The debate over 'thigh slapping' in WWE, and wrestling in general, has been prevalent for a very long time, more so in the past few years following the evolution of in-ring styles.
In the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer reported that WWE had banned its Superstars from thigh slapping in matches. A story going around revealed that WWE is fining Superstars for 'thigh slapping.' Wrestlers slap their thighs during kicks and strikes for impactful sound effects, and the tactic has been used in wrestling for several decades.
Meltzer also noted that WWE sent a memo to NXT talent about the ban; however, he added that the people backstage had not spoken about the company's new edict since getting the message.
Fightful Select released a follow-up report and verified that WWE indeed issued a memo to the NXT Superstars. The company advised the talent against using 'thigh slaps.' While Fightful couldn't confirm details about the fines, it was reported that WWE put up a sign at recent events that read "No Thigh Slapping" in massive bold letters.
The report concluded by stating that NXT talent received the memo in February.
The controversy about 'thigh slapping' in WWE and wrestling
Thigh slapping has been a known practice in professional wrestling since the early 1950s. Meltzer noted that Mr. Wrestling II used snappy back slaps for added sound effects while delivering the knee lift.
British wrestler Chris Adams started doing thigh slaps during superkicks, and over the years, its use has come under severe criticism. While the style of wrestling on the independent circuit relies on thigh slapping for the sound effects, the trend is also common in NXT.
Randy Orton kicked off quite a storm last year following NXT TakeOver: In Your House. The Viper called out NXT Superstars for overdoing leg slaps, and the WWE veteran even engaged in a back-and-forth with Tommaso Ciampa on Twitter. Randy Orton spoke about the matter during an interview with SK Wrestling's Riju Dasgupta, which you can view below:
Randy Orton would later clarify that his comments should be perceived as harmless banter. Orton knows how to stir the pot, and his statements sparked off several arguments online.
Thigh slaps are used everywhere in wrestling, and many would also claim that a well-timed thigh slap always gets a bigger pop from the audience.
However, WWE is reportedly trying to deter its talent from 'thigh slapping. Has the whole issue been blown out of proportion? What are your thoughts on thigh slapping in wrestling? Let us know in the comments section.