If you’re like a lot of people on the Internet, you jumped to AJ Styles’ defense and explained why breaking Yoshi Tatsu’s neck and almost doing the same to Satoshi Kojima weren’t his fault. You know who else is on the Internet? Jeff Jarrett.
In an interview on VOC Nation, the proprietor of Slapnuts went old school in defense of the Styles Clash, saying that it’s “ridiculous” to ask him to stop doing it and more or less claiming the people who got their necks broken can’t work. Also, he thinks broken necks are hilarious?
“I want to have all due respect to guys that have been injured but I’ve heard that and I just have to laugh. Actually, I laughed. This business, as Jim Ross says, ‘it ain’t ballet.’ But you need to learn how to protect yourself and if you can’t protect yourself, either A get out of the business or B don’t take it. Don’t put it on AJ.
Back in the asylum, Frankie Kazarian took it wrong and I know that the nature of our business is the tuck your chin to protect your neck. On this, know going in, focus and know, if AJ can be in this predicament. You know what to do. I put it on the performer, not on AJ. Not even close. It’s ridiculous, in my opinion, for someone to say, ‘AJ, that move needs to be banned.’ He’s done it for 12 years and, if a guy can’t protect himself, it’s not AJ’s fault.”
Three things I’d ask Jarrett to consider before his next belly-laugh:
1. Sure, AJ’s been doing the move for 12 years. That means when he started doing it, he was 25. Now he’s 37, and I’m gonna go out on a limb and assume it’s easier to hold people upside down by their thighs, step over their arms and fall forward without hurting anyone? It’s not ballet, but it does rely on you trusting the other guy in the ring to know what he can and can’t do and not break your neck. Dude’s wrestling at a much higher level against much better opponents than he was 12 years ago, too. Maybe a handful of injuries and their increased frequency isn’t reason to ban the move forever, but maybe it’s a good reason to have the conversation?
2. It’s a horrible move. That’s the thing not enough people are pointing out. It’s innovation at the expense of … I don’t want to say “realism,” but hanging a guy upside down so his nose is almost touching the mat, then falling forward with your weight on their legs and causing them to hit face-first from a height of like half a foot isn’t exactly the Ganso Bomb. It’s ridiculous, and better suited for a Petey Williams match at an amusement park than against Naito in the Tokyo Dome. You should’ve asked him to stop doing it in 2002.
3. Maybe don’t chuckle so hard at people having their necks broken, you weirdo.