Wrestling rumble! It's 'Tower of Power' Lauer vs. 'Sternum Choker' Roker

Updated Aug. 8: Matt "The Tower of Power" Lauer and Al "The Sternum Choker" Roker (as Bob Costas dubbed them) received a lesson in Greco-Roman wrestling — even painfully learning what the "flying squirrel" move entails!

The duo have teamed up three previous times to try out Olympic sports, getting schooled in rhythmic gymnastics, synchronized swimming and the luge. 

U.S. wrestlers Dremiel Byers and Ellis Coleman this time showed our co-anchors how to get gold, by lifting them in the air and then slamming them onto the mat. 

"That's called a reverse lift," Dremiel told Al. "I call that pain," the weatherman moaned. Dremiel even got Al to yell for "mommy" once, while Matt complained of a ruptured spleen! 

The two co-anchors then faced off in "one of the most anticipated" wrestling showdowns of the Olympic Games, according to Costas. NBC Sports' Mary Carillo said the entire match could come down to "breath." "If one of these two mooks had onions or garlic for lunch, that could decide the whole thing," she said. 

Who won the duel? Watch the video, and see some amusing photos below.

Jen Long

Al Roker lies on the floor after a particularly painful-looking move. "I'm seeing a lot of this ceiling," he joked.

Jen Long / TODAY

Matt learned a tough lesson: Never ask a wrestler how he got the nickname, "The Flying Squirrel."


Matt and Al face one of their worst nightmares: Wearing more spandex!

Original story:
Matt Lauer and Al Roker have gyrated as gymnasts, swam in synch and slid down an icy track — and they're up for more!

Our fearless co-anchors will reveal their fourth Olympic event tomorrow morning. 

The particular sport is always a closely guarded secret. TODAY.com pried one hint out of producer Jen Long: "The world's Spandex supply just took another hit." 

That fact alone promises it'll be another gold medal-winning effort. 

Vote on which sport you'd like Matt and Al to test out, and relive their three previous performances below.

More on TODAY.com:
TODAY tries Olympic racewalking (and things get awkward)
Pow! Natalie, Savannah get a boxing lesson — in heels
London calling: TODAY anchors go sightseeing


Discuss this post

I vote for Matt and Al to play BADMINTON. Yep it has been an Olympic event since the 1990s!

  • 1 vote
Reply#1 - Tue Aug 7, 2012 4:48 PM EDT

Or an equestrian event... lol

  • 1 vote
Reply#2 - Tue Aug 7, 2012 4:52 PM EDT

I vote for Matt to make a sincere, on air apology for his racial comment on Monday. We all make mistakes. It's how we handle them that shows character.

    Reply#3 - Tue Aug 7, 2012 9:23 PM EDT

    They already joined and won in backstabbing. Congratulation. We love ANN CURRY.

    • 1 vote
    Reply#4 - Tue Aug 7, 2012 10:33 PM EDT

    Love the Flying Squirrel! Matt was a gret sport about Ellis throwing him around like that!

      Reply#5 - Wed Aug 8, 2012 8:57 AM EDT

      I'm not going to dignify these T.V. clowns with any kind of answer when all they do is make a mockery of the years of dedication and training that it takes to compete at the Olympic level.

        Reply#6 - Wed Aug 8, 2012 10:41 AM EDT

        I vote for Mat to make a live - on air, sincere apology for his racist comment on Monday. There are so many horrible hate-based atrocities happening right now that it is imperative we consciously choose the language we use.

          Reply#7 - Wed Aug 8, 2012 11:02 AM EDT

          I vote for Matt to make a live - on air, sincere apology for the racist remark he made Monday. There are so many hate based actions happening right now that it is imperative we consciously choose the language we use.

          • 1 vote
          Reply#8 - Wed Aug 8, 2012 11:06 AM EDT

          It is amazing the entire National Basketball Association has fewer prima donas than then all the members of the US Olympic team do.

            Reply#9 - Wed Aug 8, 2012 12:57 PM EDT

            I'd like to have them mention the Paralympic Games at least once. Cheers to Dame Helen Mirren for doing so this morning. I can't figure out if NBC is just ignorant or complicit in avoiding discussion that the Olympics and Paralympics are two halves of an entire event. One fifth of Americans have a disability and hundreds of them will be competing in the world's second largest multisport event in just under three weeks. How much of that will be televised by NBC? Less than one cooking segment on the Today Show. Shameful.

              Reply#10 - Thu Aug 9, 2012 9:02 AM EDT

              I'd like to have them do something equestrian - dressage!

                Reply#11 - Thu Aug 9, 2012 12:28 PM EDT

                I am nauseated by the complete drivel of these self obsessed unattractive overpaid talentless crew who have managed to trivialise the Oliympics. No mention of other olympians from other countries efforts. Ignored the talent and achievement of amazing athletes from coumtries without resources Example: David Rudesha, Masai tribesman from Kenya, breaking 800 metre record.. That was the most outstanding event of 2012 and you missed it .

                  Reply#12 - Fri Aug 10, 2012 6:37 AM EDT
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