Researchers at Harvard University published a landmark study this week that confirms a long-held belief in professional wrestling: that attacks from the top rope are significantly more effective when they include “a whole bunch of flippy-dippy stuff.”
The report, published in the Harvard Journal of Sports Entertainmentology, uses win-loss data collected over the past half-century to confirm, for example, that a corkscrew moonsault is 73 percent more effective than a basic top-rope splash.
Although basic logic would dictate that flashy flips and twists should not change how gravity sends one body crashing into another, pro wrestling seems to defy logic in this one particular case.
Wrestlers themselves, of course, have known this to be true for decades; why else would they perform complicated contortions mid-air, if not to hurt their opponents more?
The study does indicate that flashy flips are only effective if a wrestler does not land on his head, as Brock Lesnar proved at WrestleMania 19.