Finishing Moves
April 11, 2005 by Ben Chapman

When you're watching WWE and you see the match ends with a clean pin and no interference, you like to have seen a convincing finishing move put into practice so that the win seems justified. But one of the biggest problems in the WWE these days are the moves that we are being expected to swallow as finishers. Let's face it; when Taker hits the tombstone it's convincing. I know a lot of you are going to point out Hogan's leg drop as a poor finisher but the leg drop puts some of the newer finishers of today to shame. Never was this more obvious than when William Regal won a tag match on RAW with a running knee. Even watching it on TV you could hear that the crowd were less than impressed.

Here are the moves I feel are the least convincing;

John Cena's FU: When Cena first showed his face in WWE fresh out of OVW, he was sporting an FU slam that took him hard to the mat as well as his opponent. It wasn't too bad. Since then his mic skills seem to have taken precedence and the FU seems to take less effort and is looking worse every time he uses it. He no longer goes to ground with his opponent and the FU is seriously over-sold.

Mark Jindrak's left hook: This is still wrestling isn't it" Not boxing" I thought Taker was always the one who could "throw hands"" What the hell is Mark Jindrak doing beating the lower half of the SmackDown! card with a simple left hook" This is quite possibly the worst attempt at a finisher ever, especially for a bigger guy who is quite athletic.

Chris Master and the Masterlock: OK, this move looks fine when he's on Heat crushing and overpowering a tiny local Indy worker but can anybody really picture Triple H or Batista tapping out to the Masterlock" If this guy is a "muscular masterpiece" why not give him a powerful finisher to rival the Batista Bomb"

JBL's Clothesline from Hell: Sure it looks like massive impact but it's just an over sold clothesline. Just watch Batista on RAW, he does a few big clotheslines every week that are much better then JBL's and he rarely even attempts a cover from them.

Scotty 2 Hotty's The Worm/Bulldog: The worm is a great move for crowd involvement but it should never end a match. Plus the number of superstars who have been known to use the bulldog is great and I can't recall too many trying to pass it off as a finisher.

Heidenreich's Shoulder Breaker: Firstly I would like to say that I think Heidenreich looks horrible in the ring and he has no place going one-on-one with Booker T, yet alone Undertaker. The shoulder breaker is just another move for isolating a certain area of the body and targeting it. Also when he executes it, it looks just as horrible as the rest of his work.

Eugene's Impersonations: The whole concept of Eugene mimicking his favourite wrestlers was one thing but using his half-assed attempts at the Rock Bottom, Stunna and Pedigree as finishing moves to defeat respectable opponents is laughable and really hard to watch.

The WWE is about wrestling. Sure its got interviews, girls in bikinis and other forms of entertainment but the wrestling should come first and that means when we get a match with a clean finish from a superstars finisher it should be a good one

by Ben Chapman..

Bill Tyrrell wrote:
I am going to comment on all of the moves you listed, but first obviously you didn't hear the crowd's reaction when Regal did the running knee, because if you have been kneed in the side of the head, it hurts bad, and I would think if you hit someone hard enough, it is probably going to knock them out.

John Cena's FU:This is a great move, and the fans love it, and cheer everytime he does it, so therefore, he is going to keep it how it is.

Mark Jindrak's left hook:Just like Regal's knee lift only being punched in the head hurts a lot more.

Chris Masters and the Masterlock:Another very powerful move, and he they are only selling Master's great strength, and I can assure that he won't have that move very often, once he gets better in the ring.

JBL's Clothesline from Hell:I personally love this move, I love it when JBL just explodes at his opponent with the Clothesline from Hell, and it is just entertaining to watch run somebody over.

Scotty 2 Hotty's The Worm/Bulldog:Yeah your right about this one, completely useless, and should have it changed immediately.

Heidenreich's Shoulder Breaker:Another great finisher for a big guy, not sure why, but I love always loved this move, even back when Papa Shango did it.

Eugene's Impersonations:I am worried about them dropping his stupid retard gimmick, and letting this guy wrestle, because he is amazing.
Eroslevel6 wrote:
Amen brother. The WWE and its "careful" approach to wrestling gave us some easily forgettable and unconvincing finishers. You were right on the money with the ones you mentioned, but I'm gonna add a few. First off, Jericho's "modification" to the Walls. He had a unique hold and for whatever reason he turned it into the common boston crab. I'm a huge Jericho fan, and I'm sorry to see it go. Also, there's Hassan's face-to-the-ground thing, Benjamin's cute little "powerslam" (or t-bone as JR incorrectly calls it), Tomko's "big boot" (real original), Maven's "I'm gonna jump real high so it's gonna hurt more" dropkick, Suzuki's elementary judo trip (which learned within the first month of taking judo), Dupree's Michinoku/Juvi/SeenItBefore Driver and Steven Richards' "Stevie Kick". Now I know tons of people who can't think of a finisher use the superkick and personalize it, but in Shawn Michaels' defense, his charisma made the "Chin Music" into a big deal. But I think its time for the WWE to get a little creative. If not, at least make the common maneuver LOOK convincing. Kane's chokeslam is so lame, it's obvious from his hand on the "victim's" back that he's doing his best to break their fall, whereas Vader's powerbomb made people cringe from just looking at it. I think with matches as short as they are, and with so much filler they should make the 2-3 minute matches full of impressive displays of skill instead of whatever it is they call wrestling these days.
Rhey Higgins wrote:
Don't forget the RKO...that's a pretty lame finisher too. I agree with the F-U, too (but then again, there's nothing about Cena I DON'T hate!). But enough with the crappy finishers...what about the good finishers" My personal favouries include: The Pedigree, The Lion Tamer (it's not too bad as The Walls, but it was way better as the Lion Tamer), Hassan's Camel Clutch, Maven's Chinlock Bacbreaker (OUCH!!!), The Stone Cold Stunner, The Tombstone Piledriver, ANY Chokeslam, almost any finisher in TNA (Canadian Destroyer, anyone"), and, my absolute favourite, Luther Reigns' Testdrive (which puts Tests' Testdrive to shame, no")
Curtis McLean wrote:
The WWE has killed many things in the last "era", but nothing pissed me off more then the tag division, the cruiser division and the finishers. Ben named a few, but I have more.

Reign of Terror: Reigns is a big guy, but his wussified Roll of the Dice is...not convincing in the least bit.

RKO: I'm sorry, it's not devastating, it's old and we've seen it your years.

The Walls: This was an awesome WCW, not its not even good enough to be a Boston Crab!

Edge's Spear: So you want me to believe people can kick out of a former NFL players gore, and not this scrawny guys Spear"

Exploder: It's a suplex still, nothing more.
Ben Quan wrote:
I have to agree with you in regards to some of the finishing moves that some of the WWE wrestlers do. Some wrestlers are known for their finishing moves and will stick with it until the day they die.

Macho Man Randy Savage - Flying Elbow
Taker - Tombstone Piledriver
Stone Cold - Stunner
etc... etc...

As for your comments on someone like John Cena, all I have to say is THANK YOU and SOMEBODY has finally noticed that his FU is just well... CRAP!!! All he does is just throwing someone off his shoulders, sure the person is weighing like 250+ lbs but atleast make it look interesting.
Antonio Figueroa wrote:
I agree with most of these, but there are 2 I disagree with. first off, the F-U. Yes, it is seriously oversold, however, its not supposed to be a literal Death Valley Driver, its a modified DVD. Just like the Batista Bomb is sit-down powerbomb, not to mention the most over-sold move since the Stunner. (By the way, I HATE Batista and I hate the fact that he's the World Champion while RAW's brightest stars, Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels, haven't held the belt in years, and Edge has never had it).

The second move I disagree with you on (and VERY strongly, I might add) is the Clothesline from Hell. Frankly, I'm amazed anyone survives it. I believe its one of, if not THE most brutal finisher in the business. And I laugh when I see Batista doing his pale imitation of it. In fact, I almost wish Batista had gone to Smackdown!, because I would have thoroughly enjoyed watching JBL kick his @$$ all the way back to OVW, where Batista belongs.
Bobby Van Sickle wrote:
Chris Master's Masterlock is nothing but a rip-off of when Ken Patera used the hold first.
Jesse Lee wrote:
Hey, I gotta give my own opinions on this article. I mean, it's clear that some people just don't see how these moves can be effective as they are.

*Regal's knee is -within method- painful. Trust me, I take karate and I've felt a lot of knees slam on the top of my head when somebody does the "only-in-kcikboxing" knee strike. Within method, a running knee should hurt like hell and probably did. It's a good finisher for Regal who needs a "quick" finisher. However I still think it should only be used to set up for the Regal Stretch.

*John Cena's FU is very ridculous, but the majority... MAJORITY of the fans seem to enjoy it everytime he does it. I hate Cena, but I hear the fans chear when he does this move. He needs to change it, but right now, I think it's still going well. (Over sold though!)

*Jindrak's Left Hook is just like the knee. When you get punched, it hurts. I don't care who you are, if there's a big guy punching you with a bare fist and he's built up nicely, it'll hurt. I don't care than Jindrak has this move, it shows that you don't need some crazy fifty twists off the turnbuckle to beat someone. A simple punch.. hook (which in method is aimed at the temple of the head) after a five-seven minute match of moves to the head can be devastating enough to knock someone down for a three count. At least until he becomes a bigger player in wrestling.

*Chris Masters just needs time to evolve in the ring. A full nelson is supposed to cut off air from the brain while pushing against the back of the head while the arms are unable to break the hold. When he swings them around like he does, it's supposed to make the opponent panic and unable to focus until they either pass out from the pain, pass out from lack of oxygen, or tap out.

*JBL's clothsline is an exciting move to watch. He may not deliver the strongest clothslines in the world, but dammit, it's cool how he can pull them out of nowhere.

*The WORM is a fun move to get involved in, but since Scotty isn't winning much anymore, why care about the possible win. Remember though, the basic move is a chop to the throat. The skip and the worm part is just show.

*Heidenreich's move is devastating enough. I recently injured my shoulder and it hurts! I don't agree with it being a finisher however. Maybe a set up or a signature, but not a finisher.

*Kenzo Suzuki's takedown is a very useful takedown. Yes you learn it within the first year of judo or karate. However, the method of it is simple. Sweep the leg out from under the opponent and slam the back of his head onto the ground. Since the back of the head is the weekest part, it's a very damaging move. I think, though, he should change it to something.

Now for other moves. The yakuza kick isn't origional and is a quick move for a big guy to do. I say Tomko should find something new and not rely on this move since it's been done by Test (who made it look painful.) Maven's chin-lock backbreaker is awesome. Rene's move is overdone, but he's stil developing and losing. Why find a cool finisher when you're just gonna lose, right"
Raven wrote:
To the guy who said this. ----- "Jindrak's Left Hook is just like the knee. When you get punched, it hurts. I don't care who you are, if there's a big guy punching you with a bare fist and he's built up nicely, it'll hurt. I don't care than Jindrak has this move, it shows that you don't need some crazy fifty twists off the turnbuckle to beat someone. A simple punch.. hook (which in method is aimed at the temple of the head) after a five-seven minute match of moves to the head can be devastating enough to knock someone down for a three count. At least until he becomes a bigger player in wrestling."

Okay, yes. Fights in real life usually only consist of a few punches and its over. A punch in real life is devastating. But in a world where people hit people over the head with chairs, slam eachother to the ground, and yes throw punches back and forth for thiry seconds (ROCK and Austin, Austin and HHH) a punch is no big deal.

Its the same with the clothesline, doesnt matter how hard he does it. Clotheslines are done in about every match, so to see it happen all night and then to do it in the main event and win with it is just stupid.

One thing I do like is the RKO. Sure its been done alot over the years, but unlike its not like The Rock bottom(just a ordinary slam), we dont see anything like it the whole night. And Orton can pull it out of no where. After wrestling for a while, it looks like a pretty devasting move. If the person doesnt get there arms down...then really its almost as bad a Pedigree.
Michael Coello wrote:
I agree with some of your opinions. Cena FU:Better if you drop to the ground during the move than drop the opponent only.I've seen a better version,and it's Chris Sabin's Cradle Shock. Jindrak Left Hook:A punch hurts like hell,but should be a combo to be a finisher. Masters Master Lock:Wasn't that a rest move.that is not a finisher. JBL Clothesline from Hell:O.k,but the powerbomb he does in the Video game is way better for a finisher. S2H Worm and Bulldog:Bulldog is not a finisher,especially when Dustin Rhodes uses it.The worm is ok for a set up,but you need something else as a finisher Heidenreich's Shoulder Breaker:Pass.Don't like him,so do whatever. Eugene's Impersonations:Good.i like it and I mark out for it.
Curtis McLean wrote:
Just a few things on Jesse Lee: I know most of these moves would actually hurt, but this is wrestling, people use knees and left hooks multiple times per match, why does Jindrak's knock you out, while Undertaker's doesn't"

For the clothesline from hell, I used to like it...until I saw the Northern Lariat...*drool*

For Kenzo...I like STO's very effective, but the hand on the kinda takes away from the impact of having your entire body take them down. I've done STO's and taken them...they can be awesome...but the hand on the face doesn't work.
phil haller wrote:
John Cenas FU: This move is just a body slam nothing else and it should not be used as a finisher maybe a trademark move to get a cheap pop from the fans but i dont buy it as a finishing move. I think Cena should use a brainbuster or something similar because it would fit into his style and a brainbuster is simply devastating.

Mark Jindrak: Left Hook. Yeah i buy this as a finish i take it not many people here have witnessed Japanese wrestling if you would had you would see a lot of people finish their opponents with strikes like a simple kick or punch because it does do damage also in Japan pinning predicaments and cradles etc are often used as finishing moves.

Chris Masters Masterlock: A Submission holds a submission hold it hurts the pressure is to much and you are going to tap out. The Thing is this is going back to real wrestling which i like where people use submission holds to win if the pressure is great you are going to tap out. I did Vale Tudo for 2 years and i was tapping out to simple arm bars and leg locks so this is convincing.

JBLs Clothesline From Hell. I wish they would just call it a Lariat because thats what it is and yes i love this finisher however Bradshaw is just a clone of Stan Hansen and he could never pull it off like Hansen did Hansens used to cave peoples faces in. Satoshi Kojima's Western Lariat is good too so yes this finisher is convincing and it hurts like hell.

S2H's Worm: I wont even comment on this move as it is a slap in the face to what Wrestling used to stand for.

Heidenreichs Shoulder Breaker: Nothing wrong with this move at all its simple and effective and it comes off as a solid finisher because of the mans size. Yes Heidenreich isnt a Scientific Genius but hes big so he has to use his power and this move works.

Eugene(Nick) Dinsmore: Ok This is what i call a waste this man is simply awesome but they put him in a mentally challenged gimmick and he is just a cheap laugh for the fans. They need to drop the stupid gimmick let Nick Dinsmore wrestle and give him the German Suplex for his finisher as he can execute it beautifully.

You See These guys dont need all these fancy moves all they need is a simple Suplex or submission hold maybe a German Suplex with a Bridge it is a simple but effective move. They dont need all these fancy powerbombs and drivers etc all they need is a simple but effective move. And i have to say i read about Luthers and Tests Test Drive/Roll Of The Dice finisher and NOBODY and i mean nobody can execute this like Christopher Daniels he invented the move leave it alone nobody can pull it off like he can.
Rhey Higgins wrote:
Edge's Spear: So you want me to believe people can kick out of a former NFL players gore, and not this scrawny guys Spear"". To the person who said this...have you ever been speared before" It hurts like hell. I'm 6 feet, 185 lbs., and I've speared guys with at least 30 lbs. on me, and they STAYED speared. Now add half-a-foot and 70 lbs to me, and you got "this scrawny guy", Edge. His spear would absolutely CRUSH the stomach of the person he did this to, and there'd be almost no way to kick out if he tried to pin immediately afterwards, hence the reason this is a finisher.
ashwin fernandes wrote:
I totally agree with most of your article. J.Cena's FU:There's nothing more to be said. You've stated the right facts there, brother. Jindrak's left hook:Hell you're right. Does anyone think that a simple left hook can knockout anyone" Ah the famous Masterlock!No one can escape it! What does Masters think" You're right there too, Ben. If he tried it on Triple H, Batista, Kane or any other powerful superstar, he would be tapping out of their "Masterlock".(I give you 100% for this one.) JBL's Clothesline (another 100%) is crap. I've seen Batista knocking out Y2J with a clothesline which isn't even a finisher. Scotty2Hotty's worm bulldog is a joke and nothing more.(another 100% Ben). Eugene's imitations:You've said it all. I cannot say anything more.(You're sure getting a lot of 100%s there aren't you!). I would like to write about some good finishers. Taker:chokeslam & Tombstone(powerful). HBK:Flying elbow and sweet chin music(It isn't sweet for the receiver though) RVD:Rolling thunder and 5 star frog splash. Batista:Spinebuster and Powerbomb Well that's all I can say. Online World of Wrestling, I just want you to know that I, Ash, am your true blue fan.
Mike W. wrote:
I pretty much agree with all of these. But just to give my opinion, the F-U is devestating

when Cena falls w/ his opponent. Jindrak's hook, well, that loud smackin' sound convinces the crowd, but he should go back to the Mark of Excellence. And for Heidenreich, the shoulder breaker is not even his finisher, it's the Bossman Slam (which I call the Red Scare Sidewalk Slam). He doesn't do it as well as Abyss, but it still gets the point across.

Also, I'd like for somebody to tell me what U.S. Champion Orlando Jordan's finisher is, WWE should've BEEN figured that out. As far as good finishers, you have all the standard ones from the main event guys (Chin Music, Tombstone, Crossface, Angle Slam), but don't forget the Unprettier, which hurts like hell, Booker T's Axe Kick (best when he gets hangtime), any of the Hurricane's moves (too bad they won't let him bust them out much), and of course Matt Morgan's "Vertical Suplex into Rock Bottom-like" move.

Lastly, how about the WWE coming up with finishers for guys who seem to not have any, AND, naming the finishers guys use to win their matches. Let's see, Shelton's "T-Bone Suplex", it's an EXPLODER, but give it a name. Hassan's Flatliner move, they should just call that the Finishing Touch just like in OVW. I just named Heidenreich's slam, so they should pay me for that. Rosey's "Swinging Sidewalkslam" NEEDS to be called something else. JR and Jim Ross need to start calling the names of Edge's moves again (Edgecution, Edge-O-Matic). Kenzo's STO, call it the Rising Sun and move on, and there are countless others I could say something about (Conway, Sylvain, Jordan, Dupree, etc.) Thanks for your time, I love these kinds of columns.



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