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    Friday, May 22, 2020

    #FinisherFriday (5/22/20): When Shad Took Over

    Welcome to another episode of #FinisherFriday! This is Wreddit_Regal dedicating this week's article to this wretched year's latest casualty.

    As memorialized in our obituary yesterday, Shad Gaspard was more than a wrestler. He was a great friend, a father anyone would want to have, an outstanding member of his community—an absolute gem of a human being. The sudden news of his disappearance and demise sent shockwaves to the whole wrestling world. Heck, even before it was confirmed, JTG's tweet already reduced many of us to tears:

    It turned from Cryme Tyme to cryin' time real quick for me after reading the tweet.

    Shad was your typical enforcer on a tag team: a towering structure of a man that packs power behind his strikes and throws, and can surprisingly move like a cat when needed. Oftentimes, the big man was only considered as the brawns while his smaller comrade was the brains and mouth, but he proved to be the exception as seen on their felony skits and promos. Cryme Tyme was arguably a hit with the crowd of their generation, and that was a relatively hard thing to accomplish when their fellow tag teams at the time were considered as bland.

    A big guy needs a big guy finisher to further accentuate his dominance and power in the ring, and it came in the form of an STO, aptly given the meaning of Shad Taking Over.

    Breaking down the move into chunks:

    1. The attacker stands beside his opponent
    2. The attacker wraps one arm across the chest of their opponent
    3. The attacker sweeps the opponent's leg with their own leg, while simultaneously slamming the other wrestler back-first onto the mat

    It looks like a move taken out of a judo handbook, because the inventor was a judoka himself. Naoya Ogawa, an Olympic world champion judoka-turned-professional wrestler, brought his art onto the squared circle and named this sweep throw/takedown the Space Tornado Ogawa or STO.

    Other wrestlers who have used the STO as their finisher include:

    Kenzo Suzuki


    This finisher is 0% flash, 100% impact. The leg sweep ensures that the opponent cannot use his legs to cushion the fall in any way.

    This also allows the attacker to drive the head/neck/upper back lower than the legs upon impact.

    Add to the obvious fact that Shad is a hulking figure, and you can already imagine the amount of damage he deals to his opponents.

    Using my Regal Rating, I would give this a:

    10/10 for aesthetics and practicality. This is the kind of finisher that Drew Gulak, the Revival FTR or the Vaudevillains would love to incorporate in their arsenal. There's no flippy shit involved; only the fundamental motions of sweeping and slamming are involved. It's done quick and poses almost no risk for the attacker.

    10/10 for damage. Anyone who was on the receiving end of any judo throw would tell you that the whole process wasn't pleasant in any way. The attacker has full control of your entire body, and his own strength contributes only a small percentage to the damage dealt - your body's kinetic force decides how sore you are going to feel the day after!

    And there you have it chaps, the STO analyzed! Do you have fond memories of Shad wrestling when you were younger, or have had an encounter with him? 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 (5/22/20): When Shad Took Over Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Wreddit_Regal
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