Mick Foley On Dangerous German Suplexes: “They Shortened Careers”

Mick Foley on the mic

Mick Foley is known for his toughness in the ring, but the retired legend has spoken out about how dangerous the German Suplex is.

During his WWE Hall of Fame career, Mick Foley was known for taking some of the scariest bumps in wrestling whether he wrestled as Mankind, Cactus Jack, Dude Love or using his real name. The two major bumps he took in the Hell in a Cell match at King of the Ring 1998 are among the scariest sights in wrestling history. However, Foley didn’t like taking bumps where he was tossed backward.

The German Suplex is a popular wrestling move where a wrestler puts their hands around the waist of the opponent and suplexes them backward. The person taking the bump lands on their back, but in some cases they can be thrown in a way where they take the bump directly on their neck or on their head. Some people do the move in a safer way, but it’s still a dangerous spot because the person landing isn’t able to see where they are falling.

On a recent episode of the Foley Is Pod podcast, the man known for creating the Three Faces of Foley shared that he hates the German Suplex and explained why:

“I’m gonna say, I’ll probably take some criticism for this being the guy who did a lot of risky stuff, but you noticed there’s no scar on my neck. You would think I would have been one of the first guys that had surgery. I did not let people throw me backwards, very often. There would be a time where Rick Steiner would throw me whether or not I wanted to go, but I generally had a plan B. I just don’t like German suplexes.”

“I think that over time they shortened careers and they destroy the quality of life, so people can attack me for that. One, you know there’s little margin for error. It is more margin for [error] on the German suplex but that it’s just over time it’s gonna wear you out. You couldn’t show the match that [Daniel] Garcia had with [Wheeler] YUTA to any reasonable orthopaedic guy who would say that what those guys were doing was not going to lend itself to a poor quality of life.”

“But I just think there’s things we can create with illusions that [a] back suplex, used to be a back suplex, now it’s a German suplex. I would jump up out of my easy chair when I was watching All Japan [Pro] Wrestling when I would see ‘Dr Death’ [drop people on their head] and I asked Doc, he said, ‘Brother, they’re lining up to take it in Japan’.”

Foley went on to say that there are some versions of the German Suplex that are safer, but the important thing is how they land:

“But we know better and I just wonder what it’s going to take for people to say, ‘Let’s take the German, let’s take that off the menu. You see when Brock [Lesnar], when Brock’s with [Under]Taker it’s a much different German than the one that some of the other guys will take. So I think you got to treat everybody like their ‘Taker, if you’re doing a German suplex, you gotta put that guy flat.”

“I don’t care if the pop is not as big. Those people will find something else to pop about. You’ve only got that one life. Be really careful with it, one bump card as they say.”

Some wrestlers in the past did a lot of German Suplexes like Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit. There were matches where those guys did up to ten German Suplexes at times. Some current stars like Chad Gable use them while Natalya also does it usually in a safer way.

As Foley mentioned, Lesnar has been known to do them a lot while coining the “Suplex City” name.

H/T Inside The Ropes