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Member Since 19 Jan 2014
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The Innovation of the Tapout in Pro Wrestling

23 May 2018 - 02:21 PM

So I've been going back and filling in the gaps, listening to older episodes of podcasts I may have missed before. P2B, Austin, Jericho, etc.

In listening to some older Jericho interviews, I've hit several episodes where he's talking a lot to various guests about the Performance Center. Terry Taylor's name has come up several times, and Jericho specifically told a story of Taylor helping him back in WCW - suggesting his heel turn and the acquisition of a submission finisher.

Jericho then goes on to credit Taylor with bringing the concept of the tap out to the North American wrestling scene. Jericho states how he never saw it being used before that period, and it only became popular after Taylor insisted that Jericho, Benoit, etc. use it for a greater visual effect in their finishes.

Are there any corroborating comments from other WCW guys to support this story? I've never heard it credited to Taylor before, but I'm not knowledgeable enough to call bullshit right away either. The timeline isn't that far off. I definitely remember when the frantic nodding and head-shaking indicated a submission, and I even remember the first time *I* personally saw/heard about tap out submissions. It was in the thick of the Psicosis-Ultimo-Sonny Onoo stuff in WCW circa '97, and Mike Tenay was on the call - illustrating the history and informing the audience of how the tap out was a universal declaration of submission, crossing all cultural boundaries and understood in all languages. It's something that made total sense & stuck with me at the time.

Do you guys remember earlier instances of the tap out being used here in North America? Over the years in shoot interviews, I know I've heard some people talk up the idea of Taz opening that door. I've even heard some say that the first time it was shown was in early '97 in the Shamrock/Billy Gunn exhibition segment. But that never sounded quite right to me.

I admittedly haven't done a deep dive to find out or anything, but I figured I could just leapfrog the leg work & ask you guys instead. :D