Posts Tagged ‘neckbreaker’

This dangerous move is rarely seen in pro wrestling, but when it’s carried out, you sure do know about it. The Elevated Cradle Neckbreaker sees the opponent lifted up in the air with their legs before the wrestler sits/kneels out, driving them neck first off the shoulder.

The move was first originated in Japanase manga, with the move referenced to Kinnikuman, a cartoon character who used an over-the-top variation as his finisher. Soon enough, Japanese wrestlers started using the move, most notably Tanny Mouse. The move has soon made its way onto the US independent circuit with several wrestlers categorising it as a finishing move. Sonjay Dutt labels the move as an Indian Summer, and hits a kneeling variation in the video below.

The move can start off from one of two positions. Usually, the opponent will be seated on the top turnbuckle, allowing the wrestler to grab them by the legs with their arms. As they do this, the opponent will duck their head so that the head is tucked in with the hold. Another way of starting the move is by lifting the opponent from a standing position. Here, the wrestler will grab the opponent suplex style before grabbing both of the opponent’s legs also. They will then be lifted into the elevated cradle position.

Once in this position, the wrestler will then usually stagger backwards slightly. There is a need for the wrestler to be strong, as they will be taking the whole weight of the opponent on their shoulders as they walk. At the right moment, the wrestler will then get prepared for the drop.

There are two ways to finish the move. Either the wrestler will kneel out, which is more dangerous, or they will sitout. Either way, the opponent’s neck will bounce off the wrestler’s shoulder and they will fall to the floor. In a kneeling position, the opponent usually lands stomach/head first off impact, but in the sitout position, the opponent will usually hit the canvas back first.


  • Also known as: Kinniku Buster/ Muscle Buster Neckbreaker
  • Famous users: Sonjay Dutt, Tanny Mouse, Juventud Guerrera
  • Finished off: Rey Mysterio, Petey Williams, Kaori Yoneyama
  • H&B Rating: 9


Watch more variations:

Tanny Mouse’s Kinniku Buster– A seated variation of the move, where the opponent is set up exactly as mentioned before, only for the wrestler to sitout suddenly. The sudden movement drives the opponent’s neck off the shoulder, before they fall to their back.
Juventud Guerrera’s Elevated Cradle Neckbreaker– Very similar to the Indian Summer, Juvi lifts the opponent up but instead of running forward, he walks and spins around before drilling Rey with the kneeling neckbreaker.


Most neckbreaker variations sees the opponent’s neck driven into the canvas, but the Shoulder Neckbreaker doubles the pain. Instead of the opponent falling to the canvas, they instead get their neck/head driven off the wrestler’s shoulder.

The move is commonly known as a Hangman’s Neckbreaker, but this is not the actual definition. A Hangman’s Neckbreaker is essentially the same set up of an Shoulder Neckbreaker, but sees the wrestler lie outwards and the opponent fall to the canvas. Although this style of move is popular, the Shoulder Neckbreaker is also. WWE Diva Layla uses it as her current finishing move, but it is Zack Ryder who probably performs the best looking variation in the business today.

To set the move up, the wrestler will usually be facing an opponent, or the back of the opponent. If the wrestler is facing the opponent, the opponent will usually be kicked in the stomach before being wrapped in a facelock. The wrestler will then slowly spin the opponent over so that they are back-to-back, but still with the inverted facelock applied.

If the wrestler is facing the opponent’s back, the wrestler will however ensure they are then back-to-back with the opponent and will reach back for the facelock.

Now in this position, the wrestler will do one of three different things. In order for the opponent’s head to connect with the wrestler’s shoulder, the wrestler will need to sit down sharply, kneel down quickly or even connect a split-legged position. This trio of possibilities will jolt the opponent’s body downwards, driving their head into the shoulder. After this has connected, the opponent will then usually fall away to the canvas.


  • Also known as: Hangman’s Neckbreaker/ Kneeling Neckbreaker/ Sitout Neckbreaker/ Split-legged Neckbreaker/ Layout
  • Famous users: Zack Ryder, Layla, Jay Lethal, Melina, Hawk, Matt Striker, Primo
  • Finished off: Tiffany, Melina, Kelly Kelly
  • H&B Rating: 5


Watch more variations:

Layla’s Layout– Layla’s variation is slightly different in that instead of grabbing the opponent in a facelock before the move, she grabs their hair to spin them around, before sitting out.
Primo’s Shoulder Neckbreaker– A similar variation to the video in the post, except Primo is back-to-back with Yoshi Tatsu, allowing him to quickly grab the head and pull off a quick Shoulder Neckbreaker.
Matt Striker’s Kneeling Shoulder Neckbreaker– Instead of the wrestler sitting out, they kneel abruptly, driving the opponent’s neck into the shoulder.
Melina’s Split-legged Shoulder Neckbreaker– A nice, if not painful, variation of the shoulder neckbreaker, where the wrestler drops to a split-legged position quickly, driving the opponent’s neck into the shoulder.

As a move which can be executed from a number of different positions, the Gory Neckbreaker is designed only for the most versatile of wrestlers.

It’s requirements to be pulled off are that the wrestler needs to be strong and sturdy. The move was made famous in the US back in 2002 thanks to it’s use by former WWE diva and current TNA Knockout Tara, but it was commonly used as a finisher before that, most famously by Kotoro Suzuki in Japan.

The move is usually started off by the wrestler pulling their opponent towards them, and then placing their head in between their legs. The wrestler will then wrap their arms around the opponent’s stomach/ upper chest before lifting the opponent upwards. The opponent will usually assist by placing their hands on the wrestlers legs, allowing them to flip upright onto the wrestler’s shoulder.

At this point, the opponent’s back will be on the wrestler’s shoulder. The wrestler will then usually allow the opponent to wrap their legs around the wrestler’s waist in an assist of the move, or failing that, the wrestler will position the legs so that they are hooked in between their back. By this point, the wrestler’s hands will be clenching the jaw of the opponent so that the opponent’s head is resting on the wrestler’s shoulder.

Once this point is reached, the wrestler will either wrench the jaw a little more or go for the finale. This sees the wrestler sit-out suddenly, causing the opponent’s head to jolt off the wrestler’s shoulder as they land on their knees. To save injury, the wrestler will commonly release the opponent a millisecond before the sit-out move, allowing the opponent to sell the move. Once the move has been hit, the opponent will fall face first onto the canvas or stay upright on the knees before falling backward/forward, allowing the wrestler to clamber for the pin.


  • Also known as: Back-to-Back Shoulder Neckbreaker/ Widow’s Peak/ Blue Destiny
  • Famous Users: Kotoro Suzuki, Victoria/ Tara
  • Finished off: Nigel McGuinness, Trish Stratus,┬áKatsuhiko Nakajima, Mickie James
  • H&B Rating: 9

Watch more variations:

Tara’s Widows Peak– the opponent highly assists the move by placing their hands on the wrestler’s legs to flip themselves upright, and the wrestler will clench the jaw with both hands so that when they sit-out, it seems the opponent’s head will drive into the wrestler’s skull.
Dragonfly’s Gory Neckbreaker
– this version sees the opponent’s arms hooked, driving the opponent’s head/ upper shoulder area into the head/ shoulder area of the wrestler at the sit-out part of the move.
Roderick Strong’s CX ’03 – similar to a Gory Neckbreaker, except the wrestler’s arms are crossed straightjacket style, causing the upper back of the opponent to be driven into the wrestler’s shoulder.