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A brainbuster is a professional wrestling throw in which a wrestler puts the opponent in a front facelock, hooks their pants or thigh, and lifts them up as if they were executing a vertical suplex. The wrestler then falls onto their back so that the opponent lands on their head while remaining vertical. This move is a version of the DDT. In Japanese puroresu, the term "brainbuster" refers to a regular vertical suplex, while the move elsewhere known as a brainbuster is referred to as a "vertical drop brainbuster". Dick Murdoch is credited with the move's innovation, although it was taught to him by Killer Karl Kox.
- 1 Variants
- 1.1 Cradle brainbuster
- 1.2 Double underhook brainbuster
- 1.3 Fisherman buster
- 1.4 Inverted brainbuster
- 1.5 Jumping brainbuster
- 1.6 Delayed brainbuster
- 1.7 Northern Lights buster
- 1.8 Scoop brainbuster
- 1.9 Single underhook brainbuster
- 1.10 Twisting brainbuster
- 2 See also
- 3 References
Also known as a belly-to-belly brainbuster, the wrestler stands facing a standing opponent and then wraps both arms around the opponent's torso, lifting them off the ground. The wrestler then shifts their grip so they are holding the opponent by their legs, gripping the opponent behind the knee. The wrestler then removes one arm from the opponent’s leg and quickly applies a front facelock with that arm, lifts the opponent as if they were using a vertical suplex and lands the opponent on the back of their head.
Double underhook brainbuster
Also known as the Michinoku Driver (not to be confused with another move with a similar name), this move sees a wrestler first face an opponent and apply a double underhook before then lifting the opponent upside down and falling backwards down to the mat onto his back, driving the opponent head first down to the mat. Innovated by the Great Sasuke.
A fisherman buster is a variation of the brainbuster in which the wrestler will hook the opponent's leg to aid in lifting them off the ground. With the opponent elevated, the wrestler will perform a fisherman suplex, driving the head of the opponent into the ground.
Cross-legged fisherman buster
This variation in a wrestler puts his/her opponent in a front facelock and uses his/her free arm to go under the opponent's near leg and hook the far one. After lifting him/her off the ground, the wrestler then jumps up and falls down on his/her back, slamming his/her opponent down to the mat head first.
Small package driver
Wrist-clutch fisherman buster
This variation involves grabbing and pulling by the opponent's wrist then lifting them up into the air before falling to their back, slamming the opponent to the ground on the back of their head/neck. This variation was popularized and used as a finisher by Jun Akiyama.
The wrestler begins behind and facing a standing opponent. The wrestler then pulls the head of the opponent back and applies an inverted facelock to the opponent with one arm. The wrestler then places his/her other arm under the lower back of the opponent, then uses that arm to elevate the opponent until they are vertical. The wrestler then jumps up and falls down on his/her back, driving the head of the opponent to the mat.
Also known as a spike brainbuster. Instead of just falling down onto his/her own back, the attacking wrestler jumps up and uses his momentum to drive the opponent down onto the top of their head.
Also known as the Ghost Buster, this is a variation of the standard brainbuster in which the executing wrestler holds their opponent in a vertical suplex position for up to 10 seconds before completing the maneuver. It was used most notably by Koko B. Ware early in his WWF career.
Northern Lights buster
A Northern Lights buster is a variation of the brainbuster in which the wrestler will lift the opponent as if they were using a Northern Lights suplex and lands the opponent on the back of their head.
Also known as the Northern Lights Bomb in Japan and the Snow Plow. This move sees the wrestler put the opponent in a front facelock, scoop one the opponents thighs with his free hand, lift him or her upside down, and then drop to his side or back, driving the opponent to the mat on his neck and shoulders, or on the top of his head.
Single underhook brainbuster
This variation is performed when a wrestler faces his/her opponent and and hooks one of their arms before lifting the opponent upside down, then falling backwards to the mat onto their back, driving the opponent down on their head. This version is used by Finn Balor, who calls it 1916.
Also known as a revolution brainbuster, this brainbuster is performed when the wrestler delivering the maneuver twists his body while holding the opponent in the upwards position, usually dropping their opponent during the rotation.
- バーティカルスープレックス. Pro Wrestling Info Net (in Japanese). Retrieved September 18, 2013.
- "Fantasy Warefare: The Fabulous Moolah vs. Jazz". 9 (10). Raw Magazine. October 2003. Copy available at 
- "ROH 遠征初日、Kushidaが衝撃の“新技”でジェイ・リーサルを撃破！メインでケニー＆ヤングバックスが大暴れ！【5.7トロント大会結果】". New Japan Pro-Wrestling (in Japanese). May 11, 2017. Retrieved May 22, 2017.