The Most Iconic Finishing Moves Of All Time
A wrestler’s finishing move is directly connected to their personality in the ring. A lot of the time, it’s what distinguishes them from their opponent and a good finishing move is protected at all costs. For example, the Stone Cold Stunner is as much a part of Stone Cold Steve Austin as much as his beer drinking or Austin 3:16.
There are A LOT of finishing moves, so putting them all into an article would be impossible. So, we decided to gather all the most unique and recognizable finishing moves ever to see how they stack up against the rest.
CM Punk’s GTS (Go To Sleep)
If you’ve ever taken another man’s knee to your face, you know how unpleasant it is. Now, add in the gravity factor and a rising left knee and you have CM Punk’s finisher.
Honestly, the name Go To Sleep couldn’t be any better or more appropriate to what it does to the opponent. Punk isn’t the biggest or meanest guy in the world, but he can get his opponents into a fireman’s carry and that’s all he needs to do.
Brock Lesnar’s F5
Brock Lesnar isn’t like the rest of us physically. A powerful man like him needs an even more powerful finishing move. The force and hurt that’s brought upon Brock’s opponents when he performs his finisher is unfortunate, to say the least.
The F5 is a move that most people will not be able to recover from. Not only do you spin in mid-air, but you basically belly flop on the ground. Just ask the A-Train how bad Lesnar can make things with his F5.
The Undertaker’s Tombstone Piledriver
If you’re a WWE legend and you haven’t fallen victim to the Undertaker’s Tombstone Piledriver, you should feel ashamed of yourself. This finishing move has put down a who’s who of wrestling legends— Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Stone Cold, the list goes on.
With a nickname like The Deadman, it’s no surprise that most of his fights end up with his opponent’s getting dropped on their head. However, I’m not sure how much “resting in peace” someone can do after a tombstone.
Bret Hart’s Sharpshooter
Bret Hart’s Sharpshooter is as devastating as it sounds. He started off his career in a tag team, but showed that he was a big enough attraction to split off and be a single’s star.
The Excellence of Execution never let anyone out of the clutches of his finisher. Fans can still picture Stone Cold trapped in Bret’s clutches before passing out to the pain as blood spilled down his face.
Shawn Michaels’ Sweet Chin Music
Once the band starting tuning up, you knew some Sweet Chin Music was about to come. Shawn Michaels turned this finisher into one of the most consistently devastating moves in professional wrestling history.
He was able to end the career of WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair, in an emotional match at Wrestlemania thanks to the superkick. It won Michaels countless championships and basically made him the Showstopper, Main Event, and Mr. Wrestlemania.
John Cena’s Attitude Adjustment
The Attitude Adjustment used by John Cena in itself isn’t all that spectacular, but it led him to 16 World Championships and counting. It doesn’t matter how big his opponent is, Cena can hoist anyone on the roster onto his shoulders and smash them into the ground.
It doesn’t matter if you’re Rey Mysterio or The Big Show, Cena has the strength to pull it off on any opponent, and has even gone to the top rope to end the match. Cena is now one of the most popular wrestlers of all time, and he can thank the AA for a lot of his success.
Steve Austin’s Stone Cold Stunner
Stone Cold Steve Austin rose to be one of the most dangerous wrestlers of the Attitude Era because of the Stone Cold Stunner. This move quickly became a staple of any schoolyard fight.
Stone Cold would go on to win multiple World Championships, and his 3:16 shirts were a top seller for years during the 90s and 2000s. From The Rock to Shawn Michaels to the Chairman of the Board Vince McMahon, everyone who crossed paths with the rattlesnake got a stunner.
Triple H’s Pedigree
Triple H has been using the Pedigree for as long as he’s been with World Wrestling Entertainment. In fact, he started using it when he still going by the name Hunter Hearst Helmsley.
The Game punctuates almost every victory he’s ever gotten with the Pedigree, which looks like it has as much strain on the shoulders as it does the head. It’s stood the test of time and remains one of the most recognizable finishing moves.
Rob Van Dam’s Five-Star Frog Splash
It didn’t matter what company Rob Van Dam was fighting for, he was going to bring the excitement every time. No move captured his essence in the ring quite like the Five-Star Frog Splash.
RVD had the rare mix of size and speed, and he’d pull all of his talents on display when he went up to the top rope. While Van Dam might have been known as ‘Mr. Monday Night’ his finisher hurt every day of the week.
The Batista Bomb
The Batista Bomb is one of the most powerful finishing moves in the history of professional wrestling. No one can deliver a powerbomb quite like Batista can.
It didn’t matter how big or small you were, as soon as Batista hoisted you up in the air, you knew you were coming down hard. Just watch the bombs that were delivered to Umaga, Kane, and The Undertaker because if Batista can do it to wrestlers who weigh more than 300 pounds, just imagine what he did to the smaller guys.
Rey Mysterio’s 619
Rey Mysterio’s 619 is one of the most athletic and elaborate finishing moves. There are very few wrester’s who can move with the speed and agility that Mysterio can, and he continually pushes the boundaries of what a typical wrestler can do in the ring.
After a successful 619 is performed, Mysterio heading to the top rope to finish off his opponent with a West Coast Pop. It’s even led the luchador to a couple of World Titles.
One thing that’ll jump out to you when you see the Jackhammer performed is that it’s incredibly hard to pull off. Hoisting a fully grown man up on your shoulders with their legs sticking straight up seems nearly impossible.
Goldberg was able to pull this off with ease which tells us everything we need to know about his talent. Goldberg’s Jackhammer helped him accumulate a 173-0 record in WCW, where he became as popular as Stone Cold Steve Austin at the time.
Macho Man Randy Savage’s Flying Elbow
The Macho Man Randy Savage had one of the most picture-perfect elbow drops in professional wrestling. If you saw the Macho Man flying through the air in your direction, brace for impact and maybe say a little prayer because the match is going to be over after he lands.
The ridiculous colors that he wore in the ring while dropping elbows on his opponents is what made him a fan favorite. The Flying Elbow is often imitated, but never duplicated.
Randy Orton’s RKO
The RKO has won Randy Orton a ton of championships, and is so simple and effective that it’s even made its way into popular culture. Randy is a third-generation superstar, but his father and grandfather couldn’t do half of the moves he does in the ring.
Randy does a version of the cutter that Diamond Dallas Page used in WCW just a few years earlier, and it’s nearly impossible to kick out of it.
The Rock’s Rock Bottom
It’s safe to say that The Rock is one of, if not THE most famous wrestler to come out of the WWE. He’s the richest wrestler in history thanks to his movie deals and seamless transition to the Hollywood big screen.
But, before that, he had a finishing move in the ring that electrified crowds. The Rock Bottom might not have put away his opponent quite like the People’s Elbow, but it was the perfect way to put his opponents down on the canvas for a quick 3 count.
Chris Jericho’s Walls Of Jericho
The Walls of Jericho is a really just a version of the Boston Crab where Jericho bends his opponent’s legs behind their back. It’s incredibly simple, but also incredibly painful.
Jericho came to WWE with a ton of hype behind him, and once he beat The Rock and Stone Cold on the same night, he was basically a made man. Somehow, Jericho continues to reinvent himself in the ring, but he’ll always break out the Walls.
Ric Flair’s Figure Four Leg Lock
Rick Flair is the most decorated wrestler of all time, so it’s no surprise we found a way to include him on this list. The name Flair is revered in wrestling, at as a 16-time champion, so is his figure four leg lock.
Flair didn’t exactly use his finisher to actually win every match, but considering his goal was to break down his opponents starting with their legs, it was the perfect exclamation mark before ‘the dirtiest player in the game’ stole another victory.
Kurt Angle’s Ankle Lock
Kurt Angle was an Olympic gold medal wrestler which really gave him a leg up on the competition. That killer instinct followed him to the WWE, where he routinely trapped his opponent’s with the Ankle Lock finishing move. It was first brought to wrestling by UFC star Ken Shamrock, but Kurt Angle really made it his own.
It’s pretty simple, and incredibly painful. Basically, he twists his opponent’s ankle until they either tap out or somehow reach the ropes to force him to stop.
Roman Reigns’ Spear
The Spear is probably the most basic move on this list. But, it’s perfect for a superstar like Roman Reigns, who started out as a football player before following in his family’s footsteps.
There are a number of superstars that used the spear to great success, including former heavyweight champions Goldberg and Edge. However, it’s a new era, and considering Reigns has been able to topple The Undertaker at Wrestlemania with the spear, I think it’s safe to say it’s now his.
Mankind’s Mandible Claw
Whether you know Mankind as Cactus Jack, Dude Love, or just by his real name of Mick Foley, you definitely know of Mr. Socko. When Mankind first debuted, he would use the Mandible Claw to put pressure on his opponent’s tongue to pick up a win, but eventually, Mr. Socko made his appearance, and the rest is history.
Now wrestling fans can’t imagine Foley without the sock tucked into his waistband, and the introduction of the sock would help his feud with The Rock, before they eventually teamed as the Rock and Sock Connection.