WWE: Why Ziggler, Sandow, Ryback and Other Finishers Don't Work, Which Ones Do

Justin LaBarChief Writer IVApril 6, 2017

I'm so picky when it comes to finishers, but why wouldn't I be? It's a big part of what defines a superstar and a match.

WWE's current roster excites me because we're in a transition period of creating a lot of new stars at once.

In all the excitement, I have harsh critiques on where finishing moves have gone.

Dolph Ziggler, Damien Sandow, Ryback and Antonio Cesaro are my biggest complaints on the WWE roster. I could complain about others, but the others aren't relevant or hardly seen.

All of these names seem to be on the rise of what could be great careers.

My issue with finishers I don't like if its a move that you could realistically see in another match. Now it's an obvious rule in a promotion/locker room that you don't put a move somewhere in your match that somebody else does as a finisher.

I want a finisher to be something that has a look, set up and or a sell that is unique and stands out.

Dolph Ziggler's Zig Zag bothers me. Dolph takes a bigger bump then his opponents sometimes. He jumps behind them and pulls their head back slamming them to the mat. His opponent is falling back, taking a basic back bump.

Dolph did a better variation of this the second time in his match on Raw with Santino. He was more physical, had his hands on his opponent longer in slamming them to the mat. It looked a littler better but still wasn't over with me.


Why not do it from the second rope?

A simple trick to making a basic maneuver into a signature move material is to incorporate an element of the ring to the move.

Ziggler performing his finisher from the second rope―he will still be taking a big bump himself, but you've now brought in an element of the ring that makes the move feel like it should end the match.

When you drop someone onto the ropes, jump off the ropes onto him, jump off the ropes with him or creatively utilize the ring―it helps create the factor I was talking about with making it a move you would not otherwise see.

Rey Mysterio's 619 move works because he does the swing through the ropes to hit his opponent in the face. It's a flashy, athletic move which allows it to fit the bill of a finisher with great success.

Damien Sandow crosses his opponent's arms and does a neck breaker. The most stand out thing about this is his quick back roll he does to pin his opponent after performing the move.

Many variations of neckbreakers can be seen every night and by many different talents.

Sandow's character is based on intelligence. Give me a move that better represents that.

The gimmick to Ryback's finisher is marching around with his opponent hoisted up on his shoulders. I think would make a good set up move to have in his repertoire but not as his finisher. Let the move that he calls “Shell Shocked” be a set up move for a different finisher. Let it play the role that the spear did for Goldberg.


Antonio Cesaro picks his opponent up in the position as if he was going to give them a pile driver. Instead, he locks his hands over and around his opponent's leg and groin area and then slams them on their face.

With his character having the violent rugby background, I want more raw physicality. This finishing move is too much sports entertainment for me.

Ironically, the finisher that I do like is the one that I've heard the most complaints about. People seem to have an issue with Wade Barrett using an elbow.


He is a bare-knuckle fighter. A raw, primitive move like this that can be hit from any direction is what Barrett should use. The way it was performed on and sold by Justin Gabriel on Raw was a great example. JBL sold it on commentary. Picture perfect finish.

Santino Marella uses a snake-decorated sock to punch his opponents with. Yes, it seems ridiculous but it is one of a kind to the current roster. Most importantly, it's over and it sells merchandise.

The cobra is no different from The Rock's "People's Elbow." It was a damn elbow drop. At least Santino's Cobra is billed as a straight shot to the face or throat.

The elbow worked because of the charisma he had when delivering it. The way he would swing his hands to signal it was coming, would hit the ropes and swing his leg out before dropping it.

The merchandise to it was the elbow pad he would toss to the crowd.

Right now, these guys are new and fresh. Right now, they are getting a lot of squash matches or not much competition because we know they're being built strong and fast.

When it comes to earning big money in big-match situations, gotta be able to finish strong.