It’s the soap-opera of the sport of wrestling - WWE simply is just the perfect stage. With villains and heroes you’ll be rooting for, dramatic catchphrases, twists, and turns - it’s as good theater as any. They’ve even got the tights to match the court jester of a Shakespearean play.
Where there’s theatre, there’s the drama you’ll find inspired by daily life. Every WWE fan knows all the action is scripted, intense enough to be a more violent version of Sasural Simar Ka - but what about the moves themselves? We’re not sure if WWE lifted their moves from Indian cities or vice versa or if it was the Illuminati, but there’s an awful lot of similarities we’ve been spotting.
People’s Elbow, performed by the Rock
One of Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock’s classic finishes, People’s Elbow used the strength of the elbow and gravity combined to deliver an awe-inspiring, well, ouchie. Although it started out as a move that involved running from the ring ropes and dropping an elbow on his combatant, it evolved into something bigger than itself, almost to the point it carried more crowd-pulling value than functional value.
With all that concentrated elbow power, the muse of such a move can only be - the Mumbai ladies’ compartment. You’ve either been caught in the rush yourself or have heard of it from stories - the unsolicited, seemingly innocuous elbow jabs from the back as women “encourage” each other to get inside the compartment faster. While The Rock uses gravity to amplify the impact of the People’s Elbow, not-so-ordinary People defy gravity with their elbowing.
How else can you explain being prodded up and into a crowd that’s pulling you in every direction possible, but still manage to navigate one clear route? Legend has it that the elbow jabs have managed to get sleeping humans off the floor and lifted into the compartment - the Rock’s routine in reverse, if you will. Truly a move for the People, by the People.
Old School, performed by the Undertaker
Mark William Calaway or the Undertaker initially twists the arms of his opponent over his head, drags him to a corner near the rope and starts rope-walking with the combatant’s arm still in tow. What follows is a rather acrobatic leap across their shoulders that makes you wince.
While the leap is a bit of an extension, this finishing move does start off with something close to the Bangalore pavement high heel walk. The average Bangalore pavement, if it exists, can be or used to be ridden with gaping potholes. Navigating them on high heels is like living life on the edge, and if your girlfriend has your hand in a death grip - well, that’s how love works, bud. It’s old school, and it’s painful.
Chokeslam, performed by John Cena
The chokeslam technically isn’t a unique finisher by itself - but you can’t help but admire the way John Cena does it. It’s all a matter of grip and thrust to the ground. When performed against players that are a bit lighter looking than the Rock, Cena manages to get some real lift in there too.
With that toast to the heavens and subsequent plod to the ground, it’s hard not to think of elderly folks in Chennai offering coconuts to a certain elephant-headed god. The once frail-looking Paatti that asked you to carry her vegetables home is suddenly raising coconuts in the air and smashing them on the ground with the power of a jackhammer. Whether the stars smile upon her or not, you’re thanking your lucky stars you didn’t tell her you accidentally broke her window playing cricket.
Those are 3 of WWE’s most famous moves you’ll see right in real life. Because, like all art forms and drama are, WWE was secretly, or not so secretly, borrowing from ordinary heroes on the stage that is everyday life.