In the wrestling world, people are defined by their ability to entertain and wow the audience using great mic skills, great acting, and the ability to sell the pain of the moves that are inflicted on them. With the newest generation of wrestlers coming into their own and audiences figuring out more and more about the pro wrestling business, it isn't enough to just have good mic or acting skills, but to have more diverse and compelling move sets to keep the crowd interested in the match and product.
But then there are the wrestlers that just don't have that incredible move set. They simply throw clubbing blows or use rudimentary wrestling moves that make it that much harder to get over with the crowd. One of the golden boys of WWE that many of the Internet Wrestling Community had pigeonholed as one of the biggest offenders of having a small and repetitive move set was John Cena. Over the years though, Cena has proven himself to be a move aficionado by growing his move set into a very creatively diverse set, especially the move set of a really big guy (completely withstanding the springboard stunner. God that's an awful move).
But we're talking about the guys who really offend this new age rule. Whose wrestling acumen when it comes to moves is about as limited as the choices on the McDonald's dollar menu. Wrestling that would ALMOST make CM Punk want to come back to WWE, just to show people how it's done. The people who offended this rule the most fit under certain prejudices: big or extreme. The people who really deserve to be made fun of for their small move sets are those wrestlers you would expect to have many more moves than they actually do. The reason they're singled out is because they were capable of doing so much more, but just stick to their regular moves and fail to expand themselves when they should be able to.
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15 Braun Strowman
The Black Sheep of The Wyatt Family and The New Face of Destruction, Braun Strowman boasts a move list that reads like a first graders picture book: short, simple, and laughable for all the wrong reasons. Granted, Strowman is a world class power lifter and is about as green as grass when it comes to professional wrestling skills, so he gets a bit of a pass. Once he starts getting more years underneath his belt and spends more time at the Performance Center perfecting his craft, it'll be amazing to see what kind of damage he can do and what kind of moves he can come up with. But until then, his moves are big, slow, and about as voluminous as attendance figures at a political debate.
14 Titus O'Neil
The powerhouse of the Prime Time Players is an impressive specimen. Despite his fabulous look, the amount of moves he uses on his opponent is unimpressive. Since O'Neil's TV time is starting to expand and his partnership with Darren Young mysteriously cut short, O'Neil is going to have start showing creative that he's not only the WWE's spokesman on parenting, but also a compelling wrestler. He's shown to have decent mic skills at times, but his in ring ability still has something left to be desired with his shallow range of power moves and squashing people in the corner.
13 David Otunga
The second place winner in the first NXT competition, David Otunga was destined for great things following his rookie season. Much like O'Neil, he has an impressive physique and unlike O'Neil, a Harvard law background allowing public speaking skills to be second nature to him. Otunga definitely displayed the wrestling acumen to be able to go places with his impressive ability. The biggest drawback on Otunga was that he was always tagged in a group or as a manager, so his moveset development was stunted greatly. He was relegated to being a heavy hit, strongman persona with about one impressive move (thrust spinebuster) and that was it. Otunga currently serves as one of the hosts on the Raw Pre-Show, but has expressed a ton of interest in getting back into the ring. Hopefully, he can make a comeback from behind the desk, definitely not like Alex Riley.
12 The Great Khali
What's over seven feet tall and mostly just grunted the entire time he was in WWE? The Great Khali of course! The former World Heavyweight Champion was a force to be reckoned with in his initial run with the company, having taken out The Undertaker, John Cena, Shawn Michaels, and Rey Mysterio, just to name a few. While he was a dominating wrestler during his first run, he did so with a move set that is becoming of most big men: big body slams, giant boots, and choke slams. So to say he was a wrestling move aficionado's wet dream would be about as far fetched a statement as The Miz getting over as a babyface. The best part about The Great Khali was that he really didn't require a big move set. He was a tall, imposing, and gigantic mother trucker that could sell his moves without even really needing any acting. He let his size do the talking and that's what made him a decently compelling wrestler, but as we all know, in this day and age, size and strength doesn't equal longevity within the WWE.
11 The Sandman
A category that will fall underneath this list are the extreme wrestlers. Big spot wrestlers who do insane and crazy things with weapons, dangerous aerial moves, and just horrid stuff in general. Cue The Sandman. The former ECW original is probably one of the scariest people to ever step into the ring. Slamming people with his favorite kendo stick and just causing all sorts of destruction everywhere, The Sandman was never really known for being a technical wrestler between the ropes, so his move set was lacking to say the least. With a flapjack there, a Russian legsweep here, and an awesome leg drop from the top rope, The Sandman will never be a CM Punk or Daniel Bryan, but that's definitely not where his appeal was. Being as he was an aforementioned ECW original, extreme was his game and that's what he brought to ECW.
10 The Boogeyman
One of the most supernatural (and probably one of the most disgusting) wrestlers ever to hit the WWE, The Boogeyman was a jacked guy. Physically, he was one of the more imposing figures on the roster, hence why he got the pump handle slam as his finisher. But The Boogeyman's gimmick was never about being the most technical of wrestlers. Sure, The Undertaker grew his move set with his gimmick, but The Boogeyman's gimmick also contributed to him never being able to expand his character, or his move repertoire. Being a childish monster who eats worms in his entrance and smashes so many clocks over his head that Flavor Flav would have to find new necklaces really likens your moves to those that are big and terrifying. Which is why The Boogeyman was doomed to never have anything substantive within his move set.
9 Tommy Dreamer
Another ECW Original, the native from Yonkers, New York is another brawler type. What places Dreamer above The Sandman was that Dreamer actually had the ability to come up with new moves to add for himself. And I'm not talking about physical ability, but because Dreamer's gimmick lent itself to being more reality based instead of some comically vicious extreme character in the landscape of ECW. He was a brawler who had decent wrestling ability and his finisher even indicated the ability to innovate new moves (Tommyhawk). Being the "Heart and Soul of ECW" also gave him more incentive to make sure that though he was meant to be a violent fighter out of the extreme promotion, it also forced him to go different avenues to tell a story in the ring, like ring presence, selling, and using extreme spots. Unfortunately, he didn't develop his move set further.
You wouldn't expect a high flying wrestler to have a small move set. After all, they're capable of doing things in the ring that most in the world are not physically able to do. But alas, we always have one exception to the rule. Meet Sabu. Like Dreamer and Sandman, he is another ECW legend. For the uninitiated, Sabu was ECW's Jeff Hardy in terms of high flyers who just didn't give a damn and threw their body's off of turnbuckles, stairs, ladders, barricades, Titantrons (specifically Jeff Hardy) and an assortment of other objects. Where Sabu and Hardy differed was their method of storytelling. Being of ECW and just like his other brethren, Sabu was extreme, meaning weapons, barbaric tendencies, and GORE (excuse me, inner Rhyno came out). What was really disappointing about Sabu's move set was that it had all the potential in the world to expand beyond that of just being extreme. There was potential for him to go even further than Hardy because he had so much natural ability. But alas, he was pigeonholed as the high flyer extreme pro wrestler that couldn't get away from that personification.
7 Santino Marella
Santino Marella is famous for winning the Intercontinental Title on his very first night on Raw. He took it from Umaga with a little outside interference from Bobby Lashley. All this aside, Marella became a WWE superstar overnight and it was going to be gangbusters from there, right? Aside from being casted as pretty much a unibrowed idiot who powerwalked his way down to the ring, Santino could never be taken too seriously as a legit threat to any title. And his move set was as if a ten year old decided to give him dumb and ineffective moves on the Create A Wrestler mode in any of the WWE games. Not only was his move set dumb, it was shorter than a list of things Masked Kane did in his spare time. Hip toss, splits dodge, atomic drop, Cobra. Ugh. Don't even get me started on the Cobra. It only makes sense that if a wrestler is going to have a silly and small move set, they might as well equip him with the silliest finisher ever to complete that hot mess of a wrestling gimmick.
6 Lex Luger
The Total Package (insert dirty jokes about his nickname here) was one of the most physically impressive wrestlers to ever step into a ring. Looking like he was chiseled out of marble, Luger tossed around many a wrestler with power moves like a grown man playing with kids. But that was all he was. Luger's longevity is explained by his incredible strength that was rivaled by very few. And his finishing move was so impressive that he rarely ever needed other moves before he was able to illicit such emotion when he placed people within The Torture Rack. Though he had a move set the size of a tiny dog, he had the charisma of Michael Buffer and the physique of Hercules to make up for what he obviously lacked in technical skill.
5 The British Bulldog
The British Bulldog was WWE's answer to Lex Luger, before they acquired him. A strongman type who was legitimately one of the strongest people ever to be in the WWE, pound for pound. Like Luger though, since he was a strongman, he was very limited to what kind of moves he could accomplish in the ring. His finisher was a running power slam. A RUNNING POWER SLAM. That's like a standard move for all big men. Bill Goldberg did them almost every single match. Luger, Batista, Kane. Literally every big man in wrestling does a running power slam of some sort in their match. And that was Bulldog's Finisher? Bulldog was never going to be known for technical acumen in the ring. BUT GOOD GOD, A RUNNING POWER SLAM? That's just lazy.
4 The Ultimate Warrior
The Ultimate Warrior is another one of those guys from the 80s who was huge and just energetic. With his glorious face pain, his sprinting down from the entrance to the ring, and grabbing the top rope and shaking it like it owed him lunch money, Warrior was more than a staple in the golden age of wrestling, he was an icon. Warrior though had probably one of the smallest move sets ever to be born onto a wrestler. Clotheslines, body slams, military slams, and running splashes were the entirety of his repertoire. It's safe to assume that his moves were about as many as the suspects in the Making A Murderer show on Netflix. But he is one of the best examples that if you have enough charisma, energy, and A WARRIOR SPIRIT, ANYTHING COULD GET OVERCOME.
3 Ken Shamrock
The Most Dangerous Man in the World is probably one of the most baffling cases of having a small move set. Shamrock was one of the most intense people to ever step into a ring, having an mixed martial arts pedigree that legitimately scared other people from wanting to work with him. Dude was about as stiff a wrestler as a con artist during a polygraph test. He kicked, punched, belly to belly suplexed, and ankle locked people into becoming his little female dog. That was the strangest thing though: you'd think with the plethora of experience he has in MMA that'd he be able to incorporate more of his colorful background into creating some amazing pro wrestling moves. Sadly, he was relegated to only having a couple moves that he would perform with deadly efficiency. Alas, he barely scratched the surface of expanding his move set when he was injured and broke away from WWE to go back to MMA.
2 Mick Foley
Mick Foley is one of the foremost figures in wrestling, both within the business and out of the business. He knew more about the wrestling game, who the hottest prospects were, and how he should be upping his own skills to get further into his career. That was the thing about Mick Foley: he chose to go with ring psychology, human psychology, and extremely dangerous bumps to get over with the crowd. The three faces of Foley, Mr. Socko, and outrageous acts ranging from the mentally insane to the strangely lovable all kept Foley more over with the crowd than people more physically able and more aesthetically pleasing than he was. Probably the absolute strangest thing about Foley was that though he knew more about wrestling than the biggest dirt sheet nerds, he barely grew his move set. He had multiple finishers sure, but it's extremely curious that he never upped his move repertoire to someone of his apparent knowledge.
1 Hulk Hogan
The Hulkster. The Immortal One. Hollywood. The Icon. The Red and Yellow. The funniest thing about Hulk Hogan (you know, besides being a closet racist and all) was that he probably had more nicknames than he had actual moves. From body slam, big boot, punch, stomp, leg drop, Hogan's move set was incredibly small for the incredible stature he came to be during the golden years of wrestling. I guess you could add in The Finger Poke of Doom, but come on people. Hogan is probably the biggest perpetrator of having an embarrassingly small move set when he was capable of so much more than being the big man. John Cena understood that as the face of the company, he had to grow himself as an entertainer, not just on the mic or doing all of the cutesie stuff with all the fans, but as a performer as well. His move set grew exponentially and he has become one of the more complete wrestlers in the ring and wears the mantle of WWE proudly (still no Dolph Ziggler, but hey, the guy can try). That's where Hogan needed to improve. He had the look, he had the build, he had the fans, and he had the charisma. But to truly prove himself as a wrestler, he needed to have done more than toss people, leg drop a couple dudes, and yell "WELL LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHIN', BROTHER."
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