Our Ten Best: Most Exciting Aerial Maneuvers in Professional Wrestling

Professional Wrestling is all about fan appreciation. The more an athlete is willing to put their body on the line, the more the fans will pay their hard earned money to see them perform. Over the past 20 years, Cruiserweights and Light-Heavyweight competitors have taken this to a whole new level by going off the top rope in ways that a wrestler from the past like Lou Thesz could only dream of.

In this exclusive top ten, Review Fix EIC Patrick Hickey Jr. shares some of the most exciting moves to ever be performed off the second and top ropes.

10: The Blockbuster: Sure, Marcus “Buff” Bagwell is a mediocre footprint in wrestling history, but his flipping second rope neckbreaker was pretty damn cool. {9:14 on this video}

9: Diamond Dust:
A forward somersault three-quarter facelock bulldog/jawbreaker made famous by Taka Michinoku and now used by TNA’s Shark Boy. If used properly, it can be a devastating finisher.

8: Frog Splash: Say whatever you want about D’Lo Brown’s inability to keep his dancing partners safe in the ring: the guy did a fantastic frog splash. However, no one did it better than Eddy Guerrero, who armed with a wicked brainbuster as well, made it part of one of the best one-two combinations in wrestling history.

7: Starship Pain: John Morrision’s split-legged corkscrew moonsault has helped him win both the intercontinental and ECW championships. Enough said.

6: Best Moonsault ever: Chris Daniels’ trademark moonsault has been imitated time and time again for a reason: it’s quite possibly the niftiest version of the move ever.

5: 450 Splash: This is a move currently being used by the WWE’s Justin Gabriel, but one used by everyone from Marc Mero, to Flash Funk and even Juventud Guerrera. Essentially two flips in mid-air into a front-body splash, this move not only hurts the person it’s delivered on, but the person giving it as well.

4: Diving corkscrew somersault into either a leg drop or senton: This is a move made famous by AJ Styles, which he named “The Spiral Tap.” Teddy Hart also uses it as his finisher, calling it “Open Heart Surgery.” Seeing a guy spin like that in the air and then land on the back of his head is a treasure to behold and make no mistake about it, it’s no easy task.

3: Dragonrana: Guys like the Ultimo Dragon and Rey Mysterio made this move something special before their bodies wore out on them. Jumping from the top rope, they’d land on their opponents shoulders and seamlessly hurricanrana them to the ground, in a pinning position. Later on, WWE diva Lita made the move a staple in her repertoire, but would head scissor her opponents instead. Strangely enough, it hasn’t been used much since.

2: Top rope rocker dropper: Guys like Marty Jannetty, Chris Canyon, Billy Gunn and Little Guido have used this in the past and proves that if a move is good on the ground, sometimes it’s even better off the top rope.

1: Shooting Star Press: Billy Kidman was one of the first wrestlers in America to use it as a finisher. Chris Jericho broke his arm doing it in Calgary. Amazing Red has a pretty sweet version of his own, but Evan Bourne does it better than anyone else today, in what is easily the most exciting aerial maneuver in the sport today.

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About Patrick Hickey Jr. 9423 Articles
Patrick Hickey Jr. is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief, Master Jedi and Grand Pooh-bah of ReviewFix.com and is the author of the book, "The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Video Game Developers," from leading academic and non-fiction publisher McFarland and Company. He is currently the Assistant Director of the Journalism Program at Kingsborough Community College and is a former News Editor at NBC Local Integrated Media and a National Video Games Writer at the late Examiner.com. He has also had articles and photos published in The New York Times, The New York Daily News, Complex and The Syracuse Post-Standard. Love him. Read him.

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