Anyone who watches World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) on Monday and Tuesday nights knows the cool moves that the superstars will pull out to try and put away their opponent.

Whether it be a slam, a kick, or a flashy jump off the ropes, each man or woman has that one special move they have in their arsenal to win the match. Like all things in sports entertainment, not all the moves stack up to each other, so I have compiled a list of my top ten best and worst finishers in WWE. I restricted it to moves performed by stars currently employed by the company, as well as moves that are still used by current stars (so no, the curb stomp* will not be on here).

Warning: The below list is my opinion. Feel free to add your own worst/best finishers in the comments, so long as you are polite and respectful. Thank you.

 

10. Best: Accolade

Coming in at number ten is a move called the Accolade, done by Russian brute Rusev. The move looks absolutely painful thanks to his size and the extending of the abdomen of his opponent.

The Accolade is a move where Rusev sits on the back of his opponent, usually kicking them a few times to keep them down, pulls the arms of the opponent back and locks his fingers together under their chin, pulling back in order to arch their spine and apply pressure to the abdominal muscles. It's a painful looking move that has won Rusev many matches. Hard to get out of as well.

 

10. Worst: DDT (As A Finisher)

Before you get out your pitchforks and torches, hear me out on this one. I like the DDT as a move, because it's simple and very effective. Many superstars utilize the DDT, which is performed by facing the opponent, wrapping the arm around their neck, and bringing their head forcefully onto the ground below, and therefore taking away some of the significance when used as a finisher.

A few superstars have the DDT as their finisher, Dean Ambrose and Randy Orton having two of the more known ones, but it seems a bit silly to me that other superstars use it as a common move (I mean, Dolph Ziggler does a Satellite DDT pretty often), and now we have two or three superstars who win matches with a move proven by dozens of others to not be that effective at taking down an opponent. Maybe that's just me.

I put the DDT at number ten because I like the move in general, but it doesn't strike me as a lethal finisher that can win you matches. It's anticlimactic. 

 

9. Best: Lumbar Check (backstabber)

 

For number nine I chose the Lumbar Check used by Cruiserweight superstar Cedric Alexander. This move is a typical backstabber, which is done by pulling the opponent towards the legs, with you laying on the ground, and pushing the knees/shins up into their back, catapulting them into the air if done hard enough. The backstabber is already a devastating move, add in the fact that Cruiserweights are smaller than regular superstars, and you have the making for some high flying and painful looking action.

The backstabber itself was also utilized most memorably by Alberto Del Rio, but is most recently used by women's superstar, Sasha Banks, though she doesn't quite get that "oomf" in there that Cedric does.

(Check him out on Tuesday nights following Smackdown Live on the Network. 205 Live.)

 

9. Worst: The Styles Clash

Is anyone really impressed by this finisher? The only time I have seen this move bought into it was when AJ 'Styles Clashed' James Ellsworth off the steel steps. That is damage done to an opponent.

The move is performed by current WWE Champion AJ Styles, where he lifts the opponent upside down and facing away from him, steps his legs around their dangling arms, and then throws both of them onto the ground below so that their face, presumably, hits the mat, usually rolling over into a pin afterwards.

While it is impressive to see him hoisting someone into the hold, it's not very believable that Roman Reigns, or anyone that size he has done the move to, couldn't just get out of that move since their hands are laying on the mat. If he perhaps saved it for his smaller opponents, like Ziggler or Seth Rollins, I might buy more into it.

As it is, I'm not impressed with this move.

 

8. Best: Natural Selection

It's not too often I see a women's finisher that I like because there just isn't enough there to catch my eye, but the Natural Selection, performed by Charlotte Flair, looks amazing. It something like a DDT, only she flips her entire body over her opponent, using her weight and momentum to slam their face into the mat. It looks amazing in the ring, and offers that impact that many other women finishers lack.

Give me more of that.

 

8. Worst: The Superkick (As A Finisher)

I like superkicks. I think they are one of the simplest, yet most effective moves in the WWE, and perhaps in wrestling overall, but it has become way over-used. Everyone does a superkick now (though only some are called Shawn Michaels rip-offs, but that's another rant for another time..), so having it as your finisher is, well, unimpressive.

It's a great move, but like the DDT, it's kind of worthless if everyone does it.

 

7. Best: Blue Thunder Bomb

You may not be a fan of Sami Zayn's, but no one can deny the talent he possess. His in-ring ability is some of the best in the business, and having a flashy, yet still impactful, move is just icing on the cake. The Blue Thunder Bomb looks impressive, and it sounds painful as the opponent is swung around in the air and slammed onto their back. Very similar to the Deep Six done by Baron Corbin.

 

7. Worst: Coupe De Gras

I just can't get behind this move. As effective as I'm sure a double stomp to the chest is, the move doesn't always offer that power that it should, and it certainly doesn't impress me. Perhaps if Balor was a bit bigger, or his opponents a tad smaller than, say, Roman Reigns, I could buy the move as a lethal one. Wrestling may be "fake" (it isn't, but the word predetermined works..), but something has to look at least a bit believable. Is he going to just stomp on the massive chest of Brock Lesnar and win?

Sorry Balor Club, I'm just not buying it.

 

6. Best: Phenomenal Forearm

This move, performed by WWE Superstar AJ Styles, is incredibly simple, yet lethal in a match. Basically, Styles climbs on the top rope, leaps off towards his opponent, and smashes his forearm into their face. Anyone who has had a forearm/fist to the face knows not only is this painful, it can throw you off and allow the other person the advantage in a fight.

Plus, he has his momentum and body weight working with him. The move looks amazing, much unlike the previously mentioned Styles Clash, and isn't overly complicated. I like it.

 

6. Worst: Neutrallizer

This move is performed by Superstar, Cesaro, and is very similar to the Styles Clash.

Basically, he picks the opponent up while they are standing before him, hold them upside-down or parallel to the mat, and then brings their face crashing down to the mat. It's an effective move, but it looks incredibly awkward. And depending on how big his opponent is, it doesn't seem to make a big impact. Cesaro is a strong man, don't get me wrong, but he could have a much better, more lethal, finisher than the Neutralizer.

 

5. Best: Brogue Kick / Big Boot

Nothing says knock out like a boot to the face. A much better alternative to the Superkick, the Brogue Kick, used by Sheamus, and the Big Boot, used by multiple superstars (though not as finishers), is simple: while the opponent is running towards the wrestler, they bring their foot up, sometimes even stepping through the kick, and the face of their opponent meets the soles of their boots.

Sheamus' variation is also sometimes done while the other person is standing still, distracted, or dazed.

Other notable Big Boots include Luke Harper and Jinder Mahal

 

5. Worst: The Last Dance

No one likes a leg drop, even the one made famous by Hulk Hogan. At least with him, you have the fact that he is larger than life and well over 200 pounds to work with. 

Fandango is the owner of the Last Dance, which is just a leg drop off the ropes onto an opponent laying on the ground. Many superstars use variations of a leg drop, making this already uneventful move even less interesting to the viewer. Add in the fact that he hardly ever hits it anymore and, well, it's a combination for disaster.

Fandango is a great talent; give him a great finisher.

 

4. Best: Clash of the Titus

Titus O'Neil has had an interesting time in the WWE as of late, being the proud owner of 'Titus Worldwide', a management company that promises to help talent get better matches and win. He still does wrestle in the ring, though the Clash of Titus hardly ever comes out. 

Basically, this move is a powerslam with a little theatrics. It seems boring, and most powerslams aren't all that exciting as finishers, but don't forget that Titus is a very BIG man, which means there is a lot of force behind that slam. Plus, the name just makes it that much cooler.

Titus has always been a fantastic talent. Let's hope he can work back up to winning some matches and possibly being a champion!

 

4. Worst: The Axehole (lol)

This one is here mostly because the name is just...it's too funny! The Axehole (really WWE?) is a hangmans facebuster performed by Curtis Axel. It's kind of hard to explain, but just imagine someone about to perform a neckbreaker, changing their mind halfway through, and then dropping the opponent on their face.

It looks kind of awkward and stupid, though the force is there. And facebusters always look at least a little decent. At least he has his own finisher now, instead of his father's, and we don't ever have to see it while he's working with The Miz and Bo Dallas.

Wins all around!

 

3. Best: The Spear

The Spear is a very popular finisher, though unlike the DDT and Superkick, more times than not it picks up wins with each holder. And it's not used by most of the locker room at the same time. 

The Spear is currently used by Roman Reigns. This move is, very simply, a football tackle. Having been a previous professional football player, Roman makes the move look incredible and effortless, yet giving it the power it needs to take out an opponent. His spears are some of the best the business has ever seen!

Other notable Spear users: Rhyno (The Gore), Edge, Goldberg, and Big Show

 

3. Worst: The Khallas

Back to powerslams. The Khallas is performed by Jinder Mahal (yes, from 3MB!). He takes the opponent up in the air and slams them onto the ground, usually with one arm. It's impressive the strength behind it, but is rather unimpressive in terms of impact on the other person. Powerslams have to be done a certain way, and taken a certain way, in order to look good, and this one is not one that does.

Plus the way he sets up for it looks crazy awkward.

 

2. Best: The Codebreaker & The Liontamer/Walls of Jericho (tied)

At the time of this writing, Chris Jericho was not touring with Fozzy, and therefore a more constant presence in the WWE. 

The Codebreaker is a more recent signature move that has been used as a finisher by Jericho, as well as new Smackdown Live recruit, Liv Morgan, and it is devastating to look at. The Codebreaker forces the opponents face onto the knees in what looks like a reverse backstabber. Not quite as protected as number one, but it looks amazing, and is definitely one of my favorite finishers to see.

The Lion Tamer/Walls of Jericho is a submission move also performed by Chris Jericho. It is a modified Boston Crab, where the opponent is rolled onto their stomach, their legs held by the other person (who is facing away). Then their spine and abdominal muscles are stretched to the max as the other person sits down on their back, keeping hold of the legs as they go. Not only does this stretch the entire upper body, it crushes the windpipe and puts pressure on the chest, restricting air flow. 

The Liontamer, in it's original form, was very similar, except Jericho would pin the head down of his opponent with his knee/foot, twisting the head and body at a painful and awkward angle. It was banned when bigger guys kept getting hurt, and was turned into the Walls of Jericho, which commentators will interchange when calling his matches.

These finishers are tied because they are performed by the same superstar, and because they are both excellent ways to truly finish a match. The Walls of Jericho looks painful, and thanks to someone in the UFC, has been proven to actually work. The Codebreaker seemingly crushes the opponent's face into the knees, which anyone watching can figure would incapacitate someone.

 

2. Worst: The Ankle (Angle) Lock

The ankle lock is exactly what it sounds like: a wrestler holding the opponents ankle, usually in a standing position, twisting it painfully until the other person taps out. Painful? Most definitely. Effective? Probably. 

Submission moves have become rather popular as finishers because anyone watching can see it would actually work to make the other person quit (thanks MMA/UFC), but for the ankle lock, performed by Kurt Angle (Angle Lock) and former WWE superstar, Jack Swagger (Patriot Lock), it looks easy enough to get out of if the person has long enough legs or body. Definitely a great move for weakening the foot/ankle/leg, but not so much as the finisher for a match.

 

1. Best: The Skull-Crushing Finale

swear there is no bias here. The Skull-Crushing Finale is performed by WWE Superstar, The Miz, and is actually one of the more protected (meaning no one kicks out) finishers in the company. It looks devastating because the opponent is literally dropped on their face.

The Skull-Crushing Finale is a full nelson face-buster where the opponent's leg is hooked out from under them after being put into the full nelson position.

It is flashy, especially when The Miz does his taunt, it is devastating, it is unique to the superstar, and it can actually win matches. Nothing says "finisher" better.

 

1. Worst: Bayley - to - Belly Suplex

Look, belly-to-belly suplexes can be devastating. Big E does one that you can bet would knock the air right out of anyone he does it to, which is why this is specifically the Bayley - to - Belly version. Bayley is a sweet girl, who loves giving hugs and having fun, but her finisher? Weak at best. Why not give her a bear hug, which goes with her gimmick quite nicely, and is actually effective for someone of her build. A suplex from her doesn't seem to have the same effect as, say, Big E.

And that name? WWE, really? Puns and play on words are laughable at best.  

 

That's it! If you have any to add, or disagree with any of the ones on this list, feel free to comment. Also, do not try these at home.

 

*Writers Note: This was written before the Blackout/Curb Stomp was brought back by Seth Rollins on RAW.

Published by Caitlyn Booth