I felt like writing this article because it highlights one of the most enjoyable parts of a wrestling match, the finisher. Some good, some bad, we endure them all, but which leave us captivated and which let us down?
I have not given an order to these finishers in terms of which I believe is best or worst, but they are what I believe are among the outsiders in terms of quality.
This is not meant to be a life-changing, mind-bending, thought-provoking article; it’s just a bit of fun for me which I hope you enjoy reading.
Some of my choices for the worst finisher will probably not be well received but I have picked them with good reason. There’s nothing worse after watching a really good wrestling match than to watch somebody pull off a less than impressive move to win the pin fall.
Here are my choices.
Rey Mysterio – 619
Rey is a small guy, so I’m not expecting him to pull off big power bombs or choke slams, but for such an impressive high flier Rey just doesn’t sell the 619 to me at all.
For starters it always amazes me how coincidental it is that the guys Mysterio is fighting fall into the same vulnerable position on the ropes before he delivers it.
If these wrestlers claim to have any professional acumen, they should know that this is a position they don’t want to be in.
The second issue I have is the severe lack of impact; after doing his 180 through the ropes he rarely has any momentum to put in a decent kick. These two elements combined blow the smokescreen away too much for me to buy it, sorry Rey!
The Undertaker – Tombstone Piledriver
Time to get a bit controversial! I know I’ll probably get it in the neck for picking this as one of the worst, but I have good reason, I promise.
In a business that tries to pave over the fact that “kayfabe” exists as much as possible, they don’t help themselves sometimes. It’s quite obvious to see from watching any of The Undertaker’s Tombstones that he doesn’t actually drop someone on their head, and with good reason.
The WWE seemed to take a step back from over promoting moves like this a little while ago, either due to the PG rating or possibly just because it is dangerous. Either way, it just isn’t believable.
When I watch someone perform a wrestling move I want at least some room to believe that it has actually happened, which I personally don’t get with the Tombstone. Maybe it’s just me but that’s my opinion.
Edge – Spear
I don’t think this one will come as a big surprise to anyone; the spear is slightly more believable when done by a big guy like Batista, but even then it shouldn’t be a finisher.
Edge tries to give the move credibility by acting crazed before he hits it, but this only adds to the anti-climax of the move. It is just plain weak.
I thought that when Edge came back from “Hell” was a perfect opportunity for him to employ a new finisher, but WWE decided to stick with the spear. I think he will change it in the not so distant future but for now we will have to endure one of the better wrestlers in the company using one of the weakest finishers.
John Cena – 5 Knuckle Shuffle
One of the better attempts at a “People’s Elbow” spin-off, but I just doesn’t work for me. Cena just doesn’t seem to muster the same energy the Rock did, which is required to make a move like this work due to the fact the end result is pretty weak.
I’ve never been one of these people to criticize John for a limited more set, but when one of your better moves is this uninspiring you cant really blame people for picking on you.
The Brian Kendrick – The Kendrick
This push he is receiving is confusing the hell out of me, but that’s not the issue here. If you want to make a wrestler look good don’t let his most “dominant” move resemble Spike Dudley’s finisher.
I don’t think I really need to go into too much detail on this one; it’s a poor finisher, end of story.
Honorable mentions: Big Show – Knock out punch, Kofi Kingston – Trouble in Paradise, JBL – Clothesline from Hell, The Great Khali – Khali Vice Grip, Umaga – Samoan Spike
These moves are the reason we watch wrestling, to see wrestlers showing us what they do best. I don’t think my choices here are too controversial, but it’s always nice to highlight what we think are the most impressive parts of a sport we love.
Randy Orton – RKO
Randy Orton’s ascension to the top of the WWE as of late has been nothing more than remarking, taking on a Stone Cold Steve Austin like quality of a heel-face. This move personifies Randy Orton’s in ring character, as he stalks his opponent like a viper, then striking with devastating results.
Not many will disagree that the RKO is one of the better moves in WWE currently, and with Randy Orton’s popularity seemingly snowballing on, this move is an incredible asset for him to have in his arsenal.
Triple H – Pedigree
Triple H has been at the forefront of this business for several years, and his finisher certainly hasn’t hindered that success.
The build up to this move is perfect, as there is just enough time to get you excited, but it doesn’t go on too long. When Hunter scores that kick to the gut and goes for the arms you know what’s coming. He doesn’t always hit it, but when he does you know the other guy is in trouble.
I was less of a fan of the Pedigree over the past year or so until recently, as the men on the receiving end seemed less than willing to take the hit and eat some mat.
But guys like Jeff Hardy and I believe even The Miz really sold it recently, which can only be testament to the respect they must have for one of the best wrestlers we have ever witnessed.
Shawn Michaels – Sweet Chin Music
“Shawn Michaels is tuning up the band!...”, it’s certainly music to my ears. Shawn exudes energy in the ring and there is no better example than this move.
I can’t think of an instance recently where Michaels has hit Sweet Chin Music after tuning up the band but in my opinion this has only added to the suspense. Seeing Shawn strike out of nowhere and pick up the victory is exhilarating, real on the edge of your seat stuff.
I have never once doubted that the recipient really did take a pretty nasty blow, and there really can be something said here about simple thing producing big results.
Randy Orton – Punt
Randy Orton has another top finisher? You bet! This move has literally (...well kayfabe) impacted RAW in ways we could never have imagined; It won him the match at Wrestlemania XXIV, it cost CM Punk his title, he put Batista out of action with it, and recently incapacitated both Shane and Vince McMahon.
I don’t need to say too much about the punt as it speaks volumes for itself, but I will say Randy definitely isn’t doing his character any harm by using it.
Jeff Hardy – Swanton Bomb
On its own, the Swanton Bomb is impressive, but when you combine it with a wrestler whose ability to put the fan far before his own well being surpasses almost everyone, you get something simply amazing.
I cannot recall the countless times we have seen Jeff put his health and career on the line by diving from ridiculous heights, but it never fails to impress me. This moves opens up so many possibilities to use in matches, which always finds new ways to shock us.
Jeff has found new success in the WWE recently, winning his first world title, and I cannot argue with the writers if they continue making him a big part of the company.
Honorable mentions: Chris Jericho – Codebreaker, Michelle McCool – Faith Breaker, Christian – Killswitch (Unprettier), CM Punk – GTS, and due to popular demand: Undertaker - Hell's Gate, Evan Bourne - Shooting Star Press
I might not be pandering to most peoples taste here but this is my opinion. Do you agree? What is your opinion on the best and worst finishers?