The 15 Most Unique Finishers That We've Ever Seen

The Rock said during the build to his third WrestleMania match against Stone Cold Steve Austin that acts one and two, they don't matter. The Rock said that Hollywood taught him that all that matters is act three — the finish. These words from The Great One and directly applicable to professional wrestling.


The finishes are what wrestling matches are remembered for. Did the heel or babyface win? The outcome of matches is where the investment lies and wrestlers regularly work to manipulate that psychology with memorable spots, moments, and moves to conclude their bouts. The match needs a finish and the wrestlers need a finisher to get there. 

Some finishers are better than others. The Spear? Been there, done that. Pump Handle Slam? Shouldn't have ever been a finishing move to begin with. On the other side of the coin you have the Rock Bottom, Choke Slam, Angle Slam, Sweet Chin Music, The Sharpshooter, and others that many can remember using on their younger siblings. 

Then there are the truly different and notable finishing moves. The special ones — the moves that stand the test of time and will continue to do so. These are the 15 most unique finishers that we've ever seen.


The Worm

There isn't a move out there that screams "Attitude Era mid-card finisher" quite like Scotty 2 Hotty's The Worm maneuver. Let's call a spade a spade: The move is beyond ridiculous. Is the violent part an elbow drop, a falling fist smash, a karate chop type strike? Who really knows? Luckily, it's the least important part of the move.


Fans remember the setup. They remember Scotty standing in the middle of the ring, wide-eyed, and mouth open in amazement as the audience loudly buzzed. Then it happened: Scotty would hop on one foot in a circle four times — one for the W, O, R, and M — and the audience loudly yelled the words out in unison. Then Scotty would do The Worm dance move over to his opponent and drop on him before making the cover for the win. 

The move hasn't been done by anyone else since and stands the test of time of the hottest era in wrestling's history. Scotty 2 Hotty didn't win a world championship with the move, but he forever stays in wrestling lore because of it.

The Tombstone

Let's take the already dangerous piledriver move, and make it even more dangerous by dropping the opponent down onto their head from an even higher distance than usual. Why not?

The Tombstone Piledriver is a devastating move and a unique twist on a traditional wrestling move that greatly enhanced its impact. The Tombstone is still synonymous with The Undertaker. Though he wasn't the first to execute the move that way, he gave it the gravitas and impact that it deserved thanks to his height, which visually made the move look more impressive. The unique pin style after connecting with the move yelled "scary deadman gimmick" from the top of a mountain. 


"That move is probably one of the most nerve-wracking moves I think I've ever done," The Undertaker said on the "Notsam Wrestling" podcast. "Especially in a pay-per-view type situation because it has the potential to be awesome and it catches people off guard, but it also has the potential to be crickets."

One-Winged Angel

There simply isn't a wrestling move out there that looks as clean, beautiful, and debilitating as Kenny Omega's One-Winged Angel. It's a unique cross between an electric chair drop, DDT, and piledriver, and the one leg hook generates the move's artfulness before the devastation occurs. 


Omega has won major matches with this move and it's unique to him and him alone. Not just in New Japan Pro-Wrestling or AEW, but various other major wrestling companies as well and it stands out in a major way for that reason. "We kicked the year off right- Friends, family, and championship gold," Omega said in a Twitter post. "Fenix was great too, nothing but respect! Earned every one of those five stars. How many is that now? I've lost count. More importantly, how many of those involved One Winged Angel kick outs? None. It's unbeatable."

The move's name is part of the allure, originating from the "Final Fantasy" video game franchise. Omega's a gamer in every sense of the word, so it's no surprise that he turned that way when it came to his patented wrestling move.


Vader's Moonsault

Everyone's seen a moonsault before. Nothing special there. However, a 450 pound man doing a moonsault off the top rope? That's special. 

Vader was that guy. Because of his size, when he scaled to the top rope, the audience oozed anticipation, which immediately turned into shock and awe as he leapt off the top rope, flipped in mid-air, and landed on his lifeless opponent. 


A man Vader's size should not be connecting with a move like that as consistently and regularly as he did. You can argue whether or not a guy like Vader should be climbing the top rope because of his size, but the bottom line is that Vader put his own sizzle on a pretty mundane move and turned it into something that was can't miss. The move became a central point of narrative for Vader matches and was a signature way for him to differentiate himself amongst other big men in the wrestling industry.

The Kokeshi

There are a couple reasons why Tomoaki Honma's particular finisher — the Kokeshi, a diving headbutt variation — is a unique one. First and foremost is the way Honma executes the move. Traditionally this move is hit with a dive, but Honma simply falls. It's an interesting twist on a move that looks significantly less devastating than the one with the dive. Honma's is certainly more deliberate, though. The fall emphasizes the move and the psychology behind it. 


The second element to the move's uniqueness is that Honma rarely hits it. Strange for a finisher, but effective at the same time. The rarity and scarce nature of seeing the move adds to its aura and left Honma with a massive card to play for drama and intrigue during his matches. Not only are people excited to see it because it won matches, but it popped crowds because there was excitement around simply seeing it in and of itself. A brilliant psychological use of a relatively simple move and it generated a big reaction. 

The People's Elbow

The People's Elbow is one of the flashiest moves in wrestling history. It's a simple elbow drop when you break the nuts and bolts of it down, but the drama, audience response, and energy that is generated from it keeps it out ahead of most finishers in the game.


The Rock pauses, faces the roaring in approval audience, tosses his elbow pad, bounces off two sets of ring ropes, shimmies, and then crashes onto the chest of his opponent elbow first. It's a lot of fluff for a wrestling move intended to hurt someone, but it personifies the show business aspect of professional wrestling. 

The move has won world titles for The Rock, but what stands out is the crowd engagement he gets with it. The delivery is unique and WWE's production team captures the moment fluidly each time. The wide shot of Rock facing the crowd stands the test of time from every major WrestleMania match he's been in.

Doomsday Device

The Doomsday Device was a one-of-one move in professional wrestling history, and the perfect balance of athletically impressive and devastatingly powerful. The Road Warriors needed to find that mix for a finishing move and this move checked both boxes.


What's especially unique is the execution and setup: Animal lifting an opponent onto his shoulders while Hawk climbed to the top rope, made all the more awe-inspiring by both looking like gladiators chiseled out of stone. The impact that Hawk generated by leaping off the top rope and dropping their opponent to the mat was the power that this team needed to finish matches with the energy they brought to the ring.

The Road Warrior pop on their entrance is often mentioned as one of the loudest in history. This move elicited the same passionate pop at the end of their matches. A double dip of distinct crowd reactions and a move that simply fit like a glove.

The Nightmare Pendulum

Is The Nightmare Pendulum a vertical suplex? A Jackhammer? The answer is, well, yes. It's both, and more. Alexander Hammerstone puts away opponents in Major League Wrestling and across the independents with this impressive maneuver, and the mix of the two makes it stand out.


Hammerstone is in incredible shape and looks the part of a pro wrestler that would have been featured in the mid-'80s. He's jacked and this move emphasizes that look. Hammerstone begins the move like a vertical suplex, but then pivots the hold and slams the opponent onto his back much like Baron Corbin does for End Of Days.

It looks like a move constructed in a video game, one that's eye popping in real life. Hammerstone is the only wrestler who has brought the move to life and it gives him added credibility in matches and for finishes. 

The Hogan Leg Drop

A leg drop is a leg drop is a leg drop, except when Hulk Hogan did it. It's pretty unfathomable to think of a leg drop being used as a finisher by the biggest babyface in wrestling, but Hogan's era was a different time. 


This move is very comparable to The Rock's People's Elbow in that it's much more about the fanfare around the move than the move itself. The Hogan Leg Drop is fed by Hulk hulking up, a definitive point with the audience yelling "you!" in unison, a massive big boot to the face, a bounce off the ropes with the adoring crowd cheering, and then the big drop.

It was simple but effective because of the audience engagement it generated for Hogan. When the audience saw the full range of the move, they knew the match was over. That psychology was present in all Hogan matches and much of it was on the shoulders of that move. It created investment, and say what you will about Hulk Hogan, but he had his audience regularly invested and eating out of the palm of his hands.


The 054

Mustafa Ali's run at the top of WWE's cruiserweight brand, 205 Live, was a fleeting one at the end of 2016 and early 2017. Ali had classic bouts on that show, in front of a flatter than flat crowd typically, with the likes of Cedric Alexander, Buddy Murphy, and others. It wasn't often, but when Ali went over and was victorious, it usually was because of the 054. In case you didn't notice, if you write out 054 backwards, you get 450.


And thus the 054 name. The 450 splash is typically hit while jumping off the top rope, flipping, then crashing on top of the opponents body. It's inverted in that instead of facing out to the opponent, Ali stood on the top rope and faced in toward the ring post before jumping off, flipping, and crashing.

The move was a simple pivot from a standard crowd pleaser, but a smart pivot with the move looking completely different and more painful because of the angle Ali hit it at. 

The Eclipse

A top rope Stone Cold Stunner. That is what we're talking about here when we talk Ember Moon — currently going by Athena — and her Eclipse finisher. 

This move is a beauty and nobody delivers it better than Moon can. First of all it's a Stunner, but one in which Moon leaps off the top rope, seemingly floats over to her opponent, turns, grabs the neck, and then stuns said opponent to the mat. That execution alone is enough to be distinct and unique, but when Moon delivers it she floats in the air like an angel before viciously crashing to the mat with her opponent locked in her grasp. 


Moon's ability to secure tremendous height on the jump, while also showcasing pinpoint athletic accuracy on hitting her mark on the opponent every single time makes for a finisher that looks like it got enough momentum and juice to end the fight.

Moon has essentially laid claim to this move personally and got over in a major way.


Another simple, unique, but effective finisher. The Rainmaker is essentially a clothesline, but the setup hooks the audience and gives Kazuchika Okada an incredible amount of momentum to put behind the strike, making it as effective and painful as possible. 


Nobody in wrestling throws the clothesline the way Okada does. When Okada delivers the move, he grabs his opponent's wrist and keeps control of the wrist throughout the move. This is unique execution in that it keeps the opponent in his control and in his web of offense. The wrist control gives Okada another level of leverage to indicate that the ensuing clothesline comes with a very stiff shot. When tired and worn out, Okada uses the move to get one emotion from the crowd — sympathy. The move also works when fully healthy to establish an alpha dominance over the opponent. 

Both avenues work for success, but the move's versatility is its biggest strength.

Coffin Drop

Of course Darby Allin's finisher is the Coffin Drop. It's just a great name for his finisher given what the Darby Allin chaotic wrestling style gimmick has become. 

The move is a backwards splash, with Allin jumping off the top of the ring — or other high locations — and landing back-first on a prone opponent. This move is unique and special for two main reasons. First, it's exclusive to the Darby Allin gimmick and fits him perfectly. Other talents wouldn't know what to do with it, but Allin leverages it within his character and protects it in that space. Similarly, Darby is a high spot guy and it's important that he's able to deliver his finisher from anywhere that's very high in the building. The Coffin Drop accomplishes that goal.


Second, naming the move the Coffin Drop provides a sense of finality to the narrative of Darby's matches. You don't get up from a Coffin Drop. Different stars will kickout at times, but the central theme to Darby Allin matches is that he shoots for that signature move because it's the best he has and will put his opponents down six feet under.


Britt Baker plays into the dentist character so often and effectively because she is one. Her Lockjaw submission finisher jumps off the page because of that tie in. Baker, the dentist, applying a nasty move with a glove on and in which she shoves her fingers in the opponent's mouth is extra brutal because of her profession. There is a level of credibility there that makes the hold stand out longer and more efficiently than others in the AEW women's division.


The hold is a cross between a Mandible Claw and Rings of Saturn — a lethal combination of submissions that Baker put together and which no wrestling fan knew that they needed. Baker understands the importance of facial expressions and regularly finds the camera while in the hold so that her intense and determined face gets in front of the audience for investment.

If you drew up a move that called for a maniacal dentist to injure a mouth of a patient, this is what you'd come up with. This is about as real as it gets for Baker and it's a perfect compliment to her full act.

The Stunner

It's impossible to leave the finishing move of the biggest star in the history of professional wrestling off this list. Steve Austin's Stunner maneuver defined a generation and an era of pro wrestling.


The move is essentially a version of a cutter, though instead of giving the move and landing flat on your back, you land on your backside. It's a minor tweak to an already important finishing move. Austin added layers to it so that it stood out even more, most notably the kick to the midsection. The kick caused the opponent to hunch over and sell, which allowed Austin to easily get in place to hit the move. The kick was important to the move's uniqueness. Why? Because it leveled the playing field. The ideal goal of a finisher is having the ability to give it to anyone, so that nobody is off limits in terms of dance partners in the ring. Big, small, skinny, or large, it didn't matter. The kick brought everyone down to Austin's size for the move.


Austin hit The Stunner with blazingly fast speed, which built urgency and added drama due to the fact that he could connect from anywhere at any time.