10 Times Wrestling Finishers Passed The Torch

Those wrestling finishers so great that they were passed down to the next generation of talent.

Stunner Steve Austin Kevin Owens

For any professional wrestler, the key to getting anywhere in the business is having a finishing manoeuvre that makes you stand out from the pack.

While once upon a time we all popped for a DDT as the biggest thing in the industry, sadly certain moves have been bastardised beyond belief over the decades, to the point that they're now merely a spot in a match or some sort of transition move.

Still, there are those legendary finishing moves that have managed to avoid being overly-saturated as years pass by, and the masses still view them as genuine, definitive finishing moves to this day. And so often with those moves, the reason why they're still so revered is because the person who a) originated the move, or b) popularised the move has passed the proverbial torch onto someone else to use the move and to carry on its legacy.

Sure, this hasn't always worked out for the best, but hey, we all love a trier, right? On that front, there are so many people who have tried to hand down their most prized of manoeuvres to the next generation.

Here, then, are ten such examples of wrestling moves that experienced a passing of the torch.

10. Stunner - Steve Austin To Kevin Owens

Stunner Steve Austin Kevin Owens

The Stone Cold Stunner is likely the most popular finishing move in the history of professional wrestling. Forget Leg Drops and Pedigrees, brother - no move on the planet has ever received such consistently insane reactions from crowds as much as Steve Austin did for dropping fools with his patented Stunner.

These days, of course, Kevin Owens is using the Stunner as his own personal finishing manoeuvre.

During his days on the independent days, KO would often use his Package Piledriver on his way to success, while the vast majority of his time under the WWE banner saw Owens utilise the Pop-Up Powerbomb. Since 2019, though, the one-time Universal Champion has been hitting Stunners as his go-to finisher of choice.

You always get the feeling that Kevin Owens is a genuinely respectful guy away from his in-ring character, and it comes as no surprise to hear how he contacted Austin to ask permission to start using the Stunner.

As Owens explained during an appearance on Corey Graves' After the Bell podcast:

"So I went to Steve and I asked him if I could use it, and he was very happy that I asked him. You know, me giving him the respect of it, but more than anything he was happy that someone asked him, because he’s like, ‘You want to use it as a finisher ?’ I’m like, ‘Yes’. He’s like, ‘God, it’s about time. I can’t believe nobody’s tried this yet. I can’t believe no one had come and asked about using the Stunner as a finisher. It’s a great finish, like, why not?’ He then went on and said some people use it and it means nothing.”

WWE's resident Prizefighter did actually use the Stunner once before, which came during his Royal Rumble 2016 match against Roman Reigns. But when it came to using it on a weekly basis, KO sought to seek the Texas Rattlesnake's approval.

As for the Stunner itself, Michael Hayes suggested adding a kick to Johnny Ace's Ace Crusher, et voila, the Stone Cold Stunner was born. Likewise, Mikey Whipwreck had his own version of the move - the Whippersnapper - over in ECW.


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