Professional wrestling throws
Professional wrestling throws are the application of techniques that involve lifting the opponent up and throwing or slamming them down, which makes up most of the action of professional wrestling. They are sometimes also called "power" maneuvers, as they are meant to emphasize a wrestler's strength. Many of these moves are used as finishers by many wrestlers. Many maneuvers are known by several different names. Professional wrestlers frequently give their "finisher" (signature moves that usually result in a win) new names that reflect their gimmick. Moves are listed under general categories whenever possible.
- 1 Armbreaker
- 2 Arm drag
- 3 Arm wringer
- 4 Atomic drop
- 5 Backbreaker
- 6 Back body drop
- 7 Biel throw
- 8 Brainbuster
- 9 Bulldog
- 10 Catapult
- 11 Chokeslam
- 12 Cobra clutch slam
- 13 DDT
- 14 Driver
- 15 Electric chair drop
- 16 Facebreaker
- 17 Facebuster
- 18 Fallaway slam
- 19 Fireman's carry throws
- 20 Flapjack
- 21 Full nelson
- 22 Giant swing
- 23 Guillotine drop
- 24 Gorilla press
- 25 Gutbuster
- 26 Headlock takedown
- 27 Headscissors takedown
- 28 Hip toss
- 29 Iconoclasm
- 30 Irish whip
- 31 Jawbreaker
- 32 Mat slam
- 33 Monkey flip
- 34 Muscle buster
- 35 Neckbreaker
- 36 Piledriver
- 37 Powerbomb
- 38 Powerslam
- 39 Pumphandle
- 40 Scoop
- 41 Shin breaker
- 42 Shoulderbreaker
- 43 Snake Eyes
- 44 Snapmare
- 45 Spinebuster
- 46 Spinning crucifix toss
- 47 Suplex
- 48 Trips and sweeps
- 49 Set up move
- 50 See also
- 51 References
- 52 External links
An armbreaker is any move in which the wrestler slams the opponent's arm against a part of the wrestler's body, usually a knee or shoulder.
The wrestler stands beside his opponent to his either side, crosses his arm against the opponent's opposite hand in front of it (as the wrestler stands beside the opponent, and uses for example his right arm, he would cross it against the opponent's left arm, and vice versa). From this point, the wrestler places his leg in front of the opponent's opposite leg, and falls backwards, causing the opponent's arm to be slammed into the mat.
Also called a single arm DDT, this variation of the armbreaker involves the attacking wrestler grabbing the opponent's left or right arm, holding it across their chest and then falling backwards, dropping the opponent face first as well as damaging the opponent's arm and shoulder.
A wrestler dives from the ropes and lands on the opponent's arm.
Double knee armbreaker
The wrestler grabs one of the opponent's arms, jumps and connects both his knees against the opponent's stretched arm. As the wrestler falls onto his back he forces the opponent's arm down into both knees, thus damaging it.
A move in which the wrestler uses his or her opponent's momentum to the opponent's disadvantage. The wrestler hooks the opponent's arm and flips him or her over on to the mat. The wrestler may roll on to his or her side to give the move extra momentum.
Japanese arm drag
This move is performed when an opponent runs towards the wrestler facing him or her. When the opponent is in range, the wrestler hooks the opponent's near arm with both hands and falls backwards forcing the wrestler's own momentum to cause him or her to flip forwards over the head of the wrestler and on to his or her back. Despite its name, it actually comes from Mexican lucha libre.
Over the shoulder arm drag
Springboard arm drag
An arm drag performed where the attacking wrestler grabs an opponent's arm, runs up the corner ring ropes and springboards, usually off the top rope, over the opponent. This drags the opponent by his or her arm to flip over on to the mat or on to the rope.
Tilt-a-whirl arm drag
An arm drag which sees the wrestler being spun in front of the opponent's body in a tilt-a-whirl, and then ending it up with an arm drag.
Wheelbarrow arm drag
This arm drag sees the wrestler being held in a wheelbarrow hold by the opponent, and then going for an over the shoulder arm drag as he frees his legs off the opponent's waist.
An arm wringer or spinning wristlock is a move in which the wrestler grabs the opponent's arm by the wrist/arm and twists it over the wrestler's head to spin it around with enough force to take the opponent to the mat.
A move in which the wrestler goes behind an opponent, then puts his head under the opponent's shoulder. He then lifts his opponent up, and drops him or her tailbone-first on the wrestler's knee.
Inverted atomic drop
Periodically called a Manhattan Drop, this is a move in which the wrestler puts his or her head under the opponent's shoulder and lifts the opponent up and then drops his or her "lower abdomen region" or groin first on the wrestler's knee. Even though this move is an indirect low blow, it is considered a legal move because the groin is not being targeted.
Sitout full nelson atomic drop
Better known as a full nelson bomb, this move sees the wrestling apply a full nelson hold to the opponent from behind. The wrestler then lifts the opponent into the air and falls into a seated position, driving the opponent tailbone-first on to the mat.
A backbreaker refers to professional wrestling moves in which a wrestler drops an opponent so that the opponent's back impacts or is bent backwards against a part of the wrestler's body, usually the knee.
Back body drop
A back body drop or backdrop (also sometimes called a shoulder back toss), is a move in which a wrestler bends forward or crouches in front of their opponent, grabs hold of the opponent, and stands up, lifting the opponent up and over and dropping them behind the back. It is applied frequently against a charging opponent. In Japan, a backdrop is the term for what is called a belly-to-back suplex in America, so in Japan, it is called shoulder throw.
Innovated by Hiroyoshi Tenzan. This move sees the opponent runs towards the wrestler. The wrestler ducks, hooks one of the opponent's legs with one of his/her arms, stands up and falls backwards, flipping the opponent and driving him/her back first down to the mat, with the wrestler landing on top of the opponent.
The wrestler stands to the side of their opponent, grabs him, and throws him forward, causing him to flip over on to his back. It is considered a very basic technique, so basic that a forward rolling fall is commonly called a biel bump and is mainly used by very large wrestlers to emphasize power and strength over finesse.
A brainbuster is a move in which a wrestler puts his/her opponent in a front facelock, hooks his/her tights, and lifts him/her up as if he/she was performing a vertical suplex. The wrestler then jumps up and falls on to his/her back so that the opponent lands on his/her head while remaining vertical.
A bulldog, originally known as bulldogging or a bulldogging headlock or the headlock jawbreaker is any move in which the wrestler grabs an opponent's head and jumps forward, so that the wrestler lands, often in a sitting position, and drives the opponent's face into the mat. This move plus some other variations are sometimes referred to as a facebuster.
Cobra clutch bulldog
The wrestler applies a cobra clutch and then leaps forward, falling into a sitting position and driving the face of the opponent into the ground.
Fireman's carry bulldog
The attacking wrestler picks up the opponent in a fireman's carry. The wrestler then proceeds by holding his / her opponent's legs with one arm and applies a headlock with his / her other arm, in a similar fashion to an over-the-shoulder back-to-belly piledriver. From here, the attacking wrestler twists the opposite way and quickly switches back throwing the legs of the opponent out backwards and drops down to the mat while holding the opponent's head, forcing him to fall face first into a bulldog position. This move is used by TNA wrestler James Storm, who dubbed it the Eight Second Ride.
Full nelson bulldog
Half nelson bulldog
The wrestler hooks a half nelson hold on his opponent with one arm and his opponents waist with the other. He then leaps forward into a sitting position, driving the face of the opponent into the ground. This move is also incorrectly referred to as a faceplant, which is a different move altogether.
The attacking wrestler stands side-to-side and slightly behind the opponent, facing in the opposite direction, from there he/she leaps in the air and drops to a seated position driving the opponent neck and back first to the mat. In another variation, the attacker runs to the opponent and executes the move. This is usually referred to a lariat takedown.
Standing next to or diagonally behind an opponent, the attacking wrestler leaps up, grabs the opponent's head and pulls backwards, resulting in both individuals landing supine. WWE wrestler Dolph Ziggler uses this move, which he calls the Zig Zag.
Similar to a hangman, where the wrestler catches the opponent in a side headlock, running towards any set of ropes. The wrestler then jumps over them and bulldogs the opponent, driving the chin/face of the opponent into the top rope. The wrestler would eventually either land standing or seated on the apron or the outside of the ring.
The same maneuver can be used to a cornered opponent (who's facing away from the ring/towards the outside) to drive his face into the top turnbuckle.
The wrestler stands to the side of the opponent and applies a side headlock. The wrestler then spins around in a circle and drops into a seated position, driving the opponent face-first into the mat.
Three-quarter facelock bulldog
The wrestler places both his hands behind the opponent's head, and then falls into a seated position, slamming the opponent's face into the canvas. Another variation sees the wrestler placing one hand behind the opponent's head, and another behind the back and then falling backwards into a bulldog.
This bulldog sees the opponent clutching the wrestler in a wheelbarrow bodyscissors. The wrestler then falls downwards while still scissoring his legs around the opponent's waist and pushes himself by hitting his palms against the canvas. As he gets rebounded back to the opponent, he releases his legs and quickly places his hand behind the opponent's head, and goes for a bulldog - the bulldog is usually one-handed rather than a headlock bulldog.
A catapult or slingshot catapult is a throw that typically starts with the opponent on his/her back, and the wrestler standing and facing him. The wrestler hooks each of the opponent's legs in one of his/her arms then falls backwards to slingshot the opponent into a turnbuckle, ladder, rope, mat, etc. This can also be held for a backbreaker.
A chokeslam is any body slam in which the wrestler grasps his/her opponent's neck, lifts him/her up, and slams him/her to the mat, causing him/her to land on his/her back. If a wrestler needs more leverage, he/she may lift up using his/her opponent's waistband also. This move has been popularized by The Undertaker, Kane and Big Show from WWE.
Cobra clutch slam
In this slam a wrestler places the opponent in a cobra clutch and then lifts the opponent into the air by his/her neck before jumping backwards, falling face down or into a sitting position, driving the opponent backfirst down to the mat.
The DDT is a move innovated by Jake "The Snake" Roberts and performed by putting the opponent's head underneath the attacker's arm in a front facelock and then falling back, driving the opponent's head into the mat.
Same position as a regular DDT, But the opponent instead of looking down is looking up. Sting's Finisher The "Scorpion Death Drop" is an example of a Reverse DDT.
A driver is a move in which the wrestler clutches the opponent's body in some form before falling into a sitout position while dropping the opponent on their back, neck, and/or shoulders.
Cobra clutch driver
The wrestler stands behind an opponent and applies a cobra clutch on his/her opponent, placing one of his/her hands against the opponent's neck after hooking the opponent's arm with it. He/she then scoops the opponent's near leg with his/her other arm and lifts the opponent up, flips the opponent upside down, and then either kneels or sits down, driving the opponent down to the mat on his/her neck. Another variation has the attacking wrestler apply a pumphandle prior to executing this technique.
Also known as the Death Valley bomb in Japan, this move is performed from a fireman's carry. The wrestler throws the opponent off their shoulders and falls in the direction that the opponent's head is facing, driving the opponent's head or back into the mat. Similar to a fireman's carry slam, with more of an emphasis on targeting the neck.
Technically known as a sitout side powerslam. The wrestler lifts the opponent up on his right shoulder, as in a front powerslam. Then, the left arm is wrapped around the opponent's neck and the right arm around the opponent's torso. The wrestler then sits down while dropping the opponent vertically to the right side, driving the opponent neck- and shoulder- first into the mat.
Electric chair driver
In this variation of a driver, the wrestler lifts the opponent on his/her shoulders in an electric chair sitting position and then takes hold of the opponent and pulls him/her over his/her shoulder and down to the mat while falling to a sit out position so that the opponent lands on his/her upper back and neck between the legs of the wrestler, facing towards him/her, usually resulting in a pin.
The wrestler places the opponent in a front facelock and hooks one of the opponent's legs with his/her free arm. The wrestler then lifts the opponent upside down or on to his/her shoulders, and then sits down, driving the opponent between his/her legs, head and shoulder first. A wrist-clutch variation of this driver exists which sees the wrestler lift the opponent on to his/her shoulders, and while the opponent is on his/her shoulders, he/she uses the hand hooking the opponent's leg to reach upwards and clutch the wrist of the arm opposite the hooked leg. While maintaining the wrist-clutch, they then perform the driver. There is a further variation that does not include the shoulder lift that sees the wrestler hook the leg and wrist while the opponent is standing in front of him/her, lift the opponent upside down and then fall to the sitout position.
Half nelson driver
The wrestler stands behind an opponent and applies a half nelson hold on their opponent, placing one of their hands against the opponent's neck after hooking the opponent's arm with it. They then scoop the opponent's near leg with their other arm and lift the opponent up, flip the opponent upside down, and then either kneel or sit down, driving the opponent down to the mat on their neck. Another variation has the attacking wrestler apply a pumphandle prior to executing this technique.
Michinoku Driver II
Innovated by Taka Michinoku, and technically known as a sitout scoop slam piledriver. Facing their opponent, the wrestler reaches between his opponent's legs with their right arm and reaches around the opponent's neck from the same side with their left arm. They then lift the opponent up and turn them around so that they are held upside down, as in a scoop slam before dropping down into a sitout position, driving the opponent down to the mat neck and shoulder first. Many people call it the Michinoku Driver because it is used more often than the original Michinoku Driver.
Michinoku Driver II-B
A variation of the Michinoku Driver II in which the wrestler stands behind the opponent, applies an inverted facelock, lifts them upside down, and then drops down to a sitting position, driving the opponent down to the mat between the wrestler's legs upper back first.
The attacking wrestler drapes an opponent over their shoulders in a fireman's carry position and then takes hold of the opponent and pulls them over their shoulder and down to the mat while falling to a sitting position so that the opponent lands on their upper back and neck between the legs of the wrestler, facing towards them. A cross-legged and wrist-clutch version of this move also exists.
Similar to a wheelbarrow facebuster but instead of dropping their opponent face first, they drop their opponent so that the opponent lands on their upper back and neck between the legs of the wrestler, facing towards them usually resulting in a pin.
Electric chair drop
The wrestler lifts the opponent on his/her shoulders in an electric chair sitting position and then falls backwards driving the opponent back-first into the mat. There is also a driver, a facebuster and a suplex variation of the move.
A facebreaker is any move in which the wrestler slams his/her opponent's face against a part of the wrestler's body, usually the knee.
Double knee facebreaker
This facebreaker involves an attacking wrestler, who is standing face-to-face with an opponent, hooking both hands around the opponent's head and then leaping to bring both knees up to the face of the opponent. The wrestler then falls backwards to the mat, thus forcing the opponent to fall forwards and impact the exposed knees. This move was popularized by Chris Jericho, who named it the Codebreaker.
The wrestler applies a front facelock and then falls backwards, much like a normal DDT, but instead of the opponent's head impacting the mat, the wrestler falls to a kneeling or sitting position driving the face of the opponent on to his/her knee.
Facebreaker knee smash
The move is a standard facebreaker which involves the wrestler facing an opponent and grabbing him or her by the head or hair and pulling the opponent's face down, dropping it on to the wrestler's knee. Often used by a wrestler to stun an opponent and set him or her up for another move. Many other facebreakers use the knee to inflict the damage; one variation sees the wrestler apply a standing side headlock, and simultaneously pull the opponent forward and smash the wrestler's knee to the opponent's head.
Inverted stomp facebreaker
Also known as a pull back big boot. The user applies a standing wrist lock on their opponent, then places their foot on the opponent's face and falls backwards, forcing the opponent's face into their foot. This move is used as a finishing move by Gail Kim of TNA (called Eat Defeat), Chuck Taylor (called Sole Food) and Xavier Woods of WWE (called Lost In The Woods). Colt Cabana also uses it (called Eat The Feet) as his signature move.
Also described as a hangman's facebreaker or an over the shoulder facebreaker, this facebreaker 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) spinning round to twist the opponent's head over as they drop down to one knee forcing the opponent face-first into the wrestlers exposed knee in one quick fluid motion.
A facebuster, also known as a faceplant, is any move in which the wrestler forces his/her opponent's face down to the mat which does not involve a headlock or facelock.
Also known as a Table top suplex. The wrestler lifts the opponent up so the opponent is horizontal across the wrestler's body then falls backward, throwing the opponent over their head down to the mat back-first. This slam can be either bridged into a pin, or the wrestler can float over into another fallaway slam. This move is sometimes used as a continuation move from catching the opponent's high-cross body, to emphasize the wrestler's strength.
Fireman's carry throws
A fireman's carry involves the wrestler holding the opponent in place over both shoulders. From this position, various throws can be performed.
Death Valley driver
Also known as the Death Valley bomb in Japan, this move is performed from a fireman's carry. The wrestler throws the opponent off their shoulders and falls in the direction that the opponent's head is facing, driving the opponent's head or back into the mat. Similar to a fireman's carry slam, with more of an emphasis on targeting the neck.
Inverted Death Valley driver
Also known as the Burning Hammer, this move is executed from an Argentine backbreaker rack position. The wrestler then falls sideways, driving the opponent's head to the mat. This is considered an extremely dangerous move, as the opponent's body cannot roll with the natural momentum of the move to absorb the impact. In a cut-throat variation of this driver, instead of holding the body of the opponent, a wrestler holds the far arm of the opponent across the opponent's own throat and maintains it by holding the opponent's wrist before performing the inverted Death Valley driver.
Side Death Valley driver
A variation between the regular Death Valley driver and the inverted one. The opponent lies on the shoulders of the wrestler on his side, facing either the opposite or the same direction as the wrestler, with the wrestler holding the opponent by the lower leg, and either the head or lower arm. The wrestler then falls sideways, driving the opponent down to the mat shoulder and neck first.
Fireman's carry backbreaker
The attacker lifts the opponent on his shoulders in a fireman's carry then flips them over so their back lands on the top of the head.
Fireman's carry drop
The attacking wrestler first lifts his opponent over his shoulders in a fireman's carry position. The attacking wrestler then pushes the opponent forward and off his body slamming him face-down onto the mat. The wrestler may land in a kneeling position, or land squatting.
Fireman's carry slam
The wrestler first drapes an opponent over their shoulders in a fireman's carry position. The wrestler then takes hold of the thigh and arm of the opponent, which are hung over the front side of the wrestler, and leans forward, pulling the opponent over their head and shoulders, slamming them down on their back in front of the wrestler. A rolling fireman's carry slam is a variation that sees the wrestler keep hold of the opponent and run forward before slamming the opponent to the ground, using the momentum to roll over the opponent. A swinging leghook fireman's carry slam is another variation that involves a wrestler holding the wrist of the opponent while putting their head under the opponent's chest. Then after grabbing the opponents nearest leg, the wrestler lifts the opponent's leg outward before swinging forward using the opponent's momentum and slamming them down back-first. A neckbreaker variation also exists where the wrestler lifts the opponent on their shoulders in a fireman's carry then lifts their opponent over and grabbing the head before slamming them down in a neckbreaker slam. Bobby Roode uses the neckbreaker version as a finisher which he calls Roode Bomb.
Fireman's carry transitioned into a kneeling takeover
There are two versions of the fireman's carry takeover used in professional wrestling. The first is borrowed from amateur wrestling and sees the wrestler kneel down on one knee and simultaneously grabs hold of one the opponent's thighs with one arm and one of the opponent's arms with his other arm. He then pulls the opponent on his shoulders and then rises up slightly, using the motion to push the opponent off his shoulders, flipping him to the mat on to his back. The other closely resembles a Death Valley driver. The wrestler performs the fireman's carry from a standing position, then tosses the opponent off his shoulders as he drops down to his knees causing the opponent to land on his back. The standing variant is a higher impact version of the move because of the wrestler falling from a greater height, and is a move closely associated with John Cena through his use of it as his finishing maneuver, which he calls the FU).
The wrestler holds the wrist of his opponent while putting his head underneath the opponent's chest, grabs the inside of one of the opponents legs then lifts him up onto his shoulders whilst falling backwards. This move was popularized by and named in reference to Olympic gold medalist Kurt Angle, who also dubbed it the Angle Slam as an alternate name.
The wrestler drapes an opponent over their shoulders in a fireman's carry position then falls backwards, driving the opponent down to the mat on their back. A swinging leg hook and a twisting version are also possible. This move is most often performed by wrestlers of Samoan heritage, most notably The Rock, Roman Reigns and a pop-up version is used by The Usos. A top rope variant was also regularly performed by Scott Steiner.
A flapjack, also known as a pancake slam, is any move that throws the opponent so that he/she is pushed upward and therefore having him/her fall on his/her front. In a basic flapjack, a wrestler pushes his opponent upward by reaching under his legs and lifting him into the air. While retaining the hold on the opponent's leg, the wrestler would fall backwards, dropping the opponent front-first into the canvas. It is commonly used by a wrestler when an opponent is charging towards him. The move is similar to a back body drop, but the wrestler pushes upwards so that the opponent falls on to his/her face instead of falling back-first.
Also known as a reverse powerbomb or a fallaway powerbomb. The wrestler lifts the opponent so that they are seated on the wrestler's shoulders, facing away from him, as in a powerbomb. The wrestler then falls backwards while throwing the opponent the same way, dropping them down to the mat on their chest. Another version sees the wrestler pick the opponent up on to their shoulders in powerbomb position and dropping backwards while throwing the opponents so that the opponent flips forward and lands on their neck and upper back.
Package fallaway powerbomb
This variation of the Alley Oop sees the wrestler lifting the opponent so that they are seated on the attacking wrestler's shoulders as in a powerbomb. The wrestler then grabs the opponent's head and forces them into a "package" position. From there the wrestler falls backwards, throwing the opponent over their head, forcing them to land on their upper back and neck. A bridging variation is also possible.
Double leg flapjack
Just like a normal flapjack, however, this sees the wrestler reaching both the opponent's legs rather than one. From this point, the wrestler would lift the opponent up while holding him from both legs, and then falls backwards, throwing the opponent face-first into the mat. The double flapjack is usually used when associating with tag-teams to perform a Death Drop.
A hotshot is referred to when a flapjack is performed so that the opponent falls across the ring ropes. Named after "Hot Stuff" Eddie Gilbert.
Also called a Free-fall or Push-up flapjack. A pop-up is a flapjack where the attacker, upon facing an opponent rushing towards him, flings the opponent vertically up into the air without holding on to the opponent. The standing attacker or the airborne opponent is free to carry out an attack after the pop-up. Examples of attacks from the standing wrestler include performing a European uppercut to the falling opponent, or catching the opponent and then performing a sitout powerbomb. Examples of attacks from the airborne opponent include executing a dropkick on the standing opponent. Tag teams may also utilize the pop-up by throwing an opponent to a teammate who would execute an attack.
Full nelson slam
In this move, the attacker places their opponent in a full nelson hold and uses it to lift them off the ground. With the opponent in the air, the attacker removes one arm (so their opponent is now in a half nelson) and slams the opponent back-first into the mat. Another similar variation, known as a double chickenwing slam, sees the wrestler apply double chickenwing instead of a full nelson before slamming the opponent.
Half nelson slam
The wrestler stands behind, slightly to one side of and facing the opponent. The wrestler reaches under one of the opponent's arms with their corresponding arm and places the palm of their hand on the back of the opponent's neck, thereby forcing the arm of the opponent up into the air to complete the half nelson. The wrestler then lifts the opponent up, turns, and falls forward, slamming the opponent back-first into the mat.
Inverted full nelson slam
This variation sees the attacker tuck and slide their arms under the opponent's armpits and then clutch the opponent's lower jaw. Then, the attacker lifts the opponent before falling forward to slam the opponent back-first into the mat.
A giant swing starts with an opponent lying on the mat, face up, and the wrestler at the opponent's feet. The wrestler takes the opponent's legs up under his/her arms, similar to the setup for a catapult, but instead pivots, spinning around to lift the opponent off the mat. The attacker may release the opponent to send him/her flying, or simply slow until the back of the opponent returns to the ground. WWE's Cesaro uses the giant swing as a finishing move.
This move sees the attacking wrestler lift the opponent in a standing guillotine choke and to drop the opponent lower spine first to the mat. This eventually causes an effect to the whole spine and neck. A variation involving a standing double underhook rather than the guillotine choke also exists.
Gorilla press drop
The wrestler lifts their opponent up over their head with arms fully extended then drops the opponent down face-first in front or back. It is a popular technique for very large wrestlers because it emphasizes their height and power.
Gorilla press slam
This slam sees a wrestler first lift their opponent up over their head with arms fully extended (as in the military press used in weight lifting), before lowering the arm under the head of the opponent so that the opponent falls to that side, while flipping over and landing on his/her back. The attacking wrestler may repeatedly press the opponent overhead to show his or her strength, prior to dropping them. This move is also called the military press slam.
A gutbuster is any move in which the wrestler lifts his/her opponent up and jumps or drops him/her so that the opponent's stomach impacts against part of the wrestler's body, usually the knee. A basic gutbuster is often called a stomach breaker and is essentially the same as a backbreaker but with the opponent facing the opposite direction. This similarity with backbreakers is reflected in almost every gutbuster variation, which if inverted would become backbreakers and vice versa.
This variation of a gutbuster sees an opponent first elevated into a high lifting transition hold before being dropped down for a gutbuster.
Fireman's carry gutbuster
This is the most common version of the elevated gutbuster and sees the attacking wrestler first lift the opponent up across their shoulders; a position known as a fireman's carry, before then dropping down to one knee while simultaneously elevating the opponent over their head forcing them to drop down and impact their exposed knee. A slight variation of this uses a modified double knee gutbuster and sees the attacking wrestler drop down to their back while bringing both knees up for the opponent to land on.
Gorilla press gutbuster
This version of the elevated gutbuster first sees the attacking wrestler lift an opponent over his/her head with his/her arms fully extended; a position known as a gorilla press, before then dropping down to one knee while simultaneously elevating the opponent over his/her head forcing him/her to drop down and impact the attacking wrestler's exposed knee.
An elevated gutbuster in which an attacking wrestler would lift an opponent up, stomach-first, across one of their shoulders before dropping down to their knees forcing the opponent's stomach to impact on the wrestler's shoulder.
A rib breaker is a version of a gutbuster that involves the wrestler scooping the opponent up by reaching between the legs of the opponent with one arm and reaching around their back from the same side with his/her other arm. The wrestler then lifts his/her opponent up so they are horizontal across the wrestler's body. From here the wrestler drops down to one knee, forcing the opponent to drop stomach/rib-first against the wrestler's raised knee.
Also known as a spinning headlock takedown. This throw starts with the wrestler catching the opponent in a side headlock. The wrestler would turn and twist (his body) so his back would be literally horizontally against the opponent's torso. The wrestler turns to his either sides (depending on which hand he's catching the opponent with) while still catching the opponent with the headlock. Therefore, the opponent would be slammed back-first into the mat after being almost "forcibly flipped" over the wrestler's back (as the wrestler turns to his sides).
Similar to the snapmare driver, the wrestler applies a side headlock before dropping down on either their chest or their knees and driving the opponent's head down to the mat forehead first, with the side headlock. This was the original version of the finisher used by WWE Superstar Dean Ambrose, known as Dirty Deeds. TNA Superstar Ethan Carter III uses this as his finisher and he calls it the One Percenter.
The move is performed with the wrestler's legs scissored around the opponent's head, dragging the opponent into a forced somersault as the wrestler falls to the mat.
Handstand headscissors takedown
This move is derived from the original hurricanrana. It is described as a head scissors take down that is performed against a running opponent. The wrestler jumps on the shoulders of the charging opponent and performs a back flip. The move varies from the hurricanrana as when the opponent lands - he/she would land on their head as opposed to their back.
It was named the "Frankensteiner" by Scott Steiner, who used it as a finishing move. The move also has a variation where the opponent is sitting on the top rope, that variation is also referred to as frankensteiner. Another variation of the Frankensteiner sees a grounded wrestler first "kip-up" on to a standing opponent's shoulders, this is where a wrestler rolls on to the back of his/her shoulders bringing his/her legs up and kicking forward to build momentum to lift themselves off the floor and on to the standing opponent.
Also known as an inverted frankensteiner or a poison rana, this move uses a standard Frankensteiner, but instead of performing the move facing the opponent's face, it is done facing the back of the opponent.
Though is commonly referred as an Hurricanrana, the original, Spanish name for this maneuver is the Huracanrrana (the name was taken from Mexican luchador Huracán Ramírez). This is a head scissors take down that ends in a double leg cradle pinning hold, though it is often performed in American wrestling without the aforementioned pinning combination. (A rana is any double-leg cradle.) A somersault version also exists.
The wrestler stands next to the opponent with both facing the same direction, and the wrestler hooks their closest arm underneath and behind the opponent's closest armpit. The wrestler then quickly lifts the opponent up with that arm and throws them forward, which would lead the wrestler to flip the opponent on to their back to end the move. There is also a sitout variation, in which the wrestler performs a normal hip toss and then lands in a seated position.
This top rope flipping slam sees a wrestler stand under an opponent, who is situated on the top turnbuckle, turn his/her back to this opponent while taking hold of the opponent's arms from below, often holding underneath the opponent's arm pits. The wrestler would then throw the opponent forward while falling to a seated position, flipping the opponent over in midair, and slamming them down to the mat back first.
Also called a hammer throw. A move in which the wrestler grabs one of his/her opponent's arms and spins, swinging the opponent into an obstacle such as the ring ropes, a turnbuckle, or the stairs leading into the ring. An Irish whip into the ring ropes is usually used to set the opponent up for another technique as he/she bounces off. An Irish whip into the turnbuckles usually sees the opponent remain in the corner, allowing a follow-up attack from the wrestler; the opponent may remain standing or slump to the ground, usually in a seated position, which will vary the attack. One occasional use of the Irish whip is to try to "hit for the cycle" by whipping one's opponent into each corner in turn. Some professional wrestlers can use this move as an advantage by running up the turnbuckle and using a high flying move.
A jawbreaker is any move in which the wrestler slams his/her opponent's jaw against a part of the wrestler's body, usually his/her knee, head or shoulder.
A standard jawbreaker is seen when a wrestler (either stands facing or not facing opponent) places his/her head under the jaw of the opponent and holds the opponent in place before falling into a sitting or kneeling position, driving the jaw of the opponent into the top of his/her head. Sometimes it is also used to counter a headlock by the opponent.
Also known as an inverted stunner, the wrestler stands facing the opponent, places his/her shoulder under the jaw of the opponent and holds the opponent in place before falling into a sitting or kneeling position, driving the jaw of the opponent into his/her shoulder.
A stunner is a seated three-quarter facelock jawbreaker. It involves an attacking wrestler applying a three-quarter facelock (reaching behind 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 defender's jaw to drop down on the shoulder of the attacking wrestler. This move was innovated by Mikey Whipwreck and popularized by Stone Cold Steve Austin.
A mat slam is any move in which the wrestler forces the back of the opponent's head into the mat which does not involve a headlock or facelock. If these are used then the move is considered a type of DDT (if the wrestler falls backwards) or bulldog. Some neckbreakers also slam the back of the opponent's into the mat, but the attacker is back-to-back with the attack's receiver. A standard mat slam involves the wrestler grabbing hold of the opponent by his/her head or hair and pulling back, forcing the back of the opponent's head into the mat.
Double underhook mat slam
The wrestler faces an opponent, overhooks both arms, and then pivots 180° so that the opponent is facing upwards with his or her head pressed against the upper back or under an arm of the wrestler. The wrestler then drops down to his/her back, driving the back of the opponent's head and neck into the mat.
Rear mat slam
As well known as a falling rear mat slam. This move starts with the wrestler standing behind the opponent, and then takes hold of the front of the neck or head, and then falls onto his stomach, driving the opponent's back of the head into the mat first. Another variation of this move sees the wrestler performing a backflip from the top turnbuckle, and as he floats over the opponent, he quickly grabs the opponent's head or neck with both hands and falls on his stomach to complete the rear mat slam.
Sitout rear mat slam
The wrestler takes hold of their opponent from behind, holding them by either their hair or the top of their head. The wrestler then jumps backwards and falls to a sitting position, driving the back of the opponent's head into the ground between their legs. A variation sees the wrestler run up the corner turnbuckles, perform a backflip over a chasing opponent, and at the same time grab hold of the opponents head and perform the slam. In another variation the wrestler could put the opponent in a straight jacket before dropping him/her in a sitout position. This was a signature move for Adam Copeland or Edge, in which he called it "Edge-O-Matic".
This slamming version of a headlock takedown sees a wrestler apply a sleeper hold to the opponent, then falls face first to the ground, pulling the opponent down with them and driving the back and head of the opponent into the ground. Current WWE wrestler Heath Slater uses a jumping variation of the move.
A spinning sit-out variation of a sleeper slam that makes use of the wrestler's own momentum. The attacking wrestler starts by running and extending his arm like a lariat takedown but instead performs a revolution around the opponent's shoulders. This causes the wrestler to switch to his opposite arm before taking his opponent down to the mat while simultaneously landing in a seated position. Another variation involves the wrestler leaping off the ropes before performing the movement. Current New Japan Pro Wrestling star Hiroshi Tanahashi is known for using this move.
Tilt-a-whirl mat slam
As the name suggests the wrestler would first use a tilt-a-whirl to raise the opponent into a belly-to-belly (piledriver) position, from here the wrestler would fall forward planting the opponent into the mat back-first.
This move, often referred to as a Monkey climb in British wrestling, involves an attacking wrestler, who is standing face-to-face with an opponent, hooking both hands around the opponent's head before then bringing up both legs so that they place their feet on the hips/waist of the opponent; making the head hold and the wrestlers' sense of balance the only things allowing both wrestlers to be in an upright position. At this point, the attacking wrestler would shift 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 with their legs forcing the opponent to flip forwards, over the wrestler's head, on to their back. This move is most commonly performed out of a ring corner. This is due to it being easier to climb on to an opponent while in the corner as balance is easily retained, and it allows the maximum length of ring to propel the opponent across.
This move is performed when an attacking wrestler hooks both an opponent's legs with his/her arms and tucks their head in next to the opponent's before standing and lifting the opponent up, so that they are upside down with their head resting on the attacking wrestler's shoulder. From this position, the attacking wrestler jumps up and drops down to the mat, driving the opponent shoulder first down to the mat with the opponent's neck impacting both the wrestler's shoulder and the mat. This can see the wrestler pick up an opponent who is standing but bent forward but it often begins with an opponent who is sitting on an elevated position, usually a top turnbuckle, because it's easier to hook and lift an opponent when they are positioned higher than the wrestler. The move also has a neckbreaker variation, which focuses more of the attack on the opponent's neck. This move originated from the Kinnikuman manga, originally known as the Kinniku Buster ("Kinniku" being Japanese for "Muscle"), with the move ending with the opponent crashing down on their neck against the attacking wrestler's shoulder. Samoa Joe uses this as one of his finishers, while Ryback uses a different variation as his finisher called Shell Shocked, where he lifts the opponent into position with a fisherman's suplex and only hooks one of the opponent's legs before running forward and dropping them off his shoulders, in a Samoan drop-esque motion EJ Eks innotated the swinging fisherman muscle buster.
There are two general categories of neckbreaker, which are related only in that they attack the opponent's neck. One category of neckbreaker is the type of move in which the wrestler slams his/her opponent's neck against a part of the wrestler's body, usually his/her knee, head or shoulder. A neckbreaker slam is another technique in which the wrestler throws his/her opponent to the ground by twisting the opponent's neck.
Whilst giving the illusions of slamming the opponent's head into the ground, a properly executed standard piledriver has the opponent's head barely touching the ground, if at all.
A powerbomb is a move in which an opponent is lifted into the air and then slammed down back-first to the mat. The standard powerbomb sees the opponent placed in a standing headscissors position (bent forward with their head placed between the wrestler's thighs), lifted on the wrestler's shoulders, and slammed back-first down to the mat.
A powerslam is any slam in which the wrestler performing the technique falls face-down on top of his/her opponent. The use of the term "powerslam" usually refers to the front powerslam and the scoop powerslam.
Also known as a tilt slam or a pumphandle falling powerslam, the wrestler stands behind their opponent and bends them forward. One of the opponent's arms is pulled back between their legs and held, while the other arm is hooked. The wrestler then lifts their opponent up until they are parallel with the wrestler's chest, then throws themselves forward, driving the back of the opponent into the ground with the weight of the wrestler atop them.
The wrestler stands behind their opponent and bends them forward. One of the opponent's arms is pulled back between their legs and held, while the other arm is hooked (pumphandle). The attacking wrestler uses the hold to lift the opponent up over their shoulder, while over the shoulder the attacking wrestler would fall forward to slam the opponent against the mat back-first, normally the type of powerslam delivered is a front powerslam. The move can also see other variations of a powerslam used, particularly into a sidewalk slam position.
Pumphandle Michinoku Driver II
The wrestler lifts the opponent as with a pumphandle slam, but falls to a sitting position and drops the opponent between their legs as with a Michinoku driver II. This move is also known as a sitout pumphandle slam.
Pumphandle fallaway slam
The wrestler hooks up the opponent as a pumphandle slam, then the wrestler goes through the body movements for the fallaway slam, executing the release of the opponent as they enter the apex of the throw, instead of at or just past the apex of the throw like when one executes the fallaway slam. Usually the opponent then adds effort to gain extra rotations in the air for effect or to ensure that they do not take the bump on their side.
A body slam is any move in which a wrestler picks up his or her opponent and throws him or her down to the ground. When used by itself, the term body slam generally refers to a basic scoop slam.
Facing their opponent, the wrestler reaches between their opponent's legs with one arm and reaches around their back from the same side with their other arm. The wrestler lifts their opponent up and turns them upside down so that they are held up by the wrestler's arm cradling their back. The wrestler then throws the opponent to the ground so that they land on their back. The opponent will often assist the slammer by placing their arm on the slammer's thigh.
The wrestler faces the opponent from the side, slightly behind. He tucks his head under the opponent's near armpit, and grabs hold of the opponent's near leg, bending it fully. He then lifts the opponent up and slams him downwards, impacting the opponent's bent leg on one of the wrestler's knee. This move is used to weaken the leg for a submission maneuver.
A shoulderbreaker is any move in which the wrestler slams his/her opponent's shoulder against any part of the wrestler's body, usually the shin or knee. This move is normally used to weaken the arm for a submission maneuver or to make it more difficult for the opponent to kick out of a possible pinfall attempt. The most common version sees the wrestler turn the opponent upside-down and drop the opponent shoulder-first on the wrestler's knee. Usually the opponent is held over the wrestler's shoulder in either a powerslam position, or less commonly an inverted powerslam position for what is sometimes called the inverted shoulderbreaker.
This move sees the wrestler place the opponent stomach down on their shoulder so that they both are facing the same direction. The attacking wrestler then drops the opponent that they have elevated on their shoulder face-first into the turnbuckle or ropes. This move is most commonly used by The Undertaker.
With the wrestler's back to the opponent, he/she applies a three-quarter facelock (also known as a cravate), and either kneeling down or bending over pulls the opponent forward, flipping them over his/her shoulder down to the mat, back first. Another variation, sometimes called a "flying mare", sees the wrestler pull the opponent by the hair over his/her shoulder before slamming them to the mat.
This variation of the snapmare sees the application of the facelock with the takeover to the opponent, but rather than the wrestler remaining stationary, he rolls with the opponent's momentum.
A high impact variation of the snapmare where instead of flipping the opponent over, the wrestler drops down either on their chest or down on their knees and drives the opponent's head down to the mat forehead first, with the three-quarter facelock much like a cutter. An inverted variation of this move also exists. However, the wrestler holds their opponent's head in a back to back position, before performing the move.
A high impact combination of the snapmare and the falling neckbreaker. With the wrestler's back to the opponent, he/she applies a three-quarter facelock and then pulls the opponent forward, flipping them over his/her shoulder, before turning to land in a neckbreaker.
The wrestler starts by facing his or her opponent. He or she then grabs the opponent around the waist, lifts him or her up, and tosses him or her forward on to his or her back or slams him or her down while landing on top of him or her. It is usually performed against a charging opponent, using the opponent's own momentum to make the throw more powerful.
This variation of the spinebuster is done when a wrestler lifts the opponent's waist and throws him in a standard spinebuster while remaining on his feet.
Double leg slam
This variation of the spinebuster starts with the wrestler facing his opponent. The wrestler catches and grabs the opponent from either his waist or both legs, and lifts the opponent so he would either face the mat while being vertically elevated off the mat (with both his legs grabbed over the wrestler's shoulders) or literally facing the wrestler's back while being lifted upside down with the wrestler still taking hold of both the opponent's legs (back-to-belly position). The wrestler then tosses the opponent overhead by throwing both the opponent's legs forward, slamming the opponent back-first. A sitout or inverted version is also possible. This move was popularized by former WWE superstar Hardcore Holly, who calls it the Alabama Slam.
This variation of the spinebuster sees the attacker grabbing the opponent around the waist, lifting them up, and tossing them forward without landing on the top of the opponent. There also exists another variation of this move, which is called the Thrust Spinebuster in which an attacking wrestler stands besides his or her opponent, grabs the waist of his opponent, as in a side slam position and then hooks the opponent's leg with his or her free arm, and then lift him or her up before slamming the opponent down to the mat. This version was popularized by The Rock, who uses the move to set up his finisher, the People's Elbow. The version is also used as a signature move for Batista.
A variation of the spinebuster where the opponent is grabbed by their waist or neck and then hurled to the mat in a fast way, this variation of the spinebuster can be also done by grabbing the opponent's legs.
This version of a spinebuster sees the wrestler lifting the opponent, turning 180°, and then tossing him or her forward on to his or her back or slam him or her down while landing on top of him or her. It is also usually performed against a charging opponent, using the opponent's own momentum to make the throw more powerful. This is notably used by Triple H as a signature move and the move he uses to set up his finisher, the Pedigree. It is also known as the Arn Anderson or "Double-A" spinebuster.
Also known as Rydeen Bomb, this is the sitout variation of the original spinebuster. The wrestler starts by facing his opponent. He then grabs the opponent around the waist or under the arms, lifts him up, and tosses him forward on to his back or slams him down while dropping to a seated position. The wrestler hangs on to the opponents legs for a pin-fall attempt. A slight variation is the sitout side slam spinebuster where the opponent is lifted like a side slam but dropped into a sitout spinebuster.
Spinning crucifix toss
The attacker lifts the opponent above his back with the opponent's arm spread out in a crucifix hold, spins around, pushes the opponent up, and moves out of the way, dropping the opponent down to the mat.
A suplex is the same as the amateur suplex, a throw which involves arching/bridging either overhead or twisting to the side, so the opponent is slammed to the mat back-first. Though there are many variations, the term suplex (without qualifiers) can also refer specifically to the vertical suplex.
Trips and sweeps
Cobra clutch legsweep
The wrestler places his opponent in the Cobra clutch, then stands to one side of the opponent, hooks their nearest foot behind their opponent's nearest leg and throws themselves backwards, forcing their opponent backwards to the ground.
Double leg takedown
A tackle where the intention is to force the opponent down on their back by tackling them at their waist or upper thighs. This usually involves grabbing the opponent with both arms around the opponent's legs while keeping the chest close to the opponent, and using this position to force the opponent to the floor .
Dragon screw legwhip
This is a legwhip where a wrestler grabs an opponent's leg and holds it parallel to the mat while they are facing each other. The attacking wrestler then spins the leg inwards causing the opponent to fall off balance and twist in the air bringing them to the ground in a turning motion.
The wrestler falls to the ground, placing one foot at the front of the opponent's ankle and the other in the back of the calf. This causes the opponent to fall face first into the ground. It is sometimes used illegally to force an opponent into a chair or other elevated weapon; it is also used occasionally to force an opponent face-first into the turnbuckles, stunning them momentarily.
Half nelson legsweep
The wrestler stands behind, slightly to one side of and facing the opponent. The wrestler reaches under one of the opponent's arms with his/her corresponding arm and places the palm of his/her hand on the neck of the opponent, thereby forcing the arm of the opponent up into the air (the half nelson). The wrestler then uses his/her other arm to pull the opponent's other arm behind the opponent's head, so both opponent's arms are pinned. The wrestler then hooks the opponent's near leg and throws themselves backwards, driving the opponent back-first to the ground.
The wrestler faces the opponent, ducks under the opponent's arm closest to them, wraps their closest arm around the waist of the opponent and then quickly performs a forward flip whilst sweeping the opponent's leg, thereby dropping the opponent on their back, ending up in a cradle pin. This move was innovated by Madoka. It was also made popular by WWE Superstar Kofi Kingston which he calls the S.O.S.
Also known as a side Russian legsweep and called a neckbreaker by Gorilla Monsoon. This is a move in which a wrestler stands side-to-side and slightly behind with the opponent, facing in the same direction, and reaches behind the opponent's back to hook the opponent's head with the other hand extending the opponent's nearest arm, then while hooking the opponent's leg the wrestler falls backward, pulling the opponent to the mat back-first. There is also a jumping variation of the Russian legsweep, which is similar in execution to that of the leaping reverse STO and different modified versions of the move.
Three-quarter facelock Russian legsweep
The wrestler stands in front of, facing away from and slightly to one side of the opponent. The wrestler then reaches behind themselves and applies a three-quarter facelock to the opponent. The wrestler then hooks the opponent's near leg with their own near leg and sweeps the leg away, simultaneously throwing themselves backwards, thus driving the opponent to the ground (with the weight of the wrestler on top of them) and wrenching the opponent's neck.
This technique gives its name to the schoolboy bump and is performed when the wrestler gets behind their opponent, drops down to their knees, puts their hand through the opponent's legs, hooking the opponent's hips, and pulls backwards. This pulls the opponent backwards, with straightened and trapped legs, forcing the opponent to fall backwards, over the wrestler, flat on the floor.
The STO (Space Tornado Ogawa or the clothesline legsweep) is a sweep in which a wrestler wraps one arm across the chest of his/her opponent and sweeps the opponent's leg with his/her own leg to slam the other wrestler back-first. This can also be a lariat-legsweep combination to slam down the opponent. This is also a move used often in Judo and in other grappling martial arts. This maneuver can be used running and standing.
This move is an STO where the wrestler would first apply a chokehold with one hand before sweeping his/her opponent's leg.
Front facelock STO
This variation of the STO sees the attacker apply a front facelock on his opponent and sweeping the opponent's leg and falling forward, with the opponent landing on his neck and shoulders. A pinning variation also exists where the attacker keeps the front facelock applied as he covers the opponent slightly.
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.
Set up move
These are transition moves that set up for various throws and slams.
- Professional wrestling holds
- Professional wrestling attacks
- Professional wrestling aerial techniques
- Professional wrestling double-team maneuvers
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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.
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I would stand upright and Chris would jump on my shoulders from the front, so that my face would be in his gut and his legs would be hanging over my back. Then he'd do a back flip, landing on his head and arms and dragging me over in the process. In other words, he'd use his legs to hook my head.
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Huracanrana/Huracarrana - A Frankensteiner finishing in a double leg cradle (rana).
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Iconoclasm: Flipping slam from the corner. Has a cross arm version known as the Goriconoslasm
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