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   Sat, January 31, 2009

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Remember the 'classic' moves?
By TIM BAINES - Ottawa Sun

Baron von Raschke administers The Claw to a hapless opponent. Courtesy of the Wrestling Revue Archives:

Every now and then, I fly off on another tangent.

And at the risk of ignoring last Sunday's Royal Rumble, this is where I look at days gone by, when wrestling was not nearly as entertaining, but there was just something about it (maybe it was the seniors shaking their canes at the villains).

And in the latest instalment of "Remember When," I wonder what happened to the classic wrestling moves, manoeuvres that look so tame compared to today's moves (hello, Petey Williams and your Canadian Destroyer).

Does anybody use the sleeper anymore? Once that was locked in and the opponent went to la-la land, remember the ceremonial "waking up?" -- either rubbing the head or giving the guy a good slap.

The abdominal stretch? Geez, that seemed to hurt.

The airplane spin? That had to make both wrestlers dizzy.

Hulk Hogan's leg drop? My two-month-old grandson could kick out of that.

You don't see the full or half-nelson too often. Armbars just seem to slow things down. The Boston crab must be too boring, too. And, hey, I miss the claw! Nothing like Baron von Raschke's hand piercing into your skin.

What about the bear hug? Didn't wrestlers nearly get the life squeezed out of them.

And yes, they still use foreign objects, but pencils and fire have been replaced by folding chairs, trash cans and barbed wire.

Those were the days. But they weren't the better days. Matches were too long, sometimes going to one-hour limits. It was more about the psychology of wrestling, but today's fans wouldn't buy that.

They want "Holy S--t!" moments, something a step-over-toe-hold just doesn't provide.


Days after he punted Vince McMahon, Randy Orton outlasted 29 foes to win the Rumble and earn a title shot at Wrestlemania ... Matt Hardy turned his back on brother Jeff, costing him the WWE title to Edge ... John Cena beat JBL to retain the heavyweight belt ... Melina beat Beth Phoenix for the women's belt.