For some, the thing about professional wrestling that draw them in are the storylines. For others, it's the outlandish and comic book-like characters. The thing that draws me in to professional wrestling are the moves. Yes, the "MOOOOOOOVES!" I like to see two guys beat the living hell out of each other, even if the outcomes are predetermined. The wrestling ring is like a gladiator pit, and I don't want to see the two combatants talk each other to death. No, I want to see them connect with their punches. I want to see people folded up like tarps! I want to see wrestlers busted open "the hard way." Therefore, on the first ever edition of The Lex List, I'm going to be taking a look at my list of the Top 10 Most Devastating Moves in Pro Wrestling...
Stump Piledriver - Mick Foley
The Piledriver has been around since the dawn of time and has spawned numerous variations, most of which have been banned at one time or another. Some wrestlers, like Rob Van Dam for example, can sell a normal Piledriver so well that it looks like his neck is spring loaded. However, the variation that made my list can only really be sold one way. The Stump Piledriver may not LOOK very impressive, but let's think about the science of the move for a moment, shall we?
Foley grabs the waist of his opponent's tights, jerks them back towards him, and falls before the opponent can get their body straight up and down. This brings the momentum of the opponent's weight down on their neck, folding their body up over them. It's a very unique move that's based off of a very textbook move, and it's devastating enough to grab #10 on my list.
BRAINBUSTAAAAAAAAAAH! - El Generico
WWE fans will soon know of Generico's Brainbustaaaaaaaah! For those of us who already know, we know it's one of the gnarliest looking moves in all of wrestling. And it's not just Generico's Top Rope Brainbustah that is devastating, it's his regular Brainbustah, too. The way Generico snaps off the suplex variation is something to marvel at. It's crisp and dangerous looking, and it's only matched by the intensity of Generico and his enthusiasm every time he hits the move. He makes it feel like something HUGE just happened, which definitely adds to the ambiance. The only reason it isn't higher on the list is because sometimes, depending on the weight and size of the opponent, it doesn't look as crisp on the top rope. A small thing to pick at, I know, but it's my list and I'll pick at whatever the hell I want. In all seriousness, it's one of the many reasons Generico gets as much hype as he does, and it's all well deserved.
Jackknife Powerbomb - Kevin Nash
When a move gets outlawed, even in storyline, you know it's a big deal. Now, I wouldn't call Kevin Nash a great wrestler, but his Jacknife Powerbomb is without question one of the most dangerous maneuvers in all of wrestling history. Nash stands about 7 feet tall, which is an important fact when deciding the devastation level in the Jacknife. Nash lifts his opponents, and instead of guiding them back down to the mat like a normal Powebomb, Nash releases them when they reach their highest point to crash down to the mat ass-first. The result is often met with whiplash for the opponent. Nash was even "arrested" for performing the banned move on an episode of Monday Nitro.
450 Splash - 2 Cold Scorpio
A little love for the high fliers here. I still remember the first time I saw a 450 Splash. There was nothing else like it. I lost my mind. Now, we've seen it done many times over by many different people, but 2 Cold Scorpio was the guy who put the move on the map here in the US. You may be scratching your head with this entry, but think about the size of 2 Cold Scorpio. He was no small dude. Now think about that weight spinning through the air, crashing perfectly on his opponent just in time. You don't need a scientist to explain that heft + speed = DEVASTATION!
STF - Masahiro Chono
I've had the unfortunate luck of having this hold applied on me, and I can confirm, it hurts. It was back in High School. Karate Master Scott Gilmet challenged me to a submission duel, where we would each apply a submission hold to the other and the one who tapped lost. I opted for the Figure Four Leglock, which had nearly no effect on Gilmet-san. Scott opted for the STF and I tapped instantly *waits for the "YOU TAPPED OUT" chants to die down*. What makes the STF so painful? Well, as Masa Chono has demonstrated several times, a great deal of the pain comes from putting your right leg between the calf and hamstring of your opponent and laying all your weight down on top of that. And just to add a cherry on top, a headlock is applied to make sure your opponent isn't going anywhere. Most people know it these days as John Cena's STFU, but we pay respect to Chono for making it famous (with props to Lou Thesz for inventing the hold).
Doomsday Device - The Road Warriors
The Road Warriors, Animal and Hawk, are arguably the most famous tag team in wrestling history, and what helped them get there was a devastating move called The Doomsday Device. The move mostly LOOKS dangerously, but most of the time, the opponent lands on their stomach and all is well. But when this move goes wrong, it can go REALLY wrong. People landing on their necks at 7 feet in the air is enough to send chills through your body when you see it. Add to that the seemingly reckless attitude of the team, and it's a coin toss as to whether you're going to land safely or not. Many other teams have used the move after the Road Warriors, including the most decorated tag team in Ring of Honor history, but no one executes the Doomsday Device quite like the LOD.
Buzzsaw Kick - Yoshihiro Tajiri
Your head is the most important thing on your body (and yes, it's more important than your junk). Now, imagine someone getting a free shot to kick you in the temple. No wait, not just anyone. Imagine a dude named "The Japanese Buzzsaw" got an open shot to kick you in the temple. Yoshihiro Tajiri is one of the most underrated wrestlers the sport has ever seen, and when he brought his patented stiff kicks to the WWF once ECW folded, the world got to see a lot of fools get knocked out. It's as devastating as a Tyson KO and it's #4 on my list of most devastating moves in wrestling.
Pedigree - Triple H
Was Triple H the first one to ever use the Pedigree? I don't know. But he's the first person I saw execute it. The Game is one of the most crisp wrestlers I've had the pleasure of watching. You may not like Triple H, but he's got several things going for him, and the Pedigree was a huge factor in helping him achieve the success he's found today. I'm sure you've all seen the Pedigree thousands of times, but lets just think about it for a moment. The opponent has absolutely no protection for their face, and sometimes their neck, as they crash down to the mat. And for no one to get seriously injured in years and years, it's safe to say that Triple H is one of the most trusted workers in the industry.
Jawbreaker Lariat - Nigel McGuinness
Now I've seen a good lariat or two in my day, but without question, the stiffest lariat of them all is Nigel McGuinness's Jawbreaker Lariat. McGuinness falls between the second and top rope, does a pendulum swing back into the ring, and uses that momentum to unleash a fury unknown to us common folk. Nigel had plenty of unique and innovative moves, but the Jawbreaker Lariat is one I can watch over and over again and still be amazed. Nigel's career might have gone without the grandeur of a WWE run, but he deserves a lot of respect for everything he did with Ring of Honor, TNA, and all the stops in between. This one's for you, Nigel.
burning Hammer - Kenta Kobashi
And finally, the most devastating move in ALL of professional wrestling... I give you Kenta Kobashi's Burning Hammer! Something of a Reverse Death Valley Driver, the Burning Hammer folds the entire weight of the opponent's body on their neck. It's like when the Doomsday Device goes wrong, except the Burning Hammer guarantees a folding of the neck meat every time! There are countless variations of the Burning Hammer, and it's been used in the states by guys like Mark Briscoe and Tyler Reks, but Kobashi will always hold the Burning Hammer high above all else. Kobashi gave Cancer a Burning Hammer a few years back and returned to wrestling to the delight of the Japanese fans. He will always be one of the most respected wrestlers not only in Japan, but the world over. Now enjoy this compilation of Burning Hammers...