Who out there who reads this blog is a fan of old school British wrestling? My hands up and if yours isn’t perhaps it should be, you might not think it but the influences it had and the seeds it laid show up all over the world in all the different styles you get in this wonderfully diverse arena some call “sports entertainment”.
Some of those influences are more obvious than others though to the point where you see old British holds and reversals showing up in mainstream wrestling and getting wonderful reactions. I’m going to share one of those that I watched again recently which was simple but effective mainly due to how beautifully executed it was.
In the match I was watching a wrestler was being held in a standard wristlock, he then took his right leg and looked as though he was going to swing through underneath to release some of the pressure in the hold. Then, after using the leg a couple of times like that he then spun back the other way against the expected momentum, almost putting himself in a loose hammerlock hold as he did so. As he got there he quickly switched his hands over behind his back and continued to spin a couple more times until he went under the arm of his opponent and ended up with them in a hammerlock.
I know my description doesn’t do it justice so I’ll tell you where to find it at the end of the blog but first I want to make a key point about this movement. In essence the mechanics of it aren’t that tricky so what really makes this work is the smoothness of the delivery and the selling by the opponent. This particular example was so smooth and fluid that it made it seem incredibly technical but also difficult to perform and combined with great selling had the crowd lapping it up.
For me this is one of those times that the Bruce Lee quote can be applied. “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” OK fear isn’t the point here but the lesson in it stands true, it is pointless knowing hundreds or thousands of holds and reversals if you don’t practice them enough to make them look smooth and legitimate.
As promised, if you’d like to check out the move in question then dig up Gallagher vs Aichner from the Cruiserweight Classic on the 03/08/2016. It’s a few minutes in but honestly the whole match is a great example of this point.