It’s the Wrestling Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
In pro wrestling, looks can be deceiving. The most physically perfect specimens can turn out to be lumps of coal in the ring, while those less fortunate in the beauty department can turn out to be incredible performers. Don’t get me wrong, this is not always the case; Bastion Booger looked and wrestled like garbage. But I think, for the most part, my claim rings true.
This edition of Finish Him! focuses on a wrestler who I believe epitomizes the ideal of not judging a book by its cover: Hallowicked. Hallowicked is a Chikara original through-and-through, having been with the company since its inception. On the surface, Hallowicked seems like a random, skinny, indy schlub with a pumpkin mask and a ripped black t-shirt. But dig a little deeper and you will find that Hallowicked reigns in Mike Quackenbush’s comic book-infused promotion as, quite possibly, its most valuable player. The permanent expression on Hallowicked’s face does little to hamper his exciting matches and charismatic presence.
While Hallowicked has a number of finishers—the Yakuza Kick, Go 2 Sleepy Hollow, and the Chikara Special—I am going to be talking about the Graveyard Smash.
The Graveyard Smash is a Fisherman Suplex lifted and dropped into a Rydeen Bomb. To start, Hallowicked gets his opponent in a Fisherman Suplex position. He lifts the opponent up, but once the opponent is over his head, Hallowicked unhooks his arm from the opponent’s head and drops him forward into a Rydeen Bomb.
The Rydeen Bomb
Although the Graveyard Smash is an original move performed by Hallowicked, it is itself a variation on another of Hallowicked’s finishers called the Rydeen Bomb. I have no idea who or what a “Rydeen” is (Satoshi Kojima is given credit for naming the move as such) but there are other wrestlers who have used the Rydeen Bomb as either a finishing or a signature move: Billy Kidman (“The BK Bomb”), D’Lo Brown (“The Sky High”), Satoshi Kojima, Khoya, Crimson (“Red Sky”), Chris Masters, and others.
The Rydeen Bomb is a lifting sitout Spinebuster. Instead of the performing wrestler dropping to his knees as with a regular Spinebuster, he drops to a seated position (like a sitout Powerbomb).
Wrestlers mainly execute the Rydeen Bomb from a standing position, although there have been times when the move has achieved a considerably more damaging effect when done off the second rope; Billy Kidman used to do it sometimes with his BK Bomb. In fact, you should check out Bryan Rose’s recent review of WrestleMania XX for his “Depths of ‘Mania” series right here on Voices of Wrestling. Billy Kidman hits a second-rope BK Bomb during the Cruiserweight Open. Synergy!
Carving Out a Finisher
Just in case you are still unaware of who Hallowicked is, let me explain: Hallowicked is the living personification of Halloween and all things scary. He has a pumpkin for a head, a black t-shirt ripped in the shape of a spooky face, White Zombie performs his theme music, and he historically associates himself with similar denizens of the dark such as Frightmare, Delirious, UltraMantis Black, and Crossbones. One of his finishing moves is called Go 2 Sleepy Hollow for Pete’s sake! Hallowicked embodies the Halloween spirit, so it’s no surprise that he would call one of his moves “The Graveyard Smash.” It’s so him.
Hallowicked’s Graveyard Smash has all the impact of the Rydeen Bomb, but with the added irreversibility and momentum of the Fisherman Suplex hold.
Let’s begin with the Fisherman Suplex. As one would do with a Fisherman Suplex, Hallowicked hooks one of his opponent’s legs with his arm, bending it at the knee and lifting it towards Hallowicked’s torso. This makes it much harder for the opponent to escape than a regular Suplex because it compacts the opponent’s body, which significantly increases the difficulty of escaping.
With the opponent’s odds of escaping diminished, Hallowicked lifts him up like he would for a standard Fisherman Suplex. But this is where the Graveyard Smash rears its Jack-o-Lantern head. Rather than falling backwards to complete the Suplex, Hallowicked instead unhooks his arm from the opponent’s head and snaps his opponent forward into the Rydeen Bomb.
The transition works because it gives Hallowicked added momentum. That extra snap into the downward slam gives Hallowicked a bit more speed than if he merely performed the Rydeen Bomb on its own. It also gives the back of the opponent’s head that much more whiplash when he hits the mat. Dizziness is also a positive factor for Hallowicked, as the opponent goes from standing right side up to hanging upside-down to lying lateral on the mat within seconds.
Following the snap, and thus completing the Graveyard Smash, is the Rydeen Bomb itself. Once Hallowicked has unhooked the head and the opponent is falling backwards towards the mat, Hallowicked maneuvers his free arm and places his hand on his opponent’s chest. With his hand on the chest, Hallowicked pushes his opponent onto the canvas with force. Gravity is already doing its job, but Hallowicked makes sure that the opponent actually falls harder to the mat. The greater speed from the Fisherman snap combined with the heavier force of the chest push is a surefire measure for painful success.
Now that the Rydeen Bomb portion of the move has been executed, the final effective piece of the Graveyard Smash puzzle is the pin. The Rydeen Bomb causes the opponent to land on his back with both of his shoulders on the mat. And because Hallowicked lands in a seated position after completing the move, it allows him to immediately cover his opponent for the victory. No wasted time or motion trying to scramble across the ring for a cover or having to flip the opponent onto his back. Hallowicked is able to score the win right there and then without lifting another finger.
As we have seen, the Graveyard Smash is quick, innovative, provides an increase in damage from a standard Fisherman Suplex or Rydeen Bomb, and can be unleashed with minimal chance for reversal. Great job on choosing this as a finisher, Hallowicked. You give pumpkin-headed wrestlers everywhere a reason to be proud.