Saturday, April 2, 2011

Sha-bam!: Epic Wrestling Grapples and Throws

As we dive deeper into the universe of Professional Wrestling, it is time we take a look at a few fancy grappling moves. I would like to introduce y’all to my favorite move the Suplex and a couple of its many variations. In order to perform a suplex, the grappler seizes his victim around the waist from behind and throws the victim over himself for a forceful and painful landing. Two particular suplexes stand out as extraordinary and dangerous; they are the German Suplex and the Superplex

The German Suplex

Beautiful in its simplicity and brutal in its execution the German Suplex represents one of the most dangerous and difficult moves a wrestler can perform. As the victim is lifted over the grappler’s body, the latter arches into a bridge and throws the victim forcefully onto his head/upper back. When properly executed, the grappler’s cranium never actually makes contact with the ground and he can maintain his waist-hold to pin his opponent. Interestingly, the German suplex is a throw that does not require the assistance of opponent (a "spot") and therefore can be performed in an amateur wrestling match. The following video of a Japanese wrestling match shows a nearly flawless German Suplex as well as the shear amount of strength required to perform it correctly on unsuspecting wrestlers:

The Superplex

For a high-flying move guaranteed to please the audience, wrestlers have the Superplex. The Superplex is performed off the corner of the ring and is a "spot" move. Though the set-up may look fake, the impact can easily knock the wind out of the wrestlers. The two wrestlers position themselves standing up on the ropes, the grappler grabs his opponent around the back of his neck in a reverse head-lock and throws him over himself into the ring. Unlike the german supplex, the victim lands on his back while his head is protected from the landing by the nature of the hold. The move is particularly effective when a heel has been getting heat from cheap-shotting his opponent and ultimately gets what's coming to him. A beautiful example of a Superplex is performed by Bret "The Hitman" Hart against his brother Owen "The Rocket" Hart during WrestleMania X. Owen picks-up heat by unrelentingly beating on his brother's injured knee and towards the end of the fight finds himself on the receiving end of a beautiful Superplex by Bret (at which point the crowd shouts with joy). The following video shows Brock Lesnar superplexing the 500lbs Big Show in one of the most destructive matches in the history of WWE ("the ring blew up!"):

The suplex, no matter the form, will forever shock and awe outside of a wrestling context. It's popularity can be witnessed in a viral "fail" video online of a schoolgirl overpowering a purse-snatcher with a suplex. Is it fake? I will let you take a guess.

Now that you have been introduced to both the German Suplex and the Superplex I would like to ask: Of all the throws a wrestler can perform or endure at high risk to personal safety, what is your favorite wrestling move?

1 comment:

  1. As far as devastating throws go, those performed by The Undertaker seem to be the most powerful in the WWE. The 'Tombstone Piledriver' is an undeniably powerful finishing move, which is emphasized by the fact that he is one of the only wrestlers who has permission to perform the dangerous maneuver. Another move that I find particularly entertaining, and falls close in line with a throw, is the the 'Last Ride.' The Undertaker picks up the opponent well over his head and simply throws him to the mat. To put things in perspective, imagine being forcefully dropped on your back from 6-7 feet in the air. Lastly, let's not forget about the 'Chokeslam,' as I'm sure Mick Foley will never.

    I pretty much love all of his finishing moves, so here is a video to sum them up.


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