Every wrestling fan is keenly aware of what a finishing move is, as well as what it means to a wrestler. The finishing move is the big finale, in most cases. When a certain Superstar hits his or her finisher, odds are that's the end of things. Sure, sometimes fans will witness a finisher not actually ending a match, but when those finishing moves start coming into play, fans know the end has to be near. However, some finishers are just more spectacular than others.
When Hulk Hogan was top dog, his leg drop was his big finish-you knew it was over when he hit it. Compared to many of today's finishers, however, it's relatively uninspired. In terms of criteria? This is looking at how innovative a move might be, along with how good it does (or does not) look when executed. Anything that could be seen as a plain move, or a copycat, may be overlooked or get marked down (sorry, Kevin Owens fans). So, looking at today's Superstars, let's see what the best-and worst-finishers are today.
10 Worst: Jinder Mahal's Khallas
That Jinder Mahal even got himself WWE singles titles is an amazing feat. When we first met Mahal, he was big, but nothing above a mid-carder. When WWE aimed to beef up the rosters a few years back and they re-signed Jinder, it was a bit of a shock. His new physique surely helped him get a push, one which culminated in a world championship. That being said, this is one of the least awesome finishers going today. It's basically a cobra clutch chokeslam variation, and it is not helped at all by the fact that Mahal has botched this move on more than one occasion. If the move is going to be rather pedestrian (and it is), that means it needs to be crisply executed with great frequency. When it is not, it makes a bland move look that much worse, which is what we have here.
9 Best: Baron Corbin's End of Days
Baron Corbin is a lucky man. Why is he lucky? Because he actually has another move in his skillset that some Superstars would love to have as their finisher. For him, Deep Six could be a finisher, but is mostly just a set up for his big finale. End of Days is one of the coolest looking finishers being used by a WWE Superstar on the roster today.
It has a lot of things going for it, all of which matter. First, it's original-I can't recall anything even close to it being done in a WWE ring before. Second, it's a bit complex (as in, it's not just a stomp). Lastly, Corbin executes this move regularly with precision. While that's not saying he's never botched an End of Days, it's hard to recall a time when he had an issue executing his finisher.
8 Worst: Bayley's Bayley to Belly Suplex
Bayley is a very popular Superstar. She's won gold in NXT as well as on the main roster. She recently won Money In The Bank and cashed in to win her latest title, the SmackDown Women's Championship. As hyped as her class of Superstars was - she came up a bit after Charlotte, Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch - her move set might not be the greatest. In particular, her Bayley to Belly finisher.
Let's get down to the basics here - it's a belly to belly suplex, nothing much more to it than that. In terms of wrestling moves, a belly to belly suplex is a fairly standard throw. A suplex as a finisher, or as a near-finisher, works for power guys (like Taz way back when, or Kurt Angle, or Brock Lesnar). For Bayley, it's bland. We get it, it's her finishing move... but she needs to think about doing something a bit more awesome.
7 Best: Aleister Black's Black Mass
This move can be, quite honestly, breathtaking to see. Sure, you could boil it down to it's simplest form and call it a spinning heel kick, but that does not do the move justice. It is all about the delivery of the move. Aleister Black is fun to watch, and when he's toying with an opponent, just ahead of delivering his devastating finisher? It's very entertaining. So why does Black Mass make the list? For one, it has that visual appeal. The kick comes in a blink. For another, there's a true air of credibility to it. The move looks like, were it to land for real, the recipient would be knocked loopy. While the move has been botched a time or two, more often than not it hits the mark.
6 Worst: Lars Sullivan's Freak Accident
Putting this one right out there - when it comes to being a big man in wrestling, finishing moves can be tough. The common ones are all well known-choke slams, power bombs and the like. The challenge for an emerging big Superstar is to find one that works, that showcases their power and strength, and looks cool in the process.
For Sullivan, the big move is a side slam. He adds a big lift and spin to it, and it can look kind of cool, but it fails to impress. His diving head butt is more of a visual spectacle-because a guy his size normally doesn't fly from the top rope. What also hurts the Freak Accident is, execution isn't always crisp. It's a power move, but for a big man, it seems a bit underwhelming.
5 Best: Kofi Kingston's Trouble in Paradise
Kofi Kingston is another WWE Superstar blessed with having a few really neat looking moves, several of which could serve as his finisher. Trouble in Paradise, however, is his bread and butter. It's not the only kick on this list either.
Honestly, some might prefer Kingston's equally visually appealing SOS maneuver, but let's go with the one finisher he's relying on heavily of late. It lands here because of the visuals. A spinning corkscrew of a kick to the back or side of his opponent's head, it looks cool and it looks like, should the move actually connect for real, it would leave his opponents in a heap.
4 Worst: Naomi's Rear View
As far as uninspired finishers go, this one is up there. Maybe at some point it made sense? Perhaps someone in the creative process felt it would be a good idea for a then-Diva to use her prominent posterior as her finishing weapon of choice? Now, however, it just doesn't work.
About the only compliment worth bestowing upon the Rear View is that it does take a bit of skill to time the leap. But otherwise? This one is one of the weakest of all finishing moves, and would probably make some all time bad finishing move lists. It's Naomi, knocking her opponents down, by using her rear end. That's it. It's as dull as it sounds.
3 Best: Randy Orton's RKO
Fans have been enjoying this one for a long time. It's actually easy to overlook it or not give it the credit it has earned. Especially now, as Randy Orton has been working more of a reduced schedule, we don't get to see it as much. Regardless, the RKO has been built up as one of the most lethal finishers going today - and deservedly so.
One key criteria which the RKO has in spades is the visual appeal. Sure, we all know the "vanilla" RKO delivery. However, it's the variations in delivery that set this one apart. Was it copied from another wrestler? Sure, to a point. Watching Orton deliver an RKO out of nowhere, from all different predicaments, keeps the move exciting. Easily one of those moves you want to see replays of frequently.
2 Worst: Roman Reigns' Spear
This one was a tough call, and honestly, it may not be one that all fans agree with. When Roman Reigns hits his Spear, it's a pretty good bet that the match is over. It can look cool. It exudes his power. It's safe to assume that, if someone of Roman's size speared an average person-for real-it would hurt like anything. So why is it one of the worst? Because we've seen it...more than once.
We've seen it from Goldberg, we've seen it from Rhyno, we've seen it from Edge-to name a few. Sure, every Superstar puts their own spin on the delivery, but at the end of the day, it's not the most impressive move. It's basic, uncomplicated and, perhaps a bit uninspired. That suits Reigns' offense, however-it's not like the Superman punch is some amazing move either, after all.
1 Best: Ricochet's 630
To be honest, most of these could have come from 205 Live, because cruiserweight wrestlers can fly... and the high flying, high risk moves tend to look really awesome, especially when they are landed. Consideration was also given to Ali, because he uses a few nice aerial moves as well. In the end, Ricochet's impressive 630 senton gets the nod here. Any time you see the move, you have to watch with a bit of concern-will he get all the rotations in? A botch doing the 630 could be a devastating botch at that. It's a thing of beauty to see Ricochet pull that finisher off each and every time, and it's easily one of the most visually appealing finishers any WWE Superstar has to offer today-though it seems he may be switching things up.