The rules for inflicting pain in wrestling are quite different than the rules for hurting others in real life. Take the DDT, for instance. Although it used to be considered a bonafide instant opponent killer, these days, it’s generally used as a buildup move, deployed sometime around a match's midpoint. The DDT does significant damage, for sure, but it's nothing any of our favorite pretend fighters can’t bounce back from in a minute or two.
In real life, a DDT could easily crack your head open and/or break your neck and kill you.
Then we have the other side of the spectrum. In real life, if you punch a person in the face, it doesn’t matter if you do a little dance beforehand. Your punch will cause the same amount of harm to its target, regardless of how much style and pizzazz you add to its delivery. But as anyone who remembers the WWE's Attitude Era well will tell you, a normal Road Dogg punch might only fluster his opponent, while a haymaker that connected following Road Dogg's patented line dancing routine would knock a D-X adversary straight to the ground in a semi-conscious heap.
In wrestling, offensive moves become more powerful if showboating or prancing commences before or during their execution. Unfortunately, this phenomenon does not extend beyond the realm of sports entertainment, which means plenty of moves that annihilate pro wrestlers don't do as much, if any, damage here in stupid, boring reality.
Here, we’ve compiled “15 Wrestling Finishing Moves That (Probably) Wouldn’t Hurt In Real Life” - but we’re not implying that anyone should put our theories to the test themselves. In fact, we'd strongly discourage that. Imitating pro wrestlers is notoriously dangerous.
Let’s just say we’re not convinced these maneuvers - devastating though they may be in wrestling - would be as useful if applied in, let’s say, a bar fight.
13 Atomic Leg Drop
12 The Iron Claw
11 The Worm
10 The Tarantula
Technically not a finishing move, the singular Tarantula submission was introduced to mass audiences in the United States by the forever underrated Yoshihiro Tajiri in ECW and later WWE. Its uniqueness made it a special treat for onlookers and as long as Tajiri opponents remembered to sell it like the black plague, we knew it was working.
9 The Masterlock
Bray Wyatt’s lieutenants make a habit of simple, yet indubitably brutal finishers. Luke Harper floors his opposition with a good ol’ fashioned discus clothesline, which suits his character. Same goes for Erick Rowan and the Warrior splash.
Meanwhile, Braun Strowman - Wyatt’s new haus - has repeatedly choked out Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns with a bear hug around their upper torsos and necks. On the one hand, when Strowman dispatches 2/3rds of the erstwhile Shield without looking like he’s trying very hard, he appears un-frickin’-stoppable, which is good.
8 The Rear View
7 Diving Headbutt
6 The Stump Puller
Here he have the match ender of choice of Doink the Clown during his pre-friendly clown days and we're pretty sure it was deployed by Goldust for a short while, although the elder Rhodes brother likely renamed it “The Director’s Chair” or some such pun involving sitting and movies.
5 Airplane Spin
4 The People’s Elbow
3 Bushwacker Battering Ram
Where to start with this guy? Hm. Well, in theory, either Luke or Butch grabs the other one in a headlock, then rushes straight into their opposition, so as to strike with an accelerated headbutt. In practice, it’s just a shoulder block with a lot more grunting and outdated Australian stereotyping involved.
2 Corkscrew Noogie
Yeah, we know. “Corkscrew Noogie” sounds an awful lot like a parody wrestling move that Jimmy Fallon’s writing staff tossed together for a skit to run during a Rock guest appearance, or some such silliness. But it was real. There’s a YouTube video of it and everything. And in its day, it was considered a deadly coup de grace from one of the most recognizable crossover stars of the era.
1 The Finger Poke Of Doom
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