wrestling / Columns

The 411 Wrestling Top 06.23.10: Week 80 – Finisher Names

June 23, 2010 | Posted by Michael Bauer

Hello everyone and welcome to 411 Wrestling’s Top 5 List. What we are going to is take a topic each week and all the writers here on 411 wrestling will have the ability to give us their Top 5 on said topic, plus up to three honorable mentions. Most of our topics will be based on recent events in the Wrestling World, looking at those events that make us think of times past.

So, on to this week’s topic…

Top 5 Finisher Names

Forget how cool a finisher looks or how much it hurts, what about the name that makes the finisher stick out in our minds forever? That is what we are looking at here.

So what did our group of writers select? Let’s find out…

Aaron Hubbard


The F-5 – A spinning fireman’s carry facebuster couldn’t have a more appropriate name than the most powerful tornado.

The Styles Clash – I also loved it when Crash Holly used it and called it The Crash Landing.

The Backstabber – I love this because it also says something about Carlito’s character, and fits the move perfectly; you can figuratively and literally stab someone in the back with this move.

5. Sliced Bread #2 – Naomichi Marufuji innovated this move and called it the Shiranui, and it has since been adapted by many wrestlers. Probably the most famous is Brian Kendrick, who I believe gave the move its Americanized name, though I’ll gladly be proven wrong. I just love the arrogance in the name; the move is the greatest thing since Sliced Bread? I’m not all too crazy about the move itself, because I don’t buy it as a finisher, but the name is awesome.

4. The Rock Bottom – See, there’s a good way and a bad way to incorporate your name into a move. The bad way is to put your name at the beginning and the name of the move at the end (Batista Bomb, Angle Slam, etc). The good way is to incorporate into a phrase (The Walls of Jericho, The Rings of Saturn, Stratusfaction, etc.) and this is one of the best examples of it. Instantly identifiable with The Rock, and your opponent hits “rock bottom”.

3. The Doomsday Device – DEATH! That’s what this move looks like, that’s what this move sounds like. The perfect name for the greatest double-team move ever, in my opinion. I mean, you hear “Doomsday Device” and you expect something brutal and awe-inspiring. Well, Hawk’s decapitation clothesline and the poor opponent doing a backflip off of Animal’s shoulders fits the bill.

2. The Sharpshooter – Originally called the sasorigatame (Scorpion Lock) in Japan, turned into the Scorpion Deathlock by Sting to make it sound better. But when Bret Hart took it, he gave it a name that has stuck with it. When some random wrestler puts on the sasorigatame, people refer to it as the Sharpshooter. Heck, Sting even got the Scorpion Death Drop since Bret had such a patent on it. Also, Hitman = Sharpshooter. GENIUS!

1. The Stone Cold Stunner – I like this name for many reasons. For one, it just flows really well and is fun to say. Second, it is very appropriate; the move stuns the opponent long enough to make a pinfall. Third, it incorporates Austin’s old nickname “Stunning” Steve Austin. Lastly, it’s always going to be identified with Austin. People throw out legdrops in their matches all the time. Tons of wrestlers use the Tombstone Piledriver. But how many people are doing Stunners? That’s because it is Austin’s move.

Chad Nevett


Spear – I loved this name before Edge’s recent attempt to make it a chant. Just yelling it whenever it’s hit is great. “SPEAR!” I love that.

Tadpole Splash – A clever variation on the Frog Splash that always makes me chuckle.

Best Moonsault Ever – Well, Daniels’s moonsault is pretty damn great…

5. RKO – See, because it’s his initials AND ‘Randy Knock Out!’ I like the dual elements of its name and how synonymous it’s become with Randy Orton as a wrestler. It’s very simple, but that’s why it’s stuck so much. And, like the spear, it’s just fun to shout when it’s hit.

4. Skull-Crushing Finale – Right in the name, you know it’s a finishing move and what the Miz basically does to his opponent. The move itself is pretty great, but the name makes it stand out. It’s memorable and gets across the brutality and showmanship of the Miz’s character.

3. Implant Buster – This move’s name is a perfect combination of the wrestler who uses it and what it does. Awesome Kong is not your typical Diva-esque woman wrestler and this is a move that is just harsh in how hard it slams someone on their face/chest. A nice knock against the superficiality of women’s wrestler in the WWE and TNA that works with Kong’s overpowering brutality.

2. Unprettier – Though called the Killswitch now, this name always seemed much more appropriate as Christian would just smash his opponent’s face into the mat. It ‘unpretties’ its victims, but the name itself is also ‘unpretty’ in its clunkiness.

1. Sweet Chin Music – There’s just something about this name that jumps out. It’s just a simple superkick, but Shawn Michaels made it into an event with the addition of ‘tuning up the band’ prior to hitting it. The name is flashy and sticks with you, telling you something about Michaels’s character and what’s going to happen. Not as direct as some names, it leaves a little out in its description. Also, like the best finishers, the name is associated entirely with Michaels. Other people do superkicks, he does Sweet Chin Music.

Ryan Byers


Marshmallow Hedgehog – I love this name mainly because I don’t think I’ve ever heard a finisher name that sounds more like it was arrived at by picking two words out of a hat at random. For those of you who are curious, the move is essentially the Cattle Mutilation, except that it is applied to a seated opponent instead of one who is laying face-down. Its primary user is Mototsugo Shimizu, a low-level indy wrestler from Japan.

Unprettier – Currently known as the Killswitch, Christian Cage’s finisher was originally the Unprettier. It was a great name for the hold when Cage first started using it, as “Unpretty” was a hit song for TLC at the time, and Christian’s character was exactly the kind of clueless putz who would think that naming his finisher after a TLC song was badass. I should probably also note that, when I first saw this move, it was being used by Tommy Rogers as the “Tomikaze,” which is a pretty sweet name itself.

Viagra Driver – One of my favorite wrestlers who I don’t get to write that much about on 411mania is Magnum TOKYO. In the late 1990’s and the early part of this decade, the guy had it all . . . cool matches, swank gear, the best entrance in wrestling. The “Viagra Driver” was the perfect name for his finish given the fact that his gimmick was essentially that of an oversexed stripper and that the medication Viagra had just started to gain some prominence as a pop-culture punchline. Unfortunately, it was later renamed the “Egoist Driver,” which I don’t care for nearly as much.

5. Shining Wizard – In 2001, veteran Keiji Muto had a career resurgence the likes of which very few wrestling legends have the opportunity to enjoy. Despite a body that was beginning to break down, he reinvigorated both his persona and his matches with a brand new look and a brand new style of wrestling. Part of that transformation was the debut of the Shining Wizad, an innovative move that saw Muto work an opponent’s knee until he fell into a kneeling position, at which point Muto would use his opponent’s leg as a springboard from which to hit a jumping knee strike to the head. In addition to being an awesome looking finisher (and Muto still does it better than anybody in the business), it came with a great name. “Shining Wizard” always felt like an allusion to Muto himself, referring to his mastery of professional wrestling making him into a veritable “wizard” of the sport. Plus the move has the added bonus of inspiring several knockoffs with names that are entertaining in their own right, including Allison Danger’s “SHIMMERing Warlock” and and Shane Storm’s “That Japanese Move.”

4. Evenflow – Though it is currently known as “The Raven Effect,” to me a DDT performed by Mr. Scott Levy will always be an “Evenflow.” It was a great name for two reasons. First of all, for the teenagers reading the column, I should probably point out the fact that “Even Flow” is a song by grunge rock mega-band Pearl Jam, making the name for the move tie in perfectly to the image and the gimmick that Raven was attempting to portray at the time he was using this finisher. Additionally, though I might be alone on this one, I feel like the name had a descriptive element to it as well which told us how Raven performed the move. In watching him hit the DDT, I always thought there was a fluidity to it – a “flow” if you will – that was missing from the versions of the move performed by previous generations of wrestlers like Jake Roberts and Arn Anderson. Though Double A hit some DDTs that looked like they erased a few opponents’ memories, both his version of the move and Jake’s always seemed a bit more set up and clunky than Raven’s, who did a better job of hitting it out of nowhere or transitioning into it from other moves.

3. Gordbuster – Speaking of Arn Anderson, I have to give some kudos to to his old “Gordbuster” finisher. For people from overseas or the coasts of the US who may not be familiar with downhome, folksy slang, your “gord” is your head. Therefore, a face-first suplex which drops you right down on your skull will oftentimes come dangerously close to busting your head . . . or your gord. It fit perfectly and played off the southern roots of the promotions in which Anderson was primiarly competing when using the move. And, once again, I have to give some credit to the name of a later version of the same move, as R-Truth currently employs the maneuver under an equally-entertaining moniker, the “Hat Rack Crack.”

2. Gore – Give Paul Heyman full credit for this one. Heyman spent less than a year as the lead color commentator for the WWF/WWE, but, when he was doing it, he would make a point to yell “GORE, GORE, GORE!!!” at the top of his lungs every time that former ECW Champoin Rhino hit his finisher. It was the sort of thing that was not being done for any other wrestler’s finisher at the time, and the result was that the move got over, both quickly and well. In fact, even when Rhino was moved down the card significantly and treated primarily as an afterthought (both in WWE and TNA), his finisher remained significantly more over than those of other guys in similar positions in the same promotion, all because his mentor Paul E. made a point of drilling its name and its importance into fans’ heads many years ago.

1. Piledriver – This move name is so old that a lot of wrestling fans, particularly younger ones, probably don’t even think of where it came from. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that there are a lot of folks who watch wrestling now who hear the name and don’t realize that there is an actual tool in the real world that is called a piledriver. For those of you who are not familiar with the implement, a piledriver is a gigantic weight often suspended from a crane used to implant the piles that help to form the foundations of large buildings into the ground. Essnetially, you’re looking at a machine that creates hundreds if not thousands of pounds of force and pressure in order to drill up to eighty meters into the earth. THAT is exactly the kind of machine that you want to name your brutal professional wrestling finisher after, especially when you consider the fact that the wrestling piledriver was portrayed in many territories as a move so brutal that it was banned and guaranteed to put men on the shelf for several weeks if not months when they took it.

Michael Uphoff


Unprettier – Now called the Killswitch, this move was used by Christian and showed part of his personality in the ring, mainly about how little he cared about his opponents. Plus, it just looked absolutely sick as he planted your face into the mat.

F5 – The name implies the destruction that it wreaked when utilized by Brock Lesnar. Never did throwing your opponent off your shoulders and spinning them look so cool and so deadly.

Rock Bottom – Once you hear that name, instantly an image flashes in your mind of the Rock picking someone up and delivering his finisher. It’s that synonymous with him. Have you ever seen anyone else do the Rock Bottom that wasn’t in a match against the Rock at the time? Well Eugene, but never mind. My point is that the Rock Bottom was a great finisher name because that is what happened when you were hit with it. You reached rock bottom. You were beat.

5. Jawbreaker Lariat – When I watched wrestling a few years ago and Bradshaw was still part of the APA, I thought that no one could hit a lariat or clothesline like he could. Then I watched the ROH match where Nigel McGuinness broke Jimmy Rave’s jaw with a lariat. The move was just absolutely SICK. Nigel and ROH capitalized on it almost immediately and called it the Jawbreaker Lariat, and it was a big part of the reason why everyone bought Nigel as a threat to Morishima and such a dangerous champion as well. Who wouldn’t fear someone who could almost take your head off with a simple lariat?

4. RKO – This makes the list because of just how devastating the move is, and how easily it plays off the initials of the man that uses the move. It stands for Randall K. Orton, but it can also mean Randy KO. Plus, the visual of seeing Orton jump in the air and then plant someone’s skull on the mat and hearing the announcers scream RKO! RKO! RKO! is pretty sweet as well.

3. Sweet Chin Music – Just hearing an announcer scream Sweet Chin Music is enough to visualize one man knocking someone’s teeth down their throat. Sure, lots of people used the superkick, but only HBK truly made it his own and made it a dangerous move for opponents. He revolutionized the move by adding the tuning up the band part, and that often spelled doom for many opponents.

2. Stone Cold Stunner – Probably the most over move in the WWE, with the exception of the #1 finisher name. No one has ever used this finisher besides Stone Cold Steve Austin. No one will ever use this finisher besides Stone Cold Steve Austin. Why? Because when someone chants Stunner or screams Stunner, the first thing we think of is Stone Cold delivering a Stunner to someone in the ring and raising hell. Also, the name is really easy to say, and the move looks like it stuns the opponent long enough to get a three count, making it look almost believable to the fans. I don’t think anyone will use the Stunner ever again, because when you hear the name, you think Stone Cold. How many other people are using the Stunner? NO ONE.

1. Tombstone Piledriver – I’ll probably catch some comments for this one, but no other named finisher inspired more fear in the WWF/WWE. Sure, other people used it, like Finlay in WCW, but it is synonymous with Kane, but especially and more importantly the Undertaker. Looking at the move, the Deadman picks you up and drops you straight down on your head. With how it is named and how it is delivered, it almost seems like the Undertaker is going to bury you by dropping you on your head and sending you straight to hell. I honestly believe that this is the greatest finisher name in WWE history, and I’ll never be convinced otherwise.


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Michael Bauer
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