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Attacking maneuvers in the kayfabe of professional wrestling are mainly used to wear down an opponent for a submission hold or as a set up for a throw. There are a wide variety of attacking moves in pro wrestling, and many moves are known by several different names. Professional wrestlers frequently give their finishers new names. Occasionally, these names become popular and are used regardless of the wrestler performing the technique.
Professional wrestling contains a variety of punches and kicks found in martial arts and other fighting sports; the moves listed below are more specific to wrestling itself. Many of the moves below can also be performed from a raised platform (the top rope, the ring apron, etc.); these are called aerial variations. Moves are listed under general categories whenever possible.
Also known as a Reverse Elbow, in this attack, the wrestler stands with his back to a running opponent and thrusts out an elbow, into which the opponent runs.
The attacking wrestler slaps both ears of an opponent simultaneously with the palms of his hands, distorting their balance. It is often used to escape a bearhug hold. Big Van Vader frequently uses this move as a counter to charging opponents, as well as combining it with a running avalanche in the corner, where it is referred to as a Vader Splash.
Template:For Also known as a splash or body block, a body press involves an wrestler falling against the opponent with the core of their body. It is executed from a running or jumping position, using momentum and weight to impact the opponent, and most variations can seamlessly transition into a pin. This attack is a plancha in lucha libre.
This press is executed while facing away from a standing opponent. Against a fallen opponent, this is a senton.
The big splash involves a wrestler jumping forward and landing stomach-first across an opponent lying on the ground below. This move was a trademark of Haystack Calhoun and has been a mainstay in the movesets of heavier/larger wrestlers.
The wrestler charges into an opponent in the corner of the ring without leaving their feet, crushing them into the turnbuckle. This is normally used by bigger, heavier wrestlers.
Also known as crossbody block, this is a maneuver in which a wrestler jumps onto his opponent and lands horizontally across the opponent's torso, forcing them to the mat and usually resulting in a pinfall attempt. There is also an aerial variation, known as a flying crossbody, where wrestler leaps from an elevated position towards the opponent.
This is an attack in which a wrestler runs at an opponent, who is upright in the corner, then jumps forward so that he splashes his whole body stomach-first, squashing his opponent between him and the turnbuckle. This move was named after its most notable user, Sting.
Lou Thesz press
This move, popularized and subsequently named after Lou Thesz, sees the attacking wrestler jump towards a standing opponent and knock him over, resulting in the opponent lying on his back with the attacking wrestler sitting on the opponent's chest, pinning him in a body scissors.
A variation involves the attacking wrestler jumping on a running opponent, then repeatedly striking the opponent in the face while in the mounted position. This variation was first made popular by Stone Cold Steve Austin.
A vertical splash is a jumping attack made against a standing opponent, landing against the opponent's upper body while remaining upright, and bringing them down to the mat into a vertical splash (seated senton) position.
In the Bronco buster, an opponent is seated in the corner of the ring while the attacking wrestler jumps in the corner, straddling his or her opponent's body, and bounces up and down on the opponent's chest. Goldust added pelvic thrusts to his version of the Bronco buster. The Bronco buster is normally treated as having comic or sexual connotations rather than as a legitimately painful move, the latter particularly true during some matches between female wrestlers.
The act of a wrestler to slap the chest of his opponent with the palm of the hand using a backhand swing. Many wrestlers use this chop, often referring to it as a knife edge chop, but it is best known for being used by Ric Flair. Flair's use has made it a tradition for fans to yell his signature "Wooo!" whenever any wrestler uses it.
Sometimes referred to as a frying pan chop or an openhand chop. The act of slapping the chest of the opponent using the forehand.
A downward diagonal backhand chop to the side of the opponents neck.
The act of 'karate chopping' both the opponent's shoulders and sides of the neck with the hands' edges in a swinging motion at the same time.
Also known as a brain chop or tomahawk chop, this move was made famous by the legendary Giant Baba. The wrestler draws his hand back and hits the opponent vertically with a backhand chop, usually hitting the head.
A move in which one wrestler runs towards another and extends his/her arm out from the side of the body and parallel to the ground, knocking over the other as he/she runs by. This move is often confused with a lariat.
A clothesline used by Mick Foley that is named after his "Cactus Jack" gimmick. The attacking wrestler charges at an opponent who is against the ring ropes and clotheslines him/her, and the force and momentum from the charge knocks both the wrestler and the opponent over the top rope and onto the floor.
Clothesline from Hell
A clothesline used by JBL, named while he was working as one half of The Acolytes. The attacking wrestler gets a running start (usually off the ropes) first before hitting a high-impact clothesline, in which he swings his arm forward while running toward his opponent.
A clothesline used by a wrestler where instead of knocking a standing opponent, the wrestler charges against an opponent on the corner.
While running towards an opponent, an attacking wrestler leaps up into the air, before connecting with a clothesline. Another version sees an attacking wrestler leap up into the air and connecting with a clothesline onto an opponent leaning against the corner turnbuckle.
Also known as a short clothesline or short-range clothesline, this variation is set up by Irish-whipping the opponent, but holding onto the arm. When the held arm is completely extended, the wrestler pulls the opponent back and clotheslines him with the other arm. Alternatively, this move can be performed in the same fashion, but following an Arm wrench or Wrist lock instead of an Irish whip, or by simply grabbing hold of one of the opponent's arms with one the wrestler's hands, pulling it towards the wrestler and clotheslining him with his spare arm.
Three-point stance clothesline
Double axe handle
Also known as a Double Sledge or Polish Hammer, this attack sees the wrestler clutch both hands together and swing them at an opponent, hitting any part of them. The Polish Hammer name comes from its most noted user, Ivan Putski. The other names come from the attack mimicking the motion seen when people swing a sledgehammer or axe. There is also a top rope variation.
Drops are moves in which wrestlers jump or fall down onto a person on the floor, landing with a specific part of the body
The wrestler either falls forward, or jumps up and drops down, hitting a lying opponent with a backhand chop on the way down. The wrestler usually lands on his knees.
Scotty 2 Hotty's Worm is a chop drop preceded by a routine that involves Scotty hopping on one leg four times (as the crowd chants W-O-R-M), doing worm dance moves towards the opponent and swinging his arms just before hitting the chop drop, while his opponent lies motionless on the mat.
An elbow drop is a move in which a wrestler jumps or falls down on an opponent driving his or her elbow into anywhere on the opponent's body. A common elbow drop sees a wrestler raise one elbow before falling to one side and striking it across an opponent. Another common elbow drop is the pointed elbow drop that sees a wrestler raise both elbows up and drop directly forward dropping one, or both elbows onto the opponent.
The Rock's People's Elbow, involves the user dropping his opponent supine in the middle of the ring (usually with a scoop slam or a spinebuster), pulling off his elbow pad and throwing it into the audience, bouncing twice off the ring ropes to gain acceleration, getting near his opponent again, performing a feint leg drop and hitting an elbow drop to the opponent's chest.
Abdullah the Butcher used an elbow drop with the point of the elbow striking the opponent in the throat as his "Sudanese Meat Cleaver" finisher.
This is a move in which a wrestler faces an opponent and smashes his elbow on to the top of the opponents head, made famous by Dusty Rhodes who precedes the move by 3 or 4 punches then spins his arms, grabs his crotch then hits his opponent with the elbow.
Spinning headlock elbow drop
This is any elbow drop which is performed after applying a headlock, the most widely known variation is an inverted facelock elbow drop in which a wrestler puts his opponent into a inverted facelock, and then turns 180°, dropping the elbow across the opponent's chest, driving him down to the mat. Another variation of this move, popularized by Gregory Helms, sees the executor use their whole arm as a lariat instead of just the elbow.
A fist drop is a move in which a wrestler jumps/falls down on an opponent driving his fist into anywhere on the opponent's body. The falling variation was commonly used by 'The Million Dollar Man' Ted DiBiase, who hit a downed opponent with multiple fist drops. John Cena uses a fist drop he calls the "Five Knuckle Shuffle," where he adds theatrics to the move, including waving his hand in front of his face in his "you can't see me" taunt, bouncing against the ropes then dusting off his shoulder, sometimes inserting theatrics (sometimes fixing the collar of the referee's shirt or dusting the referee's shoulder) before hitting the Fist Drop.
A forearm drop is a move in which a wrestler jumps down on an opponent driving his forearm into anywhere on the opponent's body.
A headbutt drop is a move in which a wrestler jumps/falls down on an opponent driving his head into anywhere on the opponent's body.
A knee drop is a move in which a wrestler jumps/falls down on an opponent driving his knee into anywhere on the opponent's body. It is often sold as more powerful if the wrestler bounces off the ropes first.
Knee drop bulldog
A version of a knee drop that involves the wrestler placing one knee against the base of the opponent's neck, who is leaning forward, then dropping. This forces the opponent's head down to the mat, while landing on the opponent's upper body, and driving his knee to the neck of the opponent. There is also a diving version.
A move in which a wrestler will jump/fall and land the back of his leg across an opponent's chest, throat, or face. Most famously used by Hulk Hogan, who uses this as his finisher when wrestling in North America, calling it the "Atomic Leg Drop."
The wrestler makes a punching motion, but tucks his or her hand towards the chest so the elbow and forearm make contact. These can be used in place of punches because striking with a clenched fist is illegal in most wrestling matches.
With an opponent sitting against the bottom corner turnbuckle, an attacking wrestler repeatedly rubs the sole of their boot across the face of the opponent. This is usually followed by either a running front kick, a running knee, a running low yakuza kick, a low jumping single leg running front dropkick or other strikes that first see the attacking wrestler rebound off the opposing ropes and charge at the opponent.
An attacking wrestler uses one hand to take hold of an opponent (by their head or hair) and lean them forward while extending his or her other arm in a raised position and clenching the fist of that hand before throwing the arm forward down onto the opponent; using his or her forearm and clenched fist to club the opponent across the back of his or her head/neck. This will often send the opponent to the mat front-first.
A lesser used version of this move can see the attacking wrestler take hold of an opponent and lean him or her backwards to expose his or her chest area, allowing the attacking wrestler to club the chest of the opponent and send him or her to the mat back-first.
An attacking wrestler charges at the opponent with their arms out folded over each other, and then hit the opponent in the chest to force them back and down to the mat. Sometimes, however, it hits the opponent's chin or face.
Flying forearm smash
While running towards an opponent (usually after bouncing off the ropes), an attacking wrestler would leap up into the air, before connecting with a forearm smash.
Sliding forearm smash
With the opponent seated on the mat, the attacking wrestler does a slide across the mat, before connecting with a forearm smash. This was innovated and used by Masato Tanaka.
An attack where a wrestler uses his head to strike a part of the opponent's body, usually the head or skull, to daze him. Unlike a legitimate headbutt, the pro-wrestling version most often impacts with the opponent's forehead, counting on the superior hardness of the wrestler's head and the momentum delivered to hurt the opponent without hurting the wrestler. The headbutt is most often used by Samoan and Tongan wrestlers, who are generally portrayed in pro wrestling as having hard heads. However, very large wrestlers, such as André the Giant, have also used headbutts, counting on their sheer size to easily subdue their opponents.
The wrestler stands facing an upright opponent, lowers their head and then jumps or charges forwards, driving the top of their head into the abdomen of the opponent. This move was made famous by Harley Race. There is also a double-team version of the move.
The wrestler holds both the opponent's arms under his own, and delivers a series of headbutts to his opponent, who is unable to counter. This attack was popularized in the United States by Al Snow, whose fans would chant "Head" as he performed the maneuver.
Attacks where a wrestler will strike an opponent using their knees. The idea of using knees as an offensive weapon is popular throughout British wrestling.
Go 2 Sleep
Also known as Go 2 Sleep or G.T.S. (Go To Sleep), this move, named and innovated by Kenta, sees a wrestler place an opponent in a fireman's carry and proceed to drop the opponent in front of them. While the opponent is falling, the wrestler quickly lifts a knee up, striking the opponent in the face. Kenta also uses an inverted variation in which he lifts his opponent into an Argentine backbreaker rack, throws his opponent forward, and strikes the back of the opponent's head with his knee.
Davey Richards uses a modified version named Go 2 Sleep 2.0 in which he lifts his opponent into a military press, drops the opponent in front of him, and lifts his leg up as the opponent is falling, delivering a stiff kick to the opponent's face.
A strike delivered to an opponent down on one knee. After stepping off the opponent's raised knee with one foot, the wrestler swings his other leg and strikes the opponent's head with either the side of his knee or his shin. The move was innovated and named by Keiji Mutoh, who originally performed the move as a high knee to the forehead of the opponent.
An inverted variation known as the Glimmering Warlock was innovated by Arik Cannon and is performed to an opponent down on one knee after stepping off of one of the opponent's calves from behind with the wrestler swinging his other leg and striking the back of his opponent's head with an enzuigiri.
An attack in which a wrestler will charge towards their opponent, then raise their knee or jump up so that their knee hit the opponent usually into the side of the head or face. This move has been closely associated with Harley Race, often being referred to as a "Harley Race-style High Knee".
KENTA uses a dropkick-like variation named the Busaiku Knee Kick where he charges towards the opponent and jumps up from his left foot, throwing his right leg and arms forward while bending his left knee, striking the opponent in the head and/or upper chest region.
Also known as a Butt bump /Butt thump, this attack is usually performed with a running start, when wrestler jumps into the air, spins around, and thrusts his pelvis backwards, thus hitting the opponent's head or chest with his hip or buttocks. The move is also known as the Butt Butt and was made famous by Iceman Parsons in World Class Championship Wrestling in the 80s as well as the tag team The Killer Bees, who called it the Bee Stinger.
A kick is an attack using the foot, knee or leg to strike any part of the opponent's body.
While the wrestler has his or her back to the opponent, he or she performs a standing backflip and hits the opponent in the head with one or both his or her legs, with the wrestler usually landing on his or her hands and/or feet facing downward. This maneuver is known for its use chiefly by Puroresu Legend Keiji Mutoh and, more recently, A.J. Styles who calls it the Pelé kick after the famed Brazilian footballer who popularised the bicycle kick in football.
Corner backflip kick
This move sees an opponent propped up in the corner as an attacking wrestler charges towards him or her, running up the ropes (that are beside the opponent), or in some cases, up the opponent, and, as he or she reaches the top, kicking off this opponent's chest to perform a backflip so the wrestler lands on his/her feet.
This is usually done with the opponent charging towards the wrestler, using the opponent's momentum to deliver the wrestler's boot to the upper-body or head. This move is commonly performed by tall wrestlers to enhance its view as a strong attack even though the wrestler themselves are not moving and the opponent is running into their foot, and due to that their height makes it easy for their leg to reach the head of normal sized wrestlers.
When this move is performed with the wrestler charging towards an opponent it is referred to as a Yakuza Kick, named by Masahiro Chono. Taking the naming convention in reference to the organized crime groups, the move is also referred to as a Mafia Kick in the United States, and Hooligan Kick in the United Kingdom.
An attacking wrestler jumps up and kicks forward with both feet in a pedaling motion with the foot that gets lifted second being extended fully to catch a charging opponent directly in the face.
This is a leg lariat or Spinning heel-kick move which is performed after an opponent catches the leg of a wrestler who has attempted a kick of some sort (i.e. superkick or side kick), then while the opponent throws the leg out away from himself the wrestler continues to spin all the way out with his leg still extended to hit the leg lariat.
A dropkick is defined as an attack where the wrestler jumps up and kicks the opponent with the soles of both feet, this sees the wrestler twist as they jump so that when the feet connect with the opponent one foot is raised higher that the other (depending on which way they twist) and the wrestler fall back to the mat on their side, or front. This is commonly employed by light and nimble wrestlers who can take advantage of their agility.
Enzuigiri was one of the signature moves by Antonio Inoki. The term Enzui is the Japanese word for medulla oblongata and giri means "to chop". Thus, an enzuigiri (often misspelled 'ensuigiri' or 'enzuiguri') is any attack that strikes the back of the head. It is usually associated with lighter weight class wrestlers, as well as wrestlers who have a martial arts background or gimmick. It is often a counter-move after a kick is blocked and the leg caught, or the initial kick is a feint to set up the real enzuigiri attack.
"Gentleman" Chris Adams' enzuigiri was often mistakenly called a superkick before bringing the real maneuver itself to the U.S. from his stint in Japan. In America, this maneuver was made famous by Bad News Brown, who used a running variation simply known as a running enzuigiri in which he calls it the Ghetto Blaster.
Sometimes also referred to as a soccer kick. The wrestler kicks an opponent, who is sitting on the mat, vertically to their back, with the foot striking the base of the spine, and the shin striking the back of the head.
Jumping high kick
The wrestler jumps up and kicks the opponent to the side of their head. It is properly called a Gamengiri, but due to the similar nature can be confused for an enzuigiri.
Kick to the midsection of a rope-hung opponent
The wrestler positions the opponent facing the ropes, grabs both ankles lifting the lower half of the body, with the upper body now hanging over the ropes, and delivers a firm kick between the legs to the lower abdominal region of the opponent. Commonly used by Hardcore Holly.
The wrestler drops to one knee and extends their other leg, then quickly pivots their body around, using their extended leg to knock away the opponent’s legs.
While facing away from a charging opponent, the wrestler bends down and pushes out one foot, striking the opponent with the bottom of it.
Double mule kick
Usually done with the wrestler facing away from the opponent, sometimes done in a corner. The wrestler jumps and kicks backwards with both legs to the opponent, hitting them with both soles of their feet. If acrobatically inclined, the wrestler can then roll forward into a standing position.
Similar to a backflip kick, this attack sees the wrestler either start by lying down or drops down on the mat while the opponent standing near their head. The wrestler lifts a leg and kicks up over their waist and chest, hitting the opponent with the top of their foot, usually in the head. Can be used as a counter to an attack from behind. For example, a wrestler attempts a full nelson, the wrestler breaks the opponent’s lock, falls to the canvas and kicks them in the face with their foot.
Based on the punt kick used in American football, this sees the wrestler take a run up to a kneeling opponent and strike him in the head with the sole of his foot. WWE superstar Randy Orton popularised the move.
Rolling wheel kick
It is also known as an Abisegiri, Rolling Koppou kick or Spinning Wheel Kick. The wrestler rolls towards a standing opponent, extending a leg which connects with the back, chest, or head of the opponent.
The most commonly used kick which is referred to as a "Savate kick" in wrestling is the chassé, a piston-action kick, with the sole of the foot to an opponent's head or chin. This kick is in some ways similar to, but not considered, a superkick.
A version of a leg drop, which is performed on an opponent who is standing, bent over, usually in the middle of the ring. This sees a wrestler bounces off the ropes, jumps—driving his leg(s) into the back of the head and the neck of the opponent, forcing them face first into the floor. Also known as a Jumping Axe Kick, or a Butterfly Kick. In the West, this move is usually associated with Booker T.
A kickboxing-style kick with the shin (generally protected by a shin guard) striking an opponent's face or chest. This move originated in the Japanese UWF and is used in shoot-style environments and by many Japanese wrestlers, most notably Toshiaki Kawada, whose usage of this kick resulted in it being called the Kawada Kick on some occasions.
A thrust kick where the wrestler turns his torso away from the opponent while at the same time lifting his leg horizontally and extending it forward, striking the opponent in the torso with the sole of his foot. Tiger Mask and Ultimo Dragon use it as a part of their kick combination, which consists of a shoot kick and a spin kick, followed by the jumping rolling sole butt kick.
A spin kick variation sees the wrestler spin around and then perform the sole butt kick with his outer leg, which is known as a Rolling sole kick in Japan. There is also jumping variation where the wrestler jumps straight up, spins in the air, and then delivers the sole butt with his outer leg targeting the head of the opponent.
A high kick which gains power and momentum from spinning in place. Similar to the spinning heel kick or a reverse roundhouse kick, but the wrestler does not jump off the ground, making the move a leg lariat of sorts. It is common to see this move executed after an opponent is Irish whipped off the ropes. In Mexico, it is known as La Filomena.
Spinning heel kick
This move usually involves the wrestler spinning 360 degrees as they jump so that his or her body is somewhat horizontal, before hitting their opponent with back of his/her leg(s) or heel(s) on the face, neck or chest.
Also known as a foot stomp, this attack sees a wrestler stamp his foot on any part of a fallen opponent. One variation of the stomp called the Garvin Stomp, named after its innovator Ron Garvin, sees a wrestler perform a series of stomps all over the body of a fallen opponent in the order of left arm, left chest, left stomach, left upper leg, left lower leg, right lower leg, right upper leg, right stomach, right chest, right arm, and finally the jaw.
Double foot stomp
A high side thrust kick with the sole of the foot to an opponent's head or chin, usually preceded by a sidestep, often referred to as a Shuffle side kick, Crescent Kick, or just a Side kick. The wrestler will often slap their thigh to generate an appropriate sound effect. It is the equivalent of the Sokuto Geri or Yoko Geri used in Karate. A popular variation of the superkick is Shawn Michaels' Sweet Chin Music.
Tiger feint kick
The Tiger Feint Kick, named after Tiger Mask, and innovated by Satoru Sayama, the original Tiger Mask, is a move in which a wrestler jumps through the second and top rope while holding on to the ropes, and uses the momentum to swing back around into the ring, and was originally performed as a fake dive to make opponents and fans think that the wrestler was about to dive through the ropes to opponents outside the ring. This move requires high agility, and is mainly used by smaller wrestlers in Japan and Mexico.
A variation of this move, innovated by the Japanese wrestler MIKAMI, who calls it the Mickey Boom, sees an opponent being hung over the second rope facing the outside, as MIKAMI swings around back to the ring his feet would hit the prone opponent in the head. In the western world, this version is best known as the 619 as named by Rey Mysterio in reference to the area code of San Diego, Mysterio's hometown.
In wrestling, a lariat is when an attacking wrestler runs towards an opponent, wraps his arm around their upper chest and neck and then forces them to the ground. This move is similar to a clothesline, the difference being that in a clothesline the wrestler's arm is kept straight to the side of the wrestler during the move, while in the lariat the wrestler strikes their opponent with his arm.
This move is a frequent finisher in Puroresu wrestling matches, as a homage to strong style wrestling legend Stan Hansen who used the lariat as his finisher. Barry Windham also used the Lariat as a finisher in his days with the Four Horseman alongside Arn Anderson, Ric Flair, and Sid Vicious.
A lariat to the back of the opponent's neck and shoulders is sometimes referred to as a northern lariat or enzui lariat. A lariat where the wrestler doesn't run but simply strikes the opponent while standing next to him is sometimes referred to as a short range lariat or a Burning Lariat. The wrestler can also hold the opponent's head up before performing the lariat with his other arm. A short-arm lariat is variation where the wrestler grabs one of the opponent's wrists with his hand and pulls the opponent closer, striking him with the lariat with his other arm.
Crooked arm lariat
The crooked arm lariat is performed when an attacking wrestler runs towards an opponent with the his arm bent upward at the elbow 60-90 degrees and wraps his arm around their head forcing them to the ground. Hulk Hogan used this maneuver as a finisher while wrestling in Japan, and calls it the Axe Bomber. This move is famous in Japan because Hogan accidentally knocked out Antonio Inoki with it. Takao Omori is now the primary user of the move.
The attacking wrestler first uses the ropes to build up speed. When speed is built the attacking wrestler uses the speed to leap forward and wrap his/or her arm around the opponent's neck, causing the power of the force to knock down the opponent.
The wrestler runs towards his opponent, wraps his arm around their upper chest and neck of the opponent, and swings his legs forward, using his momentum to pull the opponent down with him to the mat, on to their upper back. This move is also called a running neckbreaker, bulldog lariat or a (one-man) Hart Attack.
Also referred to as a jumping leg lariat or a running calf kick this attack is seen when an attacking wrestler runs towards an opponent, jumps and wraps his leg around the opponent's head / neck knocking the opponent to the ground.
Doug Basham and Slyk Wagner Brown are known for jumping higher than what is needed and wrapping his lowest leg around the opponent's head forcing the opponent and himself to the ground. Basham calls this variation the Last Impression. He would also land on the opponent in a fashion not so different from a leg drop.
A simple close-fisted punch, normally to the body or face of the opponent. Unlike most illegal attacks, punches almost never result in disqualification. Instead, the referee simply admonishes the wrestler to stop, usually to no effect. Punches are often used by both heels and faces. However, when heel wrestlers perform the strike while either the opponent is not expecting it, or when the referee is in some way distracted, it seems more devastating and often referred to as a "cheap shot".
This finisher was used briefly by The Undertaker during his days as 'Mean Mark' Callous, and has also been used by Big John Studd, Stan 'The Man' Stasiak, Barry Windham and his father Blackjack Mulligan. The wrestler raises the opponent's left arm up over their head, sometimes folding it back behind their neck as well, then delivers a strong punch into the side of the ribcage. The move is alleged to rely on "Oriental pressure points" to strike a nerve causing the opponent's heart to momentarily stop, rendering them unconscious.
A common variation of the punch involves standing on the middle or top ropes and delivering repeated punches to the face while the opponent is backed up against the turnbuckles. The crowd tends to count the punches, which typically end at ten, provided they're not interrupted by the opponent pushing the wrestler off the ropes. In some cases, with a prone opponent facing up or down, the wrestler can seat themselves on top and throw punches towards the head area in a similar manner.
Spinning back fist
Often aimed at a standing opponent or one sat on the top turnbuckle. The wrestler holds their arm out with fist clenched and turns their body with speed so that the back of their fist strikes the opponent in the head or chest on rotation.
The wrestler delivers an overpowering backhand / open-hand slap to his / her opponent.
The wrestler slaps both of the opponent's cheeks with his/her both hands.This sometimes can be referred to a Bell clap.
Known as a Shotei, this move sees the wrestler deliver an open hand strike with the palm of their hand, usually to the chin of the opponent.
Similar to a big splash, except the wrestler jumps over an opponent while falling backwards to land back-first on the opponent. Often referred to as a Senton Splash, or Back Splash in reference to the big splash as well as to differentiate from the senton's diving version.
Another slight variation on a standard senton sees the attacking wrestler jump forward and perform a somersault (front flip) to land back-first on the opponent. This is appropriately known as a Somersault Senton, but is also referred to as a Front flip senton / Rolling senton.
Standing corkscrew senton
This senton variation is performed by first executing a backflip, then spinning 180°, landing on a fallen opponent back-first.
A seated senton, also known as a vertical splash, is a maneuver in which a wrestler jumps down to a sitting position across the chest or stomach of a fallen opponent. This particular move is usually executed one of two ways: from a standing position over the opponent or from the middle rope with the opponent in the corner. Some larger wrestlers in the past have used the seated senton as a finisher, such as Yokozuna, who called it the Banzai drop.
The butt drop as it is sometimes known as is an obvious and often-used counter to the sunset flip.
This is a front flip senton performed to an opponent sitting in a corner. With the opponent seated the wrestler runs at the opponent and flips forward 180° so that their back impacts on the opponents chest and head causing the opponent to be sandwiched between the turnbuckle and the wrestler.
A shoulder block sees a strike an opponent with their shoulder usually ramming their shoulder, by keeping their arm down by their side, into the opponent's shoulder or abdomen of an opponent running towards them. However, often this will see a larger wrestler stand still and have the other wrestler run towards the larger one to try an execute the move only to get knocked down.
The shoulder block often is used to display the size and strength of a wrestler, with the larger wrestler challenging another to run off the ropes and hit the move. This usually sees the other wrestler attempt to charge at the larger one several times only to see their attempts have no effect, or get knocked down themselves. A slight variation on this called the body block which is also typically used by large wrestlers, this sees an opponent run at the large wrestler who would simply engulf the charging opponent by swing his/her arms round and forcing the opponent to impact the wrestlers entire body.
The chop block is a shoulder block that targets the back of an opponent's knee. The wrestler performing this attack would come from behind an opponent and drop down to connect with his/her shoulder into the back of one of the opponent's knees, this is often used to weaken the leg for submission holds. Ric Flair uses this move as a signature.
Also known as a shoulder block takedown, this is an attack where an attacking wrestler charges towards a standing opponent, jumps and brings his body parallel to the ground, driving their shoulder into the opponent's midsection, tackling them and forcing them down to the mat. This move will often see the wrestler also pull his opponent's legs, as in a double leg takedown.
Rhino uses a version he calls the Gore, in which he does not hold on to the opponent to tackle them, but instead uses the move as a high-impact striking maneuver.
This move is a shoulder block performed to an opponent who is set up on the turnbuckle. The opponent is often resting back first against the turnbuckles. The wrestler can run at the opponent, but normally the wrestler will place his/her shoulder against the opponent and swing their legs back and forth, driving their shoulder into the opponent’s chest, often repeatedly to then gain momentum.
A move in which a wrestler, who is standing next to an opponent lying on the ground, turns his back to the opponent and executes a standing backflip, landing on the opponent chest-first.
Standing shooting star press
This move sees a wrestler rubbing his or her butt in the face of an opponent lying in the corner of the ring. This is done to humiliate the opponent. This move was most commonly used by Rikishi and Torrie Wilson.
The uppercut is a punch used in boxing that usually aims at the opponent's chin. It is, along with the hook, one of the two main punches that count in the statistics as power punches. In boxing an uppercut only refers to a punch, while in wrestling other forms of uppercuts are used including an open-handed punch version (see throat thrust below).
This is a forearm uppercut in which a wrestler does a quick grapple then brings their arm up inside to hit the opponent under the chin. This move has long been a signature move of many European wrestlers and is often adopted by more technical wrestlers also.
This is an uppercut using the wrestler's knee in which a wrestler brings their knee up to hit the opponent under the chin. This often sees a prone opponent bent over when the wrestler chargers at the opponent and lifts his knee up under them.
Double knee lift
The wrestler forces the opponent’s head down, then quickly jumps, bending at the knees, and hits the opponent in the face or chest.
Also known as a throat strike, sword stab, or an open-hand uppercut, this attack is similar to a conventional uppercut, but the wrestler strikes at the opponent's throat with an open hand usually with their palm facing upwards and with all five fingers together. This move can also be done with the opponent in a side headlock.
WWE wrestler Umaga uses a highly unique variation of this move that called the Samoan Spike which sees him using just one thumb to strike the front or side of his opponent's neck at a high rate of speed.
While picking up the upper half of the ring steps for use as a weapon is illegal, slamming an opponent into the ring steps is not considered illegal, though it is frowned upon. However, these weapons are legal in hardcore matches.
A wrestler simply hits the opponent with a chair. In modern wrestling Steel/metal folding chairs are used with the strike being performed with the flat face of the chair to slow the swing and distribute the impact, to prevent injury.
One man con-chair-to
This chair attack involves a wrestler placing their opponent so that they are horizontal with their head resting on a chair, then hitting their head from above with a second chair, squashing the head of the opponent between both chairs. This move was made popular by the former team Edge and Christian, who developed this move from its double team version.
A maneuver used by Jeff Jarrett, The Honky Tonk Man, and New Jack in particular, it simply involves breaking a guitar over an opponent's head. Since the guitar is usually acoustic, it is often referred to as "The Acoustic Equalizer".
The "El Kabong" name comes from the name of the alter ego of cartoon character Quick Draw McGraw, known for doing the same. The reference to the cartoon was first popularized by ECW play-by-play man Joey Styles.
Some moves are meant neither to pin an opponent, nor weaken them or force them to submit, but are intended to set up the opponent for another attack.
This is a move in which a wrestler will spin in place before hitting an attack, like the discus clothesline, discus punch, or the discus forearm. The move is usually used instead of charging towards an opponent to build up momentum for an attack.
The wrestler runs towards the ropes and performs a handstand right next to them, using his momentum to throw his legs against the ropes, using the spring to throw himself backwards back onto his feet, and using the momentum still to leap backwards, usually to deliver an attack. A back elbow strike variation is the most common.
Another common variation of the handspring transition sees the attacking wrestler Irish-whip their opponent onto a turnbuckle from an adjacent corner. Once the opponent crashes with their back onto the turnbuckle, the wrestler immediately performs a handspring combo towards the opponent across the ring. The acrobatic combination usually consists of a cartwheel followed by one or two back-tucks leaving the wrestler's back facing the opponent. When the wrestler is in close range of the opponent, they are free to use the momentum of the handspring combination to leap backwards and strike with either a back-elbow, a back-thump, a dropkick or any other convenient attack. This attack is most often used by female wrestlers with gymnastic experience such as Chyna, Molly Holly, Jillian Hall and Sharmell Sullivan, with Sharmell using a back-elbow strike and calling her variation the Sharmellbow.
A rolling thunder refers to the action of a forward roll towards an opponent using the complete rotation to spring up onto their feet and into the air and perform an attack. The most popular version of this ends it with a jumping somersault senton and is used by Rob Van Dam. Originally it was a tag team maneuver with Van Dam doing a jumping somersault senton while Sabu would do a Springboard somersault legdrop, both hitting the opponent at the same time.
Though Van Dam doesn't call his move anything more than "Rolling Thunder" most other variations use a naming system of Rolling Thunder [attack name]. The most notable variations are ones ending in a vertical splash ("Rolling Thunder Splash" also used by Van Dam), a jumping lariat ("Rolling Thunder Lariat" as used by Konnan), a European Uppercut and a legdrop version.
Illegal attacks are mainly used by heel wrestlers and are usually an offense punishable by disqualification, though typically done when the referee is disabled or otherwise distracted. The most well-known illegal moves are ones that attack the groin of a male wrestler.
The wrestler spits a colored mist (typically green, but also in red and black varieties) into the face of the opponent, supposedly stinging and temporarily blinding them. As the name implies, the move is associated with wrestlers of Asian origin. Asian mist was invented by The Great Kabuki and Yoshihiro Tajiri uses this move.
The wrestler seizes a body part of the opponent and bites down with their teeth. Biting is often used when a wrestler is "trapped", either in a corner of the ring or in a submission hold, as a desperation move.
When a wrestler pokes his finger(s) into an opponent's eye(s). This is an illegal attack mainly used by heel wrestlers to gain an upper hand on their opponent.
Also called a Thumb to the eye. This is when a wrestler rakes his thumb(s) down an opponent's eye(s). This is an illegal attack mainly used by heel wrestlers to gain an upperhand on their opponent.
The wrestler (using a concealed lighter) sets a piece of quick-burning paper (flash paper) and throws it at the opponent's face, giving the impression of a supernatural ball of fire emerging from their hand. The Sheik is credited as the first man to throw fire in wrestling.
Seen when a wrestler who is on the opposite side of the ring ropes from an opponent (on the 'apron') grabs him by the head and drops down, forcing the opponent’s throat across the ropes. This is an illegal attack because of its use of the rope. Also known as a "Hot Shot".
Simple yet dirty move, that sees one wrestler take advantage of another's long hair by pulling it. In modern mainstream wrestling, it is more commonly used by female heel wrestlers. Similarly to a submission hold in the ropes, or a choke, the wrestler is given a five count to stop, before being Disqualified.
A direct shot to the groin of an opponent; otherwise known as a groin attack or referred to in slang terms as an Irish Curse. It is an offense punishable by disqualification. This illegal attack is mainly used by heel wrestlers or valets to gain the upper hand on their male opponents. Although kicking an opponent in the groin is the most obvious method, the most popular version sees an attacking wrestler drop to their knees and raise their arm up between the opponent's legs, striking the groin with the inside of their elbow-joint. Often wrestlers will perform the strike while the referee is in some way distracted in what is known as a "cheap shot".
Despite hitting the groin, the inverted atomic drop known also as Manhattan Drop is not considered a low blow. This is because it involves dropping the opponent so that their groin hits the wrestler's knee, rather than raising a knee to hit the opponent's groin. In the same fashion, if a wrestler is lifted so that they fall and straddle an object it is frowned upon but not deemed illegal. Another non-illegal method is to take the feet away from under an opponent while they are standing on the top rope so they drop and straddle the rope/corner turnbuckle.
A version of a clawhold in which a wrestler will grab hold of an opponent by the testicles and squeeze. This is an illegal attack mainly used by wrestlers to gain the upper hand on their opponents and is an offense punishable by disqualification. Ric Flair has popularized the use of this move.
- Professional wrestling holds
- Professional wrestling throws
- Professional wrestling aerial techniques
- Professional wrestling double-team maneuvers
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