RKO? Claymore Kick? Fans Pick the Best Finishing Moves in WWE, AEW Today
Welcome to the Bleacher Report pro wrestling mailbag.
The B/R community has always been outspoken, especially when it comes to opinions on pro wrestling and its biggest stars.
We will answer your questions and react to your hot takes about WWE, AEW and the world of pro wrestling.
This week's question: What is the best current finishing move in AEW and WWE? A lot of different moves were mentioned, but a few stood out as getting the most attention from the readers.
Check out what the B/R community thought.
"Curb Stomp. A move that can cause real damage." (@PJNothingman10)
"Curb Stomp." (@Br1cks)
The Curb Stomp is one of those moves that was actually banned for a short time because it was deemed too dangerous. While Rollins has since continued to employ the maneuver, it's easy to see why there was caution on management's part.
The move is heavily reliant on perfect timing between both the person hitting the move and the person receiving it. If they are one second off, somebody is getting their face smashed into the mat.
This move is viscerally disturbing for me sometimes because it always reminds me of a brutal scene from American History X.
When Edward Norton stomps a man's face into an actual curb in an act of violence that gets him sent to prison, it is done in such a convincing way that the moment sticks with you for years. The sound effects added to the realism.
Rollins is an incredibly talented performer who has been safe with the move, but the possibility of it going wrong is part of what makes it a realistic finisher.
"The correct answer is the RKO." (@Jefft2595)
"RKO easily." (@BigBlueD)
"RKO…outta nowhere." (@Password_Is_Taco)
The move I saw mentioned by more B/R readers than anything else was the RKO, and it's easy to see why.
The Viper has hit this move from every angle imaginable against opponents of all shapes and sizes. It doesn't matter if it's Matt Sydal coming off the top rope or Edge charging at him for a Spear. When he wants to, Orton can hit his finisher on anyone.
Of course, the RKO is rooted in the Diamond Cutter, which was made famous in the U.S. by Diamond Dallas Page. DDP gave Orton his blessing to use the move, and The Legend Killer has made it his own.
Even if you are not the biggest fan of Orton, it's hard not to get a little excited when he appears from off-screen to drop an unsuspecting rival on their face.
"Claymore Kick." (@TekNk)
"Claymore Kick. Brutal and effective when it’s hit." (@fcourtney27)
Drew McIntyre is a powerhouse who could use any kind of slam or a suplex as his finisher, but he chose to go with a running kick instead.
This is the one and only thing he has in common with Hulk Hogan. Why would the guy with the strongest pythons in the world use a leg drop as his finisher? It makes no sense.
While McIntyre would be just as successful with a powerbomb as his finisher, using a kick he can unleash at a moment's notice makes him appear slightly more dangerous than some other powerhouses.
The Claymore has proved to be a popular move with fans in the arena, especially when McIntyre lines it up and gives us a countdown before he hits it.
"Canadian Destroyer." (@Southcrack87)
"It’s overused now but I’ll always pop for the Canadian Destroyer." (@preyes86)
Trying to pinpoint who actually invented a move is difficult, but the person who popularized the Canadian Destroyer is definitely Petey Williams.
When Impact Wrestling was still known as TNA, Williams was an integral part of the X Division and one of the pioneers of the style used by other lightweight competitors in the company.
While the move looks impressive when performed right, it is also one of the most unrealistic finishers in the entire business. If you tried to hit this on somebody who didn't want to cooperate, you would most likely end up landing on the top of your head.
But that is part of the fun of pro wrestling. Nobody in their right mind would try to hit a moonsault, Spanish Fly or hurricanrana during a real fight. Moves like the Canadian Destroyer are what make this business entertaining.
"F-5 all day." (@EvDell)
"F-5 and Deadeye." (@dblofive)
Brock Lesnar is an absolute beast who could make any move look like a finisher, but using something that sets him apart has helped make him unique.
The F-5 is not a move that was common before he adopted it. It is just a variation of the fireman's carry slam, but the way he does it always looks great.
If he has a huge opponent, the move allows him to show off his power. If his opponent is on the lighter side, Lesnar can throw them up high and get a good spin before they land.
Arguably, the most iconic spot with this move was when he hit a third F-5 on The Undertaker before pinning him to end his WrestleMania undefeated streak.
"Coup de Grace." (@trout7154)
There is no way to hit this move without it hurting the opponent on the ground. When someone leaps off the top rope and lands on someone else with both feet, there is no amount of finesse that can make it land softly. It's one of the reasons why it's a great finisher.
It's only effective if you aim for the head.
"End of Days. So sick." (@purehitter6)
Agreed, hitter. Baron Corbin hits this move perfectly 99 out of 100 times. He makes it look good while making sure he safely plants his opponent on their back. He doesn't get enough credit for how good he is in the ring.
"The Buckshot Lariat. It's simple but Hangman makes it look so nice." (@Trevor10)
Adam Page has made this move into an instant crowd pop. What's funny is it's both flashy and kind of makes sense. The slingshot over the top rope adds momentum so when he hits it, the impact is huge. Even JBL would be impressed with this clothesline.
"Lockjaw by DMD." (@cpbroncos)
As someone who hates when anyone puts their hands near my mouth, this move makes me wince a little. That's a good thing, but if Britt Baker ever starts using a dirty sock to apply the move, I am out of here.
"The roll-up." (@Im2122)
It's the most dangerous move in history. The roll-up is responsible for more titles changing hands than any other maneuver in professional wrestling. Every Superstar fears it.