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#FinisherFriday (12/7/18): The Liontamer



Welcome to another edition of #FinisherFriday! I am Wreddit_Regal, and this week we will be talking about one of Chris Jericho's rarely-used but devastating moves.

If there's anyone on the WWE roster who is the definition of the word "rockstar," it's gotta be Y2J. (Johnny Mundo comes a close second, but one of my senior editors thinks that he's more connected to the word "survivor.") Making a name for himself on ECW, WCW, and NJPW before setting foot on WWE soil, Chris Jericho has since captured the hearts of fans around the world for his combination of high-flying/striking/groundwork style, and for his innate ability to turn anything into storyline gold - starting from his Highlight Reel segment to the more recent The List of Jericho schtick.

With this conglomerate of talents at his disposal, Jericho has earned many accolades within the WWE, among which are: being the ninth Triple Crown Champion, as well as the fourth Grand Slam Champion in history, being the 2008 Superstar of the Year Slammy Award winner and (along with Big Show as Jeri-Show) won the 2009 Tag Team of the Year Slammy Award—making him the only winner of both Superstar and Tag Team of the Year, being voted by Wrestling Observer Newsletter (WON) readers as "Best on Interviews" for the 2000s decade, and being inducted into the WON Hall of Fame in 2010.

This logically takes us to the next part of our article, which is discussing Chris Jericho's arsenal of finishers. Over the years he has added new material to his personal stash of match-enders, some of which are as follows:

1. Breakdown (full nelson facebuster)


2. Codebreaker (running double-knee facebreaker)


3. Lionsault (middle-rope springboard moonsault)


4. Walls of Jericho (Elevated Boston crab)

5. The rarest of his finishers (in the WWE at least), the Liontamer


Jericho uses it so sparingly in the WWE that I can only remember Road Dogg, Kane, JTG, Cody Rhodes, Kofi Kingston, Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, and Neville taking the move (please call me out on this one if I am mistaken). The primary reason for this, as stated in his book, is that he can't do it to bigger guys without causing significant injury to them. And since he almost always gets matched against cruiserweights in his WCW days, it is no wonder that the move hasn't seen much action on a promotion that de-emphasized the importance of a cruiserweight division until recent times.

So how can your average wrestler perform the Liontamer? Let's break it down into small chunks:

  1. The attacker stands in front of the opponent lying down in a supine position
  2. The attacker grabs both of the opponent's feet and hooks each of the legs in one of his/her arms, elevating the opponent's lower body in the process
  3. The attacker steps over the opponent's body, doing a 180 turn in the process
  4. Once in the standard Boston crab position, the attacker puts his/her knee on the opponent's head/neck/upper thoracic spine and puts their weight on it



This gets us to the question, "How does the Liontamer deal damage?" Let me analyze it for you:

The submission is technically a hybrid version of your typical neck crank - a lateral crank (twisting the neck sideways) plus a hyperextension crank (bending the neck backward). The lateral crank is achieved by putting the knee on the opponent's head/neck.

On larger opponents, Y2J puts his knee on the upper thoracic area, securing the opponent's head using his shin. The hyperextension crank is achieved by utilizing the primary Boston crab position, pulling the legs and lower body towards him. This, in turn, bends the neck back to a very uncomfortable degree.


The cervical spine twisting in two different directions could easily result in its dislocation, which in turn can irritate the spinal cord in that area. This causes a myriad of problems, from stingers to total paralysis (should the spinal cord be severed by the dislocated cervical spine).


And there you have it chaps, the Liontamer deconstructed! Want to suggest a finisher to be analyzed for next week's article? Leave us a comment in the comment section below!

*****
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 manoeuvres, 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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