Finishers used to mean a lot more in pro wrestling, and that’s not to say they’re meaningless now. However, there’s something to be said for the fact that since an epic match between Stone Cold and The Rock at Wrestlemania, everyone seems to kick out of everyone else’s finisher, thus degrading their value. Nonetheless, they are still a vital part of the storyline in the ring. When used in the right place, they’re the explosive exclamation point to a climactic ending.
You’ll notice some of the flashier moves aren’t on here, namely that piece of sh*t move the Canadian Destroyer. I’ll say it here and now, that move is garbage and is a reason so many people hate wrestling nowadays. That move LOOKS fake, therefore it makes the rest of the match look fake as well. No, in the context of the match, these are the most believable (non-aerial or non-submission) finishers there are, or at least that’s what gave some of these moves and edge over others.
10. The GTS
This is CM Punk‘s finisher. I don’t know if he invented it, but I know he’s the only mainstream wrestler who uses it. I’ve read in a few places that some don’t like this move as they think it’s merely as devastating as a kick to the face. To them, I say let a trained martial artist kick you in the face and then watch him be able to pin you for at least three seconds. If this move had been around longer, I’d have ranked it much higher, it’s that good, mostly because unless the guy receiving it obviously blocks or botches it, it looks like it’s one of the most painful moves in wrestling history. It’s a product of the semi-stiff style wrestling has adopted in the past 10 years. People want something with a little more impact and this provides it in spades.
9. The Spear
Okay, so, technically The Spear is Goldberg‘s move BEFORE his finishing move, which is the Jackhammer, but w/o The Spear, the Jackhammer isn’t as effective. I’m a big fan of huge guys throwing hands in the ring, and invariably, someone is going to throw a spear in there as well. When it’s done bad, it looks like complete garbage, but when it’s done well (and sold well) they look devastating. I think Goldberg had the best spear in his heyday in WCW. It could have been the countless jobbers he was running through that just sold it really well, but I’m pretty sure his experience in the NFL had a little to do with it. Rhino had a great spear – errr – GORE, mostly because he was able to perfect it so well during his time on the indies and in ECW. Edge is the master of the modern spear as he has turned it into one of the most deadly finishers in the WWE today, taking out everyone from John Cena to the Undertaker to the now departed HBK. And his best spear? Wrestlemania 2000 when he speared a hanging Jeff Hardy to the ground and nearly killed himself.
8. The F-5
Unless there is some wrestler on the indies that I don’t know about using this move, this is a maneuver used exclusively by the biggest flash in the pan in pro wrestling history, Brock Lesnar. He was pretty much a freak, something and someone the business had never seen before, but he just didn’t have what it took to deal with the grueling tour schedule of the WWE. But this is one of his contributions to the business (that and allowing John Cena to get over since he cut and run). I remember the exact moment I saw this man and this move for the first time, and it was impressive as hell. The crux of it is “I’m going to pick you up and I’m just going to throw you down as hard as I can”. That’s kinda what you might do in a fight. Sure you wouldn’t put someone in a fireman’s carry, but you get the idea.
7. The Rock Bottom
I know for a fact The Rock wasn’t the inventor of the move, hell, the way he did it was sloppy sometimes, but he sure as hell popularized it. The Urinagi is basically a move, kind of like the F-5 where you get picked up and thrown down. Sometimes the recipient is thrown down from a standing position, a la Sheamus, making it look more like a chokeslam, but The Rock and others followed through, driving the opponent into the mat, making it look more theatrical as opposed to making it look stiff. It’s really crappy when a smaller wrestler tries to do it as it looks a lot less impressive.
6. The Tombstone
The piledriver was originally one of the most devastating moves in professional wrestling, brought to us by Jerry “The King” Lawler. The Undertaker took this move and turned it on its head, literally. The Tombstone is one of the most popular moves in wrestling history because of its inventor and his popularity. I remember seeing the big kids trying to do this to little kids all the time when I was younger. Hell, I still see it now with the little kids who are still into pro wrestling. Sorry WWE, no matter how many times you warn kids, they still want to be the Undertaker and will still try and drop someone on their head.
5. The Chokeslam
This is a move used by generic big men all over the sport, but when it’s done well, it’s one of the best moves in the business. Personally, I think Kane has the best chokeslam. He seems to have a great snap on the end, actually throwing the opponent into the mat. Undertaker and Sid Vicious come in second and Big Show in a distant third as he takes a lot of precaution with his opponent, most of the time making the move look kinda fake. The worst chokeslam HAS to go to Hurricane, as it looked more like a Rock Bottom when he did it, or that waste of space The Great Khali. Khali had zero form and just really did nothing for the move at all. One of the worst chokeslams I’d ever seen was when old man Hogan and slightly less old man ‘Taker were going at it in the WWE. ‘Taker did everything to protect Hogan from breaking a hip and it just looked sloppy and almost looked like Taker tripped Hogan as opposed to chokeslamming him.
4. The Powerbomb
This is another move used by generic big men because it’s relatively easy to pull off if you’re strong enough to do it. It’s also another move that has been butchered by a lot of people. I think the best one was done by Sid Vicious. Not only did he slam you down with authority, he also launched your ass half way across the ring. ‘Taker’s “Last Ride” is fun to watch as well as he does that thing where he tries to pick his opponent up JUUUUUUUUUUST a little higher before driving them into the mat. Of course Kevin Nash had a great Jackknife and even Scott Hall’s Razor’s Edge is a variation of a powerbomb with a little theatrics thrown in. I love this move because of the sound it makes when the recipient hits the mat. It shakes the ring and you can almost feel it at home.
3. The Stone Cold Stunner
I doubt Austin invented this move, but the move will never be associated with anyone but him. There really isn’t a funner move to watch than the Stunner when sold correctly. I think the appeal is that it’s a quick SNAP. The Rock sold the sh*t out of it, too. This is a move I actually did on someone at a bar and while I didn’t break his neck, I sure did stun him for a while. I don’t know if anyone will ever use it again. I think it’s a respect thing to the man who single handedly ushered in the most popular era for wrestling, EVER.
2. The RKO/Diamond Cutter
This move is pretty similar to the stunner, at least in terms of what it’s supposed to hurt (the head/neck), but this move is a lot more devastating. The man who popularized it, Diamond Dallas Page (“DDP”), made it that way. A student of the game, DDP worked relentlessly at his craft, and as such he found a million different ways to hit that move. I’ve seen him hit it from all turnbuckles, through tables, from the middle of a chokeslam, from a powerbomb position; the guy was a freak. Now the move has been adopted by the quick striking “viper” Randy Orton. It’s great for him because the move IS a quick strike. He’s also hit it from a lot of different directions, though there is this one time I saw him try and hit it on Chris Jericho on a Raw and he COMPLETELY WHIFFED. The most recent memory of him hitting it was on a diving Evan Bourne as he was in the middle of a shooting star press. It was a sight to behold and a moment that will be etched in peoples memories forever.
1. The Superkick
Can you think about this move and NOT think of HBK anymore? I mean an assload of people have used it, but this man made it devastating. Everyone has taken “Sweet Chin Music” at one point and unless your name is “Hulk Hogan” it’s lights out. The best thing about this move is when HBK slaps his leg when he hits it. That POP is awesome to hear because it makes it so realistic. It’s also the most lights out move because, other than an uppercut, a kick is the quickest move that can be applied. Granted he can’t hit it from a prone state like an RKO, but the move has been thrown in anywhere and everywhere. Ask Shelton Benjamin, Kurt Angle, and Rey Mysterio about how they liked being the recipients of airborne SCM. That one kick on a springboarding Shelton will live on, probably forever, in the annals of wrestling history because it was perfect move. It was timed perfectly, everyone was in the right spot, and the spot itself was in the perfect point of the match.
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