A wrestler’s finishing move is their signature move that they often use to end a match. More often than not, a finishing move becomes as well known as the wrestler themselves, with it then usually being a move only that wrestler can perform in the promotion, especially in the case of WWE. There have even been instances where a Superstar personally asks permission to use the move, such as when Kevin Owens asked Steve Austin if he could add the legendary Stunner to his move set, despite Austin being retired for over a decade. But, which moves are the best?
Here are the top 10 best wrestling finishing moves of all time.
10. GTS – CM Punk/KENTA
The GTS, popularized by CM Punk and KENTA, could really make someone “Go To Sleep” as the opponent is lifted onto the shoulder of the performer, before being dropped and having a knee smashed into their face. The move is quite easy to perform on a variety of opponents and typically ends the match.
9. Dudley Death Drop (3D) – Dudley Boyz
More often than not, the 3D usually involves the opponent going through a table too, creating a more theatrical effect. The move involves D’von Dudley lifting the opponent up by their legs and as he falls backward, his teammate Bubba Ray Dudley performs a Cutter on the opponent. “Devon, GET THE TABLES!”.
8. Sharpshooter – Bret Hart
Perhaps the most iconic submission finisher in wrestling history. Bret Hart’s Sharpshooter has been copied by many Superstars including The Rock, Chris Benoit, and Natalya. The Sharpshooter is essentially a cross-legged Boston Crab, with the aim being to put immense pressure on his opponent’s back. It is a great finisher because Bret remains in complete control and is able to easily stop his opponent from grabbing the ropes. Bret Hart has won the majority of his matches with this move.
7. Sweet Chin Music – Shawn Michaels
In the 90s and 2000s, Shawn Michaels’ Sweet Chin Music usually resulted in the match being over, with the move being used to help HBK win his first WWE Championship. Unfortunately, wrestlers such as The Young Bucks have ruined the Superkick move, turning into nothing more than a standard kick. But, back in the day it was one of the best finishing moves and will always remain iconic, especially as HBK “tuned up the band”.
6. One-Winged Angel – Kenny Omega
Kenny Omega’s One-Winged Angel is a nod to the classic song from the Final Fantasy 7 soundtrack, which sees the opponent sit on Omega’s shoulder in the Electric Chair position, before being flipped over onto a Piledriver style move. If performed incorrectly the move could certainly paralyze someone, but that just helps make it look devastating and often ends the match.
5. Styles Clash – AJ Styles
If not taken correctly, the Styles Clash has the ability to break an opponent’s neck, which has happened before, but if taken correctly it is a fantastic finishing move that looks like it hurts a lot. The move has been part of AJ Styles’ arsenal for many years and has won him many matches and championships.
4. Canadian Destroyer – Petey Williams
Petey Williams’ Canadian Destroyer is one of the most devastating-looking finishing moves of all time, with Williams performing a Sunset Flip into a Piledriver. In recent years it has been emulated by many other wrestlers and has unfortunately been made to be a general move in promotions that are more focused on spots, such as AEW, with the move recently being performed from the second rope which resulted in a 2-count. While modern wrestling may have ruined the move somewhat, it is still a fantastic finishing move.
3. RKO – Randy Orton
The great thing about the RKO is you never know when it’s coming, the move is usually hit “outta nowhere”. Orton’s RKO is a great finisher because it can be performed on any wrestler due to the nature of the move. This makes it an ideal finisher regardless of whether the Viper is facing a smaller Superstar such as Rey Mysterio, or a larger star such as Big Show. In recent years the move has produced many iconic clips, as well as becoming a meme online.
2. Tombstone Piledriver – The Undertaker/Kane
Very few people kick out of the Tombstone Piledriver, making it one of the most devastating moves in WWE. Piledrivers have been largely banned in WWE, due to the risk of neck injury that the move brings. But, The Undertaker and Kane were still allowed to perform the Tombstone Piledriver due to their ability to keep performers safe, which goes to show how highly regarded they both were in the company.
1. Stone Cold Stunner – Stone Cold Steve Austin
The Stone Cold Stunner is perhaps the most iconic finishing move of all time, with the Texas Rattlesnake hitting the move on anyone that stands in his way, including the owner of the WWE Vince McMahon. The great thing about the move is it can be performed on anyone, whether they’re a cruiserweight or a 500-pound wrestler. Despite retiring in 2003, fans are still always excited to see Austin return to hit someone with a Stunner before drinking beer in the ring.