The World’s Most Devastating Pro Wrestling Moves: Split-Legged Moonsault

Kimberly Schueler
Naomi hits a split-legged moonsault on AJ Lee. (Source:

Move type: Moonsault

Notable users: Rob Van Dam, Rey Mysterio, John Morrison, Naomi has already featured the classic moonsault popularized by The Great Muta, but this week, we look at the often more impressive split-legged moonsault variation. Wrestlers have to use speed, strength, and flexibility to pull off this aerial maneuver, and when they do, it usually gains them a W.

Rob Van Dam used this high-flying maneuver as a finisher in both WWE and ECW, calling it the Hollywood Star Press. He perfectly executes the move to defeat Cesaro in the video above.

To deliver a split-legged moonsault, the attacking wrestler jumps in the air—either to the top or second rope or while already in moonsault position on the top rope, facing the audience—and lands with their legs in a split. With one leg on either side of the turnbuckle, the wrestler bounces off the rope, using the impact to flip themselves over and deliver a backflip press to an opponent lying flat in the ring.

High-flying luchador Rey Mysterio has used this move on many an opponent, including Silver King in this clip from a 1997 WCW Nitro match.

Former WWE Superstar John Morrison used a more extreme, corkscrew variation of the split-legged moonsault that he called Starship Pain.

Hyper-athletic former SmackDown Women’s Champion Naomi uses the regular split-legged moonsault as a finisher and has since the pre-Women’s Revolution days of WWE.

You know what another great move is? To pick up this comfy hoodie from the shop.
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