Everyone always copies from everyone else. Even if one is convinced that their idea is truly original, one can not escape the influences in their originality. Borrowing from one person, and borrowing from another, taking a little bit from someone here, a little bit from someone else there, one reaches out to their past experiences in order to create something to call their own. In music for instance, there are only so many chords one can string together and only so many premises that exist for a story that it is near impossible to create something truly unique. For instance, Randy Bachman admits he would have never written “Takin’ Care of Business” if he had never heard “Paperback Writer” by The Beatles.
Well, in the much less subtle and much more over-the-top world of professional wrestling, everyone certainly copies from everyone else. There are only so many ways to devastate your opponent, and only a handful of those ways have been proven effective and have stood the test of time. In wrestling, wrestlers do their best to pick a few moves and call them their own. Sure, someone else may do your move, but you do that extra little hand gesture to the crowd before you execute it, putting your little touch on the move and making it yours. Any wrestler can drop an elbow from the top rope, but to point your index fingers to the sky before hand makes you Randy Savage.
Thus, in an attempt to explore some of the most influential wrestling holds, the following is a list of the 15 most copied signature moves in professional wrestling. Now, before we continue with this list, we must preface this list by mentioning that wrestling moves are not the most important part of being a wrestler. Ric Flair himself has noted that he is the greatest wrestler of all time, but he only had two moves. This is also not also meant to be a history lesson on the origin of all these moves. Abraham Lincoln may have used the stepover-toehold-facelock as his finish during his reign as NWA Heavyweight Champion, but we are not going to call out John Cena for biting Lincoln’s style. This list is simply meant to be an observation of modern grappling, and which moves wrestlers in the modern era have adopted from others to call their own.
15 Camel Clutch
13 Double Foot Stomp
6 Figure Four Leglock
5 Frog Splash
2 Ace Crusher
Goldberg became the number one star in WCW by running through his opponents. He had his finish, the Jackhammer, but to set up for the finish, he used the spear. All WCW fans remember vividly Tony Schiavone shouting “Spear! Spear!” as Goldberg would then rise to his feet, stick out his tongue and snarl into the camera. Goldberg running across the ring with unrivalled intensity to tackle his opponent, would lift the audience to their feet as they knew this meant Jackhammer, 1-2-3. The spear, as done by Goldberg, has since become the blatant copycat move in wrestling. Rhyno did the Gore, which is unique to Rhyno, and somehow different than the spear. Somehow. However, Edge, Big Show, Batista and Roman Reigns, have all blatantly copied the spear as a signature move. While Roman Reigns looks cool enough with his greasy black hair flying through the air as he spears his opponents, nobody has ever matched the intensity of Goldberg and his spear, and perhaps nobody ever will.
Sources: WWE, TheSportster
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