Selling in professional wrestling is fascinating. Making it look like you’re hurt, sometimes even when you’re actually hurt, is surprisingly difficult to do. That’s before asking someone to do it with a certain charisma while telling a story.
That’s why Drew Gulak’s sell of Cedric Alexander’s Lumbar Check wins “Raw GIF of the Week:”
The Lumbar Check itself is a great move for the purposes of pro wrestling because it doesn’t actually cause great pain when executed properly but it sure looks like it will break your damn back. The slow motion allows us to see Gulak’s incredible timing on each of his facial expressions throughout the process of it. The sharp pain when his back first hits Alexander’s legs; the realization that actually he’s high up in the air and oh shit he’s about to hit the mat on the same back that was hurt just a moment before; bracing for impact; conveying — without overdoing it — that the second hit was even worse than the first.
Pro wrestling is inherently silly because it asks that you buy into the idea that this is something you would see in actual combat, yes, but I’ll be damned if Gulak didn’t make me forget that for a moment because I couldn’t help but buy in to his sell of it.