What is greater than 110 consecutive double wins? What’s greater than two enduring wrestling powers finally meeting? What could be greater than two universities that finished second in their most recent national championship? Is there anything bigger than a Saturday fight between the titans of the wrestling world? Head back to Ali opposite Foreman in the woods. Do you remember the miracle on ice? What about the Yankees against the Red Sox in Game Seven? All of these huge matches pale in comparison to what we have on Saturday. Really, the only fight that could have been close was Holyfield vs. Schwarzkopf, but we all know the heavyweight champion came out of the War on the Shore. There will be no smudging or shaking on a Saturday at Kearney.
Ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages, I present to you Josh Portillo opposite Justin Portillo. There has been a great history of sibling wrestling: Banach, Schultz, Steiner, Brands, Sanders, the list goes on and on. What these families managed to avoid was being on opposite sides of the mat in college. We’ve all heard stories of the Iowa Chamber brands having to separate, but what would have happened if they had gone to opposing forces and had to actually wrestle? I’m not 100% sure, but I feel like Bonnie had to come off the stands and couldn’t have hugged the boys.
I asked Papa Portillo about his thoughts on last Saturday’s fight and what he was expecting, “No punches thrown” was his response. I met Regino Portillo in 2019 on our way to Cleveland for the National Championship and since then, I’ve always enjoyed the quick interactions I’ve had with him. I can recognize him, which is a big problem I have with his sons. You see, Justin and Josh are twins. And when Justin is in the Division II National Championship, he wears his brother Lauper’s crest. More than twice and closer to three times, I’ve talked to him as if he was Justin without any clue. What makes it even sadder for me is, in 2020, Josh and I had one of the best conversations I ever had with a guy in front of the camera. We are talking about the reflection of the soul. However, I can’t somehow tell them apart unless I really take the time. I can distinguish between brands at a glance!
The two already shared a title at the Ridgewater Open in the 2016-2017 season while they were members of the South Dakota State University Jackrabbits. I don’t want to point fingers, but we all know anyone who doesn’t want to cancel. I am a child. Frankly, his colleagues share nicknames all the time. I really wish I was in Nebraska to watch this. This should tell you how badly I want this; I never want to be in Nebraska. Corn is garbage. The peeler’s “sales” are a joke. It’s the only case you can drive through with cruise control without touching the steering wheel if your vehicle is properly aligned. But I want to be there, let her.
Clarion, Iowa residents spent a year at the Brookings Institution before leaving. Justin headed to Grand View University in his hometown. Josh left for Nebraska and Force 2nd Nebraska Kearney Division. All of them have found success in their new homes. Both are a multi-time All-American. They both excelled on the carpet and in the classroom. Both grew up as young adults. But what Justin got was the chance to lift the national team championship trophy with his team. Josh was close but still hitting that lofty goal. In 2021, Josh and the Lubbers were one game away from their flag-raising ceremony. Kearney will battle for a national championship this season. Grand View will do the same.
There’s a video running the rounds on Twitter from the “Iron Sharpens Iron” camp where it looks like the brothers are about to start their 15-15 extra match. Josh (blue) crashes a firetruck deep into the elevator and takes Justin (red) off his feet. Back is a nice drop that allows Josh to pull his head and end the takedown to the cheery shouts of all campers. The quote from Justin on it should tell you everything you need to know about his motivations.
“This bout has repeated in my head countless nights. About two years ago, @p2funky_ embarrassed me in front of so many kids who looked at me at this wrestling camp… This Saturday, I am seeking revenge on my honor and reclaiming my place as Alpha Portillo once and for all!”
I know dad said “no punches” but he didn’t say anything about fireworks. Honestly, given the brothers’ sexy styles, I’d expect to toss everything plus the kitchen sink. I hope they start all three terms neutral. Justin won’t take it easy this time.
“I’ve been waiting for this question for a long time…People always ask which one of us is the best. Usually we’re both pretty humble about the answer to that, but it’s time to find out the answer once and for all. There’s a lot at stake in this match, and I just hope Have Josh ready, because I won’t be stopping anything this time!”
Josh, you have been notified. And #D2Wrestle, I got a warning too. We cannot allow this aggression to stop man! I made sure to land the best student in #D2Wrestle; This is not just my opinion. The NCAA literally gave him an award last year for being a clever villain. Josh already has an “unofficial” win under his belt, but he wants more.
“Anytime you put on dynamic and funky wrestlers like us like the Portillo Bros, you’re going to have a sprint race. We both love to open up and score a lot of points. We don’t disappoint anything, we’ve wanted this match for as long as we can remember, not just for us but from For our teams. Looking forward to a great duo and seeing who the better Portillo is… well, for that day, at least.”
Don’t let the hidden emoji fool you (it was one of those big smiley faces). Josh wants to win this not just for his bragging rights, but for the Lopers as well. Perhaps no one understands all of this duo’s stories better than the lonely Jason Bryant.
“This is some made-for-TV drama that can unfold. Why not put Grand View a line to the test — well, here’s one of the best Division II shows with Nebraska-Kearney — so you might answer a couple of questions. Is NAIA’s best performance comparable to the best? What’s in Division Two? How will Grand View perform against the best teams from other divisions? But then the thought of a 110-game winning streak is also at stake and could come back to a group of brothers who somehow decide that? Are you kidding me? ?I will do everything I can to watch this, even while working at the Virginia Duals this weekend.”
For me personally, I like grudge matches. And you may have noticed that I’ve been doing my best to move fate a bit on Twitter this week. This is not what you need. Justin and Josh have been misleading each other throughout this introductory period. But I seriously can’t believe the Portillo hot dog didn’t catch this. This has an upgrade written all over it. Bring some food, treat the fans, and take the press. I really hope they decide to start the duo at 133. Everyone deserves to see this match as the end of what is going to be a great day of wrestling. As Regino said, “Guaranteed Portillo’s victory.”