Stunner (professional wrestling)

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Alex Vega performing a stunner on Josh Rogen.

A stunner is a common term in professional wrestling referring to the seated three-quarter facelock jawbreaker maneuver. It was innovated by Mikey Whipwreck who called it the Whipper-Snapper.[1] It was then popularized by Stone Cold Steve Austin and named for his Stone Cold Stunner finisher. It involves an attacking wrestler applying a three-quarter facelock (reaching back and grabbing the head of an opponent, thus pulling the opponent's jaw above the wrestler's shoulder) before falling to a seated position and forcing the opponent's jaw (but predominantly the opponent's neck) to drop down on the shoulder of the attacking wrestler. The free hand is sometimes used to hold the top of the head.

Types[edit]

180° stunner[edit]

In this variation, the wrestler first applies a front facelock, before pivoting 180 degrees to bring themselves into the three-quarter facelock position and dropping down to a sitting position, forcing the opponent's jaw to drop down on the shoulder of the attacking wrestler. This variant is also called the 'Twist of Fate', along with the better known cutter variation.

Elevated stunner[edit]

With an opponent placed on an elevated surface, a wrestler applies a three-quarter facelock and then draws the opponent away, leaving only the opponent's feet over the elevated surface. The wrestler then falls to a seated position so that the opponent is forced to dive forward across the shoulder of the attacking wrestler. This is believed to have more impact due to the angle of which the opponent is dropped. The elevated stunner can also be performed as a double-team move.

Fireman's carry stunner[edit]

It is also known as the Total Knock Out (TKO) is an elevated stunner variation in which the opponent is first raised over the shoulders of a wrestler in the fireman's carry position. From here, the attacking wrestler throws the legs of the opponent out backwards and drops down to the mat while taking hold of the opponent's head to force them to fall into the stunner. The name originally referred to the cutter variation. The name has since been used to refer to both types.

Piggyback stunner[edit]

In this elevated stunner variation, the opponent is first raised up in a piggy-back position. From here, the attacking wrestler applies a three-quarter facelock and drops down to a seated position while still holding the opponent's head to force them to fall into the stunner. This version is also known as a backpack stunner, or the Over the Shoulder Boulder Holder.[1]

Forward somersault stunner[edit]

A standing variation of the Diamond Dust in which the attacking wrestler first holds an opponent in an inverted facelock before then jumping forwards to somersault over the opponent, landing in a seated position with the opponent's head driven into the wrestler's shoulder.

Jumping stunner[edit]

Similar in execution to a jumping cutter, this version sees an attacking wrestler crouch in front of the opponent, then jump up and grab the opponent in a three-quarter facelock and drop down into a stunner.

Osaka Stunner[edit]

This variation sees the wrestler apply an inverted facelock on an opponent, before hooking their tights and lifting them straight up in the air so that they are upside down. The wrestler then lets the opponent's body fall backwards over their shoulder and when the opponent's feet lands on the mat the wrestler drops to a seated position to force the opponent's jaw to drop down on the shoulder of the attacking wrestler.

Vertical suplex stunner[edit]

This elevated stunner first sees the attacking wrestler apply a front facelock, hook the opponent's near arm over their shoulder and lift them as for a standard vertical suplex. However, in mid-move, the attacking wrestler forces the opponent to turn 180 degrees and then apply the three-quarter facelock, forcing the opponent to drop down with their jaw across the attacking wrestler's shoulder as they fall to a seated position to hit the stunner. A cutter version is also possible.

Rolling stunner[edit]

This version sees an attacking wrestler first place an opponent (who is in front of them) in an inverted facelock before rolling themselves under the opponent, turning both wrestlers over so that the opponent can be dropped into the stunner.

Split-legged stunner[edit]

In this variation, the wrestler grabs the opponent in a three-quarter facelock and drops down in a gymnastics-style split. This version was popularized by Santino Marella.

Wheelbarrow Stunner[edit]

This is a variation of Wheelbarrow Facebuster. The attacking wrestler grab a standing opponent around the waist from behind and lift them into a backdrop position. But the attacker's hand will facelock onto the head, and the opponent will be stunned and impacts on the attacker's shoulder. This version was performed by Candice LeRae (known as Casadora Stunner), and debuted in WWE by Naomi on November 1, 2013.[2]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]