Has WWE banned the Muscle Buster?


Last night on Raw, Samoa Joe had his debut match on Raw. Joe pinned Roman Reigns with a spinning Uranage suplex, after interference from Braun Strowman. It was interesting to note that Joe did not win with the Muscle-Buster, even though it would have been logical to use his finisher on his debut. Has the Muscle-Buster been outlawed by WWE?

In case you didn’t know…

Samoa Joe has used the Muscle-Buster finisher for over a decade.

However, the move was responsible for injuring and ending the career of Tyson Kidd, back in June 2015, where Kidd suffered a “spinal injury.” In an interview, Bret Hart spoke out against Joe’s Muscle Buster. Bret said, “It’s extremely dangerous.”

Hart then added, “The move that Samoa Joe did was reckless.” The Hall of Famer went on to compare it to Owen Hart breaking Steve Austin’s neck with a reverse piledriver at SummerSlam 1997. Joe’s Muscle Buster, however, is not especially dangerous.

It is not on par with the piledriver that left Austin temporarily unable to feel his extremities. That piledriver has the attacker drop his opponent’s head straight down. A slip-up in protection means a nasty collision between the crown of one’s head and the mat.

The Muscle Buster actually has more built-in safety measures, in that, Joe’s arm protects his foe’s neck. And he drops his victim more on their back than their head.

The heart of the matter

With Samoa Joe being involved in the incident that injured Seth Rollins last week, in addition to the Tyson Kidd incident, it’s possible that WWE sees Joe as a dangerous worker. However, it’s unlikely that they would push a dangerous worker to main event status.

It’s also possible that Vince McMahon has outlawed the Muscle-Buster himself. While the Muscle-Buster was used on NXT, once even from the top of a cage, Raw is heavily overseen by Vince McMahon, as he is at every show.

It’s possible that he himself has made the call. During the time, the Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported that WWE itself reportedly didn’t believe that it was Joe’s finisher or a mistake from Joe that led to Kidd’s injury.

The Observer said that the WWE viewed the injury is viewed as a fluke—not the result of a poorly executed move—and there is “reportedly no heat on Joe for the incident.”

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