Can Anyone Beat Dave Chaffee?

August 26th 2015

Many of the top competitors in the World Armwrestling League’s 2015 season on ESPN come to The Pit with a bit of swagger in their step. With $500,000 on the line, the stakes couldn’t be higher. But while some athletes talk the smack to hide deficiencies, “Easy Money” Dave Chafee stays pretty quiet. He lets his pulling do the talking. And it has.

Chaffee, the 2014 WAL Right Super Heavyweight champ, has not lost an American arm-wrestling match in two years. So with the Super Heavyweights Chapionships on ESPN tonight, the question must be asked again: Can anyone beat Dave Chaffee? The 38-year-old father and corrections officer is nonchalant about his win streak, but he’s proof positive of how hard work and dedication can mold a WAL champion. Rain or shine, tired or excited, no matter what else is going on in his life, Chaffee gets up and trains. Every. Single. Day.

“Losing is my motivation,” the Erie, Pa., resident said. “There’s always somebody trying to kcik you off the mountain. Somebody out there wants to take me down. So I got to get to the gym.”

He trains his muscles and his mind. When he’s not in the gym or lifting sledgehammers to train up his arms and hands, Chaffee studies tape. A lot of tape. He watches videos of the greats like John Brzenk and Cobra Rhodes. He studies the little movements that lead to success, and incorporates them into his own arsenal. It hasn’t been an easy road for Chaffee. He only started pulling in 2006 and broke his arm at the table a few years later. Along the way he’s battled a variety of neck problems and other ailments. He came through at WAL 2015 Regionals, and is could keep his crown at the WAL 2015 Super Heavyweight Championships tonight. Along the way, Chaffee is learning that professional arm-wrestling is not a sport reserved only for the younger pullers.

“I’m 38 years old,” he said. “Some of the top guys are 40 and over. I’m just entering my prime.”