10 Iconic Finishers That Wouldn’t Get Over Today

11/1/2023 10:16 AM

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10 Iconic Finishers That Wouldn’t Get Over Today

10 Iconic Finishers That Wouldn’t Get Over Today

November 1, 2023 10:16 AM
10 Iconic Finishers That Wouldn’t Get Over Today

It's extremely hard to get a finisher over today...

In modern-day pro wrestling, it is extremely difficult to come up with a new, exciting and innovative finishing move. Virtually every move imaginable has been used as a finishing move at some point in time, and this makes it hard for newer wrestlers to stand-out.

It’s also a major issue that moves that may have been iconic and protected two-decades ago, are now seen as transitional moves. This means that if a new wrestler was to introduce the specific move as their finisher, the fan-base would have a difficult time in accepting the move as a legitimate, credible finishing move.

So, with that being said, let’s take a look at 10 iconic finishers that wouldn’t get over today.

10: Sleeper Hold

The sleeper hold is one of the most well-known submission moves in pro wrestling. The hold was used by the legendary Rowdy Roddy Piper as a finisher, and there have been a number of variations of the move used as a finisher over the years, but Piper is probably the wrestler most associated with the move.

In modern-day WWE, the move is often used as a basic submission hold in a match, and is even used as a standard rest-hold so the wrestlers can catch their breath, and even communicate when it comes to upcoming spots.

If a wrestler was to re-introduce the move as a finisher today, it would be extremely hard for fans to invest in the move, as the reputation of the move has been butchered over the past two-decades. Notably, Dolph Ziggler attempted to introduce the move as a secondary finisher around a decade ago, but it sadly struggled to get over, and it wasn’t before long that Ziggler retired the move as a finisher.

9: Belly-To-Belly

It’s unlikely that the belly-to-belly suplex will ever become obsolete in wrestling. The move looks good and is considered relatively safe. However, a wrestler using the move as a primary finisher ever again would be a daring task. The move was last used as a finisher when Bayley decided to use the move, and rebrand it as the Bayley-2-Belly.

Bayley’s version was perfect for her character, but she quickly realised when she changed gimmicks, that the move doesn’t really work as a stand-out finishing move when portraying any other character outside of The Hugger.

If the move was to be introduced as a new finisher, then a modification of the move would be needed, or ultimately, the move would fail to get over with a modern-day audience.

8: KO Punch

When Big Show introduced the KO Punch as a finishing move, it was a bold yet smart choice for the former WWE Champion. It goes without saying that a 7-foot tall, almost 500-pound man punching an opponent is a sure-fire way to win a match, and obtain credibility, but the problem is that this move simply wouldn’t work for anyone else.

There are obvious question marks surrounding how the move is even legal in WWE, and it depends on WWE’s stance on closed fists when it comes to punches. Due to punches being a standard part of any modern WWE match, if the move was used as a finisher by a newer wrestler, fans would have no idea it was a finishing move. It took some time for fans to accept the move as Big Show’s new finisher, and it had to be presented and protected with care and diligence.

There is no way a wrestler in modern-day WWE would be able to get the move over, and we have seen examples such as Lacey Evans with the Woman’s Right, and as expected, this move looked completely flat upon execution, and nobody took it seriously.

7: The Worm

The Attitude Era was a time in which more comedic finishers were able to get over with the audience. The Worm, was the finisher of Too Cool member, Scotty 2 Hotty, and the finisher whilst entertaining, and always delivered a huge crowd reaction, is rather lacklustre as a move. The move is basically a bulldog, followed by a funny dance, only to be followed up by a fist drop. The move was perfect for the respective time period, and we saw when Scotty used the move in the Ruthless Aggression Era, that fans weren’t as keen on the infamous move.

If the move was used as a finisher for a wrestler today, then it would have to be solely presented as a comedic move, and nothing else. Trying to book and present the move as credible would be a difficult task for WWE. We have seen wrestlers such as Otis use a similar move on the WWE main roster, but Otis was extremely smart in having back-up finishing moves, which allowed him to win matches in a serious and legitimate manner when it wasn’t time for a comedic moment.

6: The AA

John Cena first debuted the AA back in 2003. The move was initially introduced to rival Brock Lesnar’s F5, yet the move seemed to work perfectly for the Doctor of Thuganomics, so he decided to keep the move for the next two-decades. The move is the best move possible for Cena, and it’s a safe variation of the popular Death Valley driver manoeuvre.

If Cena was to retire the move, and a wrestler from either the WWE main roster or NXT started to use the move, it would be unlikely that the move would receive a substantial reaction. The move is firmly associated with Cena, and if anyone else began to use the move, it would look kind of awkward, and they would forever be compared to Cena, which is something a wrestler would always struggle to overcome.

5: The Big Splash

Using a big splash as a finisher was previously a smart way for super-heavyweight wrestlers to deliver an impactful finishing move. Wrestlers such as Mark Henry and Viscera both used the move as a finisher, and it was a great fit for them, as they managed to make the move look devastating. The move was also used by The Ultimate Warrior, and his version of the move worked because he was able to get significant height on his leap, which made the move look awesome upon execution.

The big splash, similarly to other moves, has become a staple of matches, and the move is seen as a transitional move from one move to the next. If the move was to be used by a wrestler today as a primary finisher, then a noticeable modification would need to be implemented. This modification may come in the form of delivering the splash from the top-rope, or it could even be something brand-new and unique. Without this modification, the move would struggle to receive a reaction, as the fans would be left underwhelmed and dissatisfied.

4: The Figure-4-Leg-Lock

In terms of famous finishing moves, the figure-4-leg-drop is no doubt one of the most celebrated and widely known submission-based finishers. The move is mostly associated with the Nature Boy, Ric Flair, and Flair has won countless titles with the trademark move.

WWE have had a difficult time in giving the move to anyone else, as the fans just seem to reject the notion of someone outside of Flair delivering the move.

When Flair passed the move onto The Miz, fans loathed the idea, and it didn’t help that Miz’s execution of the move was incredibly clumsy.

WWE would even attempt to give Flair’s own daughter, Charlotte the move, and Charlotte made the sensible choice in offering a modification and variation of the move. Charlotte’s version of the finisher is appropriately named, ‘The Figure 8’, and it sees Charlotte push up into a bridge for extra leverage. This has managed to work, and the move is seen as one of Charlotte’s more superior moves, and this is predominantly down to Charlotte’s unique and memorable approach.  

3: The Leg Drop

Hulk Hogan is the man who made the leg drop one of the most protected finishing moves of all time. Hogan’s leg-drop, whilst basic as a finisher, was given credibility thanks to years upon years of WWE protecting the move.

Decades on from Hogan’s era, and the move is used as a standard, basic move in most matches, and the idea of a wrestler using the move as a finisher is hard to comprehend.

Unfortunately for fans of the dreaded leg drop, the move is just too basic to be a modern-day finishing move, and whilst the move may work if a super heavyweight was delivering it as their finisher, it would still be a tough task to ask the fans to accept and react positively to the move being delivered.

2: The People’s Elbow

It’s hard to imagine anyone other than The Rock delivering The People’s Elbow. The People’s Elbow was truly a move that only The Rock would have been able to get over, as The Great One delivered what was in essence an elbow drop, with so much charisma and aura, that it was somehow presented as one of the most legitimate moves in the company.

A move such as The People’s Elbow would never work in today’s WWE, as fans would dissect the logic of the move within seconds, and even if a wrestler tried to replicate the style of the move, it wouldn’t be too long before the live audience began to boo the move.

When The Rock has made sporadic appearances over the past decade, he has still used the move, and for the most part, fans have been okay with it, but the sheer idea of a wrestler taking a similar approach to their finishing move is something that fans simply aren’t clamoring for.

1: Sweet Chin Music

One of the most overused moves in modern wrestling is the superkick. A superkick can be found in virtually every pro wrestling match, and a wrestler using a single super-kick as a finishing move would be difficult to pull off.

Shawn Michaels is mostly known for introducing his version of the superkick to WWE, his version was known as the Sweet Chin Music, and if HBK debuted today, he would struggle to get the move over, because everyone on the roster uses his finisher.

The only way a wrestler in a top company such as WWE may be able to get the move over as a finisher, is if a blanket ban is issued on the superkick. If superkicks are then exclusively kept for finishing moves only, then a wrestler may have a small chance of restoring the infamous move back to its former glory.