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Youtube is probably the best thing to happen to professional wrestling in the last 10 years. Youtube allows wrestling fans to relive some of our most cherished moments, or to discover something that we had never seen before. Here is a small collection of some of my favorite wrestling moments that are available on Youtube.
ELIX SKIPPER WALKS THE CAGE
Easily the most recognizable moment in TNA's short history, Elix Skipper's magical cage walk is the stuff of legend. At this point, TNA was trying to be nothing more than a clever alternative to WWE, and they were willing to try some borderline crazy stuff to become successful. Skipper almost slips trying to climb up onto the railing, but miraculously he is able to hold on and support himself up onto the top rung of the cage. From there it was a delicate tight-tope walk with zero room for error, over to deliver a SUPER-super hurrancanrana off of the top of the cage. My favorite thing about this spot is Don West's call. Say whatever you want about him, but the man knew how to sell a moment. He is much better than Tazz, who sometimes sounds like he wishes he was anywhere but Orlando.
Cactus Jack's ECW run in the mid-90's was the greatest display of microphone work in the history of professional wrestling. The Rock may have been funnier, Ric Flair may have been cockier and Billy Graham might have gotten more heat, but nobody was better at dramatically telling a story than Mick Foley. His turn against the ECW fans was a phenomenal storyline, as was his ever-growing adoration of WCW and Eric Bischoff. Jack touches all the bases in this promo, and he continues to increase both the heat for his actions, and the love for Tommy Dreamer for his open defiance. For my money, it's the greatest promo ever given, and I honestly don't think I could be convinced otherwise. The best thing about it is that we will probably never see anything like that again. Tell me, what major promotion is going to give a guy 7 minutes of TV time to cut a promo by himself? It isn't happening again, and even if it did, I doubt anyone could come close to capturing the storyline as well as Foley did.
Clearly the polar opposite of Cane Dewey, Dragon Dragon is not about a far-reaching storyline, or a man's real life feelings towards a fanbase. No, Dragon Dragon is about nothing more than a man wrestling in a Dragon suit. For those who are wondering, this clip is from CHIKARA, an independent wrestling organization that focuses on fun more than ultra-violence. The commentator (who I cannot identify) really sells this match as being a major moment in wrestling history, instead of being a simple comedy match. "He's not Ultimo, he's not Super, he is just a Dragon," he says. Laugh at me if you want, but pro wrestling does not always have to be about violence and dramatic storylines, sometimes it can just be about fun.
THE FINAL COUNTDOWN
Undisputedly The Undertaker has the greatest entrance of all-time. But I think I would rather be a part of Bryan Danielson's entrance at a live show. Fans who claimed that Danielson didn't have the charisma to be a major player on the national stage before he came to WWE clearly have never seen Danielson in ROH, where everybody loved him. All true ROH fans know all the words to Europe's "The Final Countdown", and it was one of the biggest parts of the Danielson mystique which made him arguably the biggest name in independent wrestling at the time. I would like to see Bryan bring it back in WWE, similar to the way Punk brought back "Cult of Personality", although I don't know if the moment would work in front of 15,000 the way it works in front of 1,500.
CHRIS HERO NO SELLS THE PEDIGREE
This one just happened. Right after Chris Hero was released from his WWE contract, he traveled to DragonGate USA to take on their reigning champion, Johnny Gargano. Gargano was dominating the match, and then he desired to pour salt into the wound by executing Triple H's signature pedigree move. Hero, of course, would have none of that, and kicked out at one and stood up, completely no-selling the move. Everything, from the crowd's reaction and Lenny Leonard's call were fantastic, and a great, playful slap in the face to WWE and Triple H.
CHUCK TAYLOR'S GRENADE
If you are unaware of who Chuck Taylor is, you probably should go educate yourself. The lanky Kentuckian is one of the best heels working anywhere, and he has made is name well-known in many independent companies, most notably CHIKARA, DG USA and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla. Taylor has a notable signature move, which is pretty hard to describe. Basically, he pulls out an invisible and imaginary grenade, and everyone just pretends that it is real. Again, this might seem stupid to some, but I happen to find this to be one of the most entertaining things in wrestling. The above video is just one instance, and there are many more creative utilizations on Youtube.
Toshiaki Kawada is one of the greatest wrestlers in Japanese history, but he might best be known for his absolutely devastating finisher, the Kawada Driver. This is actually the first one he ever performed, in 1999 in a match for the All-Japan Triple Crown Championship against Mitsuharu Misawa. Kawada "invented" the move by accident, as an arm-injury sustained earlier in the match prevented him from executing a powerbomb on Misawa, forcing him to improvise and deliver a weird powerbomb/piledriver hybrid. Kawada would continue to use the move, but only on the very rarest of occasions, as it is clearly one of, if not the most, dangerous moves in wrestling.
THE GREATEST BUMP EVER
While some of these moments might have been a little bit obscure, there is no doubt that anybody with even a sprinkling of wrestling knowledge has seen this moment before. You can have your Jeff Hardy and Shane McMahon dives onto obvious landing pads, Foley's sixteen foot leap from the top of the cell onto the Spanish announce table is the greatest bump anyone has ever taken. It is the ultimate holy s*** moment in wrestling, and it has since hindered every other Hell in a Cell match that came after it. How could anybody possibly top what we saw that night in Pittsburgh? For all of the great promos that Mick cut in ECW, it was this tremendous bump (along with his chokeslam through the cage, and the sinister bump onto the thumbtacks) that cemented his legend. Have a Nice Day!