5. Jinder Mahal’s Khallas: 4 Total PPV Finishes
*facepalm* I can’t believe I have to make this entry. I will say that at the end of his Championship run, Jinder was starting to settle into his heel Champion role and was far ahead of where he was when he first won the title. The Cobra Clutch Slam was very protected as it was only kicked out of once by none other than AJ Styles in Mahal’s last match as Champion. It was responsible for winning the WWE Championship from Randy Orton at Backlash, retaining it against Orton at Money in the Bank, and then retaining it twice against Shinsuke Nakamura at SummerSlam and Hell in a Cell. Most notably, all of these matches ended after only one Khallas, making it one of the most protected moves in the business. The reason why it’s so far down the list is that it usually took some shenanigans by the Singh Brothers to set the whole thing up. However, a move that carried an entire WWE Championship reign, no matter who it is, deserves to be in the top 5 of this list.
4. Alexa Bliss’ Snap DDT: 4 Total PPV Finishes
We are now reaching the upper echelon of WWE finishers. Little Miss Bliss has had a breakout 2017 and has proved herself to be one of the premier Women’s competitors in WWE today. Bliss used to use Twisted Bliss (aka the Sparkle Splash, #NeverForget) as her finisher. Then, around mid-year, she adopted the Snap DDT. It makes sense as a finish for the RAW Women’s Champion with her small stature and low center of gravity. She used the DDT to win the Women’s Championship from Bayley at Payback, thus becoming the first woman ever to win both RAW and Smackdown Live Women’s Championships. She beat Bayley with it again at Extreme Rules in a kendo stick-on-a-pole match to retain the title. Bliss continued to dominate with the Snap DDT in a fatal five-way at No Mercy, using it to pin Bayley yet again to retain her championship. Finally, Alexa Bliss defeated Mickie James at TLC to retain the championship once more. The Snap DDT has resulted in 4 clean wins for Little Miss Bliss and all of them in Women’s Championship wins or defenses. Call her “Five Feet of Fury,” “Little Miss Bliss,” “My Future Wife,” or whatever else you want. But because of her Snap DDT, you have to call her “Champion.”
3. Bray Wyatt’s Sister Abigail: 4 Total PPV Pins
Here’s a real shocker. Bray Wyatt is notorious for losing his PPV matches and never winning his feuds. However, two early PPV pins with Sister Abigail made the move one of the most effective of 2017. Bray Wyatt won his first WWE Championship at Elimination Chamber using Sister Abigail to eliminate both John Cena and AJ Styles. I’ll say that again…one Sister Abigail each put away JOHN CENA AND AJ STYLES. Bray’s Championship run was criminally short-lived, though. Wyatt would not rack up another win on PPV until Payback where he defeated Randy Orton with Sister Abigail to put an end to the House of Horrors match. And then, at Great Balls of Fire, Wyatt defeated Seth Rollins with, you guessed it, Sister Abigail. Not only does Sister Abigail rarely get kicked out of, but it has put away more top tier superstars than I care to count. A year of putting away Cena, Styles, Orton, and Rollins in high-profile matches springboarded Sister Abigail to #3 for me. #FollowTheBuzzards
2. Brock Lesnar’s F-5: 5 Total PPV Finishes
OOOOO you thought this would be #1 didn’t you? I mean it would make sense. Nobody kicks out of the F-5 anymore. Brock Lesnar has channeled the power of the Universal Championship into the F-5 making it one of the most devastating moves in WWE today. Anybody and everybody who looked like they could step up to the Beast this year has been felled with one F-5. It started at WrestleMania where Lesnar conquered Goldberg to capture the Universal Championship with it. Then, at Great Balls of Fire, Lesnar picked Samoa Joe, interrupting Joe’s onslaught on the Beast, and put Joe away after a single thunderous F-5. Next was SummerSlam. The odds were stacked against Lesnar in Brooklyn as he defended his Championship in a fatal four-way against Joe, Braun Strowman, and Roman Reigns. And after a valiant comeback, Lesnar defeated the three by pinning Roman Reigns (yeah, THAT Roman Reigns) after just one F-5. Braun Strowman wasn’t finished with Lesnar, though. He was the next to be victimized by an F-5. It went down at No Mercy and not even The Monster Among Men could last a single F-5. The latest of the conquered was AJ Styles at Survivor Series. After one of the best matches of the year and one more F-5, Brock completed the sweep. 4 Championship matches. 1 match against the Phenomenal Champ. 5 F-5’s. 5 wins.
1. Randy Orton’s RKO: 6* PPV Finishes
The RKO speaks for itself. It’s been striking #OuttaNowhere since 2003 and is probably the most recognizable finisher in WWE today (thanks, Vine). So quick, so elegant, so DDP-like, the RKO is just a cool move. And whenever Randy hits it, the crowd pops HUGE. The asterisk finish goes to the Viper’s first strike of the year at the Royal Rumble. Orton countered a Roman Reigns Spear into an RKO which led to Reigns’ elimination and Orton’s victory. At Elimination Chamber, Orton countered a Discus Clothesline from his then-Wyatt Family Brother, Luke Harper, into an RKO for the victory. The next strike came at WrestleMania, winning the WWE Championship from Bray Wyatt with an RKO #OuttaNowhere in the only exciting moment of the match (which was a shame). At SummerSlam, Rusev Day was spoiled after an RKO 10 seconds after the ringing of the bell. At Hell in a Cell, Rusev was felled again by the RKO, but this time after a proper match. Finally, in the Survivor Series main event, Orton eliminated Finn Balor from the match after a single RKO. The RKO, much like the F-5, has been built back up in recent years to be the death knell for anyone who suffers it. And in 2017, it was the deadliest finisher in WWE.
What do you all think? Which finishers do you think are the most protected in WWE? What criteria would you use for your top ten? Let me know in the comments!