The DDT is one of the most famous moves in professional wrestling history. It is so basic that many might be surprised to know it is relatively new, only innovated in the 1970s and popularized by Jake “The Snake” Roberts in the 1980s. The initials DDT are a reference to the pesticide, which may cause brain damage, but that hasn’t stopped fans from speculating for years if the initials have a deeper meaning. The move has lost its luster some over time as it has become overused and variations have increased. Still, the right wrestler with the right variation is still a sight to see.
5. Sami Zayn’s Suicide Dive Tornado DDT
Sami Zayn’s version is the flashiest and most complex on the list. The opponent is near the ring post on the outside of the ring. Sami is on the outside as well at the perpendicular side closest to the opponent. He runs quickly, dives through the first and second rope, grabs the opponent in the front facelock midair, spins and executes the DDT. The speed Zayn gains in the run is what adds the impact to the move, so ostensibly there is no reason to jump through the ropes other than to add a degree of difficulty, but it still makes the move look impressive.
4. Dolph Ziggler’s Jumping DDT
Dolph Ziggler’s version finds him running toward the opponent, jumping in the air, hooking them in a front facelock, then by using his full body weight and momentum, he falls backwards to drop the opponent straight down. While the move looks great, it has a great impact as well because the height and angle from which the opponent is brought down drops them straight on the absolute top of their head so the opponent’s body is almost completely vertical. Ziggler has a lot of jumping moves, but this is his best.
3. The Miz’s Snap DDT
The Miz is usually applauded for his wrestling moves, but this one is a definite winner. When his opponent is on his knees, he places them in the front facelock, kicks his right leg back and kicks it forward as he drops his opponent’s head to the mat. The opponent’s head is already closer to the mat, so on the surface, it’s not as impactful, but the leg kick and snap add the extra impact. It also helps that the move can be performed quickly due to the opponent’s positioning.
2. Arn Anderson’s DDT
Arn Anderson has a number of moves in his arsenal that look absolutely brutal because of how precisely they are executed. His DDT is an extremely close second here. It’s the original version of the DDT, but the crispness and quickness of Arn’s version is what makes it so effective. In addition, the opponent is dropped straight on top of their head which makes the move look like it devastates the neck just as much as the head.
1. Jake “The Snake” Roberts’s DDT
This is one of the few instances where the original still is the best. Jake snaps his body quickly to add the force, and in his version, the opponent’s forehead strikes the mat. The sell by the opponent is just as important as the move in Jake’s version though. The opponent sells by going straight down and lying still as if they are knocked out cold. They don’t flip or twitch or flop. Roberts was asked one time what the letters DDT meant, and he simply replied “The End.” After seeing his DDT, one can understand why.