Not every move has to be the final blow, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be a good one. In fact, some of them are pretty damn bad, and here’s the worst of them: Top 10 Worst Non-Finishing Moves in Wrestling.
For this list, I’ve included signature moves associated with specific wrestlers, as well as a couple of general wrestling moves done by everyone. Regardless of who is using these moves though, they’re still bad.
10. Shinsuke’s Stomp
Shinsuke Nakamura on a worst of list?! How dare I?! Even I hate myself for this one.
The king of strong style can do very little wrong in that ring, but there is one weapon in his arsenal that isn’t all that…well…strong. Whilst his opponent sits prone in the corner, Shinsuke stands and vibrates his foot against their chest to very little effect. Granted, not every single move is actually meant to hurt an opponent, and this is simply a way for Swagsuke to ooze out more of his patented charisma, yet if I look at this maneuver objectively in terms of how much damage it can do, it just seems a little silly. By no means do I hate his move or anything Nakamura does between those ropes, but considering he could easily stomp onto his opponent’s chest instead, this move had to earn a place on my list.
9. Listo Kick
The speed at which Kalisto and Johnny Gargano are able to transition a schoolboy/trip into a rolling kick is pretty impressive, but the amount of impact caused by the sequence isn’t so much. Simply put, a rolling ground kick just doesn’t look anywhere near as effective as the likes of a Superkick or an Enzuguri. Although there’s nothing particularly wrong with it, there just isn’t enough leg extension or force for the move to really do all that much. Pretty, yet pointless.
8. Boom Drop
It’s just a leg drop. A really high leg drop.
7. Five Knuckle Shuffle/It’s Hammer Time
I’m lumping these two together because they’re both ineffective ground strikes to the head with ridiculous set-ups. Whether preceded by a dusting off of the shoulder, or that fucking stupid dance Mojo does, both of these moves look weak and pointless.
6. Diving Crossbody
On its own, the Diving Crossbody isn’t exactly a bad move, the problem with it is the all too common reversal that often accompanies it. We’ve all seen a Diving Crossbody be countered by the receiver rolling backwards and transitioning into a pin; the trouble with this is that the receiver is still actually taking the full force of the move before then adjusting into a pin, yet they don’t acknowledge any damage whatsoever. When fans repeatedly see wrestlers no-selling the same move time and time again, it takes away all believability from it, and thus, the Diving Crossbody is all but obsolete as an effective wrestling move.
5. Corner Post Baseball Slide
Bayley is one of the most popular, loveable members of the WWE roster, yet her moveset is lacking – the Bayley to Belly is a simple move many other wrestlers do, the Bayleyplex is just a more awkward variation of a traditional suplex, and perhaps the weakest weapon in her arsenal (and the weakest looking entry on this list), the Corner Post Baseball Slide. When Bayley awkwardly slides through the bottom rope to deliver this, she applies absolutely no force to her opponent; I’ve never seen her believably hit this move once, which proves to be a huge problem, and is why it places on my list. Even in WWE 2K17 it looks weak, and you need one whole finisher to pull it off! Perhaps the huggable one should squeeze this one out of her moveset.
4. The Flying Nothing
If you’re going to dive off the top rope into a dropkick, superkick, etc, at least try and make it look like you’re going for a move. Seeing a wrestler fly through the air without attempting any offence can really remove a fan from the suspense of the match, plus it just looks ridiculous. Stick your arm out for a clothesline, clasp your hands together for a double axe handle, anything! Anything is better than a flying nothing!
3. Toss to the Turnbuckle
Wrestlers have been doing this toss to the turnbuckle for decades, yet nobody seems to be a fan of it. There’s a reason why no wrestler has tried to claim this as their own; it’s just idiotic.
If wrestlers had stiff, unbendable legs like their action figures do, then this move would actually make sense, but unfortunately, knees exist. Even the youngest, most uneducated of fans can take one look at this throw and realise it’s only possible by the power of kayfabe.
2. Rebound Clothesline
Let me just clarify, the Rebound Clothesline is not a bad move, it’s all about the delivery.
Although it’s only emerged in WWE in the last few years, the Rebound Clothesline originates back in the World of Sport era, in which it was used as a comedy spot; then it was adapted by Nigel McGuinness into a hard-hitting finisher, and now we see it being used week in and week out by former WWE Champion Dean Ambrose.
The problem with this move is that the set-up is so elaborate that it should not be used on a regular basis. The set-up is completely in the opponent’s hands – they need to hit the user so hard in the correct position inside the ring in order to send them through the ropes for this move to work, which isn’t something that would realistically happen in every single match. So when Dean Ambrose is just pulling this out constantly, the move is made to look ridiculous and unbelievable. There is no possible way that somebody can fall into the ropes that often, unless he is extremely clumsy.
If Ambrose saved this move for rare occasions, like Sami Zayn does with his Torpedo DDT, then it would actually be a great, believable counter, yet as it stands, it is just painfully obvious that the lunatic is falling back on purpose. All he has to do is use it a little less often, and Ambrose can save this awesome move from being one of the worst in wrestling.
Knuckle Sandwich/Atomic Noogie – The thing about pressing your fists into the sides of somebody’s face is that there’s simply just not enough grip, your hands would quickly slip away. Plus, it’s just a bad looking move.
Irish Whip – We all have to admit that the Irish Whip is a little bit stupid, but without it, wrestling would not be the same whatsoever, hence why it can’t be included in the list.
Old School – As ridiculous as this move is, it’s done by one of the greatest of all time, so it’s still pretty damn cool regardless (which is why it was featured in my list of the Top 10 Cool Moves that Wouldn’t Actually Hurt).
Superman Punch – The Big Dog’s signature punch just doesn’t look as devastating as it is made out to be.
Bronco Buster – Flying at somebody crotch-first is never going to be good.
- Slingshot Cutter
This move represents just how stupid the logic of professional wrestling can be at times.
One wrestler stands on the ring apron with his hands clasped onto the top rope, whilst Kazarian (standing inside the ring) pulls back on the rope, which somehow magically sends his opponent flying into the ring. It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. This is professional wrestling bullshit at its highest level.
How does somebody pulling back on something you’re holding onto make you soar into the air?! I’ve never understood how anybody can try to pull the slingshot off as something that is physically possible, and although it is slightly improved by the catching cutter, it is still laughably bad. Please Kaz, just cut this one out of your matches for good.
Got any suggestions for me? Tweet them to me @hairywrestling or leave a comment below.