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    Friday, January 14, 2022

    Finisher Friday (1/14/22): It's Gonzo, Not Ganso

    Welcome to another edition of #FinisherFriday! This is Wreddit_Regal bringing you a review of a debuting teammate's finisher, as well as a short history run of the move's predecessor.

    As Aleister Malakai Black was pummeled down by Penta and the Varsity Blondes on this week's episode of Dynamite, he wasn't seen writhing in pain. In fact, a twisted smile crept on his face as he slowly looked up to his tormentors and started pointing at them one by one, seemingly giving them a "You're gonna get it" message. Then everything went dark. When the lights came back on, the three assailants weren't prepared for what they would experience that night.

    Brody King, one-half of the "Kings of the Black Throne" which dominated PWG last year, is a being of pure calculated violence. There are times where he would clobber an opponent akin to a predator tenderizing its prey; yet at times he would let his showmanship get the better of him, announcing to the crowd that he's the leader of the roster's pack. This fluidly translates to his moveset which ranges from strong style brawling to the high-caliber athleticism commonly featured in the indie style:

    Although Brody King commonly uses his All-Seeing Eye to end matches:

    ...my eyes are set on his piledriver, called the Gonzo Bomb:

    Not a Ganso bomb, a Gonzo Bomb:

    But while we're at it, let's all sit around Grandpa Regal's rocking chair as he recites a short history of the infamous neck killer of a finisher.

    Ganso in Japanese roughly means "originator". This would be a nod to a pioneer of many moves, Lou Thesz, whose early iteration of the powerbomb bore flashes of the Japanese finisher (thanks u/tmxicon for this factoid!).

    In 1989, Rick Rude battled the Ultimate Warrior at SummerSlam. It was your typical old-school match between two beefed-up dudes, but with one interesting spot: a gassed-out Rick tried to lift up Warrior for a powerbomb, but failed to prop Warrior's body up. Not wanting to be embarrassed in front of thousands of viewers, Rick improvised on the spot, dropping down on his knees instead (and Warrior's head in the process). This would arguably be the first instance that a finisher closely resembling the visual of a Ganso bomb was performed in-ring.

    Fast-forward to a decade later, we now travel to Japanese soil. Puroresu crowds were roaring like the colosseums of old, watching modern-day gladiators in the persons of Toshiaki Kawada and Mitsuharu Misawa. In the midst of their battle, Kawada would break one of the bones on his left arm, which would give him great difficulty lifting Misawa up for a powerbomb. In desperation, Kawada unknowingly did the same thing Rick did and spiked Misawa's head on the mat to everyone's surprise.

    If Kobashi took things a step further by inventing the Burning Hammer, Kawada took a stride of his own by inadvertently inventing the Ganso bomb.

    Today we see a lot of wrestlers perform the Ganso bomb as a tribute to a pillar of AJPW who turned a botch into a legend.

    This move was called "Hollow Point," which we probably won't see him use in the WWE

    Daniel Bryan almost got Ganso'd on this one

    But the aesthetic of the Gonzo bomb would be developed and popularized by these two men respectively: Super Dragon with his Barry White Driver (thanks to u/AndrewPDXGSE for the reminder!),

    And Joey Kaos, who also happens to be  Brody King's trainer at the world-famous Santino Bros. Wrestling School. He then passed on the move to King, which he uses to this day as a tribute (thanks to u/SamuraiVsNinjas for the trivia!)

    Joey Kaos performing the move to Brody King


    Using my Regal Rating, I would give this finisher a:

    10/10 for aesthetics. Brody King could perform it from a gutwrench, powerbomb, or aided crucifix position. Either way, the act of an opponent propped so high and then forced head-first to the ground like a wooden pole gives a gnarly visual that the casual viewer won't forget for a night or two.

    10/10 for damage. When an opponent dangles down like that, being spiked onto the mat is the last of his/her worries. The most common situations for them to anticipate are either a powerbomb or a Styles Clash. This leaves them unable to use their arms to minimize impact when the unexpected piledriver happens.

    And that's it chaps, my short review of Brody King's Gonzo Bomb! Do you think the Kings of the Black Throne can add the AEW Tag Team titles to their current collection? Let us know in the comment section below!


    Wreddit_Regal is the resident finisher fanatic 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: Finisher Friday (1/14/22): It's Gonzo, Not Ganso Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Wreddit_Regal
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