B. Dangerous and Brian Damage
Piggybacking from last week’s top five on tag team finishers…this week’s top five will be favorite finishing maneuvers from singles wrestlers. What are your top five all time finishers in pro wrestling from an individual star?
Ah, yes. The great Finisher debate continues. This is something that, over the years, I’ve probably thought far too much about.
It would almost be easier to make a list of least favorite Finishers because of how gloriously pathetic some are. But, nonetheless… here’s my Top 5:
5- The Snare Trap (Jungle Boy)
It takes a lot for modern wrestling to really impress me, but with Jungle Boy’s work ethic, I feel like I’m seeing something special. Add in a very solid Finisher in the Snare Trap and he’s actually quite impressive.
The Snare Trap is essentially a variation of the STF, but unlike John Cena’s, it looks like it may hurt.
4- The Lariat (Stan Hansen)
Stan Hansen is built like a bull… a relatively blind one at that. When he charges his opponent with The Lariat it legitimately looks like it could leave them in traction. Just ask Bruno Sammartino about its effectiveness.
3- The Human Torture Rack (Lex Luger)
I’m a Lex Luger mark, I must admit. From the time he entered JCP, he was my favorite heel.
His Human Torture Rack always impressed me. It just looked like it was doing exactly what the name indicated and what is more villainous than to torture someone?
2- Piledriver (Jerry Lawler)
Maybe you know this or maybe you don’t… The Piledriver was legitimately banned in the state of Tennessee several decades ago. It was viewed as intent to harm.
As such, when Lawler would perform the move, it was considered dastardly as it was a criminal act. Clearly it was more of a “Blue Law” than an enforceable law, but it still made for great angles. This is also why, in the early days of the USWA, Lawler would end his matches in Texas with The Piledriver, but in Tennessee he’d use the Diving Fist Drop.
Lawler had some competition for best Piledriver in the business, but to me, along with the legality matter, his seemed the most dangerous.
1- Figure Four Leglock (Ric Flair)
Remember what I said about villains and torture? Here you go. A primary example. Not to mention that the Figure Four was a great heel move as you could allegedly intensify the hold with leverage from either grabbing the ropes or having your hands pulled by a manager or partner. The physics isn’t really there, but c’mon… it’s pro wrestling.
Iron Claw (Von Erichs/Baron Von Raschke)
DDT (Jake Roberts)
The Heart Punch (Ox Baker)
The Canadian Destroyer – Petey Williams
The Canadian Destroyer has been used a lot during a particular sequence in a match, but I loved the innovator of the move Petey Williams who did it as a finisher.
The DDT – Jake Roberts
I realize that nowadays, the maneuver has been overused and done not so much as a finisher, but as a part of a sequence of moves. Wrestlers usually now kick out of the DDT, but back when Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts did it…it was lights out…match over. Roberts version of the DDT might seem tame to how wrestlers do it now from the top rope or spinning in the air…but for my money, Jake’s DDT is still the very best.
The Emerald Flowsion – Mitsuharu Misawa
The late Mitsuharu Misawa’s finisher called the Emerald Flowsion looked impressive and devastating. Definitely up there with the all time finishing maneuvers.
The Perfect Plex – Curt Hennig
The Perfect Plex was just a basic fisherman’s suplex, but the way Curt Hennig performed it with such accuracy, precision and well…perfection…..made this a top finishing maneuver for me.
The Piledriver – Paul Orndorff
I will agree with B. Dangerous that the piledriver should be in any top five for finishing maneuvers just for it’s pure devastation and really because it isn’t used as much anymore. He used Jerry Lawler as his wrestler to use it. I, on the other hand, select Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff’s version. While extremely similar, I just thought Orndorff executed it a little bit better.
4 thoughts on “Top Five Favorite Finishers from Singles Stars”
1. Bret Hart-Sharpshooter
2. KENTA-Running Knee/GTS
3. Stone Cold Steve Austin-Stone Cold Stunner
4. Diamond Dallas Page-Diamond Cutter
5. Jake “the Snake” Roberts-DDT
6. “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff-Piledriver (a work of art)
7. Eddie Guerrero-Frogsplash
8. Curt Henning-Perfect Plex
9. Shawn Michaels-Sweet Chin Music
10. AJ Styles-Styles Clash
Honorable Mentions: CM Punk-GTS, Bryan Danielson-Running Knee, Undertaker-Tombstone Piledriver/Last Ride, the Rock-Rock Bottom, Mick Foley-Double-Armed DDT/Mandible Claw, Trish Stratus-Stratusfaction, AJ Lee-Widow’s Peak submission, Lita-Moonsault, Booker T-Bookend, Sting-Scorpion Death Drop, Vader-Vader-Bomb, Stan Hansen-Lariat and Scott Hall/Razor Ramon-Razor’s Edge
1. Kenny Omega-One-Winged Angel
2. Tetsuya Naito-Destino
3. Jon Moxley-Paradigm Shift/Death Rider
4. Darby Allin-Coffin Drop
5. Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D.-Lock-jaw
6. Kazuchika Okada-Rainmaker
7. Minoru Suzuki-Gotch Piledriver
8. Thunder Rosa-Peruvian Death-lock
9. Tay Conti-DDTay
10. Jungle Boy-the Snare Trap
There’s a lot of talent that are creating some new finishers in AEW and New Japan as there’s too many I can’t remember right now. At least they’re trying to do something unique and get them over.
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There can be only one. The Burning Hammer. Especially the earliest ones. When Kobashi hit those, it literally looked like his opponents were going to be dead.
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These are great.
I’m going to go with
Nature Boy and the figure four
Macho Man and the flying elbow
While not a big fan but respect longevity and is a great performer, but sweet chin music. HBK could energize the crowd either way when he stomped his foot
Sling shot suplex (Tully or Eddie Gilbert)
Nikita Koloff russian sickle
Been watching since 83, will go with those I’ve seen regularly
Paul Orndorff – Piledriver
Petey Williams – Canadian Destroyer
Scott Steiner – Frankensteiner
DDP – Diamond cutter
Goldberg – jackhammer
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