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#FinisherFriday (7/12/19): A Priest's New Weapon


Welcome to another edition of #FinisherFriday! This is Wreddit_Regal bringing to you an analysis of a finisher that you may have seen inside (or outside) of the WWE.

A slim version of Chris Hero? A wannabe Baron Corbin? Nope, Punishment Martinez Damian Priest is his own badass person. Raised in the Monster Factory and from there wreaking havoc wherever he went (including ROH and NJPW), this guy would one day be trampling on the WWE canvas under the NXT brand.

Although he was rechristened as Damian Priest, a simple name change cannot alter his destructiveness in the ring. For a guy his size, he has added some spinny and flippy stuff to his repertoire, making the moniker "Punishment" more relevant than ever:



But on the last week's NXT episode, he showed everyone a new (and familiar) addition to his arsenal:


Yup, that's Cody Rhodes's "Cross Rhodes" right there. I'd be totally fine if he retained the "South of Heaven" since it's a big guy move, but I guess we'll just have to stick with this for the meantime.


In technical wrestling jargon, the Cross Rhodes is classified as a rolling cutter. Here is a step-by-step procedure of it:

  1. The attacker places an opponent in the inverted headlock position (think of the Scorpion Death Drop)
  2. The atacker spins under the opponent and lands on his/her back. If the opponent is tucked on the attacker's left side, the attacker spins to the right (and vice versa).
  3. The spinning action forces the opponent's face or head to the canvas, completing the move.





At first glance it seems like a low-impact move, but have you ever wondered how the Cross Rhodes manages to win matches? The answer is deception.

Like the infamous Saxtonation (God bless that move), this move employs the art of misdirection to render an opponent unable to guard his/her face or head. The secret lies in the spin: if an opponent fails to match the timing and direction of Priest/Rhodes' spin, their necks are in great risk of being hyper-rotated and suffering cervical fractures/torn neck muscles...


...well, except for the kid. Eek.

To prevent that from happening, the opponent matches the timing and direction of the attacker's spin. Paying attention to their neck's safety then leaves their face or head vulnerable to the real move, a cutter or DDT. Talk about a two-fold attack!


Rating it using my Regal Rating, I'd give it:

8/10 for aesthetics, which can easily turn to a 9 if the opponent lands on their head. The move is relatively smooth even when done by a big guy like Damian Priest. The sloppiness happens when the opponent fails to keep up with the spin (which is bad for their neck).

9/10 for practicality. In my opinion, an opponent's status (still strong or weakened) doesn't really matter when performing this move. An opponent which still has the stamina can effortlessly spin in sync, but fail to guard the resulting cutter or DDT. A weakened opponent has the greatest risk of having their neck broken since they theoretically can't keep up with the sudden spin, and thus would have their neck overrotated. If Martinez Priest has a hunch that an opponent could counter the move, he could just fall on his back and do an inverted DDT, thwarting the opponent's attempts to turn the tables.

And there you have it chaps, the Cross Rhodes dissected! Does the move fit with Damian Priest's current image or not? 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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