2017 World’s Strongest man Eddie Hall will be facing 2018 champion Hafthor Bjornsson in a fight in Las Vegas, Nevada sometime in September 2021. Bjornsson had announced that he had signed the contract for the fight after breaking Hall’s world record in the deadlift by lifting 501 kg (1,104 pounds). In Hall’s video accepting the fight, he had stated that he was fighting Bjornsson primarily because of the accusations that Hall and head referee Colin Bryce conspired for Hall to defeat Bjornsson to win that title.
In a YouTube posted on Hall’s channel on May 17, Hall shares a video that had originally been published on the Official Strongman channel, which goes into the controversy from three years ago in detail.
The host of the original video, former WSM producer and current independent filmmaker Andy Quinn, gives a summary of the controversy and then shares a few different segments from that year’s competition. The first was the familiarization which showed Bryce giving instructions and answering questions from Bjornsson about the Viking Press which would become the source of the controversy.
Next is the event itself, where Bjornsson gets credit for performing 14 of the 15 reps he did and Hall defeating him by performing 15 credited reps himself. After the event, the video shows Bjornsson appealing to have different referees view the video and make their own call. Bryce explains that other referees did see the video and agreed with the call so his decision stood. Hall would go on to win the contest by one point.
Finally, there is a post-event summary by Bryce speaking to the WSM promoters explaining about Bjornsson’s “double dipping” infraction (bending of the knees more than one time during the attempt) and that he had failed to lock out the rep anyway. So it wouldn’t have counted even if he hadn’t bent the knees again. He had also mentioned that Bjornsson was lowering the weight before getting the “down” signal but he had let several reps count anyway. Gwinn ends the video by sharing other comments from Laurence Shahlaei, Nick Best who faced Bjornsson in the same heat during that 2017 contest, and four-time WSM Champion Zadrunas Savickas.
In Hall’s video later that day, he shares the same video but prefaces it with comments of his own detailing why the accusations had bothered him ever since he won and retired from strongman.
“For the last three years, instead of answering questions about how I defeated some of the greatest strongmen that have ever lived – Hafthor Bjornsson himself included in that list, instead I have people questioning whether I had really won it or not. Hafthor Bjornsson and his entourage had been smearing my title and the referee Colin Bryce’s reputation for the last three years. And because he was “the Mountain” on “Game of Thrones” and he was a huge TV star, people listened and people believed him. Now I’ve had enough of the doubters saying Hafthor Bjornsson was robbed, saying he was robbed by the referees, how undone by it he was. So today I came across a video that ends all of the smack talk and silences those doubters.”
As of this writing, Bjornsson had yet to respond to the video or Hall’s comments on any of his social media or issue an official statement.
Featured Image: Instagram/eddiehallwsm