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WWE/Vince bans thigh-slapping


SpykeDudlei1
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Meltzer reporting this week about WWE/Vince banning thigh slaps when their ‘independent contractors’ are performing kicks in matches.

Personally I don’t mind it if it’s done well and if the timing is spot on it can still have fans (me included) really buying into the impact of it. Some workers are superb at disguising it whilst others might as well dress their slapping hand in Xmas lights to draw even more attention to it. 

I wondered what others think about this but also got me thinking about other moves etc done in wrestling that divide opinion more than others.

I’ll start off with one that I know used to annoy an old promoter friend of mine and that’s the slingshotting of an opponent from the apron over the top rope back into the ring by yanking the top rope and the opponent (traditionally the heel) being launched back in. He was a big one for legitimacy in pro matches and said of all the illogical things done that was high on his list of ‘do nots’.

What else can you think of?

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I wonder if this will throw certain guys off. Lads like Adam Cole have done it so much for so long I imagine it’ll be genuinely difficult to get it out of their system.

Let’s never forget Gargano doing thigh slaps for chops. Leave the memories alone.

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I'm normally okay with thigh slaps - I know trainers and promoters who hate them, and will be loving that they can now tell their students that they're just teaching them WWE standards - but Johnny Gargano is the most egregious there is, and seeing him have to work without them will hopefully improve his work. The thigh slap on a chop - a move that only exists because of the noise it already makes - is unforgivably shit. 

A wrestler once told me about how Bobby Eaton would slap his bicep when he threw a strike (similar to how Kane used to on his chop to the throat), and did it so seamlessly that you never caught him in the act, but he was so pasty that after three or four punches he'd have a bright red handprint on his arm. 

I don't really have many pet peeves in terms of "realism" in wrestling - anyone looking for genuine realism wouldn't be watching pro-wrestling in the first place, and you have to accept that it's a world in which Irish Whips are an effective combat technique, so as long as there's some kind of internal consistency and logic it's all fine.

I do have a pet hate for stomping your foot when you throw a punch, though - a well-timed thigh slap at least conceivably sounds like what a kick to the face or chest might sound like, whereas a punch doesn't sound like stomping on wood. It's also the first thing that someone wanting to pick holes in the match and say "it's all fake though" is going to look for. 

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I personally don't have an issue with it - I think it adds something if it's done well. I don't spend my time watching matches looking for it to be honest though.

An eagle-eyed viewer might be able to see the thigh slap. A pedant, might be able to see the thigh slap. But I think if you're looking at the thigh slaps you're ignoring the story. If you go to a puppet show you can see the wires. But it's about the puppets, it's not about the string. If you go to a Punch And Judy show and you're only watching the wires, you're a freak.

Plus Vince will change his mind in a week.

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I don't have a problem with it if the move it's done on is the final one of the match. Logically then it sounds great and sells the reason why the receiver is knocked out.

However, when it's done and the person kicks out on 2 it just makes the result of the kick look weak and the whole thing then is a bit pointless. 

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I'm not too fussed about whether it's the finish or not, but whether it's impactful - and on that count I completely agree. If every kick sounds the same, then none of them sound exceptional, whereas one big kick connecting at the right point in the match and making a vicious sound means so much more. But I've seen wrestlers where a kick to the thigh sounds the same as a kick to the chest or a kick to the head, and so none of it matters. 

As a rule, if you're creating any "artificial" noise - whether that's a thigh slap, a foot stomp, or various groans and grunts - there should be variety; a kick to the head should sound different to a kick to the chest, a grunt of exertion should sound different to a grunt of pain. Part of the reason I dislike foot stomps is because it's the sound of making contact with the mat, so it will sound too similar to a bump, which ends up devaluing the impact of your bumps. 

Edited by BomberPat
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4 minutes ago, Perry said:

Which is worse though? slapping their thigh or stomping their feet when they throw a punch. In the mid 90s some of them would make it look so stupid. IRS used to stamp his foot even when he was on the receiving end of a 'punch' 

Or Austin jumping up and down when doing the mudhole bit.

The rumpus around thigh slaps is just people objecting to a certain style. If you ban them and don't ban the short jab with a foot stomp, you're just trying to hobble a portion of your roster, to me anyway.

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6 hours ago, BomberPat said:

I do have a pet hate for stomping your foot when you throw a punch, though - a well-timed thigh slap at least conceivably sounds like what a kick to the face or chest might sound like, whereas a punch doesn't sound like stomping on wood. It's also the first thing that someone wanting to pick holes in the match and say "it's all fake though" is going to look for. 

I always assumed that the stomp was more to disguise the fact the punch didn't make the "thud" that a real punch would? Even as a wrestling obsessed kid who you;dn't be told that what happens in the ring was not real, I never thought that the stomp sound was the sound of the fist connecting. 

I've never had any wrestling training though, so I'll take your word that I was wrong!

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I always thought the 'stomp' was covered by the emphasis of weight moving on to their leading leg whilst they connect with the punch. Not the most logical but it kind of made sense. 

The thigh slap is just trying to make it sound like a good connection whilst at the same time doing something that makes it evident you are not making a connection!

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