Wrestling: Ranking the top 10 finishing moves in history

WWE, Drew McIntyre (photo courtesy of WWE)
WWE, Drew McIntyre (photo courtesy of WWE) /
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NJPW, KENTA, Tetsuya Naito. (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)
NJPW, KENTA, Tetsuya Naito. (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images) /

9. Figure-4 Leg Lock

In Pro-wrestling, it’s said that it’s the man who makes the title and not the title that makes the man.

The same can be said for wrestling finishers. A finisher is only as good as the wrestler executing it.

Don’t believe me?

Just try to find someone other than Bayley who convincingly uses the belly-to-belly to end matches. Sure, it’s not a great finisher and Bayley obviously doesn’t use it now that she’s a heel, but it was kind of acceptable in her “Hugger” days and Bayley had the work ethic to pull it off. I mean Big E doesn’t even attempt to pin after he hits it, and he’s so much bigger than Bayley.

The point is, a wrestler can take a move and make it their own in a way that it defines their entire legacy, and nobody has done it better than the Nature Boy Ric Flair.

Ric Flair is one of those guys who could legitimately be considered the greatest of all time, he’s pro-wrestling personified, and he’s made the figure-4 an iconic piece of pro-wrestling.

The figure-4 has a lot of things working for it in itself.

It looks really painful, it creates drama due to the fact that it’s a submission against the perpetrator when reversed, and Charlotte Flair has found a way to make it even more impressive with the figure-8. Bret Hart introduced his own post assisted version and it has produced some iconic moments.

Ric Flair was the best in the world back in his NWA days and he made the figure-4 the best finisher in the world. He has elevated the move to mythic heights, and it has been ever-prominent in the industry since, even when the Nature Boy is way past his glory days, and we all know how long that took.

Loads of wrestlers have since used the finisher in matches, one of the most recent examples being Cody Rhodes applying the submission on Eddie Kingston while in thumbtacks in what was an outstanding finish of an outstanding match.

Some do good with the figure-4, others devalue it, whatever be the case, this move will forever be a part of the wrestling lore.