Throughout the history of professional wrestling or sports entertainment (as the WWE prefers to call it these days) there have been a multitude of incredible maneuvers utilized by wrestlers and sports entertainers to signal the end of a grueling contest. These maneuvers (known simply as finishing moves) can be executed from a variety of positions or situations to help a wrestler earn the victory whether that is obtained by way of pinfall, submission, or even by knockout (in some rare cases). Each wrestler understandably attempts to utilize a fishing move that will help highlight their natural strengths and abilities while capturing the imagination of the audience. These finishing moves are one of the best ways for a wrestler or sports entertainer to put away an opponent as well as display their dominance and showcase their various skills.
However, for every amazing or awe-inspiring finisher, there always seem to be a handful of finishing moves that just fall flat for one reason or another. Some of these finishing moves happen to be so bad or awful that they actually warrant being put into an online list for the masses (specifically the IWC otherwise known as the Internet Wrestling Community) to laugh and scoff at repeatedly for all time.
Please note that this list will not be including the “Five Knuckle Shuffle” though because John Cena does not deserve to be on this list multiple times as there are numerous other wrestlers with terrible finishing moves more deserving of a spot on this list. Furthermore John Cena gets more than enough notoriety already so this would be best this way overall. Thank you for your understanding in regards to this matter.
10 10. Attitude Adjustment
As mentioned previously, this is the one and only time you will see John Cena on this list but that doesn’t mean he’s immune to having his finishing move torn apart. The move formerly known as the “F-U” (it was renamed when the WWE shifted to a PG-rating) is simply a variation of a Fireman’s Carry. In executing this “vicious” finishing move, Cena lifts his stunned opponent on top of his shoulders and then drops them sideways on to their back. The Attitude Adjustment is arguably one of the most popular finishing moves of the current era but will forever be one of the worst. The move itself is unoriginal, predictable, and looks like it has little to no impact. Granted, it is impressive when Cena pulls it off on the likes of the Big Show or the Great Khali, but when you see it every night, it does little to wow the average fan over 12.
9 Zig Zag
Dolph Ziggler is by far one of the best professional wrestlers in the industry today. His work ethic and in-ring ability are next to none. With that being said, Ziggler has one of the worst finishers in sports entertainment and definitely needs to make the change to just using the superkick instead. Ziggler simply grabs an opponent from behind with his arm wrapped around their throat and uses his momentum to throw them both backwards. Although the move would serve as a great signature or set up move is falls extremely flat as an actually finisher. The only real appeal about the “Zig Zag” is the ability for Ziggler to pull off the move whenever his opponent’s back is turned.
8 The People's Elbow
Although “The People’s Elbow” is definitely one of the most beloved and famous finishing moves in professional wrestling, it is a requirement for this list. “The Most Electrifying Move In Sports Entertainment” is one of the worst finishing moves. The Rock’s finishing move begins with him setting up his opponent by grounding the unfortunate individual with a spinebuster.
After moving to their upper body he would lightly kick his opponent’s arm while slowly removing his elbow pad (which he would subsequently toss into the audience). The Rock then flings his arms back and fourth before running from one side of the ropes to the other. After hopping over his opponent and rebounding back off the far ropes he would lift his leg midair and jiggle it briefly before dropping an elbow on his opponent. Overall the best part of the move is The Rock’s taunting, and the setup in general. The move itself is just terrible. To think, it ended CM Punk's historic 434-day title reign. Fortunately for The Rock, he's so revered that he's earned a pass on this move.
7 The Cobra
First and foremost Santino Marella is one of the most entertaining and comedic personalities in sports entertainment. Having said that, it is undeniably clear that this finishing move is meant to be comedic which is the only reason it isn’t ranked closer to the top of the list. The move begins with Santino reaching into his tights and pulling out the Cobra (I know how that sounds…) similarly to how Mick Foley would pull out Mr. Socko in preparation for the Mandible Claw. Next Santino places the Cobra on his arm and utilizes the venomous snake to deliver a “devastating” strike to his opponent’s throat. The only reason this move is truly required for this list is because Santino actually beats opponents with the finishing maneuver.
6 The Bullhammer
I’m afraid I've got some BAD NEWS… for Wade Barrett. The NXT season one winner and former leader of the Nexus has all the charisma in the world but has one of the worst finishing moves to date. Although Barrett’s current finishing move “The Bullhammer” is a little better than his previous finishing maneuver, it still falls flat. The move is nothing more than a simple elbow shot. Barrett circles his arm in the air as he waits for a groggy opponent to get to their feet and turn around to be met by the elbow connecting with their face. The move makes sense for Barrett given his background in England as a bare-knuckle fighter, but overall it is just plain boring and unexciting to say the least.
5 Brain Chop
Towering above the competition at a jaw dropping 7-foot-1, The Great Khali must have an excruciating finisher right? Not so much. Although the Brain Chop looks like it deals a great deal of damage to opponents and most likely hurts more than an unprotected chair shot to the head, it’s extremely unimpressive and dull. The finishing maneuver is exactly what it sounds like. The Great Khali simply waits for his unsuspecting opponent to face him and then slams down full force on their head with a massive karate chop. Moreover, Khali’s limited athleticism and lack of speed only made the finisher look worse. Fortunately in later years, Khali began utilizing other moves as his finishers including the “Punjabi Plunge” and the “Khali Vice Grip” however both still fell flat but neither as much as the Brain Chop.
4 The Worm
During the height of the Attitude Era one of the biggest and most popular tag teams was “Too Cool”. The duo consisted of “Too Sexy” Brian Christopher (aka “Grandmaster Sexay") and “Too Hot” Scott Taylor (aka “Scotty 2 Hotty”). Scotty 2 Hotty utilized one of the most laughable finishing moves of all time known simply as “The Worm”. After knocking his opponent to the ground, Scotty 2 Hotty would waves his hands high above his head while shuffling in place. Next he would hop on one foot four times to the other end of the ring (while the crowd chanted W…O…R…M). At this point the “ruthless” finisher would begin with Scotty 2 Hotty doing the worm (the breakdancing move) over to his opponent. Next he would wave his hands back and fourth before landing a “vicious” chop to his fallen opponent. Although this move was certainly entertaining, it is by far one of the worst finishing moves of all time.
3 The Big Ending
Big E Langston (currently just known as Big E) is by far one of the most physically intimidating athletes to step foot into the squared circle in past years. The former Intercontinental Champion and NXT Champion uses the “The Big Ending” as his finishing maneuver. Although Big E has utilized “The Big Ending” to achieve some measure of success in the WWE, the only thing this finisher looks to be crushing is Big E himself. In executing this “savage” finishing maneuver, Big E lifts his opponent over his shoulder and then proceeds to jump forward landing flat on his back (as if he was delivering a cutter variation) with the full weight of his opponent landing on top of him.
Numerous wrestlers have utilized the Overdrive/Playmaker over the years including Randy Orton, Carlito, Heath Slater, and (unfortunately) many others. However this “devastating” finishing move has most consistently been utilized and linked to Montel Vontavious Porter (MVP). At first glance the move may seem pretty cool but after that the absurdity that is this move quickly comes to light. The move is essentially a neckbreaker that uses the knee joint as opposed to the shoulder. To execute this “brutal” finishing maneuver, MVP lifts his opponent off the mat, hooks and raises their arm while placing their head behind his leg. At this point MVP flings himself forward landing flat on his face. The Overdrive/Playmaker actually comes across as being more painful to the person delivering the move than the person receiving it.
In WWE’s developmental territory (NXT) there’s a developmental talent named Mojo Rawley who finishes off his opponents with a “devastating” maneuver simply known as “Hyperdrive”. Although Mojo Rawley is an outstanding athlete (who always stays hyped), his finishing move is absolutely terrible and by far the worst finishing move this writer has ever seen. After knocking his opponent down onto the mat, Mojo runs full speed directly into the ropes (to gain momentum), and then jumps high into the air on the rebound, landing butt first on top of his opponent’s chest. Following this “vicious” finishing maneuver, Rawley goes for the victory by way of pinfall. Overall there was no other viable option to top this list for the worst finishing move. Heck, even the announcers can't feign excitement for this move.
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