Jump to content


Photo

Finishers as a concept


  • Please log in to reply
23 replies to this topic

#1 GOTNW

GOTNW

    save all japan pro wrestling

  • Members
  • 1907 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Croatia

Posted 14 February 2017 - 04:18 PM

There have to have been hundreds of threads of finishers where people named moves they thought looked cool, let's try something a little different here. What is the value of finishers in wrestling? Ideally they're memorable big moves you quickly associate with a wrestler making them easily marketable. There is a precedent to them in action movies and real combat sports. But is the amount to which wrestlers stick to them as the only means of finishing the match detrimental to the quality of most wrestling matches?  would have to answer with yes there. It's true that are are countless ways you could finish your matches with whatever your finisher may be without it detrimenting from the quality of the match, but the reality is that most wrestlers just aren't going to have the skill to do so. Would anything really be lost if, say, only half of the matches currently being won with finishers in companies/styles that rely on them so heavily were won by them?  When so much emphasis is put on the finishing stretches and nearfalls specifically this seems like a very logical thing to do yet it's not something at least I have often seen in recent wrestling. Having big moves the crowd is conditioned to and treats as a big deal certainly helps but I doubt much would be lost if there was just less emphasis on *one* move being such a big deal. Of course someone could it's really the nearfall heavy style that should change, but I'm not sure if that's exactly what I'm aiming at with this thread (a seperate discussion on nearfalls is certainly something that would have legs on its own).



#2 gordi

gordi
  • Members
  • 1448 posts

Posted 14 February 2017 - 07:55 PM

It's my biggest problem with current New Japan. I don't really watch enough of it to be sure, but based on what I have seen recently: It seems like, no matter what insane nonsense happens in the body of a given match, they *ALWAYS* have to end things with guys struggling over hitting their finisher and *NOTHING* other than a finisher can ever lead to a clean pin. It seems messed up to structure so many matches that way, as it makes things weirdly predicable.

#3 gordi

gordi
  • Members
  • 1448 posts

Posted 14 February 2017 - 08:01 PM

I also don't watch a whole lot of current WWE, but it really stood out to me watching the Elimination Chamber match: Dudes would get chucked through unbreakable bullet-proof space age plastic walls (or whatever), guys woul plummet from great heights to the floor far below, guys would get hurled bodily into hundreds of miles of chain link and their bodies would be shattered (or whatever)... but nobody got pinned due directly to any of that insane nonsense. They would have to get hit with a Sister Abegail or an Attitude Adjustment or an End of Days first. THEN they could get pinned. So... Has WWE started structuring things this way, too, in general?

#4 superkix

superkix
  • Members
  • 439 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 14 February 2017 - 10:20 PM

Finishers are weird. i feel like "finishers" should be used more sparingly, in a do-or-die situation or when nothing else is working. It makes for a more exciting and unpredictable product in general when guys win matches with certain moves or submissions based on the structure of the match. It's only natural if you're working a guy's leg most of the match to finish him with a submission rather than having to hit the Alpha Omega Driver III to win. Moreover, in New Japan specifically, so much of the offense they use looks more devastating than the actual finishers. EVIL will drop dudes on their skulls with a half-and-half suplex but then he's needs to hit that STO to win. Or the top rope dragon suplex in the Okada/Omega match. It's ridiculous to think ANYONE could kick out of that when the normal version is a perfectly believable finisher. 



#5 Loss

Loss
  • Admins
  • 43583 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 15 February 2017 - 04:24 AM

I prefer wrestlers having an array of signature moves over having a single finisher, where any one of them (or combination of them, as the case may be) can end the match. So I guess, depending on how you use the word, it wouldn't bother me, if everyone had 5-6 potential ways to end a match. We also don't get enough quick rollups, inside cradles, etc. as finishes.



#6 Laz

Laz
  • Members
  • 432 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 15 February 2017 - 10:30 AM

The idea of a wrestler having a select finish never bothered me, but what does is when the finish either goes against the wrestler's style, comes off as considerably weaker than other parts of their arsenal, or doesn't fit the context of the match. A technician should be using a pin, submission, or elaborate move whereas a roughneck brawler should stick to something simpler and impactful, and a glorified Russian Legsweep (Ziggler's Zig Zag) feels bland after a dozen kicks to the jaw.

Similar to Loss, I prefer it when a talent has a handful of signature moves they can use to end a bout, especially if their gimmick revolves around fighting prowess and/or technical skill. Using both Samoa Joe and Bryan Danielson as examples, each man had multiple ways to end a match, Joe with the Muscle Buster/Coquina Clutch/Island Driver and Bryan with Cattle Mutilation/inside cradle/repeated strikes. This allowed them to tease legitimately compelling near falls in addition to adding an air of spontaneity to every bout, and also fit their gimmicks (Joe the savvy fighter and Bryan the technical genius).

On the other edge of that coin's face, DDP was so perfect at building the Diamond Cutter that his work should be studied by the modern "script everything spot for spot" generations. He protected it, only teasing it when the match made sense, and typically hitting it out of nowhere for the win. It felt like he knew that he could end the match at any moment he wanted but was waiting for the perfect time to do it. Similarly, Taz built the Tazmission as pure death, with the built in angle of his suplexes meant to hurt and disorient but he wouldn't stop until you tapped to his choke, fueling his ego that much more.

#7 G. Badger

G. Badger

    Viceroy of Catlandia

  • Members
  • 328 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:In my chair, watching Wrestle-1 TV on YouTube

Posted 16 February 2017 - 09:46 AM

In terms of finishers, I liked the way AJPW handled them in the late 80s-mid 90s. There was a tier of finishers as well as universally damaging/respected moves like a lariat, German suplex, powerbomb, that could (and did) end the match. The end all be all finisher like Tiger Driver '91 was used so rarely that it meant something.

Wrestling in some or even most promotions has become like a Street Fighter game. Do a bunch of flashy stuff until its time to bust out your finishing move...every match. Don't get me wrong, that can be a lot of fun but, it is desensitizing and predictable.

People want every match to be a MOTYC and they feel that can't happen on a roll-up or a nice counter into a pin. I disagree, those surprise finishes are my favorites nowadays.

I'd like to see an O'Connor roll or even the Indy pin reversal sequence end a big match once in awhile.

#8 NintendoLogic

NintendoLogic

    Grim and frostbitten

  • Members
  • 2790 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 28 February 2017 - 12:00 PM

Wrestling in some or even most promotions has become like a Street Fighter game. Do a bunch of flashy stuff until its time to bust out your finishing move...every match. Don't get me wrong, that can be a lot of fun but, it is desensitizing and predictable.

 

That's not how Street Fighter works. Supers aren't guaranteed round enders, and even a jab can end a round if the opponent's lifebar is sufficiently depleted. I'd like to see the concept of cumulative damage return to wrestling. When was the last time you saw someone kick out of big finisher and get pinned by a mid-level move? As it is, the escalation train only goes forward, never backward.



#9 Laz

Laz
  • Members
  • 432 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 28 February 2017 - 04:25 PM

Street Fighter is totally like that unless you actually know what you're doing. Most people are button mashers (I'll include myself), it's the hardcore players that actually use finesse. The "video game wrestling" refers more to the general idea of wearing an opponent's lifebar down with MOVEZ~ than having one strategy and sticking to it, anyway.

Even then, though, the comparison isn't totally accurate. Beyond the rise of UFC showing that a submission could literally happen at any time instead of requiring methodical precision in wearing down a limb, most talents have learned from the deaths of Benoit and Misawa and, as such, have considerably lightened up on the stiffness. What we're seeing now feels more like an episode of Power Rangers than anything else.

#10 G. Badger

G. Badger

    Viceroy of Catlandia

  • Members
  • 328 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:In my chair, watching Wrestle-1 TV on YouTube

Posted 01 March 2017 - 10:34 AM


Wrestling in some or even most promotions has become like a Street Fighter game. Do a bunch of flashy stuff until its time to bust out your finishing move...every match. Don't get me wrong, that can be a lot of fun but, it is desensitizing and predictable.

 
That's not how Street Fighter works. Supers aren't guaranteed round enders, and even a jab can end a round if the opponent's lifebar is sufficiently depleted. I'd like to see the concept of cumulative damage return to wrestling. When was the last time you saw someone kick out of big finisher and get pinned by a mid-level move? As it is, the escalation train only goes forward, never backward.

:) more emphasis on the flashy moves, less on Street Fighter specifics...I haven't played in 10 years! But yeah, I wish they were like two people playing SFII turbo instead of SF Alpha 3...winning with a Fierce jump kick rather than screwing around until 1 person can do their level 3 super combo where the screen changes color.

Mortal Kombat, Power Rangers, Dragon Ball, Kung Fu movies etc. Crazy moves leading to a crazier sometimes elaborate finish. Again, its fun but, the more every match is doing this, people care less & less overall about the matches or story being told.

#11 stomperspc

stomperspc
  • Members
  • 478 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 02 March 2017 - 10:44 AM

Finishing moves are sort of necessary tools to add heat/drama to a match. Great near falls do not generally occur unless the fans buy the move the near fall comes off as possibly ending the match and that buy-in doesn’t usually come unless the move previously won a bunch of matches. The problem is exasperated now on WWE TV because there are no squash matches and multi-man tags are not used as the basic TV match format. If those formats are used for TV, you can establish the finishers there and then tease the finishers in big singles match. Since all we have is singles matches, you have guys teasing and hitting their finishers in basically every match they win.

 

The bigger issue to me – which I think is part of this – is that matches all around the globe have moved more and more to being battles of attrition. A match is won when the losing wrestler is worn down with high impact offense to the point he can no longer lift his shoulders before a three count. To use the Street Fighter analogy, a vast majority of modern matches end when the loser’s energy bar reaches zero. We don’t see as many matches being won when a wrestler catches his opponent in an inescapable and well-executed hold (submission or pinning). You don’t see a whole lot of those finesse finishers any more. Lucha used to be all about that (and they are still better than the US in that regard) but even Mexico has shifted more to the “cumulative damage” structure for big matches. I think the shift has largely been a function of the shift away from low impact offense leading to late match high impact offense to high impact offense being more or less the only offense. It is not a “less versus more” issue as much as it is a predictability issue. It is one thing to know that a match is likely going to be won by a finisher. It is worse when we know that a match isn’t going to be won until a certain point. That’s why so many matches now have dead crowds now early on. The fans have no reason to care until one or both wrestlers have been worn down enough that it is believable that the next signature move will end the match.

 

Bryan Danielson is the last guy I can think of that tried to re-condition the fans to thinking that a well-executed hold can beat anyone at any time when he became the king of the small the package and used it to win some short matches. You don’t see many luchadores anymore who had pinning combinations as their finisher in the way El Dandy and Negro Casas did.



#12 brockobama

brockobama
  • Members
  • 38 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Behind you
  • Interests:Anything but wrestling

Posted 03 March 2017 - 03:35 PM

To me, this is one of a few consequences of wrestling becoming more spectacle-oriented than a stylized simulation of competition. Once people were accustomed to a certain level of fireworks and theatrics in their wrestling (which probably happened before most of our lifetimes), the structure of building to a memorable climax became more important than "realism". That's not inherently a bad thing, but it's lead to a lot of formulaic performances over the years, which isn't helped by the ever-increasing accessibly of footage. 

 

And this mentality of wanting to see certain guys hit certain moves isn't all that out of the ordinary. People are also accustomed to a certain length of match, especially in a title match or main event setting. Look at the stink the Lesnar vs Goldberg match from Survivor Series made (though of course there was more going on there), or the groans on the opposite end of the spectrum from the recent Okada title defenses. Deviation from the norm is often as maligned as going overboard within the realms of the norm.



#13 joeg

joeg
  • Members
  • 534 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 13 March 2017 - 09:39 PM

I like the ideas of finishers, as a concept... a strike or hold that a guy does so well it ends the match. In MMA and boxing there are guys who have that one move or big strike that just ends it. Paquiao has (or had) his left hand. Cro Cop had the head kick his saying was "right shin hospital, left shin morgue". When Rousey was doing her Tyson thing she had the armbar. Micky Ward had the left hook to the body. Ken Shamrock had the heel hook.  In theory, if you carry that over to wrestling it wouldn't be too different than how you see HBO hype a fight or UFC hype a fight. You hear things like "if this guy can hit the right hand the fight will be over" or "if this guy get it to the ground it will be over" etc. The problem with modern pro wrestling is the moves that are supposed to be match ending, but they don't end matches, ever. In real combat sports what marketed as a big deal, ends the fight. On Saturday David Lemuix landed a counter hook (after Max Kellerman had said twice "he puts people to sleep with his hook") and the guy went to sleep for 4 minutes. In real sports the big moves, the big kabosh is protected because its real. In wrestling people don't protect their finishers because, I don't know why. If Brock Lesnar needs to hit 3 or 4 finishers to win any match, then that defeats the point of having a finisher, if he needs to do a dozen suplexes before the half dozen finishers, that defeats the purpose of him doing suplexes. Because he's no longer the guy who does them better, just the guy who does more of them. AJ Styles got over because the only person whose kicked out of any of his shit (that I can think of, correct me if I'm wrong) is John Cena. Wrestlers don't understand that when they kick out of a big move that's supposed to end a match, they don't just pop the crowd, or make themselves look tough, the long term effect is it weakens the impact of the move and makes the guy doing it look like a bitch.



#14 MikeCampbell

MikeCampbell

    80% of crazy!

  • Members
  • 2147 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Carlsbad, NM

Posted 18 April 2017 - 01:14 AM

 

 

I'd like to see an O'Connor roll or even the Indy pin reversal sequence end a big match once in awhile. 

 

Punk and Cabana did that once, when they had an iron man match, and both lost track of the falls. So, they did the pin reversal sequence with Punk getting two counts, and Cabana getting three counts, since he was supposed to go over.



#15 G. Badger

G. Badger

    Viceroy of Catlandia

  • Members
  • 328 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:In my chair, watching Wrestle-1 TV on YouTube

Posted 21 April 2017 - 11:40 PM

That's pretty cool! I miss that- when a small package or roll up would win a bout. It works well in a tourney and it puts a guy over as a technician. Steamboat, Fujinami, Danielson winning on a pinning combo was a beautiful and satisfying win in my book. Which match or what promo was the Punk - Cabana match in BTW? I'd like to see that :)

#16 dawho5

dawho5
  • Members
  • 3343 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:North Dakota

Posted 04 December 2017 - 12:11 AM

Finishers are difficult to do right.  For a lot of reasons.  

 

1. Ideally, it is protected.  In WCW Goldberg's Jackhammer was pretty much it.  Nobody kicked out of it and you KNEW once he hit it the match was over.  That's great, but wrestling has evolved some since then and finisher kickouts became pretty common.  Once people start kicking out of "the finisher" every PPV the first time or 2 because it is a big match and, hey I'm trying harder, it completely blows the concept up.  It is no longer a finisher, just a move that more often than not puts somebody away.  

 

2. AJPW in the early 90s did a lot right.  You had your enzui lariats, lariats, Germans, back suplexes that everybody got to use.  Then each guy had their signature stuff.  Misawa had the frog splash.  that didn't work, then work his way to a tigerdriver.  Then on to the tiger suplex.  Add in the rolling elbow.  And the stepover facelock.  Then we add the TD 91.  And so on, it gave the idea that these moves COULD end matches, but as time went on these guys were evolving with them.  People could take a regular tigerdriver and not stay down for the 3, so Misawa had to dig deeper.  Then the tiger suplex.  You get where I'm going here.  Problem with that was, all of these earlier variants on the finisher became near-falls 99% of the time.  With some notable exceptions like Kawada's powerbomb (66% of the time?), Taue's nodowa, Kobashi's lariat, etc.  So you get this almost endless series of moves that are played out as real finishes.  It's great for the building of the matches, but in the end it becomes too much.

 

So why can't a guy have a finisher like let's say Danielson because, hey, he perfected the inside cradle?  As mentioned above, if you do it right it should lock a guy up for 3.  And why wouldn't it if the opponent was worn down?  Seems like it would make the move that much more effective.  The mistake is that everything had to get bigger.  If everything HAS to get bigger, then sneaking in a well-done roll-up or signature submission becomes meaningless in the grand scheme of things.  Look at AJPW as the 90s go on.  The signature submissions (not finishers any longer) become meaningless.  They are weardown holds.  If a guy gets a backslide or a rollup or pinning combination off of a counter it's not going to win the match.  Remind you of modern wrestling styles at all?  Where do you think the modern style is cribbed from?  All of these guys in the business now, who were they watching?

 

3. Finishers are a great idea.  But then we get to the point where it HAS to be a finisher putting somebody away.  Once that is the case, what is the point of a wrestler covering somebody when they hit a high level move that looks like it could be a finisher for somebody?  We all know this isn't the end.  It's not the finisher.  It always ends on the finisher.  So the buildup to the finish is great and all, with moves having more consequence and impact.  But there is no real drama in anything.  Unless you start kicking out of finishers right?  You start to see where the problem is.

 

So a summary of the problems.

 

1. finisher kickouts kill finishers

2. multiple finishers are great, but if it's not the newest "best" one it loses it's meaning

3. if a match has to end on a finisher, how do you create drama?  kick out of the finisher

 

Aaaand that takes us back to #1.  Are there solutions?  Sure.  Multiple finishes with a few that should win the match (75% of the time low end) but can be kicked out of when the need arises, ONE this is the end, you-never-get-up-from-this-move-honest-to-God-FINISHER that is protected. Hey, maybe add in some lower end stuff like a guy who really has a good cobra clutch that he will throw out there once in a while and if you get caught in it not near the ropes it's a quick tap.  Or like Luke Harper's discus lariat, perfect for a brawler type.  Multiple ways of ending a match that involve yes, some big moves, but everyone has one or two brawly/power/skill moves that come out of nowhere and are a legitimate threat to any opponent.  Hell, have some of the skill guys use some skill type things based off of their finishes.  Misawa did a deal where he would land behind his opponents when they backdropped him off a tigerdriver attempt and usually got a German or a tiger suplex.  Use the setup for one move to trick a guy into another.  Sounds like something a crafty technical wrestler would do.  Especially if he's wrestling some big beefy dude who is trying to knock him senseless.  Instead of going directly at him, use the opponent's perceived strength against him.

 

Another thing is squash matches.  They serve many purposes.  One of which is getting finishes over.  I've seen this guy put away a ton of people with this move.  Maybe the difference between job guys and your midcarders and up is the non-job guys fight the stuff they know will put them away more.  It's not that they can just kick out of stuff better, it's that they are more skilled at avoiding the big stuff and that is what makes the matches longer and creates the need to wear them down.  

 

There are subtleties to all of this that would make it better, but it is certainly doable.  When you think about the scripted nature of the product, it almost seems like it would be easier to get this kind of stuff over because you could pinpoint when and where which finish was used and the circumstances.



#17 Laz

Laz
  • Members
  • 432 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 05 December 2017 - 12:37 PM

Odd how the more scripted wrestling becomes the less continuity it seems to have, eh?

#18 El-P

El-P

    NFLTG

  • Members
  • 9009 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:France

Posted 05 December 2017 - 03:17 PM

The idea of "kicking out of finisher" automatically equals "exciting nearfall" therefore "good work" is a false notion and has been very damaging.

 

Plus, a nearfall is a not a false finish. Raven understood it very well. To this day, some of his false finishes in ECW and even WCW work wonders with me, because he knews that the build to a false finish was what mattered. Kicking out of a finisher was a false finish at some point in AJPW. Then it ceased to be. Now, it's a prerequisite for any self-conscious epic. And it sucks, because you know you gotta kick out of n finishers before the actual finish. The finishers kick-out galore has effectively completely overshadowed the idea of a "false finish", which is an emotionnal moment when you believe that "well, it's over… HOLY SHIT NO !". Of course, you may argue the audience of today who pop huge for every finisher kickouts and chant "Fight forever" are emotionaly involved, but I don't think that's the case. The crowd manipulation is those cases is not about manipulating emotions and taking them on a ride, it's popping them by giving the exactly want they expect and want because they have been programmed to think that it means "great match", and that what's matters the most. I remember people being disapointed by the finish of the great HITC match between Charlotte & Sasha because there wasn't a dozen finisher kick outs.

 

Pro-wrestling needs to get back to smart small packages, effective dog & pony shows, failed spots that leads into a finish, injuries that cost the match and yes, eventually, at some point, kicking out of a finisher when no-one expects it (as opposed to everyone wanting it because it's "great work", therefore, "holy shit" and stuff). 



#19 Boss Rock

Boss Rock
  • Members
  • 271 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 05 December 2017 - 04:18 PM

I like the idea of having a couple of bigger moves that could possibly end a match even if it's not all the time. Effective when wrestling lower-card opponents and can create drama when working an opponent higher up the card. I still support the use of an actual "finisher" which would 98% of the time be a match-ender. Basically, save your biggest shot for last. But at the same time, I think  It would be cool to see a match end as a result of accumulated damage separate of the finisher. In so many indy matches you see a guy take an apron piledriver, a move off the top rope, and then some other big move and that STILL doesn't end the match. But as soon as that finisher is hit, boom over. I'm not necessarily against that style and think it CAN be done right, but not when it happens in every single match on a card in so many different promotions. And I'm not even opposed to finisher kick-outs if it's necessitated or fits the story. My only issue is when you get to the point when you're surprised John Cena actually wins with just one AA as opposed to two or three.

 

I dunno, I feel like I'm rambling here.



#20 TonyPulis'Cap

TonyPulis'Cap
  • Members
  • 197 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:London, UK

Posted 06 December 2017 - 05:01 AM

I like the idea of having a couple of bigger moves that could possibly end a match even if it's not all the time. Effective when wrestling lower-card opponents and can create drama when working an opponent higher up the card. I still support the use of an actual "finisher" which would 98% of the time be a match-ender. Basically, save your biggest shot for last. But at the same time, I think  It would be cool to see a match end as a result of accumulated damage separate of the finisher. In so many indy matches you see a guy take an apron piledriver, a move off the top rope, and then some other big move and that STILL doesn't end the match. But as soon as that finisher is hit, boom over. I'm not necessarily against that style and think it CAN be done right, but not when it happens in every single match on a card in so many different promotions. And I'm not even opposed to finisher kick-outs if it's necessitated or fits the story. My only issue is when you get to the point when you're surprised John Cena actually wins with just one AA as opposed to two or three.

 

I dunno, I feel like I'm rambling here.

 

I think this is a really good point. I understand why finishing moves are used - just like entrance music, a catch phrase, a particular taunt/pose etc they are things that the crowd react to through familiarity - but it would be good as Boss Rock says that a match can end as a result of accumulated damage that also works into the story of the match. These days a DDT is a world away from it being Jake's death finisher that the crowd chanted for, but if the structure of a match is based on one competitor working on the others neck or head for the match, or one competitor comes in with an existing head injury then the DDT should be a logical and effective way to finish a match.  






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users