Once upon a time, professional wrestling was considered a business where only big men could succeed. To a degree, it is still somewhat true nowadays, especially in a huge company like WWE where wrestlers are on television every single week.
While some of these behemoths were more athletic than they had any right to be, giants use powerhouse moves more often than not. Here are eight examples of classic big men moves that have been used by some of the best big men in wrestling history.
The powerbomb is one of the most well known big men finishers ever, and there have been different variations of the move used by some of the biggest names ever. Batista used a sit-out version called the Batista Bomb, Undertaker did an elevated version known as the Last Ride, among many other examples.
Others used a regular powerbomb, such as Vader, or Gunther more recently. It’s easy to understand why big men use the powerbomb. The move looks great especially when it’s done by someone bigger, since the elevation causes a lot more impact and looks devastating. All the names listed earlier won big matches (and titles) after hitting a powerbomb.
Like the powerbomb, the powerslam is another powerhouse move that looks amazing. When executed properly, and with the right snap to it, the attacker looks like an unstoppable force who can overpower the opponent and win at any point.
Davey Boy Smith is probably the most famous user of the move, with his Running Powerslam putting away countless adversaries throughout his career. Braun Strowman started doing the exact same version of the move when he started wrestling in WWE. Other examples, like Ron Simmons, were also successful using the powerslam.
Names like The Undertaker, Kane and Big Show have famously used the Chokeslam in recent decades in WWE. The move looks amazing every single time, especially when the person taking it knows how to sell it well, like Shawn Michaels in the picture above.
Every single part of the move is essential. The goozle when setting up the move, the elevation when the attacker gets the opponent up, and the impact upon landing. It’s a great looking dominant move, so it’s no surprise many big men have used it as a finisher over the years.
Another big men finisher that can’t be overlooked is the Spear. It has been used as a finishing move by many different big men, most notably Bill Goldberg, Roman Reigns, Bobby Lashley and Edge. It was also used to a lesser degree by the likes of Batista and Big Show, who only occasionally won matches with it.
The Spear works because it can literally come from out of nowhere, and it looks like the wrestler is running over their opponents with huge force. It’s different from the moves that have been listed until now, as it requires a bit more agility rather than power per se. However, the more powerful the wrestler is, the more impactful the Spear looks.
4 Big Boot
The big boot is another move that has been used by many big men in pro wrestling. Names such as The Undertaker, Kane, Big Show, Andre the Giant, Edge, Kevin Nash, Sid Vicious come to mind when one thinks of the big boot.
Perhaps the more memorable user of the big boot is the late Test, who used it as a finishing move throughout all of his career. The Canadian arguably did it more than anyone as well, hitting a fantastic big boot that looked like it could put anyone away.
There have been different versions of the splash in wrestling – the running splash like The Ultimate Warrior and Mark Henry did, or the flying splash that Big Van Vader used known as the Vader Bomb – but all of them led the wrestlers to huge victories.
The biggest example of that is The Ultimate Warrior’s win over Hulk Hogan in the main event of WrestleMania 6. While the move looks fairly simple, especially the running version, it still looks believable when the wrestler doing it is as big as Warrior or Mark Henry.
People often wonder what’s the difference between a lariat and a clothesline. Essentially, when a wrestler strikes their arm into their opponents it’s a lariat, while the clothesline is when the wrestler runs at their opponent with the arm perfectly straight (per Cageside Seats).
Many wrestlers used the lariat as a finisher in wrestling, most notably Stan Hansen. JBL also used it successfully – despite his move being called Clothesline from Hell, it was technically a lariat and not a clothesline. It’s a great move that knocks the opponent right into the middle of next week.
Finally, the piledriver has also been used by a lot of big guys over the years. The move is often associated with The Undertaker more than anyone else, with The Deadman putting many opponents away over the years with his signature Tombstone Piledriver.
But The Undertaker wasn’t the only one who used the piledriver to great success. One of the best to ever do it is ‘Mr. Wonderful’ Paul Orndorff. Other wrestlers such as Kane, Andre the Giant, Jerry Lawler and many others used their own versions of the piledriver as well.