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The History of WWE Finishing Moves: Clothesline

9.45K   //    10 Jun 2014, 00:06 IST


Booker T hitting the clothesline on Ric Flair

Finishing moves have always been a weakness for the WWE fans since they were the most anticipated action that would’ve come out from a wrestler. Over the years, there have been many moves which gave goosebumps to the fans and this will be a series which takes an in depth look into those finishing moves. And this third installment of the series tries to throw some light into one of the common moves in wrestling, The Clothesline.

Basics: The Clothesline is an attacking move which aims to take down the opponent with the aid of one arm. It is often performed with the wrestler running towards the opponent and extending his arm. The extended arm becomes parallel to the mat and takes the opponent down. The move got its name from the similarity between the extended arm and the real life clothesline which is used to for the purpose of drying the clothes. There are some variations for the move which has different names, but the basics remain the same.  

Technique: For performing the Clothesline, the opponent must be in a standing position. The wrestler should then extend his arm with it slightly bent at the elbow making a “v” like shape. Once that is done, the wrestler can run towards his opponent and hit him with the extended arm. While making contact, the bended elbow should be on the neck area of the opponent while the wrist should touch his shoulder. The others shoulder of the opponent must be met with the shoulder of the performer as well. The opponent getting slammed into the mat then completes the move.

First used: For a move widely used as the Chokeslam, it is hard to find someone who could be credited with the tag of “man who invented the move”. But back in the time there were certain people who played a big role in making the move a mainstay. Jim Duggan had a great Clothesline while names like the Dynamite Kid and Nikita Koloff delivered some sick ones which made the move look dangerous and deployable.

Famous Superstars who use the move: Clothesline was rarely used as a finishing move. However, names like Jim Duggan, JBL and Ryback recently decided to break out of the bandwagon. Duggan had a great run with his short spaced Clothesline and gave the fans a lot to cheer about. JBL on the other hand took the move and named with Clothesline from Hell as he used the ropes to his aid. JBL went up the ranks winning the world title with this move and will always be remembered for the way he used to deliver them. During the Nexus day, Ryback’s clothesline used to be a great deal while the faction took out their foes and now also Ryback uses them at his will. The wrestlers who use Clothesline randomly could make a big list, but these guys deserve the mention for making a finisher out of it.

JBL was known for his destructive Clothesline from Hell

Memorable clotheslines: This wasn’t one of those moves which gave some classic moments, but thanks to some great selling, there are some Clotheslines which stay in our mind. There was one in which Snitsky (remember him) almost killed Paul London while competing in a battle royal with his clothesline. Also, Rikishi got flipped in midair after Chyna delivered a Clothesline to him. Evan Bourne sold one great Clothesline in a match against Ted DiBiase as well. And of course, almost all the Clothesline from JBL was physical art.