When it comes to a professional wrestler making a name for themselves, there's one thing that really must stand out from the rest of them: A finishing move. Finishing moves become synonymous with wrestlers just as much, if not more than the ring attire they wear. There are hundreds of moves at the disposal for those who compete in the squared circle. The variations on finishers are endless and the numerous choices is one of the things that makes wrestling so great in the first place. Triple H's Pedigree? Even better when done off the top rope (don't worry we'll get to that in a bit).
It takes a long time for a superstar to find the right finisher. Not only does it have to be spectacular but it also has to fit the gimmick that the wrestler is performing under. If Kane used a super kick similar to HBK's sweet chin music it would just look awkward. Plus I can't imagine what he would call it. Hell, fire and brimstone kick? Big red kick? Those just don't sound right. It's always cool to look back at moves that wrestlers experimented as it shows just how hard they worked to find the perfect move for them. That's exactly what were going to do with this list. Here are the top 15 finishing moves that might have slipped your mind as they're no longer being used or have been modified in some way.
15 Kane: Snap DDT
Kane probably would have never became the WWE icon he is today without his mask and Chokeslam From Hell. The Big Red Machine didn't always use the Chokeslam as his finisher though. Back when he was simply Isaac Yankem (really weird name) the man billed from parts unknown used a simple Snap DDT to finish off his opponents. It's always boring to see a wrestler use a move that is normally a basic maneuver as a finisher. This one is no exception. Being over seven feet tall makes it hard for someone of that stature to pull off a DDT on smaller opponents which could be why he went with the Chokeslam once his career started to take off.
With the Chokeslam, Kane can basically drive wrestlers like Rey Mysterio through the mat with the height he gets on the move. Let's be happy that he was given the gimmick that made him who he is today. Not sure how far he would have made it if he stuck with The Christmas Creature character.
14 The Undertaker: Heatseeking Missile
For some reason I picture a move called the Heatseeking Missile to be a dropkick instead of an elbow drop. Before he made his way to the WWE, Mark Calaway, better known as The Undertaker, worked for WCW under the name Mark Callous (real creative). WCW didn't use Callaway to his full potential and that's evident in his finishing move. His Heart Punch and Heatseeking Missile are nothing compared to the Tombstone Piledriver and The Last Ride. However it is pretty crazy to see Calaway walk so effortlessly along the top rope considering the fact that he's almost seven feet tall. Still, the WCW creative team surely could have thought of something better for him. While he used the move briefly in the WWE, the only high-risk maneuver he truly needs is his over the top rope suicide dive. Now that is a sight to see.
13 Stone Cold Steve Austin: Stun Gun
During his days as "Stunning" Steve Austin, The Rattlesnake had a finishing move that was pretty out of the ordinary. The Stun Gun was simply a flapjack that led to a hangman on the top rope. It's not a very flashy finisher and it came during the time period where Austin had hair. Him with hair is just weird to see. Let's be happy that he only used this for a couple of years. The Stone Cold Stunner is much more fun to watch and it fits his persona very well.
He continued to use the Stun Gun throughout his time in the WWE along with the Million Dollar Dream, another finisher he used early in his career (borrowed from Ted DiBiase). Austin might not make as many appearances on WWE shows like he used to, but we'll always have youtube and the WWE Network to re-watch his classic matches.
12 John Cena: Proto-Bomb
The Proto-Bomb was used by John Cena before the days of Thuganomics. It actually made for a pretty great finisher but it wouldn't last long as he began using the FU or as PG era standards go the Attitude Adjustment in 2003. The spin-out powerbomb is still a part of Cena's repertoire but its main use is to set up the awe inspiring Five Knuckle Shuffle (huge hint of sarcasm on this one). Cena has been one of the main faces of the WWE for quite some time now. It got to the point where wrestling fans became sick of him but now most of that hate is centered towards Roman Reigns.
I wonder if Vince pays attention to the reactions Cena and Reigns have garnered over the years. It doesn't seem like it since they are still being shoved down our throats. Not much we can do at this point.
11 The Rock: Running Shoulder Breaker
Dwayne Johnson, who was going by the name Rocky Maivia when he first entered the WWE, showcased a running shoulder breaker as his first finisher. It's weird to think that there was a time before The People's Elbow and The Rock Bottom. Using a combination of his father and grandfather's nicknames, Johnson made his debut back in 1996 and was being hyped as a third-generation wrestler. His first match came at Survivor Series in November and everything after that is history. Johnson is perhaps the greatest name to ever come out of the professional wrestling industry. Several acting roles have only made him a bigger name outside of wrestling but he hasn't forgotten his roots as he occasionally makes appearances on various WWE shows.
10 Dean Ambrose: Dirty Deeds Version One
Dean Ambrose still uses the Dirty Deeds but it's basically completely a different move now with the same name when compared to the version he was using when he first entered the big leagues. What we see today is a Double Arm DDT being used by Ambrose. Before he made the modification, Dirty Deeds was a brutal Headlock Driver. When sold by the right person the move was a thing of beauty. The only downside was that some performers just couldn't sell the move to it's full potential. The Double Arm DDT version looks great being used on any wrestler while the original version looked a bit plain at times. Ambrose could use a bit of a tuneup in his move set but at least he doesn't get criticized for having five moves like John Cena.
9 Shawn Michaels: Teardrop Suplex
It's a good thing that Shawn Michaels stuck with the Sweet Chin Music throughout his career. The name he used for his take on the Super Kick was brilliant and is much better than the finisher he used during his early days in wrestling. The Teardrop Suplex was used by Michaels while he was still making a name for himself in the WWE. In its purest form the move is a leg-lock Saito suplex. HBK utilized the move well but it has nowhere near the same amount of drama as Sweet Chin Music. The Super Kick was a part of Michaels' arsenal for quite some time it just didn't get the awesome nickname until the Hall of Famer began rising up the ranks and began making himself a household name.
8 Goldust: Shattered Dreams
There might not be a better move that fits the Bizarre One better than Shattered Dreams. Safe to say that there's more than dreams being shattered with this move. After perching his opponent on the second rope, Goldust would charge full speed ahead and launch his foot into his unfortunate victim's groin. Of course his weird taunt would set up the finisher most of the time before being executed. Thanks to the PG era we no longer get to see this hilarious finishing move (probably because of the mature nature it has around it). Goldust really isn't as bizarre as he used to be. Dustin Rhodes is pretty much just some guy painted gold at this point since all of the crude humor jokes are basically gone. The whole R-Truth thing is nowhere near as amazing as his segments with Booker T.
7 Batista: The Batista Bite
Another example of a powerhouse wrestler showcasing a bit of submission skills, The Batista Bite is Batista's version of Perry Saturn's Rings of Saturn (the same thing but with a different name). During his time in the WWE, Batista didn't use too many finishers. The Spinebuster was more so a signature move for The Animal and the spear didn't pop until the later stages of his professional wrestling career. When he first used The Batista Bite I was pleasantly surprised. It was a fantastic way for him to showcase the grueling side of his character during his heel run before leaving the company.
While Batista might not be the best in-ring performer we've ever seen it would be nice to see him back in the WWE. Unless fans are happy with more Roman Reigns. I highly doubt that though.
6 Triple H: Inverted Indian Deathlock
Triple H has never been known for his submission techniques. During his time as Terra Ryzing in WCW he did use the Inverted Indian Deathlock as a finisher though. While he used this as a finisher with the company owned by the Turner Broadcasting System, Triple has also broken it out a few times in the WWE more specifically during his time with Evolution. When it comes down to it, the IID is probably best left as a normal move; the Pedigree is much more crowd appealing. It's always good to have some variety in a wrestler's move set but why change something that's not broken? He's been using the Pedigree for several years now and doesn't look to be going back to his roots any time soon.
5 Chris Benoit: Wild Bomb
The Wild Bomb is one of the nastiest powerbombs we've ever seen used in a wrestling ring. Benoit, who was an outstanding technical wrestler, used his variation of the move during his days in Japan while he was working as the Pegasus Kid and the Wild Pegasus. It also carried over to his time in WCW and a bit in the WWE. This isn't your standard powerbomb by any means. Benoit wouldn't hesitate for a second after he hoisted his opponent onto his shoulder. He would instantly slam his opponent down, making everyone in attendance fear for the well being of the person taking the finisher.
Kevin Nash and The Undertaker both had their own versions of the powerbomb but theirs had nothing on Benoit's. Speaking strictly about the wrestler, there's no doubt Benoit was technically gifted in his time.
4 Perry Saturn: Moss-Covered Three-Handled Credenza
What a beautiful move. A variation on the Fisherman Suplex, the three handled credenza utilized by Perry Saturn really put a twist (literally) on the original move. While Saturn used the Death Valley Driver and his patented Rings of Saturn submission hold to finish most of his matches, the Three Handled Credenza was always a treat for fans in attendance. This finisher might qualify for the craziest name of a move as well. Try saying it three times without screwing up.With Saturn showing his face for the first time in years maybe he could put on one final match and pull this one out for old times sake. If he ever does make a return we all know that Moppy has to be right there with him.
3 Kevin Owens: Package Piledriver
This is definitely one of the more unique takes on the Piledriver. Back when he was running around Ring of Honor and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, Kevin Owens displayed a Package Piledriver that could finish any opponent to this day. Piledrivers are rarely seen in the WWE these days due to the risk of spiking someone, something wrestling fans and promotions never want to see. While the move has enough impact as it is, Owens would use it off the top rope from time to time to really send a message to his opponent. If he broke this out today, fans would definitely mark out after seeing such a crazy move being pulled off. The Pop-Up Powerbomb has nothing on Owens' old finishing move.
2 CM Punk: Pepsi Plunge
I told you we'd be getting back to this. CM Punk's top-rope Pedigree or "Pepsi Plunge" is a devastating move. Triple H's Pedigree is a great finisher in it of itself but when it was being done off the turnbuckle by Punk during his ROH and independent wrestling circuit days it was simply amazing. Why Punk never used it in the WWE is a bit of a mystery. It most likely is due to Triple H using a more dumb downed version of the move. Back when Punk first entered the company he was nowhere near the superstar he was before he left in 2014.
It would have been quite the sight to see Punk basically bury Triple H by using a more unique and punishing version of his own move. I guess we'll never see Punk use it again unless he decides to abandon the whole MMA thing.
1 1. Scott Steiner: Steiner Screwdriver
This might be one of the most dangerous moves to ever be used in professional wrestling. Dropping an opponent on their head from that height is crazy. Scott Steiner has become a part of the weird side of wrestling. At this point he's almost known better for being downright insane and yelling "HAH!" during his matches. Plus he's more jacked now than he was in his 20s which is just scary. Steiner used the Steiner Screwdriver during his first run in the WWE. After that he barely ever used it and for good reason. The amount of risk involved in the move is quite high and it amazes me that he never seriously injured someone with it.
Big Poppa Pump started using the Steiner Recliner after he all but retired the piledriver variation. Steiner can now be found on the independent circuit still yelling and botching moves like the old days.