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    Friday, October 16, 2020

    #FinisherFriday (10/16/20): The Venis Flytrap (And Clarifications On The Figure-Four)

    Val Venis

    Welcome to another episode of #FinisherFriday! This week, I'm giving a temporary break to the "TFTCBDWOG" series, and will instead return to focusing on covering individual finishers. Without further ado, let me continue the usual analyses starting with one of the most PG characters of his era.

    The Attitude Era saw an increase in the level of depicted violence, profanity, and sexual content—WWE's attempt to snatch Nielsen rating from its rival WCW in the infamous Monday Night Wars. As such, breakout stars such as Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Mick Foley, Triple H, and Kane rose to the occasion. It also necessitated the appearance of sexually-themed characters such as The Godfather, and the infamous towel-donning, wife-snatching wrestler/porn star known as Val Venis.

    As outrageous as his character was, he was never sloppy inside the ring. In fact, before employment in the WWE, he was a one-time CMLL Heavyweight Champion, and a WWC Television and Tag Team Champion. This mean streak would continue when he set foot on Vince McMahon's territory, where he would harvest European, Intercontinental, and Tag Team gold, which were pretty good achievements for a wrestler who was supposedly sentenced to be stuck in the midcard.

    To further accentuate his character, he would go on to name his finishers after sexual slang. These are:

    Money Shot

    Big Package (used as a signature move from 2002 onwards)

    Surprisingly enough, he actually has a submission finisher that he rarely uses, aptly named the Venis Flytrap:

    Breaking down the move into chunks:

    1. The attacker stands over the opponent with the opponent face up and grasps a leg of the opponent (the left leg in this example)
    2. The attacker then turns 90 degrees and grasps the other leg, making a "figure four" by crossing it over the straightened-out leg
    3. The attacker falls back-first to the mat, pulling on the straightened-out leg using both arms while securing the figure-four hold using both legs

    I would say that this is way superior than the standard figure-four leglock for the following reasons:

    1. Instead of pushing the foot/shin upward, this variation involves pulling the straightened-out leg downwards, making it a more efficient kneebar than the original version.

    I can already feel that stare of disbelief piercing through your screens, but it is what it is: the figure-four leglock, when performed properly, is a bloody kneebar for Christ's sake. I put the emphasis on the word "properly" because out of all the modern wrestlers who use this submission, only Cody Rhodes has managed to do it right. Take a look at this for example:

    Cody hooks the unfortunate opponent's right leg over his left thigh, and thrusts his hips upwards. At the same time, he uses his left leg to press downwards on the opponent's crossed-over leg, which becomes a fulcrum, forcing the right knee to hyperextend upwards (and also preventing the right thigh to rise upwards and alleviate the pressure to the right knee) for that sweet and painful submission victory.

    In normal conditions, the attacker pushing down on the crossed-over leg cannot result in either a knee or ankle ligament injury. As you can see in the GIF below, Charlotte pushing down on the left ankle only results in the left thigh and knee rising up like a seesaw. Also, since her right leg is used for keeping balance, she literally cannot do any movement that causes hyperextension to the left knee joint. (Also, there is literally zero pressure on the opponent's right knee, because the right heel isn't hooked properly due to Charlotte maintaining the bridge. What a waste of good positioning.)

    Injuring the ankle joint/ligaments would only be possible if the opponent has short legs, as the attacker would then hook the phalanges instead of the ankle joint, stretching the anterior/posterior tibiofibular ligament and calcaneofibular ligaments. 

    Watch the GIF below for a better visualization of how a wrestler with shorter legs would get their ankle wrecked:

    Fun fact: a kneebar variant that specifically targets the knee's lateral ligaments is called a dogbar, and it is executed by keeping the knee in place while pivoting the lower leg away from the center of the body (which clearly isn't the case with your regular figure four):

    2. Completing the submission with the opponent in a prone position allows for a greater distance between the leg and the attacker's torso, which enables him/her to bend the knee to a more uncomfortable degree. Take a look at the standard kneebar:

    And compare it to Val Venis...

    ...and you'll realize quickly how the Big Valbowski's opponents have their knees wrecked.

    Using my trusty Regal Rating, I would give it a

    8/10 for execution. It's a no-frills submission, but it can't be executed quickly either, which gives an opponent ample time to get out before the attacker completes the hold.

    10/10 for damage. The kneebar injures all the muscles, ligaments, and capsules needed to stabilize the knee and keep it from wobbling when you walk. So not only does the recipient garner a submission loss, they risk surgery to the knee or a career-ending injury, should they refuse to tap immediately.

    And that's it chaps, a detailed dissection of the Venis Flytrap, and figure-four leglocks in general! Do you have suggestions on what finisher to be featured next week? Let me 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 (10/16/20): The Venis Flytrap (And Clarifications On The Figure-Four) Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Wreddit_Regal
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