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#FinisherFriday (6/21/19): End of Days


Welcome to another edition of #FinisherFriday! This is Wreddit_Regal bringing to you an analysis of the most protected finisher in modern-day WWE.

Baron Corbin is definitely a strange case in today's age of sports entertainment. He is a one-time United States Champion, the winner of the third annual André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania 32 and the 2017 Money in the Bank men's ladder match. He briefly served as RAW General Manager, and later had the honor of retiring Kurt Angle at WrestleMania 35. Yet despite these accolades, he is notorious for having "go-away heat" with the WWE Universe.

If you were to ask me what the problem with his character is, the answer would be there's no problem; he's actually doing that on purpose. Imagine having a workmate who has poor social skills, and is a bully in general. He gains a few achievements and climbs up the corporate ladder, and he becomes a braggart trying to rub his success onto your faces. Even when falling from the ladder, he still remains a crappy prick who tries to insert himself into every opportunity at showing off because of his accolades. After some time being angry, you lose the will to care about that workmate anymore, and just wish that he'd be gone from the company sooner.

That's how Baron Corbin plays his character—he is not in any way less talented; in my opinion, his character became so obnoxious that the audience simply lost their drive to hate him.

But enough with the character analysis. Corbin is also famous for another thing—nobody has ever kicked out of his finisher, the End of Days. He recently used the move to retire Kurt Angle at WrestleMania 35 and I wouldn't be surprised if it helped him claim the Universal Championship sooner rather than later.



If this montage isn't enough to convince you of the sheer destructive force of his finisher, do remember that on the 2017 Elimination Chamber match, after Dean Ambrose rolled up Corbin for the elimination, Corbin hit the End of Days on Ambrose, before leaving the Chamber after a couple of minutes. Then, a sneaky Miz pinned the unconscious Ambrose and still achieved an elimination, despite Ambrose having had "enough time" to rest. If that were another finisher, Ambrose (or any of those men from the Chamber) would have kicked out at two.

The move is fast, brash and flashy, and doesn't seem to give the performer more damage than the receiver. Just take a look at how the other counterparts pale in comparison to Corbin's version:





Yeah, Eva Marie's rendition definitely belongs to F-tier.

The main problem with your typical reverse STO is that the damage dealt to the opponent is directly proportional to how hard the performer drives his back onto the mat. In essence, it's not a very good deal battle-wise, since you have to sacrifice your endurance to hopefully incapacitate your opponent for the pinfall victory. But Corbin adds a little bit of his mojo to the otherwise bland move, minimizing his risk while maximizing the damage dealt to the opponent:

He uses the opponent's momentum against them, by either pulling the opponent onto him (thereby causing the opponent to run towards him slightly)...



...or having an opponent run to him, and performing the move as a counter.


As Corbin catches his opponent while running, he leans slightly forward to lift both of the opponent's legs from the canvas. The kinetic energy, or momentum, causes the opponent's feet to continue moving forward, resulting in that beautiful pendulum swing.


Corbin then just waits for the opponent's feet to swing back, and then lies backward himself, driving the opponent's face/head onto the canvas. One good thing about the swing is that it prevents the opponent from effectively bracing the fall using his knees/feet. Corbin also times it *beautifully* in such a manner that the head always comes in contact with the canvas first.


Using my trusty Regal Rating, I'd give the move a:

10/10 for aesthetics. Baron Corbin just does it in one very fluid motion. It's both graceful and devastating to the human eye. Although the move takes a bit longer to complete when done with bigger opponents, it's a guaranteed ragdoll move for smaller wrestlers, which makes it look more destructive.

9/10 for practicality. He can do it either as a standalone or as a quick counter, which renders the move usable in virtually any point of the match.

And that's it chaps, the End of Days analyzed! How many months will Baron Corbin have to wait before he wins the Universal Championship using this move? 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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