A finisher is unquestionably the most important maneuver in a wrestler’s repertoire. Not only is this usually the last move fans see in the match, but having a great finisher can make the superstar. Stone Cold and his Stunner, Shawn Michaels and his Superkick, and The Undertaker and his Tombstone are just a few examples of some iconic finishers that flash into my mind upon hearing their names.
But as for today’s WWE roster, the hardworking men and women of the squared circle are arguably more talented in the ring than ever before. And there are a few superstars, who must change their finishers to keep up with the current trend.
Seth Rollins’s Current Finisher: Pedigree/Rainmaker Knee
Suggested Finisher: God’s Last Gift (Fisherman’s Suplex Driver)
Seth Rollins had one of the coolest moves in WWE history, when he debuted his Curbstomp finisher. Unfortunately for him, the WWE made the switch to ultra PG, forcing public relations people and Vince himself to be less than fond of the move. After all, the brutality of it (literally stomping someone’s face into the ground by jumping onto the back of his head and neck) is easy to recreate. When seasoned veterans, such as Randy Orton, began receiving concussions from the move, officials decided that it was time to retire Rollins’s masterpiece.
To avoid children killing each other with the move, Rollins regretfully stopped using the Curbstomp. He switched to the Pedigree– a move made famous by his mentor, Triple H– for the remainder of his WWE title reign, and upon his return, continued to use it. Rollins, who was under pressure to change finishers yet again after severing ties with HHH, switched to a variation of NJPW Superstar Kazuchika Okada’s famous Rainmaker. However, instead of a Lariat finish, Seth leads with his knee.
The move was cool to see on TV when he unveiled it in late April of this year, but it still feels underwhelming. I propose a new finisher for Seth titled, God’s Last Gift. Rollins used this move under his moniker Tyler Black in ROH. It’s a normal Fisherman’s Suplex, however, the landing is onto the back of the head and neck. Although some people think WWE will dislike this move, based on the mounting pressure to limit head injuries, this is no different than a Brainbuster, or even a German Suplex. Many fans think that the Phoenix Splash could have been a great move for Seth. But I like it more when Rollins uses it on special occasions only. Until he gets rid of his low impact, awkward-looking finish, God’s Last Gift, may be a nice gift for Seth “Freakin’” Rollins.
Samoa Joe- Current Finisher- Coquina Clutch
Suggested Finisher- Muscle Buster
Although Samoa Joe’s Coquina Clutch is scary as Hell, it shouldn’t be used as a finisher; it’s as simple as that. I wholeheartedly believe that Joe should revert back to his original finisher: The Muscle Buster. He used the move his entire career, including during his tenure with ROH, TNA, and NXT. Despite this, when he debuted on RAW, the move was suddenly gone from his arsenal. As if the move had disappeared into thin air, Joe began using his secondary submission finisher: The Coquina Clutch.
The Muscle Buster was rumored to have been discontinued because of injury risk. Ironically, on his first night using the Coquina Clutch, he re-tore Seth Rollins’s ACL. While I understand that WWE can’t afford injuries on their main roster, they allowed him to use The Muscle Buster in NXT, where the future of the industry lies! In the hands of a lesser worker, The Muscle Buster is potentially dangerous, but Joe, who is always spectacular in the ring, delivers it safely.
Erick Rowan- Current Finisher- Standing Full Nelson Slam
Suggested Finisher- Pounce
The Full Nelson Slam fits Jinder Mahal a lot better than Rowan. With Rowan’s size (6”8’, 315 lbs), he is better suited to a finisher that highlights the monstrosity he is. Pounce, a move famously used by Monty Brown in ECW and various indy promotions, can a shine light on Rowan’s surprising speed in the ring. His agility can be used to bounce off the ropes and basically body check (aggressively) an opponent into the ring. The sudden dive would provide a hellish collision that would surely keep an opponent down for the count. Plus, I adore this move and wish it was used today.
Mojo Rawley- Current Finisher- The Hyper Drive
Suggested Finisher- Death Valley Driver
Mojo Rawley’s current finisher is horrible. Although he occasionally uses a running strike in the corner, which at least looks brutal, he considers his main finisher to be the Hyper Drive. The Hyper Drive consists of Mojo running off the ropes and awkwardly jumping butt-first onto a grounded opponent. The move does not look impactful and instead appears comedic and far too protected. A guy like Mojo could benefit greatly from not only a new finisher to go along with his push, but a power move too. With the WWE allowing the use of the Death Valley Driver again, this is Mojo’s chance to use an iconic, brutal finisher that is somehow currently not being used! ________________________________________________________________________
Roderick Strong- Current Finisher- Sick Kick
Suggested Finisher- End Of Heartache
One of NXT’s biggest signings is the self proclaimed Messiah Of the Backbreaker. Claiming to know more than 250 variations of the basic Backbreaker, Roddy Strong is considered an innovator when it comes to his craft. After spending more than 10 years with ROH, Strong came to the WWE. Upon his arrival, he began to use a new finisher: The Sick Kick. A groggy opponent gets an unlucky running, flying boot to the face, causing a knockout. This move simply doesn’t fit Strong. He should revert back to his old finisher, End Of Heartache. He used the move in ROH and PWG with no problem, meaning WWE has no injury excuses. The move is a dazzling display of athletic ability, strength, and brutality, sending his opponents into a world of pain. Roddy is more than welcome to continue his use of the Sick Kick, but should absolutely use his original finisher down in NXT.