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    Friday, May 3, 2019

    #FinisherFriday (5/3/19): The Hoverboard Lock


    Wait, wrong show reference.

    Welcome to another edition of #FinisherFriday! This is Wreddit_Regal, bringing to you an analysis of one of NXT's hottest acquisitions from the international scene.

    The Time Splitter has made sure to leave his mark on the NJPW battlefield, taking the moniker "Ace of the Juniors." Giving truth to the name, KUSHIDA has since won the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship six times (tying with Tiger Mask), and the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship two times with Alex Shelley as the Time Splitters. With also an impressive undefeated streak in the world of mixed martial arts, the New Japan Supernova is sure to make waves when he steps foot on WWE soil. (Update: KUSHIDA has won his first televised match on NXT yesterday against Kassius Ohno! Congrats, Time Splitter!)

    KUSHIDA has been known to have many tricks up his sleeve, incorporating a mix of strikes (running forearm kick, wind-up punch, handspring back elbow), flips (standing moonsault, somersault topé), and submission holds (armbar, crossface) onto his arsenal. Some of his well-known maneuvers are:

    1. Back to the Future

    2. Midnight Express

    3. and this article's focus, the Hoverboard Lock.

    The whole move process seems complicated, so let me break it down into small chunks:

    1. Both wrestlers get into the sprawl position
    2. KUSHIDA confidently positions both of his arms as if performing the submission from this position
    3. He suddenly performs a gator roll, the final position being him kneeling on one knee and the opponent lying on his right side
    4. Just before reaching the final position, KUSHIDA wrenches the opponent's forearm to the back, completing the submission

    For the casual pro wrestling and MMA viewer, this submission may seem familiar... because it is. Basically, KUSHIDA is performing his own version of one of the best-known submissions in mixed martial arts history, the Kimura lock. Let's take a side-by-side comparison with a Brazilian jiujitsu practicioner's picture:

    Although there is a noticeable difference in the way their right hand grips the opponent's forearm, both methods are actually effective. The no-thumb grip on the right enables the attacker to push and rotate the opponent's forearm (and twist the elbow and shoulder) as much as anatomically possible. Utilizing the thumb allows the attacker to easily push the opponent's forearm onto the back, and maintain control.

    What makes KUSHIDA's version so unique is that he uses the gator roll as a distraction. KUSHIDA traps the opponent's head between his thighs as he performs the gator roll. With this, the opponent would immediately think that it is a straightforward attempt at a choke, and thus tries to get the the legs off of his head. Once they stop at the final position, KUSHIDA releases the pressure on the opponent's head, giving them a sense of false relief, only to quickly push the captured forearm to the back and complete the kimura lock. For creativity, I'd give a 7/10.

    Such pressure on the elbow and shoulder can lead to torn muscles/tendons, and dislocated joints. For damage, I'd give a rating of 9/10.

    And there you have it chaps, the Hoverboard Lock deconstructed! How long do you think will it take for KUSHIDA to capture NXT gold? 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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    Item Reviewed: #FinisherFriday (5/3/19): The Hoverboard Lock Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Wreddit_Regal
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