The bodybuilding spectacle that is the Europa Super Show pro event will, on August 25 through 26 at the Arlington Convention Center, Dallas, again highlight many of the sports champions, as well as several lesser known up and comers, in both male and female IFBB bodybuilding competition.
The Super Show will also feature pro women's figure and fitness competition in addition to NPC figure, fitness, open and novice bodybuilding, teens and masters competition.
If this isn't enough, in conjunction with the Pro and amateur shows, where there will be $10,000 awarded for first place in the pro men's division, a full expo including a strongman competition, arm wrestling challenge, swimsuit contest, bench press competition and PCW Pro Wrestling will be on offer. For those unfortunate not to attend, Bodybuilding.com will provide a free live webcast of the Pro men's pre-judging and finals.
Last year, the pro men's portion of the show highlighted the massive Branch Warren, as he made short work of his competition to win this event. His training partner Johnnie Jackson placed second with his densely muscled physique. Although Branch won't be competing this year, the athletes on display in the 2006 version prove to be very impressive.
There will also be the entertainment factor with the inclusion of King Kamali, Darrem Charles, Frank Roberson and Rodney St. Cloud, all being renowned for their posing display and ability to get the crowd on their feet. Of these men, Charles, is a legitimate threat for the pro men's title, with the other three certainly worthy of a top five placing if they arrive in condition.
Not to rule out Johnnie Jackson, definitely a contender for one of the top three spots, who is expected show up in excellent shape on his home turf, to better last year's effort. The often-overlooked Tony Freeman will also be looking to use this show to move up the ranks and establish himself as a real threat in whatever contest he enters.
As well, the massive Marcus Haley will be looking to continue his impressive competition run (having achieved fourth place in his first pro show back in May). Other better-known bodybuilders, who could surprise a few people, include the massive Quincy Taylor, George "Bullet Proof" Farah, and Art Atwood.
Relative newcomers will include Dutch champion, Shehab Eldin, Dave Fisher, who earned his pro card way back in 93 and is making a comeback, 2005 Nationals bantamweight champion, Roland Huff, 2005 middleweight Nationals champion Tricky Jackson, Silvio Samuel Saviour, Central American and Caribbean champion, Joel Stubbs, 2003 Masters National champion, masters competitor George Turmon, 2005 IFBB World Champion, Dennis Wolf, Mr. Barbados, Belgrave Lyndon and former Tampa Bay Buccaneer, Nathan Wonsley.
With the top three in the pro men's division qualifying for the Mr. Olympia, to be held on September 28- October 1, expect to see some well-conditioned pros at their very best come August 25.
Top Ten Predictions
First: Darrem Charles.
One of the most successful pro bodybuilders (in terms of competition wins) competing today, Darrem is often referred to as king of the $10,000 shows, meaning he tends to win the smaller shows but is seldom recognized at larger ones such as the Arnold Classic and Mr. Olympia.
The clear favorite to take top honors at the 2006 Europa super show, based on his track record and the quality of physique he brings to the stage – which seems to keep getting better each year – Darrem, should he arrive in shape, and with no Phil Heath to spoil his fun (Phil narrowly beat Darrem twice this year), will have no problem besting the competition to win his first pro show of the year.
Second: Johnnie Jackson.
Johnnie will have the hometown advantage, as well as one of the more complete physiques onstage in Arlington. Couple this with last years second place against worthy competition, and the strength of the field he is competing against this time around, and he should be the clear second place finisher.
Johnnie has the type of physique that is thick and heavily muscled from top to bottom (with a notable exception being calves), and great balance complete with a small waist when he is in shape. Johnnie will also want a great build up to this years Olympia, a contest many feel he was overlooked in last year.
Third: Tony Freeman.
Tony is one who has steadily risen up the ranks to where he is getting noticed more, and placed accordingly. However, many feel he is one of the more overlooked athletes onstage today and it is not hard to see why. Tony has it all: great muscle size and shape, and excellent conditioning.
With the sought after X-frame and good height, he should stand from the others onstage. If Tony has made some improvements from his last contest (the San Francisco Pro where he placed an impressive 5th to best Johnnie Jackson and Ahmad Haider), he should easily place third. If Johnnie is off his mark, expect Tony to place even higher.
Fourth: Marcus Haley.
Placing an impressive fourth at this year's Colorado Pro Show, Marcus Haley showed he has tremendous potential as a rookie pro. Having had a full three months to further refine his physique, he should have no problem breaking the top six at the Europa show.
The overall North American champ has the type of physique that is very symmetrical and balanced for such a big man, and he always arrives in shape. Look for Marcus to make his mark in Arlington.
Fifth: King Kamali.
If King can put it all together he should be assured at least fifth place, possibly even higher if any of the higher ranked competitors miss their peak. King is very entraining and brings a great presence and plenty of energy to the stage. He also has a tremendous amount of muscle, which in some of his previous outings has been obscured by water retention.
Talking of his Europa Pro appearance King says,
If King can dial it in perfectly, his many fans can look forward to seeing him place towards the top of the competitor list.
Sixth: Rodney St. Cloud.
At this year's Shawn Ray promoted Colorado Classic, Rodney took sixth, beating out Troy Alves and comeback champion Gary Strydom, in the process showing he is a contender for a high placing at the 2006 Europa. Rodney has been called the most improved bodybuilder of 2006, and if he can show further improvements onstage in Arlington he should have no problem placing in the top six.
With great conditioning, shape and posing ability (albeit one of the smaller competitors onstage), Rodney is one to watch out for.
Seventh: George Farah.
Having placed a respectable 12th in the 2005 Olympia, following an excellent 3rd at the Charlotte Pro earlier that year, George Farah proved that he is worthy of good placing's if he can put it all together.
So far this year, George has landed 7th at the New York Pro Show and will be hoping better this result in Arlington. He should have no problem achieving a similar result if he brings the conditioning and excellent back and arm development he is known for.
Eighth: Idrise Ward El.
2002 USA Super heavyweight champion, Idrise, has always been a pro with limitless potential, and it is understood he is in excellent shape as he prepares for the Europa show. At the professional level, Idrise has had mixed results – in 2004 he placed 14th at the Orlando Pro and captured 10th at the San Francisco the same year.
In shape, Idrise looks every inch the champion with some of the best shoulder and back development around. In Arlington he will be one of the biggest competitors onstage and very hard to overlook. However, in such experienced company it is likely he will walk with eighth. But don't hold your breath, as he may surprise some.
Ninth: Quincy Taylor.
Big Quincy Taylor will want to qualify for the Olympia here. Unfortunately he is in some pretty impressive company, which is not to say he is any less impressive size-wise.
Indeed, Quincy could be the largest competitor onstage, the man with the most amount of muscle and did place third at last years event. However, this year's Europa will be a more heavily contested show and Quincy may struggle to place higher than ninth.
Tenth: Dennis Wolf.
The new European sensation Dennis Wolf has been proclaimed in the pages of Flex Magazine to be the next big thing in bodybuilding. He definitely has great size – in particular shoulders and arms – and has shown excellent conditioning.
Given he is a rookie pro and will have a great deal of pressure coming into the Europa show, Dennis might struggle to make the higher placing's. However, if he dials it perfectly he could switch places with few of those ranked above him.
With the inclusion of several big name athletes, and others wanting to prove themselves as legitimate threats, in addition to many promising new pros, the 2006 Europa Pro should be a very entertaining, and competitive show. Any of the athletes from 2nd through to sixth - as mentioned here - could switch placing's depending on the type of condition they present onstage in Arlington.
The only clear certainty for first place though is Darrem Charles, who would have to arrive considerably out of shape to slip down the ladder. It will also be good to see several new pros battle it out – perhaps there will be some surprises here also. With a full two days of IFBB, and NPC bodybuilding competition, as well as packed bodybuilding/fitness expo, the Europa Super Show 2006 is not to be missed.