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    Friday, April 30, 2021

    #FinisherFriday (4/30/21): Ain't Nothing More Classic Than A Full Nelson

    Welcome to another edition of #FinisherFriday! This is Wreddit_Regal highlighting a submission finisher that has enjoyed a long and well-received life inside the squared circle.

    A lot of submission-based finishers have seen success and gained reputation as legit match enders over the years. Some classics that easily come to mind are the figure-four leg lock, Sharpshooter, and the crossface. With MMA figures transitioning into the ring, submissions like the armbar, rear-naked choke, and kimura lock have been unveiled to the wrestling universe. But none of these holds have enjoyed longevity, a reputation of being unbreakable, and an entire WrestleMania match like the full nelson did.

    To understand the impact of this humble submission on the landscape of professional wrestling, let's go over some mainstream history about the full nelson. Sometime in 1986, Billy Jack Haynes brought the move to the WWF, gaining several victories in the process.

    Heenan Family member Hercules Hernandez discarded his Hercules backbreaker and started to use the full nelson as well, mocking Haynes' version and reigniting a feud that went back many years (and promotions). This debacle would culminate in a match at WrestleMania III, dubbed by many as "The Battle of the Full Nelsons," although it ended in a double countout.

    This probably inspired another wrestler of the Heenan Family by the name of Warlord, who in 1991 proposed a Full Nelson Challenge to the British Bulldog to find out who was stronger between the two. (This would also culminate in a WrestleMania match between the two, with Bulldog picking up the win.)

    We fast forward a little over a decade later, and we see "The Masterpiece" Chris Masters picking up the move and proving that no one could get out of a full nelson with the strength and good mechanics. He then started the Master Lock Challenge, which lasted for two years until Bobby Lashley became the only man to power out of it in WWE television.

    And in a very rare case of continuity being used in the WWE, Bobby Lashley has now taken a liking to the move, making opponents pass out left and right, finally reaching the summit and cementing his status as WWE Champion.

    In amateur wrestling, Brazilian jiu-jitsu and MMA settings, the nelson hold effectively maintains back control or turns over an opponent for a pinfall. As a submission move, it is banned in amateur wrestling and some disciplines because it falls under the category of neck cranks.

    As I have discussed in previous iterations of this series, the neck crank is a fairly dangerous submission to put opponents into, as putting constant pressure on the neck as you flex or extend them in one direction can greatly strain the musculature of the neck and can cause damage to the cervical vertebrae itself.

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

    8/10 for aesthetics. It could easily reach a 9 or 10 if the attacker starts to violently shake the recipient, with the recipient frantically flailing his/her arms around in a desperate attempt to break free of the hold.

    10/10 for damage. We're talking about the neck here chaps, so it has a tiny bit of danger involved than other submissions (and by a tiny bit, I mean A LOT). Remember, cervical spine injuries (especially cervical vertebrae fractures) could result in spinal cord injuries, which mean dysfunction or a total loss of function on everything below the neck.

    And that's it chaps, my short presentation of the full nelson's history, and its effectiveness in pro wrestling! Do you have ideas of what move I should feature in next week's article? 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 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 (4/30/21): Ain't Nothing More Classic Than A Full Nelson Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Wreddit_Regal
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