What it is all about
As a huge wrestling fan, and former wrestler myself I am always amazed at the ending maneuvers some of these cats come up with. Recently I was asked by a fellow I am training to become a wrestler what my favorite finishing moves were. That prompted me to sit down and come up with a small but affective list of 10 moves that I felt were just to awesome to pass up.
These 10 moves are the type that make pro wrestling enjoyable and entertaining at the same time. While certain moves can define a wrestler others can define an era. The sweet chin music, tombstone and boston crab are all definitive historical elements of pro wrestling. It is an amazing feat to see a wrestler execute the finishing move after a hard fought battle. So let's explore my list of finishers. Mind you I was a pro wrestler for some time and I can tell you these moves are pivitol in the industry.
having started in the backyard myself I was always drawn to the Hardy Boys. Jeff really took a bland move and made it his own with his suicidal approach to it. What makes the Jeff hardy variation of the swanton so impactful is the delay he puts in before com-leting the rotation. He almost hovers in the air. It is very impressive and very powerful.
Jeff is not the only wrestler utilizing this move but he is by far the most recognised of the mix. I know several guys on the indys use it. In one of the local federations, BCW, a fellow by the name of Micheal Havok (a close friend of mine) is very efficient with his own swanton bomb.
No indy wrestler has ever had the success of AJ Styles. He is one of the finest wrestlers on the planet and one of the reasons TNA is having such a successful run at WWE and Vince's kingdom. AJ is as innovative as he is talented and the styles clash is one of those moves that really sparks attention.
I have both given and taken the styles clash from various wrestlers and I can say every time it is performed the audience goes nuts. It is such a captivating finishing move. What makes it so effective is it can be locked in from a variety of positions. It cam be set up from a power bomb or even locked in as a reversal to a hurrancanrada.
AJ is a constant face in wrestling mags and one of the highest indy guys to ever hit the PWI 500, which is the best of the best of wrestling.
Dead Sea Drop
How can you not like a wrestler named Sharkboy. The name may be misleading. Sharkboy is as fine a wrestler as they come. He is one of the first x division supporters in TNA wrestling and he was a huge draw for All Star Wrestling during it's heyday.
Sharkboy's finisher is a variation of the Ace Cutter, or as we have come to know it now the Stone Cold Stunner. Few moves have the impact of the dead sea drop, or DSD for short. It has a lot of potential and is very easily set up.
I have only had one opponent use this move on me and it was amazing to see the reaction the crowd had. They thought my neck was broke or something. The move plays on the mind for sure.
As far as high flying goes the dragon rana is a masterpiece that requires amazing skill to pull off. Basically a wrestler will front flip onto the shoulders of an opponent and then execute the rana. This move is one of the mainstays of such talent as Dragon Kid, and at one time rey Mysterio JR.
It is not seen a good deal in mainstream wrestling as far as America goes but is very popular in the indy scene and very popular in Japan where wrestling is still about the sport. I do not like the way El Generico sells the rana in the video but I will let you decide if you like it or not.
This was the move that made the WWE career of the once popular Johny B. Badd. he debuted on WWE as the Wildman Marc Mero and right off the bad it just seemed he would drift into obscurity and then wham out comes the 450 and the next week he's selling t-shirts!
In modern wrestling few guys hit this move quite as perfect as Justin Gabriel, a fresh upstart with the WWE. His 450 is flawless as far as execution and timing go. The 450 has been used by some top names in the sport. Jeff Hardy, AJ Styles and even the Japan star Jushin Lyger makes use of the 450 from time to time.
The move is a specticle to see and really rough to connect properly. I myself have pulled off one 450 and nearly killed my opponent. I have taken several though and it really gets the audiences attention to see something so high risk.
This was the move that made the WCW career of Billy Kidman. The shooting star is such an unnatural approach to a wrestling move that most people in the sport will never attempt it. Simply put a shooting star press or ssp is a forward motion backflip.
This is a move that has been used in the indy promotions for years but was never a mainstream in the WWE until Even Bourne, or as his true fans call him Matt Sydell, started using it. Of course the newcomer performed the move slightly better then Kidman and the WWE released Billy from their roster.
The ssp is a move utilized by such stars as Hyabusa, Lyger, and even Brock Lesner, who nearly broke his neck using the move against Kurt Angle. I can honestly say I have nbever done nor taken this move.
The Burning Hammer
This move is one of those moves that requires some serious training to take. It starts in a torture rack and quickly moves into a death valley driver type move.
A great deal of Japan stars utilize this move but here in America we are most likely to tag it to Chris Daniels hilarious counterpart, Curryman. This move is an effective match ender! I have always felt that Chris' approach to the move makes it a bit less breath taking but a lot more entertaining.
The burning hammer is one of the most dangerous moves because if one mistake were to happen it copuld easily break a neck.
This move is often associated with Homicide but for God sakes the guy does it so sloppy that he nearly kills every wrestler he does it to. It was originally the brainchild of none other than the Hurricane himself, Gregory Shane Helms.
The vertebreaker is a very high impact move that requires a great deal of control and timing to pull off. In the vid you will see Shane hit the move on none other than AJ Styles who was receiving a WWE try out at the time. He didn't make the cut, boy was Vince dumb!
Few people ever recognized the shear talent that Petey Williams had. He was one of the most amazing TNA wrestlers to date. Sadly most people will only remember him for his finishing move.
The Canadian destroyer starts out in the typical powerbomb or piledriver beginning position. What makes it so unique is that instead of lifting the opponent in the air for a move, Petey simply flips over. This forces the opponent into a backflip that actually ends in a vicious piledriver.
Very few moves have been created that equal the visual stunningness of the destroyer. In the early years of Petey's career he would come from the top rope and than lock in the destroyer to get that added lift. Now wrestlers are trained for the move.
I have taken one of these and I admit I neglected the prep and bopped my head pretty good. It is not a move to be taken lightly. Since the popularity of this finisher broke out it is a mainstay in indy shows and backyard wrestling has eaten it up. There are variations that turn it into a ddt and who knows what else. Petey gave us an amazing career and an even more amazing finishing maneuver.
I am bias. My favorite wrestler of all time is Al Snow. I have had the privilege of meeting the man two times and both times he was a great person to chat with. He is one of the most under ranked wrestlers in the world.
The snow plow is what some might refer to as a northern lights bomb. Al executes this move flawlessly and it really is something to see. I used it a great deal in my career and I always felt it was an effective way to let the audience know that this match was over.
Al is often remembered for head, but reality is that he was one of the most technical wrestlers WWE ever promoted and if he was ever given a bit of credit that would have shined through a bit more.