Despite being considered ‘scripted violence’, professional wrestlers can and do hurt each other for real. No matter how tough you might think you are, the sheer force of being thrown to a hard canvas will always cause pain. Wrestlers have, over time, found ways to mitigate the pain they cause each other when they ‘strike each other’.
After all, it's said that ‘you can pull a punch, but you can’t fake a chop’.
It’s not hard to see why. While a wrestling punch can be faked by using open fists, a chop, which is more or less a fancy way of slapping your opponent’s body with either the back or the palm of your hand, cannot be faked. In fact, the whole point of a chop is to connect with your opponent’s body as hard as possible, in order to make as much noise from the impact as you can.
During a match, chops can provide the audience with comic relief as they watch a larger wrestler hush the crowd before slapping their chests, to sadistically hilarious effect. At the same time, chops can also be used to demonstrate strength and toughness, as one wrestler’s ability to dish out punishment is compared to another’s ability to withstand it.
Many wrestlers have become legendary for their chopping abilities. These are the eight wrestlers who, when it came to chopping, got the biggest crowd reactions and made more chests welt and change colour from the impact of their strikes.
Alexander Podgorski is a writer for WhatCulture that has been a fan of professional wrestling since he was 8 years old. He loves all kinds of wrestling, from WWE and sports entertainment, to puroresu in Japan.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Queen's University in Political Studies and French, and a Master's Degree in Public Administration. He speaks English, French, Polish, a bit of German, and knows some odd words and phrases in half a dozen other languages.