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    Friday, January 8, 2021

    #FinisherFriday (1/8/21): Don't Run, Blade!

    Welcome to another edition of #FinisherFriday! This is Wreddit_Regal bringing you a short review of NJPW's resident bladed weapon.

    How often do you hear the story of a Young Lion being sent overseas for experience, returning and then taking three of the top singles titles of NJPW in the span of three years? And to top it all off, the Young Lion was a gaijin to begin with! That is Jay White's rise to greatness, in a paragraph or less.

    Using his cunning and deception, he has managed to defeat NJPW's big four of the time (Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kazuchika Okada, Kenny Omega, and Tetsuya Naito) in singles matches and taking their respective titles (save Okada), proving himself to be one of the best wrestlers the Dojo has produced. This, and him becoming the fifth leader of the Bullet Club further cemented his status as a top-level heel within the company.

    A champion of his caliber emanates such a cold, calculated, and murderous aura in his matches, which translates onto his finishers:

    His current finisher is adapted from his former ally Alex Shelley, which is a swinging reverse STO known as Blade Runner:

    Breaking down the move into chunks:

    1. White starts in the standard STO position
    2. He then takes a step forward, making the opponent lie down onto his right thigh
    3. While in this position, White turns his whole body to the left and lands back-first to the mat, driving the opponent's head onto the canvas in the process

    This finisher has its counterpart in the WWE universe as Bray Wyatt's Sister Abigail:

    But the Switchblade's version is miles better, and let me tell you why.

    While Sister Abigail is more focused in the facebuster aspect of the reverse STO, Blade Runner actually turns it into a DDT—and a quirky one to say the least.

    When Bray Wyatt starts to rotate, his right arm and torso turn at the same time with the same force, resulting in the opponent's body also turning as a whole unit. This results in the opponent's face, torso, and knees landing at about the same time, which dissipates the damage. Jay White puts more force on his right arm when rotating, which forces the opponent's head to come in contact with the canvas first. As he told Fightful in this article:

    I make sure when I rotate with it that I rotate quick to the point where it pulls them around toward their head so a lot of guys don't really have much of a choice, to be honest.

     And it's not like most DDTs or brainbusters which deal damage on the front or top of the head: this finisher makes the opponent land on the side of their head.

    This deals a substantial amount of damage to the brain's parietal lobe, which results in the recipient sustaining after-effects like...

    • difficulty reading
    • difficulty in recognizing people and objects
    • and the most crucial effect: difficulty in having a comprehensive awareness of his or her own body and limbs and their positioning in space

    This, combined with a possible concussion, greatly reduces the opponent's ability to kick out of this sick finisher.

    Using my Regal Rating, I would give this a

    10/10 for aesthetics. Switchblade doesn't kiss the opponent's head after mounting the opponent. He does his taunt before he does the setup, and then proceeds to do the finisher in lightning-quick motion. That's how you would like a finisher to be executed by a slick character like the Switchblade.

    10/10 for damage. What makes this so effective despite the short distance from air to ground, is that most wrestlers would immediately take measures to protect their face or top of the head, which leaves the side of the head vulnerable.

    And that's it chaps, my short analysis of Jay White's Blade Runner! With his utter defeat in the hands of Kota Ibushi on Wrestle Kingdom's second night, and the bitter promo that came out of his lips after, will we see the Blade running away from the company? 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 (1/8/21): Don't Run, Blade! Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Wreddit_Regal
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