I’ve recently discovered that I’m really drawn to a particular type of move in wresting that I’ve taken to calling Delayed Doom. I was going to call it Delayed Death, but that feels a little dark. Delayed Doom is a style of move where the wrestler holds their opponent in a position which they can’t move or escape the move before finishing them off. There are usually a few seconds where the opponent is just waiting for the trigger to be pulled before they’re slammed into oblivion. Delayed Doom.
The perfect example is Akira Tozawa’s bridging straightjacket German suplex (mouthful).
— @traskwrites now (@isTrask) March 1, 2015
I love how Tozawa holds his opponent, in this case Kzy, and just keeps him in the air while Kzy kicks and screams and tries to escape. Finally, Tozawa puts Kzy out of his misery and completes the bridging German and finished off Kzy. I can’t explain what it is, but I just love watching this move. It’s so beautiful and tragic. I imagine what is a couple of seconds for us must feel like a lifetime for Tozawa’s opponent. I imagine their whole life flashes before their eyes while inevitable doom awaits.
My all-time favourite version of this move was against Flamita very recently on March 24. Got to the 24:00 minute mark. Flamita’s struggle as Tozawa slowly locks in the move, and the look on Flamita’s face when he realizes he’s done for is exceptional. Go to the 24:00 minute mark (ignore Tozawa’s entrance where he loses balance on the ringpost. #CrashandBurn).
Another great Delayed Doom move is Made in Japan by Tozawa’s Monster Express stablemate Shingo Takagi. He doesn’t always do it delayed style, but when he does, like he does here with Big R Shimizu, it’s glorious.
Lastly, but not leastly, one of my all-time favourite Delayed Doom moves comes from Bad Luck Fale of all people. I’m not super high on Fale. He is steadily improving and is definitely watchable, but what I really love is his finisher, the Bad Luck Fall. Not the best example here, but when Fale sets up the move, before launching his opponent high into the sky, he holds them in the crucifix position just a little longer than he needs to. Sometimes his opponent escapes, other times they just have to wait there until Fale is ready to end them. And end them he does. Fale’s Bad Luck Fall is one of the most protected moves in all of pro wrestling.
Honourable Mentions go to Daisuke Sekimoto’s deadlift German suplex, Kenny Omega’s Croyt’s Wrath, and AJ Styles’ Styles Clash, all of which belong in the Delayed Doom category, and all of which are pretty great. Sekimoto’s deadlift German is basically a strongman version of Tozawa’s, while Omega’s Croyt’s Wrath is simply a flashier version. The Styles Clash has that great moment where Styles struggles to lock his opponent’s arms in. The crowds in Japan are so into this move now because of the legitimate damage it’s done (Yoshitatsu), and how well protected it’s been.
The Styles Clash by AJ Styles
It’s a little sick in a way, the pleasure and satisfaction I feel when I see this style of move. I think there’s a connection between the enjoyment I get from a Delayed Doom move, and my love of horror movies and thrillers. There’s that same suspense, the inevitability of something bad that’s going to happen. Maybe it’s best not to read too much into it.
Finally, a move that could be mistaken for Delayed Doom, but does not belong in the category is Christian’s abysmal Kill Switch. It’s such a slow, unexciting move. It takes time like a Delayed Doom move, but it’s all set up time. Sometimes, Christian tries his best to make it look like a struggle to turn his opponent around, but I’ve always felt it looks silly and unbelievable, and just takes too long. There is that delay before the end, but you can’t see any emotion or struggle from the opponent, they’re just standing and waiting. Boring. I want to see the despair! Show me despair!
What other Delayed Doom moves did I miss? What are some of your favourite moves? Share your thoughts on Twitter @TheKoalaMask.