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.

To kick-start the Facebusters category on the blog, we bring to you the Double Chickenwing Facebuster, a move used by a variety of wrestlers in the pro wrestling world today. It sees the wrestler lift the opponent by their arms before slamming them stomach/face first to the ground.

In independent wrestling, the move is well-known as being assigned to Jon Moxley, but it was probably WWE’s former diva Jazz who gave the move- which she labelled a ‘Bitch Clamp‘- exposure. It has been further highlighted thanks to its use by current WWE diva Beth Phoenix, who uses a sitout variation named as the Glam Slam. The sitout variation is the most effective way to hit the move, as shown in the video below. Here, Paul London hits the Waffle Face- the name he labels the move- to former teammate Brian Kendrick in a match for Dragon Gate USA.

The move starts off with the wrestler behind the opponent, facing their back. From this position, the wrestler will hook the arms in a Chickenwing lock. This sees the arms hooked by both the wrestler’s arms, giving them the strength they need to lift the opponent upwards.

Onto the lift, and the wrestler will lift the opponent pretty high in the air with the lock still applied. Usually, the opponent’s legs will be wrapped around the wrestler’s stomach, but it is also common for the opponent’s legs to drape downwards.

Now onto the drop of the move, and there are two ways for this to occur. Either the wrestler will drop the opponent face first, whilst still standing, or the wrestler will ensure the opponent’s legs are hooked around their body, wheelbarrow style. This then allows the wrestler to release the double chickenwing lock and then sit out abruptly, driving the opponent’s face and upper body area onto the canvas.

Statistics:

  • Also known as: Double Arm Wheelbarrow Facebuster/ Glam Slam/ Bitch Clamp/ Waffle Face/ Hook & Ladder/ Dodon
  • Famous users: Paul London, Beth Phoenix, Jazz, Jon Moxley, Ryusuke Taguchi
  • Finished off: Kota Ibushi, Jimmy Jacobs, Melina, Michelle McCool
  • H&B Rating: 8

 

Watch more variations:

Ryusuke Taguchi’s Dodon- This move sees Taguchi elevate the opponent Double Chickenwing style, before dropping abruptly. However, he keeps hooked of one of Kota Ibushi’s arms, which results in a hard drop onto the canvas.
Beth Phoenix’s Glam Slam- The strong Beth Phoenix elevates the opponent and then holds them there for a while. Then, suddenly, she releases the hold, and drops them into a Sitout Wheelbarrow Facebuster.
Jazz’s Bitch Clamp- A move without the sitout position, and many can argue that this is more a submission hold. However, Jazz would only apply the submission for a short while, in order to then throw the opponent down facebuster style.

Move of the Week | 3rd-10th January 2011
Missile Head Strike

When Rey Mysterio goes up top, you know that a great move is only seconds away from being pulled off. But wrestling fans worldwide were surprised at this innovative move pulled off on this week’s edition of Friday Night SmackDown! After scaling to the top with Alberto Del Rio in his sights, Rey proceeded to jump off, angling his head downwards to hit his opponent in the chest, knocking him down to the canvas. It was the first time Rey had pulled off this move, which made it look even more impressive. It also begs the question whether Rey will use this move in his arsenal from now-on, or whether it was a one-off. Let’s hope it’s the first option and that we’ll see the Missile Head Strike used on several occasions.

Other Contenders:

Kazarian’s Mid-Air Cutter- Kazarian is known for hitting this move from a variety of positions, and this time he did just that. With Lethal on the apron, Kazarian pulled the ropes as if to throw his opponent over, only to catch him mid-air with the Cutter.
John Morrison’s Barricade Step-up Knee Strike- This is one way to get rid of the interfering Alex Riley. Morrison places him on the barricade before running and leaping up with a Knee Strike that blasts Riley to the floor.
Kane’s Chokeslam through the announce table- During his match with Edge, Kane happened to chokeslam Edge. But not onto the cushioned canvas, oh no…this time through the announce table!

Continuing the latest insight into popular Japanese wrestling moves comes the Muta Lock, a submission hold that is both painful and good-looking. It sees the wrestler locks the opponent’s legs before bridging their body back into a facelock hold.

For a wrestler to pull it off, they need to be athletic and flexible, especially to hit the bridging part of the move. It is also known as an Inverted STF, although many fans argue it is only similar thanks to the facelock involved. As far as US exposure of the move, WWE superstar Melina used the move as a submission finisher for a short while, naming it the ‘California Dream‘. However, to see a great version of the move, look no further than Great Muta’s variation in the video below; after all, he did invent the move back in Japan decades ago.

The move pays attention to stretching out the opponent’s entire body. In order for the move to begin, the opponent will usually be lying on the floor face down. The wrestler will walk over to the opponent’s legs, and step in between them. From there, they will then reach down and cross the opponent’s legs so that they are trapping the wrestler’s leg. This is known as an Indian Deathlock position.

Now in this position, the standing wrestler will begin to bridge backwards. This means that, in a flexible motion, they fall backwards so that their head is literally pointed on the mat, pretty much next to the wrestler’s upper body/head. From there, the wrestler will then use their hands and wrench them over the opponent’s face.

Once that has been done, the wrestler will bridge their body further and pull on the opponent’s face/chin, causing the opponent to arch their body slightly. This will work over the opponent’s back and neck, and could even lead to the opponent tapping out from the pain.

Statistics:

  • Also known as: Inverted STF/ California Dream/ Bridging Indian Deathlock Facelock
  • Famous users: The Great Muta, Melina, AJ Styles, Manami Toyota, MsChif
  • Finished off: Beth Phoenix, Low Ki, Riki Chusu
  • H&B Rating: 7

 

Watch more variations:

Melina’s California Dream- Melina’s flexibility makes the move look slightly different. She crosses the legs, and then bridges back before wrenching the opponent’s neck.
AJ Style’s Muta Lock variation- AJ starts the move off as a traditional Muta Lock hold, but uses Jack Evans’ flexibility against him. After wrenching the face with the hands, he then moves onto wrenching the neck with his arm, almost snapping Jack in two.
Manami Toyota’s Muta Lock variation- Instead of wrenching the face, Toyota hooks the upper body of the opponent with the arms trapped underneath. This further wrenches the opponent’s body.
MsChif’s Double Leg Muta Lock- Instead of crossing the legs, MsChif traps the opponent’s legs before bridging her body back and applying the facelock. A very flexible variation which only MsChif could probably pull off.


Wrestler Name: Adam Cole
Ring Debut: 2008
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 190lbs
Finishing Move/s: Panama Sunrise (Avalanche Front Flip Piledriver)
Signature Moves: Coleateral (Scoop Brainbuster); Coled Day In Hell (Bridging Wheelbarrow Suplex); Jumping Enziguiri; Diving Leg Lariat; Bridging Northern Lights Suplex
Wrestling Style: Technical
Promotions Performed In: CZW; MCW; Evolve; ROH; CHIKARA
Current Promotion/s: CZW; ROH; Evolve
Career Highlight: On August 23,2010, Cole signed a contract with Ring of Honor.
Random fact: Cole was trained in the CZW academy, a promotion where he made his mark.

 

With just over two years experience under his belt, Adam Cole has done big things to Independent wrestling. Not only has he picked up an array of titles from different companies, but Cole is a highly technical wrestler who is terrifically gifted at the game.

When Cole made his debut in CZW, he got heads turning following the ‘climbing of the ladder’ he undertook within the promotion. This saw him begin by making a team with Tyler Veritas, before fighting with the likes of Sabian and Ruckus, two of CZW’s most valued workers. In fact, on May 8, 2010, Cole managed to defeat the two aforementioned wrestlers in a triple threat match, giving him his first ever title- the CZW World Junior Heavyweight Championship- in the company.

Since this time, federations across the US have wanted him, with recent stints in Chikara and Evolve. But August last year saw Cole get the break he deserved, as he signed a contract with Ring of Honor, the third best company in the US, and joined a team with Kyle O’Reilly. Since then, the tandem have entertained world wrestling fans globally, and it seems that this could be the beginning of a promising future for Cole.

Find out more: Adam Cole’s Wikipedia Page | Adam Cole’s IWD Page | Adam Cole’s MySpace Page
Watch: The Top Ten Moves of Adam Cole | Adam Cole vs. Sabian | Adam Cole’s 2008 CZW Highlight Video

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.

Move of the Week | 27th December- 2nd January
RKO

The RKO is a move that gets the WWE fans rolling, and Randy Orton does what he can to ensure the move never looks samey. Although the move is simple, it is also effective and whenever it is pulled out, excitement builds in the WWE arena. The past week, Randy took on Sheamus in a great match up live on Raw. Earlier in the match up, Sheamus busted out an impressive Slingshot Shoulder Block, which managed to get him a two count on the Apex Predator. Thinking that he could pull the same move out again, but this time for the win, Sheamus decided to try and again outdo Randy. Instead, Orton managed to catch a mid-air Sheamus in the RKO, which made the fans go crazy, giving Orton the pin fall victory.

Other Contenders

Melina’s Sunset Split- Always an impressive move, Melina grabs Gail Kim in an Inverted DDT hold before spinning her leg over the throat, and executing a split-like position. This drives Gail’s head into the canvas hard, and gives Melina the win.
Drew McIntyre’s Turnbuckle Powerbomb- This week, McIntyre owned Trent Baretta in their singles match-up. This move featured in the bout, and sure was impressive.
Rob Van Dam’s Five Star Frog Splash- RVD’s pulled this move off many a time, and although it’s simple, he still manages to make it look good. Here he pulls his finisher off to Robbie E, which gives RVD the much deserved victory.

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.

Dubbed as a Sliced Bread #2 over in the States, the Shiranui is a move which first came to wrestling fans attention in Japan. It is a move that makes good use of the turnbuckles, and ends in the opponent being driven downwards onto the canvas.

Fans of televised wrestling in the US will know that it was Brian Kendrick who introduced this move to their eyes, defeating the likes of Shannon Moore and William Regal along the way. However, who better to show this move than it’s creator, Naomichi Marufuji. If we wanted to be technical, the move can be called a Three-Quarter Facelock Turnbuckle Step-Up Backflip Inverted DDT, but to save our tongues being twisted, Marufuji called it the Shiranui and the name has stuck around the globe.

To start this move off, the wrestler will grab the opponent in an Inverted Three-Quarter Facelock. This sees the wrestler turn their back so it is facing the opponent, and then they will wrap their arm around the opponent’s neck, as if they were going for a Cutter type manoeuvre.

From this position, the wrestler will then walk forward with the opponent in grasp towards the turnbuckles. Once near the turnbuckles, the wrestler will then run/ walk slowly up the buckles, rung by rung. The opponent will still be in grasp at this point, as the wrestler gets their feet on the top rope.

Now in this position, the wrestler will push themselves off the top, in turn flipping backwards. As they flip backwards, the opponent will in turn fall backwards and will be driven head/upper back first onto the canvas as the wrestler lands on their knees.

Statistics:

  • Also known as: Sliced Bread No.2/ Asai DDT
  • Famous users: Naomichi Marufuji, Brian Kendrick, Alex Shelley, AJ Lee, Jimmy Jacobs, Ultimo Dragon
  • Finished off: Kenta, Chris Sabin, Roderick Strong, Hayabusa
  • H&B Rating: 6

 

Watch more variations:

Naomichi Marufuji’s Cutthroat Shiranui- Instead of simply just clutching the neck, Marufuji on this instance wraps Kenta’s arm slightly around the hold before climbing the ropes. It doesn’t add much more impact, but makes the move look more impressive.
Jimmy Jacobs’ Contra Code- Also known as a Sitout Shiranui, Jacobs flips higher once rebounding off the buckles, allowing him to sit-out and drive the opponent’s upper back into the canvas.
Ultimo Dragon’s Asai DDT- A standing variation of the Shiranui which was made popular by Ultimo Dragon. Instead of stepping up the turnbuckles, Dragon would leap in the air, using his acrobatic nature to hit a Shiranui in the centre of the ring.
Alex Shelley’s Apron Shiranui- A more effective move which sees the wrestler scale the buckles or leap upwards whilst the opponent is in grasp on the apron. The opponent is driven onto the apron hard.