As could be expected, pro wrestling owes of a lot its move set to fighting sports. Thus, it’s no wonder MMA enthusiasts, Greco roman wrestlers, and dirty boxers find a happy home in its sister art form during/after fight careers. Case in point: an earlier piece on Muay Thai highlighted its relationship to the Art of 8 Limbs.
With all the hoopla over Ronda and Conor, here’s ten fighting sports moves needing more regular homes in professional wrestling:
- Duck and roll: A boxing mainstay, it looks great on camera, and breaks up the monotony of trading jab slaps. Watching the little guy dodge haymakers from a larger opponent is worth the price of admission in itself.
- Leg check: These occasionally sneak into an indy pro wrestling match (Tommy End comes to mind), but they need to be more frequent visitors. Leg checks work staccato well to shift pace…and set up counters from the same side.
- Up elbow: Useful to close distance, also as a variant to a clothesline. Sell it well, and near-decapitate an opponent.
- Shoot for the takedown: MMA matches are won/lost on this move. Forget the spear; continue the attempt into an array of potential counter/options. Matt Riddle logically sneaks this in, as appropriate.
- Jump roundhouse: Chuck Norris would be proud of this terrific alternative to the drop kick. Even more so outside of the ring, sending an opponent into a barricade…or worse.
- Ground and pound: Too many armbar submissions, when a useful entrée would suffice. The simple act of hammering away on top of opponent gives any match inject of additional brutality, a fight to the finish presence.
- Axe kick: a bit tough to master, this sweeping arced leg kick is a perfect marriage for luchador style. Long legs sell it to perfection.
- Thai clinch (‘plum’): An opponent in your grill? Grab ‘em behind the head, then wail away with knees to the ribs. Also sets up a great reversal via huracanrana, bodyslam, and/or a terrific sweep.
- Spinning back fist/slap: I’m shocked to not see this strike more regularly, as it’s perfect for the ‘hot tag’ and/or supplement to off-the-rope (to include aerial maneuvers). End with a shotei palm strike (ala’ Cheeseburger) for ultimate effect.
- Catch and Parry: Beginning where we started, the ideal way to defend any quick move/counter using palms/wrists to deflect strikes. For extreme matches, disarm a kendo stick with ease!