Every single wrestler from the top of the roster to the bottom has to have a few things. A name, some wrestling gear, and last but certainly not least, a finisher. In 2017 it is extremely difficult for Superstars to come up with something original when it comes to creating and selecting what their finishing manoeuvre is going to be. It must feel like everything has already been done. Because of that we're seeing some weird and wonderful moves to bring the curtain down on match ups, and we're also seeing some old match enders recycled or tweaked so that they can be used again. Some of those weird and wonderful moves probably need to be toned down however, or maybe banned altogether.
In a WWE attempting to appeal to children and with a ban on blood, it's very surprising that some finishing moves are still allowed to be used under its roof. Some of the moves in this list have already caused serious injuries yet are still being used! The other side of this list is the polar opposite. Moves that have also lasted but the reason their tenure is surprising is simply because they lack impact. It baffles me that they can be seen as worthy of ending a match and putting away an opponent. This list gives a definitive run down of both sides of the coin. Some finishers that should be wiped from the face of the earth and some other Superstars who really need to spice up how they open the door to the three count.
15 15. Lacking: Bayley To Belly
Bayley may not have had the impact on Raw that WWE desired her to have, not yet anyway, but make no mistake she is still a big deal. The Leader of Hug Life rose through the ranks at NXT, became the brand's Women's Champion and resident sweetheart. Plus despite her not quite taking to the main roster yet, that hasn't stopped Bayley already being Raw Women's Champion. All of that success and all of those accolades with an extremely lackluster finishing move. Bayley's finisher is simply a belly to belly suplex, affectionately referred to as the Bayley to Belly when she performs it. I get that it's supposed to be a hug that becomes a move but still, if Bayley wants to be taken seriously on Raw she's going to need a much better finisher than that.
14 14. Banned: Eclipse
Now don't get me wrong, I along with I'm sure most of the rest of you am of the firm belief that Ember Moon's Eclipse is an incredible looking finisher. For those of you that haven't seen it, the Eclipse requires Ember to leap from the top rope and perform a Stunner on her opponent on the way down. Like I said, it looks incredible, but it also looks and is pretty dangerous. Already in her relatively short time on NXT television the move has caused an injury to Billie Kay. A neck injury that luckily looked more serious than it was. With the move requiring Moon's opponent to have their back to her it is extremely risky and requires them to have a lot of faith in Moon to perform a very tricky manoeuvre.
13 13. Lacking: The Cesaro Swing
If you've got the raw strength that Cesaro has, your move set should be jam packed with lifts and slams. Of course for the most part it is, but what sticks out like a sore thumb among those power moves is The Swiss Superman's Swing. Grabbing his opponent by the ankles and swinging them round and round. Yes it may end in him slapping on the Sharpshooter, but does he really need to swing them about before hand? Apart from it being a low impact, comedy move attributed to a Superstar with a strong man gimmick and incredible physique, what annoys me most about it is that spinning like that would make you as dizzy as the man receiving the move.
12 12. Banned: Brogue Kick
Swiftly on to Sheamus now, a man who has quite the opposite problem to his tag team partner Cesaro. The Celtic Warrior has had a multitude of finishers during his time in WWE but surprisingly the one that has stuck is his Brogue Kick. A move that's simple and looks brutal. The reason it's surprising that Sheamus is still able to use the move is simply because of precedent. Seth Rollins used to finish off his opponents via the incredible looking Curb Stomp. However Vince McMahon believed it was too easy a move for people to mimmick with potentially devastating results if they did. Randy Orton is also no longer allowed to use his once infamous Punt, I'm sure for similar reasons. It seems a little hypocritical that those moves are banned while the Brogue Kick lives on.
11 11. Lacking: Pop Up Powerbomb
I love Kevin Owens and think that The Prize Fighter and two time United States Champion is one of the best Superstars in WWE right now. I'm such a fan of KO in fact that I'd struggle to think of one solitary thing that I dislike about him. Well aside from one big thing, his finishing move. While I'm a big fan of a move that a Superstar can hit almost out of nowhere, like Bayley's suplex I'm not so much a fan of a wrestler taking a move that a number of their peers already use as a non-finisher and making it their end game. Yes Owens' powerbomb may have the added twist of 'popping up' as it requires his opponent to come at him off the ropes, but at the end of the day it's still just a powerbomb.
10 10. Banned: Pop Up Powerbomb On The Apron
Now take that Pop Up Powerbomb and perform it outside the ring on to the apron and you have a completely different scenario entirely. In fact you take a move that is relatively mundane and turn it in to one that looks so painful and so dangerous every single time I've seen it performed. When it is used it's often to render the recipient of it out of action and to be fair it amazes me that it hasn't legitimately injured more of the Superstars who have endured it. Credit to Kevin Owens as a worker for not hurting many people with it but still, a move that involves a wrestler's lower back being slammed onto the edge of the ring can not be good and must be risky.
9 9. Lacking: Twist Of Fate
I'm not sure what the problem is exactly, but ever since the Hardy Boyz returned to WWE any time Matt hits an opponent with the Twist of Fate it just looks extremely tame to me. It may be for any number of reasons. Perhaps as a fan of Matt and Jeff growing up, while watching their first run with WWE as a child I may be remembering the manoeuvre to simply have been bigger and better than it actually was and clearly is. Or maybe since the Twist of Fate is almost always followed by Jeff Hardy putting an exclamation mark on it via his incredible looking Swanton Bomb it is understandably made to look inferior. Whatever it is, Matt's finishing move simply doesn't have the impact that a finisher should.
8 8. Banned: Kinshasa
Trust me, it truly pains me to utter even one bad word about anything to do with the charismatic phenomenon that is Shinsuke Nakamura, but for the purposes of this list I'm afraid I'm going to have to. There is no question that Nakamura is ultra talented and has made an impact on WWE like no Japanese Superstar ever before him. Shinsuke brings with him a brand of pro wrestling known as strong style, something very common in his homeland of Japan. His finishing move, the Kinshasa, may be a little too strong style however. The former NXT Champion waits for his opponent to be on their knees before hitting them with a running knee strike to the head. It's an extremely risky move and it's danger was plain for all to see in 2016 when Nakamura used the move on Austin Aries and fractured A-Double's orbital socket, side lining him for a number of months.
7 7. Lacking: Skull Crushing Finale
The Miz has had a pretty incredible 12 months. Despite his long tenure in WWE and gradual descent down the card, The A-Lister has managed to reinvent himself and make himself very much relevant again. The Miz has managed that by changing quite a lot of things, but one thing that has remained the same that he really should consider altering is how he puts his opponents away. His finishing move, the Skull Crushing Finale. There's nothing worse than a finisher that looks awkward to set up and get into position and when it comes to that, The Miz' Finale really does fit the bill. It amazes me that it has lasted this long and it really is a messy looking move that shouldn't be used to finish off opponents.
6 6. Banned: Tombstone Piledriver
In the past piledrivers in all of their forms were common place in WWE, and still are in many other pro wrestling companies. However Vince McMahon eventually decided that a move which requires being dropped on your head was somewhat unsafe. A fair call I'd say, especially since it did lead to injuries, some of which were quite serious. Well piledrivers haven't completely been wiped from the WWE landscape as The Undertaker is still allowed to use the Tombstone Piledriver. Seems a little unfair and inconsistent to allow one of your Superstars to continue using a move you've otherwise banned for its level of risk. I do understand that Taker's tenure and sway in the locker room probably led to the Tombstone being kept around, but still.
5 5. Lacking: Walls Of Jericho
Chris Jericho has made so many returns to WWE that it's a minor miracle Y2J has managed to make himself relevant time and time again. The Ayatollah of Rock 'N' Rolla has added the odd move to his repertoire over that time, but for the most part the six time World Champion's move set has remained the same. One move that has survived all those years is the Walls of Jericho. Surprising really since if you take not even that close a look it really is just the Boston Crab. Jericho has another very similar but more effective looking submission, The Liontamer. Why he doesn't use it more often as opposed to the Walls is a mystery, but he most definitely should do.
4 4. Banned: Styles Clash
AJ Styles finally arrived in WWE in 2016 and made quite an impact, bringing an athletic move set and innate wrestling ability along with him. Fans familiar with Styles' work before his arrival in WWE were waiting with baited breath to see if he would be bringing the innovative and frankly brutal Styles Clash finisher along with him. After he didn't use it straight away fans assumed WWE had told AJ no, but alas after a while Styles revealed that he would be using it in WWE. Upon first seeing him use it I was very surprised that Vince allowed it. The move requires Superstars receiving it to hold their head back rather than tuck it like you would for most over moves, so a wrestler's instinct is to tuck their head. There was a heart in mouth moment when James Ellsworth tucked his head and if it wasn't for some quick thinking and readjusting by AJ, Ellsworth may have very well had his neck broken.
3 3. Lacking: Super Kick
The super kick used to be a devastating move that was rarely seen and would finish off opponents. Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s you knew when Shawn Michaels started tuning up the band for his Sweet Chin Music the match was about to come to an end. Nowadays half the roster use the super kick and rather than it finishing matches it's simply being used as a transition move. Dolph Ziggler, Kevin Owens, The Usos, The Young Bucks. They all have the super kick as a part of their arsenal and it has led to a once great and effective move becoming extremely watered down. In my opinion there should be a two year ban on anyone using the move, that way when it returns it will have the desired impact that it used to have in the past.
2 2. Banned: Muscle Buster
Samoa Joe's Muscle Buster is by far the most shocking entry on this list in terms of it still not being banned. I remember the first time I saw Joe use the move and being astounded at not only how incredible it looked, but also at how badly it could so easily go wrong. Then in 2015 it did. Joe performed the move on Tyson Kidd during an untelevised match and very seriously injured him. So severe in fact that Tyson has now retired from in ring competition due to the injury and in all honesty he can count himself lucky that's all it did to him. Of all the people who have suffered the same injury as Kidd, only 5% have survived it. Plus most of that 5% have wound up paralyzed. It really is a miracle that Tyson can still walk and talk after having his career ended by the Muscle Buster.
1 1. Lacking: The AA
Like it or not John Cena may be the biggest star the pro wrestling business has ever seen. Yet throughout his entire 15 year run, which is probably still far from coming to an end, he has had the same, pretty feeble, finishing manoeuvre. The AA, formerly known as the FU but changed for what I assume were PG reasons. The move is just a Fireman's Carry, a move most Superstars bounce right back up from, but John is stood up rather than on his knees. Even when he does it from the top rope which happens once, maybe twice, a year it's debatable whether it's finisher worthy. It's no wonder that in the present day there's barely a Cena match that goes by without his opponent kicking out of the AA at least once.
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