Former PWG World Champion Chris Hero recently discussed the role of the finishing move in wrestling and the importance of having matches end by a range of moves and not over-relying on “one kill move”.
Speaking on AdFreeShows’ Can Chris Hero Save Wrestling, the former NXT Superstar discussed the value that finishing moves can add to a performer, citing Randy Savage’s iconic Elbow Drop, Great Muta’s Moonsault and Jake Roberts’ [who Inside The Ropes’ Lead Writer Gary Cassidy recently sat down with]DDT as examples of finishing moves that became ingrained in the fibre of the respective performer.
“I think that finishing manoeuvres are just some of the most fun parts of wrestling, just the era I grew up in you have Jake Roberts’ DDT, you have the Million Dollar Dream, you have Macho Man’s Elbow Drop, Hogan’s Leg Drop, the Gorilla Press Splash from [Ultimate] Warrior, you have these moves- Great Muta’s Moonsault- these moves that are just kind of ingrained in the fibre of that performer – it’s attached to them, it’s not just who they are; you see them and think of them and you think back to the move that they do. So I do think it’s essential for people to have moves that are their specialities.[…] It’s important to have finishing moves.”
Continuing on the matter, Hero discussed the importance of variety in the finishes of wrestling matches stating that it is crucial that fans believe a range of moves can and will end a match and not becoming over-reliant on one ‘kill move’ to end a match. Hero would reference the Schoolboy pin as a regular non-finishing move utilised to end matches unexpectedly questioning why this is the only pin-variant utilised regularly in this manner pointing out the use of the SUnset Flip in the ’80s to end matches unexpectedly whilst being a satisfying finish for fans watching the match.
However, it is imperative that we add credibility to things other than the person’s number one kill move. I absolutely adore the idea of a pro-wrestling match having ability to end at any point during the match; the beginning, the middle, the end, whatever, even on unexpected things, things where the crowd may fall flat. Because it is the process of educating the fans. When’s the last time you saw a match or matches consistently ending with Sunset Flips? Everyone goes to the damn Schoolboy. I don’t know why they do the damn Schoolboy, I don’t know if it’s producers saying that or if it’s the talent. It’s just an easy and simple thing to do and I love a good Schoolboy or Schoolgirl manoeuvre to pin in a match, but there are so many awesome pins in wrestling, why’s it the Schoolboy? I guess just ‘cause of how easy it is and it’s something you’ve done a million times, you don’t have to put any thought into it. But something like a Sunset Flip in the ‘80s, you would see that move end matches, you know not all the time but you would see it in the heat of a match but then you would also see it in the big comeback, where a guy comes flying over the ropes and hits a Sunset Flip and 1-2-3. Maybe it’s more of a House Show finish than a TV finish. But people believed that that could feasibly finish a match.
Hero would conclude the segment by discussing how in an era of wrestling dominated by false finishes, the impetus is on the wrestlers and producers behind matches to ensure that matches on a show have varied ending moments and mechanism to improve fans overall enjoyment of the programming.
“There’s just so many things that we do nowadays when we are trying to get a false finish reaction but what we’re doing is not congruent with that. The impetus is on the talent, who are putting their matches together, the producers who are producing the matches and the bookers who are booking the matches to get together and say ‘hey man, let’s have these matches end at different parts in the match’. And the first couple of months are gonna be rough because some people are going to be disappointed with these matches. It is ok for fans to occasionally be disappointed with the finish of a match, as long as they’re satisfied overall.”
Episodes of ‘Can Chris Hero Save Wrestling’ is available on Ad-Free Shows including a recent Q and A episode with the former ROH Tag Team Champion.
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