Jump to content
TSM Forums
Sign in to follow this  
Guest TSMAdmin

Moving Right Along: Hogan's Legdrop

Recommended Posts

Guest TSMAdmin

I would just like to extend my greetings to everyone and welcome you to the inaugural installment of "Moving Right Along." My name is Mark Goodhart and I have been a big fan of professional wrestling for about 15 years running. During that time, I have seen hundreds of holds and maneuvers invented, copied, and passed out among the masses of professional wrestlers around the world. I have learned to appreciate when a move has been well executed and when it has been well placed within the context of a match. The examination of these maneuvers will be the focus of this column for the duration of its existence. So week in and week out I will be examining the holds you love, the holds you hate, and the reasons why those moves get the reactions they do. So sit back, relax, and take a listen while "Moving Right Along" examines one of the most famous finishers in wrestling history, Hulk Hogan's legdrop.


You have probably noticed that with the recent resurgence of Hulk Hogan’s career, we’ve been subjected to whole lot more of his legdrops lately. Legdrops for Rock, legdrops for HHH, and legdrops on whoever crosses the path of Hulkamania, brother! Now I’m no mind reader, but I am guessing that most people have decided that it’s really a lousy finisher for this day and age. It’s the new millennium, darn it! I demand more than wobbly legdrops to keep my favorite workers down for the three counts. But wait, my otherwise perky and happy-go-lucky self! A crazy question filled my otherwise empty brainpan. Are the finishers used by this generation so very powerful that the Hogan legdrop should be looked at as a joke? Let us look at one of today’s superstars and find out his finisher is so devastating that the legdrop pales in comparison.


Now I think most people would agree that Kurt Angle is, at the very least, a fine worker. He’s also got a fine offensive set consisting mostly of suplexes, which he offsets with the anklelock and the moonsault to add a spice to his work. But then take a long look at Kurt’s finisher, the Olympic Slam. Simply put, it’s basically a belly-to-back suplex with a little spin added in for effect, and shouldn’t really be looked at as much more than that realistically. Generally, the worker taking the maneuver lands flat on the mat in just about the safest manner I could possibly imagine in a move where he leaves his feet. It’s truly not even the most impressive throw Angle has in his arsenal, yet it is the finisher of a multi-time WWF champion? Not to mention that the Olympic Slam is a finish that is certainly accepted by the majority of wrestling fans. Hopefully, by now you might be asking yourself why? Well fans, the reason is because Angle’s Olympic Slam has been associated uniquely with his character and normally serves as the ending to most of his matches. It is really just as simple as that.


The fans of wrestling generally have their greatest reactions to two parts of a wrestling match, the entrances and the ending sequence. The entrances get a reaction because people want to make their feelings known about the workers in question and are either happy or angry to see them. The finish also generally gets about how the match they are watching is going to end. Honestly, do you care more about the move-by-move description of a match, or about the simple question of who won and how? I don’t know about everyone else in the world, but the first thing I want to know the night after a pay-per-view is who won and how. Everything else comes secondary, and I will worry about it when I have more time to worry about it. People care about how matches end and when a certain move more often than not signals the end of a match, people are going to care about it, regardless of how it looks. Take a look at some early Angle matches and you will see a rather lackluster reaction to the Olympic Slam because the fans hadn’t keyed into the notion of how important the throw was supposed to be. But now, even putting his opponent in position for the Slam will get a little “Ooooh” out of the people in attendance. You see, the move has been associated with Angle’s matches for a long enough period of time that it has gotten heat as a finisher. Not because it is particularly devastating or awe inspiring. Just like the Hogan legdrop.


But the thing is, the legdrop is look at like a joke from the internet wrestling community while the Olympic Slam is not. To understand why, you have to look at the uniqueness of the move. The Olympic Slam only rears its head in the WWF during matches involving Kurt Angle. Nowhere else on the card will you see that move pop up because the WWF has made the effort to make sure it retains its luster. It has been protected from overuse just like most finishers you are going to see on a WWF program. It is very important that you do this. Otherwise you have every wrestler using it and sucking the value away after each and every use. Take a look at the missile dropkick, the spinebuster, and the DDT. All of these moves used to be rock solid finishers that would signal the end of a match nine times out of ten. But today, so many different people have used these moves so often that they no longer hold that value. They no longer send a message to the fans that the match will be over shortly. And right there is the problem with Hogan’s legdrop.


The legdrop turned into a move that you might see numerous times during one match, much less more than once a night. The value of it as unique to Hogan is totally nonexistent. The fans actually have to actually retrain themselves to accept the legdrop not as a middle-of-the-road move and as a finisher again. And people just aren’t willing to do that because it makes absolutely no logical sense within the context of wrestling. It destroys the inner consistency of what normally brings about the end of the match. That is why the legdrop is commonly rejected as a viable finisher.


The lesson here is that finishers can be just about any move you want to be as long as it a) end matches and b) is somewhat unique to the wrestler using it. Only by protecting finishers can they hold onto their values in the eyes of the people. So, make a note Kurt Angle, if you see the Olympic Slam creeping up all over the WWF; it might be time to get a new finisher. Otherwise you might as well being using the legdrop.


Mark Goodhart


Send feedback to [email protected]

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this