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    Friday, November 8, 2019

    #FinisherFriday (11/8/19): The Pounce

    Welcome to another edition of #FinisherFriday! This is Wreddit_Regal, giving my thoughts about the Spear's rarely-used cousin.

    All wrestling fans can recognize that a Spear is going to happen before the wrestler actually does it. For example, Roman Reigns does his signature howl:

    Edge looks like his frustrations are besting him:

    Rhyno and Goldberg just wait for the right moment to strike:

    In any case, the common denominator for these setups is that they almost always stand at the corner, and just run like crazy from there. If you were a wrestling skeptic like me, you would've thought "Surely these wrestlers should have known that their opponent was behind them waiting at the corner; why can't they dodge or counter those obvious Spears?"

    And to some degree, you are right for thinking like this. Wrestlers who have seen (and experienced) situations like this for maybe hundreds or thousands of times must have, at some point in their career, pondered about not having the means to evade the running finisher. But remember that even if the setup is obvious, factors like fatigue and a possible altered level of consciousness can easily change a wrestler's response time, defensive and decision-making skills.

    As telegraphed as the Spear may be, there is a variant that guarantees a combination of explosiveness, unpredictability, and destruction. Everyone, behold the Pounce.

    GOD. DAMN.

    Chaps, this is as good as your typical running shoulder block gets. As I've said earlier, the Pounce incorporates explosiveness, unpredictability, and destruction into one move. Let me elaborate on these characteristics:

    Unpredictability. The performer bouncing on the adjacent ropes creates three advantages:

    1. Running on the adjacent side creates a "blind spot"; since the opponent is focused on running forward, they naturally don't have a tendency to look at 3 or 9 o'clock.
    2. Since the performer is running towards the side (and the opponent is running forward), the opponent lacks any time to adjust his/her body and guard the rib/flank.
    3. Since the setup is an Irish whip, it is not as telegraphed compared to someone standing/crouching on a corner.

    Explosiveness. Running the ropes gives you more momentum/inertia than if you were just standing at the corner of the ring. This directly gives you more kinetic energy (and all those relevant physics jargon) to give in the resulting collision.

    Also, there are generally two ways of performing the actual hit: either you propel yourself (think of Rhyno's Gore), or you go full Juggernaut and take down opponents like bowling balls. Either way, the end result is adrenaline-fueled carnage.

    Destructiveness. Have you noticed that the strikes that cause a knockout come from the side, instead of from the front? This stems from the obvious fact that your average fighter is only trained to block shots from the front, and either parry or outright dodge hits coming from the side. Exploiting the fact that the initial setup creates a blind spot and prevents the opponent from changing directions in order to block, the Pounce shows no mercy to the opponent's exposed side. Hit the upper side? Direct blow to the ribcage. Hit the lower side? Blunt trauma to either the liver or spleen. Both are enough to make a grown man cry in pain.

    And there you have it chaps, my thoughts on the Pounce! Do you want to see WWE hosses using it more? 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 (11/8/19): The Pounce Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Wreddit_Regal
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