World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has joined the international community in imposing sanctions and penalties on Russia for its war on Ukraine by banning Russia’s national legsweep.
The maneuver — in which one wrestler wraps his or her arm around their opponent’s neck, a leg around the opponent’s leg, and then hurls them backwards to the floor — is seen by some as a symbol of Russia’s “sweeping” into neighbouring Ukraine.
Both the Russian legsweep and the side-Russian legsweep “no longer have any place in sports entertainment,” reads a press release issued by the company this morning. Variations such as the front-Russian-legsweep and three-quarter-Russian-legsweep will be renamed “the sweep” and “el sweepo,” respectively.
This is not the first time WWE has banned a controversial move amid sociopolitical challenges. During the so-called Troubles in Northern Ireland during the 1960s through 1990s, WWE banned the Irish Whip.