I feel like the term “finishing move” has been slightly tarnished over the years in that we are seeing more and more near-falls and kick outs after them. That being said, there is nothing that can hype up a crowd or be as devastating as a well-placed finisher. Whether the move itself looks nuts, or if it has the ability to come out of nowhere, finishing moves are a fan favorite and is something on the checklist of a dominant wrestler.
10. Cedric Alexander- Lumbar Check
Starting off with this move by Cedric Alexander, he lifts his opponent for a German suplex, only to cut the move off at its peak to introduce their back to his knees as he falls to the ground. The impact of this one looks crazy, and every time I watch this clip my back hurts just a little bit more. I really loved that this is the move that he chose to turn on Apollo Crews with because it is a play on the backstabber and he was indeed stabbing Crews in the back. This is a move that can come from nowhere and can set up Alexander to go for the pin or to hit a devastating move from the top rope if he wants to add more insult to injury.
9. Liv Morgan- ObLIVion
This move by Liv Morgan has crazy impact. It is a modified springboard Flatliner where Morgan runs at the ropes, grabs her opponent who is leaning against them, and then uses the springboard momentum to drive them face-first into the canvas. This move was debuted during the ludicrous storyline between Morgan and Lana, but I would argue it is the best thing that came out of it. I would love if they would incorporate this into some sort of double team move if Ruby Riott would be able to get a tag off somewhere in there.
8. Seth Rollins- The Stomp
This move is equal parts impactful and disrespectful. I personally hate this finisher, because I think it is the least eye-catching, but you can’t argue that it is hard to kick out of. Rollins has used this stomp in key moments as the final proverbial nail in the coffin of his opponent’s chances in matches. It can also be used creatively to set up a devastating counter, but we will get to that move later. More often than not though, when Rollins runs at their opponent, uses their momentum to launch himself in the air, and then comes crashing down on their heads with his foot, it often spells a victory for the Monday Night Messiah.
7. Kevin Owens- Stunner/Pop-Up Powerbomb
I thought that Owens’ Pop-Up Powerbomb was a thing of absolute beauty and I still hate that he has done away from it. That being said, the stunner is an absolutely classic move. Reminiscent of Rollins adapting Triple H’s famed Pedigree finisher, Owens is throwing an obvious nod to Stone Cold Steve Austin. Now I’m not saying that Owens’ stunner is nearly as iconic as the original, it isn’t, but it has been nice seeing that move getting use and still being considered destructive.
6. Asuka- Asuka Lock
The first of three submission finishers on this list, when "The Empress of Tomorrow" gets you in her clutches on the mat, it is very hard to escape. It is a spin on a rear naked choke, but it incorporates a chicken wing hold, pulling your opponents arm a different direction than their head as well as a gut wrenching body scissors really cutting off airflow in multiple ways. We have seen wrestlers wiggle their way to the ropes, but this move still feels like the end is near when Asuka locks (pun very much intended) it in.
5. Bobby Lashley- Dominator/Full Nelson
Bobby Lashley is going to get two shout-outs here, because I think both are very impressive. The Dominator has a ton of impact that Lashley can really show off his strength with. Recently though, MVP has unlocked this methodical monster side of Lashley that has seen him using a Full Nelson hold. Lashley is so imposing that if he locks in this hold, the opponent isn’t able to go anywhere and it gets very hard to breathe, very quickly. Add in the part where Lashley wrenches the opponent from side-to-side, and they end up looking like a little doll that Lashley is just choosing to play with.
4. Montez Ford- Frog Splash
I am a known supporter of Montez Ford and think the sky is the limit for him. That limitation is tested, vertically anyway, when he launches from the top rope and does a frog splash with a spin. It seems like he is getting more air than any other wrestler today and even if it doesn’t finish the match, which it often does, it is probably the most visually stunning of the finishers on this list.
3. Shayna Baszler- Kirifuda Clutch Finisher
Call it the Ace of Spades, call it the Kirifuda Clutch Finisher, this finisher is the most intense on this list. It isn’t necessarily from the hold itself, but Baszler just has a way of making this hold look maniacal. Whether it is pre-emtped by a suplex or not, Baszler can slide into this submission maneuver seemingly at will and once you get locked in, it is very hard to escape. This is probably the best rear naked choke in the game from the intensity at which Baszler applies it with. I’m sure no submission is “fun” to be in, but Baszler is able to make this hold look like absolute torture to her opponents.
2. Randy Orton- RKO
(I’m omitting “The Punt” because it is mainly used after matches to take out wrestlers and doesn’t appear as much between the bells.)
This move has become famous for coming out of nowhere. Whether it was hit on a unsuspecting Evan Bourne, or hit in a counter on a Seth Rollins' stomp, the RKO is a devastating move that, because of its simplicity, can truly come out of anywhere. In its reality, it is a simple cutter where Orton uses his momentum to grab onto his unsuspecting opponents head, and drive it bulldog-style into the mat. The move is brilliant though, because Orton can slam his fists on the mat, hyping up the move, or it can be a quick camera cut and Orton surprises everyone to deliver the move, but either way the impact of this move is felt by everyone watching.
1. Drew McIntyre- The Claymore Kick
The final finisher on this list comes from our current WWE Champion, Drew McIntyre. On paper, this move is a running drop kick, but McIntyre is able to move so quickly as a big man, and he lunges with such ferocity that it really does look devastating. Plus, it is probably the most protected move in wrestling at this point. If McIntyre is able to hit one Claymore, the match is about to end. McIntyre has toyed with opponents and made sure they received his message of dominance by hitting them with multiple in quick succession. Between this finisher and the previous, a whole storyline was basically built on who between Orton and McIntyre would be able to hit theirs first and dominate their opponent. This just cemented that whenever McIntyre is able to hit The Claymore Kick, he is about to get his hand raised in victory.
What finisher is your favorite from Monday Night Raw? Let me know in the comments!
If you liked this article, be sure to keep up with all news, articles, and opinion pieces on Wrestling News World by following us on social media like on Twitter @WNWNews and you can also follow me on Twitter @TeddyRicketson.