Although the manoeuvre is possibly one of the most well-used finishers in wrestling, the Moonsault is an aerial attack which is performed onto a downed opponent.
The move used to be assigned as finishers to high-flying athletes, but with aerial attacks entering a new level, it is no surprise that heavyweights also use it in their signature arsenal. One of the best performers of this move is Japanese wrestling legend Go Shiozaki. Despite weighing in at 240lbs, Shiozaki hits this move better than most high-flyers, showing that the move isn’t limited at all.
There are different variations of the move, but the most common is performed from the top turnbuckle. This sees the wrestler climb to the top, usually with their back towards the grounded opponent. They then stand on the top rope, so that they are balanced and ready to perform the move.
With the opponent still flat out on the canvas, the wrestler will then usually swing their arms in order for them to backflip off the turnbuckle. This means the wrestler rotates so that they fall to the canvas stomach first, with the opponent awaiting for the move to hit beneath.
The wrestler will soon come crashing down to the canvas, with the opponent cupping their arms in a style of ‘catching’ the wrestler to reduce the risk of injury. Either this will occur, or the wrestler will purposefully overshoot the landing. Usually, the move is then followed with the wrestler hooking the opponent’s leg for a pin attempt.
- Also known as: Backflip Splash
- Famous users: The Great Muta, Shawn Michaels, Go Shiozaki, Kurt Angle, Lita, Christopher Daniels, Evan Bourne
- Finished off: AJ Styles, Chris Sabin, Low Ki
- H&B Rating: 7
Watch more variations:
Christopher Daniels’ Best Moonsault Ever– Aptly titled for an incredible variation, Daniels leaps to the second buckle, before springboarding off the third and delivering the diving move onto the grounded opponent.
Kurt Angle’s Moonsault– Kurt is well known for flying high before he hits the move, and this video shows how the move can be performed at an incredibly high angle.
Evan Bourne’s Standing Moonsault– Probably the perfect standing moonsault variation, Bourne tucks his body in before releasing and crushing the grounded opponent below.
Chris Jericho’s Lionsault– Essentially a springboard moonsault, Jericho has had this manoeuvre as a signature for a number of years, and can be considered as the master of it.
Ricochet’s Double Rotation Moonsault– Although this is hard to hit, it’s pleasing to the eye. Ricochet is the perfecter of this move, and spins twice before landing on the opponent.