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Five Moves of Doom

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It's often been said about Professional Wrestling that successful wrestlers don't need to have an extensive library of moves that they can execute with average proficiency: they just need a few moves that they can do well.

Just about every wrestler has a Finishing Move. Some wrestlers, however, have an entire finishing sequence — a series of moves done in the same order to cap off every match. Though the sequence may be interrupted, the wrestler always seems to return to it at the earliest opportunity. If they don't get a chance to return to it though, they're probably going to lose the match.

The trope's name comes from fan commentary (particularly Scott Keith's) on one of the most infamous examples of using a sequence, Bret Hart, from the newsgroup in the mid '90s.

Oh, and by the way, not being able to use more than four moves hails from something else. This trope refers to a specific sequence of finishing moves, not a limit on total moves.


  • Bret Hart is one of the most well-known examples: his sequence, the original Five Moves of Doom, is the inverted atomic drop, Russian legsweep, backbreaker, elbowdrop from the second rope, and Sharpshooter.
    • The inverted atomic drop was often substituted for a vertical suplex or a running bulldog. As it was rare for Bret to actually go straight to a successful Sharpshooter, this led to the chain still being five moves long.
    • Bret even has sequences for other specific spots in a match, such as rapid pinfall attempts (sunset flip, roll up, crucifix, small package, schoolboy) or simply working the leg (hamstring pull, elbow drop, knee drop, seated senton, figure four leglock)
  • Bret's perennial rival, Shawn Michaels, has his own sequence: Manhattan drop, flying forearm, scoopslam, elbowdrop from the top rope, Superkick (aka Sweet Chin Music). He originally had another move after the Superkick, a spinning side suplex called the Teardrop.
  • John Cena's sequence: Flying shoulderblock, sitout hip toss, side-release spinout powerbomb, Five Knuckle Shuffle (fistdrop), FU Attitude Adjustment (Fireman's Carry Takeover). Cena has the honor of being the first, and so far only, wrestler to openly refer to his sequence as the Five Moves of Doom in his promos. He's since added the STFU (STFSTF crossface combo) to the end of the sequence, making it his Six Moves of Doom.
    • Although he has recently phased out the sit-out hip toss, as well as his guillotine legdrop, to bring it back down to Five.
    • It should also be noted that Cena turned this into an Ascended Meme.
      • His modern sequence: Flying shoulderblock, flying shoulderblock, clothesline-duck-into side-release spinout powerbomb, Five Knuckle Shuffle, Attitude Adjustment.
      • And, after spending some time in Chinanote , he debuted a new sixth move - the Lightning Fist - a theatrical punch complete with crossed-arm power-up stands - at house shows before breaking it out on TV at the Super Showdown in Australia. And, just to show how far the meme's ascended, the new move is also an example of Calling Your Attacks; with Cena shouting out the move's name in Mandarin.
  • For some time after his WWE debut, CM Punk had a finishing sequence of four moves: Running kneelift in the corner, bulldog, uranage, Anaconda Vise. With the addition of Go to Sleep (Fireman's carry followed by a knee lift), His standard moveset became five.
    • CM Punk has since phased out his Uranage and Anaconda Vise, and added a Springboard Clothesline, as well as a Kick to the head, as made famous by Tajiri. Nowadays, Punk's sequence goes as follows: Kneelift to the corner, Bulldog, Springboard Clothesline, Buzzsaw Kick and/or Go to Sleep.
    • More recently, Punk brought the Anaconda Vise back, and even won the WWE title with it.
    • And now, we've seen another shakeup: Springboard Clothesline, Kneelift to the corner, Short-Arm Clothesline, Flying Elbow Drop, GTS.
  • Hulk Hogan's superhuman comeback was always the same: Finger Wag, shake off punches, point, Finger Wag, block a right, punch, punch, punch, Irish whip, boot to the head, legdrop.
    • Sometimes, this was altered to include a bodyslam, most frequently after the boot to the head. Sometimes, he'd even include the finishing move of his rival (e.g., a piledriver on "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff), or punch the heel manager of his opponent (who would invariably try one last desperate attempt to interfere). When the sequence was altered to include the managerial interference, the heel would usually bump into his manager, knocking him off the ring apron and leading to either a bodyslam or – if the opponent was smaller than Hogan – the bad guy also being knocked to his back and Hogan delivering the finishing legdrop.
  • Chris Benoit: rolling German suplexes (usually three, but he went up to ten during his career), Swan Dive headbutt, Crippler Crossface.
    • Kurt Angle has a similar sequence, except with the Angle Slam and Ankle Lock instead of the headbutt and Crossface.
  • The Rock: variations of running Spinebuster or Scoop slam (one or the other is performed first), then a Rock Bottom, followed with removing his elbow pad and the People's eyebrow, finishing with The Most Electrifying move in Sports Entertainment!
  • KENTA: Two open-palm strikes followed by a Discus Backhand, Roundhouse Kick, finished with either a Go 2 Sleep or a Busaiku Knee Smash (or he just does both)
    • Now as a part of NXT as Hideo Itami, he's changed the sequence to two open-palm strikes, discus back hand, a series of kicks, a running dropkick in the corner, and a Shotgun Kick or (very rarely) a Go 2 Sleep.
  • Nobody will ever accuse Bryan Danielson of having a limited moveset, but once his longer matches hit the final stretch, he begins to alternate between the MMA Elbows, the Cattle Mutilation, the triangle choke, the Crossface Chickenwing, and "you're gonna get your fucking head kicked in" - once Danielson uses one, the endgame has started, and he will keep switching among them until the match finishes.
    • His WWE Daniel Bryan Five Moves: Tiger Mask dodge, running forearm, buzzsaw kick, missile dropkick, Le Bell Lock. Missed missile dropkick in the corner optional.
    • Now that he's one of the most popular guys in the company, he's had another change: Tiger Mask dodge, running clothesline, repeated kicks to a kneeling opponent, running dropkick to the corner (which may be repeated 3 times), YES Lock.
      • And now that he's pinned John Cena, you can add a Busaiku Knee (knee to the face of a standing opponent, popularized by KENTA).
  • Christian doesn't always do them in sequence but sometimes. At least one of the moves is fairly contrived: A sunset flip from the corner, usually to an opponent who literally just wanders to the corner where Christian is waiting.
  • R-Truth's set can alternate, but usually contains the following: duck a charge out of the corner with a split, jumping back-heel kick, sitout inverted suplex slam, suplex stunner, finishing with either the Lie Detector (cockscrew flying forearm smash) or lately a jumping reverse STO.
  • Jake "The Snake" Roberts would tend to end matches with jab, jab, jab, haymaker/clothesline, short-arm clothesline, DDT.
  • Mickie James: flying clothesline, Lou Thesz press, hurricanrana from the corner, Thesz Press off the top rope and a DDT to finish off. She sometimes uses a spinning roundhouse kick as well.
  • Santino Marella has 4 moves. 1)Duck a clothesline by doing a split. 2)Hip toss. 3)Diving head butt with a salute. 4)The Cobra.
  • Randy Orton has begun to develop his own since he recently became a face in late 2010 starting with a series of short arm clothesline, followed by a scoop powerslam, a inverted headlock back breaker or sometimes an Angle Slam, followed by a rope hung DDT and lastly the RKO, punt or combination of the two. More often than not lately, however, he has somewhat phased out the five moves of doom and instead hits the RKO from outta nowhere.
  • Kane usually comes with stiff uppercuts, an Irish whip into the turnbuckle followed by a clothesline which immediately leads to a one-armed sidewalk slam. He then gets on top of the turnbuckle and hits a flying clothesline and then finishes with the chokeslam.
  • The Undertaker has recently developed his own sequence: running clothesline in the corner, snake eyes, running big boot, leg drop, then either a chokeslam, Last Ride, Tombstone piledriver, or Hell's Gate.
    • The Last Ride is more of a wild card than a finisher in more recent matches. When used, it is often for a high point of the match (often as a counter to someone backing Undertaker into the turnbuckle then climbing on to punch him) rather than a match finisher, so it can lead into the clothesline, Snake eyes, etc. moveset listed above. It occasionally follows the chokeslam, though this is rare.
    • Really, the Chokeslam is rarely Taker's finisher. Usually, it's just the setup for Tombstone. One could easily say his five moves are No-Sell, floor the opponent, chokeslam the opponent, drag his thumb across his throat, Tombstone.
  • Sheamus has recently strung together a finishing series. Forearm shots to the chest of an opponent trapped in the ropes to a running knee lift followed by a diving shoulder block, a Brogue Kick usually finishes after that, and if they kick out he'll use the High Cross Powerbomb.
    • In mid-2012, due to a temporary ban on his Brogue Kick, he added another move to his finishing sequence - the Four Leaf Clover, his own variation on Dean Malenko's Texas Cloverleaf submission.
  • Maryse - forward leg sweep, camel clutch, backbreaker, French TKO/French Kiss DDT. Plus a lot of slapping.
  • Kelly Kelly - clotheslines, headscissors takedown, hurricanrana into a pin, handspring elbow, Kelly Killer/K2. Averted completely now as she uses several different moves.
  • Punch, clothesline, clothesline, gorilla press, running splash, here is your winner, the Ultimate Warrior!
  • Kofi Kingston- Slingshot forearm, double open handed strike, jumping forearm, Boom Drop, Trouble in Paradise. This sequence usually only shows up in tag team matches when his partner is playing Ricky Morton, otherwise the order of these moves is not so predictable, if they are even used at all.
  • Madusa- kip out, three flashbacks/flying mat slams, missile drop kick, German suplex.
  • Goldberg typically finished a match by dazing his opponent, going to the opposite corner to wait, hit The Spear, then pick the stunned foe back up for a Jackhammer. Given that he did that last move on The Big Show and Mark Henry (both super-heavyweights), that was really all he needed.
  • As a face, Eddie Guerrero would either dodge a corner charge or hit a spinning headscissor takedown, then follow up with the Three Amigos and the Frog Splash.
  • Roman Reigns, though not necessarily in order: Stiff uppercuts, Drive-By, Samoan Drop, Superman Punch, and finishes off with a spear.
  • Antonio Cesaro even has these as a heel. While generally not used strung together, he does these 4 moves every match: superplex from apron, giant swing, pop-up European uppercut, Neutralizer.
  • When Zack Ryder wins matches, he has his own finishing sequence: get Irish whipped from one corner to the next, double knees to the opponent as they attempt to follow up, taunt, drop kick from the second rope, flying forearm in the corner, a running corner facewash that he calls the Broski Boot, and finally the Rough Ryder.
  • Finn Bálor has a direct finishing sequence of a running front dropkick to an opponent knocking them into the turnbuckle followed by the Coup de Grace, though right before then he'll usually do the Sling Blade (a neckbreaker/sleeper/clothesline thing) and a Lifting Inverted DDT.
  • Kazuchika Okada: Heavy Rain, Flying Elbow Drop, Dropkick, Tombstone Piledriver, and then The Rainmaker.
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi: Rolling Senton, Dragon Screw, Sling Blade, Texas Cloverleaf, then the High Fly Flow.
  • Charlotte likes to finish off her matches with a sequence of two of her daddy's signature Knife Edge Chops, a neckbreaker, a spear, and finally either a Natural Selection or a Figure Eight Leglock.
  • Sting has a comeback sequence. It's never performed the same way, but it will usually start off with him no selling his opponent's offense, hulking up, beating his chest, followed by a few punches, sometimes an atomic drop or running faceplant, followed by 1-3 Stinger Splashes, then a Scorpion Deathlock.
  • Matt Hardy and Jeff Hardy had a tag team version in the early 2000's: Poetry in Motion, a second Poetry in Motion which the opponent evades, a huracanrana by their manager Lita, Twist of Fate, and Swanton Bomb.
  • Bray Wyatt, in his early run, had this sequence: Standing uranage, drag opponent to the corner, stinger splash, hang upside down from the corner, Sister Abigail.

  • In at least one version of the WWE Smackdown! series, the player is given the chance to program their created wrestlers with two finishers, and then three more moves that they prefer. Five moves of doom.
    • From Smackdown vs. Raw 2009 onwards, players can create their own finisher or signature move. It is entirely possible to link together strikes, multiple suplexes, multiple shoulder mounted gutbusters, a powerbomb into a piledriver and even a fireman gutbuster into a DDT, among other combinations. Making a custom move five moves long though result in a lot of the same move (suplex, gutbuster, punch) being used over and over again before finishing them move with something that plants the opponent to the canvas.
    • Executing five signature moves in a single match in WWE All Stars earns the achievement "Five Moves of Doom."
    • WWE 12 features "Comeback Attacks", which are essentially the beginning of wrestlers' five moves of doom sequenced together on top of granting the wrestler a free Finisher if the comeback succeeds. Several of the examples listed above are available.
  • King from Tekken, as appropriate for a wrestling character, has a few of these sequences in his chain throws. His Mexican Magma Drive, is seven moves long, but in keeping with the spirit of the trope, there are two combinations with five moves long; (reverse armslam, backdrop, German suplex, powerbomb, giant swing) and (reverse stretch bomb, cannonball, inverted atomic drop, Texas piledriver, and muscle buster).
  • Kazuma Kiryu's "Hell's Floor" finisher in Yakuza 3: a German suplex, followed by an arm bar, followed by a triangle choke, followed by an anaconda choke, followed by a guillotine choke, finished with a mounted right cross to the face. Just the chokes alone would probably leave the opponent's trachea reduced to the consistency of mincemeat.
  • Kyoko's super move "The Breaker" in Rival Schools: standing crossface chickenwing, abdominal stretch, wakigatame armbar takedown, boston crab, triangle choke.
  • Fanfiction author Khaosomega gives his self-based OC Jet Brazie a series of Dragon Ball Z moves to act as his version of this trope.
    • His first move is a Space Mach Attack, occasionally going straight to the multi-directional impact barrage if starting while already airborne. Following them are the Sky Zapper and Ultimate Impact rushes (the latter the version used in the Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi games), then a Final Shine Attack (may occasionally substitute in a cyan-accented Chrono version of his primary Alpha's design), and ended with a Sadistic 18.
      • Sadistic 18's appearance usually only happens when his target does something to get on his bad side, as seen in the first chapter of The Kashima Chronicles when Jet (then disguised as a girl) stops Jack Barnes from raping title character Yuri.


Video Example(s):


Cena's sequence

A typical John Cena sequence. Two flying shoulder blocks, side-release spinout powerbomb, Five Knuckle Shuffle, and finally an Attitude Adjustment before pinning his opponent.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / FiveMovesOfDoom

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