Long-time reader, first-time etc.
When did wrestlers/bookers/agents start introducing finishing moves into matches?
Submissions have been around forever, sure, but read some of the older reviews here (Mid-South, NWA, etc.) and you’ll see guys getting pinned with backdrop suplexes and sunset flips and powerslams on a semi-regular basis. Random transitional moves, right? When did the public at large first start buying the idea of every wrestler having The Move No One Gets Up From?
Was it Vince trying to train the fans for punch/big boot/legdrop in every match?
Finishers are as old as wrestling itself! Guys getting pinned with transitional moves on the TV shows was because they wanted to keep things fresh and do different things. But if you go back further, Fritz Von Erich had the Iron Claw, Lou Thesz had the Thesz Press (it’s NAMED after him!) and I think Frank Gotch had a form of the hiptoss that was his big move. It’s part of the marketing and always has been.