Attacking maneuvers in professional wrestling are mainly used to wear down an opponent for a submission hold, or set up for a throw.
There is a wide variety of attacking moves in pro wrestling. Many moves are known by several different names. Professional wrestlers frequently give their "finishers" (signature moves that usually result in a win) 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, listed below are moves more specific to wrestling itself.
Many of the moves below can also be performed from a raised platform (the top rope, the apron, etc) these are called high-flying variations.
Moves are listed under general categories whenever possible.
Also known as a Double Sledge, or Polish Hammer, this attack sees the wrestler clasp both his hands together, and swing them at a victim, hitting any part of them.
The names for this move comes from the attack mimicing the motion of that seen when people swing a sledgehammer or axe.
During "The Masterpiece" Chris Masters debut match on WWE RAW, which saw him face the WWE's star Jobber Steven Richards, Masters hit an Ax Handle to Richards, which broke both Richards' nose, and orbital bone.
The wrestler stand with their back to a running opponent and thrusts out an elbow, which the victim runs into.
The attacker jumps and kicks both feet as though pedalling a bicyle.
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.
When this move is performed with the wrestler charging towards an opponent it is referred to as a Yakuza Kick
Wrestlers who have used the big boot include The Undertaker, Hulk Hogan, The Barbarian , Test, Kevin Nash, and many other big men.
A big splash involves a wrestler jumping forward and landing stomach first across an opponent lying on the ground below. This move is mainly used by heavier wrestlers like Big Daddy.
The attacker charges into a victim in the corner of the ring without leaving their feet, crushing them into the turnbuckle. This is normally used by bigger, heavier wrestlers.
Lou Thesz Press
The attacker jumps towards a standing opponent and knocks them over, resulting in the victim lying on their back with the attacker sitting on their chest.
This is an attack in which a wrestler run at an opponent who is resting on the turnbuckle then jump foward so that he slashes his whole body, stomach-first, squashing his opponent between him and the turnbuckle. This move was named after its inventor, Sting, and is now most populary used by Shelton Benjamin.
This is a seated senton to an opponent who is resting on the bottom turnbuckle, popularized by X-Pac and Goldust. Goldust added pelvic thrusts to his version of the bronco buster.
The act of a wrestler to 'slap' the chest of his opponent, using the back of his hand.
Many wrestlers use this chop more or less but it has been popularized by Ric Flair.
The act of slapping the chest of the opponent using the forehand. This is commonly used by The Big Show.
A move in which one wrestler runs towards another and extends their arm out from the side of the body and parallel to the ground, knocking over the other as they run by.
John Bradshaw Layfield's finisher is a type of clothesline in which he bounces off the ropes first before assisted with a running high-impact clothesline calling it the Clothesline from Hell, or more recently Clothesline from Wall Street.
This variation of the clothesline is set-up by irish-whipping the opponent, but holding onto the arm. When the arm is completely extended, the attacker pulls the victim back, and clotheslines him with either arm. This maneuver is one of the signature attacks of Jake "The Snake" Roberts.
Similar to a clothesline from the top rope, however this version is done whilst running towards the opponent (usually after bouncing off the ropes) and leaping toward the opponent and connecting with a forearm to the face, chest or throat. This version of the clothesline is used by The Undertaker.
A crossbody (or "cross body block") 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.
This is an attack performed when a wrestler has a rear mount (sitting across the opponents back) and uses forearm shots across the victims face.
This a leg lariat move which is performed after an opponent catches the leg of a wrestler who attempt 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 both feet. This is commonly employed by light and nimble wrestlers who can take advantage of their agility.
Maven and Hardcore Holly have been credited with having some of the best dropkicks in the business, and Mark Jindrak has been credited with having the highest vertical leap to his dropkick.
A dropsault is an attack where the wrestler jumps up and kicks the opponent with both feet and then executes a backflip, landing on the mat chest-first. Sometimes this move can see the wrestler land chest-first on another opponent.
This move is most known as a signature move of Paul London.
Drops are moves in which wrestlers jump or fall down onto a person on the floor, landing with a specific part of the body
A butt drop, also known as a hip drop, is a move in which a wrestler jumps/falls, sitting down usally onto the chest of an opponent. This move is generally used by larger wrestlers such as Rosey and Rikishi.
A elbow drop is a move in which a wrestler jumps down on an opponent driving his elbow into anywhere on the opponent's body.
The Rock's People's Elbow is an elbow drop preceded by a routine that involves The Rock pulling off his elbow pad, bouncing off the ropes and lifting one leg as if performing a leg drop then hits the elbow drop as his opponent lays motionless on the mat.
This is a move in which a wrestler faces an opponent and smashes his elbow on to the top of the victims head, made famous by Dusty Rhodes.
Spinning headlock elbow drop
This is any elbow drop which is proformed straight after a headlock is applied, the most widely known variation is a inverted facelock elbow drop in which a wrestler puts his opponent into a inverted facelock and then spins round droping the elbow across the victims chest forcing him to the mat below.
Big Show and The Hurricane have both used slight variation of the inverted facelock elbow drop, Big show calling it a Final Cut and Hurricane naming his the Eye of the Hurricane
A fist drop is a move in which a wrestler jumps down on an opponent driving his fist into anywhere on the opponent's body.
John Cena's Five Knuckle Shuffle is an fist drop preceded by a routine that involves Cena bouncing off the ropes then he wipes one hand down the other arm before hitting the fist drop using that hand, as his opponent lays motionless on the mat.
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.
Scotty 2 Hotty's The Worm is a forearm 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 forearm drop, while his opponent lays motionless on the mat.
A headbutt drop is a move in which a wrestler jumps 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 down on an opponent driving his knee into anywhere on the opponent's body.
A move in which a wrestler will jump and land his leg across an opponent's chest, throat or face. Most famously used by The Undertaker and Hulk Hogan, who uses this as his finisher when wrestling in North America.
Guillotine Leg Drop
This move is similar to the leg drop although it is done with the opponent's body hanging over something, sometimes with the opponent's head hung over one of the ring ropes or most notably the ring apron (so the head is suspended over the outside), the attacker will then walk across the apron and execute a leg-drop onto the opponent's sternum, causing both of them to fall and land on the outside of the ring. This move is commonly used by The Undertaker and has remained one of his signature moves since the begining of his career.
A version of a leg drop, it involves the attacker placing the back an opponent's head, who is leaning forward, under the his leg, then dropping his leg and the opponent's head down to the mat. A version of this move was first made popular by Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty as part of the tag team "The Rockers", it was called the Rocker Dropper, this variation involved the victim being placed in a wrist lock while the move took place. The move's current name comes from its use by "Mr Ass" Billy Gunn.
Usually the back of the head is place under the attackers leg, though the name hoglock (most recently used by the Big Show) is referred to when the head is the other way round when the leg is dropped.
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 or neck of the opponent, forcing them face first into the floor. Also known as an Ax Kick, or a Butterfly Kick.
This is a signature move of wrestlers such as Ron "The Truth" Killings & Booker T.
There are two "versions" of the Enzuigiri: the Japanese version, and the Western version.
In Japanese puroresu, the term Enzui refers to any attack that strikes the back of the head. Giri is a generic suffix referring to a kicking attack (single leg). The Japanese Enzuigiri, therefore, is any form of kick to the back of the head, though commonly the Enzuigiri is a roundhouse-style kick. Sometimes, though, it is employed by striking the back of the head with the heel of the foot.
The North American version of the move, usually performed with one leg being held by the opponent (or with the wrestler running towards the opponent), involves the attacker jumping to the side of the victim and swinging the "far" leg (the leg further from the opponent's body) to kick at the side or back of the opponent's head. This is a misnomer, as it is not a true "Enzuigiri" as the name actually means in Japanese. It is also referred to as the Back Brain Kick or the Ghetto Blaster, and was the finisher of Bad News Brown
This is an uppercut forearm 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 William Regal, and more recently has been adopted by Randy Orton.
An attack in which a wrestler will charge towards towards their opponent, then raise their knee or jump up so that their knee would hit the victim usually in the face.
This move has been closely associated with Harley Race and more recently Triple H.
The attacking wrestler charges their opponent and drives their hip into the victim.
Illegal attacks are mainly used by heel wrestlers and are usally an offense punishable by disqualification.
The attacker covers the ears of the victim with the palms of his hands, distorting their balance.
One man con-chair-to
This move involves an attacker to place his victim so that their head is resting on chair and then hitting his head with another chair, squashing the opponent between both chairs.
Made popular by the former team Edge & Christian, who developed this move from its double team version during thier feud with each other.
a steel folding chair shot to any part of an opponent.
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 upperhand on thier 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. Well used by "the nature boy" Ric Flair.
Seen when a wrestler who is on the opposite side of the ring ropes from and opponent graps him by the head and drops down, forcing the victim's throat across the the ropes. This is an illegal attack because of its use of the ropes.
A direct shot to the groin of an opponent. This is an illegal attack mainly used by heel wrestlers to gain an upperhand on their opponent and is an offense punishable by disqualification. Goldust would trap his opponent in the corner by tangling their legs in the ring ropes and then deliver a running kick to the groin, which he dubbed Shattered Dreams.
The attacker applies a front facelock to the victim or otherwise forces their head down. The attacker then brings up a knee and hits the victim in the face. The move can be performed using two knees; the attacker forces the victim's head down, then quickly jumps, bending at the knees, and hits the victim in the face.
Lariat is another name for a lasso and is referred to in wrestling when an attacking wrestler runs towards an opponent wraps his arm around their head then forces them to the ground, very similar to a Clothesline. The term Lariat is synonymous with the name Stan Hansen , who is said to have performed the best lariat in wrestling history.
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.
When an attacking wrestler runs towards an opponent, jumps and wraps his leg around the opponent's head then forces him to the ground. Also referred to as a Jumping Leg Lariat.
Rolling Wheel Kick
The attacker rolls towards a standing victim, extending a leg which connects with the back or chest of the victim.
A senton is similar to a big splash, except that instead of impacting stomach first, the attacker lands back first across the opponent.
An aerial knee to the face after stepping off the opponent's knee. It can be performed in numerous positions and can be seen by wrestler Keiji Mutoh.
A shoulder block is when an opponent usually runs towards the opponet and rams their shoulder into their victim's shoulder or abdomen.
This is a shoulder block to the back of the knee, used to weaken the leg for submission holds.
This is also known as the Shoulder Block Takedown. A move in which a wrestler runs towards his opponent, drives their shoulder into the victim's stomach and forces him down to the mat.
Commonly used by wrestlers such as Goldberg, Edge and Rhyno, who calls it The Gore.
Usually involves the attacker spinning as they jump so that his body is somewhat horizontal, before hitting their opponent with back of his leg(s) or heel(s) on the face, neck or chest. Familiar mainly with agile wrestlers as Rob Van Dam and Shannon Moore, but larger wrestlers have also been known to show off their agillity by using this move like Viscera.
A move in which a wrestler, who is standing next to an opponent laying on the ground, turns his back to the victim and executes a standing backflip, landing on the opponent chest-first.
Standing Shooting Star Press
See Professional Wrestling Aerial Techniques.
This attack involves a wrestler forcing his buttocks in to the face of another wrestler. Most famously used and named by Rikishi.
When a wrestler stamps his foot on any part of an opponent. Also known as a foot stomp.
Double foot stomp
When a wrestler jumps and stamps both feet on any part of an opponent.
A high side thrust kick to the opponent's head, usually preceded by a sidestep, often referred to as a Shuffle side kick, or just a Side kick.
Many wrestlers use this as signature move, most notably Shawn Michaels who uses this as his finisher (which is often preceded by a series of foot stomps), referring to it as the "Sweet Chin Music". Also
Steven Richards who calls it the "Stevie Kick"
Tiger Feint Kick
The Tiger Feint Kick is a move where a wrestler jumps through the second and top rope while holding on to the ropes, using his momentum to swing around back into the ring. This move is also used to perform a fake dive to opponents outside the ring. This move requires high agility, and is mainly used in Japan and Mexico.
A variation of this move used by Rey Mysterio Jr. and dubbed the "619" sees an opponent being placed hung over the second rope in the "stun gun" position facing the outside as he swings around back to the ring his feet would hit the prone opponent in the head (or any other part of the victim's body). Another variation of this manuever used by Mikey Batts sees the victim lying with their back on the 2nd or bottom rope facing into the ring, while Batts swings through the ropes and grapevines the opponent's arms, applying a sort of jujigatame stretch.
Some moves are meant neither to pin an opponent, nor weaken them or force them to submit, but are intended to set up the victim for another attack.
This is a move in which a wrestler will spin on the spot before hitting an attack, like the Discus Clothesline, Dicus Punch, or the Discus Forearm. The move is usally used instead of charging towards an opponent to built up momentum for an attack.
The attacker performers a somersault before hitting an attack, often a back elbow.