Down and Out, Courtesy of Christian
By Aaron Williams
The Downward Spiral. It sounds more like a description of Vince and Linda McMahon's marriage than the name of the most menacing finishing move in the World Wrestling Federation. At first glance, it doesn't even look punishing. But make no mistake, Christian's Downward Spiral is the most effective finisher in the Federation.
To be fair, there are quite a few Superstars with devastating signature moves: Stone Cold Steve Austin's Stunner, Chris Jericho's Walls of Jericho and Taka's Michinoku Driver certainly rank up there with the bet. Two finishers--Kurt Angle's Ankle Lock and Jeff Hardy's Swanton Bomb--are so good, in fact, that they deserve a paragraph or two of their own before I explain why Christian's Downward Spiral is the best of the best.
If finishers were rated solely on the amount of terror that they strike in Superstars' hearts, then Kurt Angle's Ankle Lock would come out on top. Not since the days of Frank Gotch's dreaded Toe Hold has there been a hold so feared that the mere mention of it could send world-class athletes into a state of panic. The only flaw in Angle's execution has been that some of his opponents have managed to struggle to the ropes and get the referee to break the hold. I know for a fact, though, tat Angle is working on adding a special wrinkle to the Ankle Lock that will immobilize his opponents and prevent them from reaching the ropes. Who knows how many bones will break and how many championships will be won once Angle perfects this hold?
As for Jeff Hardy's Swanton Bomb, who can argue with its effectiveness? No one has ever kicked out after receiving one, and only one man, Kurt Angle, has managed to grab the ropes and save himself from getting pinned. I'll be the first to admit not understanding the physics of the move; one would think that by rolling up into a ball, Jeff would generate more torque and speed, thereby crushing his opponent with more force, but he has apparently found a way to defy gravity and inflict more pain in his full layout position. Edouard Carpentier, the inventor of the Senton Bomb, might not like Jeff's technique, but there's no denying that Jeff has made the Swanton Bomb one of the most effective finishing moves in history.
The most effective finishing maneuver, however, is Christian's Downward Spiral. Simply put, it has a 100 percent success rate, and how can you argue with that? What's more, it is as mentally demoralizing as it physically devastating. The Downward Spiral tears rotator cuffs, stretches pectoral muscles and renders its victims unconscious after having their heads smashed to the ring apron. But what is not known about the maneuver is that many of Christian's opponents barely feel their muscles tear or their heads hit the apron. Most of them are in such a state of despair as Christian pics their arms behind then that they are completely debilitated before Christian actually executes his move.
When Christian stretches his opponent's arms behind them, his opponent comes to the realization that he has no way of protecting his face from the unforgiving canvas below. More often that not, his already bruised and beaten opponent will blackout from the fear of the impending doom. (Some medical officials have described this blackout as the brain's way of protecting the fragile psyche. Since the blackout ensures that there will be no memory of the event, the victim will not be traumatized and suffer long term psychological damage.) If you don't believe me, look into the eyes of Christian's opponent the next time he executes the Downward Spiral.
Being so cool and charismatic, Christian rarely receives the credit he deserves for his intellectual brilliance and ring savvy. But in the Downward Spiral, he has come up with the ultimate weapon.