10 Times A Wrestler Did A Move Better Than The Innovator

Slaughtering sacred cows - starring Kenny Omega, PAC, and Hardcore Holly?!

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WWE/ROH

The evolution of pro wrestling discourse is amongst the most tiresome.

It all is, actually. Remember Chelsea Greene Art Theft-Gate? This is the worst patter ever, but all involved truly needed to "touch grass". Remember when Hangman Page was going to sign with WWE, because AEW were going to relegate him in favour of CM Punk, before, actually, CM Punk's run was too midcard? Remember when night one of WrestleMania 37 was quintessential WWE magic, everybody said it, and yet the media was still "biased"?

The whole online experience has reached a deadening nadir this year - just relentless bad faith negativity - and the debate surrounding how "fake" wrestling looks now is the main event.

The relentless barrage of punches of yore is faker than any spammed high spot, no matter how awesome Jerry Lawler was at blowing people away with his right hand. That thing was even busier in the '70s than it was whenever Sable was onscreen in 1998, and he never once gave anybody a black eye.

It's impossible to watch Kenta Kobashi fight through a taped-up hamstring without noticing that some of the old magic is missing, but wrestling - mostly - does evolve for the better.

Cases in point:

10. The Liger Bomb

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Dragon Gate

To set the stall out briefly: it isn't sacrilegious or anything daft to suggest that a wrestling move can be improved upon after it was innovated.

It's a good thing. You ideally want the thing you like to get better. It would be pointless, even depressing, if this didn't happen. If Eddie Van Halen hadn't played the guitar better technically than his predecessors, music would be unrecognisable today. Wrestling nostalgia is particularly affecting - many have faded into irrelevance by refusing to let go of how it used to be - so it's understandable that some might balk at the idea that a wrestler as respected and influential as Jushin 'Thunder' Liger pioneered a move that was subsequently bettered.

But he did. Just look at PAC's Liger Bomb.

The original was superb for its day, but PAC's is something else. The unreal quality of his version is informed by his supernatural body control. He looks like he's staving some poor f*cker's head in with a gruesome snap loaded with velocity, and is such a crisp, incredible super-athlete that he can trap the arms with a successful pin attempt in one graceful, seamless motion.

 
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Contributor

Former Power Slam Magazine scribe and author of Development Hell: The NXT Story - available NOW on shop.whatculture.com!