It's the first move of most matches and the first maneuver they teach you in most wrestling schools. But, if you've never been to wrestling school, it might as well be A.P. Calculus.
Seemingly simple, the collar and elbow tie up is nothing more than the two grapplers tying up each other by the…uh, collar and elbow. See? Told you it was seemingly simple.
That is, unless you have no idea what you're doing.
There's a rule with collar and elbow tie ups. The first time you try it, one of two things happens. Either you get punched in the face or you punch someone in the face. There's really no other way for it to go down. Because of this, many backyard wrestling matches begin with at least one guy bleeding from the nose before the bout hits the four second mark.
After wiping the crimson moustache from their faces, these backyard warriors then venture into the house to watch professionals wrestle and critique John Cena's workrate. Say what you want about the Doctor of Thuganomics….but he can do a collar and elbow tie up. Can you, Captain Bloody Mouth?
Figure Four Leglock
The Figure Four looks like nonsense. To most kids watching at home, it's nothing more than two dudes wrapping their legs around each other. I guess some people find it sweet, but most wannabe Nature Boys at home also find it incredibly painful.
It's difficult to see the intense agony that a Figure Four can deliver because the move itself is nearly impossible for many to apply. Sure, you're able to start it out. Your opponent is on the floor; you grab his leg, and try to spin around it. That's the start. Way to go.
From there, you fall down and end up in a kneeling position like you're in church.
So you try again…and end up facing down rather than up.
You try again…and his leg slips out. Now you're two guys just lying down.
When you finally do manage to get the move on, it doesn't seem to do any damage at all. You both lie there with your legs tangled and there's no pressure at all until a friend comes over and says,
"That's not how you do it. Look." He then pushes your bent leg up past your opponent's knee….
That’s when the screaming starts.
It's not just the person having the move put on them that's doing the screaming. The person applying the move starts screaming. The dog starts barking. The neighbors start screaming. Everyone's screaming.
The easiest way to stop this torture is to just let go of the move, right? Sure. Too bad you're now tied up in a Boy Scout knot with your fat friend Jerry. Pulling your legs out doesn't help. In fact, it makes the hold even stronger - turning you into a bizarre pair of Siamese Twins in WWE T-Shirts.
After all your other friends run over and pry you apart with their hands, the hold is finally broken. Jerry spends the rest of the day limping and threatening to tell his mom.
The Flying Anything
Perhaps the most amazing thing about pro wrestling is that a 250 pound man can jump from an elevated position onto another man and not kill him instantly. Think about it for a second. Imagine someone stood on top of a refrigerator and threw the engine from a Honda Civic at your chest while you lay on the ground.
Seems like you'd, you know, die, right?
You probably would. That's why it's no different when Jerry jumps off your garage onto you while you lay prone on the partially frozen lawn below.
The thing about pro wrestling is that, while all moves cause pain, some maneuvers do more damage to the performer than others. Jumping off of stuff without the help of a gimmicked landing pad is one of those things.
But of course, you're not doing it in a controlled setting while wearing pads and landing on a ring canvas (which is unforgiving in its own right). No. You're jumping off your grandpa's rickety half-broken step ladder onto a wooden deck below.
And you wonder why you have splinters all over your face, you freak.
It's the move widely credited for shortening the career of one of the most talented wrestlers to ever lace a pair of boots - Stone Cold Steve Austin.
But - hey - you can handle it. You ain't no bitch.
At least that's what you tell yourself when Jerry leans you over, grabs your waist, and hoists you upside-down.
As you hang there with your feet over your head, you immediately sense the mistake you've made when you feel your body slowly sliding down to the ground. In most cases, your opponent never even has to complete the move. Gravity does. You just sort of slide down slowly…on your head.
In the event that your body is supported long enough to have the move finished, it's even worse. After all, the wresters find a way of protecting their opponent's head from impact. Jerry? He finds a way to slam your head down with extreme force in order "to pop our fans on YouTube."
And that's why you get those blinding headaches and sometimes forget your sister's name.
Can you believe that I have to put this on the list? I mean seriously.
You'd assume that everyone knows that. Who wouldn't handle deadly fire - the same thing that police used yesterday to stop a dangerous fugitive - with the utmost care?
And this guy:
These…oh you get the point. There are hours of this stuff on YouTube. Amazing. Way to kick off your budding wrestling career with 3rd degree face burns, pal. I'm sure Vince'll take you anyway when he sees the sick chokeslam you did through the flaming patio table.
The Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff were brutal tag team champions when I was a kid. So it was only natural that you tried their finishers on your friends.
Nikolai's bearhug was a bust. Every time you applied it, you were left wondering what to do with your head so that you don't have to be forehead to forehead with your buddy. Even worse was that the kid with the video camera made kissy noises the whole time.
So it was the Camel Clutch - a move that looks like it hurts tremendously. And it does.
The insanity of the Camel Clutch is that a fraction of an inch move by the person executing it can send someone from slight discomfort to excruciating agony in moments. All it took was one small lean backwards.
Locked in the hold made communicating this pain nearly impossible, especially for an amateur. Your arms were locked in - making tapping out nothing more than hand flailing. Your mouth was shut closed by your opponent's hands pulling up on your chin. And your back - well that shit's just broken.
When Iron Sheik promises to humble people through his Camel Clutch, you best believe it. There are plenty of living room rugs stained with drool from victims across the world. It doesn't get much more humbling than that.
Military Press Slam
The hard part about a Military Press Slam isn't the Military Pressing. That's the irony of it.
It's the landing.
On the off chance that Jerry is able to get you up above his head like a barbell, there's little bad that can happen on the way up. You might fall or something, but whatever. You just land three feet below laughing about this epic backyard "botch" for your gag reel.
No, it's not about the hoist. It's about the fall.
Once you manage to get above his head, Jerry is left with a dilemma. Should he toss you the right way? Head first to the ground?
Hopefully not. If he does, you're dead. You're going to break your head like an egg. No one taught you how to flip properly from that position and you can count on the fact that Jerry lacks the arm strength to guide you properly. No. You're on the fast track to a life of straw-fed dinner.
So Jerry opts for the leg side. Despite looking awful, the fall this way doesn't even hurt less than the head drop. In fact, it might even hurt more because the victim rightfully assumes that he's going head-first to the floor. When it’s the other way, he scrambles. Chances are, he turns his legs in some bizarre pretzel shape and ends up crying.
What a bitch.
The worst part of all this is that you only realize your head pain vs. leg pain predicament when you're up on the air. Of course, there's no discussion beforehand about which way you're landing. Nope. Instead you go up to the sky with a smile on your face and, as Jerry precariously tries to balance you up there, you realize,
"Oh no. I'm f**ked."
And yes. Yes you are.
Why anyone would ever try this move at home is beyond me. Maybe I have trust issues, but I'm a firm believer that you should not let anyone grab you from behind and quickly flip you back onto - what should be - your shoulder blades. Never.
Know why? It's not just because your friend isn't a trained professional wrestler. If that was all, it would still be a no-no, but that's not it. It's because your friend trips on his own shoelaces while using the stairs. It's because your friend slips on the snow every January. It's because your friend is a moron.
And for that reason, you should never allow him to do a move to you that leaves him a three inch margin of error between success and brain stem damage. I mean, look at this damn thing.
And you know how tough reindeer are. Don't be a brain damaged reindeer. Say no to German Suplexes.
Whether you call them chops, reverse knife edges, or those things you scream "Wooo" after, these open hand slaps to the chest are perhaps the most obviously painful moves in wrestling.
Anytime a wrestler backs his opponent into the corner and begins slamming his palm into his chest, the arena echoes with the sound. How does this happen? Is it ventriloquism? Is it sound effects? Do they close the curtain?
No. It's the actual sound of his hand slapping his opponent into the chest so hard that the sound bounces loudly across a crowded arena of people. That's what. But don't take my word for it. Take the word of the victim's reddened chest.
Also, take the word of this four minute video featuring nothing but
So go on. Let Jerry slap you in the chest loud enough that they can hear it in the kitchen. Then stop crying and think of ways to explain the big red handprint to your gym teacher.
Way to get your parents in the system, lil Hulkster.
When done at home, dropkicks almost never cause damage to your opponent.
They do, however, f**k you up beyond belief.
Most backyard dropkicks never make contact. They're just glancing blows that are meant to look spectacular in their height. Because of this, the "victim" suffers nothing at all. You, however, land like a ton of bricks.
I guess the biggest rule of at-home play fighting is to stay on your feet. Don't jump too high and, if you do, make sure you keep your feet below you. The dropkick breaks all those rules.
With so much concern over not actually thrusting both of your flying feet into Jerry's face, you neglect to think about how you're going to land. Chances are, a mid-air adjustment to ensure Jerry's safety leaves you twisted on your descent. This leads to landing square on your face with both knees following to the ground with a sick double thud.
If you're just messing around, you can try to stand up and pretend like you're not worried that you just broke your nose.
If you're doing a "match", you have to stand up and act like you didn't just break your own ass with a move that was supposed to be offensive.
This leaves you with the chilling reality of it all. Jeff Hardy may have battled demons, but he was still able to get more air than you can when you're sober.