We’ve come to accept that a finishing move is by its name paradoxical. What was once a harbinger of defeat, is now a painful bump in the road to victory or vanquish.
A wrestler’s finishing move is an integral part of their transformation from the person to the persona. The only group of people whose existence is more synonymous with finishing off opponents are Mortal Kombat fighters. However, while pulling off a button-mashing fatality inflicts cramp, being on the receiving end of a wrestler’s finisher is primed to wreak pain on the entire body.
Every care is taken during a professional wrestling match to balance that hard-hitting authenticity with minimising the risk to the athletes. One would expect that the wrestlers’ finishing spots are so well-rehearsed that attention is better served in choreographing the rest of the action. However, the high points of the match are often the most dangerous to both body and ego.
(Note: This list will exclude botches created by conditions outside of the performers’ control, incidents where the botch is disputed, and acts of Shawn Michaels’ Backlash 2006 tag team partner)
10. Seth Rollins On John Cena
During 27 July 2015 edition of Raw, The Authority were in
the midst of another power trip and forced United States Champion John Cena to
defend his title against their golden boy and World Heavyweight Champion Seth
Rollins. The match was a competitive battle, packed with innovative offence.
Rollins was still experimenting with finishers due to his popular and devastating Curb Stomp being banned due to it appearing too violent in the PG era, the concern that young viewers may imitate it, and possible racial/gang allusions. It was brought back in 2018 with “Curb” dropped from the name.
While Rollins never injured anyone with the Stomp, the knee strike he trialled in its place busted Cena’s nose. The camera inadvertently captured a close-up shot of blood seeping from Cena’s nose on the apron before the cameraman noticeably backed away.
The match was stopped by the referee, but Cena quickly flew back
into action, soon taking the dangerous (and now banned) Buckle Bomb. In the move’s
aftermath, a doctor was able to check Cena over and clean him up. ‘Big Match
John’ fought back and retained in convincing fashion.