Even the greatest Superstars, no matter how much you might hope they are, are not perfect. Wrestlers who have won multiple championships. Hall of Famers even. So many of them are guilty of adding moves to their arsenal that they simply can't perform. There's no shame in it, well okay maybe a little, but there comes a time in every wrestler's career when they need to freshen things up.
Often they'll go for a move that looks simple, makes sense right? But a lot of the time that thinking back fires. Moves like the spear and the frog splash may look simple but truth be told those who use them well have spent a lot of time honing that craft. Nailing somebody with a spear and making it look good isn't as simple as just running at them as fast as you can.
This list isn't all about Superstars who have tried to freshen things up though. There are some moves on this list that were with wrestlers from day one and somehow they managed to keep using them throughout the entirety of their careers. It often baffles me how some wrestlers can continue to use certain moves despite how dangerous they appear to be and on some occasions how many injuries and problems they cause.
Nevertheless, this list features 15 different Superstars and the moves that they performed, or tried to perform, that they maybe should have left to those who had mastered them.
15 CM Punk: Elbow Drop
One of the most mimicked moves in WWE history from the top rope is the Macho Man elbow drop, no prizes for who made it famous. Many people have tried to emulate it in homage to the great Randy Savage, most notably Shawn Michaels who did it extremely well. Someone who didn't make it look so good was CM Punk. The Second City Saint began climbing that turnbuckle and hitting that elbow on a regular basis towards the end of his career.
But for some reason the trajectory was never overwhelming and neither was the point of impact. Punk appeared to use his upper arm rather than drive his elbow into his opponent's chest. When watching Macho Man you believed he was doing damage with that drop but that really wasn't the same feeling you got when Punk would fly from that top rope.
14 Batista: Spear
The spear is a widely used wrestling move. Many Superstars over the years have attempted to master it. Even though it may appear simple it really isn't. Wrestlers like Goldberg make the spear look devastating and that isn't an easy thing to do. You would think that simply being big and running into your opponents would work like a charm but as Batista proved during a certain time in his career, that's not necessarily the case.
The Animal added the spear to his arsenal while at WWE and showed us that it's not a move all big men should be using. His spine busters and power bombs were up there with the best of them but unfortunately for Batista he was not one of the lucky few that truly mastered the spear.
13 Vince McMahon: Stunner
There is perhaps no move in pro wrestling more iconic or legendary than the Stone Cold Stunner. Recently both Kevin Owens and John Cena have attempted to emulate it. You could even argue Ember Moon's Eclipse is a take on the classic. One man who did it years before any of these present day Superstars though is the one and only Vince McMahon.
You would think that someone like Vince who has spent as much time in the ring with Stone Cold as anybody would be able to pretty much nail the move, but not so much. Vince hit his son Shane with the move and it was the now SmackDown Live commissioner's selling that made it look more impressive than it really was.
12 Daniel Bryan: Air Goat
Daniel Bryan, without question, is one of the best professional wrestlers we will ever have the fortune to have seen perform in the ring. Despite his small size and stature Bryan could do just about anything in between those ropes. Before his time in WWE, he would tie his opponents up in knots with moves you wouldn't see from many. Unfortunately like so many others, when he arrived in WWE he had to adapt his style.
That meant a lot of the moves that had made Bryan famous on the indies were replaced with ones of a higher impact. That included the suicide dive being added to his arsenal. There are few to no wrestlers who can make this move look good while in turn having it not put their career at risk. Almost every time it's performed the perpetrator has to take a nasty looking bump as they effectively stop dead in mid-air.
11 Ultimate Warrior: Gorilla Press Slam
The Ultimate Warrior may be synonymous with WWE and professional wrestling but that is not thanks to his in-ring work. He had a personality bigger than possibly anybody between those ropes, plus an appearance that led to him being seen as a superhero by children across the globe. In matches though, his wrestling ability left something to be desired, in fact some of the time it could be considered downright dangerous.
Crazy as it may seem perhaps the worst looking and the most dangerous was his finisher, the Gorilla Press Slam. Warrior would lift opponents high above his head, regardless of size, and simply drop them on the floor behind them. Almost every time he did it Warrior didn't appear to mind how he dropped his opponent either.
10 Edge: Spear
As I touched on while outlining the problems with Batista's, the best spears in the business are performed by a select few big men. Batista does not fall into that bracket, and because of his smaller stature neither does Edge. Edge is a former multiple time WWE champion and deserved WWE Hall of Famer but he has not earned his place among that exclusive club through his use of the spear.
Well, that may not be strictly true. There is one spear that Edge is remembered for. At WrestleMania X-Seven, Edge speared Jeff Hardy from the top of a ladder as Hardy was hanging from the tag team titles in a TLC match. One spear does not a career make though and it shouldn't have been a finisher that he kept held of.
9 Randy Orton: Lou Thesz Press
Randy Orton is unquestionably a WWE legend and a sure fire Hall of Famer. On top of that, he's taken a move and made it transcend the pro wrestling business in the RKO. One legendary move he hasn't done any justice to however is the Lou Thesz Press. If you wanna see how a Thesz Press is done properly then watch Stone Cold Steve Austin during his heyday.
When Orton does it, it looks tame. The Viper appears to always pull out of the move at the last second and because of that the press doesn't achieve the car crash like impact that it deserves and needs. When Austin pulls it off both men fly at each other full speed and don't stop, when Orton does it he clumsily falls onto his opponent. It's not a move you see from him as much anymore and I can understand why.
8 The Rock: Sharpshooter
There came a point in The Rock's career where he decided that his move set needed a submission adding to it. The sharpshooter. The People's champion slapping on a sharpshooter is an iconic image. Trouble is when The Great One applies that iconic hold it doesn't look like it really hurts.
It's the Hart family that made the move famous with Bret Hart perfecting the move, and I'm sure as vocal as The Hitman is about his grievances he's probably not happy, or wasn't at some point, about Rocky making the move his own. That is of course where Rock's poorly performed moves begin and end, which might be why his half hearted sharpshooter stands out so much.
7 John Cena: STF
John Cena is not exactly known for having an expansive move set. The 16-time WWE champion is often criticized for having skated by on a few moves for his entire career. That may very well be true, and the worst of it is one of those few moves he performs pretty poorly. The STF. When John Cena decides to synch in the submission, he really isn't doing it any justice.
I'm not sure if he simply doesn't realize it or it's because of his large frame but it always looks very loose which in turn makes it appear as if it's not causing any discomfort to his opponent. Stone Cold has even commented on it during his podcast, plus since his fiancé Nikki Bella has adopted the move, she's been doing a better job of it.
6 Big Show: Spear
The spear is making a lot of appearance on this list, and that's because a lot of Superstars have sullied it over the years. It can be a great, simple, high impact move when pulled off correctly but when it's not, it has no place in a match. Big Show may have the size aspect that is necessary for it to be effective but that's not all you need.
What Show doesn't bring to the spear game is pace. It's not his fault. He's seven foot tall and pretty damn heavy, he's hardly going to sprint across the ring like a speeding bullet. Because of that, when he used the spear, he was never able to connect with any venom.
5 Christian: Frog Splash
One move on this list that may be even more over used than the spear is the frog splash. In all fairness to the move and its users, not many perform it unless they know they can pull it off. Art Barr and Eddie Guerrero all the way up to Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins using it in the present day. One man who had the best intentions when he added it to his arsenal was Christian.
While in TNA, Christian began using the frog splash as a tribute to the man that made it famous, the aforementioned Eddie Guerrero. While the thought was obviously there the execution was sadly not. Much like Rob Van Dam's take on the move, if you're going to do a frog splash, it has to look five stars. Christian's was no more than a three, even at its best.
4 Chris Jericho: Lionsault
Chris Jericho has reinvented his wrestling persona time after time after time. Every occasion that Y2J has returned from a hiatus, he has made subtle little tweaks that have kept him relevant for over 20 years. Some of those tweaks have included changes to his move set. For example, adding the code breaker was a stroke of genius. One move that has stuck with him seemingly his entire pro wrestling run is the lionsault, and it just doesn't look good anymore.
Jericho performs the springboard moonsault and a makes a move that should look incredible and high impact seem mediocre. The lack of pace makes it appear as if he's basically flipping and carefully placing himself on his opponent. I've loved Jericho since I was a kid but it's time to retire the lionsault. I'm sure I'd make The List if Chris were to ever read this.
3 Goldberg: Superkick
As the former WCW champ proved once again during his latest run with WWE, he doesn't exactly have an expansive move set. Known for power moves, Goldberg also had a superkick in his arsenal. Goldberg's misuse of that move ultimately ended Bret Hart's career.
The superkick is a great move when properly executed although it has become overused in the past 10 years. Like plenty of wrestling moves, it has to be done right in order to not injure your opponent. Goldberg's superkick didn't look bad per se, but he had a reputation of being careless as a wrestler as seen above. Many blame the amateur wrestling training that he received in WCW.
2 Kevin Nash: Powerbomb
A powerbomb is not a move you should be doing if you don't have the strength or the power, hence the name. One Superstar who used the move but added his own flavor to it was Kevin Nash. The former WWE and WCW champion christened it the Jackknife powerbomb, and it did not look good. Every time Nash would execute his own take on the powerbomb, he would appear to drop his opponent on their neck.
Nash wouldn't even get the recipient all the way up on his shoulders before slamming them down on the tops of their backs. It was almost as if he couldn't get them all the way onto his shoulders, so he created a move that would remedy that. I'm sure that's not the case but nevertheless, Nash should not have been using the powerbomb.
1 Shane McMahon: Punch
There is no question that Shane McMahon can do some pretty impressive stuff. He's jumped off of titantrons, cells, and at this year's WrestleMania, he even pulled off (but missed) a shooting star press. If I were Shane O Mac though, I'd spend a little less time pulling off these amazing feats and a little more time practicing my working punch.
We've all seen a Superstar fail to connect with the odd punch, it's always going to happen. But Shane punches his opponents like I'd punch someone I was play fighting with. He'll 'hit' a flurry of them in the space of a few seconds and not connect with any. He's been like it his entire career though and it baffles me that no one backstage has insisted it be a part of his game that he tidies up.
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