Thursday, October 29, 1998
SLAM! Wrestling Guest Column
Celebrating patented moves
Ah, how did it unravel?
(Press the buzzer when you identify the protagonist).
The adversary's irresistable move. The arm flops down. Once. Twice. A third?
No, for with scarcely enough space to fit a microbe's frisbee between the hero's hand and the canvas, the revival begins.
A Tourettier's shaking takes over his whole body, a brace of elbows in the villain's tum. Fruitless blows to his stout chin, met with an admonishing finger wag.
Bouncing off ropes, a boot to the face, a leg comes down.
Hurrah!! Hurrah !! Bulging biceps shown to us all.
Showtime over. Get the TV guide.
This was more of a patented opera over several acts. Nevertheless, most patented moves are rather more abrupt. The Stone Cold Stunner pops out quite unexpectedly for instance, just while you are looking for the cookie you dropped under the sofa.
What happened to those moves that shine brightly then disappear? The Undertaker's former WCW incarnation trampling along the top rope like a ginger haired Blondin, before launching himself off toward his supine foe. (Without, as latterly happens, him holding the opponent's arm for balance). The most dangerous copyrighted move? Well the Legion of Doom once broke a redneck's neck courtesy of their top rope aerobatics. The most spectacular? Surely the 'Frankensteiner' is one that you wouldn't practice on your Granny. Have you noticed how one who inherits the patented move begins to look like its former owner? Separated at birth perhaps - Jimmy Snuka and Val Venis? Well, facially at least, that same puffy countenance that must come from landing flat on one's nose too many times.
More interesting is the patented 'bump' and the patented 'beg'. The fall to the knees, hands clasped, teary eyes, beseeching the opponent for mercy is a tour de force that should be as rigidly protected as any showstopping move.
My 'Patent' award par excellence goes however to the most oft-enjoyed copyright bumps in the business. namely Ric Flair and his two masterpiece tumbles.
Firstly his clambering up to the top rope, to undertake some never-executed move, for he is always beaten to the punch by a youthful opponent who sashays over, grabs Mr F. (who may wave in despair) and tips him in balletic style to the floor.
Secondly his reponse to the slap or punch. He strolls around semi compos-mentis for a few seconds before rigidly falling, splat, on his face.
Simon Osborne is from Hong Kong. He can be emailed at Simon_Osborne@usccmail.lehman.com