5 Finishing Moves That Lost All Effectiveness
In wrestling, the finishing move is a wrestler’s trademark. They end matches with it, it’s their signature on a show. Throughout history, there have been a few finishing moves that were either awesome at one time and became trash or regular moves decades later or they were never awesome to begin with. Let’s look at five finishing moves that lost importance over time.
There was a time when the DDT was feared. Jake Roberts? Primo DDT action. Even though Arn Anderson, Tommy Dreamer, and Michael P.S Hayes used the move as their finisher or back up finisher, the move started to become a regular move in the 90s. As a matter of fact, it started to be spammed regularly as a move to slow down the action or as a counter hold.
The only way to get the move over now is to ban others on a roster from using it. That goes for the Tornado DDT which has a little extra razzamatazz. No, “X’s DDT is more effective because they have proper DDT technique” isn’t going to preserve the finisher status of the DDT.
It’s a DDT. The move shares company with the crossbody block, the neckbreaker, the swinging neckbreaker, and the diving double stomp.
4. The Claw
This one is mild-bad not because it’s basic as hell. It’s the amount of selling required to make the move seem like something that could end a match.
Also, this basic move—in this day and age in wrestling—couldn’t even be a signature to set up another finisher. Scratch that. It could be a signature move and that’s probably as far as it should go when wrestlers are capable of far more devastating moves to end a bout.
No, this one requires wrestlers with an old school mindset to make it work. Outside of that, it requires a little something extra or to be included as part of another move such as the Von Erich Back Suplex-Claw Slam Combo.
3. Running Shoulder Block
There was a time in wrestling history where a running shoulder block could end a match. That time was well before the 90s and it was used by bigger wrestlers, usually ones with a football background. The last time this move was over as a finisher was with Monty Brown and that was because he added some razzle-dazzle to the move. That said, it’s barely even used as a regular-ass move in someone’s arsenal of holds and strikes.
2. Leg Drop/Elbow Drop
Let’s just fire off four moves that used to get the job done but are now no longer effective. Hogan obviously had the leg drop while Abdullah the Butcher, The Rock, and Dusty put people away with their elbow drops. I don’t have to tell you how hard these two finishers fell.
Hell, they fell when Ric Flair and every other heel worth their sagging knee pads were doing running knee drops—which looks more devastating that an elbow drop or a running leg drop. Those two moves even had theatrics to them (except for Abby’s, he just…did it).
Now, it would be extremely hard to get a regular elbow drop or leg drop over because everyone and their grandma does at least one elbow drop. If these moves were any more commonplace, they would be stomps, punches, and elbow smashes.
1. The Overdrive: King of Worst Finishing Moves
When I say this is my least favorite move of all time…
This move just never made sense. I don’t know if Elix Skipper invented it or popularized it but no one really innovated it or got it over. If you don’t remember the move, you’re blessed. It required the wrestler to take one of their opponent’s arms—the nearest one—and drape the closest leg over the back of their opponent’s neck.
Then, the wrestler makes a swinging motion before dropping to their knee with their opponent. I don’t know how in the blue hell this move was supposed to be effective at all. Like, it’s supposed to be a kind of neckbreaker but what in the hell is this?
What I do know is that this was one of two moves WWE tried to get over. Rookie year Orton used this as his O-zone finisher and it was also rookie year Carlito’s finish before the Cool Breaker. I’m delighted they moved on with their finishing move aspirations. Well, MVP used it as the Playmaker. So…there’s that.
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