Celebrating Wrestling: The Top 50 Most Effective Finishers Ever
I've been a huge wrestling fan since I can remember and what I always find exciting are the wrestler's finishers. A move that will grant the wrestler the win. The finisher is the most exciting moment in any match. The following slides are the top 50 finishers that I believe are the most effective.
The moves are not only effective in a storyline match but can really hurt in real life. These finishers need little selling from the opponent and it follows through to its name as a finisher.
Please do understand that the list only includes wrestling moves and no submission moves. The list not only includes moves from WWE but also branches out from the indies up to Japan. There are a lot of sick people out there who wants to end a wrestler's career and most of them are in here.
Lastly, if you believe I missed a move you think belongs in the list then comment it. If you believe that a move deserves to be higher then by all means comment on it. Commenting is fun.
I don't use much words in the slides. A simple definition of the move and nothing else.
So introductions done. Enjoy.
First up, from puroresu in Japan.
The ranhei is a move innovated by Madoka, but WWE fans is more familiar with the move better known as Kofi Kingston's S.O.S.
You sweep the opponent's feet then turn him into a pin and that's it. I love it.
Taiji Ishimori introduced this fancy cradle DDT to the world. LIke other versions of the DDT, this move get the job done.
48. Chaos Theory
Doug Williams is a technical wrestler from the UK and I believe that the best way to show your technical prowess is through your finisher.
The Chaos Theory is a roll up into a German suplex pin with bridge and it really is a magnificent finisher. Flashiness aside, it is also a devastating one.
When I saw this for the first time, I imagined John Cena receiving it. Lets see Superman kick out of this!
Probably an outdated finisher, but I give the move credit for giving other wrestlers out there the inspiration to drop their opponents on the head and possibly the move with the most variations.
In 1980, Jake Roberts had an opponent in a headlock when he tripped on his opponent's feet and fell backward driving his opponent's head to the mat. Thus, a move was born.
The move is more devastating when the opponent jumps along with the wrestler making the impact look more brutal.
46. The Gore
Anybody can perform The Spear. It has become a staple move in WWE. Superstars like Edge, The Big Show, Batista and Goldberg has all adopted the move in their repertoire. The spear is fancy and all but I always have a liking to The Gore.
Rhyno is such a powerhouse that whenever he performs the gore, it always looks so brutal. The move is more effective during Rhyno's tenure in ECW where tables are welcomed in every match.
45. Super Powerbomb
The powerbomb has always been a staple for huge wrestlers. It was an effective finisher for big guys like Batista and Kevin Nash. What's not to love? You lift a guy up and sit them on your shoulder then you let gravity do the rest as you slam them back-first to the mat.
Mike Awesome was more commonly known for giving the stiffest, no holding back, powerbomb.
So you have a guy who enjoys hurting his opponents via his finisher and then you let him do it off the top rope. What you get is an extreme ECW moment.
RIP Mike Awesome.
44. Widow's Peak
The Gory Neckbreaker, better known as The Widow's Peak, helped Victoria to be one of the most successful divas in WWE.
The move helped Victoria win the Women's championship twice and helped the WWE Divas to have some credibility. At least during its peak.
Accomplishments aside, the move is also the most devastating move any Diva ever pulled off, reminding us all that the Divas are not only eye candy.
43. Pepsi Plunge
CM Punk spent his earlier careers as a blonde guy and calls himself a Chick Magnet Punk.
In WWE, he was toned down a bit to fit the PG format and a lot of his move set was not adopted like the "Welcome to Chicago, M****rf****r", The Pepsi Twist and The Pepsi Plunge.
When you hear The Pepsi Plunge you just think of Punk diving off the top rope. You're half correct.
The move is better known as Diving Double Underhook Facebuster or simply put, a top rope pedigree. Dude, this one hurts.
42. Shining Wizard
Another puroresu-inspired move given to us by The Great Muta.
The shining wizard is a running enzugiri that is so popular, fans of his work have adopted the move.
I think the last wrestler in WWE to use this finisher was Gregory "Hurricane" Helms.
41. Arabian Face Buster
A finisher reflects the wrestler. This saying is true with Sabu.
The extremist is famous for ending his matches with his diving somersault leg drop better known as The Arabian Facebuster, which is regularly coupled with a chair, making the move the first finisher on the list to involve a weapon.
40. Angel Wings
Christopher Daniels is a TNA alumnus who helped the company reach mainstream media with his breath-taking athletic ability.
Along with the BME (Best Moonsault Ever) and The Last Rites, Chris' finisher really helped define the X Division.
A 90-degree lifting sitout double-underhook facebuster or simply known as The Angel's Wings. More devastating when delivered from the top rope.
39. Phoenix Splash
FMW legend Eiji Ezaki, known as Hayabusa, is famous for being paralyzed in the ring. Japanese are real workers in that they really give their best in a match, and Hayabusa is nothing different.
The father of the Falcon Arrow, Hayabusa gave us The Phoenix Splash. A 450 splash with a corkscrew twist making the move more painful upon impact.
The standing moonsault side slam is a judo-inspired finisher.
WWE fans are more familiar with the move as Paul Burchill's C4.
Depending on the angle, this move hurts like hell.
37. Dudley Death Drop
The most successful tag team ever helped mark their name in history with their double-team finisher.
The combination of Flapjack from Devon and a Cutter from Bubba is better known as The Dudley Death Drop.
People from all over the world have felt this finisher and the move is mostly done through a table. Ouch.
36. Shooting Star Press
Who doesn't love the Shooting Star Press?
A backflip in mid-air landing chest first to an opponent is as Micheal Cole would put it, "the prettiest move in the WWE" and Taz would follow with "yeah, 'til it lands."
Innovated by Jushin Liger, the move has inspired high flyers everywhere to push top-rope moves to their limits.
The Human Suplex machine was an animal in ECW.
If you ever have the pleasure of seeing him work then you understand just how miserable this guy was, and he took it out on his opponents. He once broke Sabu's neck, for godsakes.
He broke Sabu's neck with his finisher, the half-nelson choke suplex better known as the Taz-plex.
The awkward execution and the landing adds impact to an already devastating finisher.
34. Tower Of London
I always believe that a finisher that involves dropping the guy on his head is always effective.
Now picture him dropped from the top rope with the rest of the body adding weight.
The rope-hung cutter by Desmond Wolfe is a touch of simplicity but stays true to a painful finisher.
33. Clothesline From Hell
Bradshaw was always known for giving the stiffest clotheslines. Guys who have felt it admit that Bradshaw gave too much when he performed his finisher. Surprisingly, we all loved him for it.
A running power clothesline from Bradshaw really came from hell.
32. Back Stabber
Finishers don't need to look fancy. A simple finisher is always an effective one.
For example, Carlito jumps, grabs his opponent and drives his knee to the opponent's back as he comes down.
Nothing fancy. The double-knee backbreaker gets the job done.
31. Banzai Drop
God bless Yokozuna for using his weight to his advantage. You can tell this move hurt whenever Yokozuna would climb the second rope.
The jumping seated corner senton, or The Banzai drop, is a simple move but can easily finish a match.
30. Lightning Spiral
Masato Yoshino gives us this flashy move. The swinging leg hook fire man's carry slam or simply called, The Lightning Spiral.
One of the young generation of Japanese wrestlers, Yoshino easily ends a match when he hits this.
29. Stone Cold Stunner
A sitout three-quarter facelock jawbreaker is The Rattlesnake's ultimate "in your face!" maneuver that launched the Attitude era and the career of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin.
28. Van Daminator
The second finisher in the list to involve a weapon. A simple spinning wheel kick by RVD coupled with a chair.
Nothing says, "eat this!" quite like a Van Daminator.
27. Busaiku Knee Kick
Kenta Kobayashi innovated this simple finisher. You run to the rope and hit your knee to your opponent's face. It's simple.
The running single high knee strike, or busaiku knee kick, has so much intensity, you can agree its effective.
26. Canadian Destroyer
Little Petey Pump single-handedly destroyed Petey Williams career. I just wanna say that while you all witness the move that put Petey on the map.
Why the hell is he even asking a guy who can't wrestle for wrestling advice when Scott Steiner can't even pull off the Canadian Destroyer?
That's right. A Front flip pile driver that reminds us all that TNA was the show to watch out for. I mean, back in 2005.
25. Spinning Kamikaze
Derek Frazier is an independent wrestler in the US. He did some stint in the hardcore promotion CZW and like some indy wrestlers, the only way to get noticed is through your talents.
Check it out, the spinning inverted double underhook facebuster that'll make Christian jealous.
Lets hope to see more of Derek Frazier.
24. Golden Shower
Have you ever seen a more choreographed, more breathtaking finisher than the golden shower? One 450 splash is awesome. Imagine two at the same time.
Kenny Omega and Ibushi Kota are the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team champions in New Japan. This move is really pretty; I love it.
23. God's Last Gift
ROH alumnus Tyler Black enters the list with his devastating finisher: A fisherman DDT into a small package. The move is more devastating from the top rope.
I can't wait to see this move on WWE.
22. The Dominator
Innovated by Ron Simmons, The inverted front power slam is a move where you drop your opponent chest first, making it a very effective finisher.
Bobby Lashley revived the move and reminds us all just how powerful of a finisher it is.
21. Warrior's Way
I am so happy WWE gave Kaval the freedom to do this move. It's simple yet effective.
A diving double foot stomp is by far the most devastating move in WWE today.
20. Fisherman Buster
Another simple, yet effective move. As I said before, a move that involves dropping your opponent head first, deserves to be on this list.
19. 720 DDT
Jody Fleisch enters the list with his twisting springboard tornado DDT.
18. Double Moonsault
A moonsault hurts. If you double the intensity then the landing can really hurt.
A couple of indy guys have adopted the move. Can you imagine a WWE wrestler doing this?
17. Death Valley Driver
Can you believe that a woman innovated this move? Though a lot of wrestlers have adopted the move, Etsuko Mita from Japan introduced us to this gem of a finisher.
From a fireman carry position, you drop you opponent head first, making this move an effective finisher upon impact.
Today, we can see Eric Young perform this as a finisher.
16. The Five Star Frog Splash
What makes RVD's frog splash special is that he can hit in anywhere, at any position and at any angle.
RVD is certainly not shy of taking punishment from doing the move, since he spent a couple of times performing this move from the top of a ladder.
15. Axe Guillotine Driver
A piledriver is a devastating move by itself. Now imagine it reversed! Takao Omori from Japan innovated this hellish piledriver that looks like it can easily be botched.
The kneeling back to belly piledriver is now sen being executed by TNA wrestler Kazarian.
14. Steiner Screw Driver
I was honestly surprised that such a move can be associated with Scott Steiner, but as I look at the early version of Scott, I would not even believe it was Scott. Cool mullet.
A move banned in WCW in 1996, though WCW viewers did see its entirety before 1996, Scott Steiner would perform a vertical suplex piledriver. A move he occasionally uses on TNA today.
13. Buzzsaw Kick
It is simple and it is effective. Tajiri would land on this list with his devastating buzzsaw kick.
If you ever had the pleasure of seeing Tajiri display his kicks, then you can agree that he holds nothing back.
This finisher is nothing special really, just a kick on the side of the head that will leave anybody stunned.
12. Joker Driver
Joker is a wrestler in CZW and the best move that screams CZW is none other that Joker's electric chair driver called the joker driver.
You can tell his move is just pure evil.
11. Tiger Driver 91
Mitsuharu Misawa greatest legacy is giving us this incredible finisher.
It's a kneeling double underhook Ganso Bomb that looks absolutely deadly.
10. Styles Clash
A lot of people say that the Styles Clash is an overrated move. It certainly didn't help when a WWE Diva adopted the move and certainly toned the move down.
The belly to back inverted slam into a pin is a very effective finisher.
Another move that people call overrated. I do believe the move is devastating enough to reach the top ten and frankly, Hunter's career would never have been so successful if he didn't have the pedigree under his belt.
The double underhook facebuster certainly ended a lot of Triple H's matches.
8. Barry White Driver
Super Dragon is an indy wrestler who is wrestled primarily in Pro Wrestling Guerilla. This guy devised one of the scariest finishers ever created: The Barry White Driver.
You start with a gory lift position then you turn it into a wicked piledriver. We all know the piledriver is easily botched, then you see this kind of variation and you really to understand why freakish moves are banned in WWE.
7. Go To Sleep
KENTA from Japan innovated this move, but it gained popularity when CM Punk adopted it. This move is nothing but gravity.
You lift your opponent into a fireman carry then drop their face to your knee.
It was simple and it was effective.
Innovated by a female Japanese wrestler, Megumi Kudo, called the Kudome Valentine.
The vertebreaker was first introduced to the world by Hurricane Helms. The move was banned in the WWE but you can still see its carnage at TNA performed by Homicide calling the move The Gringo Killer.
5. Burning Hammer
Kenta Kobashi lands at No. 7 in the list with his devastating move called the burning hammer.
It's a move so deadly, it was only used seven times throughout his career. Most of them was received by Misawa, who sadly died off a back belly driver.
This inverted death valley driver certainly hurts.
A move that has so much intensity that you can bet this move hurts.
Brock Lesnar is such an animal that this move is suppose to be a lifting DDT, but since he has so much power, he just throws his opponent to the mat.
3. Package Piledriver
Kevin Steen, a Canadian pro wrestler, gave us this hell of a piledriver.
The package piledriver is a move so scary that most major promotions banned the move.
It's rare to see independent promotions ban a move, but this one is just so devastating.
2. Brain Bustaaaahhhhhh
El Generico gives us this one. A brain buster is a dangerous move that all the weight of the opponent gets dropped on his head.
Now imagine it on the top rope and onto the top turnbuckle. That's right. The only move on the list to use the turnbuckle.
You can't tell me this can't hurt.
1. Sweet Chin Music
The most effective finisher ever. Its the most simple yet the most effective. What's not to love? You aim at the chin, then kick.
It stuns you opponent and it hurts. You can add the fact that this finisher can happen any time, making it much more effective.
Sweet Chin Music, the most effective finisher ever.
Thank you for reading. If you want you can try my other 'Celebrating Wrestling" articles here: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/499739-celebrating-wrestling-forgotten-bad-wrestling-angles
Feel free to comment and once again, thank you.