I don’t know if there’s a name for it but there’s a thing where people can suspend belief most of the time about most things and just enjoy a show but they can get fixated on something that doesn’t make sense and they can’t let it go because it’s a thing they know about personally. Example, I went to see Terminator 3 Rise of Kristanna Loken with a guy who operates a crane for a living. And he’s spent many hours subsequent complaining about the scene where the much less cool than the T-1000 Kristanna Loken T-X is swinging a crane around.
If you had asked me I wouldn’t have thought that I had a thing like that but it turns out that I do. When I started writing the Grace blog I liked to pretend sometimes that I would write a novel about it someday, maybe without the magic stuff and just about wrestling or maybe with it. I never will because I’m not a novel writer but it got me curious about what was out there in the world of wrestling fiction.
Very little was the unsurprising answer. Squared Circle Blues by Matt Posner and Blood Red Turns Dollar Green trilogy by Paul ‘O Brien is pretty much it. Other than a couple hilariously bad books turned out by WWE at the height of their popularity in the 90s.
A while back I pre-ordered the book Huge which is written by a Canadian so “the algorithm” decided I was really into Canadian authors and told me about Cobra Clutch by AJ Devlin. It’s about a former pro wrestler who becomes a PI and loves banana milkshakes from Dairy Queen. It’s pretty good.
BUT. There’s a passage where the dude who used to be a wrestler gets out of his car and someone starts shooting at him and he dives to the ground and he throws his hands out to catch himself. That’s called out specifically. Wrong. A wrestler would never do that. That’s the worst way to fall. To quote Taz (the wrestler not the Looney Toon) “I could be 75 years old and slip on some milk at the grocery store and not fall like that”.
The impression that I get is that the world of wrestling training isn’t as brutal and sadistic as it was once so maybe this doesn’t happen anymore but many an old timer has a story about how if they put their hands out to catch themselves on a front bump they’d get their ass beat until they remembered not to do that. That’s putting all the impact into your wrists. No Beuno.
I’ve never trained to be a wrestler, I’ve never been in the ring, I’m just a fan, I don’t claim to be an expert. That having been said, from what I’ve observed and been told the key to a front bump is to land flat like a frog. You want your arms and legs to be splayed out like you’re skydiving, with your pelvis titled a little if you’re a fella so you don’t squash your junk. Distribute the impact across your whole body. The most important thing is to turn your head so you don’t smash your face into the ground.
And that’s my brutal takedown of published and award-winning author AJ Devlin.