A Superkick is the name used when referring to a high side thrust kick attack in wrestling, which sees the wrestler use the sole of the foot to strike an opponent's head or chin, usually preceded by a sidestep, often referred to as a Crescent Kick, or just a Side kick. The wrestler will often slap the thigh of his kicking leg (or sometimes, his chest since the audience will be focused on his kicking leg), at the point where his foot makes contact with his opponent, to generate an appropriate sound effect.
"Gentleman" Chris Adams was among the first wrestlers to use the superkick and was for years credited as its originator. To set up his finisher, Adams would use a back body drop, then as his opponent gets on his feet, Chris would superkick him in the jaw. Adams first used the enzuigiri as his "superkick", before touring Japan in the early-1980s and bringing the real maneuver to the United States. He was also the first wrestler to utilize the superkick from the top turnbuckle (around 1989). A martial arts expert and a black belt in Judo, Adams often used thrust kicks and his enzuigiri during his earlier matches while still in England. The term superkick was coined by Adams himself, and was used in wrestling terminology towards the latter-half of 1983 while Adams' popularity soared in World Class Championship Wrestling. Before then, wrestling announcers such as Bill Mercer would often use the term thrust kick.
The Great Kabuki also used the super thrust kick, and during his battles with Adams, Mercer would often wonder which move is better: Adams' superkick or Kabuki's thrust kick.
Many wrestlers have used the superkick as a signature move since then, most notably Shawn Michaels who uses this as his finisher, referring to it as the Sweet Chin Music. Michaels often precedes the move with an inverted atomic drop, followed by a flying elbow from the top turnbuckle. While the opponent gathers himself and stands back up, Michaels usually stands in front of a turnbuckle and taps his feet while the crowd counts each time he taps it, called by announcers as "tuning up the band", before landing the superkick. Michaels kicks the opponent in the chin, thus the move being called Sweet Chin Music. Michaels in an interview said that he learned the superkick from Adams himself while wrestling in Texas during the mid-1980s.
Shawn Michaels' cousin, Matt Bentley (as Michael Shane) also used the move, calling it the Sweet Shane Music. However, due to trademark infringement, he now has to go by his real name and refers to his signature move as the Head On Collision. While wrestling as "Dude Love," parodying Michaels, Mick Foley performed a kick to the shin, calling it Sweet Shin Music. John Morrison uses a parody of Shawn Michaels' super kick called the Nitro Blast.
Past wrestlers such as Paul Diamond, Marty Jannetty, Hollywood John Tatum, Art Barr, Wendell Cooley, Slash Johnstone and Eric Sbraccia have also used the superkick as either their finisher or set-up maneuver.
Moves similar to the superkick
- Double superkick - two person tandem superkick.
- Flying thrust kick - flying super kick
- Savate kick - a superkick, only without the sidestep.
- Shuffle side kick - after dodging an attack and going behind an opponent the wrestler would lift their leg high into the air as they twisted their hips turning him/herself side-on towards their opponent catching their foot against the opponent’s face
- Single leg running dropkick - jumping version