and guide the viewers through a main event that doesn’t require a commentary change and feature two exhausted, mismatched brothers squaring off.
“Last year we tried to wrestle at the end, and we both felt terrible, and it was pretty tough,” Hidlay said. “And, I’m a lot bigger than him right now, so we’re just going to commentate. But we do have a lot of really good matches, it’s a little bit bigger scale at a better venue, so it’s definitely going to be a great event.”
While at least once a week a fighter somewhere in the country makes the walk to the cage with the sounds of “I Put On For My City” blaring in the background, the Hidlay Brothers know their event has legs and potential and they don’t seem to have an immediate interest in taking the show too far away from Mifflin County.
“One of the core principles we’ve built this event on is keeping it local, but there’s 15 matches, so if we need to go outside the county lines to bring some guys in, we don’t have any issue with that,” Hidlay said. “At the end of the day, it’s about people enjoying wrestling, and people that haven’t wrestled in a while enjoying the sport, and providing a live platform that allows them to compete, so this is just bringing a lot of people in who enjoy wrestling and celebrate our county, and give people the ability to compete.”