The Burning Hammer - Who Did It Best?
The Burning Hammer is the ultimate wrestling finisher. It is widely considered to be the most dangerous wrestling move ever. Even in Japan, where wrestlers are far more liberal with using high-risk moves, the Burning Hammer is brought out extremely rarely.
It isn’t hard to see why. The move – technically called an Inverted Death Valley Driver – is a vicious head-spiking maneuver that leaves no room for error. The wrestler hitting the move picks their opponent in a Torture Rack, and then sits down, pushing their poor victim off their shoulders, head-first into the canvas.
It is the reverse of an Attitude Adjustment; the victim cannot roll onto their shoulders or back to absorb the impact, and must instead rely on using their arms for protection or hope the user has perfect timing.
Although rarely seen in wrestling in general, a few notable wrestlers have tried to make a name for themselves by executing this legendary maneuver. So which of them did it best?
#5 Tyler Reks
Tyler Reks’ version of the Burning Hammer is what I like to call ‘a finisher with training wheels’. Because the original version is so dangerous, WWE banned anyone from ever using it. So, Reks used a watered down version of the move that is basically an inverted Attitude Adjustment.
While he does start the move off like a proper Burning Hammer, he gives his opponent much more momentum when they’re pushed off. Instead of holding their legs to make their heads go downward, Reks pushes them away, so that they land in a position that makes this move like a DDT or an inverted Powerslam.
Yet Reks and the commentators still called this move a Burning Hammer, which is like saying Roman Reigns’ Superman Punch is as legit a finisher as JBL’s Clothesline From Hell. Although it gave Reks some minor attention when he was on SmackDown in 2009 and 2010, it didn’t give him enough to enjoy a sustained push.