|All appearances||+ (+ , or for followup)|
Executed by performing a quarter-circle forward motion and pressing kick, this move is a flying kick during from a twirling midair dance into a splits-landing with a long range that can be followed up with three different attacks, depending on what kick button is pressed when followed up: light kick button follows with an armor-breaking launching backflip kick; medium kick button follows with a sweep that hits low; and heavy kick button follows with a falling axe kick that goes over low attacks. The backflip is the fastest of the followup moves, while the delay of the sweep and axe kick can serve to confuse opponents for the purpose of wakeup games and/or mixup.
The startup time and horizontal distance are determined by the kick button pressed during the initial input, with heavier kick versions meaning longer startup but greater distances as well.
The EX Special version has high priority, no startup time, hits the opponent multiple times during the diagonal twirl motion before the kick and allows a faster input of its respective followup kicks.
The latter two options can be used as backup if the opponent blocks, as Rufus is normally vulnerable after the kick. If the backflip successfully combos, Rufus can Dash Cancel it, which allows him to follow up with his first Ultra Combo. The move can also serve to punish most low and mid attacks.
Follow Ups Edit
Light Kick Edit
Pressing Light Kick has Rufus perform a flipping kick similar to Guile's Flash Kick with noticeably different theatrics. This attack has some invincibility that can beat some other reversals such as Shoryuken when used at the correct timing. This attack is part of the follow up game of Messiah Kick when blocked, if the Rufus player predicts the opponent will try and punish they can try and connect this attack.
The Light Kick followup is the only option that is a true hit and blockstring from any version of the messiah kick connecting. Meaning it is useful in different scenarios in different games. In IV Rufus can Dash Cancel out of the attack to make the follow up safe if blocked and dash to follow up the launch with other attacks, in SFXT Rufus can Switch Cancel to attempt to keep Rufus safe in blocked and further combo on the opponent. This attack actually provides a little more Juggle time than his Launcher.
Medium Kick Edit
Messiah Kick's medium kick follow up is a low hitting attack that has similar properties to a Sweep. This attack has a noticeable gap between the previous hit of Messiah Kick and this even on hit, meaning both this will not combo (though a juggle is possible in SFXT) and the opponent can punish the startup.
In SFXT this attack can be used in corner juggles after Fragrance Palm, doing a little more damage than the light kick followup at the expense of no comboability off a switch cancel. It also has an added hit animation for opponents that were hit while both crouching and counter hit at the same time that allows Rufus to follow up hits.
Hard Kick Edit
Hard Kick is an overhead. Similar to the Medium Kick followup this has no invincibility and does not combo off the previous hit in any way in all of it's appearances. When used at the right time Rufus can actually go over some reversals and avoid them or even punish with the same attack at the same time.
In SFXT if Rufus hits an aerial opponent they are put in a juggle state and depending how high they are on the air when hit Rufus can continue a juggle on their opponent, though this is a rather rare occurrence and Rufus's moveset doesn't allow many hits from this.