Power Ranking the WWE Superstars with the Best Clotheslines Today
As brutish as a clothesline is, it becomes a work of art when delivered by WWE Superstars like Ryback and Luke Harper.
It's not a complex art form, but in its simplicity, in its stunning violence, it makes one marvel. The move is a basic one that every wrestler knows and uses. Done by the best, it forces a fan to gasp, to rewind.
One good measure of how devastating a clothesline is involves listening for how thrilled John "Bradshaw" Layfield gets calling it. He made that weapon his signature, whipping his arm across the chests of his foes. In today's WWE, he has plenty of opportunities to get excited about seeing others execute a move he was famous for.
The current roster's best clothesline-issuers are ranked here based on how much impact their version of the move has and how crisply it is delivered. Adding one's own style awards one bonus points.
And for the purpose of this discussion, the lariat is going to be lumped in with the clothesline. They're essentially brothers anyway.
- Brock Lesnar
Natalya's foes have to watch out for her clothesline. Not only does she gain momentum for it by spinning where she stands, but she often puts some extra oomph into it.
Compared to her female peers, hers is the hardest, the one that most looks like it takes away an opponent's breath.
That's enough to get her an honorable mention, but her male counterparts have more violent renditions of the clothesline. A part of that is that the Divas aren't asked to be as physical as the Superstars.
Lesnar's clothesline, like everything he does in the ring, is powerful. Being a freak of an athlete and among the most powerful men on the roster make it no surprise that his version of the move is notable.
It's not a move that he makes as eye-catching as he does others. His powerbomb and German suplex are just plain nasty. His clothesline, meanwhile, isn't as hard-hitting as those from men such as Cesaro.
7. Roman Reigns
What Roman Reigns lacks in brute force, he makes up for in athleticism and explosiveness.
The majority of his move set feels like it was plucked out of a scene in a comic book. That's true for his clothesline as well.
He dashes at his foe before leaping above him, his arm out, ready to clobber someone.
The jumping element of his clothesline is fun and gets him past Brock Lesnar's stiffer version. There is just not enough impact on it generally to get it any higher on the list. Other Superstars wail on their enemies harder than Reigns does.
6. Triple H
Triple H, a man who has often said he knows and respects wrestling's history, has a very classic version of the clothesline.
There is no added flair to it. It's the standard edition of the move that has been commonplace in wrestling rings for years.
His execution of the move makes it worth noting, however.
Triple H's clothesline, like much of his offense, is crisp. He hits it with the kind of precision that would make Bret Hart proud.
He hits it hard enough to add realism to the match but not enough to compete with the heavy-handed men that make up the rest of this list.
Cesaro's offense is a marriage of mat wrestling and knock-your-teeth-out brawling. That's evident in his delivery of the clothesline.
While not as thunderous as his trademark European uppercut, it's plenty damaging.
After drumming his arm against his opponent's chest, he often falls forward. That's a welcome touch that makes the move feel bigger and more significant.
After seeing him leave an imprint on a man's torso, it's hard to imagine anyone hitting it with more ferocity. That is, until you see The Big Guy knock someone senseless.
Ryback works a stiff style overall. He doesn't do refined; he does smashmouth.
His clothesline is one of his signature weapons. His version, which he calls the Meat Hook, sees him rev up his arm in the corner before charging at his opponent. Those touches help make it feel like a more significant move and more memorable as well.
The impact he hits it with is among the hardest you will see in WWE today.
No one is going to call Ryback crisp or precise, though. That applies to his clothesline, which isn't always as exact as you'd like to see. His inconsistent execution keeps him out of the highly competitive top three.
Plus, he isn't the only guy flattening folks with the move.
3. Luke Harper
The comparisons between Bruiser Brody and Luke Harper go beyond their girth and their beards. Harper seemingly studied tapes of Brody in action to learn how to knock foes over.
The big bruiser's finisher is the eye-catching discus clothesline.
It's fun to watch, both during Harper's gathering of centrifugal force and then when he unloads on whoever has the misfortune of being on the other side of the blow. He's consistent with it as well, having it feel like a home run every time out.
It's a nasty move in his hands, one that has sent Layfield into a fit of excitement several times.
One WWE Superstar is even more forceful with his version. Another has made the move a mighty unique one.
2. Bray Wyatt
Bray Wyatt seems pissed off when he hits a clothesline. He runs hard and hits harder, swinging his arm around like he's knocking a fastball out of the park.
There isn't much in the way of creativity here. There are no theatrics—just brute force.
It's hard to imagine anyone outdoing Ryback and Luke Harper in terms of ferocity when it comes to a clothesline, but Wyatt routinely does. He adds an edge to that move, as he does so many others.
There's nothing to nitpick about it, either. Wyatt is on point with the blow each time out. Only a masterwork of a clothesline keeps him out of the top spot.
1. Dean Ambrose
The majority of the men on this list are bigger and stronger than Dean Ambrose. The clothesline is usually associated with bruisers going back to the days of Nikita Koloff and The Road Warriors.
Ambrose, though, has mastered the move and made it his own.
His version is a ricochet of sorts. After getting struck by his opponent, he falls into the ring ropes and then springs up, ready to strike. These additions make the move more exciting.
The execution doesn't disappoint either. He doesn't quite get the impact Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper do, but as we have seen through many of his matches, his clothesline is a pounding hammer.
His version is both precise and violent to an unsettling degree, the best one going in the WWE today.