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A piledriver is a professional wrestling driver move in which the wrestler grabs his opponent, turns him upside-down, and drops into a sitting or kneeling position, driving the opponent head-first into the mat.[1] The most common piledrivers are the basic belly-to-back, or Texas piledriver, and the belly-to-belly tombstone piledriver, but many more intricate variants are in use.

Contents

Danger and precautions

The piledriver is generally considered a dangerous maneuver in wrestling because of the potential impact on the head and compression of the neck. A properly executed standard piledriver has the opponent's head barely touching the ground, if at all.[2] When the head is not in the proper position, serious injury or paralysis can occur.[3]

The piledriver was banned in World Wrestling Entertainment in 2000, unless the wrestler has special permission to use the move.[3] Only The Undertaker and Kane are authorized to perform the piledriver.[4] In fact, The Undertaker's tombstone piledriver continues to be his finishing move.[5]

Variations

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Argentine piledriver

The move is executed from a Argentine backbreaker rack (face up, with the neck and one leg cradled) position. The wrestler pushes the opponent forward while holding the opponent's leg with one arm, and the head with the other arm, and then sits down, driving the opponent head first down to the floor.

Back to belly piledriver

The wrestler faces the opponent, places his head between the hold of them. He then stands up, lifting the opponent upside down. The wrestler then either sits down or drops on to his knees, driving the opponent's head down to the mat.

A variation on this which is sometimes known as the sunset driver sees the attacking wrestler hook the opponent's legs underneath his / her arms while holding the opponent up in the back to belly position. From here, the wrestler drops to his / her knees, driving the opponent's head into the mat. This move will often see the attacking wrestler hold the move after landing for a rana style pinfall attempt.

Cradle piledriver

The cradle piledriver is a variation on standard piledrivers which sees the attacking wrestler grapevine the opponents leg with their arm. The most common of which is similar to a Texas piledriver. This move sees the attacking wrestler, from a position in which the opponent is bent forward against the wrestler's midsection, reach around the opponent's midsection and lifting them so that they are held upside down facing in the same direction as the wrestler, the wrestler then hooks his / her arms around one leg of the opponent before dropping to a sitting or kneeling position with the opponent's head falling between the wrestler's thighs down to the mat.

This variant can be used on other types of piledriver; including the cradle tombstone piledriver variation, instead of wrapping both of his arms around the waist of the opponent, the wrestler wraps one arm around the waist and places his other arm between the opponent's legs, grabbing hold of his other arm. The wrestler then drops down on his knees, driving the opponent down to the mat head first.

Cross-arm piledriver

From a position in which the opponent is bent forward against the wrestler's midsection, the attacking wrestler crosses the arms of this opponent between their legs (a double pumphandle) before then lifting the opponent up into a vertical position and driving them down between the attacking wrestler's legs.

Double underhook piledriver

In this piledriver, a wrestler will bend his / her opponent forward, placing the opponent's head between the wrestler's legs (a standing head scissors), and hooks each of the opponent's arms behind the opponent's back. He / she then pulls back on the opponent's arms lifting him/her up so that the opponent is held upside down facing in the same direction as the wrestler, the wrestler then drops to a sitting or kneeling position dropping the opponent's head into the mat. The kneeling variation of this move is also called Tiger Driver '98.

Flip piledriver

The move, which is also referred to as a front flip piledriver, begins in a position in which the opponent is bent forward against the wrestler's midsection, the wrestler grabs around his / her opponent's midsection latching onto the opponent's back, with his / her head to one side of the opponent's hips, keeping his / her legs around the opponent's head. From this position the wrestler pushes off the mat with his / her legs to flip the opponent over.

As both wrestlers flip the attacking wrestler uses his / her body weight to land in a seated position driving the opponent's head down to the mat between the wrestler's thighs. A double underhook variation exists in which the arms of a bent over opponent are placed in a butterfly prior to performing the flip.

Jumping piledriver

Also known as a spike piledriver, stuff piledriver or a belly-to-back piledriver, from a position in which the opponent is bent forward against the wrestler's midsection, the wrestler grabs around their opponent's midsection and lifts so that the opponent is held upside down facing in the same direction as the wrestler, the wrestler then jumps in the air and drops to a sitting position.

Kryptonite Krunch

CIMA performing his finisher, Schwein

The Kryptonite Krunch, the Schwein, can be technically described as an over the shoulder back-to-belly piledriver. It begins with the wrestler facing his opponent. From there, the wrestler will pick up the opponent and place them over his / her shoulder so that the opponent's head is dangling over the wrestler's back by the waist of the wrestler. The wrestler then holds the opponent in place by holding his / her leg with one arm and applies a headlock to the opponent with his / her other arm. The opponent is now bent into a circle. The wrestler then drops to a seated position, driving the head of the opponent into the ground. A variant technique called the Air Raid Crash or Air Raid Siren is where the wrestler holds the opponent across the back diagonally.

Package piledriver

A package piledriver is almost the same as a Texas piledriver, but instead of grabbing the waist of the opponent, the wrestler puts their arms underneath the opponent's arms and grabs their legs by the knees. The wrestler then stands up, lifting the opponent until they are upside down, and drops to a sitting position with the opponent's head between their thighs.

Pumphandle reverse piledriver

This variation sees an attacking wrestler first lock an opponent in the pumphandle hold before then using the hold to raise the opponent up over the shoulder of the attacking wrestler. From here the attacking wrestler brings the opponent down into the belly-to-belly position before then sitting down for a reverse piledriver with the opponent's head impacting the mat between the legs of the attacking wrestler.

Punch piledriver

A Punch piledriver sees the attacker grab the opponent for a normal piledriver, then the attacker uses his/her right or left hand to hit down on the opponent's jaw and doing so pushes the opponent down faster ond his/her head thus giving more damage

Scoop side piledriver

Facing his opponent, the wrestler reaches between their opponent's legs with their right arm and reaches around the opponent's neck from the same side with their left arm. They then lift the opponent up on their chest so that they are facing downwards. The wrestler then moves their left arm from around the opponent's neck to around the opponent's torso. They then turn the opponent so that they are upside down on one side of the wrestler. The wrestler then jumps up and falls down to a sitting position, driving the opponent down to the mat neck and shoulder first.

Scoop slam piledriver

Facing their opponent, the wrestler reaches between his opponent's legs with their right arm and reaches around the opponent's neck from the same side with their left arm. They then lift the opponent up and turn them around so that they are held upside down, as in a scoop slam. The wrestler then drops down to their knees, driving the opponent down to the mat neck and shoulder first. There is also a seated version of this move.

Spike piledriver

A spike piledriver can refer to either jumping piledriver, aided piledriver, or reverse tombstone piledriver.

Reverse piledriver

Also known by the term belly-to-belly piledriver, a wrestler first stands facing an opponent before then grab the opponent's waist and turns them upside-down, holding them against their torso. The wrestler then jumps up and drops down to a seated position, driving the opponent's head down to the mat between the wrestler's thighs.

Tombstone piledriver

The Undertaker hitting the Tombstone Piledriver on Ric Flair at WrestleMania X8 in 2002.

In this variation of a belly-to-belly piledriver, the wrestler holds the opponent upside down in a belly-to-belly position, then falls to a kneeling position.[6] As the wrestler falls, in kayfabe, the opponent's head is driven into the canvas.[7] However, the safety of the move relies upon the head of the opponent resting higher than the knees of the wrestler so that no genuine contact with the canvas is formed.

Reverse tombstone piledriver

Variation of the Spike piledriver, instead of dropping to a sitting position, as in sike the basic Texas piledriver, the wrestler drops to a kneeling position.

Texas piledriver

Also called a traditional piledriver, or simply piledriver, this is the classic and original piledriver technique. From a position in which the opponent is bent forward against the wrestler's midsection, the wrestler grabs around his / her opponent's midsection and lifts so that the opponent is held upside down facing in the same direction as the wrestler, the wrestler then drops to a sitting position with the opponent's head falling between the wrestler's thighs down to the mat.

Vertebreaker

Technically known as a back to back double underhook piledriver or a Kudo Driver, this move is executed from a position in which the opponent is standing behind the wrestler, the wrestler underhooks his/her arms under the opponent's arms. Then the wrestler twists his / her body around so that the wrestler is facing the ground and the opponent is standing with his / her back resting against the wrestler's back. Then the wrestler stands while the opponent is in an upside down position while both the opponent and the wrestler's arms are still hooked and then the wrestler then drops to a sitting position. Another way to get the opponent into the position is to approach a standing opponent from behind, hook the opponent's arms, bend forward under the opponent, and then rise up, raising the opponent upside down.

This technique is extremely dangerous, as the receiver's arms are restrained and his / her head is not placed between the wrestler's legs, giving him / her little to post against. The move was banned by World Wrestling Entertainment in April 2003, except for in cases where the wrestler received special permission to use the move.[8]

Vertical suplex piledriver

The wrestler applies a front facelock to the opponent and hooks the opponent's near arm over their shoulder and lifts them into a vertical suplex position. They then turn the opponent 180°, force the opponent into the reverse piledriver position, then drop to a sitting position, dropping the opponent on their head.

See also

References

  1. ^ "234-pound wrestler injures Andy Kaufman in grudge fight". St. Petersburg Times. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=vPQNAAAAIBAJ&sjid=UnsDAAAAIBAJ&pg=6094,6435532&dq=piledriver+wrestle&hl=en. Retrieved 2009-11-24.  
  2. ^ Hollywood Hulk Hogan, Terry Bolea's autobiography, pg 202. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 0743475569.
  3. ^ a b Powell, John (July 20, 2000). "Piledriver ban handicaps everyone". SLAM! Wrestling. http://slam.canoe.ca/SlamWrestlingEditorial/jul20_powell.html. Retrieved 2009-11-24.  
  4. ^ "Committee on Oversight and Government Reform interview of Stephanie McMahon". http://oversight.house.gov/documents/20081231140942.pdf. Retrieved 2009-01-04.  
  5. ^ "Amazing But True..". WWE Magazine (16): 13. October 2007.  
  6. ^ Kay, Lindell (April 28, 2009). "Teen sentenced for nephew's murder". JD News. http://www.jdnews.com/news/wright-63878-rustin-head.html. Retrieved 2009-11-24.  
  7. ^ Powell, John (November 22, 1999). "Hart executes sixth world title reign". SLAM! Wrestling. http://slam.canoe.ca/SlamWrestlingArchive/nov22_mayhem.html. Retrieved 2009-11-24.  
  8. ^ Madigan, TJ (April 5, 2003). "Forget me not". SLAM! Wrestling. http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/2003/04/05/58704.html. Retrieved 2009-11-24.  

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