Back in the old days of professional wrestling, the emphasis on showy finishing maneuvers held very little weight to the greater concentration of competitors creating their brand by the crowd reactions. Nowadays, many traditional fans critique the product due to the heavy concentration of making a wrestling match more about risking one’s body for a reaction, rather than coming into the ring with a strong character and fanbase. In turn, having these qualities lessens the focus on looking for a pop based on a series of moves, but instead engages the viewers from a narrative standpoint.
In the 80s, top names such as Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, Dusty Rhodes, and Big John Studd all had finishing moves that are normal in one’s repertoire these days. When Jake Roberts invented the DDT, it was a devastating and unique move. Now, it is grossly overused and has lost much of its potency.
This also rings true with the superkick finisher, popularized by “Gentleman” Chris Adams and Shawn Michaels. Now, superkicks are used, to quote the adage, “a dime a dozen.” Although the superkick is heavily utilized by names such as The Young Bucks, The Usos, and Dolph Ziggler, the issue with many critics, other than its overuse, lies in the fact that it rarely puts opponents out for the three count anymore.
During his time in The Authority, Seth Rollins was using the finishing move of The Pedigree, which was an homage to the mastermind of the faction, Triple H. Eventually, Rollins and Triple H would split, particularly when Rollins felt that he was betrayed after The Game assisted Kevin Owens in winning the WWE Universal Championship. This would lead to a match at WrestleMania 33 in Orlando, Florida, in which Rollins would win. Rollins would also change his finishing move, which is now a jumping knee strike to the face.
WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan, who was not known during his active wrestling career as having a wide arsenal of moves, made sure to post a photo of what a knee to the face should look like.
Hogan captioned the photo, “That’s the real ‘Ichiban Power Knee’ direct blow to Andres face!!”
Although he is quite busy with his beach shop, Hogan made sure to give Seth Rollins a little history lesson, adding a bit of a friendly challenge of who had the best knee strike. Rollins can definitely use advice from someone who became arguably the biggest star in pro wrestling history by finishing his opponents with a leg drop.