WWE: 10 Finishers That Will Never Be Used by Another Wrestler
A good finishing move can make or break a professional wrestler.
So vital is the ultimate move to a performer in modern wrestling that a wrestler's popularity can be either massively elevated or completely undermined by how over it is.
Of course, several different aspects make a finishing move good. The realism, the flashiness, the speed and power with which it is executed—all of these things are crucial to crafting an iconic finisher.
Some wrestlers get this process right; in fact, some get it so right that the finishing move becomes a massive part of their legacy, nearly as popular, if not more popular, than they are themselves. These finishers are rarely replicated, and some are so legendary that it is bad form for another wrestler to try.
Because certain finishers are so synonymous with a competitor and his legacy, it is inappropriate and unwise for a wrestler to adopt them, even after the original user has retired from active competition.
This is a list of such finishers.
Here are 10 finishing moves that other wrestlers will most likely never use again.
This move got bigger pops that some main eventers. Unreal.
It shouldn't be used now, and it should never be used again. Hopefully, it won't be.
This one is interesting, since Brock Lesnar is now much more associated with UFC than he is with WWE; a devastating move, one lucky wrestler could benefit from introducing it as his finisher.
Wade Barrett, hopefully you are reading this.
Figure-Four Leg Lock
Some (Shawn Michaels, Triple H) use it as a secondary move, but the Figure-Four is too associated with wrestling's forefront pioneer, Ric Flair, to be used as a finisher by anyone else.
Depending on his stature in WWE, CM Punk's relatively unique move could one day be the stuff of legend. He's already beaten the likes of John Cena with it, so it is on its way to iconic, untouchable status.
What a fun move this was. Could anyone perform this as their finisher? Like, literally, is anyone outside of Scotty 2 Hotty capable of the feats involved?
Anyway, they shouldn't try. It was a ridiculous move that worked in its time but would be as unwelcome as the Cobra now.
10. Attitude Adjustment
Few men have came back from John Cena's AA.
It is rare for a finishing move to be as synonymous with its wrestler as the Attitude Adjustment is with John Cena.
Despite its being decried by some as generic and, in reality, ineffectual, few wrestlers haven't been beaten by it at some point in their WWE careers.
One day, another wrestler may use the maneuver. But, until John Cena is no longer associated with WWE, which most likely won't be for a long time, this move will belong solely to "The Champ."
9. Sweet Chin Music
The greatest finisher of all time?
Certainly one of the most popular, if not the most popular, finishers in WWE history, the beauty of Sweet Chin Music was that it had the rare balance of being effective, looking painful, coming out of nowhere and getting fans on their feet.
People will recall for a long time how it floored the Undertaker, Triple H and especially Shelton Benjamin.
Again, no superstar will use it as a finishing move while Shawn Michaels is around, but the generic nature of the move means some wrestlers may use it in the near future, if only as a secondary maneuver.
8. Dudley Death Drop (3D)
"Two Dudley's, one Christian. Good night."
Either this or the Doomsday Device is the most celebrated tag-team finisher of all time.
It is no coincidence that the Dudley Boyz (Team 3D) used both of these moves, even if they did borrow the Device from the Road Warriors. Incidentally, both unions pretty much define the term "tag team" in professional wrestling.
The Dudley Death Drop, or 3D, is a move that looks devastating, and it isn't that hard to believe it could be delivered and keep someone down for a three count.
Add a wooden table to the scenario, and the move is all the more popular with wrestling fans.
It's not the Diamond Cutter. He swears.
At its best, this finisher is a work of art on Da Vinci levels of brilliance. At its worst, it's a work of art on Michelangelo levels of brilliance.
Randy Orton's inescapable finisher, the RKO, is perhaps the ultimate example of a finisher that comes out of nowhere. This has provided fans with some classic wrestling moments, such as Orton's mid-air delivery of the move on Evan Bourne.
Again, while Orton is around, no one is using the RKO.
After he leaves, the move will be so closely identified with him that most wrestlers would be too intimidated by his legend to use it.
6. Leg Drop
A finisher powered by all the "Hulkamaniacs".
What makes this move so special is the posturing that generally precedes it. In all honesty, few seasoned wrestling fans take the actual leg drop seriously as a maneuver.
When Hogan signals the crowd, though, they jump out of their seats in almost unrivaled fashion; this supposedly benefits the move—myth (WWE) has it that fans know it's fueled by the love of Hogan's fans.
Hulk Hogan is one of the two biggest stars in wrestling history. No one is about to use his finisher as their own; legends like Undertaker can use it as part of their repertoire, because it is a generic move, but they can't use it as a finisher.
619 is an equal opportunities finisher. Booyaka, booyaka.
Like the Leg Drop, few hard-core fans consider this a legitimate finishing move, though Rey Mysterio, despite his "Ultimate Underdog" gimmick, has defeated several larger athletes with it.
Frankly, this is just a demonstration of how unique a competitor Mysterio is and always has been.
That is why no one else will use it: Few could, and those that can wouldn't, in acknowledgement of Mysterio's status.
He may not be the biggest star in wrestling history, but he is the biggest cruiserweight star in North America.
4. The People's Elbow
The most electrifying move in sports entertainment.
Continuing the trend of finishing moves that aren't even remotely believable, The Rock's maneuver, named the People's Elbow, is similar to the leg drop. As Hogan's finisher is powered by the "Hulkamaniacs," The Rock's finisher is powered by "the millions" of his fans.
This move is so uniquely The Rock, a combined display of arrogance, humour and showmanship, that no one could ever hope to use it and be taken seriously. Frankly, it was only The Rock's star power that got it over in the first place.
If Heath Slater did this move, you wouldn't hear a pin drop, outside of the booming stampede created by a rioting crowd.
3. Tombstone Piledriver
Rest... in... peace!
Now, this is more like it. Is there a more devastating finisher in WWE history than the Tombstone Piledriver?
Arguable, but probably not.
People don't kick out of this. Unless it's Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 25 trying to force Undertaker's eyes to pop out of his head, people do not kick out of it.
It is basically the equivalent of its wrestler, Undertaker himself: the "most dangerous entity" to ever step foot in a wrestling ring.
The likelihood of anyone using this as a finisher in the near future is practically zero; even after Undertaker retires, no one will adopt the move as their own because he will no doubt return for one-off appearances where he delivers it to the latest arrogant heel.
It's defeated more wrestlers than perhaps any other move.
This move has obvious weaknesses: The Pedigree takes a long time to apply and execute, and there are simple ways to reverse it. People forgive that, though, because it looks so colossally painful.
As an increasingly intrinsic part of the business in a back-stage capacity, Triple H and WWE will be intertwined for a long time to come. This will afford The Game many opportunities post-retirement, as it has during his semi-retirement, to return for matches or appearances where he hits someone with the Pedigree.
With that in mind, and the fact that the move is so iconic, no one will use the Pedigree as their finisher any time soon.
1. Stone Cold Stunner
Arrive. Raise hell. Leave.
A move that will always be reserved for one man. A move portrayed by WWE as more devastating than any other.
The Stone Cold Stunner belongs to Stone Cold Steve Austin, and it will never be any other way.
Shawn Michaels. Undertaker. The Rock. Triple H. Kurt Angle. These and countless other WWE legends have fallen victim to the Rattlesnake and his incomparable finisher.
No one else could use this as a finisher, because it is the most popular in the history of wrestling. Not one move could ever get people to react like the Stunner. And it has felled so many icons of WWE that no one could use it as a believable secondary move either.
It is a move that will never again be used. Ever.
Have I missed any finishers? Do any of the finishers I've included not deserve to be on the list? If so, comment below with your own suggestions or contact me on Twitter.