In professional wrestling a neckbreaker is any throw or slam that focuses its attack on the opponent’s neck. One type of neckbreaker involves the wrestler slamming an opponent's neck against a part of the wrestler's body, usually the knee, head or shoulder. The other type of neckbreaker is a slam technique in which the wrestler throws an opponent to the ground by twisting the opponent's neck. This also refers to a back head slam where a wrestler drops to the mat while holding an opponent by their neck, without having to twist it.
The wrestler lifts the opponent up so that he or she is laying across the wrestler's shoulders and hooks the opponent's neck and leg. The wrestler releases the opponent's legs and pushes the opponent's body so that it swings out straight behind the wrestler's body. As the opponent's body is moving out, the wrestler keeps hold to the opponent's neck and falls down, executing a falling neckbreaker.
Arm trap neckbreaker
This move sees an attacking wrestler take hold of an arm of an opponent and then move to a back to back position, so that the opponent's arm hooks across and round the opponent's own head. At this point, the attacking wrestler falls backwards to the ground, forcing the opponent's own arm to drag them to the mat. A straight jacket variation, also known as a cross-armed neckbreaker, exists and sees where the wrestler face their opponent, grab both of their arms and twist around so they have their opponent in a straight jacket hold before finally dropping down to drag the opponent to the floor.
Also known as a standing somersault neckbreaker, this move sees the attacking wrestler place the opponent in a side headlock and perform a somersault forwards, then falls down supine, using the momentum of the flip to twist the opponent's neck and back into the ground.
An elevated neckbreaker refers to any neckbreaker performed on an opponent who is held on an elevated position. Normally a wrestler places the opponent on the turnbuckle so that they face away from the ring. The wrestler takes hold of the opponent by their neck, and from this position performs many variations of the neckbreaker, like falling to a sitting or kneeling position, or just running forward and pulling the opponent away from the corner, and dropping them in a standard neckbreaker. There are also double team variations.
Elevated cradle neckbreaker
In this variation of a Muscle Buster, which focuses more of the attack on the neck, a wrestler holds his or her opponent upside-down, with both legs hooked and with the back of the opponent's neck against the wrestler's shoulder, then drops to a kneeling or sitting position so that the opponent’s neck hits against the shoulder. It is usually performed against an opponent who is sitting on the top turnbuckle.
Gutwrench elevated neckbreaker
A move in which the attacking wrestler performs a gutwrench and lifts the opponent so that their back rests across one of the wrestler's shoulders. The wrestler then reaches forward with both hands and grabs the opponent under the chin. At this point, the wrestler would drop down to the mat backwards, causing the opponent to drop from an elevated height and land on the back of their neck.
Fireman's carry neckbreaker
This moves sees a wrestler take an opponent across their shoulders in a fireman's carry. Once there the wrestler does a fireman's carry slam, extending the knee adjacent to the opponent's face and neck. The opponent then lands neck-first across the extended knee, snapping their neck in a similar manner to a shoulder neckbreaker.
This neckbreaker variation is based on a Jujitsu technique that requires the wrestler to capture their opponent in a front facelock, as well trap the arm closest to the wrestler's body in the facelock. The wrestler will then spin their body opposite the opponent, either releasing their opponent or continuing to spin with the hold intact. The wrestler can perform the move from a standing position for more impact or from a kneeling position as a wear-down hold.
Hagman's neckbreaker is performed by the wrestler grabbing the opponent in a front headlock, and twisting it into a sitout neckbreaker or a kneeling neckbreaker. Another version of this move is similar to the neckbreaker slam which sees both wrestlers fall to their backs with the opponent's neck being forced down to the mat instead of onto the attacking wrestler's shoulder
Hip toss neckbreaker
A hip toss neckbreaker involves the attacker delivering a hip toss to his opponent, and while the opponent is falling down on his back in mid-air, the attacker grabs the opponent's head and neck to execute a neckbreaker, falling down to the mat with the opponent.
Also known as a falling neckbreaker, this move sees the attacking wrestler stand back to back with their opponent, then reaches over their shoulder and takes hold of the opponent by their head or neck. The wrestler then falls to their back while maintaining the hold, dragging the opponent down with them to drive their back into the ground. This move is often used by a wrestler who ducks under an attempted attack by the opponent, e.g. a clothesline, and is thus back to back with their opponent.
Inverted facelock neckbreaker slam
This is a move in which a wrestler places their opponent in an inverted facelock and then pivots 180°, catching the opponent's head with their free arm (or both arms) and then dropping down onto their back so that both wrestlers are in a supine position, as in a neckbreaker slam. Also known as a Reverse Twist of Fate. It was also used by Jeff Hardy as his finishing move and called it "Reverse of Fate".
Jumping neckbreaker slam
This slight, but common, variation sees the attacking wrestler jump up, becoming level with the opponents head and parallel to the ground, grab the opponent's head and fall to the mat from a greater elevation and with more force.
Spinning neckbreaker slam
This neckbreaker variation sees the wrestler holding the opponent in a front facelock, spins/swings while still holding the opponent in the facelock (therefore, the opponent would be spun along with the attacking wrestler, so now they are in a back-to-back position), resulting in the opponent being spun into a neckbreaker slam.
The attacking wrestler stands behind and facing a sitting opponent before then running toward them and performing a somersault over them. As the wrestler falls, they grab the opponent by the back of the head or neck, pushing it downwards as they drop to the mat. This causes the opponent to jerk their neck backwards, snapping it to the mat.
This is a version of a swinging neckbreaker where the attacking wrestler would use a leg rather than hands to perform the twist. With the opponent bent forwards (presumably from a kick or just getting up), the wrestler would hook his or her inside leg over the opponent's head, grabbing the nearer of the opponent's arms. The wrestler leans back before falling to hands and knees as the opponent is spun around, neck landing on the inside of the wrestler's knee. This move can also be described as The Playmaker
A move described as a reverse overdrive is another version of a swinging neckbreaker, in which the attacking wrestler would use a leg (in this case a knee) rather than hands to perform the twist. In this move a wrestler would first place one knee (the one closest to an opponent) against the base of the opponent's neck, who is leaning forward, while underhooking one of the opponent's arms (the furthest one) before falling backwards down to the mat as the opponent is spun over, landing on the back of the head on the attacking wrestler's knee. This move can also be described as The Zack Attack or Golden Rule.
See Lariat takedown.
Better known as a hangman's neckbreaker and also known as a kneeling neckbreaker or a sitout neckbreaker. From a back to back position, the attacking wrestler reaches back and pulls the opponent's head over their shoulder, then drops to a sitting, kneeling, or a split-legged position, causing the back of the opponent's neck to impact on the shoulder of the attacking wrestler. Another version of this move is similar to the neckbreaker slam which sees both wrestlers fall to their backs with the opponent's neck being forced down to the mat instead of onto the attacking wrestler's shoulder. A swinging version also exists.
This elevated shoulder neckbreaker, first sees the attacking wrestler lift an opponent into a position where the opponent and the wrestler are back to back with the opponent's head pulled across the shoulder of the attacking wrestler and their legs hooked over the wrestler's legs (the Gory special). From this position the attacking wrestler drops to a sitting or kneeling position, driving the back of the opponent's neck into the shoulder of the attacking wrestler and the knees of the opponent into the mat. This move can also see the opponent's neck placed over the attacking wrestler's head instead of their shoulder. The move is often used by Tara as her finisher.
The attacking wrestler applies a front facelock while he places their heads side by side under each other shoulder and uses their free hand to grab hold of the opponent's far hand before then swinging over the opponent and down to the ground, in a semi-circular motion, so that both the wrestler and the opponent fall to the ground back-first causing the back of the opponent's neck to impact on the shoulder of the attacking wrestler.
One variation, known as a swinging neckbomb, sees the attacking wrestler fall to a seated position slamming the opponent's neck into the mat between their legs. Another version that sees the attacking wrestler swing inward, throwing the opponent over and to the ground, is often referred to as a whiplash.
The standard version of this move is in a style similar to that of a swinging neckbreaker, in which the wrestler holds them in a front facelock, keeping their heads side by side under each other shoulder. At this point the attacking wrestler swings inward as they dive to the ground, twisting on the opponent's neck and in the process, driving their neck and shoulders into the ground.
The elevated whiplash first sees the attacking wrestler raise an opponent off the ground, often using a suplex lift, to place the opponent's leg on the top ring rope so that they are face-down while the wrestler holds them in a front facelock, keeping their heads side by side under each other shoulder, making the wrestler the only other thing than the ring ropes keeping the opponent off the ground. At this point the attacking wrestler swings inward as they dive to the ground, twisting on the opponent's neck and in the process lifting the opponent's entire body off the rope, driving their neck and shoulders into the ground. Due to the snap swing the attacking wrestler does, this move is often seen as a version of the dragon screw, being referred to as the "Dragon Screw Neck Whip". There is also a double team version of this move.
Another slight variation of the (standing) whiplash move sees the attacking wrestler hook both the opponent's legs (as in a cradle suplex) while keeping both their heads side by side under each other shoulder before then performing the whiplash. This version is often known as a muscle twister.
Professional wrestling maneuvers Attacks Throws Holds Aerial Double-team
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