• Matt Dod

The Ultimate Muscle Buster



Kinniku Buster (キン肉バスター), also known as Godokoro Jūrin Garami (五所蹂躙絡み) is Kinnikuman's trademark (and most popular) attack and one of the 48 Killer Moves.


For the video on this article go here: https://youtu.be/S5NHn3KV-IU


Also known as the Godokoro Jurin Garami in Japan, the Kinniku Buster is a destructive move which is featured heavily in the Ultimate Muscle series. In this part, I want to take a look at how this move was heavily inspired from the world of pro wrestling and how in turn, Ultimate Muscle, in a small way repaid the favour.

KINNIKU BUSTER

In Ultimate Muscle the Kinniku Buster is one of the devastating 48 Killer Moves held up in high regard by the shows characters. And you can see why. As both men plummet to the mat from 100 feet in the air only to crash to a sudden halt and leave shockwaves of destruction throughout the arena – it’s clearly


The original Japanese wiki states : “To perform a Kinniku Buster, the wrestler places an opponent's neck on their shoulder and grabs their thighs. They then jump up, with their opponent trapped upside down and land in a sit-out position, causing damage to the neck, spine, and groin.”


In the original Japanese anime series, the Kinniku Buster is first displayed in a battle against Super Bear Gorota and is used by protagonist Suguru Kinniku on many occasions throughout the television series and the manga as a signature move in his arsenal, brought out in times of real adversity to give Suguru the edge on his toughest opponents in the ring, in most cases giving him the victory.


The original invention of the Kinniku Buster in the world of Ultimate Muscle is much debated and the true lineage is not known. Whether the move was passed down through the esteemed Kinnikuman Dynasty or that it was a creation of Kinniku Suguru himself is yet to be answered in the manga or anime series.


One thing that is known as fact, is that the creators of Ultimate Muscle were heavily inspired by the world of professional wrestling when coming up with the moves which would be featured in their wrestling-centric programme and manga.


This is clear if you watch a single episode or read a single chapter of the manga – pro wrestling is at the heart and the passion for New Japan Pro Wrestling & WWE can are seemingly ever present.


Never is this more obvious when we see the Kinniku Buster being passed on to Suguru’s son in the modern version of Kinnikuman known in the West as Ultimate Muscle.



MUSCLE BUSTER


Kid Muscle, real name Mantaro Kinnikuman originally named his version of his father’s famed move ‘the butt buster’ in the English dubbed version, but after a fight which is possibly my favourite from the entire first series, against one of the most creative and interesting villains in the early episodes.


Mantaro pulls out the butt buster against Dial Bolic a sentient mobile phone who regularly makes phone calls throughout his matches.


This can be seen as one of the first ‘important’ battles in the series and a turning point at which Mantaro starts to take his responsibility as a wrestler seriously, at the same time deciding to change this name of the move from Butt Buster to the name we more commonly associate with the manoeuvre – The Muscle Buster.


And this version of the Muscle Buster, is the closest resemblance to the move which it inspired in pro wrestling of the same name. To better assess this, let’s take a look at the man most associated with the Muscle buster in the world of pro wrestling – Samoa Joe. Here he is in conversation with Stone Cold Steve Austin, on how he came to use the move.

Pro Wrestling wiki states: “The original muscle buster move is performed when an attacking wrestler hooks both an opponent's legs with their arms and tucks their head in next to the opponent's before standing and lifting the opponent up, so that they are upside down with their head resting on the attacking wrestler's shoulder. From this position, the attacking wrestler jumps up and drops down to the mat, driving the opponent shoulder first down to the mat with the opponent's neck impacting both the wrestler's shoulder and the mat. This can see the wrestler pick up an opponent who is standing but bent forward but it often begins with an opponent who is sitting on an elevated position, usually a top turnbuckle, because it's easier to hook and lift an opponent when they are positioned higher than the wrestler.”

This is clearly slightly different from the muscle buster which we see on display in the anime.


After all, pro wrestlers are real people, real flesh and bone, there is a limit to the amount of punishment an athlete cane take in the ring, rehearsed, pre-determined or not.


No pro wrestler worth their salt wants to intentionally injure their opponent for real, or risk injury by routinely performing a move as dehabilitating as would be the case if the muscle buster was performed more closely to how we see it in the anime.


Well unless you are Jungle Kyona. With this absolutely brutal version.

VARIATION


A driving factor in the story of Ultimate Muscle is the friendship between the characters, which we see develop over the series. On part of this, is how the friends combine their most powerful moves – to make something which is much more destructive than just the sum of it’s parts.


We see Kinnikuman & Kinnikuman Great (yes I appreciate this sounds a little confusing, it’s anime) combine in the ring for the first time in the series – two of the most powerful moves in the series, being performed in perfect unison, colliding and eliminating two opponents at the same time.


The world of pro wrestling provides us with yet another similarity to Ultimate Muscle. Like in most Shonen and action-based anime, just when you think that the ultra-moves and maximum finishers can’t get any stronger – they do. The case is no different for the goings on in the squared circle.


Whilst in NXT Finn Balor & Samoa Joe expertly teamed up and proved to be a force to be reckoned with. Joe’s would deliver his powerful version of the muscle buster leaving his opponent immobilised in the middle of the ring.


Only for Finn Balor to execute his Coup Des Grace killing blow from the top rope. A combination which proved successful as the men went on win the finals of the inaugural Dusty Rhodes Tag Tournament in 2015.

Other wrestlers have adapted the move as their own.


AEW’s Cody Rhodes showed a magnificent rendition of the move during his time in a WWE ring. Ryback would routinely defeat his enemies with his Shell Shocked variant of the finisher.


However no one person has done more to promote the viability and wake of destruction that can be left by a perfectly slammed muscle buster, than the man who brought it to pro wrestling in the West Samoa Joe.



WIDER WORLD



The Muscle Busters use in the manga, anime and even now the world of professional wrestling, isn’t where the far-reaching impact this move has had, ends.


Fellow developers of anime and manga have since paid tribute to the legendary Kinniku Buster and it’s creators by featuring it in their productions.


And beyond that even – the gaming world has had its fair share of fighting game characters be able to pull off their very own version on the Muscle Buster, usually after a significant amount of precise and technically complicated button presses – showing that even game developers realise that this move is so powerful it can’t just be thrown about like a simple kick or punch.


In the world of WWE as of 2020 the muscle buster is a banned move with it’s use needing the express permission of WWE higher ups and in some cases even the owner of the company himself Vince McMahon.


The move was added to the banned list after an unfortunate accident which occurred when during a match between Samoa Joe and Tyson Kidd, Kidd got injured whilst the pair were executing the Muscle Buster, leaving Tyson Kidd needing extensive neck surgeries and to this day all these years later, has still never returned to in-ring combat with WWE.


The good news is that before that, Samoa Joe has never had a single instance of the move going wrong and causing injury in such a way and also, much more importantly Tyson Kidd has now made an almost full recovery and is has said on numerous occasions how the mistake was both means and that he holds no remorse around the situation.


“The Muscle Buster is something I use at my pleasure when I choose to. Trust me, when the opportunity arises and the conditions are right, you never know what I’ll pull out.” – Samoa Joe

So as a fan of Ultimate muscle, pro wrestling and Samoa Joe. Let’s hope he can use the muscle buster to win a few more world titles before his illustrious career and his expert use of the muscle buster comes to an end.

For the video on this article go here: https://youtu.be/S5NHn3KV-IU

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