Kidman shoots for the stars
by Michael Dworkis
Billy Kidman and Paul London shocked the world when they defeated the Dudleys for the WWE Tag Team Championships. Kidman brought fans in the arena and around the world to their feet when he spiraled off the top rope and splashed on Bubba Ray Dudley with the incredible Shooting Star Press, earning the three count and the championships.
The Shooting Star Press, Kidman’s signature move appears to be inhuman to successfully pull off. However, Kidman makes this high risk move look easy.
“Well, before I got into wrestling, I actually would do the move off a diving board. Before I decided to begin training, I had actually never seen it done in a wrestling match. I didn’t think it could be done. When I began training I thought about trying it.”
At the Wild Samoans gym in Allentown, Pa., Kidman learned that if you will it, it is no dream.
“When I started my training, I would stand on the top turnbuckle, and I would think to myself: ‘this is impossible, my feet could slip right off.’ So at first I never tried doing it. Then during my training at the gym, I saw a tape of Jushin Thunder Liger against Chris Benoit in Japan, and Liger did the Shooting Star Press. Now I knew it was possible, so I figured I might as well give it a shot. Chris Kanyon helped me out with it. We got a crash pad in the ring, and that’s how we did it.”
Kidman successfully learned how to perfect it in the ring, adapting it from the way Jushin Thunder Liger did it in Japan.
“When I saw the tape (of Liger), I wanted to do the Shooting Star like him. When he jumped, he tucked himself, like doing a tuck-flip. So that’s what I planned on trying to do. When I did the move, I didn’t tuck in, I laid out and wound up doing it that way ever since. It is hard to control, but I have been doing it a certain way for so long that it’s hard to change after doing it a certain way for 10 years.”
However, Kidman does caution that performing a move like the Shooting Star Press can be extremely dangerous. It took Kidman years to perfect it, and there are few who are able to pull off such a feat.
“I never had seen anyone else other than Liger pull it off. It is definitely a dangerous move. You are jumping forward and flipping back. One wrong move you can come down on your neck, come back down on the ropes, especially if you don’t get that full extension all around, it could be dangerous.”
Kidman has felt these bumps first-hand, not only while in training, but he has also experienced his fare share of crash-landings in the ring.
“There was one time I jumped and came back down on the ropes. I basically jumped up, flipped, and landed where I was standing on the top turnbuckle. It slingshot me head-first to the mat. There was one time I hooked my foot on the top rope which caused me to pull my groin, and my arm was outstretched too, and I ended up tearing my rotator cuff all at the same time. I’ve done it where I didn’t get full rotation, and I landed on my chest, where my feet came over my head backwards, and that hurt... a lot.”
There are others who have tried the move, and some suffered for it. At WrestleMania XIX, Brock Lesnar learned the hard way of why the Shooting Star is a move best left to experts in high-flying. Brock, at around 280 pounds, leapt from the top rope, and came down on his head, suffering a severe concussion. Additionally, Brock used the move when it is common knowledge that the Shooting Star Press is Kidman’s trademark move.
“He shouldn’t have done it. But I heard I he could do it, and hit it pretty nice. It’s impressive for a guy that size to do that. The fact that he didn’t make it around has to do with fatigue and his size, and for anyone that size to try, it’s a more dangerous move to pull off. I don’t think he had any business doing that move, because it’s my finishing move. I could have went out there and F-5’ed anybody. But I didn’t do that because you don’t do other people’s finishing moves. It’s like a code of ethics, anyone in that locker room can do almost anyone’s moves. Unless it’s planned, there are moves you just don’t do when someone makes it their signature.”
Even knowing that it is a move that is extremely risky to perform, Kidman has found ways to shock fans even more with a charged up performance and modifying the Shooting Star to come out of nowhere.
“I have done it a lot of different ways. Off the turnbuckle to the outside, off the middle of the ropes to the outside or inside of the ring, or running off the ring apron to the floor. If I had to pick my favorite one, it would be from when I had a triangle match with Rey Mysterio and Juventud Guerrera, then a match with Eddie Guerrero right after. I did two of them in one night. That night, it was the first time I did one from the top to the floor, and the fact I was able to do it again after two consecutive matches, one in each match. Making it out of there alive made it the most memorable to me.”
As a WWE Tag Team Champion, one can expect Kidman to “turn it up” with Paul London, continuing a streak of causing fans worldwide to jump from their seats.