3 current Superstars who changed their finishers after moving to WWE
- Wrestlers are sometimes forced to change their finishers due to WWE's protocols.
- A change in the finisher can change a wrestler's fortune, for better or worse.
Wrestlers work day in and day out to make a name for themselves. The irony is that it can take years and years for an amazing wrestler to make it big while an average wrestler ends up being a household name in a matter of months. Factors like gimmick, mic skills, professionalism, the determination to succeed come into play and sometimes it's just sheer luck.
Another vital element that helps a wrestler connect to his fans is the finisher that he uses to end a match. Believe it or not, the finisher adds a lot to the character portrayed by a wrestler. In WWE, some of these moves are banned for the safety of the Superstars. Things are different when it comes to the independent circuit. Sometimes when some of these independent talents move to the big leagues like the WWE, they decide to alter their finisher, either due to protocols or to simply change the essence of their character.
So let's take a look at the list of 3 Superstars who changed their finishers after moving to WWE.
#1 Shane Strickland / Isaiah "Swerve" Scott - Swerve Stomp/Kill Stomp to The House Call
If you are a wrestling fan and don't know Isaiah "Swerve" Scott, then you need to check him out right now. He made a name for himself at Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW) where he worked under the name "Shane Strickland" from 2012 to 2019. During his run in CZW, he captured the CZW Wired Championship (twice) and the CZW Heavyweight Championship. He also managed to capture the Major League Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship during his run in MLW. His time as Killshot in Lucha Underground caught everyone's attention where he put on amazing matches with the two most notable being the "Hell of War" match with Dante fox and his "Mask Vs. Mask" match with Son of Havoc.
Strickland has a great moveset, but that one weapon in his arsenal that stole the show is the "Swerve/Kill Stomp". It is just a diving foot stomp, similar to that of Low-Ki, Finn Balor and others. Then what makes "Swerve Stomp" so special? Well, he stomps the face of a seated opponent.
His move to NXT in 2019 was very surprising, Another surprising thing was the change in his finisher. Fans realized that now he is finishing off his opponents using "The House Call", which is a single leg kick to the side of the head of a seated opponent.
#2 Kevin Steen / Kevin Owens- Package Piledriver To Pop-Up Powerbomb To Stunner
Kevin Owens was already a household name among wrestling fans before he even stepped foot inside a WWE ring. His work in Ring Of Honor (ROH) was praised by fans and critics alike. His rivalry with a friend and former tag team partner El Generico was critically acclaimed. Owens won major championships in various promotions including the ROH World and Tag Team championship, the PWG World and Tag Team Championship (three times each), the now-retired CZW Iron Man championship and more.
Owens made his debut for WWE in 2014 as a part of NXT and won the NXT championship within two months by defeating Sami Zayn. He followed this with more success in the main roster winning the Intercontinental Championship (twice), US Championship (thrice) and the Universal Championship.
Kevin Owens has all the ingredients required to be a great wrestler. He is considered to be good as both a face and a heel, has amazing mic skills and a great moveset.
Talking more about his moveset, Owens changed his finisher from the dangerous Package Piledriver to The Pop-Up powerbomb when he came to WWE. This could be due to the risk associated with the move. However, Kevin Owens was not done there. After his return from injury, he started using the Stunner (not without the blessings of Stone Cold Steve Austin).
At first, critics were skeptical about Owens using the Stunner, but now he has made the move his own. The Stunner has helped Owens to establish himself as the rebellious anti-hero.
#3 Punishment Martinez / Damian Priest - South Of Heaven To The Reckoning
For those who don't follow wrestling outside WWE, Damian Priest is one name you ought to know more about. His matches in Ring Of Honor (ROH), where he was a one-time ROH World Television Champion, put him on the pro wrestling map.
When he came to WWE, his name was changed to Damian Priest and the gimmick had lucifer like vibe. Sadly, his name was not the only thing that was changed. His ROH finisher South Of Heaven (Sitout choke slam) was nowhere to be seen and in came The Reckoning (Cross-Road). With a man of his size, they could have chosen a better finisher. They could have allowed him to use his Super chokeslam or even a kick variation instead of The Reckoning.
Things look bright for Priest as he is currently involved in the NXT North American championship picture. His fans hope to see him as the North American champion very soon.
Published 19 Mar 2020, 20:11 IST