With WrestleMania just around the corner, I’m totally excited for some of the matches they have lined up. Some of them, like The Miz and Logan Paul vs. The Mysterios and Drew McIntyre vs. Happy Corbin do feel like filler but I am excited to see things like Becky Lynch vs. Bianca Belair and Edge vs. AJ Styles. I do want to see some really classic matches and, more importantly, come cool finisher spots.
This did get me thinking about all of the finishing moves in pro wrestling. It does seem so anime for wrestlers to have a dedicated special attack. It must be kind of fun dreaming up what convoluted maneuver and giving it a name to really amp up how cool it’s supposed to be. With the latter in mind, here are the five best sounding finishing moves in pro wrestling today.
Kenny Omega’s One-Winged Angel
Hey, someone got their video games in my pro wrestling… and I kinda like it!
You can tell Kenny Omega is a gamer. He’s included a lot of moves from video games into his wrestling arsenal. He’s been seen doing a Hadouken-type double palm punch and even gets his opponents to stop in their tracks ala Flashman from the Megaman series. Kenny Omega has also named some of his moves based on video games, such as his running knee strike which he calls V-Trigger, a homage to Street Fighter V. His biggest video game callout has to be his finishing move called the One Winged Angel from Final Fantasy VII.
The One Winged Angel is actually a very convoluted move to pull off. Kenny Omega lifts his opponent on his shoulder in an electric chair position. He then slides his arm over his opponent’s leg and uses it to cradle his foe’s head before slamming them forward to the mat. It’s a cool looking move but a really awkward setup. However, the name itself just sounds so cool. Maybe it’s the gamer in me and I get the reference but One Winged Angel just sounds equally divine and devastating at the same time.
Diamond Dallas Page’s Diamond Cutter
It’s not as stylish as the RKO… but it just sounds so much better. Bang!
Before Randy Orton was delivering RKOs from out of nowhere, there was Diamond Dallas Page performing the Diamond Cutter when you least expected it. Generally, Diamond Dallas Page was before my time but I’m still aware of his legacy. He got into pro wrestling relatively late but he still managed to carve his own niche and even became WCW World Heavyweight Champion. He also became a fitness guru, helping out some down-and-out wrestlers like Jake “The Snake” Roberts and the late Scott Hall. Seems like a pretty cool guy.
While the move is now more synonymous with Randy Orton and Orton’s version does seem to have a lot more flair to it, the RKO sounds kinda lame. I mean, it’s basically called a “Randy Knock Out” or it spells out “Randall Keith Orton” if you understand how acronyms work. The Diamond Cutter, which has DDP clinching his opponent’s head above his shoulder and smashing his foe’s face into the mat while falling down, sounds a lot more forceful. Calling it a “cutter” and linking it to your nickname just sounds really organic and a whole lot more snazzy than an RKO.
Baron Corbin’s End of Days
Yes, I still call him Baron Corbin in my head.
I have seesawed between hot and cold when it comes to Baron Corbin. I never liked his original gimmick of “The Lone Wolf” but I oddly like his time as the RAW General Manager, even though it was one of the darkest periods of the WWE. I was okay with his tenure as King Corbin but his later gimmicks as Sad Corbin and Happy Corbin? Hard pass.
I also don’t really like the look of his finisher, the End of Days. It’s essentially a reverse STO or a reverse Rock Bottom with some additional theatrics. However, I do like its name. End of Days does make it sound like he’s about to end his opponent with the move. I still think it looks silly but at least it has a cool name.
Darby Allin’s Coffin Drop
There are suicide dives… and there’s Darby Allin’s Coffin Drop.
I really do wish we had easier access to watching AEW here in the Philippines. I can watch it AEW Dark on YouTube, I guess, but I would love to see Dynamite and Rampage as these are the programs where their bigger named stars regularly appear. One of those stars is Darby Allin. He’s a pretty small and kinda skinny but he certainly makes up for it with his high risk moves which looks like it hurts him more than his opponent at times.
One of these more painful looking moves is Darby Allin’s finish, the Coffin Drop. It’s a basic, no-frills backwards suicide splash that looks much more deadly as he stiffens up during his fall. It’s also one of the most perfectly named moves on this list as, when he does it, it does look like either Darby Allin or his opponent will be put in a coffin afterwards! Oh, I also love how dramatic the name is. Coffin Drop… just rolls off the tongue for me.
Finn Balor’s Coup de Grace
Let’s finish this list with some style!
I really love Finn Balor. I know he’s a smaller guy and some fans may find it unbelievable that he wins as often as he does. However, I throw realism out the window because Finn Balor’s intensity in the ring is just so enthralling! I love how he uses his size combined with his athletic ability to do some really crazy moves.
This does also go with his finisher, the Coup de Grace. On paper, it sounds really basic and uncomplicated as it’s a double foot stomp from the top rope to his opponent’s gut. However, this is “sports entertainment” so it’s a miracle how Finn Balor hasn’t seriously injured someone when doing the Coup de Grace. It looks brutal and devastating and I know no one, even with someone “as small as” Finn Balor, could kick out of the Coup de Grace if he did it for realisies. I also love how final it sounds because that’s precisely what Coup de Grace means! You can’t get any more descriptive other than calling your move “death blow” but it just wouldn’t sound as cool. Making it French just adds that little punch to it.
BONUS: Sgt. Slaughter’s Cobra Clutch
I’m sorry but this sounds more brutal than the Million Dollar Dream.
Sgt. Slaughter has had a strange career. He was a heel drill instructor when he started out but became a GI Joe after turning face. After that, he became an Iraqi sympathizer during the height of the Iraq War because the then named WWF really needed someone to boo. They then forgot he loved Iraq soon after and turned straight face again. Sgt. Slaughter then retired from regular in-ring competition, became the RAW Commissioner and has sporadically wrestled since then. That’s a very dry recap of the man’s career because he was before my time.
Throughout his wrestling career, his finisher has been called the Cobra Clutch, which is a super cool sounding name. It’s basically a modified version of a rear naked choke. However, when he wasn’t in the WWF/WWE, the Million Dollar man appropriated the move and called it the Million Dollar Dream. So, when he came to the WWF/WWE, he had to change his finisher to the lame Knuckle Sandwich, which is basically a noogie. While it’s technically the same move, I just think Cobra Clutch sounds more brutal than Million Dollar Dream. For some strange reason, combining “cobra” with “clutch” sounds so appealing to me.
What is the coolest name for a finisher in the world of pro wrestling? Let me know in the comments section below!