BURNING HAMMER! What has become Wolf's most iconic throw, and the most damaging move in the game of Virtua Fighter, is the Burning Hammer. While many people know this is based on a real professional wrestling move, there are probably a lot more signature moves in the series than you'd think!
Not all of them immediately obvious to non-wrestling fans. Even characters like Kage Maru and Jacky Bryant find themselves borrowing manoeuvres from real pro wrestlers! I want to take a look at some of the iconic moves of Virtua Fighter, and reveal some of the little nods, winks and straight out tributes to some cool Puro, Wrestling and Lucha moves from the world of professional wrestling!
Kage Maru - Praying Rope Walk
(Opponent back to low wall)+
This flashy low wall throw is actually based on a signature move by Japanese pro wrestler Jinsei Shinzaki (AKA Hakushi). After getting his opponent into an arm-bar, he walks the rope in a praying stance, then will either come down with a flying chop, or an arm drag.
Check out the real life version of the move in this match against the Great Muta (9m 55s):
El Blaze - Space Rolling Elbow & Flash Elbow
(Rocket Discharge) +,
(Downed Opponent) +
One of the true legends of pro wrestling is Keiji Mutoh, or in this instance, The Great Muta.
Keiji Mutoh was the 'face' (good guy) persona, and The Great Muta the 'heel' (bad guy) persona. Known for many of his trademark and signature moves, he's been imitated and paid tribute to in a lot of video games.
Two of his iconic strikes have been featured in Virtua Fighter through El Blaze's moveset; His Space Rolling Elbow is an iconic attack used by both personas through his carreer, a handspring into a diving elbow, usually to an opponent couched in the turnbuckle, a perfect move for El Blaze's Rocket Discharge!
Another move that people often don't pick up on as a tribute, is one of El Blaze's down attacks. The Flashing Elbow is one of Muta's most used techniques. It's basically just an elbow drop with some theatrics, but it's instantly recognisable as belonging to Muta;
Wolf Hawkfield – Burning Hammer
I had to include this one in my first installment! Doing a devastating 100 points of damage, and even more in the backturned 'Burning Driver' variation, the Burning Hammer is the single most damaging throw in the game Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown.
Like many skills of Wolf's move set, it's a tribute to the legendary Kenta Kobashi, who innovated the Burning Hammer.
In the world of Pro Wrestling, the move is considered extremely dangerous to perform as the person receiving it cannot roll into the fall. There is a lot of risk of injury as the receiving wrestler falls onto his neck without much room for error. As such, the move has only been used by Kenta Kobashi seven times in his career. The move is reserved as a 'super finisher'; something brought out only for the biggest and most high profile matches for opponents that are notoriously tough.
The backturned variation of the move is Kobashi's 'Wrist Clutch' variation of Burning Hammer, used even more sparingly than the regular version, and reflected in the game by being even more devastating!
The debut of the Burning Hammer:
The Wrist Clutch Burning Hammer (Burning Driver):
Watch this space, as I'll be updating with more moves on a regular basis! There are a TON of moves with real-life counter-parts in the Virtua Fighter series, and I hope you'll enjoy seeing a few more of them over the coming weeks.
Kage Maru & El Blaze – Sliced Bread #2
Kage (Wall Behind) +
El Blaze (Wall Behind Opponent) +
Originally known as the 'Shiranui', but commonly known as Sliced Bread #2 in the west after it was popularised by Brian Kendrick, the technical name is 'reverse springboard three-quarter facelock facebuster'. The move is used by Kage Maru as one of his unique wall throws (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOl1eY-UW-U&t=8m15s). El Blaze also has a variation of this move which he uses against walls.
This awesome looking manoeuvre has been used as a finisher by a multitude of cruiserweight wrestlers, but notably by WWE star Brian Kendrick.
He also once did it from the top of a ladder:
Jeffry McWild – Go To Sleep
I'm guilty of yelling this move name every time I see Jeffry land it, usually met with confusion by my non-wrestling fan friends. NO MORE!
Jeffry McWild takes this move from KENTA, not to be confused with Kenta Kobashi, KENTA (spelt in all capitals, real name Kenta Kobayashi) is the protégée of Kenta Kobashi. He innovated the move and uses it as a finisher. The technique of lifting the opponent over his head, and dropping them into a knee lift seems perfect for Jeffry's moveset!
The move was later picked up by CM Punk who also used it as a finisher in the WWE.
This video is worth watching for the incredible Japanese Puro commentary
GO TO SLEEEEEEEEEPU!
Wolf Hawkfield – Burning Chops
(Opponent's back to wall) +
We all know and love Wolf's 6P+G wall throw, where he delivers some devastating chops to the opponent's chest.
But, did you know that this move is a direct tribute to the legendary Kenta Kobashi? Yes, the same one who innovated Burning Hammer!
Right down to his double fist pump; the motion is Kobashi's signature 'Burn Up' taunt he delivers before going into Machine Gun Chops!