clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Wrestlemania 30 Judo Chop: John Cena and the Five Knuckle Shuffle

New, comments

Get a preview of Wrestlemania 30 and John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt in this Bloody Elbow Wrestlemania Judo Chop as we break down the details of the dreaded Five Knuckle Shuffle.

J. Meric

This weekend, live on PPV, it's the biggest wrestling event of the year - the Granddaddy of them all, Wrestlemania. It's Wrestlemania 30, the 30th anniversary of wrestling's greatest spectacle (or, you know, the 29th anniversary, but who's counting?). Wrestlemania 30 airs live on PPV this Sunday, April 6 starting at 7:00 p.m. ET / 4:00 p.m. PT

In one of the night's featured matches, former multiple time WWE champion John Cena takes on the challenge of the dastardly and despicable cult leader Bray Wyatt. Here to get ready for the epic Cena vs. Wyatt showdown, we present a Bloody Elbow Judo Chop breakdown of one of Cena's signature moves - the Five Knuckle Shuffle.

Before we break it down, let's see the shuffle in action:


At a quick glance, it might appear that this move is nothing more than a basic punch. But if that's the case, why does it do so much damage? What makes it more effective than the countless punches Cena lands throughout the match? To figure that out, you have to look at a few details that Cena uses to maximize the Shuffle's efficiency.

First up, there's the taunt that begins the sequence. Again, this may appear to be a simple way for Cena to mock his opponent, but there's a lot more going on here. There's an adage in combat sports that the punch that hurts the most is the one you don't see coming. Nowhere is this more obvious than the Five Knuckle Shuffle.

At the start of the sequence, Cena waves his hand in front of his face, telling his opponent, "You can't see me." The purpose of this hand-waving is subtle, but very important. Cena uses this motion in order to lull his opponent into a state of high susceptibility. Much like a hypnotist and his watch swinging back and forth, or a snakecharmer and his swaying flute, the motion of Cena's hand brings his opponent into a state of hypnosis. From there, the downed opponent is open to suggestions, so when Cena says "You can't see me," it imprints in his opponent's head the idea that Cena is now invisible. As a result, the downed wrestler never sees Cena, making the punch a complete surprise and therefore much more effective.

It's unclear where Cena learned this technique, though there are rumors that he may have taken a class on hypnosis techniques while he was pursuing his PhD in Thugonomics at the highly esteemed FU.

More Wrestlemania coverage at Cageside Seats

One other key detail comes just before the punch. Note the way Cena dusts off his shoulder before dropping the punch. By doing this, he removes any small debris on his shoulder, making his lead arm more smooth and therefore aerodynamic. Much like an Olympic swimmer shaving, this cuts down on resistance, increasing Cena's velocity on the drop and therefore increasing the power of the punch.

With these details, Cena makes the Five Knuckle Shuffle far more than just a simple punch, adding extra power to make it a match-ender.

What will be interesting to watch for at Wrestlemania 30 will be to see just how effective the Shuffle is against Bray Wyatt. The frightening Wyatt has shown his ability to control the minds of others. Given this, will he be susceptible to Cena's "You can't see me" suggestion, or will his own mind-control abilities nullify Cena's effectiveness? If Wyatt has the move scouted, it could be curtains for the much beloved Cena.

Find out how it all plays out this Sunday, live on PPV at Wrestlemania 30.