Wednesday 27 May 2009

The Dumbest Wrestling Finishers Ever

Okay, wrestlers...we're going to make a deal here. We'll stop moaning and whining about how it's all "dumb" and "fake", if you stop being dumb and make at least some kind of pretence that it isn't fake. The 1990s are over, and we don't want tongue in cheek winking at the camera in any of our other art-forms. We are the post-Saw generation, and we want to believe that the carnage we are witnessing is at least being taken seriously by the artists involved, even if no-one else.

5: The Clothesline From Hell
Bradshaw AKA JBL

Godammit, Bradshaw! We don't care what you call it, there's no getting away from the fact that this is a clothesline! A move so common or garden to the world of professional wrestling that they literally named it after a common and/or garden household item!

Here's a compilation of Bradshaw using the Clothesline From Hell.

You'll have noticed that his usages of the Clothesline From Hell fall into two categories - a) ones where the move looks exactly like every other clothesline you have ever seen and b) ones where they are ridiculously oversold by "Badd Ass" Billy Gunn - a wrestler whose gimmick was that he was an "is-he-or-isn't-he" homosexual.

4: The DDT
Jake "The Snake" Roberts

The DDT is a legitimate wrestling move, no argument here. Some of my favourite wrestlers of all time, such as Cactus Jack, Raven and Cactus Jack, have used a DDT (or a variation thereof) as their finisher. And why not? It's a high impact move, it's quick and gets a pop, and the weight/athleticism of the opponent isn't a factor.

Unfortunately, the problem with the DDT isn't with the move itself, but rather with its retarded creation. You see, ladies and gentlemen, the DDT was actually invented by mistake.

See, back in the 1980s, Jake Roberts had his opponent "The Grappler" (possibly the shittiest name for a pro-wrestler, without going the whole hog and just calling yourself "Pretends to fight") in a front face lock. Then, Jake (most likely pissed as a newt), fell over. The end result was The Grappler falling face first into the mat, and being legitimately knocked unconcious. So, one of the most high-impact moves of all time was actually based on a botch.

Let's kick the retardation up a notch.

3: The Atomic Legdrop
Hulk Hogan AKA "Hollywood" Hogan

There are a fair few moves in wrestling with involve a kind-of "dickery-fuckery" before pulling of a really low-rent move, which the crowd is supposed to buy as high impact. The Rock had The People's Elbow, for example, which consisted of flinging his arm-band into the crowd before running from side to side across the ring for a while, and then finally culminating elbow drop. Scotty 2 Hotty would break-dance across the ring for a while, before finally culminating elbow drop. However, none of these moves is quite as infamous as Hulk Hogan's leg-drop.

When you consider the amount of time his opponent is laid out for, it's hard to believe that they wouldn't have recovered and be kicking his arse before he's finished spazzing around like a crazy homeless man. The only possible explanation is that either a) the boot to the face is actually the finisher, and the leg-drop is purely sadism on Hogan's part, or b) the opponent is feeling sorry for the crazy old man unable to step out of wrestling's limelight, and is just trying to make him feel better.

2: The Stinkface

Okay, now we're getting so retarded that it's borderline crapping in your hand and flinging it at someone.

The really scary thing in the between 1999 and 2001, when this move was being televised at least twice a week, pro-wrestling was huge. It had almost reached the levels of appeal it had in the mid-to-late-eighties. And, into this morass of "Attitude", in waddles Rikishi with a big dose of "Twattitude".

Then...the bookers at the WWE (then WWF) tried to make Rikishi out to be a legitimate hard man/bad guy, including the realisation that he was the one who ran "Stone Cold" Steve Austin over with a car. Seriously, if the guy's finishing move is to rub his arse in your face, how can you take him seriously as a bad guy? You can't beat up on him when your first instinct is to give him some crayons.

1: The WCW Buyout
Vince McMahon

Towards the end of the year 2000, several potential buyers were interested in the failing World Championship Wrestling (WCW). Ted Turner, still in charge of Time Warner prior to its merger with AOL, rejected most offers. Eric Bischoff made a bid to acquire the company and WCW seemed safe.

However, when one of the backers in the WCW deal backed out, Bischoff's financial backers withdrew their offer. Meanwhile, the World Wrestling Federation (now WWE) began speaking to the new AOL/Time Warner about acquiring the WCW brand. AOL/Time Warner deemed WCW wrestling to be "out of line with their image". As a result, WCW programming was canceled, leaving Vince McMahon free to acquire the trademarks, video libraries and a few contracts.

So what's wrong with that?

Well, around the time that WCW went under, WWE's other main rival, Extreme Championship Wresting (ECW), also collapsed, and rights to the name were purchased by Vince McMahon. So, aside from a few independent and regional operations, Vince McMahon and the WWE owned wrestling. A monopoly is never a good thing...

Now, the WWE had too many wrestlers and not enough shows to put them on. What's more, without any form of competition, the WWE simply didn't have to try as hard with its angles, shows, or talent. Hence, the botched "invasion", in which the WWE characters battled against the combined "might" of WCW and ECW. Then, things took a serious downturn, when Vince decided that this was what the WWE needed to give things a shot in the arm

Hogan then proceeded to destroy everyone with his leg-drop of doom, Bradshaw with his Clothesline From Hell actually took the WWE World Title, and Rikishi tried to do a Stinkface, but ended up falling backwards at the wrong moment and creating a new move. Most people stopped watching pro-wrestling, except for die-hard fans, who patiently awaited the arrival of a new promotion company that could actually give the WWE a run for its money again.

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