Growing up in the small-town farmland of South Georgia, WWE was life. It was literally everywhere! You were weird if didn’t know every star’s name and best moves by heart, and every match was a veritable cable TV event (because honestly, who had dish in 2002?)!
Firmly entrenched by my birth in the early 90’s, WWE exploded during my formative childhood years. Its history is rich and its legends outdate even the mullet! We all remember. There were action figures that included whole ring sets (referees included!) and fully functionally miniature plastic figures of every wrestler worth knowing, and a few hundred who weren’t!
[adinserter block=”1″]Remember your sister teasing you and telling all her friends you “played will dolls!” Whose bedroom wasn’t adorned with but t-shirts, fake championship title-belts, wristbands sporting someone’s logo or catch phrase, and so much more? If you can think of a way to market this sport, WWE already thought of it. They sold merchandise in every store imaginable, from Dollar General (my personal favorite) to Wal-Mart to even K-mart. Yes K-mart.
There was always some group of kids spending their recess acting out last night’s match. Wrestling behind the bleacher seats, drop-kicking each other in the “dirt-patch,” or administering arm-bars in the grocery store, it was never over until someone was down for the infamous “Three count”.
Showmanship At Its Finest
Whether it is the flashiness of the bedazzled wrestlers entering the ring, the screaming fans with all of their signs and costumes, or the pure aggression and extreme physical violence, something attracted you to the world of WWE. For some reason, over-muscled men slamming each other with metal chairs and climbing onto ladders only to jump off elbow first onto another man’s face not only attracted you but had you glued to the television screaming and cheering!
Behind all of this flash and show was something our moms thankfully never noticed, or they no doubt would have pulled us away permanently from this sort of entertainment. WWE is an incredibly brutal sport. That’s why we love it. It’s violent. It’s dirty. It’s the sort of shield-your-eyes destruction that makes you come alive inside. This sport is insanity, eaten by brutality, giving birth to pure violence.
Thank goodness your mom never bothered to pay attention. And don’t even get me started on finishers. I lied, that’s why we’re here: to talk about finishers!!! The outrageousness of the various finishing moves was probably my favorite part of pro wrestling. There was nothing better than watching my favorite wrestlers use their signature moves to permanently lay out an opponent for a “one, two, three!” It made us leap out of our seats and act like maniacs the next day.
Our Favorite Finishers
Often the thrill of finishers wasn’t just the “finishing move” itself but the show the wrestler put on before he used it. These showmen drew us in and convinced us that something as simple as punching a man in the chest would keep him flat and lifeless on his back for long enough to win the match.
So let’s count ‘em down! These are five finishers your mom should NEVER have let you watch!
Triple H’s Pedigree – This move isn’t the most gnarly there is, but it is pretty famous and we’ve all imagined ourselves using it in the ring at least once before. Triple H begins by kicking someone in the stomach to bring their head down and then grabbing their head between his hairless monstrosities of legs, finally bringing them up and then dropping them with all of their weight face-first into the ground, leaving them utterly paralyzed in a confusingly painful daze.
“Adorable”Adrian Adonis with his Goodnight Irene – It may seem like only a sleeper hold, a move performed by countless other wrestlers, but a sleeper hold by a man who weighed over 300 pounds is like being choked-out by a small sperm whale. This man’s grip looked to be stronger than a boa constrictor. Your mom would have never let you watch a man that size choke and squeeze a man’s temples until he passed out. Had she known what she was paying for you to watch, you would have missed out on the best moments of your childhood.
Michelle McCool’s Faith Breaker – This has got to be included on the list. Your mom would have never approved of you watching WWE if she knew you would be watching grown women throw each other around in their underwear. But Michelle McCool’s Faith Breaker was so much more than a mere throw. By hanging another woman upside down, locking that woman’s arms in her legs, and then slamming her face down, with Michelle’s full weight on top, McCool’s violent finisher is certainly worthy of the list and something your mom would NEVER have approved of.
Undertaker’s Tombstone Pile-Driver – This move is one of the most famous finishers to ever grace the silver screen. This is a move that wouldn’t just pin your friend if you actually used it on him in the back yard. No, there’s a fantastic chance you would have killed him, if your ten-year-old chicken arms had been able to pull it off. It would have snapped his neck like a twig. This is hands down, one of the most brutally vicious finishers in the history of WWE.
The Big Show’s ChokeSlam – Here’s a move guaranteed to have made a few appearances on every single trampoline ring across the country. But let’s be honest: the ring mat is nowhere near as forgiving as your best friend’s trampoline. This has to be the most blatantly violent and brutal finisher in all of WWE. The idea of lifting someone off the ground by choking them and then slamming the poor soul into the ground as hard as you can simply demands a spot at the top of this list. I can just picture the look on my mom’s face as she turned off the TV.
[adinserter block=”2″]These finishers will never go unrecognized; they’ve been practiced endlessly by an entire generation. Although you may never have the courage to were a man bikini, wax your chest, and take on a 300 pound behemoth, WWE will continue to excite our imaginations, bring out the animal within us, and make us long to be the next star. For now, you’ll just have to watch as your kids test out their own finishers on friends, neighbors, and of course, little brothers! Just don’t let mom see!
This post was contributed to the Camel Clutch Blog by Wrestler Supply, an amateur wrestling gear supply company dedicated to giving you the ability to have your best match every time.
[amazon_link id=”B00EHMYKGC” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]WWE: History of the WWE[/amazon_link]