Archive for the ‘Drivers/ Busters’ Category

A move which can be argued as a slam or a driver, the Sitout Suplex Slam is a move usually used by wrestlers with a technical background. It sees the opponent lifted up in a traditional vertical suplex until they are twisted and then driven down onto the canvas.

In popular wrestling culture, the move is known as a Falcon Arrow, a name that inventor Hayabusa coined the manoeuvre with when he first used it more than a decade ago. This name was also given to the move when former WWE superstar Hardcore Holly used it as a finisher during the early stages of his tenure in the company. Today, the likes of KENTA, CM Punk and Roderick Strong are all known to have used the move, but if you’re looking for a standard variation of the move, look no further than the video below where Hayabusa busts out his finisher.

The move begins with the wrestler hooking the opponent in the typical Suplex set-up position. The wrestler will apply a front facelock on the opponent and then will drape the opposition’s arm over their shoulder. This allows the wrestler to then hook onto the opponent’s trunks and lift them vertically.

Once vertical, the wrestler will use the arm holding the opponent to balance them as the other arm is placed on the opponent’s torso. The wrestler will then twist slightly, so that the opponent’s stomach is facing the wrestler’s.

With the end in sight, the wrestler will then push the opponent downwards and sit-out suddenly. The opponent will be driven back first off the canvas as the wrestler sits near their shoulders. This then allows the wrestler to hook the legs for the pin, or to simply roll away to carry out more pain to their opposition.

Statistics:

  • Also known as: Falcon Arrow/ Sitout Suplex Driver
  • Famous users: Hayabusa, KENTA, Hardcore Holly, Koji Kanemoto, CM Punk
  • Finished off: Jinsei Shinzaki, Tatsuhito Takaiwa, Crash Holly, Naomichi Marufuji
  • H&B Rating: 7

 

Watch more variations:

Roderick Strong’s Slingshot Sitout Suplex Slam- A nice variation which sees Strong slingshot his opponent’s legs off the rope, adding extra elevation so he can twist his body and then drive them onto the canvas sitout style.
Koji Konemato’s Sheerdrop Sitout Suplex Slam- The set up is similar to a standard Falcon Arrow, until Konemato twists the opponent around and then grasps the opponent’s torso. This forces the opponent head first onto the canvas.
CM Punk’s Sitout Suplex Slam- Another way to hit the move, Punk sets the opponent up for a suplex and then turns his whole body 180 degrees before sitting out. Here, the opponent is not elevated for a long time, making it almost a snap Falcon Arrow.
KENTA’s Avalanche Sitout Suplex Slam- Rather than traditionally hitting the move from the canvas, KENTA sets the opponent up top and hits the move. He hits the move similarly to CM Punk, only from the top rope.

Started from a Fireman’s Carry position, this simple yet effective move pays homage to the hundreds of driver manoeuvres in the wrestling world today. The wrestler will set the opponent up on their shoulders before driving them head/ back first off the canvas.

The Death Valley Driver is a widely-used move in Japan. Here, it is known as a Death Valley Bomb, and was first invented by Etsuko Mita, a highly established Joshi wrestler. In the US, the move was maded famous when it was used by former WCW and WWE star Perry Saturn, who defeated wrestlers such as Chris Jericho and Raven with the maneouvre. However, it is former ECW star Tommy Dreamer who used the move greatly, labelling it as a Dreamer Driver. In the video below, he blasts Raven with the move.

The move will begin with the wrestler clutching the inside of the opponent’s leg. This will allow them to then use their strength to lift the opponent upwards, and cause them to lie over the wrestler’s shoulders in a traditional Fireman’s Carry lift.

Once in this position, the wrestler will then use one hand to clutch over the opponent’s neck. This is done so that when the wrestler drops the opponent, the hold is applied to their head and will in turn make the move a Driver variation. The wrestler will then slightly lift the legs of the opponent, causing them to flip off the position and begin to fall downwards.

With the opponent ready to hit the canvas, the wrestler will quickly fall to their side, driving the opponent down. It is usual for the opponent to land head first off the canvas, but it is also common for them to land on their upper/ lower back.

Statistics:

  • Also known as: Death Valley Bomb/ Dreamer Driver/ Fireman’s Carry Brainbuster/ Original Falconry
  • Famous users: Perry Saturn, Tommy Dreamer, Etsuko Mita, Masato Tanaka, Eric Young, Shingo Takagi
  • Finished off: Chris Jericho, Raven, Edge, Suzuku Minami, El Generico
  • H&B Rating: 8

 

Watch more variations:

Etsuko Mita’s Death Valley Bomb with Cradle Pin- The move starts off the same as a typical Death Valley Driver, but ends with Mita planting Suzuku Minami’s head off the canvas and then keeping hold of the leg to initiate a pin attempt.
Masato Tanaka’s Running Death Valley Driver- Tanaka sets the opponent up traditionally, but then charges forward, adding momentum to the move.
Jay Briscoe’s Military Press into a Death Valley Driver- A great move from the Briscoe Brother, which sees the opponent lifted up Military Press style before being dropped into the DVD manoeuvre.
Shingo’s Elevated Death Valley Driver- Again, another way to begin the move, with Shingo throwing Masato Tanaka upwards in the air before catching him with the DVD, driving him hard off the mat.
Shingo Takagi’s Avalanche Original Falconry- A Death Valley Driver, but this time from the top rope. The fact that it’s from a height adds tons more damage to the move.
Icarus’ Blu-Ray- Instead of the opponent being driven into the mat, Icarus uses the turnbuckles to throw the opponent into whilst they are set up in the Death Valley Driver position.

As one of the most devestating variations of the Piledriver, this manoeuvre sees the opponent draped upside down before getting their head driven into the canvas.

The Kneeling Back-to-Belly Piledriver is almost a guaranteed match winner, and is used by plenty of wrestlers, especially those around the Independent circuit. However, superstars such as TNA’s Frankie Kazarian and Consequences Creed have used the move on several occasions, bringing it into the public eye. Independent wrestler Jigsaw, who is well known for his time in CZW, uses the move as his finisher (aptly naming it the Jig ‘n’ Tonic) and hits a nice cradle variation of the manoeuvre in the video below.

The beginnings of the move sees the wrestler grab the opponent by the legs. In order to do this, they will either place their head in between the opponent’s legs and lift them up that way, or they will lift the opponent onto their shoulder. From here, they will then position the opponent so that their head is draped downwards towards the canvas.

Once in this position, the wrestler can then decide what to do. If they are going for a standard variation of the move, then the opponent will be kept in this position ready for the finish. However, if the wrestler decides to go for a cradle variation like in the video above, the opponent will be dropped slightly so that their legs are in the wrestler’s grasp, and their head is in between the wrestler’s legs also.

Now the opponent is set up, the wrestler will jump slightly before landing onto their knees. This will in turn crush the opponent’s head onto the canvas, driving them onto the mat in the regular Piledriver fashion. If the opponent has been hit with the cradle variation, then the leg hook of the move allows the wrestler to easily go for the pin attempt. However, any other variations would mean the opponent would roll away off impact, selling the move as they clutch their head in pain.

Statistics:

  • Also known as: Kneeling Belly-to-Back Piledriver/ Jig’n’Tonic/ CB4-Driver
  • Famous users: Frankie Kazarian, Consequences Creed, Jigsaw, Wesna Busic, Shaun Daivari
  • Finished off: Petey Williams, Jay Lethal, Cheerleader Melissa, Ayako Hamada
  • H&B Rating: 7

 

Watch more variations:

Frankie Kazarian’s Kneeling Back-to-Belly Piledriver- Instead of cradling the legs, Kazarian lets the opponent dangle slightly, meaning that the opponent’s head is driven harder into the canvas.
Wesna’s Apron CB4-Driver- Essentially the same as the Jig ‘n’ Tonic, except the opponent is driven into the ring apron, a much harder and dangerous surface.
Teddy Hart’s Kneeling Back-to-Belly Piledriver- Similar to Kazarian’s move, except Teddy Hart delays the move and then drops suddenly, spiking Jack Evans’ head off the canvas. Awesome acrobatic sell by Evans here also.

Unlike a traditional Snapmare which sees the opponent land on their back, the Snapmare Driver involves the opponent’s head being driven onto the canvas.

The move is performed differently according to how the opponent sells it, as they either land on their face or spike their head off the canvas for effect. Quicksilver is a well known independent wrestler that uses this move, calling it the ‘Silver Slice.’ If you watch the video below, you’ll see that it looks effective thanks to a great sell by Evan Bourne.

It is arguable of how this move is to start. The wrestler’s back can either be facing the opponent and they will grasp their arms backwards in order to wrench the opponent’s neck, or they will be side on to the opponent. Which ever way, the wrestler will make sure the opponent’s neck is locked in their grasp, maybe applying an arm trap position to gain more momentum.

Once this has been carried out, the wrestler will then swing one of their legs forward before bringing it swiftly backwards. This means the wrestler will fall forward in a snap like motion.

After falling forwards, the wrestler will tighten the hold on the wrestler’s neck, which will in time force the opponent to spike their head/ face off the canvas. After this devastating move, the wrestler will then more than likely go for the pin attempt.

Statistics:

  • Also known as: Snapmare DDT/ Snapmare Cutter/ Silver Slice/ Mind Trip
  • Famous users: Quicksilver, Daizee Haze, Melina, Emil Sitoci
  • Finished off: Evan Bourne, Alicia Fox, Tommy End, Portia Perez, Allison Danger
  • H&B Rating: 6

 

Watch more variations:

Daizee Haze’s Mind Trip- Skip to 1:45 of the video, and you’ll see Daizee’s variation. Here, Allison Danger spikes her forehead off the canvas, before rolling away.
Melina’s Snapmare Driver- The WWE Diva swings her leg wildly before kneeling out, planting Alicia Fox nose first off the ring mat.
Evan Bourne’s Snapmare Driver- Bourne uses one hand to wrench the neck, allowing him to swing his leg more viciously. This leads to Ricochet spiking his skull off the canvas.
Emil Sitoci’s Snapmare Driver- This extreme variation sees Tommy End’s head almost blasted through the ring.

In professional wrestling, two Michinoku Drivers exist. The first, a Double Underhook Brainbuster, is one that will be featured in the blog at a later date, but the most common version is this scoop slam driver variant.

The move is very popular over the independent circuit, and most importantly in the Japanese wrestling circuit where the manoeuvre was perfected. Greats such as Azumi Hyuga, Sayuri Okino and Hayabusa class the move as one of their favourites. However, the inventor of the move, Taka Michinoku, is a professional at pulling it off.

Like many scoop slam moves, the wrestler usually grasps a standing opponent into a scoop position. This sees the wrestler clutch one hand on the opponent’s shoulder and another near the opponent’s groin, before lifting them upwards.

Once lifting the opponent into a scoop slam, the wrestler uses their strength to position the opponent forward. This means the opponent’s head is downwards towards the canvas, ready to finalise the move.

With the opponent set up, the wrestler then releases the opponent from their hold, slamming them down to the mat onto their back. However, just before they hit the canvas, the wrestler sits out, usually causing the opponent to get driven into the canvas upper back first.

Statistics:

  • Also known as: Scoop Slam Driver/ Scoop Slam Piledriver
  • Famous users: Taka Michinoku, Natalya, Beth Phoenix, Juventud Guerrera, Hayabusa
  • Finished off: D’Lo Brown, Essa Rios, Rey Mysterio
  • H&B Rating: 8

 

Watch more variations:

Hayabusa’s Michinoku Driver II- This sheerdrop variation of the move sees the opponent’s upper shoulder blades/ neck area driven right into the canvas.
Juventud Guerrera’s Juvi Driver- Juvi brought this move into the WCW era, and it’s a different variation in that the scoop is almost transferred into a Tombstone-like hold, driving the opponent almost head first onto the canvas.
Alissa Flash’s Leg Hook Michinoku Driver II- This move is different in that Flash hooks inside the leg, leading to a different pick up of the opponent. However, the finishing stages of the move are still essentially the same as a standard Michinoku Driver II.
Beth Phoenix’s Michinoku Driver II-  This vertical variation of the move sees the scoop hold delayed for a second.
Ayako Hamada’s Hamada Driver- Hamada starts the move as though she is going for a suplex, but quickly snaps the move off, driving the opponent into the mat.

 

The Front Flip Piledriver is an effective yet dangerous move. In relation to the piledriver manoeuvre, it sees the opponent spiked directly on their head.

The move was put into the public eye in the US thanks to Petey Williams, who gave the manoeuvre its debut during his TNA stint starting in 2004. Since then, it has been a popular, well-used move on the global independent circuit, with many wrestlers attributing it as their finisher. One of the best users is the So-Cal wrestler Brandon Bonham.

Like a conventional piledriver, the move starts with the wrestler pulling their opponent forward, and then placing their head in between their legs. Once in this position, the wrestler will tighten their legs, with the opponent placing their hands around the back of the wrestler’s legs in order to get a firm grip ready for the move to take off.

The wrestler will then wrap their arms around the opponent’s upper body area. This is then followed by the wrestler jumping slightly in the air, using the canvas to bounce upright. Usually, the opponent will be in assist of the move and will use their upper body strength to lift the wrestler upwards, ready to flip them over.

As the wrestler flips forward, they still have the opponent in their grasp. This will in turn cause the opponent to flip backwards, but with the wrestler’s legs tightened around the opponent’s head, the opponent will end up spiking their head onto the canvas as the wrestler lands on the upper back area.

Usually, the opponent’s hands and wrestler’s leg cushion the move, sometimes meaning that the opponent will not spike their head off the mat to save serious injury. The move will then usually be sold with the opponent falling backwards, or falling onto their knees and clutching the head in pain.

Statistics

  • Also known as: Canadian Destroyer/ Flipping Piledriver/ 180 Piledriver
  • Famous users: Petey Williams, Brandon Bonham, Ricochet, Cloudy
  • Finished off: AJ Styles, Jerry Lynn, Hallowicked
  • H&B Rating: 10


Watch more variations:

Petey William’s Canadian Destroyer- Petey usually taunts before hitting the move, giving the opponent time to react.
Petey William’s Running Canadian Destroyer- this requires the opponent to be quick thinking, as Petey executes the move after a small run up.
Ricochet’s Front Flip Piledriver- this shows how versatile the move can be, and how it can be performed from many situations.
Aerostar’s Avalance Flip Piledriver- a top rope Front Flip Piledriver. Because of it’s height, most opponent’s land on the upper chest area to save serious damage from the move.

In ways a simple manoeuvre, the Fisherman Buster has been used globally to finish off both the strongest and weakest wrestlers alike.

Users of this move range from the likes of SHIMMER superstar Mercedes Martinez, former TNA and WCW star Shane Douglas and perhaps the most famous, the Japanese icon known as Hayabusa.

The set-up for the move is simple. The wrestler first drapes the opponent’s arm over the neck as if going for a traditional suplex. However, instead of simply lifting the wrestler up using the body, the wrestler will hook the opponent’s leg so that it is half hanging about a foot off the canvas. From there, the wrestler will lift the opponent vertically, with the hook of the leg assisting the lift.

Once up in the air, the wrestler will balance the opponent so that their unhooked leg is vertical in the air. Then, quickly, the wrestler will either fall sharply downwards onto their back or partly in a sit-out position. Whichever way they choose, it is guaranteed that the opponent’s head or upper shoulder area will drive into the canvas.

The move will finish depending on where the wrestler drops the opponent. Usually, the move ends with the opponent lying on their back, but there have been instances where the opponent is dropped onto their head.

Statistics

  • Also known as: Leg Hook Suplex Driver/ Hooked Suplex Driver
  • Famous Users: Hayabusa, Jushin “Tiger” Lyger, Mercedes Martinez, KENTA, Shane Douglas, Akira Hokuto
  • Finished off: Lita, Super Delphin, Meiko Satamura, Nakuri Doi
  • H&B Rating: 8


Watch more variations:

Ricky Marvin’s Fisherman Buster: A variation where the wrestler is dropped directly on their head.
Mercedes Martinez Fisherman Buster: Martinez’s version of the move sees less of a vertical lift, which makes the move look quick and more painful.
Akira Hokuto’s Fisherman Buster: Similar to a vertical Fisherman’s Buster, this gives the opportunity for a painful landing.
Jushin Lyger’s Avalanche Fisherman Buster: Quintessentially a Fisherman Buster from the top rope, which adds height to the manoeuvre.