In the large world of professional wrestling, there have been many personalities. From “Stone Cold” Steve Austin to John Cena, these larger than life personas have captivated audiences for years. One of the things that have helped to make these legends as memorable as they are, outside of the character work, is each wrestler’s finisher.
Everyone knows of the “Rock Bottom”, the “Jackhammer”, and the “RKO”, and can associate them with the wrestler who performs them as they are maneuvers that are both effective and fit the wrestler in question to a “T”. Yet for every memorable finisher that can be used to finish opponents, there exist some that are, quite frankly, just awful.
This is especially true in today’s WWE landscape, where everything the superstars do is micro-managed down to the smallest detail. As a result, recent years has seen some of the worst of the worst when it comes to wrestling finishers, and today we will be taking a look at some of the most boring or ineffective maneuvers that the WWE superstars of today have to offer.
Naomi: Rear View
I hate to start this list by picking on the “Queen of Glow”, especially considering that she has been one of the most improved wrestlers since starting her career in WWE as a Funkadactyl. But let’s face it: Naomi’s “Rear View” is one of the worst, and weakest, looking finishers in the ring today.
The move consists of Naomi jumping into the air as her opponent is rebounding off the ropes and smashing her butt in their face. While I can see while this could certainly be an annoyance to an opponent, it is hard to believe that anyone could conceivably be knocked out for the 3-count from a butt-bump.
Naomi is capable of so much more in the ring than this weak-looking move, and the move seems to be more an excuse to draw attention to Naomi’s physical assets more than her ring work. Here’s hoping that this is something that can eventually be changed in the future.
Roman Reigns: Superman Punch
While Roman’s Spear certainly deserves mentioning, especially considering the fact that several WWE superstars have used the move better as a finisher, the Spear has proven a more than effective weapon in the past and is more believable as a finisher.
The Superman Punch, however, just seems ludicrous.
The maneuver is essentially just a jumping punch that, for all intents and purposes, seems a bit on the light side compared to strikes performed by some other wrestlers. This move looks even weaker when he uses it to hit multiple wrestlers at once, where it seems that the grappler at the tail end of the move got hit more by a swift breeze than a punch.
The Superman Punch is, simply put, a way for WWE to drive the point home that Roman Reigns is indeed “Superman”, a tactic that leaves a sour taste in more than a few fan’s mouths.
Sami Zayn: Helluva Kick
Sami sure has had a rough run in the WWE since his days as El Generico on the independent circuit. After winning the NXT Championship, Sami lost the title in his first defense to long-time friend and rival Kevin Owens and was shipped to the main WWE roster shortly after. Since then he has had injuries as well as been used as a glorified punching-bag for many other competitors. To top it all off, the “Underdog from the Underground” has been saddled with one of the dumbest moves in WWE today with the Helluva Kick.
Don’t get me wrong, this move can conceivably be effective (I mean, it is a boot to the face of already dazed opponent). The problem is that the move is something that we have seen in many wrestler’s repertoires prior to Sami Zayn, and never has it been used as a move that can put an opponent away. As a result, the move creates a bit of a disconnect with the fans, especially those that are aware of Zayn’s more diverse and impactful move set that he used on the indy circuit.
Rusev: The Accolade
The Iron Shiek. Muhammad Hassan. Rusev. What do all these wrestlers have in common? Not only have they all been saddled with a “foreign heel” gimmick, but they all have used the Camel Clutch as their finishing maneuver.
If you are supposed to be a foreign, anti-American villain, then having the Camel Clutch in your move set seems like a must, at least in the minds of WWE Creative. This is why Rusev had to adopt the move himself (calling it the Accolade).
While the Accolade isn’t too bad of a finisher, it has been done to death in the WWE and other promotions, which makes Rusev’s version of the move all-the-less special. Factor in the fact that there are many better-looking submissions being performed by other members of the current roster (such as A.J. Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura), and the Accolade just seems a bit lazy and boring.
Seth Rollins: King’s Landing
I don’t think the problem with Seth Rollins’ King’s Landing finisher is the move itself: a high-knee to the face of his opponent. This could convincingly knock out many unsuspecting people. Despite this, there are many factors at work outside the maneuver that make it a little lame.
First is the name: King’s Landing, which is a move that is used by a man who calls himself the “King Slayer”. We get it, Seth, you like Game of Thrones. It doesn’t make the move seem cooler, it just makes the wrestler in question seem like a giant nerd. It would be like a Final Fantasy fan naming his finisher the “One-Winged Angel”. (Oh, wait… that is a thing).
But the second thing that works against Seth here with the King’s Landing is that it is a bit lack-luster compared to his other two finishers. Compared to two moves in the Curb Stomp and Pedigree that drives the opponents head into the mat, a knee strike to the face just seems kind of… meh. Maybe I’m just being a little nit-picky here though.
Drew McIntyre: Claymore
Speaking of wrestlers that have had better finishers, we come to the former “Chosen One”, Drew McIntyre.
When he was first inside a WWE ring, McIntyre had not only one of the best entrance songs around (“Broken Dreams” anybody?), but also one of the best versions of the double arm DDT with the Future Shock. While the move has been done in different variations before, McIntyre did it with a crispness and fluidity that made the move look awesome.
Now “The Chosen One”, upon his return to NXT, has adopted the Claymore. This move is essentially a dropkick/big boot combo move that, while sold amazingly by his opponents, just doesn’t seem to have the same kind of impact as the Future Shock did. Hopefully once drew has been called back to the main roster he can put this move behind him like he did his days in 3MB.
Alexa Bliss: DDT
When Jake “The Snake” Roberts used the DDT as his finisher it was unlike any move seen before: a maneuver that drives an opponent flat on top of their head with little to no chance for escape. Since then this move has seemed to become less effective, being used as part of many wrestler’s repertoires and adopting many variations, such as the Tornado DDT and the Brainbuster.
So when this move is being used in 2017 by someone such as Alexa Bliss as a finisher, the move seems to be a lot less impressive. Sure, it is still the same move that used to put people away back in the 80s, but it is hard to convince the audience that the move can still win championships when every Tom, Dick, and Alexa is doing the move now.
Dean Ambrose: Rebound Clothesline
The shield is 3-for-3 when it comes to terrible finishing moves, this time it is Dean Ambrose with his Rebound Clothesline. While it can be argued that this move is rarely, if ever, used to finish off opponents, it is one of Dean’s signatures and it looks ridiculous.
The setup for the move sees Ambrose partially falling out of the ring through the middle rope, only to bounce back and hit his opponent with a Clothesline. While this move looked okay the first few times it was performed, the move has got increasingly sloppy in execution, and the setup just seems ridiculous, especially when Dean sets the move up without being thrown into the ropes.
While Dean’s other signature move, the Dirty Deeds, can be seen as a cheap attempt to make Ambrose into the next Mick Foley, it at least looks effective. The Rebound Clothesline, however, just seems awkward and silly.
Mojo Rawley: Corner Forearm
When it comes to lazy finishing moves, few are lazier than the Corner Forearm performed by former New England Patriot, Mojo Rawley. This move sees Mojo running his forearm into the face of an opponent that is propped against the corner turnbuckle.
This type of move barely seems like something that would set-up a bigger move, let alone something designed to finish an opponent off. Plus, the Corner Forearm somehow comes across as weak, with other strike-based moves looking as if they have a lot more impact.
Simply put, the Corner Forearm is a boring finishing move that does not pump up the crowd, which is a bad thing when you are a superstar that is supposed to “Stay Hyped”.
Dolph Ziggler: Sleeper Hold
It’s a Sleeper Hold. That is pretty much all I have to say about Dolph Ziggler’s finishing submission, but I guess I need to go into more detail than that.
Ziggler is one heck of a wrestler, with a wide range of moves that he can perform and an ability to sell his opponent’s offense like no one’s business. So the fact that he uses a move as simple as the Sleeper Hold, a move that has been part of literally thousands of wrestler’s move sets, to finish off opponents is almost insulting.
Granted, Ziggler does not use the move nearly as much as he used to a year or two ago, but the fact remains that Dolph still uses one of the most basic and boring submission holds as a finisher. In 2017, it seems the only people truly going to sleep with the Sleeper Hold is the audience themselves.
Enzo Amore: Jawdonzo
Let’s face it: Enzo Amore is not the best wrestler in the world. His move set is fairly limited and, while he can be good on the mic, he can be a bit annoying to both fans and the wrestlers backstage. So, in that regard, a finishing move as painfully simple as the Jawdonzo fits Amore quite well.
That isn’t to say that it is still not one of the best finishers around. The Jawdonzo is a take on the move “Eat Defeat”, which sees a wrestler drag their opponent by the arm into their foot. While this seems effective enough, it has been pulled off much better by other wrestlers such as Gail Kim and Xavier Woods, and it is not the flashiest of finishing moves around. While it fits a wrestler such as Enzo who is all flash and no sizzle, it is still an underwhelming finisher.
Braun Strowman: Running Powerslam
Trust me when I say that the Running Powerslam, when performed by Braun Strowman, is effective and looks painful. It is a move that, for all intents and purposes, works for the “Monster Among Men”, and makes him look strong.
That said, is this really that great of a finishing move? The Running Powerslam has been used by nearly every “big man” wrestler in existence, from buffed out guys like The Ultimate Warrior to giants like Kane. So when Braun gets stuck with the move as his finisher, it feels like it is less special because it has already been done to death.
While it can be worse (at least he isn’t yet another Chokeslam user), it seems a bit lazy to give Braun Strowman such an overused maneuver. I feel like, for a “Monster Among Men”, he could do so much better.
Big Show: WMD
Big Show has done a lot more in his WWE career then most people will ever seem to give him credit for. He has been a mainstay in the company for nearly 20 years (not counting random hiatus), has done nearly everything that has been asked of him no matter how ridiculous, and has established himself as one of the most memorable big men in the business. Even with all the accolades, however, no one would ever accuse Big Show of being one of the most versatile men in the ring.
This is especially true with Show’s WMD finisher. It’s a punch to the head. That’s all.
While Big Show doesn’t need anything flashy to stand out in the ring, this move is one that is a basic maneuver in nearly every wrestling match, which makes the WMD seem unimpressive, to say the least.
While Bayley was one of the most over wrestlers in the NXT Women’s division, every week Bayley seems to lose more and more fans since coming to the main roster. While this is due in part to WWE creative’s terrible handling of her character, another large part of the problem comes from her finisher: the Bayley-to-Belly.
The Belly-to-Belly Suplex is wrestling 101, and is not only used in professional wrestling but is also a key move in amateur wrestling as well. This move is one that has been seen literally millions of times and has long-ago been written off as a basic wrestling move, so it is not that convincing when Bayley uses it as a finisher, and no amount of cute puns (Bayley-to-belly. Get it?) can change that fact.
Jack Gallagher: Corner Dropkick
Anyone remember “Gentleman” Jack Gallagher? He’s that goofy fellow that is in the Cruiserweight division that carries the umbrella like Mary Poppins. Still don’t remember him?
While most casual fans may not remember Gallagher as more than cannon fodder during the 2017 Royal Rumble, this “Gentleman” actually is one hell of a wrestler. You may never be able to tell by his finisher, however, which is a simple Dropkick to his opponent on the turnbuckle.
This is a move that has been done so many times over the years that it can be easy to forget that it is actually a wrestler’s finisher, let alone when that wrestler is relegated to the shadows of 205 Live. So you can be forgiven if the name “Gentleman” Jack Gallagher doesn’t exactly ring a bell.