Bingo’s Breakdown – The Best Finishing Moves in WWE

Greetings jabronis,



What better way to counteract the geyser of negativity that spouted its muck in my last column than to make a far cheerier scribe of what I consider to be the best finishers in the WWE.

If you missed my last column that discussed my least favourite finishers then, firstly, I laugh in your face for your petulance. Secondly, I direct you to the Wrestling-Edge opinions archive that you can find via clicking a handy button above. Hooray for hyperlinks! (See, I’m already cheerier!)

There’s some key information in that opening paragraph – most key of all being the three words “what I consider”.

Of course there is no definitive answer to what are the best finishers, and thus I can only present to you my opinions. You’re incredibly likely to disagree with me, but hey, that’s cool, that just means you’re a human-being capable of individual thought and that, dear friends, is a good thing. Reward yourself by having some ice-cream tonight – but only if you want to, you understand – not because I told you to.

The criteria for this column is that all wrestlers must be currently active on the roster (so no Sweet Chin Music I’m sorry to say) and this article is exclusive to WWE performers. Enough! I shall proceed…

6. HHH – Pedigree

It’s an oldie, but a goody. The Pedigree always looks like a damaging move (well, not always, there are a couple of amusing botches on YouTube) and that’s because no matter how you look it at, being rammed face-first into the mat with Triple H’s testicles heavily resting on the back of your skull is inevitably gonna hurt.

Mick Foley once claimed that the move is just a slight variation of his double-arm DDT with the victim’s head between the performer’s legs rather than to the side, but I think that’s a bad comparison. The DDT has a clear tilting impact whereas The Pedigree’s impact comes solely from above with the aid of our good friend gravity, and thus visually it appears far more agonising. So there, Mick – you’re wrong.

This certainly isn’t a move that you would try and perform on your mates whilst mucking around – and those are the kind of moves I enjoy seeing. Because in order for us to successfully suspend our disbelief when watching wrestling matches, we need to believe that the moves hurt like Hell. And this one certainly achieves that.

5. Sheamus – The Celtic Cross

To be totally honest here, I almost left this move of the list – but as I found it pretty difficult to compile 6 moves that I genuinely liked (as I outlined in my previous column, it’s far easier to write about things that you don’t like), here it is at number 5.

The reasons for me contemplating dismissing it from the list are not to do with the move itself, but because it is just a rip off of The Razor’s Edge that came years earlier. But it’s here, so Scott Hall is just gonna have to forgive me. Or fight me. It’s up to him.

It would have been so easy for WWE to give Sheamus a run-of-the-mill finisher such as a powerbomb or big boot, which they seem to hand out to big men willy-nilly these days – so I’m glad that Sheamus has a finisher that genuinely makes him stand out. It’s a great move that deserves its resurrection. A huge portion of today’s wrestling audience have likely never even heard of Razor Ramon – and only know Scott Hall as a drunk bastard who occasionally drops by on TNA.

To be fair to Sheamus though, the fella does add a running element to the move – something that Razor Ramon never did – so he’s tried to put his own patent on it which I can only commend him for.

The jump-kick thing that Sheamus sometimes uses – which surely should have been called The Ginger Ninja Kick – is rubbish incidentally. It looks like something I would do as a kid when I was pretending to be a Teenage Turtle. Cowabunga!

4. Primo – The Backstabber

Okay, this entry is cheating a wee bit because we all know that The Backstabber is Carlito’s finisher – but Carlito got fired for being a sulky brat, and so I bestow the honour of appearing on the list unto his younger brother instead – who, of course, also uses the move.

I’ve always enjoyed The Backstabber because it’s unlike any move I’ve seen before, and it has the perfect combination of being easy to perform (that is to say, it can come out of nowhere) and looking very painful indeed (you’ll notice a trend as we go along – I enjoy finishers that genuinely look painful).

Lady Irony, cruel yet hilarious harlot that she is, has a slight footnote to add to the tale of this move. The Backstabber has reportedly wrecked the crap out of Carlito’s knees having performed the move regularly over the years. So despite it appearing to us as a rather funsome way to seriously injure someone’s spine, it’s apparently far more damaging to the knees of the guy performing it. How amusing. Kind of.

3. Evan Bourne – Air Bourne

This is the only top rope finisher that features in my list – and with good reason. Little Evan performs the move with such gusto, elegance and fluidity that it’s a joy to behold – and the impact is often pretty impressive too considering his lack of stature.

Other’s will point to Justin Gabriel’s 450 Splash and claim it is equally as impressive – but to them I say “pfffft”. Whilst the 450 Splash is unquestionably a fine display of athletic ability, I’m not keen on the way Gabriel sells it (putting one arm on his stomach and looking around as if he’s pondering whether or not he’s left the oven on at home doesn’t cut it for me). Plus Gabriel doesn’t get nearly as much height on his move as Evan does – so extra kudos to Evan for that too.

2. Randy Orton – RKO

Easily the most over move in the WWE today, the RKO inevitably had to feature somewhere in this list. Like all great finishers, such as the Stone Cold Stunner or Sweet Chin Music, the RKO can come out of nowhere; There’s no elaborate set-up or no requirement for the opponent to be draped in an awkward position or anything like that – just “POW” and there it is.

But if Orton does want to prolong the theatrics, he’ll often flop to the map in a snakelike manner and hammer his fists in anticipation. It’s a great taunt and it really riles up the crowd – kind of how The Rock used to crouch behind his opponent as he weighed them for The Rock Bottom.

Do you think WWE will ever promote a feud pitting Randy Orton v Santino Marella, Viper v Cobra? I can’t help but think not.

Despite being very similar, I personally think the RKO is slightly inferior to The Stunner as it relies more on the opponent to be in the right position (i.e. horizontal) to sell it. But hey I don’t wanna sound like I’m dissing it, because it is a super fine move indeed and Orton has truly made it his own over the years.

1. The Undertaker – The Tombstone

I’m keeping it decidedly old school with my number one pick – The Tombstone from the legendary Dead Man.

Yeah alright, many of you are likely guffawing as you read this, eager to point out that it’s just a slight variant of a piledriver – and to those of you doing that, you’re missing the point I tell thee. It’s so much more.

You see, it’s not just the move that gets me giddy, it’s the whole theatrical performance that goes into creating the spectacle…

Firstly signalled by drawing his thumb across his throat, The Undertaker effortlessly swings his opponent upside-down and drills their skull into the mat in one crushing plummet – and the best is still yet to come. Mr Taker remains on his knees and leans over his foe, crossing the arms of the lifeless cadaver upon their chest in a brilliant homage to the 1990 Undertaker (Yep, The Undertaker really was in the WWE as early as 1990) and then proceeds to roll his eyes into the back of his skull and looks to the Heavens with his tongue at full-stretch as the ref counts to three. There’s something very poetic about it. It’s an almost as symbolic routine as his entrance. Almost.

The aging Undertaker really can’t have many more matches left in him and, much like HBK, he will be sorely missed by yours truly when retirement comes a knocking. And for that reason, I encourage you to saviour every Tombstone you can between now and his departure.

So there are my favourites. As ever, please feel free to add your comments below, and then we can all get into a slanging match with one another. The Internet is oh so fun for such things.

Over and out.

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