As fans, we’ve all had that moment when specific moves are hit that leave an impact in your mind, whether because of the move itself, the character that’s hitting the move, or the moment behind the move. For example, you might not think that a splash is a big move, until you watch footage of the cage match between “Superfly” Snuka and Don Muraco at Madison Square Garden. Watching the Superfly splash Muraco from the top of the cage is a moment that solidified the dream of becoming a professional wrestler for many top superstars, Foley included.
As we all know, a piledriver’s an extremely dangerous move, having ended the career of Droz and drastically shortened the career of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. What Petey Williams turned it into is one of the most dangerous and compelling moves in pro wrestling history. I find it hard enough to do a regular front flip in general, but to do a standing front flip while pulling your opponent into a piledriver is simply one of the most beautiful and devastating moves I have ever seen, and the ease with which he pulls it off is just incredible. I’d love to see Petey in a WWE ring, but with their stance on piledrivers, I don’t think the Canadian Destroyer will be seen on TV for a long time in any company, unless he makes another one-off appearance in TNA.
Wikipedia’s definition of Sister Abigail is a “swinging reverse STO with theatrics.” I know that, while being pretty cool, an STO isn’t all that special, either regular or reverse- but it’s the theatrics that make it one of my favorite moves. As has been said many times on WNW, Bray Wyatt is one of the only superstars of the new generation not playing a character- he IS Bray Wyatt. Most of the new generation are worried about messing up their lines, or trying to do battle with their nerves, but Windham doesn’t worry about any of that. He immerses himself in his character, and instead of worrying about mistakes, he’ll turn mistakes into benefits and just go full steam ahead with whatever he does. That little kiss that he gives before hitting Sister Abigail seals it for me. That man has taken a minor move and, with his character, turned it into something special.
As with Snuka and his splash, you might not think the Swanton’s that great of a move. After all, it’s nothing but a front flip onto your opponent. However, as with the splash, one specific Swanton stands out in my mind, and that’s when Jeff Hardy hit the Swanton Bomb on Randy Orton. from thirty feet in the air off of a stage tower. I’ve always loved the Swanton Bomb, and how gracefully Jeff can hit it, but that night was just an incredible moment, even though it could have seriously hurt. It may not be the most incredible move that’s ever been hit, but as I said in the introduction, my choices aren’t necessarily about the moves themselves, but the characters and the moments behind them as well. It may not be the most popular of choices, but I stand by it.
Sweet Chin Music
Speaking of simple moves that made it big, there aren’t many more common moves than a kick. That’s all Sweet Chin Music is, a kick to the jaw. However, the charisma and athleticism that Shawn Michaels had made that simple superkick into one of the most well liked finishers of all time. I know whenever I would watch a Shawn Michaels match, I would pop along with everyone else when Shawn started stomping his boot in the corner, “tuning up the band” as he put it. Like Benoit with the crossface, The Rock with the elbow drop, and Hulk Hogan with the leg drop, Shawn took the a simple move as his finisher and turned it into a lethal weapon. Love him or hate him, few can deny Sweet Chin Music as one of the most popular finishes of all time.
Stone Cold Stunner
While Randy Orton may be known as the Viper, one of the most dangerous snakes in WWE history is the Rattlesnake, Stone Cold Steve Austin. As with the Viper and his RKO, the Rattlesnake was known to strike at anytime from anywhere, as demonstrated before 1998′s Royal Rumble. In the buildup to the Rumble, stunners were flying left and right, dropping many of his Rumble opponents, to the point that when the buzzer sounded and Austin’s music hit, all those still left in the ring crowded at the front of the ring, waiting for payback. Many have fallen victim to the stunner, from the Rock and the Undertaker to Chyna and even the McMahons. When Austin had his sights set on somebody, nobody was safe. The stunner is one of the most well known moves in WWE history, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Rattlesnake strikes at least one more time in the future.
I’m throwing another bonus in here, like my last article, to give a special honor to one of the most historic finishers of all time. Many a Wrestlemania match has ended because of a Tombstone, and as with the stunner, many a soul has fallen victim to it as well, including Linda McMahon and Pete Rose. With the Tombstone in their arsenal, Kane and the Undertaker have been a path of destruction that has gone unrivaled, including Raw 1000, when the Brothers of Destruction single handedly cleared the ring of almost a dozen low-card jobbers trying to make names for themselves, including Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre. I find the Tombstone a very fitting name, because once it’s all said and done, almost all who feel it Rest In Peace in the end.