I’ve been watching the “sport” of professional wrestling ever since I was a kid. I was always so entranced by the stories, feuds and high drama between the wrestlers. However, the thing that kept me going back to it was the action in the squared circle. Even though my adolescent brain did eventually figure out it was all pre-planned, I would still be amazed because the moves the professional wrestlers unleash looked painful. You can brace for the impact after being launched in the air by a back body drop or put your hands up to protect yourself from a chair shot to the head but it’ll still hurt!
It also does mean the name of these specialized wrestling maneuvers have to sound awesome and it’ll be painful if it connects. You have moves like the piledriver, powerbomb, suplex, drop kick, torture rack and many more. Some moves, unfortunately, did get the short end of the naming stick as, while they still looking devastating, have weak names.
Here are just five of these wrestling moves with wimpy names.
Honestly, I prefer a lariat over a clothesline.
Believe it or not, a clothesline and a lariat may look like the same thing but they’re not. There’s a subtle difference between the two in the execution. When you do a lariat, you swing your entire arm into the opponent. With a clothesline, you keep your arm mostly stiff. This does mean JBL’s “clothesline from hell” is actually more of a lariat than your standard clothesline. There’s another difference: the “clothesline” is a dumb name.
I get where the clothesline gets its name. It does look like someone running into a laundry line as they reel back in the same way. On the other hand, naming a potentially dangerous move after an old timey laundry drying device does make it sound wimpy, doesn’t it?
2) Texas Cloverleaf
It sure looks painful in all the right ways but some of that pain comes from the side splitting laughter from its name.
I love myself a good submission finisher. There’s always a lot of drama involved with it. There’s the setup before the move then the entire ceremony of trying to twist the opponent all around in crazy ways while the opponent tries to squirm out of it. There’s also the drama if the person in the hold can somehow break the hold, reverse it or get to the ropes. However, as painful as it looks, I do wish the Texas Cloverleaf had a much better name.
The Texas Cloverleaf is essentially a variation of a leg grapevine submission where the wrestler applying it hooks the opponent’s legs in something of a figure four, cinching the outstretched leg under the arm and rolling the opponent onto their belly before sitting back to stretch the abdominals. For a move that’s supposed to cause so much hurt, I don’t get why they’d name it after a freaking flower. I guess it’s named that way because of all the looping that gets done when wrapping the legs around each other. It’s still funny you’d name your potentially crippling submission move after a plant… and not a particularly tough sounding plant at that.
3) Shining Wizard
Sounds more like the name of a very flamboyant wrestler with a magician gimmick than a kick to the head, doesn’t it?
Nope, I’m sorry, Western wrestling fans. What companies like the WWE call a Shining Wizard is actually not a legit Shining Wizard. The originator of the move, The Great Muta, doesn’t simply perform a running enzuiguri to a kneeling opponent like you see being done in the WWE. The legit Shining Wizard has the wrestler use his opponent’s knee as a step to gain extra height to hit their head with a kick or a knee strike.
As the move came from Japan, I can sort of forgive them for giving such a flashy move a silly name. Perhaps it just sounds really cool when you don’t know what “shining” or “wizard” means exactly. I guess it does feel really fun to shout “Shining Wizard!” at the top of your lungs but the words makes me imagine of an old man carrying a staff garbed in tinfoil. Then again, it does work both ways. I mean, literally translated, enzuigiri means “nape chop” or your basic strike to the back of the neck, which is really lame but sounds awfully cool.
4) Sleeper Hold
Is it called that way because it also puts me to sleep?
Professional wrestling rules don’t make much sense sometimes. There are some chokeholds which are legal as long as you do them from behind and with your arms. However, if you grab your opponent by the neck and start throttling them, well, that’s illegal, obviously? Well, this is why there are some moves like the anaconda vise, the cobra clutch and the sleeper hold, despite being chokeholds, are still legal in the world of professional wrestling. Unfortunately for the sleeper hold, unlike the anaconda vise and the cobra clutch, it definitely lost out in the naming department.
One of the biggest problem of the sleeper hold is it’s too specific. It’s a move you use to put your opponent to sleep… but not in a cool way like CM Punk’s Go 2 Sleep where he crashes his knee into his opponent’s cranium. Instead, the sleeper hold has the wrestler cradle the opponent’s head while pressing down on their carotid arteries, stopping blood flow to the brain. While the sleeper hold is a legit move and can be used in real life, that’s doesn’t stop it from having a really boring name.
He’s tuning up the band!
There’s just something special about the superkick. The first time I saw this performed was obviously by Shawn Michaels because the WWE was the only wrestling in the world when I was a kid. Even though it’s basically just a stepping side kick to the head, it used to be an extremely dramatic and unique move. Like other finishers, such as the the DDT, elbow drop from the top rope and the chokeslam, the superkick has become more of a commonplace move. It even forced the WWE to rename Shawn Michaels’ version to Sweet Chin Music to make it come off as special.
The problem I have with the name is how childish it comes off. It’s like creative saw the move and thought “it’s not just a kick… it’s a super kick” and somehow the naming convention stuck. It’s something my 5-year old self thought was cool but, as I got older, I realized how dumb it sounds.
The most devastating move in professional wrestling in the WWE today!
Usually confused with a rollup because the WWE has been calling it as such, the schoolboy is a pinning combination used to get a surprise pinfall from out of nowhere. It’s already obvious why the schoolboy deserves to be on this list because the name is derived from the description of a little nerdy kid. It doesn’t make it to the main list because it’s not supposed to be a devastating maneuver but a humiliating way to beat your opponent.
What other wrestling moves have wimpy names? Let me know in the comments section below!