Archive for the ‘Strikes’ Category

An effective and powerful manoeuvre, the Backflip Kick is a move used by wrestlers with an aerial and acrobatic expertise. It sees the wrestler with their back towards the opponent perform a backflip, with one leg outstretching slightly to kick the opponent on top of the head.

The move is more commonly known as a Pele Kick due to its use by AJ Styles. He called the move this due to its similarity to soccer legend Pele, who once hit a Backflip Kick to score a goal in a World Cup contest. This strike is used all over the wrestling circuit, with it being popular in Japan and along the US independent circuit too. However, AJ was the wrestler to popularise the move, and therefore is seen in the video below hitting a nice variation to Douglas Williams.

To start off the move, the wrestler’s back has to be towards the opponent. Usually, to do this, the wrestler will first duck an incoming clothesline attempt from the opponent, and wait for them to turn around. This will be a pre-set manoeuvre discussed between the opponent and wrestler in order to make the move look smooth and surprising.

Now with the wrestler’s back towards the opponent, they will swing their arms to hit a backflip manoeuvre similar to a Standing Moonsault. However, as a difference to this similar move, the wrestler will flick out one of their legs so that it is within distance to kick the opponent on top of the head. The wrestler will also not usually go all the way over onto their stomach, as they will usually use their hands to balance the kick.

Just milliseconds after executing a flip, the wrestler will stretch their hands out so that they land on them. This will then allow the foot to connect with the opponent’s head, which will drop them to the floor.

Statistics:

  • Also known as: Pele Kick/ Standing Moonsault Kick
  • Famous users: AJ Styles, Kota Ibushi, Johnny Margera, Tyler Black, Helios
  • Finished off: Samoa Joe, Christopher Daniels, El Generico
  • H&B Rating: 8

 

Watch more variations:

Kota Ibushi’s Backflip Kick- A great variation where not one, but both of Kota’s feet strike the top of his opponent’s head.
Tyler Black’s Backflip Kick- Maybe this can be categorised more as a Swinging Enziguiri, however, Black sometimes performs this move very similar to a Pele Kick. Skip to 0:59 of the video and you’ll see what I mean.
Helios’ Rollback Backflip Kick- With the opponent standing, Helios hits a backward roll onto his feet and then flips backwards high in the air, planting the opponent with the kick.
Kota Ibushi’s Handspring Backflip Kick- An incredible acrobatic variation, Kota runs forward, hits a cartwheel and then plants a Backflip Kick right on El Generico’s head, who is standing prey on the top rope.

For a simple move, the Double Foot Stomp is surprisingly effective. Used as a signature move by some of the best wrestlers in the business today, it sees the wrestler drive their feet into the opponent’s body, usually after leaping off the top turnbuckle.

The move is used widely over the Independent circuit, particularly in the Hardcore wrestling side of things. It is here where you will see the move busted out onto a variety of weapons, with the likes of Damian and TJ Cannon being great users of the move. However, if you wanted to see a brilliant variation, look no further than that of WWE’s Kaval. He uses a great variation, which he calls the Warrior’s Way.

To start off the move, the wrestler needs to be elevated. Usually, the Double Foot Stomp is pulled off from the top/middle turnbuckle, which sees the wrestler start the move by jumping upwards off the top turnbuckle. However, it is also common for the move to be pulled off from a standing position. The standing position sees the wrestler stand near the opponent and jump upwards. In any variation, the opponent is usually grounded, and can be lying horizontally or vertically on the mat in regards to the wrestler.

Now that the wrestler is in the air, they can do one of two things. They can either simply let their feet drop downwards, ready to hit the stomp, or- which is quite common- for added effect to lift their legs upwards whilst in mid-air before dropping their feet down suddenly. This is the version that Kaval pulls off in the video.

Once this has been achieved, the wrestler will now come crashing downwards. Their feet will connect with the opponent’s upper chest/abdomen usually, depending on how the opponent is lying on the ground. Once connected, the wrestler will either fall downwards and then clamber for the pin, or will hit a nice roll away after connection.

Statistics:

  • Also known as: Diving Foot Stomp/ Standing Foot Stomp/ Warrior’s Way
  • Famous users: Kaval, Prince Devitt, Damian, Kevin Steen, Chris Hero, Chikayo Nagashima, Sonjay Dutt
  • Finished off: Alex Riley, Michael McGillicutty, Kevin Steen, Yoshika Tamura
  • H&B Rating: 5

 

Watch more variations:

Kevin Steen’s Standing Double Foot Stomp- Usually done in the position seen here, the opponent will look for a Sunset Flip, but the wrestler will resist before jumping upwards and slamming their feet into the opposition’s chest.
Chris Hero’s Springboard Double Foot Stomp- Instead of hitting the move off the top rope, Hero leaps to the top rope from the apron and blasts the opponent with the move.
Kaval’s Tree of Woe Ghetto Stomp- A move that Kaval used in the independent circuit, he gets the opponent in a Tree of Woe then stands on the top rope. The opponent then lifts their body up as Kaval hits the move, crushing them down to the canvas.
Chikayo Nagashima’s Front Flip Double Foot Stomp- This is basically a more entertaining variation of the move. Instead of simply jumping off the top rope, Nagashima flips forward, rotating far enough that she lands on the opponent’s body feet first.
Sonjay Dutt’s Moonsault Double Foot Stomp- An inverted variation of the move above, yet a little more impressive. It looks like Dutt will hit a moonsault, but he gets extreme height, allowing him to land standing on M-Dogg 20′s chest.

A strike that was first originated by Japanese favourite Keiji Mutoh, who was well known by The Great Muta character he portrayed, this move sees the wrestler drive their knee/ inside leg into the opponent’s face as they kneel on the canvas.

In wrestling today, there are many ‘Shining’ moves, which is defined as a position where the wrestler steps up onto the opponent before pulling off a move. However, it was the Shining Wizard which established this position, and the move is famous worldwide. WWE fans will know that current superstar Yoshi Tatsu has the manoeuvre in his moveset, but Keiji Mutoh is the official inventor, and it is he who pulls off the move in the video below.

In order for the move to start, the usual position is for the opponent to be kneeling down on one knee. Their other leg will be placed foot first on the canvas, so it is angled slightly. This provides a step for the wrestler in order to pull off the move.

Now that the opponent is in this position, the wrestler will charge forward. As they come within a few steps of the opponent, the wrestler will lurch their body forward before stepping on the opponent’s angled leg.

With the wrestler now half-balanced on the opponent’s leg, they will use their other leg and swing it towards the opponent’s face. Either the wrestler’s knee/inner leg will connect with the opponent’s face, in turn knocking them down to the ground.

Statistics:

  • Also known as: Step-up Knee Strike
  • Famous users: Keiji Mutoh, CM Punk, Yoshi Tatsu, Nasawa Rongai
  • Finished off: Yoshihiro Takayama, Mitsuharu Misawa, Kaz Hayashi
  • H&B Rating: 7

 

Watch more variations:

Keiji Mutoh’s Shining Wizard from behind- Instead of hitting the opponent in the face, Mutoh hits the Shining Wizard with the opponent facing away. This causes the knee to connect with the back of the head.
Nanae Takahashi’s Shining Wizard- A stiff variation of the move, instead of swinging her knee, Nanae shoots it upright. This causes her kneecap to plant into her opponent’s face hard.
CM Punk’s Climbing Shining Wizard- This sees Punk use the rope as a step-up before using the knee to blast into a cornered opponent’s face. In WWE, Punk uses this move and then follows up with a Running Headlock Bulldog.
Satanic Scythe’s Standing Shining Wizard- Rather than the opponent kneeling, they are instead standing. This requires the wrestler to leap higher in order for the opponent to get rocked with the knee.

As a variation of a Big Boot, the Bicycle Kick is a move that requires momentum to pull off. It is not unusual for the wrestler to surge forwards before hitting this move, which when pulled off correctly looks decapitating.

The move has been used by a plethora of wrestling’s biggest stars, the most recent being WWE’s Sheamus who terms the move as the ‘Brogue Kick’. Independent wrestling’s Claudio Castagnoli, however, shows off a great version of the move in the video below.

The Bicycle Kick usually starts off with the wrestler charging forward. The opponent will be standing upright, awaiting to be hit by the move.

With the opponent in their sights, the wrestler will then slightly jump in the air, flexing one leg out before landing it on the canvas. This then gives the wrestler the momentum to straighten out their other leg, so it is parallel to the opponent’s face/ upper chest area.

The wrestler will then aim the foot upwards, so that it drills into the specific body part of the opponent. Most commonly, the wrestler aims for the opponent’s face area, with the opponent quickly protecting their face with their hands before they fall away to the canvas.

Statistics:

  • Also known as: Pump Kick/ Brogue Kick/ Botox Injection
  • Famous users: Sheamus, Claudio Castagnoli, Giant Bernard, Angelina Love
  • Finished off: Triple H, Randy Orton, John Cena, Madison Rayne, Tara
  • H&B Rating: 9

 

Watch more variations:

Sheamus’ Brogue Kick- Sheamus’ height and leg strength equal a powerful variation of the move, which blasts into the side of the opponent’s head.
Angelina Love’s Botox Injection- Still essentially a Bicycle Kick, except Angelina twists her body slightly, making the move look more similar to a Pump Savate Kick.
Dolph Ziggler’s Apron Bicycle Kick- Ziggler has only performed this move once, yet it’s effective. He uses the apron to step up and then blast out the move on a prone Batista.
Frankie Kazarian’s Bicycle Kick- Again, not a move that Kazarian pulls out a lot, yet this sees a nice rendition of the move. The fallout once the move hits makes it more like a Pump Single-leg Dropkick, but you can be the judge.

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The enziguiri is a nice, strong attack which is sure to ground any opponent. However, there are many different variations to the move, with the most common being a Leg-feed Enziguiri. This sees the wrestler go for a kick, only for the opponent to hold onto the leg and then the wrestler uses their free leg to jump kick them in the side of the head. The Step-up Enziguiri, however, looks more slick and effective.

The move is used by a wide range of wrestlers, with most of its users being lightweight competitors. One of the famous users of the move is Alex Shelley, who pulls off a perfect variation to Jay Lethal in the video below.

In the early stages of the move, the wrestler will await the opponent to stand upright. Usually, the move will follow a simpler move which in turn turns the opponent groggy, allowing them to stand straight and get ready for the move.

With the opponent in sight, the wrestler will then charge forward. The wrestler’s right/left foot will partially balance off the standing wrestler’s leg, or the wrestler will ‘step-up’ to an imaginary platform out of thin air. Once in this position, the wrestler is then able to lift their free leg and begin to swing it upwards.

When the move hits, the wrestler’s swung leg will hit the opponent square in the back of the head. As the wrestler rolls away, the opponent will sell the move, usually either falling/rolling forwards off the manoeuvre.

Statistics

  • Also known as: Step-up Roundhouse Kick/ Jumping Roundhouse Kick
  • Famous users: Chris Jericho, Alex Shelley, Antonio Inoki, Amazing Red, Allison Danger, Arik Cannon
  • Finished off: Christian, Goldust, Super Dragon, Roderick Strong
  • H&B Rating: 6


Watch more variations:

Chris Jericho’s Step-up Enziguiri- Jericho is almost a master at this move, and hits Randy right where it hurts with this variation.
Arik Cannon’s Glimmering Warlock- a variation of the Step-Up Enziguiri, only with the opponent kneeling in preparation.