James Ellsworth returned to SmackDown Live and stole the show. The man with two hands who has a fighting chance against the Face That Runs The Place with the Lunatic referee' – SmackDown was a hotpot of surprises. What was even more surprising was the pinfall victory that Ellsworth notched up against the WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
Dean Ambrose did help him in his cause, but what the heck, a win is a win. But Ellsworth should be grateful that he finished the match without suffering an injury, or worse a broken neck. The thumb rule for any opponent on the receiving end of a Styles Clash is to not tuck your head. Well, Ellsworth did just that.
Here is the video of the legend tucking his head before being slammed to the mat by AJ Styles:
He joins Roderick Strong in the list of wrestlers who’ve escaped a serious neck break after the prohibited tucking of the neck. Yoshitatsu and Lionheart weren’t so fortunate as they suffered nasty injuries courtesy of a botched Styles Clash.
It should be noted that Styles held back on the impact by cutting short the elevation and landing on his hands. He can be seen checking on Ellsworth right after the move. Ellsworth, meanwhile, was busy selling the move like a boss.
The Styles Clash has always been a victim of stark criticism as a wrestler’s natural instinct when taking the move is to tuck the head. The ratio of wrestlers who've come out of the move without a scratch outnumber the unlucky ones who suffered cringy breaks, but that doesn't mean it is a safe move.
The only reason the move isn’t banned is because the man doing it is an absolute veteran, which was evident in the Ellsworth scare. Ellsworth would get another chance to make up for his mistake when he takes on AJ Styles next week on SmackDown for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Hopefully, he doesn’t tuck up again. It goes without a doubt that Styles and the WWE management would have already given him a brief on it and considering the legend of Ellsworth and how loved he is, he should be fine.
Do you think WWE should sign James Ellsworth to a full-time contract?
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