Wrestling invaded the arena of entertainment a long time back with WWE or World Wrestling Entertainment. The scale of a WWE match is breathtaking: like an elaborate theatrical performance, there is a story, vivid character-sketches of protagonist, antagonist or an underdog, music, videos and other audiovisual effects.
The wrestler meticulously crafts his/her every act according to a theme – entrance, exit and of course the finale, the pin-and-win! Apart from mastering the technical maneuvers of the game, these professional wrestlers devise their own signature moves to defeat their opponents and win the matches. Popularly known as the ‘finishers moves,’ they effectually end a match with a flourishing finish and hands down, some of them are indeed creative!
10. The F-5 – Brock Lesnar
Brock Lesnar unleashes his beast potential with this signature maneuver. Most WWE champions have had a taste of it – and it did leave their mouths bitter and their bodies battered! Whether it’s Stone Cold Steve Austin who passed out cold after taking a hit in the 2004 RAW match or his arch nemesis, Kurt Angle, Lesnar has never let people doubt who rules the ring when he is around. The move made him so famous that even the WWE Summerslam used it in one of their commercials where Lesnar dives into the ocean for a fierce shark face-off with his F5!
Brock Lesnar executes this powerful finisher with the utmost ease. The move consists of a clear chain of actions: hoisting an opponent on to your shoulder (tossing even Undertaker like a rag doll effortlessly), spin him around (if it is a double F5 then the person can resemble a blonde helicopter, as was the case with Shannon Moore) and round this off with a modified DDT landing (or face in the mat landing). Lesnar fans erupt with joy when they see this move because it mostly announces the winner! Brock is the only one who practices F5 with élan and dishes it out to his adversaries irrespective of their age, stature, build or body.
9. Jimmy Superfly Snuka’s Superfly Splash
Although Jimmy Snuka, the Fijian pro-wrestler lived a very controversial life (accused of being a mistress killer) and is now deceased (passed away in 2013), very few ardent wrestling fans can ever forget his ultimate move. This move crowned him as one of the legends of the World Wrestling Federation. The elaborate move reminds of a giant hand coming down to swat a fly and squashing the life out of it. Comprising of a climb to a ring’s top turnbuckle, aligning the body before taking flight and then slamming down onto the outstretched opponent. The action is a pure visual treat!
Amidst all the crazy flips and dives, Jimmy Snuka’s high-flying move, Superfly Splash has always retained a certain respect. In an interview, Jimmy had said that his audience’s anticipation drove his action. He said that he had to do it and felt he didn’t have a choice because that’s what he’d created. In fact, it has even inspired wrestlers like Mick Foley to enter the profession. And now that Snuka is no more, his daughter, Tamina has picked up her dad’s legendary finisher and pinning down her opponents, one at a time.
8. CM Punk’s GTS or Go To Sleep
Don’t mistake it as a lullaby move – it is a lethal dose of slumber not everyone will be willing to sign up for! But like other creative inspirations, it is alleged that CM Punk picked up this move from the Japanese master KENTA. It very well can be because cases for plagiarising finisher moves are not rare in the wrestling kingdom. But many feel that since KENTA has always inspired Punk he should have paid a tribute or made some sort of statement.
But keeping that aside, this move has really stolen a million of Punk’s fans hearts at the same time!In ‘GTS,’ the wrestler picks the rival up onto his shoulder, elbows locked, and drops him off face first on his bent knee and knocks the air out of their lungs. Most opponents, after getting a direct hit on their face or a sloppy chest hit, are left sprawled like rag dolls on the mat, ready for the pin and win. It is definitely not easy to pick up giants and throw them down in such a smooth motion. Punk has really perfected the move, as all his opponents like the legendary John Cena, The Rock or Kane would agree.
7. Undertaker’s Tombstone
The harbinger of death, Undertaker Tombstone Piledriver sends a shiver down the spines of the audience watching his matches in the stadium. For a man of Undertaker’s stature nothing is impossible, so the mechanics of the move do not surprise that much. What takes the drama-cake is the expression on the sinister face of this dreadful wrestler. The move definitely works in favor of the menacing effect Undertaker’s character is famous for and accentuates his evil presence in the arena.
If we can use just two words to define this move, which is the upturned body of a rival dropped on the head, they will be ‘The End.’ If you think ‘finisher’ moves signify the end is near, then this move spells FINISH in the clearest manner possible. This move was solely created for Undertaker and nobody else is allowed to use it, lest it spoil the character arch of Undertaker. Only Kane, who plays his brother as part of the Brothers of Destruction, is allowed. However, his move is a bit different than Undertaker’s. Also, it is considered too dangerous for letting other wrestlers practice it.
6. Jake the Snake Roberts DDT
It is beyond imagination how this guy made Stone Cold Steve Austin squeal like a crybaby and that too, about half a dozen times. But definitely, Jake had the magic because without that you cannot make wrestling history. Another interesting fact from his wrestling career is how he chanced upon his famous finisher move – the DDT.
Jake was in a ring fighting a wrestling match when it happened. He came upon the idea of the move quite by accident. He was holding the other guy in a front face lock. Accidentally, the man stepped on his feet and they both fell backward. What made Jake take notice of what just happened was the audiences spontaneous reaction to the fall. He understood that viewers liked what they saw and decided to start working on it. Inspired by the name of the outlawed, notorious pesticide DDT, Jake took some time to perfect this move. DDT was such a move that it inspired many wrestlers to base their own finisher moves on it. But the origin of DDT is still shrouded in controversy as many believe that the move was originally practiced by Mexican wrestler Black Gordman.
5. Stone Cold Steve Austin’s Stunner
We generally remember wrestlers who give us some elaborate, hair raising, spine chilling and adrenaline pumping stunts. But Stone Cold Steve Austin’s Stunner is an absolute anticlimax if one is looking for cheap thrills. This is a technical and a very calculated move, administered with Steve Austin’s devil-may-care attitude and packed with his insane power. The kick in the midriff is followed by a 3/4 face lock and a jaw-breaking drop to hit the blow home. This leaves the opponent completely helpless, thus scoring a smooth finish for Austin.
As discussed before, signature wrestling moves do get ripped off, especially from wrestling veterans and old-timers like Steve Austin. But he has just this one thing to say to other wrestlers who are practicing his ‘Stone Cold Stunner’ and want to incorporate it in their moveset. He said that the stunner should be given the pride of place as a finisher move. He worries that if it is simply sprinkled throughout the match as an ordinary move, it will soon fall from grace like the lost move of DDT. We sure don’t want that sort of fate waiting for the legendary Stone Cold Stunner move.
4. The Rock’s Rock Bottom
An ardent fan of The Rock, aka Dwayne Johnson can never miss the wrestler’s Hollywood rendezvous, the spectacular film of Fast & Furious 7. And he would have cheered when he spotted how the wrestler bought his famous finisher move of Rock Bottom off the wrestling ring and into a fight scene with Jason Statham. That shows the popularity of this move and how people immediately connect The Rock with ‘Rock Bottom.’ His one other finisher move, The People’s Elbow, has drawn a lot of flak for being weak and trash. But with Rock Bottom, The Rock has reclaimed his pride as a pro wrestler.
Although ‘Rock Bottom’ is a famous move and has been practiced by ace wrestlers like Booker T’s Bookened, The Rock definitely brings his own smoothness into it. This move is quite an unexpected one and does not need any build-up. It is just a quick action of grabbing the opponent with one arm around his upper body, lifting him up and slamming him down with all the weight of the wrestler falling on top of the opponent and pinning him down as a result. It is definitely a treat to watch!
3. Bret Hart’s Sharpshooter
Ouch! This one is the real badass. Originating in Japan, this move is called ‘sasori-gatame’ or the scorpion hold in English and has many variations like Boston Crab and Liontamer (a risky maneuver practiced by Chris Jericho). This is a popular professional wrestling submission hold and Bret “Hitman” Hart really made it famous. It looks very complex, but if done correctly, the rival will be pinned down for good.
The move is set into motion when the wrestler picks up both the legs of the grounded opponent who is lying face up and pulls them apart. It gives him enough time to place his left leg across from the body on its right side. Then he takes both the legs of his opponent and makes a crisscross over his own knees and uses one arm to lock down the legs in the process. Then the wrestler just spins on his free leg, which results in the flipping the body of the opponent, who is now stuck on his belly. All that is left for the wrestler to do now is to squat on the opponent’s overturned body. The hold and pressure will leave the rival completely immobilized.
2. Randy Orton RKO
Around Randy Orton’s RKO, indeed, no one is safe! The Viper always strikes a deadly blow. This unbeatable wrestling superstar’s RKO is a very deceptive move because it springs out of nowhere and is a complete pin-and-win if done correctly. Moves like RKO are very technical and are part of the professional wrestling move sets. But Randy brings in a unique element of his own and infuses it with this move. The lethal blow comes from the way it is executed.
If any move can define history for the wrestler who is wielding it, then Randy’s RKO is one among them. He just waits for his opponent to face him and holds his neck with his arms interlocked while turning his own body around so that his back faces the victim and slamming him down on the mat with an epic leap. He has craftily fashioned the move so that it can counter any attack his rival is thinking to spring at him. It is astonishing to watch how effortlessly he evades the death grip of Undertaker and takes him down with this move when escape becomes impossible.
1. Shawn Michaels’ Sweet Chin Music
Our dear old boot to the jaw move, known in the wrestling circuit as a superkick! Meet the papa of Sweet Chin Music, Shawn Michaels who has taken the proud center stage and taken down many a rival with this crisp and powerful sidekick. Once asked in an interview as to how he came across the move, he gave all the credit to the WWE Hall of Famer Pat Patterson. Pat suggested that he should replace his earlier finisher, the teardrop suplex with the superkick.
Over the years he has added his own flair to it and personalized the kick, which greatly enhances the drama and the visual impact. But as down to earth as this wrestler is, he puts this technique down as a mere hop and a skip. According to him, he picked up the move from his days of watching World Class Wrestling in Texas. Now that he has retired, other young wrestlers like Dolph Ziggler and John Morrison are picking up the move. Hope they will do justice to it and save it from becoming another DDT move.