Long before the panda forced the World Wrestling Federation to drop the F and grow an E, generations of wrestling fans watched in awe as their favourite 300lb brick wall of a man flung around opponents on a week to week basis. Since they picked up the E and entered the PG era a new generation of fans tune in week to week to watch gravity defying moves and Twister game style submission holds. But one thing both generations have in common, whether they were a ‘Hulkamaniac’ or a member of the ‘Cenation’ they were waiting for one thing… The superstar’s finisher!
This got us to thinking, what are the best wrestling finishers of all time? So pull on the spandex, hit ‘em with the chair and get ready to smell what the rock was cookin’ as we count down the 30 best wrestling finishers of all time.
It is a move that allows a 300 plus pound Samoan to throw his opponent into the corner, wait for him to drop to the floor, pull his loincloth into a thong and back his butt into the corner into the unsuspecting opponents face. What is there not to love about this!
The illegal spraying of green mist was brought to the mainstream in the early 00s thanks to Tajiri. Now we know what you’re thinking, if you’re going to include Tajiri in the list then why not choose the tarantula? Did the tarantula ever blind a girl? Nope, pretty sure that that is our point proven, let’s move on.
W.O.R.M. We dare you not to smile when thinking back to Too Cool, their attempt at hip hop coolness and Scotty 2 Hotty’s legendary breakdancing moves and finisher.
A move that simply put has got to bloody hurt. Razor’s poor opponents were lifted over his back in a crucifix and slammed over his head onto the mat. This move will have been one of the most dangerous of all time as we cannot see a way for the opponent to defend themselves or prepare for contact in any way. The Razor’s Edge makes the list as it gets a 10 on the “Ooh that’s got to hurt”-o-meter.
The Dudleys had 3D, the Hardy’s offered up Poetry in Motion, what did Edge and Christian have? Apart from the fact that they reeked of awesomeness and knew how to pull off a five-second pose for the benefit of those with flash photography, they didn’t have much to offer in terms of a tag team move. Enter the con-chair-to the move missing to complete the infamous TLC (tables and ladders and chairs “oh my”) triangle.
The Battering Ram was a late 80s/early 90s WWF tag team classic move that summed up the dopey pairing of The Bushwhackers perfectly! Two heads were very much better than one for this comedy fighting duo, as this move allowed them to literally create a battering ram to take down all of their opponents.
AJ’s Black Widow or octopus stretch is one of the best submission holds from a diva of all time. It helped her to win a record three divas titles and cemented her as the woman to beat throughout 2013-2015.
The Gorilla Press Slam is a popular move for many of the bigger stars nowadays but to us the most iconic Gorilla Press Slam comes from the Ultimate Warrior. Tied in this position is the Ultimate Warriors Ultimate Splash as we could just imagine what was going through his opponents minds when a blur of brightly coloured face paint and tassels came leaping at them.
It’s a move where one guy sticks a sock into another guy’s mouth and chokes him… If you don’t love that kind of move then maybe you’re reading the wrong blog!
The Moonsault has been used by countless wrestlers over the years and has so many variations. We often see them floating across the ring, flipping back and landing on their opponent. To us, Lita had the best Moonsault and made it the iconic move that it is today.
The Ayatollah of Rock 'n' Rolla and Mr Monday Night himself Chris Jericho has been around forever and doesn’t look to be stopping anytime soon. We all know the slightly dull looking Boston Crab but Jericho’s Walls was something else. The move along with his struggling expression to hold the move have had us entertained for almost 20 years.
Everybody join in… “You suck, you suck” The Olympic Hero Kurt Angle was one of the biggest stars in the early 00s and the poster boy of the WWF side during the WCW/ECW Invasion. Angles ankle lock may be his usual match winner but the Olympic Slam has a special place in our minds for the sheer elegance of it.
Neville’s Red Arrow has to be the most visually appealing move in WWE history. The guy literally defies gravity and we have no idea how he does it. It is simply incredible. We hope to see more of The Man That Gravity Forgot in the future and hope that he returns from injury soon.
Victoria’s Widow’s Peak makes the list for the sheer strength that Victoria possessed. She was pretty terrifying compared to your standard early 00s diva, were looking at you Trish Stratus and Stacy Keibler.
We’ve included the con-chair-to and *spoiler* the 3D and one thing that we knew when creating this list was that all three moves had to be included in this list. The Attitude Era is by far the best era in WWF/E history and the six men that made up the TLC triangle were a large part of what made this time so freaking awesome. So yes, the list may contain a lot of the Hardy’s but how could it not, they redefined high flying action in the squared circle.
This choice may split readers but the former champ deserves a mention on the list even if he is the most unliked superstar in recent history. Now we know that he is not the good guy or the bad guy but we think that the guy sure can fly considering his size!
The Chokeslam has become one of the most iconic moves in wrestling history thanks to its use by some of the biggest guys to enter the squared circle. Lifting their opponents to heights that we don’t want to imagine The Undertaker, Kane and the Big Show have broken tables, backs and a ring or two performing the infamous body slam.
Popularised by Brock Lesnar the F5 is simply a great wrestling move. It showcases The Beasts strength and agility while also reminding us that he may be a big guy but he isn’t the official tour guide of Suplex City for nothing. This guy and this move have heaps of technical ability!
The Swanton Bomb is the move that symbolises The Hardy Boyz and makes everyone nostalgic for those Attitude Era days. The Swanton Bomb is a move used by Jeff till this day, most recently in the most bizarre 20 minutes of wrestling we’ve ever seen that pitted Hardy v Hardy in what can only be someone’s back garden.
Picture the scene, a great big beast of a man (or tallish blonde Canadian) is eyeing you up from the opposite side of the ring. You, in your woozy manner, get to your feet and think right it’s about time I showed this guy what I can really do when… BANG… you’ve been speared into next week and the match is very much over.
When you think of the Sharpshooter you think of the Hart family mainly Brett Hart and now his niece Natalya. One moment screams iconic wrestling finisher when you think of the Sharpshooter and that is the infamous Montreal Screwjob. We won’t bore you with the details but this moment is by far the most controversial moment in WWF history!
The Rock knows how to give the people what the people want and nowadays this may mean an average buddy comedy or action movie but back in the early 00’s it was The People’s Elbow. Smell it, can you smell it? He was cooking up something great as he bounced off the ropes and smashed his unprotected elbow off of his opponent’s chest.
A move made famous by the late Eddie Guerrero and RVD Rob Van Dam, the Five Star Frog Splash was the go to move chosen by anyone creative or bored enough to create their own characters and play their way through a wrestling season on WWF Smackdown and Raw games in the mid-00s.
Tune up the band and get ready for some Sweet Chin Music. ‘Stomp’ He’s tuning up the band. ‘Stomp’ He’s sizing up his opponent. ‘Stomp’ They’re getting up and have no idea what is about to happen… ‘Smack’ Sweet Chin Music!
Hands up, we’ve all tried to pull off a Figure Four Leg Lock had no idea what was going on and simply assumed that The Nature Boy Ric Flair is part man part jelly. The sixteen time World Heavyweight Champion made the move famous in his illustrious career and has been adapted and passed on to another generation of Flair in his daughter Charlotte.
A move that has been banned from use by anyone that isn’t a Brother of Destruction inside the square circle, since its use in the ending of Stone Cold Steve Austin’s career, the Tombstone Piledriver is a legend in its own way.
“D-Von… get the tables!” Never have four words and one man pointing in all directions meant as much as these did throughout the early noughties. We all knew what was coming next for the Dudley Boyz opponent, everyone’s favourite tag team finisher, a 3D (or Dudley Death Drop) usually through the table.
“No Randy no!” The RKO is a good looking move and during his career Randy Orton has performed this move with elegance and ease. Is this the reason why it has scored higher than some of the most iconic finishers of WWE history? Nope, for that reason check out the #RKOouttanowhere hashtag and accounts on Twitter! Best. Vines. Ever.
From D-Generation X to Evolution to The Authority his teammates may have changed but one thing has always remained consistent to HHH and that is the Pedigree. A move that has won 14 World Heavyweight Championships and easily cemented Hunter Hearst Helmsley’s place into the WWE Hall of Fame.
The glass shatter, the music kicks in and you know what time it is… Not only was it Austin 3:16 but it was Stone Cold Stunner time! A move that usually included drinking a couple of cold ones and flipping off his opponent, the Stunner is arguably the most effective and by far one of the best wresting finishers of all time.
What do you think are the best wrestling finishers of all time? We want to know! Leave us a comment in the section below or, as always, hit us up on social media over on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Now remember kids, as always don’t try this at home.
Grab yourself some Piper style with this cool Hotrod t shirt, as worn by WWF legend 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper!
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