In the Street Fighter 2 series Head Press and its follow up Skull Diver were quick moves, that could be tricky to react too, unlike later versions you couldn’t just walk forward to avoid it. Bison could side switch with Skull Diver and if you combo-ed into round house off Skull Diver you had a good chance of dizzing your opponent.
The priority on Head Press wasn’t high in Street Fighter 2 and it could be anti aired pretty easily. It also wasn’t as strong air to air as later versions. Regarding safe chip, I think it depended on the angle the move was done from and the reversal options of his opponents.
The original DR in New Challengers was auto piloted to go behind the opponent and swing back for the attack but in effect it was rubbish.
In Super Turbo DR was largely a meter building tool and a positional tool. Depending on Bison’s position on the screen and if he pressed up forward, up or up back to activate it he could fly to the far side of the screen or do a short hop over a fireball and keep charge. As a hitting move it was too slow, but Bison did have some dirty cross up set ups with DR in SF2.
I think the developers original idea behind Devils Reverse was to trick your opponent into doing a DP because they think your doing a Head Press and then punish the DP with DR.
The Alpha games my knowledge is limited, I suspect Head Press served the same purpose but I think DR wasn’t great, pretty sure it was punishable on block.
In SF IV, Head Press served the same purpose but was less effective to throw out in open play, as the move was easily avoided being quite slow and much more recovery on whiff. It was much higher priority overall and was pretty much a safe chip option against most opponents wake up options. The EX version had lots of invincibility so could be used a reversal.
Skull Diver was ass. No Longer side switchable and easily anti aired or low profiled. EX Skull Diver had the same issues.
Devils Reverse was again largely a meter building tool and a bad one at that. It was trash as an attack move as it was slow and easily low profiled. The EX version could be used a reversal as it had a lot of invincibility on start up and run away tool but the actual attack part was again rubbish, even after it was speed up in Ultra.
Defensively they had some interesting and dirty properties. Mixing up EX. DR, EX. HP,EX. PC and Teleport on wake up evaded or beat different option selects from your opponent. The normal Head Press and DR both had no lower hitboxes from frame 1 meaning they avoid low attacks and they were both airborne from frame 1 mean’t if you wanted you could take a hit and be reset and not take a combo.
On to V
Head Press, not as easy to avoid as in IV but easier than ST. High priority air to air but very low priority against anti airs. Can now cancel into DR, which means you can bail out of the attack if you made an incorrect read. Can cancel into super if you make the right read. Not quite as much recover as V.
EX. Head Press, great anti projectile. Very very fast. Better hitbox gives good overall priority against anti air. Good air to air. Projectile invincible so good at evading chip supers from Ryu and Guile. Has limited hit invincibility that can get you out of one or two character specific situations.
Both versions can be used as a risky way to get out of a corner.
Skull Diver. Not side switchable again, but not as easy to low profile. Awful vertical priority, but excellent horizontal priority so its good when used at max range.
DR, ass priority but still somehow better as an attack than IV. Can juggle into Blast and MK.Knee Press. No longer used to build meter.
EX. DR, decent priority and very fast, good get in tool against characters with poor AA.
VT. Head Press, slow as be damned but when it used as close range it has a great hitbox giving it fantastic priority against anti airs. Does not have that priority when used from far away due to slower start up.
VT. Head Press, rubbish, pants on head retarded slow, average priority, worse than EX. Head Press and VT Head Press but better than normal Head Press. use only in VT combo’s or as a hail Mary.
VT DR. Gimmick
VT EX.DR Gimmick no 2 but with better combo potential.
Long and the short of it, don’t use the move too much in open play.
Head Press is pretty good when your opponent is corned. They can’t walk back and you have a high chance of catching them if they jump.
EX. Head Press can be used to counter fireballs and attacks that are classified as projectiles (Kens VT Air Tatsu)