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.
- 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.