Welcome cats and kittens to the end of our vacation, and the first Sunday Supplement of the new wrestling year. We got tans, kicked back, and got banned from more tropical countries than the Chupacabra, and now we’re back and ready for some action. Well, I am at least. You won’t see Vice back until we post our review of TNA’s Lockdown 2010 on Wednesday, and Ms. Cewsh doesn’t grace us with her presence until our review of WWE Extreme Rules the Wednesday after that, but hey, it’s a start.
Anyway, we’re here today to talk about wrestling moves. Fucking rad wrestling moves. Moves with flips, moves that hurt and moves that are so face blistering radtacular that even reading this supplement might give you a sunburn that will be embarrassing to explain to your coworkers. Are you sure you’re ready to see the 10 greatest moves in wrestling history (or just my ten favorite)? Well ready or not, grab some sunscreen, because off we go!
We kick off the list with an old favorite, AJ Styles’ famous Pele Kick. This moves gets points not only for originality, but for the completely spontaneous nature of it. AJ can, and will, hit his opponent with this bad boy at any time, from anywhere, and it happens so fast that they never have a chance of seeing it coming.
There are moves on this list that are great and meaningful, but i’ll be damned if there a better looking one in here. Well, except maybe for…
There are a lot of moves that got left off of this list for various reasons. Maybe they were cool and innovative, but weren’t really very impressive and didn’t really mean anything. Or maybe they were famous and credible, but just lacked a certain style. So i’m absolutely certain that you are going to hate me by the end of the list regardless of what I put on here, so with that in mind, I decided to say fuck it, and include the single most ball rockingly insanely acrobatic move that I have ever seen performed.
Jack Evans, noted friend of the Hart family and noted Eminem fan, is a guy who is about 5 feet tall, who weighs about 8 pounds, and is probably the least threatening looking individual you could ever find across the ring from you. But when he takes to the air, he is capable of things that would leave Olympic divers in awe. Here, in his centerpiece of brilliance, the man performs 630 degrees of flipping off the top rope and hits it picture perfectly. He ALWAYS hits it picture perfectly. Other people have done great high flying moves, and other people have even attempted this, but when it comes to the flippies, here is your crown prince.
Of course he’s only the crown prince, because the title of “King” belongs to…
Yes, that was a running shooting star press over the top rope onto someone. Try to imagine yourself trying that for a moment. It’s alright, you can get up off the couch and try it on your Ultimate Warrior pillow, i’ll wait.
La di dah.
Have a broken neck yet?
This move is so balls out insane that AJ himself, a former gymnast and all around athletic motherfucker, only pulls it out on very, very special occasions, and when he does it is a BIG GODDAMN DEAL. It’s like when the Undertaker leaps over the top rope, except that in this scenario instead of Taker’s feet almost hitting the ropes, it’s AJ Styles goddamn earlobe grazing the things on his upside down way to landing on your incredulous ass.
Of course flips aren’t everything, and frankly sometimes they get you nowhere. And sometimes they get you somewhere much worse than nowhere. Sometimes you might find your unlucky ass in…
Now it should be well documented by this point that I love Chris Jericho, and I especially love him from this period of his career. When he was in WCW, after suffering for a long while in babyface purgatory, he finally got the chance to unleash his inner dickhead, and what resulted was great promos, better vignettes, some memorable matches, and all of it held together by the backbone of one of the single greatest submission finishing moves ever devised.
Not only is it pretty to look at, which is clearly is, but it is one of those moves that looks like you’d rather just not show up to work that day rather than risking having to endure it. There have been a lot of Figure Fours and Sharpshooters over the year, but for my money, i’ll take Chris Jericho bending people in half any day.
So you’re a high flier, and you’ve managed to avoid having your shit countered into a Lion Tamer that would break your back and make you humble. The coast is clear right? Not so fast…
These days, people mostly know Abyss as possessing possibly the single most nonsensical character in wrestling history (the mental patient hardcore monster who is a Real American and fights for the rights of Every Man), but once upon a time there was an Abyss that wasn’t bursting with the power of a magical ring. Back in those days Abyss was a silent monster who would fuck you the hell up with the slightest of provocations. And his weapon of choice was a move that looked so vicious that it single handedly caused me to watch my first TNA show, just to see him do it to AJ Styles.
It’s fast, it’s mean, and he can, and will, do it to you anytime and anywhere and onto anything. It’s really a shame that they terminated his prior character in favor of his current, lame assed one.
Wait, did I say terminate?
I remember back in the late days of ECW when gifs weren’t something you saw everywhere. I saw, via a chat room link somewhere or other, the gif of this move, and I was entranced. The grace and the smoothness, mixed with the viciousness of the shotgun blast of a kick at the end amplified by the chair staggered me then and it staggers me now. The fact that Shane McMahon and Naomichi Marufuji (as well as everyone else who has ever wrestled in an indy promotion) have coopted it for their own use only amplifies how great the original was, as nobody’s can ever match the sheer wonder and perfection of the original.
It’s the greatest example of the things the Rob Van Dam can do that nobody else should even try. When RVD hits this move it is beyond over. You’re just plain done regardless of who you are.
Speaking of which, that brings me to our next entry…
Is there any move more instantly definitive than the Pedigree? Not only does it BELONG to Triple H more so than almost any other move in wrestling history (to the extent where I can only name 2 other people who ever used it for themselves in recent times, CM Punk and Jimmy Rave), but when he hits it, you are lights out. What the Pedigree has going for it above most of the moves above it here is that it has the credibility of being used to definitively defeat the top names in the wrestling industry, and what it has going for it above moves like the Tombstone is that it’s so versatile. When he needs to hit it out of nowhere, BOOM done. When he needs to set it up and really let the fans see it coming, he hooks there arms and the whole audience knows what’s coming. And unless you fuck it up, he’ll lay you down as safe and softly as a babe, making the love look like a 10 and hurt like a 1.
It’s really a move that any wrestler either would love to take, or probably has taken at some point. But not every move makes people jump with joy at the idea of being part of. Try in picture yourself on the wrong side of this…
Number 2 – Kenta Kobashi’s Burning Hammer.
This is my single favorite move of all time, because it has a true back story to it.
Back in the King’s Road days of All Japan Pro Wrestling, Kenta Kobashi was an up and coming bull of a youth who made his way to the main event and ran into a brick wall named Mitsuharu Misawa. He tried to beat the man (a former ally) and tried and tried, and nothing he threw at Misawa could keep him down long enough to get Kobashi the title he so coveted. Until one day, after racking his brain over and over to come up with a weapon to combat his greatest rival, he stumbled across the Burning Hammer. He debuted it against Misawa in a title match, taking Misawa completely by surprise, and one massive awesomesaurus move later, Kobashi became the champion of the world, and never looked back.
To this day this is the move that wrecks fools whenever Kobashi needs to teach you a goddamn lesson in respect. Others have used it, others have adapted it, but this move belongs to Senor Kobashi, and is one of the most amazing sights you will ever see. When Kobashi lifts some poor bastard up, the entire audience comes up with him.
So yeah, the Burning Hammer is amazing. So what could possibly be better than that? There’s only one thing that could be. The most copied, most versatile, most credible, and most fun to watch move in wrestling history.