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#FinisherFriday (5/22/15): KOTD vs. Alipin Drop

We're one day out from PWR's biggest extravaganza yet, Wrevolution X, and everyone here at the Smark Henry offices is stoked. We're especially excited about the main event, where the two top-ranked men in our official PWR Power Rankings, "The Bitchkiller" Bombay Suarez and "The Senyorito" Jake De Leon (JDL), square off to crown the first ever PWR Heavyweight Champion.

The match promises to be a wrestling clinic, with the firepower and relentless striking game of Bombay matched up against the technical skills and ring generalship of JDL.

In a match with stakes this high, every little advantage counts, and in this week's edition of Finisher Friday, we're focusing on what we think will be the biggest difference-makers in each man's battle plan—their respective finishing moves.

Let's break down the fight science behind each man's finisher.


Bombay Suarez's KOTD (Kick Of The Day)

What is it? 
The KOTD is Bombay's version of the step-up charging enzuigiri, a kick variation innovated by Japanese pro wrestling legend Antonio Inoki.

The name itself is a portmanteau of the Japanese word "enzui," which refers to the medulla oblongata, where the spinal cord connects to the brain at the back of the skull, and "giri," which literally means "to chop." In other words, it's a brain kick. I repeat. A freaking kick to the freaking brain. You don't get much more visceral than that.

Bombay kicks the Apocalypse in the brain. Photo from the PWR Facebook page. 

In Bombay's version, he takes a running start, steps up on his opponent's thigh with his leading leg, then uses the leverage to swing up and strike a massive jumping roundhouse kick to the back of the receiver's head, knocking him out for the pin.

Other Famous Users
The enzuigiri was first made famous in North America by Bad News Brown with his version, the Ghetto Blaster. Owen Hart famously knocked Shawn Michaels out of commission with a concussion using this head kick, while X-Pac, Rob Van Dam, Jay Lethal, and Jeff Hardy made it a regular part of their counter-wrestling repertoire.

The charging step-up version used by Bombay is more frequently performed by Chris Jericho, who used it mainly to strike foes in unconventional positions—when they're standing on the apron, perched on the top rope, or from outside the ring.

How Is It Set Up? 
The beauty of the KOTD is that like Randy Orton's RKO or Shawn Michaels' Sweet Chin Music, it's a move that can come out of literally nowhere. Suarez has mastered the move to the point that he can land it cleanly from practically any angle, any situation, anywhere in the arena.

Ken Warren knows #KOTD. Photo by Hub Pacheco.

The move is dangerous, to say the least. When landed perfectly at the base of the skull, it can can cause direct trauma to the medulla oblongata itself, or the nerves that pass through it, causing either paralysis or a complete loss of muscle control. A move that deadly doesn't need much of a set-up to be effective.

Bombay's fellow wrestlers in PWR tell us that they've seen him explode a heavy punching bag with it on more than one occasion; such wrestlers as the Apocalypse and "Classical" Bryan Leo can narrate firsthand how the move leaves one senseless.

How Can It Be Countered? 
The kick itself requires a bit of a wind-up that a quick-witted opponent can see coming. He can duck the move altogether, allowing Bombay's momentum to send him crashing to the ground, then drop immediately into an STF or a rear-mounted choke.

But the step-up portion of the move is when Bombay himself is at his most vulnerable. An obvious counter would be a quick, devastating kick to the Suarez family jewels, or by grabbing the leading leg, sweeping the other one out before it can be raised, and either rolling into a jackknife pin, or even a submission maneuver like a Boston Crab or a Texas Cloverleaf.

A smart opponent would target Bombay's legs right from the start with pinpoint strikes and submission, ensuring he loses the ability to spring and strike with them. Alternatively, an opponent could choose to wrestle a fast-paced match, keep Bombay on the run, tiring out his leg muscles and reduce the maximum force he can exert with his brutal kick.

JDL needs to make sure his reflexes are activated fully, and that he is aware at all times where he is in relation to Bombay in the ring. One mistake is all Bombay Suarez needs to set, plant, and kick, sending one more bitch to the emergency room for the night.


"The Senyorito" Jake De Leon's Alipin Drop:

What is it? 
The Alipin Drop is Jake De Leon's version of the Samoan Drop, or the reverse fallaway slam. It's a move that requires tremendous leg and lower back strength to hoist an opponent up on one's shoulders in a fireman's carry before violently kicking out one's legs and falling backwards to crush the recipient onto the mat.

JDL takes Chris Panzer for a ride. Photo by Hub Pacheco. 

The move itself targets the ribs and torso of the recipient as the attacker drops his full weight onto his sternum, which can either cause bone fractures, internal hemorrhaging, or a collapsed lung. At the very least, you end up with the wind knocked out of you, stunning you enough for the three-count.

Other Famous Users
The move is most closely associated with Samoan wrestlers—the Samoan SWAT Team, Rocky Maivia, the massive Yokozuna, Rikishi Fatu, Umaga, or the Uso brothers.

Other North American wrestlers have also notably adopted the move as their primary finisher due to its vicious simplicity and effectiveness. Irwin R. Schyster claimed numerous victories with his Write-Off variant, while Tatanka owed his massive undefeated streak to his End of the Road fallaway slam.

How Is It Set Up?  
JDL is the thinking man's wrestler. Unlike the insta-thrill of seeing Bombay unleash a vicious KOTD from out of nowhere, De Leon is slow and methodical in wearing down an opponent before finally planting the Alipin Drop.

Jake De Leon has one game plan entering his every match—focus the entire attack on his opponent's torso to maximize vulnerability for his finishing sequence. Virtually the entire offensive repertoire of the Senyorito is designed to punish the core, from his cannonball corner roll, his cartwheel splash, hard-hitting bodyslams and suplexes, and his signature take on RVD's Rolling Thunder—the Payroll. Until finally, when his opponents' ribs have been pulverized to near breaking point, De Leon hoists him up in the air and delivers the coup de grace.

One more alipin for Hacienda De Leon. Photo by Hub Pacheco.

How Can It Be Countered? 
The Alipin Drop is a devastating move, but is entirely predicated on Jake De Leon's remaining strength by the time he decides to hit it. For all of his bulk, the Senyorito has tremendous cardiovascular endurance and strength; an opponent needs to be in top physical condition to stretch it to its breaking point, leave him gasping for air, and with knees too weak to initiate the lift.

An opponent could opt to break down JDL's foundation throughout the match, targeting his lower back with spine busters and backbreakers, or his legs with kneebusters and leg-based submission moves.

With the right mastery of leverage, an opponent could opt to either roll JDL up in a quick cradle the moment he's lifted, or absorb the force and flow into a crucifix pin upon impact.

Bombay will have to be focused and deliberate in his offensive plan and debilitate Jake De Leon throughout the match to the point that he cannot even execute his finishing move. He needs to play a cautious game and make sure he doesn't fall prey to JDL's strategic torso attacks. That means relying on hit-and-run tactics, leveraging on his superior striking skills, and making sure he doesn't stay within grappling distance for too long.


What do you think, fight fans? Will the KOTD be enough to take Bombay Suarez to the top of PWR, or will the Alipin Drop provide enough of a winning edge to crown Jake De Leon as the new king of Philippine wrestling?

Leave us a comment on which finisher you like more, and we'll see you at the Makati Square Arena on Saturday!


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