The physical drama found in professional wrestling typically reaches its climax with the help of a WWE superstars’ finishing move. We slipped through the ropes and took a look at 10 of the greatest in no particular order.
1. Hurricanrana – Rey Mysterio/John Cena/Lita
This leg scissors takedown requires dexterity and coordination and results in an eye-widening display of athleticism. While it gives an edge to a smaller grappler, such as Mysterio, Cena shows even a big guy can rock it. And Lita has flexed her girl power by using it in her repertoire.
2. Rock Bottom – The Rock
Using the suspension of belief to make a finishing move look far more destructive than it is, means a great deal in the world of wrestling. Taking what’s basically a standing clothesline and making it a showstopper serves as yet another a testament to The Rock’s showmanship.
3. Tombstone Piledriver – The Undertaker
Someone with the towering physical presence and intimidating aura of The Undertaker deserves a devastating finisher. This one answers the call, leaving a trail of bodies in its wake.
4. RKO/Diamond Cutter – Randy Orton/Diamond Dallas Page
Long before he became a fitness guru, Diamond Dallas Page served up this signature. With the RKO, Randy Orton refined the move for a new crop of fans.
5. Flying Elbow – “Macho Man” Randy Savage
The late Macho Man knew how to create a spectacle. From his chromatically vibrant ring wear to his “Oh yeah” exclamations, Savage couldn’t be ignored. He sealed the deal by climbing the turnbuckles, soaring across the squared circle, and delivering this destructive elbow drop.
6. Sharpshooter/Scorpion Deathlock – Bret Hart/Sting
Another classic submission hold, this finisher nearly bends an opponent in half. The visual makes for the kind of extravagance best fit for pro wrestling.
7. DDT/Dirty Deeds – Jake “The Snake” Roberts/Dean Ambrose
Roberts popularized the maneuver with his swift and scary execution. He managed to make it even worse by draping a python across the body of his fallen competitor. Today Ambrose carries the torch, minus the reptile.
8. Sweet Chin Music – Shawn Michaels
This flashy superkick provided the kind of impressive eye candy fans crave, and Michaels’ presentation made it all his own. If it was good enough to take out Ric Flair in his 2008 retirement match, it deserves recognition.
9. Figure-Four Leglock – Ric Flair
The Nature Boy’s submission hold, a pretzel-like tangle of his opponent’s legs, never failed to amp up in-ring drama. The fact it can be reversed gives it the ability to take in-ring storytelling in different directions.
10. Stone Cold Stunner – “Stone Cold” Steve Austin
During the WWE Attitude era, anyone who got in Austin’s way saw the wrong end of the Stunner. One of the most high-profile and highly visible finishers of its day, the Stunner proved so powerful it deserved its own beer chaser.
Additions to this list could fill volumes. Brock Lesnar’s F-5, Adrian Neville’s Red Arrow, Superfly Snuka’s Superfly Smash, Bill Goldberg’s Jackhammer, and more are worthy of note. Yes, the hits keep coming, literally.