Announcing: The Three Count Finisher Invitiational

Posted in The Three Count by - August 11, 2016

Since the first Stone Cold Stunner echoed through what was surely a packed arena many moons ago, a question always seemed to be a forefront of many a wrestling fan’s mind, “Who was the best?” Was a Rock Bottom better than a Codebreaker (Spoilers: No… no it wasn’t) Despite changes and evolutions in the WWE roster, we as fans can’t help but wonder exactly who is the king of the finishing move.

As such, I am proud to announce the first ever Three Count Finisher Invitational, a single elimination tournament pitting Superstar finishing maneuvers against each other, all in the chase for the most prestigious prize in all of wrestling journalism, The Hulk Hogan Memorial Cup. Aptly named, this eight foot tall, solid black trophy is a monument to one of the most puzzling finishing maneuvers in all of wrestling and carries with it a great deal of prestige. I can say without hyperbole that many have died in the pursuit of even having their name mentioned in the same sentence as The Hulk Hogan Memorial Cup.

Awarding a title of this magnitude is a task that I accept with a great deal of pride and alarm. Beginning with the Raw Roster we will embark on a weeks long journey, analyzing and debating the merits of effectiveness of a superstars finisher. However, given the nature of this task, The Three Count has assembled some of the most influential voices in all of professional wrestling journalism.

The Judges

Marc Hall

Senior Editor and Senior Wrestling Writer at, Marc is has been an observer and fan of the sport for more than two decades. While not professionally trained in the sport, his study and knowledge of the craft gives him deeper insight into the the sport, while still being able to enjoy the lost art of kayfabe.

Zach Wickwire

Senior Editor and Senior Gaming Writer at, Zach has also enjoyed nearly two decades in the fandom of professional wrestling. A fan of the late 80s and early 90s era of the sport, Zach’s perspective of wrestling comes from that of the “Golden Years,” and he longs for a return to the hard hitting action and mature content of that era.

Stanley Zbornak

A former Mayor of Helena, Arkansas and winner of the 1979 Off! Insect Repellent Amateur Bowler of the Year Award, Mr. Sbornak’s perspective in the arts carries with it a long and storied history. A student of the early 60s and 70s era in the squared circle, Stanley’s time in the fandom carries with it a unique perspective, one that can only be replicated by studious examination of several Wikipedia Articles.

The Rules

With a prize that exceeds the value of any conceivable measure of worth on the line, there have been very strict rules put in place to ensure a fair and level tournament. Judges have been instructed to follow all previously established measurement guidelines and award points by strictly following the established, “Who’s Line is it Anyway” point system.

Finishers will be analyzed on the following metrics:

  • Effectiveness:

Perhaps the most important trait in any physical contest is how effective is a strike or kick. Just as the same style submission hold can be executed by different people, through study and strength will set one combatant apart from another. If performed without the “softness” of professional wrestling, what would the physical consequences be if this maneuver were performed?

  • Style:

What is it about the Attitude Adjustment that still seems to get fans to jump from their seats and the Brouge Kick to keep fans relatively silent? Theres a certain amount of awe and flash that comes with a great finisher. Some people have it, and some don’t.

  • Mastery:

How comfortable is the wrestler in performing this maneuver? How much set up is there? In a real fight, would this be an effective and practical method of combat?

  • Eligibility and Eliminations

Wrestlers who have assigned to them at least one, non submission finisher are eligible for entry into the tournament. Conversely, wrestlers who’s main finishing maneuver is either a submission hold, (e.g. Charlotte) or is a tag team finisher (e.g. The Shining Stars) are ineligible for inclusion in this tournament.

An important note must be made though as although both Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows do perform individual finishers, the decision was made that they instead be classified as a tag team, making them ineligible. With the elimination of Gallows and Anderson, our final number of participants stand at 32.

Rounds will be judged as a whole, with one vote going to a single wrestler based on each judges distinction. Rounds are single elimination with no losers bracket. As a bonus, each judge has been given a method to save a wrestler if they so choose. This is known as a “Rope Break” and can only be used once per judge and prior to Round 3. If awarded, the individual will progress in their bracket, gaining a bye, moving to Round 3 where they will be assigned in a triple threat position.

Our first matches will begin this Friday, with the full bracket announcement coming at that time. Stay tuned and give us your thoughts predictions at as we crown Raw’s true champion!

This post was written by
He is the senior editor at Kulture Shocked. A Nebraska boy born and raised, where he spends most of his time as a writer. When not tearing up Xbox Live, he spends most of his time divided between Magic: The Gathering and his fiancee.
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