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Overview

One of the oldest maneuvers in professional wrestling, the piledriver is also considered to be one of the most dangerous, due to the impact enacted upon the head and neck of the victim. In 2000, the piledriver was banned in World Wrestling Entertainment. Since the ban, only The Undertaker has been allowed to execute the piledriver on a regular basis, that being his Tombstone Piledriver finisher.

Many wrestlers have utilized the piledriver over the years, to various levels of success. Current WWE RAW commentator, Jerry "The King" Lawler, famously used the piledriver during his wrestling career in the Memphis area. Due to the notoriety of his piledriver, some have referred to the classic piledriver as the "Memphis Piledriver." Lawler used the piledriver to injure Andy Kaufman in their famous feud during the early 1980s.

In Mexican lucha libre, the piledriver (referred to as the "martinete") is portrayed as incredibly dangerous and is therefore considered highly illegal. This allows for storylines involving villainous "heel" wrestlers (known as "rudos" in Mexico) to utilize the piledriver to injure opponents. If caught performing a piledriver in lucha libre, the offending wrestler is immediately disqualified.

The piledriver is a mainstay in video games, particularly among grappling-based powerhouses like Mike Haggar and Zangief.

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