The world of professional wrestling is all about the show. Good guys facing bad guys and trying to come out on top was the formula for many years. Over time, the moves that wrestlers use to put on these shows have changed and morphed into something just short of amazing. They are doing things now that wrestlers would never have dreamed of doing. In spite of this, the wrestling moves of yesteryear serve as the backbone of modern day pro wrestling. They are still used in between the new and spectacular ones, and some even remain exactly as they were back in the early days of Gorgeous George and Bruno Sammartino among others. What follows is a list of historic wrestling moves that had an impact on professional wrestling, and why they were so important:
The Body Slam
Virtually every single person has heard the term body slam, and it is exactly what it sounds like. You pick up your wrestling opponent and slam them to the canvas. This move has evolved a great deal over the years and many variations exist. Some wrestling moves such as the choke slam and the power slam are directly related to this early wrestling move, and to this day the standard body slam is used by all wrestlers.
The Sleeper Hold
This move was one of the first wrestling moves that would put your opponent “to sleep” and render them helpless. The truth is, a sleeper hold really could put you to sleep if it were applied tightly enough and could even kill you. The wrestlers use this hold both to rest, while still appearing to be in combat. One wrestler wraps his arms around the other’s neck and squeezes. The opponent will usually feign falling asleep, and then suddenly come back to his senses and break free. This is also a great time to sneak in the next move to your opponent or to set up a finish.
The Figure Four
The figure four was probably most notably used by the Nature Boy, Ric Flair throughout his long and glorious wrestling career. This is yet another move that can seriously injure someone if actually applied in real life. It entangles the two wrestler’s legs and puts pressure on the bones of the legs. This move was one of the most effective “submission maneuvers” used over the years, and still gets used today.
One of the most exciting wrestling moves in history is the stunner. There are many variations of this, including the RKO used by Randy Orton, the Diamond Cutter, used by Diamond Dallas Page, and of course the Stone Cold Stunner, used by the world famous Stone Cold Steve Austin. This move is exciting in all of its variations and is highly entertaining because of the quickness with which it is applied. The basic move is to reverse your hands around the neck and to then drop them to shoulder as you fall to your rear.
Made famous by wrestlers such as the Undertaker and many others, the pile-driver is a very dangerous move. This is the one move that has the potential to truly be harmful, even when the pros do it. As such, you do not see it much anymore except from the veterans that are experts at applying it.