10 WWE Finishers That Were Incredibly Underwhelming

One of the more important aspects of being a successful professional wrestler in any company is having a good finishing move. 

Over the years, the likes of Randy Orton (RKO), Shawn Michaels (Sweet Chin Music) and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin (Stunner) have been able to get their finishers over as deadly, match-ending maneuvers. However, there are plenty of high-profile stars — including Hulk Hogan and The Rock — who have less-than-stellar finishers, whether it be for their lack of creativity or believability factor, and plenty of other talent in WWE history who haven't set the world on fire with their signature moves. 

In this article, we have compiled a list of the 10 most underwhelming finishers in WWE history, and as one might imagine, that covers a lot of ground. Some simply don't look very devastating, while others are far too silly to be pulled off without effecting fans' suspension of disbelief.

The People's Elbow - The Rock

There's no denying that Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson is one of the greatest performers in the history of the business — but as far as one of his finishing moves goes, it was extremely underwhelming for a star of his magnitude. Rock had a myriad of brilliant moves that would captivate the crowd during his matches. Unfortunately, when it comes to The People's Elbow, it simply never stacked up as a credible-looking end to a match. 

The move was true to its calling of being "the most electrifying in all of sports entertainment" throughout Rock's various runs with WWE due to the reaction it would garner, but the extended set-up period and the lack of impact of the move itself failed to make it believable as a genuine finisher. Rock's victory over CM Punk at Royal Rumble 2013, which saw him earn a three-count from The People's Elbow and end a 434-day WWE Championship reign, still doesn't sit well with many fans.

Perhaps the worst part of The People's Elbow is the fact that after dramatically taking off his elbow pad and bouncing off the ropes, Rock would then halt all of his momentum' to stop, pause, and drop an elbow that connected with his opponent's chest after they had already been laying prone for upwards of 30 seconds. While the nature of it is similar to John Cena's Five Knuckle Shuffle, the 16-time world champion would very rarely capture victories with the move, instead using the Attitude Adjustment to finish his rivals. Luckily for the "Brahma Bull," he was also able to utilize the Rock Bottom frequently throughout his career, which looked infinitely better and could be hit from just about anywhere, while the Sharpshooter was also added to his arsenal over the course of his in-ring journey.

Atomic Leg Drop - Hulk Hogan

Another huge star from WWE's past is "The Immortal" Hulk Hogan, who took the company and the industry as a whole to new heights in the 1980s by telling kids to take their vitamins and say their prayers. Hogan swept the globe with his over-the-top persona, headlining multiple WrestleMania events in the early years of Vince McMahon's landmark spectacle.

But if we're talking about underwhelming finishing moves for main event-level talent, Hogan's leg drop was one of the least impressive in history. While a top-rope leg drop can look lethal, Hogan's version would see him run at a snail's pace into the ropes, before jumping a little off the ground and landing with one of his legs across his opponent's chest. While his bodyslam on Andre The Giant at WrestleMania 3 was an iconic moment, Hogan would finish the match with his leg drop, and it's incredibly hard to believe it would have kept his much bigger rival down for a three-count.

While the move served him well throughout his runs in WWE and WCW, and was undoubtedly over with fans, Hogan has gone on record as wishing he had chosen a different finisher. In an interview with "The MMA Hour" earlier this year, the multi-time world champion admitted the leg drop actually caused him more harm then good. "When you've got the largest arms in the world, why are you dropping the leg every night for years and destroying your back? That's the only regret I have, that leg drop because back in the day, the ring, sometimes the concrete was easier to land on than these old-school rings," he said. Hogan was somewhat of a limited performer inside the ropes, but surely he could have come up with a more inventive finish to his matches — and as the years went on, the worse his leg drop looked.

Rose Plant - Bayley

A more recent example of a popular performer with an average finisher, Bayley's Rose Plant is one of the most bland and awkward looking moves in the current WWE landscape. During her time as an uber-babyface in "WWE NXT" and her early time on the main roster, the 34-year-old previously used the Bayley To Belly to finish off her opponents — which, if we are being honest, wasn't the most impactful move either. 

However, after her heel turn in 2019 on "WWE SmackDown", Bayley would begin to implement the Rose Plant, which sees the grand slam women's champion wrap her opponent's arm around her leg while they are knelt on the ground, before slamming their head to the ground from not far off the canvas. When she first debuted it during a match with Nikki Cross four years ago, there was a fair bit of confusion among fans and criticism of the underwhelming addition to her arsenal. 

Bayley — real name Pamela Martinez — previously used the move on the independent scene prior to WWE, where she wrestled under the name Davina Rose, but would only unveil it later in her run with the sports entertainment juggernaut. For a superstar with as much talent inside and outside the ring as Bayley, it's disappointing that she has such a bland finisher — even if she doesn't get to use it often. 

WMD Punch - The Big Show

As one of the most physically dominant wrestlers of all-time, The Big Show crafted an incredible WWE career and won multiple championships across his two-decade run with the promotion. At the peak of his powers, the seven-foot giant struck fear into both his opponents and the WWE fanbase, with his feats of strength and powerful in-ring arsenal that included a brutal chokeslam.

But during the second-half of his run with the company and in a bid to reinvent his style, Show would begin to incorporate a new finisher — a punch. Yes, you read that correctly — a man who had more size and strength than every single one of his opponents decided that simply punching them would be good enough to finish a match. The blow would be dubbed the WMD, which stood for "Weapon of Mass Destruction," to get over the fact that Show was a really big human being with fans (which of course, they already knew), but it rarely looked impressive in the slightest despite his imposing stature.

While his fists are indeed quite immense, Show knocking out the likes of Cody Rhodes, John Cena and Mark Henry with one quick blow was completely underwhelming. Add in the fact that the man behind the gimmick, Paul Wight, now works for AEW as a backstage producer and is considered one of the great minds in the business, and it's truly baffling that he thought a simple punch was a good enough finishing move. 

Samoan Spike - Umaga/Solo Sikoa

This one might be a little controversial given the nature of how heavily protected the move has been over the years in WWE — but the Samoan Spike is absolutely an underwhelming finisher for any wrestler, regardless of their size or tenacity. First introduced on a mainstream level by Umaga in the mid-2000s, with the dominant powerhouse tearing through the WWE roster and defeating the likes of John Cena, Shawn Michaels and Triple H during an impressive rise to stardom. 

But for an explosive athlete who could move at the speed of a man half his size, Umaga using the Samoan Spike as his finishing move wasn't the most impressive way to end any given match, even if the company pushed it as a deadly strike. Considering the premise of the move is just a big guy throwing his thumb — not even a full fist — into the throat of his opponent, it's hard to buy into it as a credible way to score a three-count. 

Fast-forward to the current landscape in WWE and the debut of Solo Sikoa on the main roster in 2022, who quickly aligned himself with The Bloodline, and would soon adopt the maneuver as a tribute to Umaga, who passed away in 2009. It has become one of the company's most protected finishers, with Sikoa securing all his victories by landing the Samoan Spike and his rivals very rarely kicking out. The move also likely leaves a sour taste in the mouths of many fans, with Sikoa dashing the hopes of Cody Rhodes finally capturing the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 39, interfering in the main event title bout at SoFi Stadium and costing "The American Nightmare" his match against Roman Reigns

Running Splash - The Ultimate Warrior

In the same vein as multiple other moves named in this list, The Ultimate Warrior perhaps had one of the worst finishers of all-time, with his running splash looking closer to a child jumping into a swimming pool stomach-first. While the WWE Hall of Famer was one of the most charismatic performers of the late-1980s and early-1990s, his output once the bell rang left plenty to be desired at a time where larger-than-life personas as opposed to work-rate ruled the ring.

While he did achieve great success during his multiple runs across WWF and WCW, including a world title victory over Hulk Hogan in the main event of WrestleMania 6, Warrior is right up there in regards to underwhelming finishers. While the late megastar was a jacked-up mountain of a man, he was by no means a giant and his ineffective-looking splash was hard to believe as the conclusion to any match. 

Perhaps the fact that the aforementioned Hogan opted to kick out immediately after the referee's hand hit the mat for a three-count was proof that not even the boys in the locker room at the time bought it as a credible closer. There's plenty to reminisce about and look back on fondly from Warrior's WWE career, but his dull finisher certainly isn't one of the bright spots.

Khallas - Jinder Mahal

Jinder Mahal has been a long-standing fixture in the WWE locker room since making his debut on the main roster over a decade ago. The 37-year-old reached the mountaintop of the industry in 2017 when he defeated Randy Orton to win the WWE Championship, becoming the first performer of Indian descent to do so. While his six-month title reign divided opinion among the WWE fanbase, one part of Mahal's career that has been universally criticized is his finishing move, known as the Khallas.

While it's certainly not the worst finisher on this list, Mahal has utilized it in a couple different forms throughout his tenure with WWE. Originally, the move would start with a half-nelson hold, before being turned into a pretty underwhelming flat-back bump. During his rise to the main-event scene on "WWE SmackDown", which saw him battle the likes of Orton, Shinsuke Nakamura, and AJ Styles, Mahal would start the sequence with more of a half-choke before transitioning into a very simple slam. 

Some members of the WWE roster were able to make the move look somewhat impactful — namely the aforementioned Styles — but for the most part, the Khallas is not a finishing move of a top-level superstar. Since dropping out of the world title picture, Mahal has been used sporadically alongside Indus Sher on both the main roster and in the developmental territory of "WWE NXT," which has seen the Khallas used a lot less than it was during his ill-fated main-event push. 

Natural Selection - Charlotte Flair

The second female WWE superstar on this list, Charlotte Flair is a 14-time world champion for a reason. While stepping out of her legendary father's shadow was a tough task early in her career, the 37-year-old has cemented her own legacy as one of the greatest women's wrestlers of all-time. Flair's battles with the likes of Sasha Banks, Rhea Ripley, and Becky Lynch are some of the best of the modern era, while her consistent main event-level push has ensured the spotlight remains firmly on "The Queen."

Charlotte's in-ring acumen is up there with the best that WWE has to offer, male or female, but if there's one glaring issue in her repertoire, it's the Natural Selection finishing move, which is a flipping headlock driver to a kneeling opponent. While she does emerge victorious from a lot of her matches by utilizing the Figure-Eight submission hold — a play off her father's iconic Figure-Four Leglock — Flair's secondary option to finish a match is one of the ugliest-looking moves of any current competitor in the industry.

As one of the tallest women on the WWE roster, the move is far too awkward for Charlotte to execute on a weekly basis, and the occasions where it looks impactful are far outweighed by the times it looks like it would struggle to keep anyone down for a three-count. On top of that, a good finisher can generally be hit from any situation, whereas the Natural Selection requires an often-times convoluted set-up in order for Charlotte to get it right. There's no doubting Flair's immense talent from bell-to-bell, but as far as finishing moves go, Natural Selection is far from natural, and there's no doubt she is capable of better.

The Worm - Scotty 2 Hotty

During the early-2000s, Scotty 2 Hotty, alongside dancing pals Grandmaster Sexay and Rikishi, almost instantly became a fan-favorite. His light-hearted character certainly endeared him to the younger generation of viewers, with his finishing move The Worm becoming an integral part of his onscreen performances. 

However, looking back on it now — the fact The Worm was a finishing move that actually won him some matches is quite absurd. While an entertaining way to get himself over with the live audience, the actual move itself was one of the least impactful in the history of WWE. After taking his sweet time hyping up the crowd and actually doing the worm dance move on the canvas, Scotty would jump up and land with his fist somewhere near the vicinity of his opponent's face.

Yes, Scotty was a comedy character, and his finisher was meant to be a fun moment for the crowd, so to that extent it worked — but as an actual finishing maneuver, it looked completely underwhelming. In more recent times, Otis has adopted his own version of the move dubbed The Caterpillar, which at least sees the 300lb beast jump up and land with an elbow to his rival's mid-section, but very rarely does he finish a match with the move. 

The Cobra - Santino Marella

Rounding out the list is one of the greatest comedy characters in the history of pro wrestling — Santino Marella. After bursting onto the scene in the mid-2000s and winning the Intercontinental Title upon his WWE debut, Marella would win over fans as both a heel and babyface, entrenching himself in weekly programming for an extended period. At the peak of his powers, Marella was genuinely seen as a true underdog, coming agonizingly close to winning the Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber matches. 

And while his finishing move was popular and got plenty of laughs from the crowd, The Cobra was not believable in the slightest. While the aforementioned Samoan Spike could at least be hit from anywhere and looks somewhat impactful given the size of the performer delivering it, Marella would spend anywhere from 20 seconds to a minute setting up The Cobra. First, he would pull out the sock. Then, he would slowly put it over his hand and arm. Then, he would tap his wrist a few times, before pointing his finger towards his opponent and jabbing them in the throat region.

The Cobra wasn't designed for old-school wrestling fans, and that's perfectly fine — but at the end of the day, it never had any real legitimacy behind it and it's hard to believe anyone could have taken it seriously. As a side note, who could forget the infamous square off between Marella and Jinder Mahal, which saw the former WWE Champion pull out a flute to 'charm' the snake? Great times, indeed.