The best footballers often have a game-changing attribute up their sleeve that they can rely on when they need it most.
Whether that be Cristiano Ronaldo’s chop, Paul Pogba’s long shot, or Kylian Mbappe’s blistering bursts of pace, they all know they have something to fall back on when the going gets tough.
Believe it or not, there are actually a lot of parallels between football and professional wrestling. Both involve incredible athleticism, have a worldwide audience and produce some of the most well-conditioned athletes on the planet.
While wrestling often sees athletes come into the sport from other backgrounds, not many professional footballers make that jump. So, let’s combine the two here and give professional footballers their very own trademark wrestling finisher…
Adama Traore – Powerbomb
The Premier League’s resident bodybuilder already has the physique of a world champion, which makes us think he’s capable of some pretty devastating power moves. The “Traore Bomb” doesn’t quite have the same ring to it as the “Batista Bomb” but my word would it hurt.
Allan Saint-Maximin – Swanton Bomb
Newcastle’s extravagant winger would no doubt have a top rope finisher. Saint-Maximin would fly off that turnbuckle with elegance, crushing opponents with those menacing flips he pulls off in celebration. He’d go full Jeff Hardy, too; the entrance dancing and everything.
Billy Sharp – Mandible Claw
This one’s a no brainer. Sharp has already pulled this one out in celebration for Sheffield United last season. If there is anyone on this planet worthy of bringing Mr Socko out of retirement, Sharp is the man.
Toni Kroos – Liontamer
Moving abroad, Toni Kroos would no doubt deploy something classic to put out his opponents. A technical wizard on the pitch, his work inside the wrestling ring would be clean as a whistle. A man of many submissions, opponents would succumb to the wrath of his perfectly angled Liontamer.
David Luiz – Punt Kick
From one incredibly well executed move performed by a veteran technician, to one of the dirtiest tricks in the book. There is no doubt in our minds that David Luiz would be a top heel in the business, decimating his opponents with a vicious punt kick, inspired by his powerful set piece ability.
Sergio Ramos – Tombstone Piledriver
In a similar vein to David Luiz, Sergio Ramos would be wrestling’s serial winner. The man has silverware in his veins, which would take him to the main event in no time. If it means spiking someone on their head to get to the top, so be it. WWE Champion within months.
Marcos Rojo – Coup de Grace
It’s properly weird to think that Marcos Rojo has never received a red card for Manchester United. The Argentine defender has no problem sliding through his opponent studs first, and would deploy the same tactics inside the squared circle. Rojo would thrive in an environment where throwing yourself into the air and feet first into your opponent is allowed. Also, something something he burned his toast.
Manuel Neuer – Shooting Star Press
An intimidating man who knows no bounds when it comes to innovation, Manuel Neuer wouldn’t shy away from the top rope, despite his size. Like a peak Brock Lesnar, Neuer would use his size to hurl himself through the air and onto opponents with a Shooting Star Press. Also like Lesnar, however, he’d probably botch it and nearly break his neck in the process.
Cristiano Ronaldo – People’s Elbow
If The Rock was a footballer, he’d be Cristiano Ronaldo. No question. Thus, it only makes sense that the most electrifying forward in modern football today, inherits the most electrifying move in sports entertainment. If ya smell…
Paul Pogba – The Worm
Paul Pogba would be the ultimate WWE superstar. Great physique, incredibly athletic, bags of charisma. He’s also the type that would become the ultimate midcard champion, in a time where creative thought nothing of him. Pogba would bring back Scotty 2 Hotty’s infamous finisher from the dead, and see out matches with the extravagant offence as the fans go wild for him.
Luis Suarez – Green Mist
Luis Suarez has had an explosive career tainted with various controversies. While spitting scandals are nothing to be proud of, there is certainly a wrestling finisher in there. Suarez would take inspiration from the Japanese style, and blind opponents by spitting green mist into their faces for the victory.
Lionel Messi – Stunner
If Ronaldo is football’s equivalent to The Rock, then it only makes sense that Lionel Messi takes the role of ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin. Messi keeps himself assured, and lets his actions speak louder than his words; except from opening up the occasional can of whoop-ass. The GOAT takes the GOAT finishing move.
Robert Lewandowski – Leg Drop
In true Hulk Hogan fashion, Lewandowski’s wrestling arsenal would be limited, but his finishing move is the ultimate simple yet effective. Not the flashiest style in the world, but it keeps him at the top of the pile. Lewandowski-mania, brother.
Wayne Rooney – KO Punch
Wayne Rooney would take the experience he’s had with combat sports in the past and learn from it. He was reportedly knocked out by Phil Bardsley a few years ago, and slapped King Barrett on an episode of WWE RAW in 2015. With some extra training, Rooney could take to the ring with an explosive, knockout style.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Sweet Chin Music
Zlatan has scored of wildly athletic goals in his career, which would lend itself to wrestling. His kong-fu kick is impressive, but his height and athleticism would let him deliver a mean sweet chin music that Shawn Michaels would be proud of.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 619
Blistering pace and a big fan of masks, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang would make a fine luchador. His speed would see him zip around the ring, with his finishing move paying homage to the ultimate lucha hero, Rey Mysterio.
Raul Jimenez – Samoan Spike
At a first glance, it might have made sense that a Mexican take up the lucha style, but not here. Jimenez is a lethal weapon in the box, and just as lethal a striker in the ring. He even has the wrist tape to go with the finishing move. The Samoan spike would spearhead his dominance, albeit with a new name.
Troy Deeney – Spear
Deeney is strong, powerful and passionate. He leaves everything out there on the pitch and would do the same in the ring. He made his name as the ultimate opportunist when he scored that goal in the 2013 play-off semi final and took his team to Wembley. Taking inspiration from Edge, he’d make the spear his own.
Adebayo Akinfenwa – F-5
Look at him. He’s built like an absolute machine. If there’s any one footballer whose finisher would involve military pressing another human being and throwing them like a ragdoll, it’s Akinfenwa.
Thibaut Courtois – RKO
The three most devastating moves in sports entertainment would belong to Thibaut Courtois. Similar to Randy Orton, Courtois is a legend killer in his own right, effectively booting Petr Cech out of Chelsea and taking his throne before doing the same to Keylor Navas at Real. His cat like reflexes would also help him here.
Eric Bailly – Coast to Coast
If there’s one footballer in the present day who wouldn’t be afraid of hurling their body 20 feet through the air and straight into their opponent, it’s Eric Bailly. Incredibly audacious for a centre-back, the man is fearless. He was willing to play fight with Ibrahimovic, which says it all.