Craig Wilson, John Carbery, Jamie Lithgow and Brian Damage
Before an era when finishing moves are regularly kicked out of, they used to be the go-home move that would bring an end to a match. Some moves looked absolutely devastating whilst others, well, didn’t. It is those latter finisher and signature moves that are the focus of this Top Five piece.
5. Santino Marella’s Cobra Strike: Santino Marella was, at times, a hugely entertaining character. You could tell he was popular amongst the rest of the roster and his elimination from the Rumble in quick time will always be something that will bring a smile to the faces of wrestlers and fans alike. However, his finisher certainly would never strike fear into the heart of his opponents. Laced with theatrics, Marella would throw a sock over his arm before jabbing his hand into his opponent’s throat with the ‘Cobra Strike’.
4. Battle Kat’s Feline Antics: What even is this?! It looks at first like Battle Kat – what a terrible, terrible name and gimmick – botches a Lou Thesz press but instead that’s it. That’s the finisher. It’s like a crap crossbody block. That, the look, the in-ring mannerisms and the name probably all contributed to this gimmick not getting over eh?
3. Eva Marie’s Sliding Reverse STO: What even is this move. It looks like she’s slides across the mat towards an opponent, playfully grabs then and drags them down on top of her for a hug. I can imagine Corey Graves would enjoy such a thing, as would millions of others, I just can’t really work out how it would win a math…
2. Bastion Booger’s Trip To the Bat Cave: Poor Mike Shaw, the woeful Friar Ferguson gimmick followed up quickly with this mess. And what about his ‘Trip to the Bat Cave’ finisher, it appears that instead of hurting his opponent, he’s merely sitting on his face. Don’t get me wrong, am not suggesting that’s pleasant merely that it’s not the sort of thing that would knock an opponent out. Well, maybe it could I guess, depending on how long the match lasted…
1. Yeti’s Yeti Hug: More like dry humping rather than finishing move, it’s really difficult to look beyond this one to top the list. There is so, so much criticism that you can fairly level at Yeti. A dreadful gimmick, a hopeless look and this disgrace of a finisher. In fact, have we worked out yet why his attire was that of a mummy rather than a Yeti? And to think, Ron Reis was the seventh tallest wrestling in the sport’s history. You’d think you’d be able to do more with him than this gimmick and part of Raven’s flock…
5. MVP’s Playmaker: MVP would put his leg around the back of his opponents head, kindly offering much needed protection and would then force them to fall over from a height of about 1ft gently to the mat below. At least no one got hurt.
4. The Rock’s The People’s Elbow: This should never have been a finisher. It should’ve been only reserved for a mid match pop. But finish matches it did. Its an elbow drop from a standing position.
3. Scotty 2 Hotty’s The Worm: The part about the Worm that really irked me as how powerful it made Scotty Too Hotty’s bulldog look. He’d do a bulldog and his opponent would have to lie supine for up to a minute as Scotty danced around the ring and karate chopped the air. Very over yes but utterly ridiculous.
2. Great Khali’s Head Chop: I can only imagine how embarrassing this must have been to sell. Khali couldn’t connect a convincing blow to anybody during a match let alone at the finish of one. He usually missed by about a foot too, I guess it was the breeze generated by his swing that felled so many opponents.
1. Mankind’s Socko Claw: The Mandible Claw was already suspect enough. Mankind would put his fingers in his opponents mouth and hurt them so much nobody ever thought to simply bite down on the digits of their attacker. But when Foley then started pulling a sweatsock over his hand and doing it things got somehow even more ridiculous. He would incapacitate opponents by putting a sock in their mouth. Try explaining that one to your friends who think wrestling is dumb
5. The Bossman Slam: It’s a Sidewalk Slam with a spin, and it exposes the business! Even as a kid I thought this moved look more fun that anything else. You run into the Bossman arms, he cradles you, spins around a little and drops you on the mat from half the height of a basic body slam. Even at 8 years old I fancied my chances of kicking out of this move.
4. All of John Cena’s Signature Moves: I don’t want to knock Cena, because by and large I’ve enjoyed his matches over the last two or three years. That said, his signature moves range from confusing to shit to borderline good fun. Worse still, they expose the business! The STF is confusing because I still don’t know what it is; it can’t be a choke and nobody ever goes to sleep in it. He has occasionally locked his hands over his opponent’s face, thus making a crossface, but for the most part he concentrates on the neck region. Is the pain derived from the leg grapevine thing he does then? But nobody ever sells the legs. The Five Knuckle Shuffle is shit, I think we all agree on that. Now for his Attitude Adjustment, which looks like one of the first moves a trainee wrestler will learn to take. It’s a flat back bump no different to the humble suplex or bodyslam.
3. The Rock’s People’s Elbow: Rocky’s elbow exposes the business! At least The Worm had a choke that looked relatively painful and the Five Knuckle Shuffle might be sore depending on where Cena’s fist lands; Rocky’s elbow barely ever touched his opponents though. Oh well, at least it wasn’t used to win the WWE Title…
2. Warrior’s Splash: Much as I loved Warrior, his finisher exposed the business! At least Hogan’s leg was big and Macho Man’s elbow looked awesome. Warrior was not a big fat guy and his splash could have been easily confused for him just falling over. Fat guy does a splash, I get it, jacked up muscle guy does a splash… why?
1. Randy Orton’s Punt: Try kicking a ball the way Orton used to kick his opponents. Your foot will likely move more than the ball. I get that Orton didn’t follow through in his punts to protect his opponent, but it looked shit and exposed the business! A rule of thumb in wrestling should be that if the safe version of a move can’t pass for possibly being real then don’t do it. Thankfully Teddy Long banned it, before booking the punt into a tag match
5. The Great Khali Head Chop: I could understand a giant like Khali hurting someone with a vicous chop to the head….but Khali use to do it in slow motion that it probably couldn’t hurt a fly when it finally connected.
4. Rey Mysterio Frog Splash: No Offense to Rey, but he is so small that even if he climbed the Empire State Building…I’d doubt his frog splash would do any significant damage to anyone.
3. The Miz’s Skull Crushing Finale: Sure, a reversed Russian leg sweep should be able to knock the wind out of an opponent, but the Miz has a more devastating move that isn’t his finisher that looks like it could really do damage and that is his abbreviated DDT.
2. Scotty Too Hotty’s The Worm: I mean…what the heck does it really do? Sure it was flashy, but ultimately it was just a double chop to the head.
1. Santino Marella’s Cobra: Silly plain and simple.
You can read all previous Top Five pieces here.