Whilst transitional moves are often important features of a match, the most essential move in a superstar’s arsenal is their finisher.
A superstar’s finishing move is the sign that a match is about to draw to a close (or it should be at least), and while many wrestlers have an exciting offensive repertoire, their finishing move lacks the wow-factor that is required.
A finishing move is something that should be devastating and make you believe it really win a match. It should also be something that can be executed out of nowhere and doesn’t require a long-winded, lengthy set-up.
With that in mind, here are ten current WWE superstars who could do with adopting a new finishing manoeuvre.
10. Robert Roode
Current Finisher: Glorious DDT
Former United States Champion Robert Roode uses the Glorious DDT as his finish in WWE. Not only does the execution of the move rely heavily on Roode’s opponent jumping in the air, but it is boring and far from breath-taking, as all good finishing moves should be.
Former WWE Champion Edge used pretty much the same move (the Edgeacution) as his finisher before he adopted the spear. The move was not good enough for Edge, and Roode should follow in the footsteps of his fellow Canadian and replace the move with something more exciting and impactful.
One of the best parts of Roode’s tag team act with Chad Gable was their tag finisher. Just as Roode was about to deliver a neckbreaker to his opponent, the more athletic Gable hit a picture perfect moonsault from the top rope that put their competition away. The move was unique and imaginative, something that cannot be said for Roode’s mundane Glorious DDT.
Current Finisher: Neutralizer
Whilst Cesaro’s neutralizer does display a great deal of strength, especially when delivered to larger opponents, his finisher is not one that matches up to a man with the athleticism and in-ring ability of the ‘Swiss Cyborg’.
Cesaro is fantastic in the ring. He is quick, strong and agile, and he needs a new finishing move to match his impressive skill set. Cesaro began using the Sharpshooter for a while whilst tagging with Tyson Kidd. Whilst a submission is always a nice finishing move, having Cesaro adopt the Sharpshooter, a move that is so synonymous with the Hart Dynasty when he has no clear link to the family, would not be the solution.
Cesaro could begin to use his brutal looking uppercut as a finishing move instead of merely a transitional one. The move is not only jaw-dropping but also potentially jaw-breaking for his opponents. It can be delivered out of nowhere and could be adapted to have a similar set-up to Kevin Owen’s Pop-Up-Powerbomb.
Current Finisher: Spear
Whilst Lashley’s spear is both devastating and can be delivered out of nowhere, it is not unique. The spear is not a new move and that is an issue for Lashley. The spear was used as a finisher by the likes of Edge before his retirement and is now used by Roman Reigns.
Whilst Reigns was out fighting leukaemia, Lashley was the only wrestler to utilise the spear as his finisher. This was fine, but now that Reigns has returned to the ring as a full-time worker, WWE has two men at the top of the card using the same move in matches.
Whilst it might just be personal preference, I believe having two wrestlers use the same move is damaging. WWE says its characters are unique and ‘larger than life’ and the company should embrace the same attitude to their finishers and have no two people use the same move.
If only one man can keep using the spear, WWE is not going to have Reigns search for a new finisher, so the former TNA Champion Lashley should look elsewhere for another devastating move.
Lashley has used the Dominator previously, and he should adopt this as his full-time finisher, cutting off all ties with the spear. The move is unique and individual to Lashley, suiting his character well.
7. Alexa Bliss
Current Finisher: Snap DDT
For someone who has a background in gymnastics, it is staggering that former Raw and Smackdown Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss uses a standard DDT as her finisher.
Bliss does occasionally utilise a twisting moonsault from the top rope known as ‘Twisted Bliss’ and it is puzzling which she opted to use a DDT as her main move. After all, it is clear she has the ability to do more after she posted the following video on Instagram.
To her credit, Bliss does deliver the move quickly, often catching the crowd and her opponents by surprise. However, for someone with Bliss’ background, a snap DDT is a big waste of her potential. Perhaps if she were to turn babyface, she would adopt a more crowd-pleasing athletic finishing move.
6. The Miz
Current Finisher: Skull Crushing Finale
Whilst there is nothing offensive about Miz’s Skull Crushing Finale, the move has been around for ages. It could be best compared to stale bread that has exceeded it’s best before date. Miz’s finishing move, like the stale bread, just needs to be replaced.
I am not suggesting that The Miz should bust out a 630 splash from the top rope, but his finishing move is outdated and needs to be evolved. A new move in his arsenal would do wonders for the former WWE Champion.
Miz should perhaps use a more babyface-like finisher now that he had ditched his cocky persona. No that does not mean he can go back to using the figure four again!!
Miz is not the most athletic worker, but he should definitely replace his finishing move with something more exciting and interesting. Perhaps he could even begin using a new brutal looking submission, which would put to bed the idea that Miz is the ‘King of Soft Style’.
5. AJ Styles
Current Finisher: Phenomenal Forearm
This entry is more unique than the others on this list. I am not saying there is anything wrong with AJ Styles’ Phenomenal Forearm, I actually quite like the move. However, it does not even hold a candle to his lesser-used finisher, the Styles Clash.
Although some say that the move is unsafe, it is no more dangerous that Triple H’s pedigree, for example. Also, AJ has shown he has the ability to protect his opponent at the last minute if they fail to prepare for the move property, as seen when he pretty much saved James Ellsworth’s life.
Styles should use the Styles Clash, the move he is most recognised all over the world by, on a more regular basis. Unlike the other entries on this list, he should not ditch the Phenomenal Forearm, that too is unique and would be a good set-up move for his Styles Clash finish.
4. Dolph Ziggler
Current Finisher: Superkick
Some would say there is nothing worse than an immensely talented superstar like Dolph Ziggler using an extremely overused move like the superkick as his finisher.
However, those people would be wrong. There is nothing worse than Dolph Ziggler ‘tuning up the band’ like a certain Shawn Michaels would do, before using an extremely overused move like the superkick as his finisher.
The superkick is a transitional move for most superstars in WWE today. I think you’d fail to find an event where a superkick is not featured in at least 1/3 of the matches. When I think of the superkick I do not think of Dolph Ziggler, and that is an issue.
Ziggler’s ZigZag was even more unique and interesting than his new superkick. Ziggler should definitely find a new finishing move, or at the least ditch the superkick in favour of a returning ZigZag.
Ziggler needs to rejuvenate his character to stay relevant, and a change to his moveset would be an ideal place to start.
3. Finn Balor
Current Finisher: Coup de Grâce
Granted, the Coup de Grâce does look like it could seriously do some damage. Balor ascends the ropes and delivers a devastating double foot-stomp onto the stomach of his opponents. The move is actually quite well protected, with very few of Balor’s opponents actually kicking out.
While the move could still be used as part of Finn’s arsenal, he should adopt a move that can be delivered in an instant. The Coup de Grâce requires a lengthy set-up and as such lacks the element of surprise that comes with a move like the RKO, for example.
The former NXT Champion has immense potential, but is currently floundering in the midcard and has been ever since he returned from the shoulder injury that forced him to vacate the Universal Championship the night after SummerSlam 2016. A new finishing move could add a new wrinkle to Balor’s character and galvanise fan support for the Irishman.
2. Sami Zayn
Current Finisher- Helluva Kick
Before he joined NXT, Zayn competed under the moniker El Generico, and had one of the greatest finishing moves in all of wrestling. The former NXT Champion would lift his opponent up onto the top rope before delivering a brutal brainbuster onto the top turnbuckle.
I am not saying Zayn should bring back this move, I am being realistic. You have more chance of seeing Curt Hawkins beat Brock Lesnar than you do seeing WWE deem such a move safe enough to perform on a regular basis. Zayn’s current finisher, the Helluva Kick is great and all, but it has no shock-factor.
When Zayn puts his prone opponent into the corner, you know that he is about to deliver the kick. For me, a finisher needs to have the ability to come as a surprise when the time is right.
Zayn has immense potential and now that Kevin Owens has turned face, Zayn should adopt a new finisher just like his former tag team partner and go on a run as a Raw singles star.
Even his Blue Thunder Bomb signature move is impressive, Zayn manages to get several rotations on the move before he plants his opponent down and this could be a more suitable finisher for Sami.
Current Finisher- Bayley-To-Belly
Honestly, what could be less devastating than giving your opponent a hug and gently placing them down on the canvas? To say Bayley could do with a new finishing move is an understatement, it is a necessity that the former Raw Women’s Champion replaces her weak finishing move. NOW!
Bayley’s gimmick is that she likes to hug people, and in fairness her finisher does sort of suit her gimmick. However Bayley needs to be taken more seriously, something that hasn’t happened since she made the transition from NXT to main roster WWE. This should start with a new finishing move.
Whilst Bayley has used a top rope elbow drop in the past as a tribute to Randy Savage, this is not the solution and is equally problematic. Bayley needs a move that is unique to her, and something that could feasibly hurt whoever receives said move, something her currently choice severely lacks.