2009 OLYMPIA: WOLF'S REBOUND?

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Olympia Storyline Two: Dennis Wolf's Rebound?

By Dave Lee

September 16, 2009

FLEXONLINE.COM

Screams, cheers and applause. That's how Dennis Wolf started the 2007 Mr. Olympia as the first man out of the gate Friday night. By Saturday evening's finale, where he finished fifth, leapfrogging all the way up from the previous year's DNP [did not place], the audience was booing - in disagreement. In their eyes, Wolf should have been much higher. The unquestionable surprise hit of the show, big things were expected of him the following year. Talk centered around Wolf finally being compared to Cutler, something that hadn't happened in '07. And although he improved to fourth in 2008, he was never really in the running, as it turned into a three-man race between Phil Heath, defending champ Jay Cutler and eventual new Mr. O, Dexter Jackson. Wolf's less than stellar performance had many wondering if it was a case of "too much too soon."

Coming in much flatter and smaller than the previous year, Wolf's lack of improvement has put somewhat of a damper on his frontrunner status this year. By all accounts, he's big as a house and hungry to make up for his disappointing '08 performance. There's no denying that he has the goods to be one of the top players at this year's O. He steals the scene the moment he stands under the lights with his wide clavicles and flaring quads attached to an impossibly tight waist. He'll be tough to beat from the front, particularly standing relaxed and in the front lat spread, abs and thigh and most-muscular poses.

But with the depth of this year's lineup, he'll have to show marked improvement throughout his hamstrings, glutes, and lower back. While he matches up well with Cutler in overall size, his lack of depth in the rear poses hurts his chances. His conditioning, while good, must be better than ever, especially in comparisons with Jackson, Heath and Greene. If he can manage these things, he has the wow factor to command attention onstage and possibly crack the top three.

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