November 15th, 2008: Brock Lesnar makes history by becoming the first person to have held a championship in both WWE and the Zuffa era UFC. Doing so brought the vociferous voices of anti-professional wrestling MMA fans into the sport’s discourse. Weather people like it or not, wrestling and MMA intertwine. With “The Next Big Thing” holding the Heavyweight belt, it’s now the perfect time to take a look at their similarites by compiling a list of the twelve best examples of fighters stealing from wrestlers:
12: Chance Fararr’s Mountain Bomb on Urijah Faber
Hiroyoshi Tenzan’s modified back body drop found itself in a tussle during Zuffa’s first live WEC card. Urijah Faber defended his title in the main event against some dude. Not content with being referred to as “the guy Faber’s gonna beat up”, Chance Fararr decided to go into business for himself about two minutes into the fight. Fararr was deep into a single with Faber sprawled out on top of him. He got to his knees, stood up wearing Urijah like a backpack, and cannonballed himself backwards into the mat. But instead of a pool, it was a cage; and instead of water, it was a guy who gets so angry he makes The Incredible Hulk ask “Whats THAT GUY’S problem?”.
11: Urijah Faber’s Schwein Redline on Chance Fararr
Urijah Faber did not want to be upstaged in the most high-profile fight of his career (at that point, stupid over-achievers), let alone by someone probably confused for a Hard Rock craft services worker backstage. “The California Kid” dug deep into his playbook for one of the most dangerous slams in pro-wrestling: The Schwein Redline. If anyone in the WWE tried that move, they would be behind a Connecticut dumpster with Macho Man and Nailz within the hour. He lifted Fararr up to the same position he himself was in just seconds before but sat down instead of throwing himself back, dropping him on his head with both of their body weight combined. Chance probably wished he really was a craft services worker after that.
10: Josh Barnett’s German Suplex on Yuki Kondo
Pro-wrestler Josh Barnett is always on the look to use some of his strangles and slams in MMA. He’s only been successful a handful of times, but his most shining example came during a ridiculously mismatched Pancrase title fight. Middleweight Yuki Kondo MOVED UP TO HEAVYWEIGHT for the call of duty. What followed was one of the U.N.’s most glaring refusals to intervene during a war crime. Wholesale destruction left and right was emphasized with a suplex for the ages. You could almost see the will to fight flee from Kondo in mid-air. When Barnett brought him back down to earth, Yuki was already playing dead. Karl Gotch would have shed a tear at it’s absolute beauty.
9: Sean Sherk’s Spinebuster on Kenny Florian
I mentioned the butterfly effect from UFC 64 before. Well, that wasn’t the only notable thing from the pay-per-view (Anderson who?). Big John McCarthy and Bruce Buffer have gone on record saying Sean Sherk delivered the loudest slam they’ve ever heard and seen to Kenny Florian during their October 2006 title fight. Florian was Ric Flair’n it up by grabbing the fence to try stopping Sherk’s takedowns, and in the fifth round Kenny grabbed it one too many times and apparently drew the wrath of the Muscle Shark. Sean turned around and smushed Kenny into the mat with all the force his little body could muster. If you had Silly Putty and put it on the canvas, you’d get Florian’s mugshot when you peeled it back up. The crew could be heard after the fight sharing their astonishment over how Kenny was not knocked unconscious. The Spinebuster was Arn Anderson’s signature move (Oh, THAT Anderson), but I’m sure even he would back away from Sherk. And the only person Arn has ever backed down from was Brock Lesnar, coincidentally enough.
8: Jamie Varner’s Death Valley Driver on Sherron Leggett
I don’t like Jamie Varner, but even I’ll admit this move put Lightweights on notice. During the curtain-jerker of WEC 29, Varner hoisted up Sherron Leggett accruss his shoulders into the Fireman’s Carry and fell to the left. At least 320 pounds disgustingly bent up Sherron’s neck. You would’ve thought it was Tommy Dreamer in there, but Jamie didn’t start crying about Raven’s fat Asian girlfriend or whatever. Varner had gone on and on about his superiority as a fighter during pre-show interviews and he backed it up. He backed it up by hitting his opponent with a pro-wrestling move that has the word “death” in it’s name. Checkmate.
7: Nate Marquardt’s Kawada Driver to Thales Leites
Nate Marquardt Hulked Up and decided to try murdering Thales Leites at UFC 85. No hyperbole, the Kawada driver is the most damaging thing you can do to another human being without a weapon. The force of two people’s body weight coming straight down on the top of your head could leave you with some serious “Remember Sammy Jenkins” stuff. Marquardt just gutwrenched Leites and dropped him down on his head while screaming. That’s manly stuff right there, I bet Rambo wouldn’t even make eye contact someone who did that in front of him. Thales apparently has the neck and spine of Wolverine from the X-Men rather than Stone Cold Steve Austin, thankfully.
6: Caol Uno’s Sleeperhold on Mitsuhiro Ishida
This is the one pro-wrestling move that should never happen in MMA, let alone to a top five Lightweight. Caol Uno scrambled off an Ishida single leg and took the T-Blood fighter’s back. From there, he locked in a Sleeper Hold. Let me re-type that: SLEEEEEEEPER HOOOOLD. Heath Herring showed how to escape from a sleeperhold two months prior to this fight at UFC 82. Ishida should have committed seppukku after this. Even if he did kill himself and tried fighting, a dead guy still could defend a sleeperhold anyway so look for Zombie Ishida and Uno to even the feud up and then settle it in a rubber match next New Years Eve.
5: Yoshihisa Yamamoto’s DDT to Mark Kerr
Now, this entry is here on a technicality. Mark Kerr got lazy with a takedown and Yosihisa Yamamoto had a front headlock applied. Combining the two resulted in The Smashing Machine smashing his forehead straight into the canvas and losing the fight for himself. It looked exactly like something Jake Roberts would do weather it was intentional or not (He’d have to sober enough to realize he was wrestling). Here’s where the weird fun fact comes in: the DDT in this fight was done exactly how the pro-wrestling DDT was invented. Jake The Snake accidentally tripped and fell back with The Grappler in a front headlock. The crowd went nuts and it’s become one of the most popular pro-wrestling moves ever. Freaky stuff, its like the move was invented for fake and THEN invented for real. I knew PRIDE was fishy…
4: Wes Sims’ Jacknife Powerbomb on Edwin Allseitz
Wes Sims is a big pro-wrestling fan in the most literal sense. At 6’10, he was a shoe-in during his tryouts for the WWE’s reality show Tough Enough III. He didn’t make the final cut because of a weak bench press, but if he would have showed them a tape from two years before he may have had a better chance. In 2002, Sims had a fight with Edwin Allseitz. While Wes looks like a fighter, Allseitz looks and sounds like a guy who would greet you at a Walmart entrance. The fight apparently took place on a construction site in a basement with the 8 Mile soundtrack on loop. Edwin shot in on a single after eating some overwhelming punches, putting his head between Wes’ knees. Sims had been watching Kevin Nash do Jacknife powerbombs since childhood so the rest was elementary. Sims lifted his undersized and clearly outmatched opponent up and released him in mid-air for a powerbomb that could only be matched by Diesel ” target=”_blank”>(if he wasn’t so lazy).
3: Daijiro Matsui’s Dropkick on Pele
Daijiro Matsui. The new Lyoto Machida, as in people ask who he is when they hear of him and not that he creates bathroom breaks during his fights. That anti-boringness couldn’t have been more apparent than at PRIDE 14 when he took on Chuteboxe monster (at the time) Jose Landi-Jons. With one swift hop, Matsui turned his body vertical and launched his body at Pele like an Asian torpedo. The move was certainly better than Genki Sudo’s “throwing a pebble at a mountain” attempt at Butterbean despite not cleanly connecting. One thing is for certain though: he would have gave Billy Gunn and Bob Holly a run for their money in the WWE’s annual dropkick competitions. Well…if they had any money.
2: Houston Alexander’s Chokeslam to Thiago Silva
Paul Wight, Glen Jacobs and Mark Calloway have become millionaires by grabbing somebody by the neck and letting them jump while falling backwards. Now, compare that to Houston Alexander making $8,000 for FORCIBLY doing the same move. At UFC 78, Thiago Silva was on the receiving end of a straight Undertaker style Chokeslam from Alexander. Thaigo’s throat was grabbed by Houston during a clinch and he was lifted off the floor, landing flat on his back in a brutal display of strength. Maybe power lifter muscles DO come in handy. The maneuver was awe inspiring, and with the demolitions of Keith Jardine and Alessio Sakara on his resume you can make a serious case to have Houston become the third Brother of Destruction (and the only black one, ironically enough).
1: Johnathan Ivey’s People’s Elbow to Joe Namath
You read that right. Not just an elbow with a raised eyebrow like a puzzled David Louiseau would do, a full blown hitting the ropes and taunting elbow drop to a downed opponent. Who would do such a thing? Some fat guy named Johnathan Ivey. Who would lay there while his opponent got up, ran to the ropes, waved his arms and then dropped an elbow? An EVEN FATTER guy named Joe Namath. This is the kind of action that makes stars. The only thing that could have made this sweeter was if Ivey had done it to the football player Joe Namath instead. I’m sure the Ultimate Warrior wouldn’t mind dropping an elbow on ” target=”_blank”>’queering don’t make the world work’.