Tommy Young and the ropes


A routine you'd see in Crockett-era matches was someone reaching for the ropes to break a hold and Tommy Young would kick his hands away, the logic being that the ropes are “out of bounds” for both wrestlers; you have to actually be in the ropes to break a
hold, or something along those lines.  Maybe my mentality is coloured by being a strictly WWF kid growing up, but isn't this something of a distinction without a difference?  How is grabbing the ropes not basically the same thing as being in them?  Should
we just chalk this up as “wrestling logic” and not think about it too much?

Let me drop some old school KNOWLEDGE on you, son.

See, the ropes are out of bounds, so if you're in the ropes, you can't be touched and the hold has to be broken. However, the same thing applies to offensive moves:  The ropes are also out of bounds for some trying to use them to their advantage.  In practical terms, this means that if you're trapped in a hold and want to break it, you have to be able to move yourself into the ropes, but you can't actually USE the ropes to do so.  They're off-limits for both competitors and thus using them for leverage to break a hold is considered the same as using for leverage to maintain a hold, like when IRS grabs them while doing an abdominal stretch.  Same logic applies in the UFC today, where the cage is considered like the ropes.