Last month, WWE came out with a "50 Greatest Finishing Moves" DVD and Blu-Ray. Granted, I'm pretty sure fans weren't clamoring for this sort of thing, but there it is.
It's a DVD created for two purposes: (1) An excuse to print money for WWE (nothing wrong with that, mind you. They are a business, and businesses have to make money, right?), and (2) to fuel debate.
When the list came out, immediately I wanted to fight someone.
Some of these quite simply don't belong on the list, and some should be higher or lower. So, yours truly, The Notorious Eddie Mac, is questioning the list.
But first, the jump.
Here's the list for reference. Now that you have the list, the questioning can begin.
As is with the case with just about any list about anything, when you get to the end, you're splitting hairs. I have four issues with this portion of the list (and one REALLY BIG ISSUE):
- JBL's Clothesline from Hell (#50) probably shouldn't be on it. It's just a hard as hell clothesline that was pretty awesome. As Bradshaw, that move owned. As JBL, that move sucked. Shouldn't be on the list at all.
- Vader's Vader Bomb (#49) probably should be better than #49, but I will admit: when Hulk Hogan no-sold the Vader Bomb in WCW, it killed the move. That would be enough for me to rage quit WCW too.
- The Dudley Boyz 3-D (#42) (Dudley Death Drop, if you're wondering what it stood for) is for my money the second best tag team finisher ever. (#1 is later.) But I'm surprised another tag team finisher didn't make the list (probably because it was seen exactly once on WWF television: Total Elimination. I miss seeing that move in the WWE games. That move owned.)
- My biggest gripe with the list comes at #41: DDP's Diamond Cutter. For about two or three years, this was arguably the most over finisher not just in WCW, but in all of wrestling. And it's only #41? There are at least 25 finishers on this list that finished better than the Diamond Cutter that aren't as good or awesome as the Diamond Cutter. It's criminally low at #41, especially when you see about 30 spots ahead a derivative of that move. Oh, you don't think it was arguably the most over finisher on the planet? Tell me, how many finishers have a 12-minute video dedicated to it? This move does.
Some interesting choices in the next ten. Among the list are three moves we quite frankly take for granted today.
- Mick Foley's Mandible Claw (#40) was as lethal in 1999 as it was in 1996 when he was first introduced in the WWF, but the move didn't truly get over until he introduced a sock puppet on an episode of RAW is WAR in October 1998. The two-finger finish got an upgrade in the form of cottonmouth. Cottonmouth sucks. It's probably a little better than #40 though.
- Honky Tonk Man's Shake Rattle and Roll (#39) also probably shouldn't be on the list. It's just a swinging neckbreaker with a groove, and I seem to recall the Elvis impersonator using the "acoustic equalizer" more than the swinging neckbreaker to win.
- While Bam Bam Bigelow's moonsault (#42) was impressive (360-pound men shouldn't be moonsaulting. Just saying), and many people have done it better, no one did it sexier than the punk rockette Lita (#36). Proof: Wrestlemania X-8, when just before she went up, she may or may not have flashed the crowd (my guess: she did). Or Wrestlemania X-Seven when she did take it off. Take it all off.
- Rob Van Dam's Five Star Frog Splash is the best in the business. Even better than Eddie Guerrero's (#13). It absolutely should be higher (no pun intended) than #32.
Now we're into championship-winning moves. Lotta good ones, but a lot of debate here too.
- CM Punk's Go to Sleep should be higher than #30, but time will ultimately tell where this ranks among all-time finishers. Some debate he even does the move wrong. I couldn't tell you how the move is done correctly, but I can tell you this: I marked a little when he put The Rock to sleep with it on RAW 1000. But...no love for the Anaconda Vice? Really, WWE? That's the move he used to win the WWE Championship in MADISON SQUARE GARDEN.
- Brock Lesnar's F-5 should be better than #29. It wasn't around for long, but everyone who got the business end of it went down. Well, everyone except John Felix from West Newbury, MA. But who didn't jump out of their chair when Bork Laser put Supercena in the F-5 on the first RAW after Wrestlemania XXVIII? If you say you didn't, I'm calling you a liar.
- I'd fight WWE on Chris Jericho's Walls of Jericho (#24), but they also rightly included his original (and better and less generic) 7/8 version of the Boston Crab, the Liontamer. The Liontamer, boys and girls, isn't a full crab, but somewhere between ¾ and 7/8 that has Jericho digging one of his knees to the back of your head. That's unexpected extra pain. Wonder why he's stopped using it.
- Come on: who doesn't wanna see Iron Sheik humble some young whippersnapper with the Camel Clutch (#22) just one more time? It's probably this high on the list because his finisher's been more over in retirement than in active competition.
- At the risk of sounding like a complete John Cena hater, his finisher, the Attitude Adjustment (originally named the F-U, #21) is basically a fireman's carry slam. Its original name was a sleight to Brock Lesnar and his F-5, whom he was feuding with at the time back in 2003. Starts like an F-5, and finishes with a big U. Why is it #21?
A lot of the next ten don't belong where they are in my view. Analysis!
- Scott Hall's Razor's Edge at #20 was a badass finisher. It's probably one of the more underrated finishing moves of my lifetime. At least it's getting the respect it deserves being that high on the list. Probably should be a touch higher considering what's ahead of it.
- Probably the only move more over in WCW than the Diamond Cutter was Goldberg's combo finish of the spear and jackhammer (#19). People who didn't like wrestling in general would stop on Nitro for five minutes just to see Goldberg give someone the spear and jackhammer business. At #19, it's criminally low. To the best of my knowledge (and I know someone will correct me), the number of people that kicked out of this combo is a very small one. Like zero.
- At #17, the Road Warriors (aka Legion of Doom)' Doomsday Device is the greatest tag finisher ever. But seeing this move behind the Cobra Clutch and RKO grinds my gears.
- If it weren't for CM Punk's resurrection of the Macho Man Elbow Drop (#12), this move would be a lot lower than where it is on the list. Probably the reason why it's not in the top ten: Wrestlemania VII. Randy Savage hit this move on Ultimate Warrior FIVE TIMES. IN A ROW. CONSECUTIVELY. And it still didn't put him away. (Side note: somehow it's unfair that Warrior is alive and Savage is dead. But that's just me. Moving on.)
- Randall Keith Orton's finisher, the RKO (#11) should not be where it is. It's a redone version of the Diamond Cutter. I can tell you when an RKO is coming, though WWE continually tries to sell it can come out of nowhere. The Diamond Cutter came out of nowhere. Though I will give Orton credit for this: Randy reversing a shooting star press into an RKO was one of the greatest things I've ever seen in my life. In anything. The "Legend Killer's" punt kick to the head should probably be on that list somewhere. It's ended a career or three.
Best finishing moves ever, they say. I've seen a lot of finishers. These are not the ten best ever. Discussion!
- I like Bret Hart. I respect Bret Hart. I respect Bret Hart's Sharpshooter (#10). But it shouldn't be in the top ten. Sting's Scorpion Deathlock (#36) is basically the same move, so how come they're TWENTY SIX SPOTS APART?
- Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka's Superfly Splash (#9) also shouldn't be in the top ten. It's only there because of one night in Madison Square Garden (Maybe you heard about it. As the old joke goes, everyone got into wrestling because they were there and saw this move.), which, oh by the way, happened AFTER THE MATCH WAS OVER. But all props to Snuka: dude climbed barefoot and stood on top of the jagged edges of the cage and took the dive that defined his professional life.
- I'm gonna go ahead and say it: Hulk Hogan's Leg Drop (#7) is overrated. Andre the Giant and Vader couldn't kick out of it, but The Rock and The Ultimate Warrior could. Okay. But it probably is the most important finisher in the history of the wrestling business. Wrestlemania III ended with that move. As did V, VII, and IX. And his WCW debut match in July 1994. And it was the move that completed the nWo puzzle in 1996. It resurrected Hogan's career at Wrestlemania X-8, won him his last world title a month later, and saved Hulk Hogan's job (albeit briefly) at Wrestlemania XIX. That leg to the throat (or chest usually) has been done better by many since, but no leg has made more money in the history of the wrestling business than Hulk Hogan's (and that includes Stacy Keibler's 42" lookers). It's overrated, but the history it's made can't be overlooked. Brother.
- A crescent kick to the face probably shouldn't be #6, but Shawn Michaels' stretching of his right leg to someone's jaw (aka Sweet Chin Music) broke a tag team, won him world titles, and retired Ric Flair. Plus, it killed Shelton Benjamin dead. And Rey Mysterio.
- You can snicker at Jake "The Snake" Roberts' DDT being at #5, but before the late-1980s, how many finishers you know got chants? Not many. It was in the WWF what the Diamond Cutter was to WCW a decade later.
- Triple H's Pedigree (#3) finishes ahead of The Rock's Rock Bottom/People's Elbow combo (#4)? Really, WWE? REALLY? I should fight you over this. Here's all you need to know: The Rock beat Stone Cold Steve Austin, Hulk Hogan, and John Cena with Rock Bottom. Triple H can only say the same for two of the three (guess which is the oddball).
- I have no problem with The Undertaker's Tombstone Piledriver being at #2. Many people have kicked out of most of the other finishers on the list (including the one ahead of it). But if someone got the business end of this move, they were beat. Period. The number of people that have kicked out of it you can probably count with one hand (I have Shawn Michaels and Kane. Maybe Hulk Hogan, but I'm not sure.) However, no love for The Last Ride? Or that Dragon Sleeper he used for about six months? Or Hells Gate? Hell, only two people have been able to escape the gogoplata (that's what they call Hells Gate). It should be on the list.
- The right call was made for #1: Stone Cold Steve Austin's Stunner has put everyone down. EVERYONE. I've always joked around with my older brother that you didn't matter unless you got stunned. Even near a decade after retirement, he's still dealing out stunners (to sharks, though that hasn't officially been verified). When you hear the glass, that's someone's ass about to get dropped on that stack of dimes they call a neck. WWE not only made the right call in making the Stone Cold Stunner the greatest finisher ever-they made the only call.
My one other obvious gripe about the list is the Crippler Crossface. I understand why it's not on the list, but it should be. Hell, it's been used quite a bit since his death in 2007. Daniel Bryan Danielson's finisher in the WWE is a variation of the crossface. I'd probably put it in the middle of the list. It was an effective finisher; just not a hugely over one (though Benoit tapping Orlando Jordan out with it in under a minute every week for a month back in 2005 was hilarious).
So where do you come out? Agree with the list? Have gripes with the list? Discuss!
Image via Wikimedia.