Throughout the history of wrestling there have been some tremendously stupid finishing moves. Moves that the fans are supposed to believe cause major pain and have a crippling effect on whoever they are applied to. Some of them are so dumb and unbelievable that no matter how well an opponent sells the move, nobody is going to buy it as a move that can incapacitate an opponent.
Unfortunately there are a lot of good wrestlers that use these types of moves and it cheapens their reputation. A good example was Bruno Sammartino’s “Bear Hug”, a simple bear hug that fans were supposed to believe crushed the life out of his opponents. And that one didn’t even make the list.
Here we will look at 15 of the worst finishing moves in the history of wrestling.
15 The Nasty Boys - “Pit Stop”
The tag team that consisted of Brian “Biff” Knobbs and Jerry “Biff” Sags, had a finishing move that was completely stupid and it totally lived up to the name “Nasty”. One of the Nasty Boys would take an opponent’s head and shove his face into the arm pit of the other Nasty Boy, who would have his arm lifted in the air, exposing the “stink zone”. This move was just totally disgusting, especially after ten minutes or more in the ring, but how are the fans supposed to believe it would be enough to hurt an opponent bad enough for a pin fall? It would be enough for an opponent to not want to step in the ring with them, but bad enough to cause them to lose a match? We don’t buy it.
14 Sgt. Slaughter - “Atomic Noogie”
Sgt. Slaughter proved over the years that he could be as brutal as anyone when inside the ring. His character could have used a number of great finishing moves but instead he used the “Atomic Noogie”, which was really nothing more than him grinding his knuckles into an opponent’s temples. Granted, the move must have had a little pain associated with it, but the opponent could easily get out of it and I doubt that it really caused pain extreme enough to have an opponent tap out.
13 John Cena - “Attitude Adjustment”
John Cena is without question one of the best entertainers of our time. But his “Attitude Adjustment” is nothing more than a regular sideways body slam. It’s a move that is done countless times on any night of wrestling. And we are supposed to believe that his is devastating because HE does it, and in a different way? Nope, sorry but we don’t buy it John.
12 Kerry Von Erich - “Tornado Punch”
Kerry Von Erich was one of the best wrestlers of his time, before he joined the WWF. Sadly he was lost way too early in his life. Before he joined the WWF he was known for being a great athlete that always put on top matches for the fans. But like many of his time, once he came to the WWF, all of that changed. They dubbed him “The Texas Tornado” and we never really got to see his true talents. And his “Tornado Punch” just wasn’t believable as a finishing move, as it was nothing more than a punch to the head. It was something that happened countless times during a match. But since he spun around while delivering the blow, it was supposed to make it strong enough to incapacitate his opponent. Fans never bought it and they shouldn’t have.
11 Big John Studd and Crush - “The Heart Punch”
“The Heart Punch” has been around for a long time. Many wrestlers used it during the '60s and '70s and fans were led to believe that the punch to the chest stopped an opponent’s heart just long enough to collect a pin fall. During the '80s and '90s Big John Studd and Crush both brought the move back, but by the time Crush started using it, fans had caught on to the fact that the move didn’t do as much damage as they had been led to believe. It was nothing more than a punch to the chest that did as much damage as any other punch thrown during the match. It was certainly not enough to knock an opponent down for a pin. It was good in the early days but the move stuck around too long and allowed fans to catch on to the reality of it.
10 Dusty Rhodes - “Bionic Elbow”
I almost feel bad putting Dusty on this list. Once again, before he joined the WWE, he was truly one of the best entertainers of his era. He was never that great of a wrestler but the attitude and excitement that he brought into the ring night after night made him one of the best of all time. He always put on matches that kept the fans on the edge of their seats. He is a true icon in wrestling history but what was so special about his “Bionic Elbow”? Unless he had a steel plate inside the pad that he wore around his elbow (and I’m pretty sure he didn’t), an elbow to the head is another move that is done many times during a night of wrestling. There was nothing that was special about Dusty’s elbow that made the move a devastating one to ensure a pin fall.
9 The Bushwackers - “Battering Ram”
This tag team was made up of a couple of the weirdest guys to even don the tights. They also wrestled under the name of “The Sheepherders”. Hailing from New Zealand, it was tough to know if this team really had any talent at all. They were more of a comedy show in the ring and seemed to go for laughs more than cheers or jeers. Their move of the “Battering Ram” was completely unbelievable as one of them took the other in a side headlock, and then rammed the top of their head into their opponent, thus rendering the opponent incapacitated and ready for a pin fall. While the move was kind of funny to watch done, it was nowhere close to being the knockout blow needed to win a match.
8 Hulk Hogan - Leg Drop
Hulk Hogan bored wrestling fans for years with the same two or three moves. You always knew what was coming long before it was delivered. And his finishing move of the leg drop across the chest or throat was just never believable. Maybe it was supposed to be the beating that he gave out before delivering this move that actually finished off an opponent. Because when he came off the ropes and jumped in the air and landed on his butt, dropping his leg across the fallen opponent, the brunt of the fall was taken by Hogan and his leg rarely hit his opponent hard enough to cause them any pain at all. And we were supposed to buy the fact that it was this move that put his opponent out for good. Sorry Hulk, we didn’t buy it then and we still don’t.
7 Rikishi - “Stink Face”, Yokozuna – “Banzai Drop”
Rikishi had a move that rivals The Nasty Boys move that they called “The Pit Stop”, in terms of nastiness. He would pull his tights up into the crack of his butt and then the giant man would sit on his opponent’s face, rubbing his huge butt all over it. Rikishi was so big that you can only imagine that it didn’t take long in the ring before he started to become a little ripe. This was another disgusting move that was performed in the ring and you can imagine that nobody wanted to face him in the ring, knowing that this was the future they would see close up, in the very near future. However while a pretty nasty move, it was hardly enough to put an opponent down for the count of three. Yokozuna performed a similar move that he called the “Banzai Drop”. The only difference was that he did it after setting up his opponent in the corner. Either way, having a fat man’s butt shoved in your face can’t be a pleasant thing to endure, but it’s hardly enough to end a match.
6 Scotty 2 Hotty - “The Worm”
There have been many truly stupid moves in wrestling over the years but this is one of the worst. Scotty 2 Hotty would do “The Worm”, move across the canvass and finish it with a punch to his fallen opponent’s stomach. While laying on the canvas it’s hard to believe that he could generate enough power to have anything behind the punch, so how are we to believe it could finish off an opponent? The only way this move could stop an opponent is if they saw it coming and broke out into laughter in the middle of the ring. That would distract them long enough for a real finishing move to be performed.
5 Santino Marella - “Cobra”
This is another truly stupid move. Marella would put his fingers together and call it “The Cobra”. The cobra would then strike his opponent, which in reality was nothing more than a finger poke to the forehead. It was hardly enough to finish off a match.
4 Blackjack Mulligan and Barry Windham - “The Claw”
Blackjack Mulligan’s bloodlines in pro wrestling run deep. He has sons Barry Windham and Kendall Windham and is the father in law to Mike Rotunda. Bray Wyatt and Bo Dallas also call Mulligan grandpa. Mulligan mastered “The Claw” and used it as a finishing move for many years before his son Barry brought it with him to the WWF. The move is nothing more than grabbing a fallen opponent by the head, with possibly some pressure on the temples. While it might bring a little bit of pain to a fallen foe, it’s easy to get out of the move and it certainly couldn’t cause enough pain to end a match. But they sold it well and made it look much more devastating than reality tells you it is.
3 The Big Show - “WMD”
It’s always a good time to watch The Big Show in the ring. For a giant man he moves well and he can perform several wrestling moves and he sells them well. A man of his size could have many different finishing moves. The “WMD” would be more believable if it was more than just a punch to the face. He does this many times during each match and then when it’s time to finish off an opponent he does it one more time, and we are supposed to believe that this one punch is different from the rest. It’s supposed to be a super charged kind of punch to finish off a foe. Come on now. Maybe if he didn’t throw any punches during the rest of the match this one would be believable.
2 Mick Foley - “Mr. Socko”
This move is just plain stupid and not enough to finish off any opponent. Chris Jericho once spoke of the move and said “I don’t like Mick Foley’s Mr. Socko, because it doesn’t do anything - he puts a stinky sock in your mouth and you fall down. I guess the idea is that he’s supposed to be ripping your tongue out. Now, if he actually pulled dudes’ tongues out, it would be the most terrifying finish ever, but he doesn’t do that. He just sticks a stinky sock in your mouth and then you fall down and then, like, I guess you get pinned by it or something. I like the concept of putting the sock on, but then when he actually sticks his finger in your mouth, it’s like, eh. He’s got that sock down his pants, too. The last thing I want is a dirty sock pulled out of a guy’s pants and then shoved into my mouth.” Well said Chris!
1 Joey Ryan - “Penis Flip”
Professional wrestling has reached a new low with this one. And if you try to find a worse or more stupid move than this one, you will fail. There is no competition what so ever. One might say that an opponent facing this move has some stiff competition ahead of them. The move doesn’t even have an official name so we gave it one. Watch the video because you won’t want to miss Joey Ryan performing the “Penis Flip” on Danshoku Dino in a recent match in Osaka, Japan.
The concept of the move is that Ryan’s penis is so strong that it can lure an opponent in to grab it, and then without even touching his foe, Ryan can use the penis to flip his opponent over and then pin him.
Ryan explained the erection of the move after the match. “I have to give credit where credit is due. “Danshoku Dino, who I was wrestling in the match, he plays a very unorthodox character, very homoerotic to say the least. Part of his offense is to inappropriately touch and grab opponents for the thrill of it, or maybe to throw them off their game a bit. He speaks very little English, but wrestlers can usually speak wrestling, so we understand something. So we're going over the match and he says 'Maybe I grab, maybe you no sell, because American cock so big and so strong.' So it was kind of his idea. We both play sexual characters so it fit with us.”
If you ever had any doubts about if wrestling is real or fake, just watch the video and you can see for yourself why this is ultimately the stupidest move ever invented in professional wrestling. I’ll bet you can’t watch it just once.