The 5 Best (And Worst) Wrestling Finishing Moves, As Chosen By Chris Jericho

With Summer Slam suplexing its way onto your TV this weekend, we asked WWE legend Y2J for his take on wrestling’s greatest hits.

Photo: Bob Levey / WireImage | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2013

With Summer Slam suplexing its way onto your TV this weekend, we asked WWE legend Chris Jericho for his take on wrestling’s greatest hits. Having been on the receiving end of almost all of these, Y2J made his decisions based both on how good they looked, and, as a wrestler, what it’s actually like to be hit with them. “The best finishing moves, to me are the ones that looked great and didn’t hurt,” he told us. “My least favorite finishing moves are ones that looked like shit and hurt. And the ones that are kind of in the middle are the ones that looked great, but hurt.” Got it? Good! Onto the list…


The Stone Cold Stunner

“I think the Stone Cold Stunner is great because you can do it out of anywhere, and it was a really easy bump to take, as far being a performer – it all depended how goofy you felt like being on the day. As far as getting a reaction went, it was huge.”

The Rock Bottom

“The Rock Bottom was always a good finisher. The best finishers are the ones that get the best reactions. And it was solid – sometimes, if there’s a finish, you might whiff it, but there’s no way you can really do that with the Rock Bottom: When you took it, you took it. It always looked great in pictures, too.”

Sweet Chin Music

“Sean Michael’s Sweet Chin Music was a great one, because once again, you could do it out of anywhere, and it always looked amazing. Once in a while, it would be a little stiff [wrestling slang for actually getting hit with a move for real], as we say. But that’s the price you pay sometimes.”

The Go To Sleep

“CM Punk’s GTS is a good one because you can go into it a lot of ways. Once again, it can be stiff – you can get an actual knee to the jaw – but it always gets a good reaction, because it’s very quick and there’s always a cool set-up for it. I think he got it from a guy in Japan who actually called it the ‘Go To Sleep.’”


“The RKO – Randy Orton’s move – is a good one because, once again, it comes out of nowhere. The best finishing moves are the ones you can just do out of anywhere. It’s also another one that’s very easy to take.”

HONORABLE MENTION: The Codebreaker/The Walls Of Jericho

“The honorable mentions would be the Codebreaker and the Walls of Jericho, because those are mine. And if you ever use your finishing move, most of the time that means you’re going to win, so that’s why I like it!”


The Choke Slam

“Choke Slams are never fun to take, whether they be from Big Show or Kane, because you basically just get thrown up into the air and slammed down on your back. Not that the guys are trying to hurt you, but it’s a move that just hurts. With something like the Rock Bottom, there’s only so far up you can go – with choke-slamming, you’re basically getting pulled up into the air by your throat and getting slammed back down again. Like I said, different strokes for different folks, but for me, not a fan of the Choke Slam. It looks amazing, but as a wrestler, it just hurts.”

The Pedigree

“The one that actually really hurt a lot originally was HHH’s Pedigree. As time progressed, he would let go of your arms and kind of push your back down, but when he first started doing it – at least to me – I remember, he would lock my arms in and hold it all the way to the ground. So basically, you’re driving your face into the mat with no real protection – your face, your stomach, your nuts, all the places that hurt the most. There’s really nowhere to go with it – you just kind of hold your breath and hope for the best. That’s the worst place to be as a wrestler, where you really don’t know how to protect yourself.”

Over The Top Rope Throw

“I hated the Bezerker. He was this guy from the late ‘80s, early ‘90s, and he would do this finish where he would just pick a guy up and throw him over the top rope, and that was his finish. I never took it, but there’s no way to protect yourself, and really no definitive finish. It was just, throw the guy over the top rope and then they’d go. So I always thought that was a dumb move.”

The Tequila Sunrise

“Konnan used to do one called the Tequila Sunrise. It was a really shitty submission maneuver, it never looked like it did anything, I hated it. We worked a match one time and he was going to beat me with it, so I said, if you don’t lay that thing in and do it for real I’m not tapping out. You better make it hurt or I’m not doing it. “

Mr. Socko

“I don’t like Mick Foley’s Mr. Socko, because it doesn’t do anything – he puts a stinky sock in your mouth and you fall down. I guess the idea is that he’s supposed to be ripping your tongue out. Now, if he actually pulled dudes’ tongues out, it would be the most terrifying finish ever, but he doesn’t do that. He just sticks a stinky sock in your mouth and then you fall down and then, like, I guess you get pinned by it or something. I like the concept of putting the sock on, but then when he actually sticks his finger in your mouth, it’s like, eh. He’s got that sock down his pants, too. The last thing I want is a dirty sock pulled out of a guy’s pants and then shoved into my mouth.”

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