Your post about Tribute Moves got me thinking- what about when one wrestler steals another’s finisher? Obviously, since Rock/Austin it’s been done to death, but for my part at least I think sometimes it totally works, within the context of the story (off the top of my head, Jericho using Sweet Chin Music during his first feud with Michaels, with the whole feud being predicated on the idea that Jericho was the ‘new’ version of Michaels, was great, as was Michaels using the Razor’s Edge constantly in the buildup to the ladder match just to piss Razor off, and Yokozuna beating Hogan with the leg drop as sort of an ultimate, final middle finger from Vince to Hogan…and obviously the most famous example is Montreal). What do you think, though? Overdone? Situationally valid? Any particular favorite incidents of it?
First, I have a shitload of mailbag questions all of a sudden and I’m away from actual internet access, so I’m using my phone’s 3G connection best I can to update while I’m out of town. So fear not, I will try to get to everyone’s questions ASAP. Anyway, stolen finishers have become a bit of a trope in wrestling, where they went from a cool thing used sparingly into another part of the main event formula. I’ve noticed they’ve laid off on it as of late, which gives stuff like the HHH-Undertaker exchanges that much more pop. You don’t see Cena trying an Anaconda Vice on Punk, for example, or anyone trying to hit Randy Orton with an RKO or a punt. Not that anyone could execute a precision maneuver like the punt unless they had three generations of training like Orton. And the douchebag tattoos. But I digress. It can work pretty effectively in the right circumstances, like Cena modifying the F5 into the FU as a literal kayfabed FU to Brock Lesnar during their feud. And yeah, Yokozuna dropping the big leg on Hulk was epic. Back in the day, it was more common in the NWA as A Thing, with babyfaces doing the Four Horsemen’s big moves (Dusty appropriating the figure-four and DDT, or someone hitting Tully with the slingshot suplex, to name three off the top of my head) as a way to get good heat. So yeah, I like it in moderation, but it got a bit out of control in the 2001-2006 era when everyone was doing stunners to Steve Austin or Angle Slams to Kurt Angle and such.