Backbreaker

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This article is about the wrestling move. For the video game, see Backbreaker (video game). For the album by The Showdown, see Back Breaker.
Jay Lethal performs a standard backbreaker.

A backbreaker refers to professional wrestling moves which see a wrestler dropping an opponent so that the opponent's back impacts or is bent backwards against a part of the wrestler's body, usually the knee.[1] The standard version of the move sees the wrestling scoop their opponent horizontally before dropping to one knee, slamming the opponent's back on their other knee.

Variations[edit]

Argentine backbreaker rack[edit]

Sarita performing a "La Reienera" on Brooke Tessmacher.

This backbreaker submission, better known as a Torture Rack and simply known as a backbreaker rack, sees the attacking wrestler place his/her opponent face-up across the wrestler's own shoulders before hooking the head with one hand and a leg with the other to then pull down on both ends to flex the opponent's back.

The Argentine backbreaker drop variation of this submission move sees the attacking wrestler first hold an opponent up for the Argentine backbreaker rack before dropping to the mat in a sitting or kneeling position, thus flexing the opponent's back with the impact of the drop. Another version sees the wrestler hold their opponent in the Argentine backbreaker rack before dropping into a sitting or kneeling position while simultaneously throwing the opponent off their shoulders, causing the opponent to roll in midair and fall to the mat in a facing down.

A variation of the Argentine backbreaker rack, known as La Reienera, sees the opponent held across the wrestler's back rather than his shoulders/neck. Often set up by a tilt-a-whirl, the opponent ends up suspended with one arm hooked behind him and both legs hooked by the wrestler's other arm.

Backbreaker drop[edit]

A backbreaker move in which the wrestler lifts an opponent up into an overhead gutwrench backbreaker rack, so the opponent's back is resting on the wrestler's shoulder, with the opponent's head pointing in the direction that the wrestler is facing. The attacking wrestler then drops to a kneeling or sitting position while maintaining the hold, thus jarring the back of the opponent by driving the opponent's spine into the attacking wrestler's shoulder.

Belly-to-back backbreaker[edit]

The wrestler stands behind his opponent and puts his head under the arm of the opponent, as for a belly-to-back suplex, but raises a knee, and brings the opponent back down, so that the opponent's back collides with the knee of the wrestler.

Vanessa Kraven holds Xandra Bale in the air with a Canadian backbreaker rack.

Canadian backbreaker rack[edit]

Also known technically as the overhead gutwrench backbreaker rack, this sees an attacking wrestler first lifts an opponent up so the opponent's back is resting on the wrestler's shoulder, with the opponent's head pointing in the direction that the wrestler is facing. While being held face up across the wrestler's shoulder, the wrestler then links his/her arms around the opponent's torso and presses down, squeezing the opponent's spine against the wrestler's shoulder.

Catapult backbreaker[edit]

The Catapult throw typically starts with an opponent on his/her back, and the attacking wrestler standing and facing him/her. The wrestler hooks each of the opponent's legs in one of his/her arms then falls backwards to slingshot the opponent into a turnbuckles, ladders, ropes etc. At this point the attacking wrestler will remain on the ground and raise his knees while still holding the opponent's legs. The rebounding opponent will instantly trip falling backwards onto the raised knees of the wrestler. Another method is that the wrestler performs a catapult and raises the knees prematurely so that the wrestler is draped over the knees without an actual launch.

Chokeslam backbreaker[edit]

The wrestler performing the move stands in front of and slightly to the left of the opponent receiving it. The wrestler then reaches out and grabs the opponent's throat and trunks, and lifts him or her in the air as though the wrestler is about to deliver a chokeslam. However, as the wrestler brings the opponent back down to the mat the wrestler kneels, slamming the other wrestler's back onto his extended knee. This move is popularly known as a chokebreaker, which is a portmanteau of this move's technical name.

Cobra clutch backbreaker[edit]

This move involves an attacking wrestler first putting an opponent in a cobra clutch hold before then lifting the opponent up while maintaining the hold (turning them in mid-air so they are horizontal) and bringing them down while the wrestler drops to a knee so that the opponent impacts back-first on the knee of the attacking wrestler. All while the wrestler continues to maintain the hold. The attacking wrestler can maintain the hold after impact for a cobra clutch submission attempt.

Double knee backbreaker[edit]

Jetta using her strangehold double knee backbreaker (left) and transitioning it into a mounted strangehold (right).

Also known as a lung blower, backstabber or backcracker, this technique involves an attacking wrestler going behind an opponent and putting both of their hands round an opponent's head for a rear chin lock or on both of the opponent's shoulders while jumping up to place both his/her knees against the opponent's back; both wrestlers then fall backward to the ground, forcing the wrestler's knees to push up into the back of the opponent.[2]

Double underhook backbreaker[edit]

An attacking wrestler stands facing a bent over opponent and hooks each of the opponent's arms behind the opponent's back, he then lifts the opponent as if executing a Tiger Bomb. However, as the attacker drops the opponent back down, he raises a knee and brings the opponent back down horizontally so their back collides with the knee of the attacking wrestler.

Full nelson backbreaker[edit]

The attacking wrestler stands behind the opponent and locks in a full nelson, before lifting the opponent, releasing one arm from the hold, and bringing the opponent down on one of their knees.

Half nelson backbreaker[edit]

The attacking wrestler stands behind the opponent and locks in a half nelson before then lifting the opponent, as if to perform a half nelson slam, but as the wrestler brings the opponent down to the mat he/she drops to one knee slamming the opponent's back across the extended knee.

Hair-pull backbreaker[edit]

This move is performed behind the opponent, the wrestler grabs his/her opponent by the hair and pulls them back, so the opponent's back lands on the wrestler's knee. Another variation of this move is the wrestler faces the opponent, grabs them by the hair and twists round so the wrestler and opponent are back to back, and then the wrestler pulls the opponent's hair down, driving their back into the wrestler's knee.

Inverted facelock backbreaker[edit]

The attacking wrestler stands behind his opponent, bends him backwards and applies an inverted facelock. The wrestler then drops down to a single knee with the extended knee impacting with the upper back of the opponent.

Inverted headlock backbreaker[edit]

The attacking wrestler stands behind the opponent and places one arm around the opponent's neck, the attacker then turns 180° so they are back to back. The attacker then bends forward pulling the opponent across his own back, before dropping down to his knees and jarring the back of the opponent.

Inverted three-quarter facelock backbreaker[edit]

Can be also known as an inverted three-quarter facelock neckbreaker or more commonly known as neckbreaker (slam) backbreaker. The wrestler stands beside the opponent facing his either sides, catches the opponent's neck from behind with both his hands (as seen primarily before falling into a neckbreaker slam), and then forces the opponent's neck down and simultaneously extending a knee so he lands his opponent's back into the knee.

Mat backbreaker[edit]

The attacking wrestler stands behind an opponent, grabbing them by their head or hair to seemingly perform a standard mat slam. However, as the wrestler pulls the opponent backwards down to the mat, the wrestler kneels down, driving the opponent's back into the wrestler's exposed knee. If the wrestler uses the opponent's hair to pull them back onto the wrestler's exposed knee it is known as a hair pull backbreaker.

Pendulum backbreaker[edit]

This basic backbreaker involves a wrestler standing side-to-side and slightly behind, with the opponent facing in the same direction, then reaching around the opponent's torso with one arm across the opponent's chest and under both arms and places the other arm under the opponent's legs. The wrestler then lifts the opponent up, bringing his/her legs off the ground, and dropping him/her back-first against the wrestler's knee. The pendulum backbreaker can also be done by spinning around and then dropping the opponent onto the knee.

Backbreaker submission[edit]

This basic backbreaker submission involves the wrestler to lay his opponent's back across one of his knees, then while placing one hand on his opponent's chin and the other on their knee the wrestler would push down to bend the opponent around his/her knee. This move is usually performed at the end of a pendulum backbreaker, a move which sees a wrestler drop an opponent down on the wrestler's knee, thus weakening the back before the hold is applied, as well as setting the opponent in a proper position.

Russian legsweep backbreaker[edit]

This backbreaker variation sees the wrestler standing beside the opponent and slightly behind him. Then, he wraps his arm around the opponent's back-neck, and then from the point he catches the opponent's neck, he forces the opponent down in a Russian legsweep style and simultaneously extends a knee. The maneuver results in the opponent's neck or back to be slammed against the wrestler's knee.

Side slam backbreaker[edit]

The wrestler first stands side-to-side and slightly behind with the opponent, facing in the opposite direction before next reaching around the opponent's torso with one arm across the opponent's chest and under both arms, lifting him or her in the air as though the wrestler is about to deliver a side slam. However, as the wrestler brings the opponent back down to the mat the attacking wrestler kneels, slamming the opponent's back across his/her extended knee.

A swinging side slam variation sees the attacking wrestler first scoop the opponent horizontally across their chest before swinging them to their side and dropping the opponent back first on their knee. A spinning side slam variation sees the attacking wrestler catch an oncoming opponent and spin them around 180° before dropping them back first onto their knee.

Full nelson backbreaker[edit]

The attacking wrestler stands behind the opponent and locks him/her in a full nelson before then lifting the opponent, as if to perform a full nelson slam, but as the wrestler drops down the opponent, he exposes a knee, slamming the opponent back-first against the exposed knee.

Half nelson backbreaker[edit]

The attacking wrestler stands behind the opponent and locks in a half nelson before then lifting the opponent, as if to perform a half nelson slam, but as the wrestler brings the opponent down to the mat he/she drops to one knee slamming the opponent's back across the extended knee.

STO backbreaker[edit]

The attacking wrestler stands facing the opponent, then puts one of their arms across the opponents chest holding their shoulder, the attacking wrestler then sweeps the legs of the opponent in the fashion of an STO, but brings their knee forward so the opponent falls back first on to it. There is also an arm trap version that sees an attacking wrestler take hold of an arm of an opponent and then move to a slightly front to back position, so that the opponent's arm hooks across and round the opponent's own head. At this point, the attacking wrestler kneels forward to the ground, forcing the opponent's own arm to drag them to the attacker's exposed knee.

Joey Kings does a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker on Justin Sane.

Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker[edit]

The attacking wrestler stands facing the opponent, who is often charging at the attacker, before bending the opponent down so they are bent in front of the attacking wrestler as he/she stands over them then the wrestler reaches around the opponent's body and lifts them up, spinning the opponent in front of the wrestler's body. As the wrestler brings the opponent back down to the mat the wrestler kneels, slamming the opponent's back across the extended knee. In Lucha Libre, it is known as the Quebradora Con Giro.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ellison, Lillian (2003). The Fabulous Moolah: First Goddess of the Squared Circle. ReaganBooks. p. 128. ISBN 978-0-06-001258-8. But rather than just a run-of-the-mill body slam, I'd throw that girl down while I lowered myself and stuck out one knee. Her back would land across my knee: a backbreaker. 
  2. ^ "the 50 coolest maneuvers of all time". WWE. 2014-02-21. Retrieved 2014-05-04.