WWE Superstars like Damien Sandow, who have forgettable, ineffective finishing moves, have to enter a knife fight armed with a No. 2 pencil.
Randy Orton's RKO and Roman Reigns' spear are examples of finishers at their best—thrilling, powerful, dramatic. These moves punctuate the end of a match. They make the audience believe that the foes receiving them will not get up from them until after the referee has counted to three.
Sandow is among the current crop of wrestlers who don't have the benefit of a move like that. That deficiency in his repertoire is no trivial detail; it's part of what's holding him back.
His current finisher is dubbed You're Welcome, a full nelson slam. It doesn't feel like a match-ending move, rather more of a setup for something more powerful.
That leaves the end of Sandow's matches feeling as if they're missing something. It makes him feel like less of a danger to his opponent.
Undertaker's Tombstone and Sheamus' Brogue Kick are weapons to be feared. They come off as devastating moves that provide a lasting image to cap off a hard-fought match.
You're Welcome, in comparison, is underwhelming. That results in it being harder to take Sandow as a threat. It's hard to imagine that move being able to put away Orton, John Cena or CM Punk.
WWE has tried to find a standout finisher for Sandow but has been unable to do so thus far.
He began his WWE career using Terminus, a straight-jacket neckbreaker. It took a long time to set up and looked awkward and clunky.
The company then had him finish off foes with Silencer, a move that looked a lot like The Rock's Rock Bottom.
It was an improvement, but it failed to make the kind of impression that Sandow and his supporters hoped for. He's since moved on, following Wade Barrett's lead as a Superstar continually pulling out a new sword but failing to find one that is able to make a significant cut.
Barrett went from using Wasteland to finishing off his opponents with an elbow smash.
The move was first called The Souvenir and involved a complicated setup where he would twist around his foe before clocking them. WWE had him simplify the move and renamed it Bull Hammer. While it's more impressive than, say, striking someone with a cobra sock puppet, it's still not all that exciting.
In a world populated with superkicks, 450 splashes and ring-rattling powerbombs, moves like the Bull Hammer and You're Welcome aren't loud enough to get noticed in the din that is WWE action.
One doesn't build a Hall of Fame career around a great finisher, but it's a part of the Superstar package that can either propel or stall a wrestler's journey.
Had Steve Austin continued to use the Stun Gun as his finisher once he became "Stone Cold," his attacks on Vince McMahon and the climaxes of his matches would have been less compelling.
The Stunner was the perfect armament to complement his badass persona. Fans looked forward to seeing him hit it almost as much as they looked forward to seeing him tear through the curtains once his entrance music kicked on.
Sandow has yet to find his own ideal weapon.
Brodus Clay's running splash and Camacho's DDT certainly aren't the only things preventing them from climbing higher up the WWE hierarchy, but those moves are too commonplace to help either man stand out.
Reigns, on the other hand, has used the spear to capture the audience's attention in a big way. Take away that move, and you take away him sending Kane crashing through the security barricade. Try to imagine him going on his memorable Survivor Series run by knocking folks out with Sandow's You're Welcome.
There would be far less electricity in that moment with that switch.
Sandow's issues go far beyond his choice of decisive move, but it's a defect that needs to be addressed. While WWE tries to figure out his character, his motivations and how to present him, it also needs to find a better finishing move for him.
As it stands, Sandow—like Clay, Camacho and Barrett—is jousting with a pool noodle.