When it comes time for a great match to come to an end, the finishing move comes into play. It can basically happen at any time and it can mean that the match is three seconds or some taps on the ground away from the bell ringing and a winner being announced. While it isn't always a certainty, there are some finishers, predominantly used by top-tier superstars, that make the end of a match purely academic. Once that move comes, it's all over.
When looking squarely at some of these finishers, however, it really makes you wonder how a 15-minute match that showed so much promise can end with such a simple maneuver. Is it really a good finisher? How can so much punishment still have the ability for an opponent to survive, while one debilitating move can do just about anyone in?
In trying to make sense of the wrestling world, here are 10 of the most over-hyped finishers that hold way too much weight in WWE today.
The move known as White Noise that Sheamus has been doing for the past few months was actually a primary finisher of Finlay for those who remember when he would wrestle in WWE a few years ago. Finlay referred to it as the Celtic Cross, which was a name Sheamus used at a time to call his crucifix powerbomb. That finisher doesn't get used anymore by Sheamus, but there are a few others that have replaced it, including this one.
It isn't so much that this finisher is overrated, but rather that it has suddenly become incredibly damaging.
How many matches did Finlay win with that move finishing things off? More importantly, how many Finlay matches didn't include a shot with the shillelagh?
I am pretty sure that Sheamus has won more matches with White Noise in the short time he has used it than Finlay ever won with a Celtic Cross.
This has been a finisher that has been on a lot of fans' lists for quite some time. Formerly known as the FU, Cena has since cleaned it up to refer to it as the Attitude Adjustment. That name may look familiar to WCW fans, who saw the same name given to Lex Luger's piledriver finisher. A standard piledriver will look devastating no matter what, but a Death Valley Driver? You're gonna need to do a little better than that.
Pretty much the most unstoppable wrestler in the WWE and the current superstar with the most world title reigns, Cena has finished over many foes by taking them and putting them on his shoulders, only to throw them off and have them land on their backs. Consider you attitude officially adjusted.
If I can make a suggestion—the attitude of someone doesn't quite feel adjusted based on this simple move. With Cena being so incredibly strong, what would stop Cena from doing something more like this instead? Besides super heavyweights, this shouldn't be much of a problem for Cena, most of the time.
Randy Orton's finisher, known as the RKO, is the latest in a long line of cutter finishers. Instead of a Stone Cold Stunner, which included a kick to the groin first, the RKO can happen in an instant, as Orton simply grabs your neck and slams it to the ground as the rest of your body follows behind. It isn't that this move doesn't look painful, but it has been built up over the years as such a damaging move that any advantage can be neutralized with just one RKO.
The name is clever as well, since the three letters are Orton's initials. His full name is Randy Keith Orton. As for what I make it stand for, I like to think that it stands for Ridiculous Knockout.
No matter how fresh you are in a match, just one of these RKOs can have you counting the lights on the ceiling of the arena. After all of the slams and shots to the body taken, a basic cutter does the trick?
The name of the move says it all. What The Funk is this move I am seeing? Can you believe that this is how most Brodus Clay matches have ended? Clay's funky mentality has led to the Funkasaurus being a popular and nearly unbeaten superstar since he took to the ring as a full-time part of the main roster earlier this year.
With the constant slams that Clay has in his arsenal, which is the norm for a colossal man like him, why would a running crossbody be the way to finish it all? Even though Clay leaves his feet for an instant, it doesn't really feel like a crossbody. It doesn't even look like a shoulder tackle a la John Cena. It looks more like Clay bumped into his opponent by mistake and just decided to cover him.
Every end of a Brodus Clay victory has the feeling that the finish got messed up and that Clay is simply pinning the man to cover it all up. It also has been given a couple different names in only nine months of being his finisher. What the Funk, indeed.
It's the newest finisher in WWE and it automatically makes the list. The big problem with Wade Barrett's character on the surface was that this young superstar full of potential was built upon the belief of being a bare-knuckled fighter. Naturally, Barrett rarely threw a punch. When he was injured, there was a window of opportunity to reinvent Barrett, which was done nicely.
Now, Barrett is a lethal fighter, much like something out of a fight club or your typical street fight. His attitude is more rugged and his overall offense feels more barbaric, which was certainly the intention. With all of that well and good, his new finisher, which he has dubbed The Souvenir, feels like nothing more than a fancy-looking elbow smash. That's because that's all it is.
As Barrett gobbles up victories, The Souvenir will likely be the move to finish everything. A bare-knuckled fighter uses an elbow of all things to finish an opponent off. This doesn't even take into account the twirl used to set up the elbow smash, which feels like something directly out of a swing dancing class.
The 619 has a special place in a lot of hearts. If there was a Hall of Fame for terrible wrestling finishers, this Rey Mysterio gem can snuggle in right by the atomic leg drop of Hulk Hogan and down the hall of The Ultimate Warrior literally just splashing on an opponent. It hasn't stopped Mysterio from using the move constantly since coming to WWE, as the finisher has made him a multi-time world champion in the company.
The move is pretty standard in its bare bones. Mysterio knocks an opponent onto the middle ropes and runs to those same ropes. In the way only Mysterio can, he throws his legs through the top and middle ropes so he can kick his opponent directly in the head. This usually is followed by a splash after springing off the ropes or a splash from the top of a turnbuckle. Even as his body has broken down, Mysterio can still pull off the 619.
Does it seem unusual to anyone else that no superstars ever seem to fall into the middle rope unless Mysterio is somehow involved? It just isn't a natural place for a superstar to fall to and makes for a very unusual and awkward placement simply for a move. Rarely is there ever another finishing maneuver that requires such a specific placement of a superstar in the ring. God forbid that the match is outside of the ring, then it is almost not able to be performed at all.
Once upon a time, Zack Ryder was a nobody in WWE, but he had a unique look and gimmick while being a great worker.
He kept his job. As his opportunities were passing him by, Ryder began his own YouTube show and grew a following. This ultimately led to being seen backstage with main-event talent and even a run as the United States Champion. This pretty much catches you up to what Zack Ryder's career has been like, except for just one thing: His finisher has always sucked.
While being unique, the Rough Ryder is nothing more than a leg lariat. A regular lariat would otherwise be known as a clothesline. So, this is a clothesline with your leg. Ryder has to jump into the air and have his one leg knock you to the ground. Basically, Ryder is trying to sit on you. Billed at 214 lbs, that is hardly anything to lose a match to. It would be a nice move to have, but it shouldn't be a match-clinching move.
His Broski Boot, which involves running and ramming his foot into an opponent's head while they sit by a turnbuckle, is more effective than the Rough Ryder. If a hurricanrana is not supposed to win a match, why would a leg lariat be any different?
The most dangerous move in WWE as of late has been the Brogue Kick from Sheamus. It's really nothing more than a bicycle kick, but this has taken on an entirely new meaning for Sheamus. Apparently, when Irish people ride a bicycle, it is with more force than anyone else in the world. Those in the Tour de France would be wise to listen up to that.
The Brogue Kick just became the most recent move to be banned via storyline for how dangerous it is. It would ultimately be reinstated by Smackdown general manager Booker T. I guess Booker realized that it was a harmless move. It also may have been the fact that Booker T himself used a scissors kick, which can be argued as a more damaging move. After all, a scissors kick has an opponent bent over while Booker T would use his legs as a guillotine of sorts.
CM Punk used to want his opponents to Go to Sleep, the meaning of the abbreviated GTS that was his primary finisher for a long time. It has now been used to a lesser degree, probably because even Punk can realize that a GTS can only do so much damage. The beginning looks a lot like John Cena's Attitude Adjustment, only to have Punk drop the opponent off his shoulders and directly onto one of his knees.
It looks pretty gruesome at first, but it ultimately looks like it hurts Punk more than anyone else. It's basically the collision of a human skull, made of hard bone, and a knee, comprised of basic cartilage and sensitive ligaments. If anything is getting broken in this matchup, I don't like the knee's chances.
Aren't the bones in a hand harder than a knee anyway? Wouldn't we be better off just seeing you punch someone directly in the face?
OK, maybe the advice for punching someone was a bit misguided. As strong as the gigantic Big Show is, the most damaging part of him is a closed fist? What is this that I am watching? What stops this seven-foot monster from just trying to punch an opponent once in the face the entire match?
At this rate, Big Show doesn't need to do anything else. Forget about your suplexes and slams. Just keep swinging until you hit something. This also defies logic when Big Show has been seen in past matches throwing punches, which were apparently not as effective. I guess some fist pumping like he is trying to tell an 18-wheeler to honk his horn is a suitable way to focus the energy directly to his already over-sized fist. I wouldn't wish anyone to take an actual punch from Big Show, but to have a single punch be the most damage this enormous man can do makes you wonder how this man seems to lose in big matches.
At Hell in a Cell, are we really going to see Big Show fall to a bicycle kick from Sheamus when all he needed to do in order to win was punch him in the face once?