Every match in professional wrestling is different. Whether it’s the match stipulation or a new talent pairing or a giant swerve, a wrestling match can be a joy to behold and have even the most sceptical fans jumping around their front room (yes I do that occasionally). However each match will usually come to an end when one guy hits his finishing manoeuvre. There’s a wide variety of the history of wrestling of finishers and it’s somewhat of an art to getting the right one on the right character. A finisher can define a talent and take them to the higher level they sought after. Or it can devolve a character and be the reason the fans lose interest in them.
A bad finisher can feel like there has been a lack of effort put into the character and even as if the move was an afterthought. A finisher needs to fell right for that character and their fighting style. That being said though I think that with the right character and correct build any move can be a finisher. Look at The Rock for example. The peoples elbow is literally just an elbow drop and the Rock Bottom is just a side slam yet Rocky plays the crowds so well that both of these moves get us jumping in out chairs. Proof that it Is the talent that makes the finishers not the finisher that makes the talent. Look at the pedigree. In the hands of The Game HHH it was a deadly sight to behold and just about killed everyone that received it, and yet when Rollins began using it, it somehow lacked the impact and finality that it had before. The correct finisher can be what makes a talent stand out from the rest, or even be a major factor in getting them over but it needs to be played correctly and be the right move for that guy. Seth using the pedigree didn’t work for me. It felt forced and played out yet when he was using the curb stomp: now that’s a different story.
The right finisher on the right guy can be the missing piece that that talent has been missing. There have been a number of talents over the years that have had the full package, bar that final element to take them higher. Not every guy stepping in the ring is going to have a Stone Cold Stunner, or a Rock Bottom, or even a Curb Stomp. A few years ago I loved John Morrison, he had a good look, was decent on the mic and amazing in the ring however when it came to the end of his matches him finisher, Starship pain just felt a bit meh. Also it has my vote for the worst finisher name going.
The problem with some finishers nowadays is that a lot of them have been done to death. Today’s talent face a struggle to find a signature move that hasn’t become synonymous with a previous star. Using these moves without and sort of reason will seem cheap and will definitely hurt the guy trying to use them. Moves like the spear or even the chokeslam, to me don’t have the same effect they had back when people first used them. One of the reason’s Roman Reigns is finding it hard to relate to the fans is because his main finisher has been used by at least 5 people in the past 10 years. Edge, Big Show, Bobby Lashley, Kaitlin and Charlotte all use the spear as a signature or a finisher in their careers, so when the Big Dog uses it, it just seems lacklustre and unimaginative.
And if anyone was wondering, my favourite finisher ever is the Sweet Chin Music!
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