Finishers: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
June 28, 2005 by Sam Hall

Having made a few enemies with my last column here at OWW, I am hoping that some will indulge my journey into the deep of wrestling finishing moves.


Abyss' Black Hole Slam: This move is very innovative and interesting. He Irish whips his opponent into the ropes and catches them on their way back and swings them around in a modified sidewalk slam. This is a devastating move, especially when performed onto thumbtacks, as he has done to numerous wrestlers over time.

The Undertaker's Tombstone Piledriver: This move is a true classic. Although it has been somewhat barred from the WWE, every time it is used, it sends the opponents into a dazed knockout. Although he will usually protect the opponents so they suffer no injury, I am still sure it would hurt like hell.

Paul London's 450 Splash: Anytime this move is unleashed I am still amazed. Even though it is eclipsed by Jerrelle Clark's 630 Senton, it is still a great move and can get any fan excited. Anyone who can do two full rotations in mid-air, has my admiration as a high-flyer.

Petey Williams' Canadian Destroyer: You had to see this coming. This is probably the top finisher in wrestling today. It is a flipping piledriver!!! I don't mean flipping like a slang term, I mean he literally flips his opponent and piledrives them. It is an incredible sight and if you haven't seen it, turn on TNA Impact and your eyes will widen.


Monty Brown's Pounce: Now some may disagree with me on this one, but I believe that he could have a much better finisher. I realize that he is a former NFL player and this probably would hurt like hell, but I only see it as a lame version of the Spear/Gore. He should use something better and maybe use the Pounce as a setup for something more.

Shelton Benjamin's T-Bone suplex: This move is actually a power slam. It is not worth a finisher, maybe a set-up, but not a finisher. He should use a springboard move or some kind of DDT to finish off his opponents. With this kid's speed, strength, durability, and pure athletic ability, he could be so much more with a better finishing move.

Randy Orton's RKO: This move isn't really as good as it seems. It is just a low-level stunner, and cannot even compare to the king of all stunners, The Whippersnapper. The only thing this move has going for it is its sure unpredictability. Other than that, he has nothing. He needs some kind of submission move, to build up his technical skill.

Dustin Rhodes' Bulldog: The bulldog" Please. This is barely worth a set-up to a finisher. It is used by great wrestlers like Edge, Y2J, and Bret Hart, but I don't even think I've ever seen them finish a guy off with it. Give him a facebuster, or the Alabamaslam, Something that would help him out a little.


Chris Masters' The Masterlock: Possibly the worst finisher in wrestling today. It is a glorified full nelson. Ken Patera must be going crazy. The WWE had the gall to let Masters deface the legend, Sergeant Slaughter, by making him submit to the Masterlock. I know some karate people will say that it cuts off air and hurts the back, but the bottom line is: IT IS NOT A FINISHER!!!

Viscera's riding technique: I do not even know what is going on with this move. It's not a finisher, but I had to talk about it. He knocks his opponent face-down and umm, positions himself on top and "rides" them. Although I can find his love-machine angle somewhat entertaining, I am just scared by this move.

Now there are many finishers I have omitted and I would like to list a few good ones before the column is over:

The Diving Head-butt.
The Swanton Bomb.
The Pepsi-Plunge.
The Muscle-Buster.
The Gore.

by Sam Hall ..

mike&paula wrote:
In response to your column, I would say that you are missing out on a lot of good finishers on the independant wrestling scene. Try looking for some finishers from IWA Mid South, Combat Zone Wrestling, or Pro Wrestling Guerrilla.
HirokishuKeita wrote:
Yeah, I have a response for this column. You obviously overlooked some of the worse finishers there are. First off, Masterlock may be a full nelson, but it's still a rather dangerous technique if applied right. Much more dangerous than a half assed Crippler Crossface (which by the way can legitimately injure a person if applied right.) The Black Hole Slam isn't a new finisher on Abyss' behalf, it's sort of a super Bossman Slam. All he does is spin a more more than Bossman (R.I.P.) used to. As for the RKO, I agree with you there, just another front neckbreaker-type move (stunner, diamond cutter, bubba cutter, etc.)

The Diving-Headbutt isn't really much of a finisher as it is a set-up. True Chris Benoit (among others) have been able to beat their opponents with this technique, but they've been able to build the hype up to a point that no one would really care. At least Benoit sells it a bit on his own begalf, right"

What you've never mentioned, however, are the ludicrous finishers of wrestling. Atomic Leg Drop, People's Elbow, WORM, and the DDT.

Atomic Leg Drop- I understand Hogan is perhaps the most beloved icon in wrestling history for whatever reason, but his leg drop is nothing special.. anymore. I understand the theory, for example he lands right on the throat of the opponent, but so many other wrestlers do a legdrop. Undertaker, D-lo(dunno his name in TNA), Kidman, and many others, yet they don't win off of it. But somehow, when Hogan does it, it has the power and technique for it to KO his opponents, no matter how old he is nor how young his opponents are. I'm sorry, but if people are going to yell at Masters for having a "non-finisher" as a finisher, then Hogan should have been at the top of their list.

People's Elbow- Don't get me wrong, I too have imitated the Rock's signature maneuver every now and then, thing is, it's pretty Ugly. Although it's not "bad" because it's an obvious crowd pleaser, it's not "good" because the opponent's lay there for thiry seconds, five more seconds for Rock to take of the pad and fling his arms around, then about three more seconds for Rock to run back and forth before dropping a single elbow. Of course my timing may be exaggerated a bit on first part, it sets my point. People's Elbow, although loved, is one of the most ridiculous moves in the industry.

WORM- Though not as ridiculous as this. The WORM is a cool thing to do, but it takes longer to execute this that it does to execute the People's Elbow. What's worse is the opponent's supposed to be out cold after a chop to the throat. (Although as a karateka, I understand that a real strike to the throat is dangerous, I don't think it'd be a KO in wrestling.)

DDT- I love this move and I love the variations. However there are only three people who need this as their finisher. Tommy Dreamer, Raven, and the innovator himself, Jake "the Snake" Roberts. Too many wrestlers these days have used the normal DDT as a finisher without adding a sort of modification (Edge, Foley, and a few japanese wrestlers I've seen.) The theory is basically that the user drives the opponent's head/face into the canvas. It's a simple-simple move though. Overtime it became a feared finisher into a common move among the wrestlers.. just like the piledriver.
Stevetherambler wrote:
I Just thought I should mention that some finisher's really only work with certain people using them. The Bonzai Drop looked totally devastating when done by Yokozuna (R.I.P.) or even Rikishi, but it would be really hard to believe if someone like Shannon Moore attempted it. Most aerial moves can be used by anyone and be believable, as long as they were in the first place. I mean, the Frog Splash is believable whether its Five Star or Eddie's version, but the Double Axe Handle never worked in the first place.

My brother and I share basic thoughts on What makes a finisher good. They are as follows:

1. It must be able to be done on anyone. This is true with all aerial moves, but not as many slam's and such. Undertaker has proven that he can Chokeslam just about anyone, but Hurricane just can't.

2. It must be able to hit quickly. True for almost all kicks. Sweet Chin Music often comes after Shawn "warms up the band", so to speak, but as he proved at Vengeance, he can also hit it on the fly, or when someone comes of the ropes.

3. It MUST be able to be Reversed. A move can't have no way to escape it, or the user would be unbeatable.

4. Fourth, and Finally, it has to look like it hurts. The WORM just doesn't, while the Spear does.
Bluemusic271188 wrote:
Hi, i just finished reading the column on wrestling finishing manuevres by Sam Hall and i did like what i read, barr one thing. The RKO is a bad finishing move" I wrestle personally and i would love to have a finisher like that! I use the Swanton which is not what I would like to use as i would like my career to excede 5 years, but something like the RKO is just perfect. In my opinion the best wrestling finishers are ones that the fans don't see coming, The Sweet Chin Music, it can be hit in an instant. Twist of Fate, same deal, Angle Lock, can come from anywhere! RKO is similar to the Stunner and the Twist of Fate in that it can be hit in a heartbeat, and the fans will always pop for it, anyway its just my opinion for what its worth, keep up the good work on Online World of!!!
Docta Gel wrote:
Regarding Hassan's finishing move, I refer to it as Weapon of Mass Destruction, (WMD for short) Sounds suitable enough to be the official name for his version of the STO.

Ever since Wrestlemania 21, it looks like John Cena has adjusted the FU by falling down with his opponent. THATABOY CENA, much better than before.

I know this is off topic, but can someone tell me what the VisAgra is suppose to do. Viscera's humping maneuver,what's is that all about"

Am I correct or is Matt Morgan using the F5 now as his finisher" Whatever happened to the ''StutterPlex"- Suplex into Urange"

Michael Eisen wrote:
Here is a long list of other good finishers or ones I think are good but other people don't:

The Worm: Now I like the worm I think it gets a good pop and it is just fun to watch but you can disagree with me that's fine,

Chokeslam from Hell: Great move and it looks like it hurts,

Cobra Clutch: I don't know why it is just good,

Mandible Claw: When Mick Foley does this I just start yelling for some reason to make the opponent tap,

Bulldog, 3/4 Facelock in midair (solo version): If you have ever seen this move you will know why I like it but some people say it is just a diamond cutter done higher up but everyone has an opinion,

Power Bomb to Facebuster (lift up on to shoulders then do a face buster): Do I really have to explain" Just think about it,

The Sicilian Slice: It is very good I think but it could be better,

Vertebraker: A good move but it might be too good because it was banned from being used because of injuries,

Mark of Excellence: It is a powerful, quick, can be done to anyone, and is unpredictable,

Shattered Dreams: A kick to the groin is bound to impress anyone that sees it,

3-D: See mark of excellence but add it can be done to anyone and has been done to everyone,

Camel Clutch: A great classic move that finishes of opponents quickly.
David Youngblood wrote:
Okay, let's analyze the moves that nobody has even thought to bring up:

1. Charlie Haas's Haas of Pain leglock. High angle on the back, good lockup of the legs, can legitimately cause a back injury much like Chris Jericho's older Walls of Jericho, before he sat back and made it a Boston Crab anyways.

2. Jason Cross's Crossfire. Underrated wrestler with a great finisher, especially when the legdrop actually connects.

3. Samoa Joe's Muscle Buster. C'mon....would you like to be dropped upside down across one guy's shoulder before you finally hit the mat"

4. Sonjay Dutt's Hindu Press. A 450 corkscrew" Jesus, that's a clean move.

5. Chance Beckett's Phat Chance leglock. Nice looking leglock, along the same lines at the Edge-cator. Beckett locked this on Brian Kendrick during the 2003 Super 8, and it looked extremely painful.

6. Elix Skipper's Sudden Death. Can be easily messed up and made ugly if the opponent doesn't fall flat.


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