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WRESTLING COLUMNS

That Has To Hurt
August 29, 2005 by Serafin Santiago Jr.


Not only is a bean bag chair very comfortable but it's much more fun to get hit with a bean bag than with a steel chair.

What exactly makes wrestling so great" Is it the vocal part" People standing there and getting their point across, and at the same time downgrading their opponent. Can it be the acrobatic aspect of it, flipping and running and flying around like they belong in Cirque de Soliel" How about the physical part" The mashing and bashing of flesh to get the pin and victory"

Alright people, enough with the melodramatic intro. Time to get to the truth of the matter. We watch wrestling because there is no other way we can watch it if there wasn't a sense of fantastic maneuvering available. Past versions of wrestling was more like watching what you'd normally see in the Olympics. Now what is seen is more like a mix of gymnastics and damaging violence. Be honest people...you love this stuff. But if you sit back and think, you'd probably be better off watching UFC instead. We witnessed a rise in the violence in wrestling for a while and now it has dropped off. Yet one special aspect of that heavily violent past has survived.....the chair shot.

When I was a kid, seeing a chair shot during a match was grounds for outright hatred for the individual. It wasn't fair or even morally right to do such a thing. To intentionally hit someone with a chair was so wrong that most of the time you would achieve instant heat. I say most because I have seen some lackluster chair shots in wrestling i.e. Lance Storm hitting RVD with a chair during one of their matches. Let me just say that it was the weakest shot I have ever seen. I could've sworn I heard the chair say "c'mon!" Nowadays, swinging a chair is so commonplace that we don't even think twice about doing it ourselves if the opportunity ever arose. So as that became a realization in the wrestling community, they chose to up the stakes a bit. You were still going to use the chair, just swing the thing harder and make contact, not on the back but on the head. Since that decision was made, we have seen chair shots get out of hand and just downright scary. One chair shot that still rings true in my memory was one

I witnessed up close and personal.

A few buddies and myself went to a local Independent wrestling show. Among some of the listed talent showing up were Balls Mahoney and Gary "Pit bull" Wolf. It happened to be that they were facing each other in a match that night so it was a cool surprise for us. Now anyone that has seen Balls knows that a chair always accompanies him so we knew that the chair was always going to be a part of his matches. What we didn't know was how it was going to be used. The match was going well until they decided to take the match outside the ring to the floor. They beat on each other mercilessly, and then it happened. Gary Wolf picked up Balls chair, hauled off and hit him so hard on his head that those of us that were just a mere five feet away felt the blast full force. We winced at the shot about a minute after the chair had landed on the floor and we managed to pick up our jaws. Balls was a bloody mess at that point and the match had to be stopped. To this day I still can't get that sound the chair made out of my head.

Probably an even more famous chair shot that comes to mind was in the "I quit" match between The Rock and Mick "Mankind" Foley. It was well documented in the movie Beyond the Mat. What was supposed to be a few chair shots turned out to be well over the legal limit but still acceptable, I suppose. Many people still find it hard to look at that match, not only because of Mick's family and their reaction to what was going on, but to hear and see the damage being inflicted. Since then I have yet to see the chair take a backseat (sorry bout the pun) to an actual wrestling match. It has consistently played part in many matches on the usual Monday night broadcast. Even Gene Snitsky has used the chair shot with a sickening thud as a by-product on Shelton Benjamin. I'm not even going to bother describing what happened because talking about a match involving Snitsky (who looks like a demented squirrel by the way) is just a waste of energy.

In due time, the chair has given way to other weapons to be used. From steel steps to canes to the ever-popular corner post, wrestling seems to have embraced weapons and their implementation in storylines. Sure enough we will see the chair retain its status as the preferred weapon of choice. So when do you think that the chair shot will go out of style" Not any time soon I would suppose. There is just so much that can be done with that one move that it would remove a lot of variables that make themselves apparent when there is a chair around. Now a new weapon has made its presence felt due to one mans' pursuit to keep the gold. A nice solid sledgehammer! Or is it a guitar" Wait.....no, it's using a championship belt! Aw hell, it's all of the above!!!! Seems that if you have some sort of title, it gives you free range to use a weapon of some sort. Again we see that anyone can do anything to keep what they have in the world of wrestling. Even if it means bashing someone's head in with a chair.

Catch you on the top rope!

by Serafin Santiago Jr. --- [View Serafin Santiago Jr's Column Index]..


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