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Shocking statement incoming from a 20-year, obsessive wrestling fan:

I think wrestlers are under-appreciated and under-recognized as the world class athletes that they are. I could go into a long-winded defense for why I believe that, like how world class athletes from the National Football League or the Ultimate Fighting Championship or body builders or amateur wrestlers or Olympic gold medalists have all said that professional wrestling is harder than the profession they came from. Or that most of the people that poke fun at professional wrestling and call it “fake,” wouldn’t last five minutes in a professional wrestling match without “blowing up” (insider term for running out of stamina). Or that these guys and girls come from credible backgrounds, often, and that some of the things they do in the ring are simply stunning.

That’s why one of the greatest linebackers in the history of the NFL and Hall of Famer, Lawrence Taylor when he competed in a match (against Bam Bam Bigalow at WrestleMania 11) was noticeably winded within five minutes.

Whoops, I meant not to do a long-winded post. I’m not going to convince the uninitiated, but even so, you gotta at least respect the athleticism and artistry required to pull the following move off flawlessly. It’s called the Red Arrow by Adrian Neville, an up and comer from the United Kingdom. The Red Arrow is his finishing move — meaning what he uses to finish his opponent off in a match, usually — and it’s a corkscrew shooting star press. Okay, just watch:

flip

Gah. Or here’s video to get the full impact of it:

There’s probably 5 people in the world, if I’m being extremely generous, that could pull that move off like that. Wrestlers are athletes, dammit!

Let me put it this way. Professional wrestling is not a sport, but the people that participate in it are athletes.

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