In The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, it’s clear that Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes both picked up several moves from their mentor, the original Captain America, Steve Rogers. Bucky is introduced in Captain America: The First Avenger as Steve’s best friend, who is tragically lost during a mission, but the evil Hydra organization saved him in order to turn him into a brainwashed super soldier. Bucky debuts as the Winter Soldier in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, where he is eventually able to break free from Hydra’s mind control.
Sam Wilson, a.k.a. Falcon, is also introduced in Captain America: The Winter Soldier as an Air Force veteran who befriends Steve. Their efforts to help Bucky cause major conflict in Captain America: Civil War, but the trio form a solid bond and take their leave from the Avengers team before being pulled back in by the events of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. At the end of Avengers: Endgame, an elderly Steve Rogers then passes the mantle of Captain America onto Sam, with Bucky’s approval.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier on Disney+ focuses on Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes in a post-Steve world. It’s clear their friend and mentor had a huge effect on them, and this comes across in their move sets. The time that they spent together in the films mentioned above and especially the time between each feature gave them plenty of time to train together. In general, the three have similar fighting styles, but throughout the Marvel films and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Sam and Bucky display a few distinct feats that they must have picked up from Steve.
Steve, Sam, and Bucky each handle the iconic vibranium shield several times. In addition to using it for its intended purpose, as a shield, they all learn how to use it in a variety of other ways. In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Bucky shows that he is adept at catching the Captain America shield with his metal arm and throwing it back at Steve. He repeats this, as he catches the shield several times over the course of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier too. Sam spends an entire training montage in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, episode 5, “Truth” learning how to consistently throw and catch the shield. Sam also flips the rounded shield back up into his hands by stomping on one edge of it, something Steve also did, notably at the end of the elevator fight scene in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Speaking of Sam’s training montage, he also uses the opportunity to practice cartwheeling through the air, something he, Steve, and Bucky all do in multiple fights. Steve does an aerial cartwheel during his fight against Georges Batroc in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Bucky deploys the move later in the movie when he’s dodging bullets shot by Sam. And Sam himself uses it twice in a fight against John Walker at the beginning of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, episode 5, “Truth.” In the latter fight, Sam uses the thrusters of his winged jetpack to aid the cartwheels. But by the end of his training montage, he’s able to do the move unassisted—and catch Captain America’s shield at the same time. In his fight against Karli Morgenthau in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, episode 6, “One World, One People,” Sam’s improved the move even further, by doing a regular cartwheel into a full aerial somersault.
All three heroes are willing to take the occasional literal leap of faith. At least once in every Avengers and Captain America movie, Steve Rogers jumps from a building, bridge, moving vehicle, or something else tall, usually when chasing a bad guy or avoiding an explosion. Bucky frequently does the same thing after he becomes the Winter Soldier and can avoid injury thanks to his own super soldier powers.
Steve most famously jumps out of a Quinjet in The Avengers and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the latter with no parachute. In The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, episode 1, “New World Order,” Sam mirrors this move when he jumps out of two different planes before deploying his wings. Bucky pulls the same stunt in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, episode 2, “The Star-Spangled Man,” but doesn’t land as gracefully as Steve or Sam.
Another death-defying jump that both Steve and Sam take is through a smashed window. Steve does this when chasing down Bucky and later when escaping S.H.I.E.L.D. after the elevator scene in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, where he uses his shield to break the window and protect his face. In the jump from the elevator, he falls several stories, landing on the shield with no serious injuries. Sam uses the shield to break a window and fly into a building at the beginning of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, episode 6, “One World, One People.” He later throws the shield back out the window before jumping after it. Unlike Steve, Sam has wings, so he doesn’t need to worry about a rough landing.
Bucky also has similar motorbike skills to his mentor and friend Captain America. Again after the elevator fight in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Steve steals a S.H.I.E.L.D. motorbike and drives it away from the Triskelion. A S.H.I.E.L.D. Quinjet descends to stop him, but Steve flips the motorbike, sending himself flying toward the jet. He uses this momentum to carry himself over the jet and retrieve his shield from where he had thrown it into the engine. Bucky copies this in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, episode 6, “One World, One People” when he flips his own motorcycle, sending himself over a road barrier and right into one of the Flag Smashers. It’s not as dramatic as Steve launching himself at the Quinjet, but it saves Bucky some time.
Vehicle Pushing and Pulling
In Captain America: Civil War, Steve tries to stop Bucky from escaping in a helicopter by holding onto the aircraft’s landing gear and the railing of the landing pad at the same time. Sam does something similar though not quite the same in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, episode 6, “One World, One People.” To save the GRC representatives Karli is trying to kill, Sam single-handedly pushes the armored truck they are in back to safety just as it is about to fall over into a pit. In both scenes, the men are pushed to the edge of their limits but prevail thanks to not only their physical strength but also the strength of their convictions.
Another season of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier has not been announced and may not happen. Sam Wilson will instead return in Captain America: New World Order and Bucky Barnes is officially joining the Thunderbolts team. With their futures in the Marvel Cinematic Universe set, we’re bound to see Sam and Bucky employ more moves they learned from Steve Rogers’ Captain America.