Who Invented The Frog Splash?
Updated: Apr 27
If you grew up watching wrestling in the '70s and '80s you may remember the move from lucha matches on old VHS tapes, or heard legend of the move being executed perfectly in WCW.
Perhaps you grew up watching the attitude era, and know this move from it’s use by two icon’s of the squared circle.
If you are younger still, you have been treated to a wrestling landscape where this move is part of most high-flying and some less so wrestler’s arsenals.
Let us take a look at the evolution of the frog-splash.
The frog-splash was created by second generation Mexican pro-wrestler La Fiera in the early 1980s. Arturo Caco Hernández, in-ring known as La Fiera, or the fierce - was an innovative luchador who first used a move which resembles the modern-day frog-splash.
He would go on in his career to win both the Welterweight and Middleweight N.W.A belts. Using a move of his own creation, the frog-splash helped La Fiera to stand out amongst a class of similarly agile contenders moving more towards high-flying top rope style wrestling.
Pro Wrestling Wiki states: “This move is performed by leaping from the top rope, stretching out to a horizontal position and bringing one's feet and hands inward (towards the chest to form a jack-knife position) and outward before landing.”
The man who brought the frog-splash to a wider audience on American television was Art Barr.
A wrestler who’s name sounds like somewhere you can sip an overpriced vegan cocktail whilst looking at some degree student’s sad paintings. Art Barr excited crowds by climbing to the top rope, with his opponent prone of the mat below, leap through the air, pull his hands between his thighs as he kicked his legs forward, then quickly spreading out and crashing down upon his victims.
Upon seeing the devastating move in action, 2 Cold Scorpio exclaimed that Art Barr ‘looked like a frog’ and thus the now famous frog-splash name is known around the world.
The Juicer Art Barr sadly passed away at a young age, but not before forming a strong and long-lasting friendship with Latino Heat, all-time wrestling legend Eddie Guerrero.
The two men having limited success as part of a tag team Los Gringos Locos in AAA in Mexico. The Crazy Americans living up to their name with their form of high-flying tag-team offence.
When Art Barr died in 1994, Eddie Guerrero adopted the frog-splash as a tribute to his dear, departed friend.
Eddie has huge success everywhere we went with his puddles of charisma and charm, quick wit and an ability in the ring seemingly hard earned.
Eddie would be known for his reputation as someone who has worked hard everyday of his life to become the best possible wrestler he could. His early career saw him in AAA, E.C.W and New Japan, honing his skills.
Winning the cruiser-weight belt in WCW with the frog-splash, Guerrero quickly moved onto WWE as part of the Radicalz.
As a singles competitor he had many amazing matches where he showed off his highflying prowess and won the WWE title using his now famous frog-splash.
In 2005, Eddie Guerrero also passed away way too young. From this point on many wrestlers who were close to Eddie, or inspired by him have gone on to use a version of the frog-splash, such as his cousin Chavo Guerrero, Christian Cage and Sasha Banks.
Rey Mysterio was a close ally of Eddie Guerrero during their time in the wrestling business and was quick to adopt a version of the forg-splash as tribute. OSW, The Old School Wrestling Podcast say it best when they call the evolution of the frog-splash by Rey Mysterio – The battered sausage. There is nothing I can add.
5 STAR RVD
For me, the man who I most enjoy watching throwing out some outrageous Frog-splashes, is Mr.420 himself the whole F’in show, Rob Van Dam.
A wrestler who’s version of the frog-splash is so over the top and extreme, it earned the moniker, 5 star frog splash.
With a head full of dreams and lungs full of smoke. Rob Van Dam spent his time in ECW, TNA and WWE flying through the air at seemingly impossible heights and angles.
Slamming down onto his opponents in hardcore matches, at wrestlemanias and in one of the greatest pay-per-view matches of all time against John Cena in ECW.
RVD’s 5 star frog splash truly was that. A spectacle of athletisism which still holds up today as some of the most impressive feats of agility ever performed in a squared circle.
Roll away if you want.
Scramble to the other side of the ring. There’s no hope. Rob Van Dam will jump into the air and flatten you regardless.
Many have used the frog-splash since the 90’s. Some have adapted it and made it their own signature move.
Some have added spins and rotations.
Sometimes a really big ham-hock of a performer will climb up and have the crowd agast at the humanity flying through the air like a frog.
Many have their least and most favourite version of the frog-splash and I appreciate everyone’s opinions on the best, but let’s be serious.
I think we all know objectively the best frog-splash in history, don’t we?
Hornswoggle’s version, it is called the 'tadpole splash'.