Top 5 Suplexes in Wrestling Today

When I first started watching professional wrestling, the suplex was one of the most common wrestling movves in the squared circle. It is usually not used as a finisher, but […]

When I first started watching professional wrestling, the suplex was one of the most common wrestling movves in the squared circle. It is usually not used as a finisher, but it is a nice reliable setup move to have during a match, whether for an attempted three count or setting up for another move. If executed properly by both parties, the suplex can look like one devastating maneuver. 

Of course, if you dig down deeper with more examination you’ll realize that when the user is hooking the opponent’s neck under his arm, he is protecting the victim’s head as the victim himself jumps up to initiate the suplex. Casual fans may not notice, but long time wrestling observers should be wise on this sequence by now. Of course, there are exceptions, such as Neville when he does the superplex off the top rope; it still looks like one devastating effect.

but thankfully, there are many types of suplexes, refined and modified by wrestlers past and present. I would just like to list those I found the most effective in terms of resembling a legitimately bad ass move. Here are the Top 5 Suplexes in Wrestling Today:

5. The Uranage

 

Yes, I am aware that technically this move is categorized more as a side slam / power slam variation, but I have heard WWE commentators refer to it as a suplex, so there.

One of the first times I’ve seen this move used was by the Rock, when it was called the Rock Bottom. Here’s an old clip from a RAW in 1997, when he was still Rocky Maivia, using it during a match with Savio Vega. But the more recent variation is currently being used by Bray Wyatt, as you can see in this exchange with Sheamus. The wrestler begins standing face to face with the opponent slightly to their side. Then, the wrestler tucks their own head under the opponent’s near arm, reaches across the opponent’s chest and around their neck with their near arm, and places the other arm against their back. The wrestler then falls forward, either flat on their chest or into a kneeling position, and forces the opponent back-first onto the mat.

The Rock’s first few versions in his early career were pretty standard in wrestling parlance following the way setups for finishers were supposed to go, but later on as he was getting over with the WWE fan base, he added some flair dramatics to sell the move later on in his career. It wasn’t until Bray Wyatt started doing the move it looked more impactful than it previously did, you can see in the above clip.

4. Exploder Suplex

 

Innovated by Jun Akiyama, and also called a T-bone suplex as it was named after former ECW Champion Taz, the attacker stands facing his opponent and positions himself under one of the opponent’s arms and wraps his arm around the opponent’s neck and back (this position is similar to that of a side slam) and then grabs the waist or leg of the opponent and tosses him backwards, over the attacker’s head. Several other variations exist, such as the wrist-clutch exploder suplex and the bridging exploder suplex.

Randy Orton’s exploder on Rusev was a bit slower and clumsier, as Rusev is pretty much a super heavyweight and Orton’s high impact moves are more quick and explosive, like his power slam. The better exploder variations would come from competitors like Sami Zayn (who throws his opponents into the ring corner before setting up a Helluva Kick) and Becky Lynch, who calls it the Bexploder. Shinsuke Nakamura does a variation of the move which is essentially a Inverted Exploder where he is facing his opponent’s back when delivering the suplex. Nakamura’s opponent is supposed to basically do a backflip and land flat on the mat, but sometimes they miscalculate, as Shinsuke’s recent match with John Cena can attest when Cena ended up landing on his head.

The exploder is just a pretty sic suplex set up move that I like, and I’m glad to see more wrestlers these days using it today.

3. German Suplex

 

The move is technically known as a belly-to-back waist lock suplex or a back arch throw, the wrestler stands behind the opponent, grabs them around their waist, lifts them up, and falls backwards while bridging his back and legs, slamming the opponent down to the mat shoulder and upper back first. As with Benoit, sometimes the wrestler keeps the waistlock and continues bridging with their back and legs, pinning the opponent’s shoulders down against the mat. The regular pinning variation can be referred to as the German suplex pin.

It’s not just about Suplex City and Brock Lesnar, as Paul Heyman frequently reminds us. There are other variations of the German suplex today that are actually more impressive than Lesnar’s. Lesnar only repeats the Germans time and time again during his matches, but others use variations that give it more high impact, like Akira Tozawa, or do the German suplex into a bridge as a pinning combination attempt. If someone was strong enough, they can throw the other guy so high up they’d land on their stomach.

Of course, for me personally, nothing beats the 10 Germans in a sequence that was patented by the late Chris Benoit. The stamina for not only Benoit, but the person on the receiving end of those 10 Germans, has to be 110 % in order to take those constant bumps during this sequence of moves.

2. Saito Suplex

 

This suplex variation is not as well known as some of those I have already described. The attacker stands either facing directly one of his/her opponent’s sides or slightly behind in an angle. He places the opponent’s near arm over his shoulder, grabs a waist lock, and then lifts the opponent up while falling backwards, causing the opponent to land on his/her neck and shoulders. Its name is derived from and innovated by Japanese wrestler Masa Saito.

In other variations, the user wraps the opponent’s right arm around his own neck before executing the move. It’s a nice little quick impact move, and I like the one that is currently being done by Tozawa. Which leaves me with one more suplex variation to profile….

1. The Frog Suplex

Sorry about this. A friend of mine sent this to me and I couldn’t resist.

Do you have any types of suplexes in wrestling today that are your favourite?