Updated: Apr 27, 2020
Drop Down Town, Drape Drop Takedown or the Death Drop Technique?
When asked what his feared finisher the DDT’s initials stood for, Jake The Snake Roberts replied, "The End".
The DDT is widely credited in the wrestling community to Jake Roberts, who himself claims he invented the move – however the DDT has a history leading back to lucha in Mexico.
It’s earliest recorded use by Black Gordman in 1968 who was born in Mexico City in 1936 as Victor Manuel Gonzalez Barajas & also wrestled under the name of The Red Devil.
Pro wrestling wiki states: “In professional wrestling a DDT is any move in which the wrestler has the opponent in a front facelock/inverted headlock, and falls down or backwards to drive the opponent's head into the mat. The classic DDT is performed by putting the opponent in a front facelock and falling backwards so that the opponent is forced to dive forward onto his or her head.”
JAKE THE SNAKE
Damien’s Death Trap, Damien’s Dinner Time, Damien’s Death Touch – Jake The Snake Robert’s brought his reptilian familiar to the ring and some wrestling lore surmises these names from the snake Damien.
Jake Roberts said: Yeah, it was an accident. I was in the ring wrestling. I had a front face-lock on a guy. He stepped on my feet and we fell backwards. He went on his head. I went on my back. And the fans went “OOOOHH.” I went, “Wait a minute; I’ve got something here.” And I started working on it, and come with it, and named it after the poison that everybody outlawed. I picked up the paper one day, and the front page was “[DDT] outlawed.” I was like, “Wait a minute. Very cool.” They had … “[DDT] poison to the brain.” I said, “Way cool.”
Jake Roberts shone throughout the 80’s and 90’s as not only a devilish villain but also a beloved hero, his charismatic personality captivated audiences as a mainstay in fans hearts.
Before crashing out of the business due to battles with mental illness and substance abuse. He’s cleaned up, sorted his life out and is now a modern marvel of health and a great example of just how someone can turn their lives around.
There is even a wresting promotion known as DDT Pro-wrestling. In Japan it was founded in March 1997 by wrestlers Shintaro Muto, Sanshiro Takagi, Kyohei Mikami and Kazushige Nosawa who all previously wrestled for Pro Wrestling Crusaders in the 90s.
Dramatic Dream Team Wrestling is known throughout Japan for it’s humorous parodies of western WWE style characters, mixed with puroresu style and brutal MMA realism in its matches.
And yes, there are wrestlers who pay homage to Black Gordman & Jake Roberts with their own versions of the DDT being used in DDT.
Since Jake Roberts career came to an end, many performers have use the DDT in and around the ring.
Such a simple manoeuvre lends itself well to be used as a base to be adopted into other variants. The DDT has been adapted over the years by the likes of; Dr. Wagner Jr's springboard tornado DDT, El Dragon Azteca's (Rey Horus) Pizza DDT, Seth Rollins and his "Gods Last Gift", & Dead Ambrose with Dirty Deeds.
In today’s fast-paced world, where wrestling has kept up with the audience’s desire for more brutal, technical and visually stylish moves.
The DDT has lost it’s lustre, thrown in as a link between two sequences in the ring, barely registering on the opponent as they quickly regain their composure after receiving a DDT and is rarely seen as the vicious, career-ending manoeuvre that it once was in the hands of Jake The Snake.
I doubt it will ever have the same effect.