Back in my college days, my roommate Otter Disaster used to work at the local arcade in the mall, allowing us access to the latest incarnations of the Mortal Kombat franchise as they arrived (as well as some scary older games that always smelled like melted plastic.)  In retrospect, that might be the origins of my fascination with the “Finishing Move,” as it pretty much predates my twin obsessions of wrestling and Super Sentai/Power Rangers.  I always like it when Spider-Man does that cool “swing in and kick with both feet” maneuver and Superman is never cooler for me than when he does the Raiden fists-out flying attack.  Even Elvis had his signature karate kick while onstage, a true moment of awesome (especially as his weight increased in later years…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) knows the bottom line, but doesn’t understand what the ice cream store has to do with it, asking: What’s the coolest ‘Finishing Move’ in pop culture history?

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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  1. Shush
    September 10, 2012 at 11:39 am — Reply

    Mighty King Cobra’s!

  2. September 10, 2012 at 11:47 am — Reply

    I’ve always been a fan of Sub-Zero’s original pull the head and spine out.

  3. Sydness
    September 10, 2012 at 12:05 pm — Reply

    It always comes back to Voltron for me, because it was the first one I remember seeing. He generates the Blazing Sword from his Lion Hands which then slices giant beasts in half. That sentence alone brings enough awesome for me to want to punch a camel in the face. Heck, having Lion heads for hands was awesome.

    That said, my favorite move that isn’t a finishing move is when the Power Rangers pose as a group and an explosion randomly appears behind them. They should use that tactic in battle. Face away from their enemy and pose would win the battle every time. If they ever did that it would instantly become my new favorite finisher.

    • September 10, 2012 at 12:38 pm — Reply

      It doesn’t work. In many team-up episodes (including the one where the Power Rangers team up with TMNT) the explosion happened before the battle, and a battle still took place.

      I’ve come the the conclusion that monsters have special contacts that prevent them from being blinded, like some of those glasses that darken when the sun gets brighter.

  4. SmarkingOut Adam
    September 10, 2012 at 12:15 pm — Reply

    HBK’s Superkick, before he started that stupid “tuning up the band” thing.

  5. September 10, 2012 at 12:39 pm — Reply

    Skynet had a pretty good finisher.

  6. September 10, 2012 at 12:43 pm — Reply

    The Quickening in Highlander after each time an Immortal is beheaded and the victorious immortal absorbs the powers of the slain foe in the form of getting hit by lightning.

    And possibly this:

    • Sydness
      September 10, 2012 at 1:44 pm — Reply

      I….. what?

  7. September 10, 2012 at 1:06 pm — Reply

    Heartcatch Precure’s Heartcatch Orchestra. Anything that involves an instant makeover and summoning a giant angel lady to punch your enemy (note the studs on her gloves) easily qualifies as the best magical girl finishing move ever.

  8. September 10, 2012 at 1:08 pm — Reply

    When the torqeltones defeated the void.

  9. Waldo Butters
    September 10, 2012 at 1:29 pm — Reply

    SPOILERS: When Ultraman flew a kilometer into the air and came down with both feet onto Mechagodzilla’s spine in Ready Player One.

  10. AED
    September 10, 2012 at 1:33 pm — Reply

    Arn Anderson’s Spine buster then throat slash. Arn seems like a cool guy to have few cold ones with.

  11. Michael
    September 10, 2012 at 2:21 pm — Reply

    Let’s see:
    Pro Wrestling:

    – Jushin Liger’s Fisherman Buster.
    – The Great Muta/Keiji Muto’s Moonsault.
    – Super Delfin’s Swinging DDT.
    – Black Tiger 2 (Eddie Guerrero)’s Black Tiger Bomb.
    – The Hurricane’s Hurrichokeslam.
    – Special mention to Jimmy Superfly Snuka for his splash on Don Muraco from the top of a cage.
    – Arn’s Spinebuster is good stuff.

    Kamen Rider:

    – Kamen Rider W’s Joker Grenade, Metal Branding, and Metal Twister.
    – Kamen Rider Meteor’s Jupiter Hammer.
    – Kamen Rider Fourze’s Limit Break with the Pen module was all kinds of funny.

  12. September 10, 2012 at 2:35 pm — Reply

    “Worked”: Brock Lesnar’s F5; “Shoot”: Anything Randy Couture does.

  13. Navarre
    September 10, 2012 at 3:02 pm — Reply

    Hulk’s finisher against Loki in “The Avengers” seemed to work pretty well.

  14. September 10, 2012 at 4:30 pm — Reply

    In the Justice League cartoon when The Flash ran around the world and punched Brainiac/Luthor in the face.

  15. gary
    September 10, 2012 at 5:32 pm — Reply

    Indiana Jones bringing a gun to a knife fight…

    • Prospero
      September 11, 2012 at 12:00 am — Reply

      Hard to disagree with that one.

  16. B.V.K.
    September 10, 2012 at 5:42 pm — Reply

    Stone. Cold. Stunner.

  17. Cat Halo
    September 10, 2012 at 7:25 pm — Reply

    In wrestling: The Rock bottom has a devastating simplicity. The Dudley Boyz’ 3D was brilliant too. Brock’s F5 IS impact!
    In life: A swift kick to the nuts will always stop you in your tracks!
    Oh… And Chuck Norris!!

  18. September 10, 2012 at 9:13 pm — Reply

    Karate Kid : The Crane Kick!

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