10 WWE Superstars Who Gambled On A Brand New Finisher

Big stars taking even bigger chances...

Undertaker Dragon Sleeper
WWE Network

It's an incredibly difficult time to be a WWE Superstar.

The winds of change have rapidly blown through much of the hardcore audience - All Elite Wrestling's mere existence has resulted in many former regulars abandoning their staple diet of overstuffed Raw and SmackDown every week, or at very least emotionally disconnecting from a product many argue did the same to them a generation ago.

It's the wrestlers themselves that feel the knock-on effect. Seth Rollins has tried and failed to lead from the front with some average in-ring action and fatalistic Twitter behaviour. Kofi Kingston's matches were simply too boring for him to headline shows as WWE Champion, then bantered off so spectacular when he lost it that fans are left hoping his "Power Of Positivity" follow-up is an actual story rather than optimistic fantasy booking.

So few roster members can take chances on anything. On their look, their promo style, their gear, the characters better look just right, pal, or it's curtains for the quasi-push. Finishers were once as good a guidepost for a talent as anything, but if there's ever been time to take a chance like this lot did, it's now...

10. John Cena

Undertaker Dragon Sleeper

Controversial on inception until fans gradually accepted that the current John Cena is more about bombast than in-ring brilliance, ’The Champ’s introduction of the Lightning Fist to his arsenal was the defining moment his Hollywood career change no longer hid in plain sight.

It wasn’t without risk. From loading to landing it looks ludicrous, particularly with Chris Jericho bettering the idea of it as a legitimate finish in All Elite Wrestling.

Choosing camp comedy over anybody really getting hurt is somewhat admirable, at least.

Hulk Hogan was such an incredible worker at his peak that his minimalist approach maximised his longevity, but even ‘The Hulkster’ was left with a litany of hip and back issues thanks to his ever-reliable Leg Drop. The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin still have to bump on their backs and bottoms respectively during the rare times they hit their finishers. Learning from what the masters haven’t done rather than what they have is very, very in keeping with the 16-time World Champion.

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Michael is a writer, editor, podcaster and presenter for WhatCulture Wrestling, and has been with the organisation over 7 years. He primarily produces written, audio and video content on WWE and AEW, but also provides knowledge and insights on all aspects of the wrestling industry thanks to a passion for it dating back over 30 years. As one third of "The Dadley Boyz", Michael has contributed to the huge rise in popularity of the WhatCulture Wrestling Podcast, earning it top spot in the UK's wrestling podcast charts with well over 50,000,000 total downloads. He has been featured as a wrestling analyst for the Tampa Bay Times and Sports Guys Talking Wrestling, and has covered milestone events in New York, Dallas, Las Vegas, London and Cardiff. Michael's background in media stretches beyond wrestling coverage, with a degree in Journalism from the University Of Sunderland (2:1) and a series of published articles in sports, music and culture magazines The Crack, A Love Supreme and Pilot. When not offering his voice up for daily wrestling podcasts, he can be found losing it singing far too loud watching his favourite bands play live. Follow him on X/Twitter - @MichaelHamflett