Dennis Wolf bounced back from the fourth-place finish recorded at this year's Mr. Olympia to take top prize at the 2014 Arnold Classic Europe (ACE), building on his Arnold Classic triumph back in March.
It was an especially sweet victory for "The Big Bad Wolf," too, considering he beat Shawn Rhoden into a runner-up spot, just as he did in Ohio six months ago, redeeming himself after the result in Las Vegas last weekend.
Many felt Wolf was more deserving of third place at the 2014 Olympia, a position which Rhoden took as his own, while Dexter Jackson showed in Madrid that he's still got it, finishing third.
Mr. Olympia History posted an image of the top two finishers in Madrid, Wolf looking the much drier and leaner of the two, Rhoden perhaps having eased off slightly in the wake of last weekend's contest:
This was the third consecutive year Wolf had placed top-three at the ACE but was his first time winning top honours, claiming a $100,000 prize for his troubles.
The man for whom the competition is named was also on hand to give out congratulations, per Muscle Insider. Austrian Arnold Schwarzenegger was undoubtedly happy to see the German Wolf reign triumphant:
The home audiences may have been sore not to see more Europeans make the cut for the top finishers, with Dutchman Roelly Winklaar the next in fifth, just behind Dominican Victor Martinez, fourth overall.
But the men's bodybuilding drama wasn't the only spectacle on display, as Oksana Grishina took her second title in the space of a week. She claimed the Women's Fitness title two years after clinching the 2012 edition, once again showing a superb routine, just as she did en route to victory in the Ms. Olympia Fitness competition seven days ago.
Regiane Da Silva and Tanji Johnson came in second and third, respectively, the same trio who made up last year's top three at this event, except each placed differently this time around.
Johnson, 39, will be particularly disappointed after slipping two places just a year after she was crowned champion. FLEX magazine congratulated the two victors:
Those were the two events ranking highest among the European masses, but lower down the pecking order, there were wins for Cristina Arellano in Women’s Physique, Diogo Montenegro in Men’s Physique and Sergey Khalepo in Men’s Classic Bodybuilding.
It was a particularly close call for the Russian Khalepo, who tied with Spain's Cristian Martinez for the No. 1 spot, emerging as champion only thanks to the relative placement method.
This rule insists that each judge's card be examined to determine which competitor had more judges rule in his favour, as opposed to the quantity of each score.
With Phil Heath and Kai Greene absent from the running, Wolf is a deserving champion in the Spanish capital and will undoubtedly cherish this reward after perhaps unfairly falling short in Las Vegas.
Showing no signs of exhaustion from his Olympia preparation, he and Grishina will now look to move forward in 2015, although the jury will still be out on whether or not the former can genuinely ever hope to take the Olympia as his own.
A rousing weekend of sport and fitness action rounds off in Madrid. European shores are left in awe once again as the Arnold Classic Europe lives up to its bodybuilding billing.