Wrestlers botching their own finishing moves is more common than you'd think. While one might think that a wrestler's finishing move would be one they're able to execute flawlessly each time, that isn't the case.
Remember these are often the most elaborate and impressive moves of a wrestler's arsenal, so they're not always easy to pull off. Gone are the days where Greg Valentine could finish people off with a simple figure-four leg lock, or Brutus Beefcake could win a match with a sleeper hold. Nowadays, the types of moves used as finishers includes F-5s, difficult slams, and of course elaborate, unnecessary and difficult to pull off diving moves.
Most of the examples in this article involve wrestlers who overshot in their attempt to make their finishing move more exciting. Perhaps they tried to pick up a giant wrestler when they jsut weren't quite strong enough to do it. Maybe they wanted to put an extra twist on their finisher and it threw everything else out of whack. Or maybe they just plain botched the move. For whatever the reason however, the names mentioned in this article bungled what was supposed to be their signature move.
Here are 15 times a wrestler botched their own finishing move!
15 CM Punk Botches GTS on Kane
Perhaps this move didn't go as planned because he was wearing a mask at the time, or perhaps it was because Kane is 300lbs. Either way, Punk wasn't able to pull of his finishing move on Kane in this match from 2010.
Punk was wearing a mask because he had lost a match to Rey Mysterio, with the stipulation being that he would be shaved bald if he came out the loser. Had Mysterio lost, he would have had to join the Straight Edge Society.
The Straight Edge Society perhaps didn't get the chance they could have to shine. Punk's feud with Jeff Hardy at the time had a very edgy feel to it. The two seemed to be polar opposites, but both could wrestle. Other members of the stable, Luke Gallows and Joey Mercury are both back in WWE. Serena Deeb has retired from wrestling.
14 Paige Botches Paige-Turner on AJ
Many fans remember the night Paige debuted on WWE's main roster. In a highly questionable booking decision, Paige won the Divas Championship in her first night.
What isn't remembered quite as well about that evening, was how badly AJ and Paige combined to botch up the finish of this quick and painful match. You can't blame Paige and AJ for not working too well together on this night. After all, this was their first match against each other. It looks as though AJ starting to bump early, or misread which part of Paige's move was supposed to slam her down. It was a bizarre way for Paige to start her career. Oddly enough, neither of the two female athletes involved in this match are very pleased with WWE at the moment.
13 Feed Him Less: Ryback Botches Shell-Shock
Sadly, nobody is feeding Ryback much at all anymore...
There have been complaints over the years, namely from CM Punk, that Ryback is unsafe to work with. Ryback has countered that CM Punk is simply frail and gets injured easily. The two men once main evented a Hell in a Cell PPV together. Evidently, they weren't getting along behind the scenes.
Check out Ryback attempt to get current WWE trainer, Matt Bloom, who was then known as Lord Tensai, up for Shell-Shock, not very good huh? He would do the same thing at a house show not long after....
That time, Ryback was unable to get Mark Henry up in the air, and he ended up modifying the move into a jackhammer. Then CM Punk got up and nailed him from behind. He probably hit him pretty good as well.
12 Rob Van Dam Botches Frog Splash on Triple H
This botch may have spelled the end for any possible full-fledged Rob Van Dam WWE push. In general, when you botch a move, you should avoid landing on the boss' throat. That's what Van Dam did in this Elimination Chamber match from 2002.
While it's not overly visible, RVD landed on Triple H's throat with his knee. Triple H's throat swelled up so much that he had to spend the night in hospital. While he didn't publicly blame him for the injury at the time, many believe that he held a grudge against him for the injury.
The 46-year old Van Dam is still out there on the independent scene today. He competes often in California, or for Tommy Dreamer's House of Hardcore promotion. Don't expect him to be back in WWE anytime soon however.
11 Kevin Nash Drops The Giant on His Head
Somehow, Paul Wight is not dead after this.
The man better known as the Big Show or The Giant, was originally supposed to face Nash at Starrcade. Nash was unable to make that show however, so it was rescheduled to Souled Out the next month.
The big question in the match was which giant would be able to hit their finisher on the other. Would Nash be able to get The Giant up for the powerbomb? We would find out at Souled Out!
No, he could not powerbomb The Giant. Nash dropped him pretty much directly on top of his head. Considering the size of the person involved, how this did not lead to serious injury or death must be a medical mystery. Note to self, do not try powerbombing a person over 400 pounds.
10 Randy Orton Misses an RKO on Chris Jericho
Today's crop of young wrestlers will just go with a move even if they are aware it had been botched. That's not how Chris Jericho does things however. 46- year old Chris Jericho, is a throwback to a different type of wrestler, one who paid a little closer attention to things looking real.
That's probably why when Randy Orton wasn't able to apply the RKO properly in this match here, he just kept holding onto his Walls of Jericho.
Wrestlers of today would just go along with the RKO even knowing how bad it would look. Many wouldn't know what to do seeing as the RKO was part of the script they are told to follow in the match. This way Orton was forced to deliver a better looking RKO shortly after, and Jericho only looks mildly incompetent by not suspecting a second RKO was coming.
9 A.J. Styles Breaks Yoshi Tatsu's Neck
There is some debate over whose fault this was. Tatsu was supposed to bend his neck backwards to take the move, however he didn't and Styles went through with the move anyway, badly injuring Tatsu. He would be out of action for all of 2015.
While Tatsu took the move incorrectly, there is still some debate regarding the safety of the move. Tatsu isn't the first to position his head incorrectly, and Styles' position when executing the move prevents him from seeing if his opponent is in the correct position. Most wrestling moves call for the person to tuck their head towards their chest, and as such it can become instinct for performers. The issue isn't that wrestlers sometimes take the move incorrectly, it's that the move can be particularly dangerous with a higher risk involved.
8 Brock Lesnar Nearly Murders A-Train
Perhaps all the friction caused by Albert's back hair caused Lesnar to execute this move incorrectly. Or perhaps Albert is just a big guy and Lesnar wasn't able to fully throw him off his shoulders. Whatever the reason, Lesnar nearly killed Albert by dropping him on his head.
Lesnar's rookie year on SmackDown is worth checking out if you have the WWE Network. He debuted on SmackDown shortly after the first ever brand-split, and during the period when Paul Heyman was booking the show. This era of SmackDown had a lot going on. The return of Hulkamania was running wild during this time, and new Superstars, such as Edge, were beginning to really make their mark. Lesnar's rookie year on the show also just so happened to be a young John Cena's first year in the company as well.
7 Jake "The Snake" Roberts Knocks Out Ricky Steamboat
When Jake "The Snake" Roberts gave Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat a DDT on the floor, it knocked him out cold for real and gave him a concussion.
This was Jake's first major program in WWE. On a Saturday Night's Main Event from May 1986, Roberts was told by Vince McMahon to give Steamboat the DDT on the floor. Jake has always said he at first refused, stating it was too dangerous. Steamboat felt he would be able to protect himself and convinced Jake to go along with it however.
DDTs weren't as commonplace back then, so the two may have had a timing issue which prevented Steamboat from being able to protect his head here. Jake would later say that Steamboat was dead weight when he rolled him back in the ring.
6 Kane Botches Chokeslam to Big Show
You would think that both of these two would be a little better at chokeslams, considering how frequently they have each used the move throughout their careers.
Nevertheless, Kane and Big Show had some timing issues here, it looks as though Kane was going to grab Big Show by the throat, but Show may have jumped the gun by going up for the move early. Had it been a smaller wrestler, Kane may have been able to grab his back and help him get higher in the air, but since it was Big Show his only option was to let gravity take its course.
Unfortunately the GIF above serves as a reminder that Johnny Ace was once GM of Raw. Seriously though, what the hell was going on back then?
5 "D-Von! Let's Botch with Tables!"
The Dudleyz are known for their 3-D finisher and putting opponents through tables. They just weren't quite able to execute their finisher to RVD and put him through a table here however.
This match was during an interesting period in the company. Two weeks prior to this match was Survivor Series 2001, where WWE ended their ill-received Invasion angle.
While RVD had been on the side of ECW, and eventually the Alliance, fans cheered for him, even though they booed both WCW and ECW. RVD hadn't been in the WWE long, having debuted with Tommy Dreamer that summer. Fans really got into his style of wrestling, but WWE was hesitant to put him at the top of the card.
As mentioned previously in this article, RVD would drop a knee on Triple H's throat the next year, which may have impeded his WWE push.
4 Lita's Moonsault
Lita's career was hampered by a neck injury she suffered while filming a TV show, but this move here couldn't have helped any either.
When she first debuted in WWE, Lita would impress crowds by delivering a moonsault to opponents of her then partner, Essa Rios. Fans took to Lita much more than Rios, and she was eventually partnered with the Hardy Boyz as the 3rd member of Team Xtreme.
The high-risk moves of the trio amazed fans, and helped the Hardyz gain popularity even before their epic ladder matches with the Dudleyz and Edge & Christian. Whether this move was Lita or Jeff Hardy's fault is up for some debate. On the one hand, why was Jeff Hardy moving into Lita's way? On the other, why didn't Lita look before she took the leap of faith?
3 Triple H's Botched Pedigree onto Marty Garner
For the most part, this was Marty Garner's fault, but Triple H had a role to play in the incident as well.
Garner was an indie wrestler from the Carolinas and had previously wrestled for the Hardyz' OMEGA promotion. He confused how he was supposed to take the Pedigree here. Garner went straight up in the air as if he was expecting Triple H to give him a suplex type move and land him on his back. As Triple H went straight down, Garner landed on the top of his head and suffered a brutal neck injury.
While Garner took the move incorrectly, Triple H made no effort to protect him as he came down, though he would have had to break the fourth wall to do so. Garner's career would continue however. He would end up in ECW for a bit (as Puck Dupp), and he wrestled as enhancement talent with WWE again several years later.
2 Goldberg Botched Jackhammer
You can't blame Goldberg if he perhaps stopped trying during this period in WCW history. By the time this match occurred, Bischoff had already been outside from the company (though he would be brought back) and Vince Russo was in charge. Wrestlers and fans were finding out fast that the Vince Russo era would not be the saviour to the company that some expected.
In this segment, Goldberg runs in to save Roddy Piper from a beatdown by the Harris twins. The duo were working as the muscle for the "Powers That Be", which was basically Vince Russo's voice in backstage segments, because his face wasn't being shown yet on television. Russo famously said he'd never show his face on camera, but he couldn't resist doing exactly that a few months later.
1 Brock Lesnar At WrestleMania XIX
It's probably the most famous botch in wrestling history. While the Shooting Star Press was not technically Lesnar's finishing move at the time, it was something WWE knew (or thought they knew) Lesnar could pull off. He had been doing the move successfully in Ohio Valley Wrestling, WWE's developmental territory at the time.
Figuring Lesnar could use the move as his "Super Finisher", what a better time to debut it on the main roster than in the main event of WrestleMania?
Whether Angle was just too far away, or Lesnar hadn't practiced the move in awhile, it came out looking as poorly as it possibly could have. Somehow Lesnar was able to keep his wits about him enough to pick Angle up and give him the F-5 to save face moments later.