Nothing ruins a WWE match more to me than seeing someone act as if they just got shot by a move that would hurt nobody in a real fight. So today I celebrate these ridiculous moves by counting down the top ten most oversold WWE moves.
Yeah I know, the jig is up but it is still nice to check your inhibitions at the door when it comes to watching pro wrestling. One of my biggest pet peeves over the years is seeing guys perform moves that look flashy with no substance whatsoever. You want to talk about Eddie Mansfield exposing the business. Well he’s got nothing on these guys.
But as I sat down to write this blog I started to think and it wasn’t just the new flashier moves of this generation. I went back and thought about some of the more ridiculous sells I have seen in pro wrestling and quite frankly this has been going on since the beginning of the sport.
What became even more apparent is that the biggest perpetrators are some of the biggest WWE superstars of all-time. It just goes to show you that no matter how ridiculous the move, if you have the right amount of charisma with the audience, you can pull off anything.
Hulk Hogan’s Big Boot to the Face - To be honest, this was the move that inspired this list. I was watching an old Hogan match the other day and it just dawned on me how ridiculous the setup to the finisher really was. Think about it logically. You run into a guy’s foot and now you are disoriented to the point where you just lay there and allow this man to run across the ring and drop a leg on your chest? I mean it isn’t as if Hogan was putting force into the move aka: Yakuza Kick, this was just simply running into a man sticking his foot in the air.
As dumb as it was, it worked and for a lot of guys on this list, the bigger the name, the dumber the move.
The Stone Cold Stunner - This one came to me as I was finishing the list and bumped off some nice ones. Hey, like you I popped back in the day when Austin would kick his opponent in the gut, grab their heads, place them on his shoulders, and sit down ala: Jaw Breaker. But let’s be frank about this. It is a ridiculous move to use as a finisher or even big sell. The man is simply grabbing your head and sitting down. You’d get laughed out of town if you tried that in a real fight or if a UFC fighter tried that in the octagon. I loved Austin and he was one of my favorites of all-time going back to his WCW days, but his finisher was not very logical.
Mr. Kennedy’s Mic Check - If you want to look up ridiculous finishers, this one may take the cake. If I was ranking this list as a 1-10, this one would probably be number one. I remember seeing it for the first time and feeling sorry for the poor guy who had to sell it. Kennedy simply grabs you as if he was going to hit a Rock Bottom (with a variation) and falls backwards with your face hitting the mat, which incidentally is guarded by his arm. It is just plain stupid! In my opinion, this was one of the first cases of guys going more flash than substance in recent WWE years and unlike some choices where it worked, this one was a big fat fail.
The Great Khali’s Chop to the Head - I actually sympathized with The Undertaker and other ruthless big men for having to sell one of the lamest finishers in WWE history. Yeah he’s big, yeah he weighs a lot, yeah he is strong, but what does that have to do with a chop to the head? I thought it was ridiculous when Chief Jay Strongbow used it and I thought it was even more ridiculous decades later seeing it in a WWE ring. To me, it just shows the limitations of a guy like Khali when the best he has to throw at his opponents is a chop to the head. Talk about oversold!
John Cena’s Five Knuckle Shuffle - This one annoyed me the second I saw it and continues to annoy me to no end when I am subjected to watching it in a WWE ring. I know it is a variation of the People’s Elbow but I get that move, which is a takeoff of Keiji Muto’s awesome elbow drop. But this one is just pure ridiculous. Cena runs across the ring to stop and do a little dance, completely taking away any momentum away from the impact of running across and dropping a punch. The difference between dropping a punch and dropping an elbow isn’t much, but I could believe in the elbow crushing the face. Not this move. It’s stupid, it’s annoying, most people boo the darn thing, and it is obnoxious to watch.
Scotty 2 Hotty’s Worm - I know, this was intended to be a cute move but it was as oversold as it got in the 1990s. The idea of a man worming his way into a standing position, doing air chops, and then dropping a chop down on his opponent just seems utterly ridiculous from the idea that someone would lay prone for that long to the idea that it would even hurt!
Triple H’s Pedigree - I was on the fence with this move but if I am going to throw the Stunner in here, the Pedigree goes with it. Like the Stunner, the move brings a crowd to its feet and Trips timing is damn masterful at times when he hits it. But a close look at the move itself reveals one of the dumbest moves in the history of pro wrestling. The Idea of jumping and dropping someone’s face to the canvas may work once, but every time (or almost)? Pro wrestlers get hit with way worse during the course of a match and it isn’t as if you have worked over the man’s face! I like the flash of the move but the substance just isn’t there for me.
Rey Mysterio’s 619 - Once again we are back to flash and no substance. The first time I saw something similar was when I got my hands on some tapes of the original Tiger Mask, but even he didn’t have the gall to use it as a finisher. It is certainly fun to watch but the idea that a man of his size running across the ring and spinning into your face causing that much pain and anguish is just silly. Like Hogan, it isn’t as if the man is even putting any push into his kick. Unless he has been running around with loaded boots all of these years, I think we have found ourselves a conspiracy!