Ah, the humble clothesline. It's a move that nearly every wrestler performs, and is a staple of pro wrestling. However, simply performing a clothesline and mastering the move are two separate entities.
The clothesline is performed with one or both of the wrestlers running towards each other. The attacker sticks his arm out at the last moment and drives his opponent to the mat with a stiff strike/body tackle that creates a solid impact and plays great to live wrestling audiences.
And for you pro wrestling nerds out there; For the purposes of this list, we are counting lariats and clotheslines as the same maneuver because for all intents and purposes they are the same; a Wrestler attacks another wrestler with their outthrust arm.
But I digress. The clothesline, be it ever so humble, has been a part of pro wrestling for a very long time.
In fact, it's such a staple move that no one can exactly say who invented it. What is known is that the clothesline was developed after the period in which wrestling became a scripted performance, and it became popular because of the reaction a live crowd has to it.
Without further ado, here are ten of the best clotheslines in wrestling, in no particular order.
#1 Stan "The Lariat" Hansen (Western Lariat)
The world of professional wrestling is filled with tough guys. In fact, the average pro wrestler is probably about as dangerous as an MMA fighter because of their athletic ability, strength, and resistance to pain.
This is why most pro wrestlers who make the move to MMA do so well (CM Punk notwithstanding, of course.)
But when it comes to tough men, I mean really, really TOUGH men, you need to look no further than Stan Hansen.
The powerful Texas native is perhaps better known in Japan than he is in his home country. He is one of the few men to bodyslam Andre the Giant, and his version of the clothesline, the Western Lariat, is out of this world.
What makes the Western Lariat so special? Hansen would often come up from a crouch or be running full tilt before delivering the move, and unlike a standard clothesline, he waits until the last moment to strike with his forearm.
Here's a compilation of some of Hansen's best lariats: