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#FinisherFriday (6/14/19): The Rooster Wing


Welcome to another edition of #FinisherFriday! This is Wreddit_Regal giving my thoughts on one hidden gem from the 1980s.

Terry Taylor's tenure as an active wrestler on the World Wrestling Federation wasn't exactly on the levels of Bret Hart or Shawn Michaels in terms of star power. Imagine being managed by Bobby "The Brain" Heenan (which was good back in the day), but with a twist: you are given the character of "The Red Rooster," wearing bright red tights and an equally-red ring coat, strutting around like a chicken, and garnering more defeats than victories for two years, acting as enhancement talent for many wrestlers. Terry Taylor was basically Kassius Ohno before Kassius Ohno became a thing (sorry Ohno).

But don't get me wrong⁠—Taylor wasn't your average bingo hall wrestler. In his travels across wrestling territories like the NWA, WCCW and UWF, Taylor was recognized as a star and popular babyface, his blond hair and wide smile often sending the country ladies into fits. Promoters ate this up and Taylor found himself feuding or tag teaming with the biggest stars in those territories. Taylor was a top hand everywhere he worked and held numerous major heavyweight, television and tag titles across the US. He was voted "Most Underrated Wrestler" by The Wrestling Observer in 1991 and 1992, an acknowledgment of his consistency and ability. It was just a case of piss-poor creative management by the WWF.

It was fairly obvious that a chicken inside the squared circle needed a poultry-themed weapon. As a result, the Rooster Wing was born:


This looked like something a grade-school bully would do on his smaller classmate to chuck some lunch money. Judging from the GIF, the audience still had their breath because this submission paled in comparison to Bret Hart's Sharpshooter and other famous maneuvers of his era. But as unappealing as this looks, I guarantee you that the recipient is in another world of pain while taking that move.

The Rooster Wing is an elevated belly-to-back hammerlock in technical wrestling jargon. If you have ever been apprehended by police because of whatever reason, you might have remembered having one of your arms bent against your back and then forced upwards. That, my friend, is your typical hammerlock, sometimes called a chickenwing in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.



By pushing the opponent's arm upwards, an uncomfortable amount of pressure builds up on the shoulder joint, the surrounding capsule, and the rotator cuff muscles. A sudden upwards jerk can rupture the shoulder capsule and forcibly take the humeral head outside of its socket, dislocating the shoulder.



Seems pretty simple and straightforward, right? But in the world of professional wrestling, your average wrestler has pretty much studied the ins and outs of grappling (and how to escape from holds and locks). Taylor has since solved this problem by adding his own magic:

By turning his back on the opponent as the lock is secured and leaning forward, he hoists his opponent up. Now there are TWO factors acting on the opponent's shoulder: the upward motion done due to the lift, and the force of gravity forcing the body to go downward. This creates so much pressure that the opponent has to tap out fast or risk having his shoulder messed up for good.


Using my trusty Regal Rating, I'd give it a

4/10 for aesthetics
10/10 for damage
10/10 for practicality. Someone like Zack Sabre Jr. or Jack Gallagher can easily exploit the strength of this maneuver and unleash it at any point of the match, thereby making the move a legitimate match-killer.

And there you have it, chaps, the Rooster Wing deconstructed! If you have any unusual moves that are in need of analyzing, let us know 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 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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