A ranked list of the most painful wrestling moves in WWE

A ranked list of the most painful wrestling moves in WWE

Claudia Kogi
updated at April 12, 2023 at 8:19 PM

One pronounced thing about professional wrestling is that it is an overly dangerous sport. Wrestlers use a variety of moves at their disposal to attack their opponents. And while these moves could range from throws, slams, aerial attacks, and strikes, depending on how big the coveted prize is, some of them opt for the most painful wrestling moves.

Which is the best move in wrestling?
A WWE logo is shown on a screen before a WWE news conference at T-Mobile Arena on 11 October 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo: Ethan Miller
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But that is just how the sports works: breaking necks, waists, arms, and legs. Of all these tricks, the special ones are called finishers. Finishers tend to allow a wrestler to pick up a win over his or her opponent. Which is the best move in wrestling?

Top 10 most painful wrestling moves in the history of WWE

The WWE superstars hit hard, and on any given day in the ring, it is certain that the wrestlers create new and impressive ways to keep some of these hits coming. In appreciation of some of those famous wrestling tricks, Sportsbrief.com has compiled a list of various wrestling moves and their names.

10. Piledriver

Pro-wrestling moves
Kavita Devi in action against Jinny Sadhu during a match of WWE World Wrestling Entertainment try-outs held in Mumbai, India on 5 March 2019. Photo: Himanshu Bhatt
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Allegedly, when a piledriver is done right and professionally, it can be a relatively safe move. However, the tricky bit about it is that the room for errors is very slim. Therefore, when it goes wrong, the risk factor is immensely high.

One reason as to why it is currently a banned trick in WWE is following the numerous cases of deaths caused by broken necks. For that reason, it is categorized among the most dangerous moves in WWE.

9. German Suplex

Pro-wrestling moves
Tama Tonga and Jay White compete during the New Japan Pro-Wrestling in Ryogoku Kokugikan on 10 October 2022 in Tokyo, Japan. Photo: Etsuo Hara
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Why it was named after Germany, is still unclear. However, it is currently among the most painful moves in the history of WWE. The German Suplex is one move that most wrestlers have used on their opponents.

Brock Lesnar is said to be the founder of the tick. And while it does not matter who delivers it, a wrestler landing high up on their backs or necks is vividly and incredibly dangerous.

8. Diving Headbutt

It is said that there is no room for error in this particular move as it is one of the most dangerous moves in WWE history. Only a handful of wrestlers have been able to hit these over the years, and concern is often raised when it has been used.

Which is the best move in wrestling?
Wrestlers Jinny Sandhu and Kavita Devi in during India's first WWE Tryouts live match on 5 March 2019 in Mumbai, India. Photo: Satyabrata Tripathy
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It is an incredibly dangerous move considering the height at which wrestlers fall, connecting their heads to one another. And once you hear about head-to-head hitting, one pronounced aspect that pops up to mind is concussions and further risks like internal bleeding that eventually cause death.

7. Brogue Kick

WWE fans often term the Bogue Kick move as wrestler Sheamus' because once he uses it, an opponent is definitely going home with a broken face. Sheamus, the Celtic Warrior holds nothing back when it comes to this particular trick as he completely destroys his opponents' faces. He made this trick dangerous as no victim has ever come out of it without any broken jaw, neck, teeth, or shoulders.

6. Red Arrow

WWE wrestling moves
Neville jumps during to the WWE Live Duesseldorf event at ISS Dome on 22 February 2017 in Duesseldorf, Germany. Photo: Lukas Schulze
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At this point, you can tell that there is no WWE trick categorised as safe as all of them seem deadly. With Red Arrow, it was the finisher of wrestler Neville during his time in WWE. Consequently, it helped him rise to stardom as he was the only one using it on his opponents.

Fans had seen wrestlers jump off those ropes to pounce on their opponents. However, they had not seen anything like what Neville pulled that day. One dangerous fact about this particular move is that it leaves both parties hurt.

5. Sharpshooter

Wrestling moves and their names
Sheamus and Randy Orton battle it out at the WWE Summer Slam 2015 at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on 23 August 2015 in New York City. Photo: JP Yim
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Like an eagle holding on to its prey, so is this particular trick, often compared to a submission kind of trick. This is because once a wrestler uses it, their opponents often have to submit until the referee intervenes. Like the name sounds, it is something that looks overly painful, and that is why it qualifies among the pro-wrestling moves in the history of WWE.

4. Brainbuster

Let us all agree that any wrestling move that involves a wrestler landing close to the head of an opponent is always going to be considered a seriously dangerous and painful WWE move, and Brainbuster is no exception.

WWE wrestling moves
Bobby Lashley competes in the ring against Finn Balor during the WWE Live Show at Lanxess Arena on 7 November 2018 in Cologne, Germany. Photo: Marc Pfitzenreuter
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Despite how devastating it is, a lot of the pressure is often on the person delivering the particular move. Fans by now are aware of the damage it causes, and for that reason, they often release a huge reaction when it is used.

3. Styles Clash

The Styles Clash is one of the greatest moves in WWE and one that AJ Styles and Michelle McCool have used throughout their respective careers in the wrestling arena. It is such an impactful trick that leaves fans shocked whenever it gets hit.

Additionally, it is such an extremely dangerous wrestling move that has legitimately injured plenty of wrestlers over the years. It is no wonder that it qualifies among the most painful wrestling moves in WWE.

2. F5

The F5 might not be one of the flashiest or over-the-top finishing tricks in wrestling, but the moment Brock Lesnar's pure prowess and strength is put into the mix, it is sending someone to the emergency room.

Famous wrestling moves
Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker battle it out at the WWE Summer Slam 2015 at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on 23 August 2015 in New York City. Photo: JP Yim
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Adding to the part where Brock spins his opponents on air, the mystery of where exactly they will land is what makes F5 as dangerous and intense as it can be. No wrestler wants to be flung around the ring at a pace they can lose their breath.

1. Punt Kick

Punt Kick is yet another banned WWE trick. This particular trick often looked incredibly painful and devastating but wrestler Randy always made it look so easy and realistic. Seeing him run from the corner of the ring to kick his opponent directly in the head will always be considered a dangerous move.

However, when the particular action goes wrong, both parties could end up on hospital beds with broken body parts. As of December 2022, Punt Kick is considered the most dangerous wrestling move in the history of WWE.

Ranking the most painful wrestling moves in WWE is a no mean task as all moves used in those rings are considered dangerous. For that reason, the listed moves are not only regarded as painful but also some of the best moves encountered in the history of WWE.

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Claudia Kogi photo
Claudia Kogi
Claudia Kogi is a Kenyan content creator with over 3 years of experience. Claudia joined Sportsbrief.com as a writer in January 2022, covering sports and relatable content.