This strip is pretty much directly inspired by watching a bunch of Japanese wrestling from the ’90s. Double clotheslines aren’t all that common, but there are TONS of sequences where two guys hit each other with a big strike in quick succession and then just kind of look at each other trying not to show the effects of the blows. It’s an interesting difference that in Japanese heavyewight bouts from the ’90s, selling was both traditionally selling damage and selling by pretending the German suplex they took totally didn’t hurt. And because commenter Dr. Wiki pointed out a great example of what I’m talking about, check out Kenta Kobashi and Kensuke Sasaki’s chop battle from their acclaimed Tokyo Dome showdown.
Relatedly, scroll down to the blog to check out Mitsuharu Misawa defending the AJPW Triple Crown against Jun Akiyama from September, 1997. You’ll see plenty of pretending they’re totally okay, you guys, but seriously, ouch. Like most of the All Japan main events from that era, it’s really, really good.
Next Week: We pop for headlocks.