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A facebuster, also known as a faceplant, is generally a takedown move in professional wrestling in which an attacking wrestler forces his/her opponent down to the mat face-first without involving a headlock or facelock. A standard facebuster, also known as a jumping facebuster, involves the wrestler grabbing hold of the opponent's head / hair and dropping down to their knees, forcing the opponent's face into the mat.


Argentine facebuster[edit]

The attacking wrestler places an opponent in an Argentine backbreaker rack, where the opponent is held face-up across both the shoulders of the wrestler, from here the wrestler falls sideways (towards the side where the opponent's head is held) while still holding the opponent's head with one arm and flipping the opponent's legs over with the other, driving them down to the mat face-first.

Belly-to-back inverted mat slam[edit]

From a position in which the opponent is bent forward against the wrestler's midsection, the wrestler grabs around his or her opponent's midsection and lifts so that the opponent is held upside down, facing in the same direction as the wrestler. The wrestler then hooks both arms of the opponent using his or her legs, and then falls forward planting the opponent's body into the mat face-first. The move often sees the wrestler keep his/her legs hooked under the arms of the opponent after hitting the move, using the underhooking technique to turn the opponent on to their back into a Rana style pinning position. This move was innovated by Col.DeBeers and were used by Diamond Dallas Page during his tenure in WCW and was called the Diamond Clash and Michelle McCool and was called the Faith Breaker. A.J. Styles currently uses this as his finishing maneuver calling it the Styles Clash. Current WWE superstar Antonio Cesaro uses a cradle variation and it is perhaps better known as Neutralizer.

Styles preparing to perform the Styles Clash on Matt Hardy.
Styles performing the Styles Clash.

Belly-to-back facebuster[edit]

Like a belly-to-back suplex, the attacking wrestler wraps their arms around the opponent in a waistlock and lifts the opponent in the air, and falls forward into a facebuster.

Diving facebuster[edit]

This variation sees the wrestler grab a hold over the opponent's head/hair, then climb to the second rope or and finally jump from there dropping to their knees or in a sitout position and planting the opponent face first to the mat. In another variation the wrestler could just jump from the turnbuckle grabbing the opponent's head/hair in the air and planting them to the mat.

Double underhook facebuster[edit]

Triple H about to perform a Pedigree on John Cena

The wrestler bends their opponent forward, placing the opponent's head between the wrestler's legs and then applies a double underhook on the opponent. The wrestler then jumps and performs a kneeling or sitout facebuster. It is perhaps better known as a Pedigree, the name Triple H gave to the move as his finisher, while a sitout version, known as In Yo' Face, is the name Velvet Sky gave to her finisher. Christopher Daniels uses a spinning sitout version of the move as his finisher, known as the Angel's Wings.

Inverted double underhook facebuster[edit]

Christian setting up his Killswitch on the Miz.

The wrestler stands behind and facing the same way as their opponent and hooks both their arms. The wrestler then places their head next to the opponent's back and turns 180 degrees while twisting one of the opponent's arms over both of their heads. With the wrestler now in front of the opponent and still hooking the opponent's arms, the wrestler drops on to their back, driving the opponent down face-first into the mat. Christian uses this move as a finisher in WWE; it is perhaps better known as the Killswitch, but he has called it the Impaler and the Unprettier in years past.[1]

Leg-hook facebuster[edit]

This uncommon facebuster variation sees the wrestler bend the opponent forward and place him in between his or her legs, and hook his or her arms on either of the opponents legs. The attacking wrestler then hops or falls into either a kneeling or sitting facebuster.

Lifting double underhook facebuster[edit]

This facebuster is performed when a wrestler bends an opponent forward, placing the opponent's head between the wrestler's legs (a standing head scissors), and hooks each of the opponent's arms behind his/her back. The wrestler then pulls back on the opponent's arms lifting him/her up so that the opponent is held upside down facing in the same direction as the wrestler, as if the performer was going for a double underhook piledriver, the wrestler then falls forward planting the opponent's body into the mat face-first. A sitout variation of this move exists.

Electric chair facebuster[edit]

The wrestler approaches the opponent from behind, and lifts him on his shoulders into a seated position, the electric chair. The wrestler then lifts the opponent up by his thighs and pushes him forward and down, slamming him down to the mat chest first. The wrestler may also sit down while slamming the opponent.

Fireman's carry facebuster[edit]

Brock Lesnar performing F-5 on John Cena.

This facebuster variation sees a wrestler lift an opponent up in a fireman's carry across his shoulders then throw the opponent's legs out in front of him to spin them out while he simultaneously falls backwards or forwards, causing the opponent to land on his face and upper body. This move was popularized by Brock Lesnar, who uses the move as a finisher and named it the F-5.[2] In his earlier career, Lesnar would occasionally use the move to propel an opponent's leg into the ringpost and cause more damage.

Forward Russian legsweep[edit]

Better known as the Stroke, this move is known primarily for being Jeff Jarrett's finishing move. The wrestler grabs the opponent by the arm and goes behind him while holding the arm and hooking the opponent's leg. The wrestler then bends the opponent's back and slams their face to the mat.

Full nelson facebuster[edit]

The wrestler approaches the opponent from behind and puts him in a full nelson. The wrestler then applies a leg-hook, slamming their face to the mat. The Miz uses a variation of this where he trips the opponent by the leg before delivering the move called the Skull Crushing Finale; the regular version was used by Chris Jericho in his early years, which he called the Breakdown.

Gory bomb[edit]

This back-to-back release facebuster is a variation of the Gory special where a wrestler would release the arms of the opponent to take hold of the opponent's legs while dropping to a seated position, forcing the opponent to fall forward and impact the mat face-first. This move was used as a finisher by Chavo Guerrero during his run in WWE. The move is named after the innovator of the original Gory special, Gory Guerrero.

Inverted double leg slam[edit]

Also known as an inverted Alabama Slam, this move usually starts with the opponent sitting on an elevated position such as the top turnbuckle, with the attacking wrestler, standing in front of him/her facing the same direction, positioning the opponent's legs over his/her shoulders. Then the attacking wrestler detaches from the turnbuckle, so that the opponent is held upside down in a back-to-back position. From this position the attacking wrestler bends over, flipping the opponent over his/her head, slamming him/her down to the mat face-first. The attacking wrestler may also sit down while slamming the opponent.

Inverted swinging facebuster[edit]

This version of a facebuster sees the wrestler place an opponent in an inverted facelock while holding the facelock, twisting him or her into the a facebuster and landing with their legs spread apart, driving the opponent's face into the mat.

Kneeling facebuster[edit]

The wrestler grabs the opponent by the head or hair and jumps in the air, landing in a kneeling position driving the opponent into the mat face-first. A slight variation of the kneeling facebuster sees a wrestler fall into the kneeling position while having the opponent's head between their legs and pushing the opponent down with their hands.

Over the shoulder facebuster[edit]

Also known as a powerslam facebuster, this variation sees the wrestler lifting the opponent onto their shoulders as in a front powerslam. Then as the opponent is on the shoulder, the wrestler jumps and slams the opponent face-first to the mat. A cutter variation also exists.

Push-up facebuster[edit]

A variation where a wrestler puts the head of his opponent between his legs as he performs a number of push-ups, causing the opponent's face to be slammed into the canvas a number of times. Often instead of straight push ups, the attacking wrestler just bounces his legs up and down to create the effect.

Reverse chokeslam facebuster[edit]

The attacking wrestler grabs hold of an opponent's neck with both hands, one on the front, and one on the back. The arm that has the hand on the back of the neck may hook the opponent's arm. The wrestler then lifts the opponent up, releases the hand holding the front of the opponent's neck, and pushes forward and slams the opponent to the mat face-first with the other hand.[3][4]

Reverse STO[edit]

Mr. Anderson performing Mic Check on Sting.

Well known as the Complete Shot, this is a move in which a wrestler stands side-to-side and slightly behind with the opponent, facing in the opposite direction, and reaches around the opponent's torso with one arm across the opponent's chest with his/her hand holding on to his/her other hand which is behind the opponent's head. The wrestler then falls backward, driving the opponent into the mat face-first. The wrestler can also cross his/her leg between the opponent's leg before hitting the reverse STO, with this slight variation being known as a leg hook reverse STO. A rope assisted variation is also possible.

Armlock legsweep reverse STO[edit]

This move sees the wrestler stand side to side with the opponent, tucking his arm behind the opponents head at a 90 degree angle and putting his near leg in front of the opponents closest leg. The wrestler then pushes the opponent forwards and quickly pulls him back. The wrestler lands on his back whilst the opponent falls face first. Stardust uses this move, calling it Dark Matter.

Lifting reverse STO[edit]

A slight variation of the reverse STO, this move sees a wrestler perform exactly the same set-up but instead of falling backward immediately, they lift the opponent before dropping them face-first into the mat, making it similar to a flapjack. Baron Corbin's finisher is a variant of this move.

Swinging reverse STO[edit]

A variation of the reverse STO, this move sees a wrestler bend their opponent backward rather than stand side-to-side before falling into a swinging motion to drive the opponent face-first into the mat. This is currently used, with theatrics, as the finisher of Bray Wyatt under the name of "Sister Abigail."

Leaping reverse STO[edit]

In this move, the wrestler jumps up towards the side of an opponent and grabs his face and falls into the mat first.

Shoulder facebuster[edit]

Curtis Axel performs an Axehole on Cody Rhodes.

Also known as a hangman's facebuster, this facebuster is performed when an attacking wrestler, who is standing in a back-to-back position with an opponent, reaches back to pull the opponent's head over his/her shoulder before (while keeping a hold of the opponent's head) falling forwards to twist the opponent's head over so they slam face first into the mat.[5] This move is the finisher of Curtis Axel, which he calls the Axehole.

Powerbomb facebuster[edit]

This variation of the facebuster sees the wrestler seating his opponent over his own shoulders, as in a powerbomb. From this point, the wrestler pushes the opponent off his shoulders, and grabs the opponent's head with both hands, and drops seated or kneeled to hit a sitout or kneeling facebuster.

Sitout facebuster[edit]

Also known as a sitdown facebuster. This is the most common variation of the standard facebuster in which the attacker grabs hold of the opponent by his/her head then jumps in the air, lifting the opponent and landing with their legs spread apart, driving the opponent's face into the mat. Another variation of this move is to grab the opponent by the hair, perform the same jump and landing but lift only the opponent's head, giving a harder effect when the opponent's face is driven into the mat.

Spinning facebuster[edit]

Also known as spinning kneel-out facebuster or tornado facebuster, this variation sees the opponent grabbing his/her head or hair and spinning in the air and then kneel's out on the mat before the opponent goes in face first into the mat.

Vertical suplex facebuster[edit]

See inverted suplex slam

Wheelbarrow facebuster[edit]

This facebuster sees the attacking wrestler grab a standing opponent around the waist from behind and lift them into a backdrop position before then falling to a sitting position, swinging the opponent down so that their face is driven into the ground. A variant, sees the wrestler lift the opponents legs around their waist before placing both hands around the opponents waist and lifting them into a wheelbarrow position. The wrestler then elevates their opponent into the air before performing a seated drop, driving their opponents face into the canvas.

Belly-to-back wheelbarrow facebuster[edit]

A variation to the wheelbarrow facebuster which sees the attacking wrestler stand at the side of an opponent and begin to lift them as for a belly-to-back suplex. Instead of falling backwards to drop the opponent back-first, the wrestler stops after lifting the opponent, grabs a hold of his/her legs while still holding the opponent up, and slams him/her face-first on to the mat.

Chickenwing facebuster[edit]

Beth Phoenix performing Glam Slam on Eve Torres.

The wrestler hooks both an opponent's arms in an elevated double chickenwing, lifts them up into the air from behind, then drops the opponent down onto the mat face first. There is also a sitout variation, where a wrestler hooks their opponent's legs and drops to a seated position, while planting the opponent's face into the canvas between the wrestler's legs.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "the 50 coolest maneuvers of all time". WWE. 2014-02-21. Retrieved 2014-05-04. 
  2. ^ "the 50 coolest maneuvers of all time". WWE. 2014-02-21. Retrieved 2014-05-04. 
  3. ^ Caldwell, James. "Caldwell's WWE No Way Out report 2/17: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of PPV". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 24 November 2011. 
  4. ^ Martin, Adam. "Genesis PPV Results - 1/17/10". Wrestleview. Retrieved 24 November 2011. 
  5. ^ Bishop, Matt (November 25, 2010). "Superstars: Henry looks for revenge of Usos". SLAM! Sports. Retrieved 2010-11-26.