A study published today in the New England Journal of Sports-Entertainment Physiology proves something pro wrestlers have intuitively known for decades — that lowering the shoulder-straps of a spandex singlet greatly increases the effectiveness of a wrestler’s offense.
The comprehensive 20-year study examined thousands of matches and determined that a given wrestler is 73 percent more likely to win if he lowers at least one singlet strap — ideally in a dramatic, pantomimed way while making a bug-eyed facial expression.
The researchers examined strap-removal behavior of dozens of wrestlers — including The Big Show, Jerry Lawler, Ryback, Kurt Angle, Michael Elgin, Charlie Haas, Jack Swagger, Big E and, most notably, Grado — and found a direct “strappedness-to-effectiveness correlation.”
“Either having the straps over the shoulders creates a hindrance to the wrestler,” writes lead author Dr. Bob Ponovich, “or the removal of straps gives the wrestler some kind of supernatural power which we do not fully understand.”
The same team of researchers, however, remains baffled by the irresistible elasticity of ring ropes.