5 Wrestlers Who Changed Their Finishers (& 5 Who Stuck With One)
Finishing maneuvers are the last weapon in a wrestler’s armory that is utilized to bring a match to an end. Wrestlers usually wear their opponents out with their signature moves before finally hitting their finishers. While some finishers can easily be kicked out of, others are brutally executed in a way that makes it almost impossible for anyone to get their shoulder up before the count of three.
In order for certain finishing moves to look effective, it depends on the wrestler who’s portraying them. For example, it wouldn’t be believable if Rey Mysterio used Big Show’s KO punch and it would look very strange if The Undertaker did a 450 splash as his finisher. Over the years, many top stars have changed their finishers for better ones while others chose to remain with theirs for the majority of their careers.
10Changed Their Finisher: Randy Orton
Randy Orton is known for using the jumping cutter as his finisher, which he calls the RKO. However, that wasn’t his first finishing maneuver in WWE. Before he became The Viper, a sadist who enjoyed inflicting pain and ending careers, Orton was still a novice wrestler who was recognized as a third-generation superstar. He used the swinging neckbreaker or overdrive as his finisher which he called the O-Zone.
To perform the move, Orton hooked his inside leg over his opponent’s head, grabbed the opponent’s arm, and did a twist, causing his opponent to fall onto their back. The O-Zone wouldn’t have suited Randy Orton’s current Apex Predator character at all. He definitely made the right choice by changing his finisher to the RKO. The O-Zone didn’t disappear completely from WWE though, as Hurt Business member MVP uses it as his finisher, called the Playmaker.
9Stuck With One: Bret Hart
WWE Hall of Famer Bret “The Hitman” Hart is regarded by many as one of the greatest of all time. Although many wrestlers over the years have performed the Sharpshooter submission hold as their finisher, the move is mostly synonymous with The Hitman.
Bret has used it as his finishing move for his entire singles career. While he did also utilize a piledriver to win matches, he didn’t replace the Sharpshooter at all. Also, Bret Hart performed the move much better than those who came after him such as The Rock, who completely butchered it.
8Changed Their Finisher: The Rock
Speaking of The Rock, here’s another top star who changed his finisher for the better. No, we’re not talking about him using the People’s Elbow after using the Rock Bottom many years beforehand. The Rock didn’t technically change his finisher by using the elbow drop. He just added it to his arsenal. What he did change though was his old finishing move which he used before he became the People’s Champion.
This was back when he was billed as Rocky Maivia in the 90s. His finishing move was none other than a running shoulder breaker. The Rock is the most electrifying man in all of entertainment, and nothing about the shoulder breaker screams electrifying or entertaining. Thankfully, he changed his finisher to the Rock Bottom.
7Stuck With One: Batista
Dave Bautista was a powerhouse, which made the powerbomb the perfect finishing move for him. He named it the Batista Bomb and he won most of his World Championships with the move.
This was back when the powerbomb was actually finishing matches and it wasn’t kicked out of by everyone including a manikin such as Marko Stunt. Batista has used the finisher for his most of his run on the main roster without changing it. He did have other big moves such as the spear and spinebuster, but the Batista Bomb was still the most powerful one in his arsenal.
6Changed Their Finisher: Seth Rollins
Seth Rollins has used a lot of finishing moves on the main roster alone. He started with the Curb Stomp, which WWE banned, forcing him to change his finisher to a fall forward single-underhook DDT and later to the Pedigree.
After Rollins defeated Triple H, the innovator of the move, at WrestleMania 33, there was no need for him to continue using the Pedigree. Rollins then adopted the Ripcord Knee as his finisher but dropped it after the company unbanned the stomp.
5Stuck With One: Ric Flair
“The Nature Boy” Ric Flair is one of, if not, the best to ever do it. His classic matches with Ricky Steamboat are still talked about today more than three decades later. While Ric Flair will always be remembered as a kiss stealing, wheelin’ ‘n dealin’, limousine riding, jet flying son of a gun, he’s also known for popularizing the Figure Four leglock.
Every time a wrestler performs the move in the ring, Ric Flair automatically comes to mind. The submission has put down many of his adversaries and won him countless battles. His daughter, Charlotte Flair, uses the move after him. She also does a modified version called the Figure Eight.
4Changed Their Finisher: Stone Cold Steve Austin
Stone Cold Steve Austin has one of the most iconic finishing move in wrestling. The crowd always went bananas when The Texas Rattlesnake hit a stunner or two on anyone who was standing in the ring. However, the stunner wasn’t Austin’s first finisher. Back when he was known as “Stunning” Steve Austin, he used a different kind of move to stun his opponents for the win.
His finisher was called the Stun Gun. Stone Cold would lift his opponents up in a body-to-body position and drop them neck first onto the top rope, thus causing them to be “stunned.” The finisher wouldn’t have flown at all with his foul-mouthing, beer-drinking, corporate ass-kicking character. Thankfully, he began using the stunner which was highly over with the fans.
3Stuck With One: Kevin Nash
Big Daddy Cool was a big star in WWE and WCW. He held a world championship in both promotions, and most of his victories came from putting his opponents down with his Jackknife Powerbomb finishing move. Kevin Nash has used the move in his entire career, even when he was part of the NWO. It’s the second most devastating move he used, next to the Fingerpoke of Doom
The Jackknife Powerbomb was also the move that ended Goldberg’s 173-0 winning streak. Unlike a normal powerbomb, Nash released his opponents before lifting them all the way up, and he proceeded to slam them onto the canvas.
2Changed Their Finisher: The Undertaker
The Undertaker’s most popular finisher is the Tombstone Piledriver. He has used two other moves as his finishers in WWE. After changing his gimmick from a dead man to a biker, he began using an elevated powerbomb known as the Last Ride as his finisher. As the American Badass, he dropped the Tombstone for the Last Ride.
After returning to the darkness in 2004, he brought back the Tombstone and began using the elevated powerbomb as a signature. He also later adopted a lethal submission hold called the Hell’s Gate as another finisher. Out of all them, the Tombstone is definitely the best.
1Stuck With One: Triple H
During his entire career, former WWE Champion Triple H has used two weapons as a finisher. The first one is the double underhook facebuster known as the Pedigree and the second one is his signature weapon, the sledgehammer.
He has won countless matches from both tactics, but the Pedigree has been the only finishing move that he has used in WWE. With his in-ring career slowly approaching its end, it doesn’t look like The Game will be changing his finisher anytime soon.