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People Power (9/14/15): Masters of the Superkick


What's happening, Internet? Welcome to another edition of People Power, the only column in the universe powered 110% by the opinions of Filipino wrestling fans.

About a week ago, we threw y'all a quick question on one of the more en vogue striking moves in the wrestling world today, the superkick, particularly who you think throws the very best one.

And so we've counted up your votes, shined them up real nice, turned them sideways, and stuck them straight up our People Power ranking machine to determine once and for all who you, our loyal Smark Henrinites, believe to be the greatest master of the superkick.

Let's get kickin'.


Before we get to the actual top five, we have a beef to pick with all you voters, and it goes a little bit summin' like this:

WHY IS RUSEV NOT ON THE LIST?



Seriously, you try getting kicked in the mush by an angry 300-pound Bulgarian wrestling in his bare feet, and tell us that doesn't deserve a place on the top five.

We don't get angry often, guys. But in this case, we're breaking out our old shame bell for everyone who played a part in making this travesty of justice possible.


Shame indeed.

So now that we've gotten that out of our systems, let's get started with the man who grabbed the #5 spot with 29% of the voting population, indie darling Adam Cole (BAYBAY!), the man who grabbed the #9 spot in the recently-released PWI 500 rankings.


Cole likes to cite Shawn Michaels as a huge inspiration in his becoming a pro wrestler, and his take on the superkick is a huge manifestation of that. But whereas HBK's version was all about technique, precision, and grace, Cole's version is a lot more business-like; it's the kick of a man who just wants to take your head off, and doesn't care how pretty it looks.



Do we love it here at the Smark Henry offices? Not particularly, but hey, we're not about to diss a move that's played a huge role in securing championships all over the indie scene for Mr. Cole.

Up next with 43% of the vote is a superkick variant we do love—the ultra-gorgeous version by WWE's pre-eminent "Show-Off," the two-time World Champion, Dolph Ziggler.


The superkick isn't even a primary finishing move for Ziggler, who prefers to end matches with this Zig Zag neckbreaker, but some of his most iconic moments came courtesy of this deadly kick. Remember when he knocked Randy Orton out with it to emerge as the sole survivor at Survivor Series 2012? That was a beaut.


Ziggler does it magnificently, and we wouldn't mind seeing it more often—not just as a surprise desperation move.

We've got some interesting local flavor coming in at the #3 spot, as the Philippine Wrestling Revolution's own ass-kicking Bacolodnon, "The Senyorito" Jake De Leon, swoops in with a surprise placing after seizing 53% of the popular vote.


Let's be real frank here, guys. Jake De Leon is no Abercrombie & Fitch swimsuit model. But that doesn't mean homeboy can't move like Jagger. Despite his bulk, JDL is a shockingly agile, flexible athlete, who uses such moves as rolling sentons and cartwheel splashes to soften up his opponents. His superkick is a legitimate thing of beauty for someone built like the chunky haciendero that he is. Just ask men like John Sebastian and PWR referee Matt Roxas, who have both been recent guests at JDL's superkick fiesta.

To be completely honest, we don't necessarily think JDL has the third best superkick in the whole frickin' world—Johnny Mundo, Rusev, and Alberto El Patron, among others, would like to have firm words with anyone who insists this is the case—but we're happy to support a little bit of homerism here.

From superkick fiesta, let's move on to superkick party, as the Young Bucks come in at the #2 spot with 57% of the vote.


While wrestling purists like to complain about how these boys wrestle like they're spamming special attacks on a round of 2K15, the fact of the matter is that the Bucks are all about big-time impact all the time. What people need to appreciate is the absolute precision timing Mama Jackson's boys demonstrate when they get someone turnt with their double superkick. It's no joke timing the blows perfectly in sync with each other; a split second too early or too late means the Young Bucks get to land just one boot to the chin of an unsuspecting foe instead of two. Individually, their superkicks are just average. Combined, they're world-beating.


So this may have been a polarizing vote for the #2 spot, but we don't think anyone will protest too much over the grand winner in our superkick poll.

And was there any surprise as to who would claim the #1 slot on this list? With an unprecedented 100% of the vote—a first for People Power!—"The Heartbreak Kid" Shawn Michaels brings home the bacon as the king of superkicks with his Sweet Chin Music.


"Gentleman" Chris Adams may have innovated the superkick, but Shawn Michaels perfected it, turning it from mid-card finisher into a World Championship-winning one.

Not since Ivan Koloff's Russian Sickle and Stan Stasiak's Heart Punch ruled the WWF in the 1970s had a striking move been the primary finisher of a World Champion, but the theatrics, athleticism, and drama that HBK blended into his Sweet Chin Music made it one-of-a-kind. Nobody got the extension and grace he put into this vicious kick. Randy Orton may have a million memes for the RKO, but Sweet Chin Music was the original #FROMOUTTANOWHERE move that got audiences popping.

And honestly, the highlight reel you could construct out of HBK's superkick is just goddamn breathtaking. Everyone from the legendary Ric Flair, to Hulk Hogan, to Sting, to The Rock, to Triple H, to the Undertaker, to Bret "Hitman" Hart, to "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, to Goldberg, to Kurt Angle, to Edge, to "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, or even Vince McMahon himself knows what it's like to taste the bottom of this proud Texan's boot. You could fill a whole wing at the WWE Hall of Fame just with the list of victims who have been felled by this particular move.



Now go back and watch that video again. It's that darn good. Nobody does a superkick quite like Shawn Michaels. 

*****

What do you think, rasslin' fans? Disagree that the Heartbreak Kid is the king of the superkick world? (that's a trick question, by the way—anyone who protests should get his Internet access revoked) Think that Alberto El Patron and Johnny Mundo should have been on the list? Leave us a comment below, and let's have a nice slapfight over it.

And hey, while we're at it, any suggestions for our next #PeoplePower survey would be very much welcome too.

*****




Mark De Joya (@MDJSuperstaris an advertising professional and brand strategist by day, but dreams of being the Vince McMahon of the Philippines by night. He writes anything to do with numbers for Smark Henry: People Power, our weekly fan survey, and Best For Business, our regular financial report. With 18" arms and a 300-pound squat, he is also the official bouncer of the Smark Henry offices.

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