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#FinisherFriday (7/27/18): Running Through The Trees With My Woes


"Contemplate this on the Tree of Woe."

Welcome to another edition of #FinisherFridays! This is Wreddit_Regal, and this week we are going to discuss about the Tree of Woe.

Popularized by the likes of Kevin Sullivan and Tommy Dreamer, this gem of a move has helped many a wrestler gain an advantage over his/her opponent, mostly ending in a victory. But it has also been the subject of some criticism online, specifically with the Tree of Woe to double foot stomp, which some people find silly.


So what makes the Tree of Woe such a useful utility in the world of professional wrestling? Let's break the move down into these chunks:
  1.  The wrestler gets the recipient up to the top turnbuckle.
  2. The wrestler then hooks one of the recipient's boots or both under the element which links the turnbuckle to actual ring post. This secures the victim's into a small space.
  3. Once secured, the wrestler then lets the recipient's upper body hang down on the ring. This accomplishes at most three things:
    1. If the wrestler secured the recipient's foot "shallowly" (i.e. below the ankle), the flexor hallucis brevis, flexor digiti minimi brevis, adductor hallucis, extensor halllucis brevis and extensor digitorium brevis are stretched by the recipient's own weight. This in turn can irritate the plantar nerve and the deep fibular nerve, which can cause a great deal of pain to the foot. If the wrestler secured the recipient's foot "deeply" (at the shin), this causes great strain on the tibia.

      Although a sturdy bone in itself, sadly the tibia does not have much fat/muscle covering it. Hence, any stress/trauma dealt to it will directly affect the bone's periosteum, which has an abundance of nerve endings. This will cause a substantial amount of pain to the recipient.
    2. Since the upper body hangs upside down, this causes the stomach, intestines, liver, spleen to put extra weight on your lungs, making it harder to breathe for the recipient. Other possible effects could be increased intraocular pressure/ruptured brain vessels, but these effects could only happen with a couple hours of dangling upside down.
    3. There's practically little that the recipient can do to defend himself/herself from any attacks from such a vulnerable position.
This makes the Tree of Woe such a useful move to exploit in a wrestling match. But be careful, since it utilizes part of the ropes, it is considered an illegal move, and thus should not be used for a long duration.

Now to deal with the IWC's criticism with the Tree of Woe-double foot stomp combo. One of the main reasons why they don't like it is because the opponent seems to feed himself/herself to the attacker by pulling themselves up. This is not intended by the recipient in any way; in reality, they are frantically trying to relieve the pressure on their foot/leg by holding the ropes and pulling themselves up, thereby reducing the straining weight to the affected limb.

Low-Ki, when using his Tree of Woe variation of the Warrior's Way (which for me is one of the best double foot stomps in the business, along with Killshot's torso stomp and Sonjay Dutt's moonsault double foot stomp), deals additional damage by stepping on the shin and knee, which causes the victim to immediately pull themselves upward, setting themselves up for the inevitable finisher.



And there you have it chaps, the Tree of Woe's anatomy. Do you have some moves that you want to be analyzed? Let me know in the comment section below, or message me on Reddit!

*****

Wreddit_Regal is the resident sports kinesiologist of Reddit's wrestling forum, r/squaredcircle. From the most basic of punches to the most intricate double-team maneuvers, he can explain them within the realm of human anatomy and physics, because when doing absolutely nothing wrestling-related, he also happens to work as an operating room nurse.

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