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    Friday, November 6, 2020

    #FinisherFriday (11/6/20): How A Gorilla Clutch Slices Through

    Rhea Ripley performs a Prism Trap

    Welcome to another edition of #FinisherFriday! This is Wreddit_Regal bringing you a submission finisher from one of Dragon Gate's top veterans.

    Shuji Kondo was a peculiar case in Toryumon's early years. When the promotion was swarming with high-flying wrestlers paying homage to Ultimo Dragon, he instead stood his ground as a power fighter who used his rugby expertise to effectively pin down any opponent, regardless of height, weight, or speed. His unique way of fighting earned him gold in different promotions throughout his career: he became a one-time GHC World Heavyweight Champion, a three-time AJPW Junior World Heavyweight Champion, and a tag team and Trios champion on multiple promotions to boot.

    His wrestling style is composed of the usual strikes reminiscent of your typical bruiser, plus a habit of using the ropes to either gain momentum or catch opponents off-guard as he utilizes his array of suplexes and slams. Notable examples include:

    The Original

    Whale Hunt (arguably the predecessor of Buddy Murphy's Murphy's Law)

    King Kong Lariat

    and this article's focus for the week, the Gorilla Clutch:

    Breaking down the move into chunks:

    1. The attacker stands over the opponent's face-up body, facing the opponent's legs
    2. The attacker grabs the opponent's right leg and puts it behind the opponent's left knee
    3. The attacker grabs the opponent's left leg and bends it over the right leg
    4. With the opponent's legs secured, the attacker then proceeds to flip the opponent on his/her belly by turning sideways
    5. The attacker pulls down on the opponent's bent left leg, attempting to garner a victory by submission. Kondo sometimes puts the opponent in a helpless position by employing bodyscissors to ensure a zero percent chance of escape:

    Contrary to popular belief, this variation of the classic cloverleaf is actually more efficient in dealing damage, as the attacker can put more pressure into the body part that receives the brunt of the damage: not the lower back, but the knee, lower leg and calf.

    MMA or Brazilian jiujitsu enthusiasts would immediately recognize this submission as the calf slicer, which is one of the most painful compression locks ever created my man. If you wonder how painful it is when used in an actual fight, just take a look at how Eric Wesley winces in pain a few seconds after Charles Oliveira secures the hold:

    Even though the attacker uses his own leg as a fulcrum in which the opponent's shin is bent, the mechanics (and damage dealt) are practically the same for both of these submissions. As explained in my previous article about the Sharpshooter, the calf slicer literally slices your calf. By putting a limb behind the opponent's knee and bending it forcefully, the opponent's calf muscle will rupture if the hold is prolonged. If the calf muscle has ruptured and the hold is still applied, the tibia/fibula may break, or the knee joint will be dislocated.

    Fun fact: Rhea Ripley also uses this submission, naming it the Prism Trap. Her execution is more badass, since she forces the opponent to lie on their belly by swinging them like a pendulum:

    Rhea Ripley performs a Prism Trap

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

    9/10 for aesthetics. Is it weird that I want my submissions to be "no-frills" and "flashy" at the same time? Luckily enough, the Gorilla Clutch meets and exceeds both of my criteria.

    10/10 for damage. How unlucky are you, when you get to be the recipient of such a dreadful move? A broken shinbone, ruptured calf, popped knee ligaments - what more could you not ask for?

    And that's it chaps, my analysis of the Gorilla Clutch! What finisher would you like me to cover for 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 (11/6/20): How A Gorilla Clutch Slices Through Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Wreddit_Regal
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