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    Friday, December 3, 2021

    Finisher Friday (12/3/21): This Sleeper Doesn't Make You Go To Sleep

    Welcome to another edition of #FinisherFriday! This is Wreddit_Regal bringing you a short review of the Cold Skull's submission finisher.

    Los Ingobernables de Japon is an interesting case of a stable. Rather than forcing potential recruits to fit into the group's mold, it fully embraces its members' characters and quirks. This results in a unit comprised of arguably the weirdest misfits in the NJPW business: the returning genius who stuck a middle finger to the crowd and establishment that rejected him (Tetsuya Naito), a team player who everyone outside of LIJ hates (BUSHI), an unhinged ticking time bomb (Hiromu Takahashi), an old-school soul with the strength and moveset of the new generation (Shingo Takagi), and one silent dude which almost always fails to grab the big gold (SANADA).

    Here's some proof that this silent guy deserves to be in this group of weird dudes:

    The fifth guy, in particular, piques the interest of NJPW fans. A protege of the great Keiji Mutoh, he has the tools needed to be considered as an ace, but the promotion has yet to pull the trigger on him. It pains supporters to see him slowly climb the ranks, only to be kicked down the ladder time and time again. Arguably, the only time fans were given a huge payoff was when SANADA finally broke his losing streak against Okada a couple of years ago:

    Though touted as the most "balanced" member of LIJ in terms of strength, skills, and temperament, SANADA's arsenal doesn't scream mediocrity. In fact, his sequences make many an audience member shout and clap with absolute gusto from start to finish, despite his cold and stoic demeanor:

    His finisher, aside from the top rope moonsault, is a dragon sleeper which he names the Skull End:

    Contrary to its name, a dragon sleeper doesn't really make you go night-night. It actually keeps you awake and in agony until you tap out. The dragon sleeper is classified as a neck crank, and a brutal one to speak. Being put in an inverted headlock position means that the opponent's head is pressed down, while simultaneously cranking the neck upwards. Having one arm locked down and being put into body scissors makes the opponent's situation worse: 

    Using my Regal Rating, I'd give this move a:

    10/10 for aesthetics. It could be done standing, lying down, as a counter to moves, or as a part of a move sequence. What more could you ask for in a submission finisher?

    10/10 for damage. As we've discussed in previous articles, a well-executed neck crank can cause a plethora of injuries to the cervical spine, the neck musculature, and even to the spinal cord. It's definitely a submission anyone should avoid getting trapped in for too long:

    Even MMA fighters recognize the dangers associated with the dragon sleeper, and opt to tap immediately once the hold is secured:

    And that's it chaps, my short review of SANADA's Skull End! How long do you think Los Ingobernables de Japon will take hold of the IWGP Tag Team Championships? 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 (12/3/21): This Sleeper Doesn't Make You Go To Sleep Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Wreddit_Regal
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