If you watch or ever watched professional wrestling, you have an affinity for certain wrestlers and their finishing moves. I was originally going to make this a Mount Rushmore but didn't feel like narrowing it down that far tonight in all honesty. Despite that, this list is going to have some omissions that SHOULD be on the list of best/most iconic professional wrestling finishers, but it's MY list. Let me emphasize that again, MY list. And if you're not down with that I've got two words for ya....
10. Go To Sleep- CM Punk
I know some don't love this move as much as I do, but there's something so believable about it. It's one of those moves that you wouldn't dare try on a sibling or friend because you thought you'd legitimately kill them by dropping their face directly into your knee from the fireman's carry. Say what you want about Punk, but he's one of the all-time greats and he'll be back.
9. Pedigree- Triple H
Believability is going to be a big theme on this list, but the Pedigree is a move that perfectly fits the wrestler. When Seth Rollins was using the Pedigree for a few years, I admittedly cooled off on the move. While the move doesn't look as great as it used to when Triple H busts it out a few times a year in 2020, it looks damn good rewatching old WrestleMania matches like I have been during the stay at home order. Plus, the finisher looked much better back in the day, but then concussions and neck injuries became a thing. For shame.
He went down for a lot more than a 3-count
8. Bitter End- Pete Dunne
Definitely not someone most people reading this are going to know, but Pete Dunne's a guy who's going to be wrestling well into my future kid's childhood. The British product is only 26 and wrestles that classic English style with modern infusions and has you squirming every match of his you watch even though you know it's fake. This is a little bit contradictory to what I've said about simplicity, but the barebones of the move are a simple pump handle into a flatliner. Could I do it to someone? Not a chance. Does it look cool? Looks pretty fucking awesome when it isn't and gif and as slow as an Undertaker 'Mania entrance. Watch Pete Dunne vs Tyler Bate from TakeOver Chicago. It's a damn clinic of professional wrestling in today's world.
7. Doomsday Device- The Road Warriors/Legion of Doom
The Doomsday Device looked like The Road Warriors were going to kill whoever was on the receiving end every single time. The finisher wouldn't stick out as much in today's wrestling world, but it's a move that was ahead of its time. I debated putting this one higher on the list, but I've been on a serious Road Warriors binge after watching the Chicago Street Fight at Mania 13 last weekend and recency bias might be playing a part here. Regardless, my dad would be proud of me.
6. Swanton Bomb- Jeff Hardy
Jeff Hardy was inspiring to me when I was younger, because he seemed like an average Joe who wasn't't overly athletic but still did some of the craziest shit out of any wrestler I've ever seen. I often wondered how he was able to put his body through so much pain and pop right back up again. Then I realized he had a crippling addiction to painkillers and Crystal Meth and it made sense. The reason I love the Swanton Bomb so much is everything that led up to it in the match. Hardy would be getting his ass handed to him the entire match, rip his weird ass fishnet shirt and hit the Swanton Bomb sending the crowd into a frenzy.
5. Tombstone Piledriver- The Undertaker/Kane
Undertaker's Piledriver is much better than Kane's, but guess what, I included him anyways. Not much more explaining to do with this one, because it's a jump with the opponent's head breaking the fall. Hot take, but Kane>Undertaker in terms of character work.
4. 5 Star Frog Splash- Rob Van Dam
Chose the poor quality in GIF because it fully captures the beauty that was/is RVD's frog splash. Some may prefer Eddie Guerrero's, but RVD's holds a special place in my heart because of how much he kills himself with each one. Yes, the move itself is awesome as he launches himself halfway across the ring and then running/crawling all over the place because he hurt himself more than his opponent. A true professional
Styles Clash- AJ Styles
Pop Up Powerbomb- Kevin Owens
Razor's/Outsider's Edge- Razor Ramon/Scott Hall
Cross Rhodes- Cody
Perfect-Plex- Mr. Perfect
Such a shame he never won the big one
Curb Stomp- Seth Rollins
The majority of the moves on this list are incredibly modern and I don't care if you love Hogan's Atomic Leg Drop or Ultimate Warrior's Gorilla Press into a running splash, it's my list. One more spoiler alert? Shawn Michael's Sweet Chin Music isn't on the list at all, his Elbow Drop was better than the superkick. 5 years or so ago, it would've been a no brainer but everyone and their mother using the superkick as a transitional move nowadays has ruined it for me.
3. RKO- Randy Orton
OH! You like the Diamond Cutter better than the RKO? Fuck you
2. Stone Cold Stunner- Stone Cold Steve Austin
The move represents so much more than the 1-2-3 count that follows it. The Stunner is a middle finger to your boss, it's beer drinking with your buddies, it's the simplicity of Stone Cold. Anytime the wrestler on the receiving end of a move can sell it like they were simultaneously electrocuted and shot in the foot the move is 100% better. That was often the case the Stunner, it was like a constant battle to one up the last person who took it, and nobody, I mean nobody took it better than The Rock. Not even, Donald Trump.
1. Sharpshooter- Bret Hart
The Best there is, the Best there was and the Best there ever will be. I'm a whore for a good submission move, but nothing holds a candle to the Sharpshooter. It might be because Bret Hart matches are some of the first wrestling I ever watched or one of the first submission moves I successfully locked my younger brother into, but this thing actually fucking hurts. But just remember, Bret screwed Bret.
Did I miss anything obvious? Disagree with me completely? Let me hear it on Twitter @The1nnKeeper_
I'd love to talk the graps with you to pass the time during all of this. Stay tuned for more wrestling content leading up to WrestleMania 36 next weekend.
-The Inn Keeper