A moonsault, moonsault press, or back flip splash is a professional wrestling aerial technique. It was innovated by Mando Guerrero. Much of its popularity in both Japanese and American wrestling is attributed to The Great Muta, despite it being used in North America by "Leaping" Lanny Poffo years before Muta came from Japan. In a standard moonsault, which is generally attempted from the top rope, a wrestler faces away from the supine opponent and executes a backflip landing on the opponent in a splash/press position but facing towards the elevated position. Though this move is generally attempted from the top rope to an opponent lying face up in the mat, myriad variations exist, including moonsaults that see the wrestler land on a standing opponent and forcing them down to the mat. The move is considered a higher-impact version of a splash, since the wrestler utilizes rotational speed.
A less common variation sees the wrestler perform a moonsault on a standing opponent, with the torso of the wrestler striking the torso of the opponent (albeit upside down), forcing the opponent backwards and to the ground with the opponent on top of them, usually placing the opponent in a pinning predicament. Most of the variations listed below can also be performed on standing opponents.
The corkscrew moonsault is a twisting moonsault in which the wrestler is standing or on an elevated platform, such as the top rope, or the corner of the ring, and performs a moonsault with a 360° twist or multiple twists, landing as if performing a normal moonsault.
Double jump moonsaultEdit
This is a variation of a springboard moonsault. This variation sees the wrestler bounces off the middle-rope to elevate himself/herself to the top-rope from where they bounce off to perform the moonsault. This version of a moonsault is often referred to as a picture perfect moonsault or double springboard moonsault. It was used by Christopher Daniels, who called the move the BME (Best Moonsault Ever).
Double rotation moonsaultEdit
This is a moonsault where another rotation is performed after the initial moonsault. There are two major variants of the double moonsault, an Asai moonsault version and a normal moonsault from the top turnbuckle to the inside of the ring with two rotations. The first rotation is an arc of the back
The first variation sees a wrestler who is standing on the apron, with a wrestler on the floor behind them, jump up on to either the first or second rope and perform and backflip as in to perform an Asai moonsault but while in mid air tucks their legs reducing resistance and performs a second complete backflip after the first one, landing on a standing opponent below. This is the more common of the two variants due to the increased airtime of the springboard and height from the springboard to the floor. This variant is closely associated with Jack Evans who popularized it as the Stuntin' 101. Evans is also known to perform a corkscrew version of this variant.
The second variation sees a wrestler ascend to the top rope and perform a backflip while tucking their legs. This allows the wrestler to have less resistance and continus to rotate after the initial first 360° for another 270° completing the second rotation onto an opponent lying on the mat. This was popularized by Ricochet.
Triple jump moonsaultEdit
This is a variation of the double jump moonsault where, from a running start, the attacking wrestler jumps to a chair or other elevated platform, onto the top rope and then does a moonsault from there onto his opponent. This move has been popularized by wrestler Sabu.
Moonsault side slamEdit
Any move where the wrestler stands on an elevated position, grabs hold of the opponent, and performs a moonsault while still holding on to the opponent, driving them down to the mat. This move is also known as a Solo Spanish Fly. Multiple variations exist, such as a belly-to-belly version and a side slam version, which can also be performed while standing. It is used by the wrestler Johnny Impact.
This variation is also referred to as a sideways moonsault, rolling moonsault, rounding splash, and Original-style moonsault. The attacker climbs the top rope, or other elevated position facing away the opponent, instead of doing a backflip as in a normal moonsault, the attacker rotates his or her body off to one side horizontally and lands on the opponent chest first, facing the turnbuckle as in a normal moonsault.
Another variation of this move sees the attacker facing the prone opponent with the attacker leaping forward into the air rotating their body in a semi-circle to end up-side down as if doing a midair cartwheel then landing on the opponent chest first. Alexa Bliss uses this move as her finisher, which she calls Twisted Bliss. Dana Brooke uses this move as a variation while running to an opponent lying on the mat, they rotate in opposite directions.
This moonsault variation sees the performer jump up and split their legs onto both the left and right top ropes surrounding the top turnbuckle, using the impact of their thighs on the rope to flip themselves over, executing a moonsault onto a prone opponent.
A variation of the split-legged moonsault is the Arabian Press, which involves the performer's thighs both landing on a single top rope, and the performer then continues to use the impact of their thighs on the rope to flip themselves over, executing a moonsault onto a prone opponent. Naomi uses this move.
Split-legged corkscrew moonsaultEdit
This variation involves performing a corkscrew moonsault after using the impact of their thighs on the ropes to flip themselves over. It was popularized by John Morrison, who called the move Starship Pain.
This is a move in which a wrestler springboards (bounces off ropes), then executes a backflip and lands on an opponent. This move is known as La Quebrada in lucha libre, sometimes shortened to simply Quebrada. A variation performed off the second rope from a running start, popularized by Chris Jericho, is known as the Lionsault.
When a springboard moonsault is performed onto an opponent on the floor outside the ring, rather than one in the ring, it is called an Asai Moonsault. This move is named after Yoshihiro Asai who popularized the move, better known by his gimmick name Último Dragón. This can also be used as a setup for an inverted DDT.
Fallaway moonsault slamEdit
This moves shows a wrestler grab an opponent like a fallaway slam but instead of just throwing them back wards does a backflip slamming the opponents back into the mat. This move is used by Trevor Lee, and innovated by Scott Steiner as a counter to a running crossbody.
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