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#FinisherFriday (9/16/16): #NAKAKAPROUD



It’s a good time to be a Filipino wrestling fan, from the epic WWE Live in Manila to the revival of the wrestling industry in the Philippines, it just might be the best time to come out of the closet and admit our love for professional wrestling.

WWE being the biggest company in professional wrestling today, they’ve had the share of the biggest names in sports-entertainment, from the Ric Flairs’ and the Hulk Hogans of the 80s, the Steve Austins and the Rocks of the 90s, the John Cenas and the Mizs of this millenium, and now to a new breed of talent in the Kevin Owens’ and the Seth Rollins’, the Filipino fans have always dreamt of having a Filipino wrestler that we could be proud of.


In this day, we need not dream anymore, we are blessed with the man, the myth, the legend they call TJ Perkins.

TJP: A FILIPINO HERO CROWNED


In the recently concluded WWE Cruiserweight Classic, we were all witness to the realization of the childhood dream of TJ Perkins. Much like most Filipino hero stories, TJ was projected as an underdog despite having been in the wrestling scene from the tender age of 13, so basically all of his life. The cruiserweight limit is set at 205 lbs, TJ is listed at 167 lbs, hence he had to face opponents bigger, heavier, and at times more popular than he is. Despite all the doubters and non-believers, TJ Perkins proved once more the proverbial “Pinoy Puso.”

Outlasting 31other individuals who represented different countries, TJ not only won the one-loss elimination style tournament, he is now forever to be known as the first undisputed and currently longest-reigning “WWE Cruiserweight Champion.”

A little bit of history, the WWE actually retired the cruiserweight division sometime in 2007 with Hornswoggle being the last title holder; the question is why bring it back? You see, unlike the wrestling action we are now used to, the cruiserweight is a brand in itself; cruiserweight action is fast-paced, high-flying, and most importantly exciting. With former champions such as Rey Mysterio, Eddie Guerrero, and Chris Jericho, we are more than ecstatic that TJ Perkins will lead this division as it makes its return to current era as he is set to debut his newly minted title on the main roster in WWE’s Monday Night Raw.

FILIPINO FLAVOR: THE TJP CLUTCH


Almost forgot, my column is called Finisher Friday, and so let’s take on TJ’s finisher, the TJP Clutch.


Unlike the usual back-breaking slams and jaw-shattering strikes, TJ uses a submission hold to defeat his opponents. What’s different with submission finishers is that you just don’t know when the match is going to end. Unlike slams and strike finishers which we all know result in a pinfall, submission finishers have more unique drama.

Whereas non-submission finishers see people get knocked out, submission finishers have that characteristic of connecting the wrestler to the audience longer. For example, when a wrestler is on the receiving end of a devastating F5 from Brock Lesnar, you share that one painful second with them, you know that moment when you say “that shit be painful.” On the other hand, when a wrestler is stuck in let’s say Charlotte’s Figure Eight leg lock, you can see and feel the pain in the wrestlers face, you know that moment when you say “how longer can he take that.”

Now to the TJP Clutch which is technically speaking is sort of an inverted leglock cloverleaf. I’m no wrestler, nor an MMA expert, but in layman’s terms it’s a move to break your leg, tear out your hamstring, and put some severe trauma on your Achilles tendon.

First, TJ rolls through the opponent, often times underneath so he can catch one leg and apply a knee bar. A kneebar is a leglock that can hyperextend the knee, in execution it looks like an armbar except applied to the leg, duh. TJ traps the opponent's leg in between his legs and secures the leg with his arms so the opponent's kneecap points towards the floor.

To further add pressure on the knee, TJ executes an inverted cloverleaf. TJ crosses the opponents’ free leg over the other in a figure four shape then locks the hold by placing the foot of the free leg behind his own knee. This keeps the free leg, now over the targeted leg, locked hence can be used to push on the targeted leg to add more strain.

After TJ secures the lock, he applies pressure using his upper body as well his hips, yielding a greater amount of force applied to the knee. With the hold locked its basically impossible to escape and unless the opponent taps out, tissue or ligament damage may occur.

But really, just looking at it, you know it’s actually painful. The TJP Clutch is also a testament to what kind of wrestler TJ Perkins is, with a proven hunger and lengthy experience there’s so much we can look forward for in our own Filipino hero.

Rejoice Filipinos, TJ Perkins has arrived.

*****

Gene Ferrer (@thegeneferrer) is Smark Henry's newest contributor, and the new king of finishing moves. He isn't actually a wrestler, but is pretty good at figuring out what would hurt like hell in real life.

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