Aerial techniques are spectacular maneuvers, using the ring and its posts and ropes as aids, used in wrestling to show off the speed and agility of a wrestler. These moves are mainly done by smaller quicker wrestlers who are unable to do most of the power moves. There is a wide variety of aerial techniques in pro wrestling. Many moves are known by several different names. Professional wrestlers frequently give their "finishers" (signature moves that usually result in a win) new names. Occasionally these names become popular and are used regardless of the wrestler performing the technique.
Due to injuries being caused by these high risk moves, many promotions ban the use of some maneuvers, or at least tell wrestlers to "tone down" their use. During 2005, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) allegedly banned the use of the shooting star press and 450° splash for fear of injury. However, WWE commentator and former executive Jim Ross stated in 2006 that he was unaware of such a policy. Recently, Matt Sydal, who is currently on the ECW brand (wrestling as Evan Bourne) has used the Shooting Star press as his finishing move.
Moves are listed under general categories whenever possible.
Arm twist ropewalk chopEdit
The wrestler grabs a hold of one of the opponent's wrists, and twists that arm. The wrestler then climbs up the corner turnbuckles and walks on the top rope, before jumping down and clubbing the opponent on their chest or back of their neck. This attack is widely known in America as Old School, a name used by The Undertaker.
Other users have been known to add something extra to the move. Jinsei Shinzaki uses a variation of that sees him grab his opponent while he's on the ring apron, and his opponent is in the ring. He then leaps up to the top rope, using the opponent's wrist as a steady, and does a praying walk on the top rope, round the turnbuckle, and jumps down, chopping his opponent. Sonjay Dutt also has a variation, during which he makes a "sprinkler" dance motion while on the ropes before dropping down onto his opponent.
Also known as a Double Axe Handle, Double Axe Handle Smash or Double Sledge, this is accomplished by jumping from the top turnbuckle to the mat or floor and striking your opponent with two fists held together in the fashion of holding an axe. This is usually done on a standing or rising opponent, not a prone one.
This move is used by many, usually light, wrestlers and is often known as a diving crossbody (but usually just referred to as crossbody or cross body block) which is the elevated version of the crossbody maneuver in which a wrestler jumps from an elevated position (usually the top turnbuckle) onto an opponent, landing horizontally across the opponent's torso, forcing them to the mat and usually resulting in a pinfall attempt.
This term refers to a variation where the wrestler, who is on an elevated position and facing away from the opponent, performs a twisting backflip and lands on a standing opponent horizontally across the opponent's torso as in the regular variation.
Though these can be accomplished from the top turnbuckle to an opponent inside the ring, other versions exist where the wrestler goes over the top rope to the outside. In lucha libre, this is called a Pescado aka Plancha.
This move involves the attacking wrestler standing on a platform (i.e. the second turnbuckle, or sitting on the top turnbuckle) and facing the back of a standing opponent while applying an inverted facelock. From this position the attacking wrestler leaps forward, somersaulting, to roll the inverted facelock into a three-quarter facelock, as they fall the wrestler drops to a seated position and driving the opponent's jaw into their shoulder for a jawbreaker, or, the wrestler falls back-first forcing the opponent's face into the mat/shoulder for the bulldog.
This is a bulldog performed by a wrestler from an elevated position. A bulldog is a move in which the wrestler applies a headlock or face lock to his opponent and leaps forward, so that the wrestler lands on his back or in a sitting position, driving the opponent’s face into the mat.
A standard diving bulldog sees a wrestler jump down on an opponent from an elevated platform and apply any version of a headlock to take down the opponent to the mat. This move was popularized by Rick Steiner, who calls it the Steiner Drop.
This is a bulldog performed after springboarding (bouncing) off the ring ropes. In some cases a headlock is first applied before the wrestler bounces off the ropes. This move was popularized by Trish Stratus in the WWE and named it the 'Stratusfaction.'
Another version is the springboard bulldog is seen where a wrestler will springboard off the ring ropes before applying the headlock. While flying towards an opponent, a wrestler catches his opponent in a headlock and then drives the opponent into the ground as the wrestler falls to the mat.
This move can be transitioned into a cutter, as used by Leo Stenbuck
Diving elbow dropEdit
A diving elbow drop is executed by diving onto a prone opponent with one's elbow cocked, driving the elbow into the opponent's shoulder or chest or head. This was famously the finishing move of "Macho Man" Randy Savage.
Axe handle elbow dropEdit
The wrestler sits on the top turnbuckle with a foot on each second rope, facing a supine opponent. The wrestler then leaps towards the opponent, clasping their forearms together, and lands on their knees, driving both elbows into the shoulder or chest of the opponent.
Corkscrew elbow dropEdit
The wrestler stands on the top turnbuckle with the opponent lying face up on the mat. The wrestler then leaps at the fallen opponent at the same time executing a 360 horizontal turn before driving the elbow into the opponent with increased force. This move can be done without the use of the top turnbuckle.
Somersault elbow dropEdit
The wrestler, standing on an elevated position, jumps, flips forward with one's elbow cocked, driving the elbow into the opponent's shoulder or chest or head. Herman Soul uses this move, usually he uses a springboard, or slingshot variation.
Diving back elbow dropEdit
A less common variation on a diving elbow drop; the wrestler stands on the top turnbuckle facing away from the opponent then leaps backwards, extending and cocking one elbow. This allows for greater range but less precision. Ted DiBiase used a second turnbuckle variation in which he would fall back from the turnbuckle and execute the elbow.
Shooting star elbow dropEdit
The wrestler leaps towards a prone opponent from an elevated position, executes a backflip in mid-air, and lands with their elbow cocked, driving the elbow onto the opponent's chest.
This diving move sees a wrester stand atop an elevated position and dive forward and is followed by grabbing the opponents head in mid-air, ending into a DDT.
Diving Shooting Star DDTEdit
This move sees a wrestler jump forward from an elevated position followed by executing a backflip in mid-air while grabbing the opponents head in mid-air, ending into a DDT.
This move is executed by jumping forward off the top rope with both knees upward, and turns to the side of the opponent and hits an enzuigiri on the opponent's head.
Diving fist dropEdit
A fist drop is a move in which a wrestler jumps down from the turnbuckle on an opponent driving his fist into the opponent's chest or head. When doing a diving fist drop, wrestlers have their front four knuckles out, and their thumb to the side. Jerry Lawler famously used the move as his finisher.
A diving headbutt is a jumping or sometimes free fall headbutt delivered from the top turnbuckle to anywhere on the opponent's body. The move was innovated serendipitously by Harley Race, when he fell from the top turnbuckle onto his opponent. He adapted it as a signature move, and it was then adapted and further popularized by The Dynamite Kid.
Race has stated that he regrets inventing the move because he feels that it has had a part in giving various wrestlers who utilize the move spine problems, most notably The Dynamite Kid. It was later revealed that this move may not only cause spinal problems, but may also cause brain damage. The brain damage found in the brain of Chris Benoit has been attributed to the move.
Some versions include a "swan dive" style, where the performer spreads his arms out while falling. The "swan dive" is the most popular version today and its popularity was closely associated with Chris Benoit who used it as one of his finishing maneuvers, in a tribute to his idol, The Dynamite Kid.
El Santo and El Hijo del Santo use a swan dive variation where they hit the opponent in the abdomen, called Tope de Cristo in Spanish. Jun Izumida uses a variation where he turns 45° to his side in mid-air, tucking his arm beneath him. He calls it the Meteorite Impact.
Also known as Diving huracanrana. This move is executed by jumping forward off the top rope with legs apart, straddling a standing opponent's shoulders, while using the momentum to snap off a hurricanrana. Amy Dumas (LITA) made this popular in the WWE and dubbed it the Litacanrana.
In this variant of the diving hurricanrana, the wrestler first performs a front flip from the top rope before executing a true hurricanrana into a pin. The technique is named by and after the wrestler Dragon Kid, pupil of Último Dragón, who invented the maneuver.
Leo Stenbuck uses a version of the dragonrana, widely known as an Extreme Dragonrana, which sees the attacking wrestler perform a two front flips from the top rope before executing a hurracanrana into a rana pinning hold.
The variant sees a wrestler, on the ring apron, first use the top ring rope to springboard (bounce) towards an opponent in the ring, straddling the standing opponent's head so the wrestler is seated on the opponent's shoulders, while using the momentum to snap off a hurricanrana. Popularized by Rey Mysterio who dubbed it the West Coast Pop, which he usually performs after the 619.
Diving knee dropEdit
A move in which a wrestler jumps from a raised platform (the top turnbuckle, the apron, etc) and lands his or her knee on a prone opponent.
This diving knee drop bulldog sees the opponent standing near one of the ring corners facing towards the center of the ring, while the attacking wrestler is standing on the second turnbuckle. From there, the wrestler grabs the opponent and places one knee against the base of the opponent's neck, pushes away from the corner and drives the opponent down to the mat face first - landing on the opponent's upper body, and driving his or her knee to the neck of the opponent. Popularized by Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Raven.
Diving leg dropEdit
Also called a Guillotine Leg Drop, this diving attack sees a wrestler jump forward from a raised platform (i.e. top turnbuckle, the ring apron, etc) landing the bottom side of his/her leg across an opponent (usually on the throat or face).
Kenny Dykstra uses a high elevation version of this move, for which he jumps off the turnbuckle and tucks his legs behind him, and extending them at the last second for the legdrop. It is sometimes referred to as a "Knee Feint" Leg Drop.
Corkscrew shooting star legdropEdit
The wrestler performs a shooting star legdrop, but during the backflip executes a 180° body rotation. The only difference between this move and the shooting star legdrop is the wrestler lands in the opposing direction.
Diving leg drop bulldogEdit
This is a diving version of the leg drop bulldog, that sees the wrestler springboarding off one of the ropes or jumping from the top turnbuckle and dropping their leg across the back of the head of an opponent who is leaning forward.
Shannon Moore used a variation where he performed a leg drop bulldog from the top rope on an opponent who was also positioned on the top rope, causing both to dive from the top rope.
Moonsault leg dropEdit
This variation sees the wrestler perform a top turnbuckle moonsault but instead of landing on the opponent in a splash position the wrestler would continue the rotation to drive his leg across an opponent who is lying on the ground.
The wrestler, standing on an elevated position, jumps, flips forward and lands his leg on the opponent lying beneath him.
Somersault corkscrew leg dropEdit
The wrestler is standing on an elevated position. He then jumps forward, flipping and rotating 360° simultaneously, and lands his leg on the chest of the opponent lying beneath him. Often turned into a senton, and less often press, due to the difficulty in aiming.
Leo Stenbuck has started using this move in early 2009.
Shooting star legdropEdit
This move sees an attacking wrestler jump forward from an elevated position, executing a backflip in mid-air and keeps revolving backwards so that they perform a legdrop so that they land the bottom side of their leg across the opponent's throat, chest or face. This version was popularized by Jason Cross and calls it the Crossfire. Yoshitune also has popularized this move.
A move in which a wrestler who is standing on the ring apron springboards (bounces) off the top ring rope in towards a fallen opponent in the ring, landing the bottom side of their leg across the opponent's throat, or face. This move sees the attacking wrestler land their leg across the back of the neck instead of the throat if the opponent is situated face-down.
There is also a variation known as the Triple Jump Legdrop where, from a running start, the wrestler jumps to a chair, to the top ring rope and then performs a springboard leg drop to an opponent on the outside of the ring. This move is used by Sabu.
Diving monkey flip Edit
This move was innovated by Herman Soul. The most common variation, referred to as a Diving Monkey Flip, sees a wrestler dive off of an elevated position (uaually the top or second rope), grab the opponent's head (as if about to perform a Flying Neckbreaker) and then the wrestler brings up both legs so that he/she places their feet on the hips/waist of the opponent, then the wrestler shifts their weight so that they fall backwards to the mat while forcing the opponent to fall forwards with them only to have the attacking wrestler push up their legs forcing the opponent to flip forwards, over the attacking wrestler's head, onto their back. The opponent would be thrown towards the elevated position which the attacking wrestler dived from.
Another variation, known as a Diving Twisting Monkey Flip, sees the attacking wrestler dive to the opponent, hook the opponent's head with both hands, but rather than bringing up both legs, the attaking wrestler brings up one leg and places the foot on the hip/waist of the opponent (if the wrestler brings up his/her right leg, then they place their right foot on the opponent's right hip/waist, if they bing up their left leg, then they place their left foot on the opponent's left hip/waist), then swings around so that the attacking wrestler is facing towards the elevated surface that he/she dived from (if the wrestler had placed his left foot on the opponent's left hip/waist, then he/she swings to the left, if they placed their right foot on the opponent's right hip/waist, then they swing to the right), then the attacking wrestler shifts their weight so that they fall backwards to the mat while forcing the opponent to fall forwards with them only to have the attacking wrestler push up their legs forcing the opponent to flip forwards, over the attacking wrestler's head, onto their back.
Diving Neck SnapEdit
The wrestler dives off of an elevated position, towards an opponent facing away from the wrestler and executes a neck snap. It is usually performed when the opponent is either standing or bent-over.
Diving shoulder blockEdit
The wrestler dives off of an elevated position, tucks his arms, and strikes the opponent with one of his shoulders to the upper body.
This is a diving shoulder block takedown, also known as a spear. A move in which a wrestler will jump from a raised platform such the top turnbuckle, and drive their shoulder into the opponent's torso, forcing them down to the mat. This move was popularized by Edge but in a elevated position, Bill Goldberg would use this move as well
When a wrestler jumps down from a raised platform on an opponent dropping his foot onto any part of an opponent's body.
Diving double foot stompEdit
When a wrestler jumps down from a raised platform on an opponent driving both his feet into anywhere on the opponent's body, usually the chest.
This move was popularized by Low Ki as his finisher, which he calls the Ghetto Stomp or the Warrior's Way.
Moonsault double foot stompEdit
This variation sees the wrestler perform a moonsault but instead of landing on the opponent in a splash position the wrestler would continue the rotation so that he/she would be able to drive both feet into an opponent who is lying on the ground.
While situated on the middle rope of a turnbuckle, a wrestler will jump over a charging wrestler, pressing his feet off their back to push them into the turnbuckle with more force, before landing on their own two feet. The technique's name is a reference to the stomping attacks used by video game character Mario, often on mushroom-themed enemies and environments.
Shooting star double foot stompEdit
This variation of the double foot stomp sees the wrestler perform a shooting star press and continue the rotation to land with both feet on an opponent. Edge but in a elevated position, Bill Goldberg would use this move as well
Diving throat thrust Edit
The wrestler dives off of the top turnbuckle and lunges and executes a throat thrust to the oponent.
Diving thumb thrust Edit
Also known as a Diving Samoan Spike, this variation of a diving throat thrust sees the wrestler, standing on the top turnbuckle extend one of their arms with their hand in a clenched fist, but with his/her thumb extended, then the wrestler dives towards the opponent. and strikes their extended hand forwards, striking the throat. There is another variation, known as a Diving closed thumb thrust, or a Snap diving thumb thrust, sees the wrestler perform a flying clothesline, but before the the clothesline strikes, the wrestler quickly extends the thumb of the attacking hand, striking at the last second.
A move in which a wrestler will jump from an elevated position and perform a clothesline to a standing opponent. Kane uses the flying clothesline regularly, but adds a somersault to his landing in the case of an opponent ducking.
A version of this move, called a Flying Lariat which is similar but involves the wrestler wrapping his arm around the opponents head.
Flying back elbowEdit
A move in which the wrestler will jump from an elevated position (usually the top turnbuckle or the middle rope) and strike a standing opponent with the back of his or her elbow.
A neckbreaker in which the attacking wrestler jumps from a raised platform (usually the second turnbuckle) and grabs an opponent's neck while in midair, thereby taking them down with a neckbreaker.
The most common variation of this is the Flipping Neckbreaker or Blockbuster which is a neckbreaker where the attacking wrestler performs a somersault, and while flipping, catches the opponents head ending in a falling neckbreaker. This was made famous by Buff Bagwell, who called it the Buff Blockbuster.
A variation of the flipping neckbreaker is used by Shannon Moore who catches the head of an opponent who is bent over and facing one side to perform an aerial version of a front flip neckbreaker, he calls this the Mooregasm.
CM Punk uses a corkscrew variation of the flipping neckbreaker as a reversal to a corner Irish whip or corner flapjack. When running to the corner, or being thrown onto the corner, Punk leaps or lands onto the second turnbuckle, performs a corkscrew somersault, and catches the opponent in the neckbreaker.
Flying spinning heel kickEdit
A move in which the wrestler will jump from an elevated position (usually the top turnbuckle) and strike a standing opponent with spinning heel kick in mid-air. WWE Superstar Yoshi Tatsu uses this move usually from the top rope or whilst springboarding.
Flying thrust kickEdit
Executed when a wrestler jumps from a raised platform (usually the top turnbuckle), and hits a standing opponent with a thrust kick in mid-air. Chris Adams invented this maneuver in the late-1980s, calling it a "flying superkick".
Most recently, this move has been used by Rob Van Dam, who kicked his opponent in the chest (or to the face of an interfering opponent/opponent on the apron).
This is a headscissors takedown executed on an opponent sitting on the top turnbuckle. With the attacking wrestler's legs scissored around the opponent's head while they face each other, the wrestler performs a backflip to swing through the opponent's open legs, dragging the opponent into a forced somersault that distances the wrestler from the opponent, who lands on his or her back.
The name Frankensteiner comes from Scott Steiner, who popularized the move. Steiner also used a variation where the opponent wasn't seated on the top turnbuckle, which is also called frankensteiner. The move is also commonly called a top rope Hurrancanrana or Hurrancanrana, although technically that move is slightly different.
Elix Skipper uses a variation of this in which he walks on the top ring rope before he gives an opponent, who is seated on the top rope, a huracanrana. Technically called a ropewalk rana, Skipper calls it New School in reference to the arm twist ropewalk chop, Old School, performed by The Undertaker.
A handstand variation can also be used. With the opponent seated on the top turnbuckle facing the ring, the wrestler performs a handstand on the bottom turnbuckle, wrapping his or her shins or feet around the neck of the opponent. The wrestler then bends his or her legs forward towards the ring, pulling the opponent over and flipping him or her down to the mat onto his or her back. This variation was popularized by Trish Stratus who called the move the StratusFear.
Also known as an Inverted Frankensteiner or Poison Rana. This is a headscissors takedown executed on an opponent sitting on the top turnbuckle. However, unlike a standard frankensteiner, the opponent is facing away from the ring on the top turnbuckle thus the opponent backflips over and lands on his or her chest rather than his or her back. This move can also be performed to the outside of the ring if the opponent is facing the inside of the ring or sitting on one edge of the corner turnbuckle facing the audience with both legs on the outside of the ring on the same side. There is also a standing variation of this move in which the wrestler jumps onto the opponent's shoulders from behind and then flips backwards driving the opponent's head and/or chest onto the mat.
These are all very dangerous variations which as, like an inverted death valley driver, the opponent can not roll naturally with the momentum of the move to cushion the fall, leading to a possibility they will land on their head or neck. In addition to this possible harm, it's also a danger to the attacking wrestler as the wrestler needs to be almost vertical to lift up the opponent off the turnbuckle, as the opponent can not somersault themselves off the turnbuckle. If the move is botched, the opponent would land directly on the vertical wrestler, driving them head and neck first into the mat.
- Main article: Moonsault
A move in which a wrestler executes a backflip and lands on an opponent. A basic moonsault is generally attempted from the top turnbuckle, though myriad variations exist.
- Main article: Dropkick
An accepted term in American wrestling for a slingshot crossbody where the wrestler goes from the inside of the ring over the top ring rope to the outside. In lucha libre, this is called a Pescado when the top ring rope is used for a slingshot, though the term plancha has been popularly accepted in American wrestling for the same maneuver. In America a move from the top turnbuckle to a standing opponent on the outside where the chests impact each other is also commonly referred to as a plancha.
Plancha is also used in America to refer to any attack from the ring to the outside in which the wrestler impacts their chest against the opponents chest. For example, a shooting star press to the outside onto a standing opponent is referred to as a shooting star plancha. The Colony does a Pyramid version of the plancha where Soldier Ant and Worker Ant take Fire Ant in their hands an throw him to the outside.
A senton splash (also known as Back Splash) is similar to a normal splash. However, instead of impacting stomach first, the wrestler lands back first across the opponent.
The Wrestler jumps to the top turnbuckle or jumps onto the ropes, facing away from the ring, and executes a 450° backflip,landing in an ordinary senton position. Leo Stenbuck
The wrestler performs a senton, flipping 630 degrees forward before landing, i.e. one full rotation (360 degrees) following by a somersault senton (270 degrees). Popularized by Jerelle Clark, who uses this as his finisher.
Corkscrew 630° sentonEdit
The wrestler, facing away from the ring and situated on the top turnbuckle, performs a 180° turn in mid-air and then performs a 630° senton onto a lying opponent. Jack Evans utilizes this maneuver as his finisher.
This senton is performed by executing a backflip from the top turnbuckle, then spinning 180°, landing on a fallen opponent back-first. However, this move often ends with a legdrop instead of a senton, due to the difficulty of execution.
The corkscrew senton can also see the wrestler hit the move on a standing opponent. This is often referred to as the Halo, a name closely associated with Shannon Moore. This move was also called Whisper in the Wind by Jeff Hardy, though Jeff Hardy performs this when he is Irish whipped towards the turnbuckle by an opponent and proceeds to run up the turnbuckle while facing it.
Some wrestlers spin 540° when performing the move, such as The Amazing Red and Chapparita ASARI.
Corkscrew senton can also refer to a move in which a wrestler, who is on the top rope facing away from the ring, jumps backwards and turns 180° in midair before performing a senton bomb.
Imploding senton bombEdit
Known in lucha libre as a "La Silla", this variant on the senton which sees the wrestler use his/her tailbone and lower body in a seated position to force the opponent to the mat rather than using their whole back. This seated senton is performed by jumping forward off a raised platform or springboarding on to the shoulders of a standing opponent forcing them to the ground. This can also be performed onto an opponent prone on the mat.
A variation of this move known as a Banzai Drop, sees a wrestler who is standing above a fallen opponent, go up onto the second turnbuckle (facing away from the ring) and jump down dropping his/her buttocks on the opponent's body (usually the chest or stomach). This move is basically a butt drop from a raised platform and was originated by Yokozuna,it was high impacted due Yokozuna's weight.
This variant on the seated senton, which is technically described as a flipping seated senton, is performed by flipping forward off a raised platform on to the shoulders of a standing opponent forcing them to the ground in a pinning position. The move gained its name through the use of its creator, Molly Holly.
In this variation of the senton, the attacking wrestler executes a quick front somersault off the top turnbuckle, before landing on the opponent backfirst as in a regular senton. It can also be performed from a standing position.
High-angle senton bombEdit
A variant of the senton bomb, which sees an attacking wrestler leaping off the top turnbuckle keeping their bodies straight and arms out-stretched, making it resemble a swan dive, and then waiting until the last moment to execute the flip, so that they just barely complete it when impacting with the opponent. This move was popularized by The Great Sasuke, who named it the Senton Atomico. In North America the move was popularized by Jeff Hardy and known as the Swanton Bomb.
Split-legged turning high-angle senton bomb Edit
A variant of the high-angle senton bomb, innovated by John Soulmetal, which sees an attacking wrestler, facing away from the opponent, lower their body and drop to a split-legged position (as in the Split-legged moonsault), then turns 180° while leaping off off the top turnbuckle while keeping his/her body straight and arms out-stretched, making it resemble a swan dive (as in a High-angle senton bomb), and then waiting at the last moment to execute the flip, so that he/she barely completes it when impacting with the opponent. This move is similar to a Corkscrew 450 Splash, or a Split-legged Corkscrew 450 Splash, but does not do a 450 flip splash. impacting with the opponent.
Turning high-angle senton bomb Edit
A variant of the high-angle senton bomb, innovated by John Soulmetal, which sees an attacking wrestler, facing away from the opponent, turn 180° while leaping off off the top turnbuckle while keeping his/her body straight and arms out-stretched, making it resemble a swan dive (as in a High-angle senton bomb), and then waiting at the last moment to execute the flip, so that he/she barely completes it when impacting with the opponent. This move is similar to a Corkscrew 450° Splash, or a but does not do a 450° flip splash. impacting with the opponent. This move was popularized by The Great Sasuke, who named it the Senton Atomico. In North America the move was popularized by Jeff Hardy and known as the Swanton Bomb.
Shooting star sentonEdit
The wrestler jumps forward from an elevated position, executing a backflip in mid-air to perform a shooting star, but continues the rotation after the initial backflip and lands on a downed opponent in the senton position. Innovated and popularized by Yoshitsune, who calls this move the Shura. A reverse 450.
The shiranui (or sea fire in English) is a springboard backflip three-quarter facelock falling reverse DDT, which has also been known as Sliced Bread #2 and Shinobi. Invented by Naomichi Marufuji, this move has a wrestler put a three-quarter facelock on the opponent and runs up a vertical surface, usually the corner turnbuckles, and jumps backwards, performing a backflip in the air, and landing face down to the mat, driving the opponent back-first down to the mat. Current WWE superstar The Brian Kendrick and Herman Soul, as well as TNA wrestler Alex Shelley, use this move as their finisher. In a slight variation the wrestler lands instead to a seated position, driving the opponent's head between his legs. This variation is used by Jimmy Jacobs, who calls it the Contra Code.
Both variations can see a modified version where both wrestlers are already perched on the top rope, and the backflip DDT is the only part performed, which may be known as a Super Shiranui. Another top-rope variation is used by Marufuji when the opponent is seated on the top turnbuckle with his back to the ring, and Marufuji climbs the turnbuckles applies the three-quarter facelock while standing on the top rope, and performs the backflip, landing on his knees and driving his opponent's head into the mat with much greater force; this has also been called the Super Shiranui.
There is also a standing variation of this move. As well as a bulldog variation.
Shooting star piledriverEdit
This move more closely resembles a shooting star ending in a facebuster rather than a piledriver, though it was referred to as a "Shooting Star Piledriver" by announcers at the time of its most notable occurrence.
During a Ring of Honor event, wrestler Jody Fleisch tried to execute a springboard shooting star press on Low Ki but botched the landing in such a way that, instead of Low Ki catching Fleisch and falling to the ground, Fleisch's legs straddled the head of Low Ki and grounded him with so much force it drove Low Ki's head into the mat below.
The basic splash, which is also known as a press, involves a wrestler jumping forward from a raised platform (usually the top turnbuckle) and landing stomach first across an opponent lying on the ground below.
The splash was popularized in America by Jimmy "The Superfly" Snuka, one of the first 'high-flyers' to wrestle in North America, who called the move the Superfly. It was one of the first and most popular highflying moves to be seen in mainstream wrestling. Even today, the move is often called a Superfly Splash in his honor.
The 360° Splash, also known as a Spin Splash or a Spiral Splash, sees the wrestler stand on the top turnbuckle with the opponent lying face up on the mat. The wrestler then leaps at the fallen opponent and at the same time executes 360° spin before landing on the opponent in the splash position.
The 450° Splash involves flipping forward 450° from a raised platform, landing on the opponent in the splash position. This move was created by 2 Cold Scorpio. Wrestlers like Juventud Guerrera and John Kronus popularized the move in the United States, while it was a trademark in Japan for Hayabusa who called it the Firebird Splash. A standing version is also possible from the mat. More recent occurrences, although very rare, from Austin Aries, Sonjay Dutt, Jeff Hardy, Paul London, Shelton Benjamin, Jimmy Wang Yang, and Jillian Hall This was now banned from the WWE due to injuries always happening.
Corkscrew 450° splashEdit
Also known as a Phoenix Splash as named by its inventor Japanese wrestler Hayabusa, this move is performed when a wrestler (facing backwards to the ring from the top turnbuckle) jumps, turns 180° and performs a 450° splash. A standing version is also possible from the mat. John Soulmetal uses this move while springboarding.
Imploding 450° splashEdit
This move sees the attacking wrestler stand on the top turnbuckle facing away from the ring. He or she then jumps backwards and executes a 450° splash inwards (facing the turnbuckle) onto a downed opponent laying on the mat. This is also known as a Dragon Star Press, Flaming Star Press, or an Imploding Star Press. John Soulmetal uses this move as a signature move, he refers to it as "Flaming Star Press".
The wrestler stands on the top turnbuckle with the opponent lying face up on the mat. The wrestler then leaps at the fallen opponent at the same time executing a 360 horizontal turn before landing on the opponent in the splash position.
Corner slingshot splashEdit
The wrestler places the opponent so he or she is lying supine and with his or her head and feet facing opposite corners of the ring. The attacking wrestler then approaches an adjacent turnbuckle, places his or her hands on the top rope and climbs to the first or second rope. The wrestler then bounces on the ropes before throwing their legs and body outwards and releasing the ropes, thus flying outwards and downwards and connecting with the torso of the opponent. Very much known as the Vader Bomb, as it was a signature move of the popular american pro-wrestler Vader
This move is performed by leaping from the top rope, stretching out to a horizontal position, and bringing one's feet and hands inward and outward before landing.
The original, and slightly different, version of the frog splash, as innovated by Art Barr and named by 2 Cold Scorpio, sees the wrestler bring their hands between their legs and kick up with their feet before drawing both arms and legs back outwards.. This variant is also the finisher of D-Lo Brown, who calls it Lo Down. Art Barr's tag team partner, Eddie Guerrero, would go on to use the more common variation as a tribute to Barr after Barr's death in late 1994. After Guerrero died in 2005, many close friends and family such as Chavo Guerrero, Rey Mysterio and Christian Cage, started using frog splashes during matches as a tribute.
Rob Van Dam performs a turning variation named the Five-Star Frog Splash where the opponent is not placed perpendicular to the corner. Instead Van Dam turns in mid-air to land on the opponent in the splash position, regardless of which direction the opponent is lying in. He also uses a regular version, generally going halfway or more than halfway across the ring to hit his opponent.
Hornswoggle also uses a variation of this move which he renamed "Tadpole Splash" due to his lack of height. It is usually performed after a Celtic Cross from his "kayfabe" father Finlay.
Shooting star press Edit
A shooting star press is a technique invented by Jushin Liger after seeing a similar move performed in the manga Fist of the North Star. In a standard shooting star press, the wrestler jumps forward from an elevated position and presses knees to chest, executes a backflip in mid-air, and lands on the opponent in the splash/press position. In kayfabe, the move is considered a more impactful version of a splash, since the wrestler utilizes rotational speed, as if he were acircular saw.
The shooting star press is considered a very dangerous maneuver both to execute and to receive. If the wrestler is unable to completely rotate, or if he lands incorrectly on the opponent, then there can be a serious injury. For example, Billy Kidman (naming the move Seven Year Itch during his run in WCW, and later its traditional name in WWE) caused an injury to Chavo Guerrero, Jr. on WWE SmackDown! when Kidman's knee impacted Guerrero's head, forcing it hard against the mat. Guerrero lost consciousness for several minutes. Another example of the danger of this move was during a match between Brock Lesnar and Kurt Angle at WrestleMania XIX. Lesnar attempted a shooting star press but failed the move, coming off the top rope with insufficient momentum. He slammed forehead first into the mat. A serious risk of neck injury is present when this happens - Brock Lesnar was seen to be stunned for the remainder of the match.
As a result of injuries like these, promotions sometimes ban the use of the maneuver. As of 2007, WWE was thought to have officially banned the move in sanctioned matches. This has turned out not be the case as Paul London still uses a running variation and John Morrison a standing variation on occasion.
As of the WWE debut of Evan Bourne, WWE has allowed the move to be used again. WWE asked Bourne to perform it for them multiple times to prove whether or not it was a safety risk. After successfully using it each time, WWE allowed him to use the move as his finisher.
Corkscrew shooting star press Edit
Also known as a corkscrew shooting star splash, this is a move in which a wrestler, from a raised platform, jumps and executes a backflip in mid-air while turning 360° to land on the opponent in the splash position.
Springboard shooting star pressEdit
A move in which a wrestler first springboards (bounces) off the top ring rope and executes a backflip in mid-air to land on the opponent. This can see the attacking wrestler stand on the ring ropes and springboard into the ring, or stand in the ring and springboard to the outside. The outside version is sometimes referred to as a shooting star which was popularized by A.J. Styles.
Standing shooting star pressEdit
Also known as a shooting star splash, this move sees a wrestler stand next to an opponent lying on the mat placing one foot close to the opponent while drawing back both his/her other leg and the arm on that side of his/her body, extending both these limbs full while bending the leg closest to the opponent at the knee. From here the wrestler throws their extended arm and leg forward in a swinging motion while kicking off (jumping up) with the bent leg, using the momentum of the swing to execute a backflip in mid-air and land on the opponent in the splash position. John Morrison and Paul London also use this as a finisher.
Standing corkscrew shooting star pressEdit
This move sees a wrestler stand next to an opponent laying on the mat placing one foot close to the opponent while drawing back both his/her other leg and the arm on that side of his/her body, extending both these limbs full, while bending the leg closest to the opponent at the knee. From here the wrestler throws their extended arm and leg forward in a swinging motion while kicking off (jumping up) with the bent leg, using the momentum of the swing to execute a backflip in mid-air while turning 360° to land on the opponent in the splash position.
This is a pinning move where a wrestler and his opponent face each other, with the wrestler on higher ground (such as the top turnbuckle). The wrestler dives over the opponent, catches him in a waistlock from behind, and rolls into a sitting position as he hits the mat. As the wrestler rolls over, he pulls the opponent over backwards so that he lands on his back in a pinning position.
Some moves are meant neither to pin an opponent, nor weaken them or force them to submit, but are intended to set up the opponent for another attack.
The wrestler jumps onto an opponent from an elevated platform as the opponent is standing up, so that the opponent falls to his knees with his head between the legs of the wrestler. This move is generally used to set up for a powerbomb.
Springboarding involves a wrestler using any of the ring ropes to bounce upward. Most high-flying techniques can be performed after a spring board, i.e. springboard legdrop, springboard dropkick. Sometimes wrestlers will bounce off one set of ring ropes then off another to perform a move, this is referred to as a double springboard, the most notable double springboard move is a version of a springboard moonsault in which a wrestler bounces off the rope to elevate himself/herself to the top-rope from where he/she bounces off to perform the moonsault.
Another version of a springboard is the rope run/climb in which a wrestler would run up the ring ropes, effectively springboarding with one foot off each ring rope. This is often used in a version of a Tornado DDT in which a wrestler applies a headlock runs up the ropes (often at the turnbuckle), still holding onto the opponent, spins off from the elevated height to hit the DDT.
This move sees a wrestler jump forward from an elevated position followed by executing a backflip in mid-air. Many techniques can be performed after a shooting star, most well known is the shooting star press but there are other variations like the shooting star legdrop and shooting star elbow drop.
A slingshot involves a wrestler, who is standing on the ring apron, pulling on the top rope and using its momentum to hurl themselves over the ropes and into the ring. Many high-flying techniques can be performed after a slingshot.
The term ropewalk is used to refer to any move which first sees the attacking wrestler walks along the top rope before performing a move. One of the most well known examples in American wrestling is Old School, inovated by Don Jardine and performed famously by his pupil The Undertaker. Jinsei Shinzaki first did the ropewalk in Japan, by walking nearly around all four sides of the ring, while praying, thus calling it the Praying Ropewalk.
The term standing is used to refer to any move which is being performed at the same level as the opponent, usually on the ring mat. This is rather than most aerial moves which are performed from a raised platform like the top turnbuckle.
The term suicide or suicida is placed before any move that goes from the ring, the ring apron, or the turnbuckles to the outside of the ring. The most obvious is a suicide dive also known as a topé suicida, which is simply a jump through or over ring ropes to the outside.
When a front flip is performed after leaping through the ropes, or by jumping over the top rope and performing a front flip, to land on the opponent back first, the move is known as a suicide senton or Topé con Hilo. Although it would appear as if Hilo is the Mexican name for the move, in Mexico the move is referred to as a Topé con Giro. Giro (Spanish for spin) was mistranslated as Hilo in Japan and the name Hilo (which in Spanish actually means thread) has remained outside of Mexico.
The term super (the terms diving, avalanche, and top-rope are also used) is placed before any move which is being performed off the top- or second rope. For example, if a Samoan drop was performed from the top turnbuckle it would be called a "Super Samoan Drop". Many move variations performed off the top rope use the term "Avalanche" instead of "super", especially in Japan.
Suplexes performed from the top or second rope are referred to as superplexes.
The term corkscrew implies adding a spiral (resembling) a corkscrew to a maneuver. The term could also refer to the motion when a backflip (Moonsault) is twisted around so that the attacker faces the inside of the ring instead of the outside when the maneuver ends.
An accepted term in American wrestling for a slingshot crossbody where the wrestler goes from the inside of the ring over the top ring rope to the outside. In lucha libre, this is called a Pescado when the top ring rope is used for a slingshot, though the term plancha has been popularly accepted in American wrestling for the same maneuver. In America, a move from the top turnbuckle to a standing opponent on the outside where the chests impact each other is also commonly referred to as a plancha. Plancha is also used in America to refer to any attack from the ring to the outside in which the wrestler impacts their chest against the opponents chest. For example, a shooting star press to the outside onto a standing opponent is referred to as a shooting star plancha.
The term somersault is used to describe a simple front-flip used to modify aerial techniques. Many techniques can be made to accompany a somersault, including sentons, leg drops, and splashes. A corkscrew can also be added to the somersault to further modify moves.
A Topé, like the Plancha, is a move most often performed by jumping from the inside of the ring and out, but instead of going over the top rope, the Topé is performed by diving through the ropes to strike the opponent with the head. In Mexico, the Topé also refers to any leaping move where the head strikes the opponent, be it by jumping off the middle rope or a handspring into a headbutt.
- Wrestling holds
- Wrestling throws
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- Wrestling double-team maneuvers
- List of wrestling terms