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A brainbuster is a professional wrestling throw in which a wrestler puts the opponent in a front facelock, hooks their pants or thigh, and lifts them up as if they were executing a vertical suplex. The wrestler then falls onto their back so that the opponent lands on their head while remaining vertical. This move is a version of the DDT. It was innovated by Killer Karl Kox. In Japanese puroresu, the term "brainbuster" refers to a regular vertical suplex, while the move elsewhere known as a brainbuster is referred to as a "vertical drop brainbuster". The brainbuster is banned in WWE because the person receiving the move will land on the top of their head or neck without protection. The botched executions of the belly-to-belly piledriver by Owen Hart and The Undertaker led to changes in the wrestling style of two comparable wrestlers, specifically Stone Cold Steve Austin and Goldberg, respectively, with the former changing from a technician to a brawler and the latter instead of using his Jackhammer finisher, botched the move into an unplanned brainbuster at the Super ShowDown of 2019 in Saudi Arabia.
Also known as a belly-to-belly brainbuster, the wrestler stands facing a standing opponent and then wraps both arms around the opponent's torso, lifting them off the ground. The wrestler then shifts their grip so they are holding the opponent by their legs, gripping the opponent behind the knee. The wrestler then removes one arm from the opponent’s leg and quickly applies a front facelock with that arm, lifts the opponent as if they were using a vertical suplex, and lands the opponent on the back of their head.
Double underhook brainbuster
Also known as the Michinoku Driver (not to be confused with another move with a similar name) and a butterfly brainbuster, this move sees a wrestler first face an opponent and apply a double underhook, then lifting the opponent upside down and falling backwards down to the mat onto their back, driving the opponent head-first down to the mat. The Great Sasuke invented that move.
A fisherman buster is a variation of the brainbuster in which the wrestler hooks the opponent's leg to aid in lifting them off the ground. With the opponent elevated, the wrestler performs a fisherman suplex, driving the head of the opponent into the ground. Yoshi-Hashi uses this as his finisher.
Cross-legged fisherman buster
In this variation, the wrestler puts the opponent in a front facelock and uses their free arm to go under the opponent's near leg and hook the far one. After lifting the opponent off the ground, the wrestler jumps up and falls down on their back, slamming the opponent down to the mat head first.
Small package driver
A variation of the fisherman buster, in this version the wrestler traps the opponent's free leg between their own legs when delivering the move, resulting in a small package. This was used by Kushida, calling it Back To The Future.
Wrist-clutch fisherman buster
This variation involves grabbing and pulling by the opponent's wrist, then lifting them up into the air, before falling to their back, slamming the opponent to the ground on the back of their head/neck.
The wrestler begins behind and facing a standing opponent. The wrestler then pulls the head of the opponent back and applies an inverted facelock to the opponent with one arm. The wrestler then places their other arm under the lower back of the opponent, using that arm to elevate the opponent until they are vertical. The wrestler then jumps up and falls down on their back, driving the head of the opponent to the mat.
Also known as a spike brainbuster. Instead of just falling down onto their own back, the attacking wrestler jumps up and uses their momentum to drive the opponent down onto the top of their head.
Also known as the Ghost Buster, this is a variation of the standard brainbuster in which the executing wrestler holds their opponent in a vertical suplex position for up to 10 seconds before completing the maneuver.
Northern Lights buster
A variation of the brainbuster in which the wrestler lifts the opponent as if they were using a Northern Lights suplex and lands the opponent on the back of their head.
Scoop brainbuster (Northern Lights Bomb)
This move sees the wrestler put the opponent in a front facelock, scoop one of the opponent's thighs with their free hand, lift the opponent upside down, and then drop to their side or back, driving the opponent to the mat on their neck and shoulders, or on the top of their head.Innovated by Akira Hokuto and popularized by Kensuke Sasaki as Northern Lights Bomb. Tetsuya Naito uses this Move as Valéntia.
Single underhook brainbuster
This variation is performed when a wrestler faces the opponent and hooks one of their arms, lifts the opponent upside down, then falls backwards to the mat onto their back, driving the opponent down on their head. It's used by Finn Bálor as the 1916.
This variation is performed when a wrestler faces the opponent and crosses both of their arms on the opponent's chest before lifting the opponent upside down, then falling backwards to the mat onto their back, driving the opponent down on their head. Jay White uses this move, calling it Bladebuster.
Also known as a revolution brainbuster, this brainbuster is performed when the wrestler delivering the maneuver twists their body while holding the opponent in the upwards position, usually dropping their opponent during the rotation.
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