The WWE has adapted to our modern PC world by turning out PG content in recent years, for better or for worse. Nonetheless, it is understandable why the publicly traded company would embrace the new, more “family friendly” style given its history.
Millennials remember a time when all pro wrestling meant was naked girls, scandalous deeds, and a copious amount of violence (note that wrestling is not in that list). From The Undertaker cutting himself on live television, to Kane getting into a coffin with a corpse, to Vince McMahon cheating directly in front of his wife while she was in a drug-induced coma, the WWE ran off of shock value.
Thus, a transition of overall content means a change in between the ropes as well, and with news stories coming up every week which involved children on trampolines paralyzing themselves permanently in an attempt to hit a perfect Piledriver, the WWE was most likely excited to oblige distressed parents who were looking to sue if they did not create physical restrictions. The WWE has banned several moves it deemed overly dangerous, some of which can be found here, and it does not look like they intend on slowing their banishment pace any time soon.
In fact, at the pace the WWE is at now, by 2018 the main event of WrestleMania will be John Cena vs. The Undertaker in a match where both competitors are covered from head to toe in bubble wrap and forced to say only positive comments in the ring. With that said, here are the top 15 moves the WWE should ban if they plan on sticking to their morals.
15 The Suicide Dive
This is a move which is not only dangerous but has a negative history which is permanently attached. In calling a match between Mike Awesome and Tanaka, Joey Styles commented on a Suicide Dive performed by Awesome, wishing that Awesome would actually commit suicide. A year and a half later Awesome did. The move now for some older wrestling fans is permanently associated with that terribly sad situation. Yet, that is not the only reason the move deserves banning. It almost always looks sloppy with the wrestlers almost always hitting their foot on the middle rope, it is high risk with low reward, and it almost always leads to an awkward situation where the wrestler receiving the move has to catch his opponent and pretend to be hurt at the same time.
14 The Set Up To the Package Piledriver
This move absolutely needs to be on this list. Anyone who has followed Kevin Owens career knows how much the Package Piledriver helped make him an indie darling. It was a move so cool and dangerous looking, it was “banned,” for an angle in ROH. It came to no one’s surprise when Owens was not allowed to do it in the WWE though, seeing as the simple Piledriver was already a banned move and this was only more vicious. However, Owens has been setting up the move in some of his WWE matches, and while it acts as a tease for some of his long time fans, the fact that they are insinuating that he is going to do it is just as bad as doing the move.
13 Brogue Kick
This is another move which the WWE should ban if they want to keep to their past logic. If you ban Seth Rollin’s Curb Stomp and Randy Orton’s punt because it would be too easy for a child to reenact on their siblings, shouldn’t you ban this and all other Big Boot variations? What they’re implying by not banning this move is that the WWE does not believe our corrupted youth has the flexibility, nor the athleticism, to actually lift their leg and assault someone. I mean, you get a running start, you get to jump in to it, so how hard could it actually be to hit this? It’s a little rude, a little insulting, and a little funny that the WWE has chosen not to ban this one.
This move has the unique honor of being both on the list of moves that should be banned and the list of moves already banned. The banned Pedigree is the original version where Triple H used to hold his opponents arms the entire time while dropping his opponent on their face. Today, he and Seth Rollins alike are allowed to hit the move only if they let go of their opponent’s arms and allow them to brace themselves for the impact. As with the Brogue Kick, the WWE is implying that the same youth who can’t get their leg high enough to kick a standing opponent is far too simple to understand that they do not have to perform the move on their victim the exact same way that the Superstars do it. It’s insulting. It looks weird now. Moving on....
11 450 Splash
Remember all those terrible things the WWE was possibly implying about our sick and twisted youth by not banning the Brogue Kick or the new Pedigree? Well for the most part, they are true about the 450 splash; most kids, even if they are athletic, can’t pull off one and a half rotations in the air. They sure can try though, which is what makes this move completely bannable. This move is just accessible enough that it necessitates banishment. Most kids who have taken any kind of gymnastics classes should be able to do a front flip. It is that extra half of a rotation which makes this move potentially scary for those attempting it. If you don’t get all the way through you are going to land very awkwardly.
10 The Red Arrow
You know how the 450 was too accessible? Yeah, this isn’t and for that it should be banned. I’ve seen Neville do this move probably a million times and I still don’t know the exact amount of rotations he does in what directions. I just know it looks cool and I know kids will think it looks cool too and I know they can’t do it. That’s not even an insult; it takes a freak athlete to spin like that in the air and Neville is one of only a few people in the world who could pull it off. It’s great that they don’t ban it because it is such a great weapon of Neville’s, but if the WWE was keeping to their own logic, they would.
9 Turnbuckle Powerbomb
The Turnbuckle Powerbomb belongs on this list not only due to its dangerous nature, but also due to its senselessness. Many superstars use a variation of a regular Powerbomb as their finishing move, so why use it into a turnbuckle? You get none of the impact, you already had to pick your opponent up to that position, and it doesn’t look too impressive. I remember watching Kevin Nash do a Turnbuckle Powerbomb as a kid and wondering why he didn’t just hit the Jackknife. The Turnbuckle Powerbomb is the balk of Professional wrestling. Just as a pitcher pretends to throw a pitch, a superstar pretends to hit a legitimate finish and then chooses for some unknown reason to change it to a regular move. And it ended Sting’s career.
The RKO takes the Diamond Cutter and completely softens it. Orton hardly grabs his opponents head and falls to the mat, completely glossing over the idea that it is the Cravat hold which makes the move effective. Ember Moon takes the cutter in the opposite direction, always hitting it off the top rope in a way where her opponent is forced to fall awkwardly. I have never seen the move hit in a way that looks fluid and there is always a weird twist that needs to happen. On several occasions I have seen Moon’s opponents fall on top of their legs which are forced to cross. Awkward means hard to put over, awkward means dangerous, awkward means it belongs on the banished list.
7 Diving Headbutt
Why would you dive with your head? You have all these faculties, and yet, you choose to attack with your head? This move should be renamed the Diving Concussion. As much as I loved watching Chris Benoit back in the 90’s I always wondered why he didn’t do a splash, or an elbow drop, or a leg drop, or a knee drop, or even a forearm. Literally every part of your body is a better option to attack with when jumping off of high places. All Benoit would have to do is jump a foot forward and he would have had a great Splash. Even when Superstars attack with a standing Headbutt, it looks silly. Just use something else and add this to the banned list.
6 The Shatter Machine
Altering a move so that in ends in Double Knees has become a frequent occurrence in the independent wrestling world and almost all of these moves are extremely dangerous. However, none look more dangerous than the Shatter Machine. Every time I see the move I expect teeth to fly out of the victim. The Revival tosses their opponents so high up in the air, and they come down so hard that this move deserves banishment. It looks like the Revival just wanted to take 3D to a whole new sick level. I have not seen a tag team move this deadly since the Faces of Fear tossed people around like rag dolls before Powerbombing them.
5 The Lion Tamer
Has anyone tried to put you in a Walls of Jericho? It’s typically easily escaped and then you and your buddy can laugh about trying out silly Pro wrestling moves. Has anyone ever tried to put you in a Lion Tamer? That situation usually ends up with their knee in your back, you tapping till they let go and then an argument ensuing regarding the amount of pain the move induces. It makes the Sharpshooter look like child’s play and it is far too easy to put on your sibling. There have been times where Jericho has hit this move and I thought he was going to tear his opponent in to two pieces. I know, it looks cool, but due to the amount of pain this move is able to inflict, it deserves banishment with WWE’s current standards.
4 The Muscle Buster
Samoa Joe folds up his opponent so that they can fit in your cupboard and then slams them down in his finisher which he ripped straight from a Saturday morning cartoon. Does that sound safe? The name alone should be an indication of how dangerous this move can be. What muscle does it hurt? It only hurts all of your muscles! When Joe came to NXT the wrestling world was shocked that they let him keep his name and finishing move, and rightfully so. His name has gained recognition from the WWE’s rivals, and the move looks absolutely terrifying. The only reason I can see for them allowing for him to keep it is that it seems far to elaborate to set up for that evil youth to actually pull off on their siblings.
3 The Styles Clash
I’ve seen people tuck their chin during a Styles Clash and I thought they were dead. It’s understandable why tucking your chin would be a natural reaction. You want to tuck your chin when taking bumps and when taking strikes, but you do not want to tuck your chin taking a Styles Clash. Other than what Homicide called the Cop Killa, which is already banned in the WWE, I have never heard of another move which has lead to so many injuries which are so severe. It is also the most severe case of looking “shoot” scary, but “work” ineffective. If the receiver botches the move they risk their life, but if they take it right they land on their belly. In fact, when done right it almost looks like something a chiropractor would do, stretching you out and applying pressure to realign your spine.
2 The Tombstone Piledriver
So, no one is allowed to drop people on their head except the Undertaker? If that isn’t special treatment then I don’t know what is. The Phenom doesn’t even need the move; The Last Ride looks about as devastating as it gets and the Chokeslam works as a finisher too. It’s as if the WWE is telling us it’s not okay to drop people on their heads, unless you learn it from the Deadman. I know watching Undertaker spike people into the canvas like a lawn dart is a fond part of many childhood memories, but how can you change your standards of entertainment if you make exceptions? It’s hard to take the WWE seriously in regards to protecting their athletes and sending positive messages to their young viewers with this move still being legal.
1 Coup De Grace
The Coup De Grace is a perfect storm of banishment potential. Finn Balor simply jumps from the top rope and stomps on his opponents chest with both his feet. It could kill you even if done right, it’s easily imitated, and a botch can mean serious consequences. Davey Richards once botched this move on Paul London, landing on his head and leaving poor Paul unable to fulfill other dates. How Balor is continuously allowed to perform this move is baffling, especially when you consider that the WWWF used to make a big deal out of Stan “The Man,” Stasiak giving opponents his signature heart punch. Balor is not the first person to use the move either, Kaval used it during his WWE years. The Coup De Grace is one of the most devastating moves ever and it is truly unexplainable as to how it is still allowed in the squared circle.