It’s hard to make lists like these—ones disputing the legitimacy of fake moves in a scripted environment. It becomes important, then, to define your stringent criteria. They differ from person from person, because not everyone values, say, impact over difficulty to execute.
This list was made relying on these core points (or the lack of them): impact, importance and flexibility. Impact refers to how good a move comes off to the viewers. If Mark Henry can make a simple powerslam look damaging, then major points to him.
Importance denotes how much credibility WWE entrusts in that move. If a simple DDT is causing major title changes, then we need to get a bit more critical.
Flexibility refers to how easily a wrestler can implement the move. If it can "come out of nowhere," that brings in the excitement and suspense. If it requires a Superstar to be in a particular position, it loses points.
Lastly, this is all, of course, personal opinion. What I consider horrible may not be considered quite as awful by any of you, and that’s fine. No one’s stupid, no one’s a smark and everyone goes home happy. Hopefully.
The only reason this didn’t make it into the real list is because Rey Mysterio is currently on a Lesnar-esque contract of showing up few times a year.
He is currently one knee injury away from becoming a permanent resident on WWE’s exclusive post-show panel, meaning his time is nearly up. Don’t get me wrong, Mysterio is a top high-flier who has amazed crowds for years. Yes, 619 is a move that scores a ton of points in the "cool" department, but it scores lowest in the area of flexibility.
Never in any match that doesn’t involve Mysterio does a Superstar feel a need to hang his head on the second rope. But in Mysterio matches that’s all they do. Sure, they try to mask it sometimes by making it look like Rey tripped the opponent with great acumen, but it doesn’t work always.
He usually follows it up with a frog splash or diving plash, the latter hardly making any impact. It could be argued that his entire finisher is a combo of both the feint kick and his splash, but on its own, 619 falls flat.
Demanding realism in this world of kayfabe is how we keep ourselves entertained. It’s true.
As much of a fan I am of Damien Sandow’s work, sometimes sacrifices have to be made, and this is my painfully heartbreaking one.
The Lord of Literacy is a good wrestler capable of putting on some good matches. He hasn’t gotten the best opportunity to really step out and showcase his entire ability, but everything he has done has been decent.
His moveset, however, needs a critical revamp. His neckbreaker is fine for the midcard, where victories and losses have a smaller impact. However, the future World Heavyweight champion needs to bring out a much more lethal weapon as he climbs up the ladder.
The Elbow of Disdain is a great move for theatrics and excitement, but The Duke of Decency is not on Rock's level to convince WWE that his simple elbow drop is fatal yet.
I might probably get a ton of flak for this, but I'm still going to do what's good for business. The Killswitch has by far the most unrealistic drama associated with its setup and impact. It seems so simple to escape from that I would expect anyone to do so, but they don't.
It also has the impact comparable to that of a neckbreaker, and it makes me wonder why Christian has persisted with it for so long. His spear is probably the worst in wrestling today, and if you really think about it, Christian doesn't have the best moveset in the world to back up his in-ring talent.
Overall, he has been a consistently decent performer and one of the best storytellers in the ring, but it's hard to really get behind him when he's completely fired up and jumps out of the ring to slap his opponent. It's fun, yes, but seeing that it's one of his main moves, it's just a big anticlimax.
It's not mandatory for us to like every move of every good wrestler (CM Punk is notorious for producing ugly elbow drops). I don't expect Christian to get a new finisher now, but I don't know—spice it up a little?
My major qualms with Miz (apart from his repulsively annoying babyface persona and bland MizTV segments) have always been centred around his finishers. The Awesome One spends a portion of every match dragging his opponent around the ring just so he can face the hard camera while he trips him and makes him land on his chest.
Seriously, which wrestler does that? Is getting your finisher done at the centre of the ring in front of the main camera really that important? In a match, a wrestler's primary goal is and always should be trying to demolish the opponent with his best moves at any given opportunity.
If they want to play it along with his Awesome gimmick, then he should do all his moves in front of the hard camera. Or better yet (I'm surprised WWE hasn't thought of it yet)—use other cameras.
Lately, he has been using the Figure Four Leglock, and as long as we don't regress back to his initial days of wrapping his legs around the opponent, we should consider ourselves lucky.
With Daniel Bryan's rebellious emotions surging through my veins, I'm not afraid to say it: Curtis Axel is horrible, with horrible in bold.
After being given the opportunity of a lifetime, Michael McGillicutty (who once promised the genesis of the genesis of McGillicutty from this moment on starting now) has ostentatiously shown his tremendous absence of charisma, talent, personality and appeal.
For a long while, fans were clamouring for WWE to embrace his rich wrestling roots, and while I hope you guys are happy that he's finally in the ring, a lot of us are not. He would be nowhere without Paul Heyman's persistent praise and adulation, much of it which he frankly doesn't deserve.
It's hard to believe he trained with The Rock during his return, because so far, he has shown none of that mythical, extraordinary ability. WWE should just let him use the Perfect Plex as a finisher and add some credibility to his matches.
I've attached the Future Shock rip-off, and while it's terrible, that's not the only hope for us poor fans. Axel alternates from time to time with a running neckbreaker, which shows he's just as confused as us on what actually makes him look good, and even the running neckbreaker is horrible.
Wade Barrett's downfall has been despondently pitiful yet hilarious at the same time. Ever since he returned a different man (read: with a beard), he has lost almost all his matches in 2013 and even come out without a beard at the end of a shaving contest.
Wasteland was often highly criticized for being a credible finisher, but in an era where Attitude Adjustment is the ultimate weapon, it was actually acceptable. That's all we need—consistency. If a spinebuster is notorious for its brutality, then these feral characteristics should reflect across every Superstar who executes a spinebuster.
I'm not saying make it everyone's finisher. I can buy the storyline viewpoint that Christian doesn't execute a Spear as well as Edge or Roman Reigns. That's relatable.
What's not relatable is that CM Punk and Daniel Bryan can almost kick your head off or Antonio Cesaro can thrust you into the air before you unwillingly land into a brutal uppercut that results in just a near-fall, while Wade Barrett can feebly throw his elbow at you and it's the end of the world.
Sure, WWE tries to build it around his brawling days, but if it doesn't come off well on television, then there's nothing to hype about.
I feel there's a need to repeat how big a shareholder personal opinion is on this article (a lot). Not everyone would be pleased with my choices of Christian, Sandow or Rey Mysterio, and I know that fully well.
A special mention goes out to Rough Ryder, which hasn't been seen for months yet lies dormant somewhere in Broskiworld. If you're really, really lucky, you might never see it again.
Thanks for the read, all.
Shalaj Lawania is known for his disappearing acts, because being there all the time is too mainstream. Do show him love—he needs it. For more love, you can follow him on Twitter, if you have a good annoying tweets threshold. For the rest, use Wikipedia.