The dropkick – a simple move performed by hundreds of wrestlers in various forms over the years. It can be good, it can be not so good (I’m looking at you Cena), but in some cases, it can be spectacular. With all the dozens upon dozens of wrestlers who have performed this move night in, night out in the last few decades, trying to decide who does/did it best is a rather difficult task, but I was willing to put in the effort for all my loyal marks out there (thanks for the support, guys). So here they are, the Top 10 Best Dropkicks in Wrestling.
For this list, any variations of the dropkick are eligible – standing, running, diving, dropsaults, front, missile. As long as a kick is dropped, it can make the list. With that being said, let’s get on with the top 10.
- Hardcore Holly – Standing Dropkick
Other than not exactly rolling out the bandwagon for new rookies during his WWE days, not much really gets said about Hardcore Holly. Sure, he had a long tenure in WWE, won a few titles, and was more than decent in the ring, but nothing about him really stood out or wowed audiences. However, if there is one of thing about Holly’s arsenal that’s worth talking about, it’s his dropkick. Beautifully crisp, well-timed, hard-hitting, and surprisingly athletic, Holly’s standing dropkick will always be worth discussion.
- Big Show – Standing and Diving Dropkick
Whilst definitely not the most graceful dropkick of all time, Big Show’s version of the move makes the list purely because it’s unbelievable that it’s even possible. Seeing a 7-foot man weighing around 500 pounds leaping into the air and shoving his gigantic feet into another person’s chance is truly a sight to behold. Not the most crisp iteration, but you’ll never forget the first time you saw the huge Paul Wight hit a dropkick.
- Mr Perfect – Standing Dropkick
Curt Hennig wasn’t exactly a humble man – he took every opportunity possible to brag about how good he was, so it’s no wonder why his version of this widely used move was called the “perfect dropkick.” But when you see it, can you really argue with him? Nobody could hit a dropkick as beautiful as Perfect’s during the 80s and early 90s, and even thirty years later, not many people can even come close.
- Dolph Ziggler – Standing Dropkick
If I had to describe Dolph Ziggler’s standing dropkick, I would use one word: speed. Ziggler’s body is like a bullet as he leaps into the air and snaps his legs into his opponents chest in an impeccably short time. Unlike most standing dropkicks, Ziggler’s dropkick looks and sounds like an actual strike, which is what makes it so devastating. He may not have one of the best finishers in the business (which is why the Zig Zag made my list of the worst finishers in WWE), but he certainly has one of the best dropkicks.
- Paul London – Dropsault
Paul London’s dropsault is possibly the weakest looking move on this list, but it’s probably the most beautiful. Backflipping off an opponent’s chest and landing flat on your front definitely hurts the user more than the receiver, yet that doesn’t matter in the world of wrestling as long as the move looks good, and the dropsault is both impressive and absolutely beautiful.
- Triangle Dropkick – Chris Jericho
The triangle dropkick is one of my favourite non-finishing moves in all of wrestling. Flashy, effective, and high flying, it ticks almost all the boxes for me. Even though it has been performed superbly by many over the years (Tyler Breeze’s iteration especially deserves praise), it was Y2J that popularised and perfected the move. The fact he can still hit it after 27 years is further proof of why Jericho truly is the GOAT when it comes to pro wrestling (you can read a whole article about that here), and it looks just as good now as it did back in his prime. And if you don’t think the triangle dropkick is one of the greatest of all time, well, you know what happens….(you stupid idiot!)
- AJ Styles – Standing Dropkick
The best standing dropkick in WWE today is simply phenomenal. It’s no surprise that AJ Styles hits this better than any of peers, as he does that with pretty much every weapon in his arsenal. Even though he turns 40 this year, Styles can still hit the most athletic of maneuvers better than almost anyone in the world, and when it comes to the standing dropkick, hardly anyone can come close to The Phenomenal One’s execution.
- Manami Toyota – Running and Missile Front Dropkick
I’ve said on multiple occasions in the past that Manami Toyota is the greatest female competitor in wrestling history. The effort and complete lack of care for her wellbeing that she applies to every single match is simply astonishing. Although she’s known more for incredible suplexes and devastating finishers, there is no denying that her front dropkick is one of the highlights of her incredible moveset. She throws her body into her opponent’s chest with reckless abandon, and slams her own body into the mat, or in some cases the ringside area, in the process. Toyota is absolutely fearless, which is the key to this move’s brilliance. When Manami finally ends her career later this year, she will be retiring one of the best dropkicks of all time.
- Jack Gallagher – Running Corner Dropkick
Perhaps I am being a little bit bias, given how much I love this fellow countryman, but Jack Gallagher’s dropkick is a painful work of art. What separates Gallagher’s leaping strike from everyone else’s on this list is that it’s the only one that looks like it legitimately hurts. Gallagher sprints full force before throwing his feet directly into his foe’s face, sending their head hurtling back. It’s not the prettiest dropkick of the 10 (still absolutely beautiful though), but it’s certainly the one I’d least like to experience for myself.
Jumbo Tsuruta – Standing Dropkick: The height and force this Japanese legend could hit a dropkick with was outstanding.
Maven – Standing Dropkick: Any dropkick that can eliminate Undertaker from a Royal Rumble must be a good one.
Moose – Standing Dropkick: Seeing a 6’5, 300lb former NFL player leap into the air like a cruiserweight and hit a dropkick is a sight to behold.
Daniel Bryan – Missile Front Dropkick: Not quite as good as Toyota’s, but still dangerous and forceful nonetheless.
Roman Reigns – Running Dropkick: It doesn’t quite have the finesse as others on the list, but Reigns’ ringside running dropkick is impressive nonetheless.
Finn Balor – Shotgun Dropkick: The dropkick itself isn’t all that impressive, but the resulting bump into the turnbuckles certainly looks painful.
Randy Orton – Standing Dropkick: Randy’s timing is better than anybody else’s. He can hit that dropkick on anybody from any position, but the dropkick itself just isn’t quite as good as the ten on this list.
The Rock n’ Roll Express – Double Dropkick: It really isn’t an exaggeration to say that these newly inducted WWE Hall of Famers were gods in Memphis. Ricky and Bobby were two of the most popular stars during the 80s and 90s, and are pulling in crowds to this very day. While their finisher doesn’t look quite as good these days, The Rock n’ Roll Express can still hit their Double Dropkick that won the hearts of many.
- Kazuchika Okada – Standing Dropkick
There’s a reason Okada is known for his dropkick. Dropkicks are pretty simple and basic moves usually, but Okada’s is special. Entire five-star quality matches have been built around Okada hitting this one move. At Wrestle Kingdom 9, his bout with Tanahashi built and built and built until Okada finally hit that signature dropkick, and the crowd went crazy. No dropkick in history can elicit excitement from a crowd more than Okada’s. The height and finesse the 6’3 sensation can execute this move with is astonishing, and without question is the best dropkick in the world today. If I had to give it a rating, it would definitely be six stars.
Which wrestler’s dropkick is your favourite? Let me know in a comment below or by tweeting me @HairyWrestling.