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    Friday, February 8, 2019

    #FinisherFriday: The World Liner

    Welcome to another edition of #FinisherFriday! This is Wreddit_Regal giving an analysis of one breathtaking on-the-fly finisher.

    It is every aspiring wrestler's dream to learn a new move that spells disaster for their opponents in the ring; one move that, when performed, garners them a well-deserved victory after the beating that they received inside the squared circle. With this desire, lots (and I mean lots) of unique finishers have been developed by wrestlers over the years, from the simplest to the most complicated in setup.

    Granted, having an array of match-ending moves at your disposal sure sounds like an automatic recipe for victory, but when you are matched with an opponent that knows the ins and outs of wrestling, then the only weapon you need is the ability to make an unexpected move that bewilders even the most seasoned of veterans.

    Take a look at Claudio Castagnoli, better known as Cesaro in the WWE ring. He can be called a hardened veteran in his own right, known for his work in Ring of Honor (ROH), various independent promotions including Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG) and Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW), and the Japan-based Pro Wrestling Noah. Best known as a tag team specialist, his successful ventures on the ROH, CZW, Chikara, JCW and WWE tag team division have reaffirmed his rightful title as one of "The Kings of Wrestling." (Sorry Kassius Ohno, Cesaro gets the spotlight for now.)

    But despite his success in doubles matches, he is also a force to be reckoned with in singles competition. His feats of strength and complete badassery have earned the respect of wrestling journalists, fans and critics alike. He was consequently recognized by the Wrestling Observer Newsletter as the Most Underrated Wrestler in the world a record four times, from 2013 to 2016.

    I'd like to list all of his jaw-dropping moves, but the highlight of this article is this one specific move that made me watch the clip containing it over twenty times. Take a look at this match's finish and tell me if that isn't replay-worthy:

    This is the prime example of besting your opponent's efforts to outsmart and outmaneuver you. Simply put, Cesaro performed the art of countering a counter, all within the span of a few seconds. Let's analyze the sequence step by step to see how Cesaro managed to pull off that bloody hell of a finisher:

    1. Mike Quackenbush runs towards Cesaro after bouncing to the ropes twice. Cesaro takes advantage of Quackenbush not being able to stop his acceleration by quickly tossing him up, in preparation for a pop-up powerbomb.

    2. Quackenbush allows himself to be tossed up. He probably knew Cesaro's intention all along and thus played along with the move, but instead of completely stopping his motion mid-air, he decided to swing his body backward while it was still elevated, in preparation for a huracanrana. This is the first counter of the sequence.

    3. Cesaro probably didn't see it coming, but was quick enough to realize Quackenbush's form of retaliation before it was too late. As he felt Quackenbush's body swinging backward, he immediately widened the distance between his feet, bent both knees ever so slightly, and leaned a little bit forward to continue the swing. Cesaro allowed Quackenbush's upper torso to pass between his legs, so that he can trap both of his forearms. Doing this completely stops the swing, leaving Cesaro safe from a rana counter, and making the opponent vulnerable to a makeshift piledriver just by kneeling. This is the counter to the first counter.

    4. Quackenbush realizes this and tries to make a "both of us must get damaged" situation: He uses his leg power to drive Cesaro's head to the canvas, as his face and upper torso also gets pinned down similar to a Styles Clash. This is the counter to Cesaro's counter.

    5. Cesaro quickly notices the upcoming recklessness, and decides to do a front flip. With this, he can avoid getting his head driven in. Since Quackenbush's forearms are trapped, his whole body consequently flips alongside Cesaro. Being a strong and flexible fellow, Cesaro manages to land on his bottom and his opponent on his back, finishing a very rare powerbomb-countered-to-a-rana-countered-to-a-suicide-rana-countered-to-a-sunset-flip-powerbomb sequence. Talk about countering a counter that counters a counter. Just thinking about it makes me feel dizzy.

    And there you have it chaps, Cesaro's "World Liner" deconstructed! Will there be any chance that Cesaro uses it in the future? If yes, then who will be the unlucky recipient of his counter-ception? 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 manoeuvres, 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: The World Liner Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Wreddit_Regal
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