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WWE: Victory Conditions and Efforts

Rating: 2 votes, 3.50 average.
Since I mostly watch just WWE, I don't normally make criticisms or remarks about TNA or ROH, however I have seen enough matches in general to know this is a across the board thing, but I'll be using WWE examples.

Today I'm talking about victory conditions and efforts, or in lamins terms things like Clean finishes, Dusty Finishes, and Valiant Efforts. Does a "Clean Finish" help the story, or would it better to have a "Dusty Finish"? Is a loss actually a good thing for a superstar? That's the topic for today. (Some of these I may use legit terms for, others I'm just making up. If there's a real name for it, feel free to correct me in the comments.)

Victory Conditions:

Pure Finish:
A "Pure" Finish is most common in Face vs Face matches and happen in non-important matches in the lower cards. These are finishes that are pure 1-2-3 or tap-out with no outside interference and no rule breaking on either side. The idea is that when someone loses, they've lost and the winner is distinctly the better competitor of that day. Heels if applicable and if the storyline has been promoted significantly rarely win this way. It can also be considered a burial in some cases if a heel wins. (Wrestlemania 26: HBK vs. Undertaker)

Clean Finish:
A Clean finish is to where the moves leading up to a victory are clean. There has been minimal outside interference and rule breaking on the behalf of the winner. These are most well known when a Face defeats a Heel. An alternative form is a Heel who has help/illegal moves but loses anyway. A Heel winning clean is considered to be a significant victory in most cases. While normally a safe option, this kind of finish can be considered boring if everyone was wanting a more interesting finish, such as interference or a face/heel turn from an ally. (Wrestlemania 25: HHH vs Randy Orton)

Dirty Finish:
Another Face vs Heel standard victory type. This is the most common way a heel wins. A quick low blow, tights grab, outside interference distraction, eye rake etc. will catch the opponent off guard and achieve victory. This is considered by many to be the "heel equivalent" of a clean finish, and considered a real victory to many. (Dolph Ziggler vs Kaval, Survivor Series)

Crutch Finish:
These are matches that have heavy outside interference or illegal moves, and the victor (usually heel) did little to achieve the victory in their own right. This is usually accompanied by weak moves by the heel and it would be obvious that the face would have not just won, but in-fact dominated the match otherwise. An alternative form is tag team member screwing their partner. While useful in small dosages for storylines, this has been a common sight in new champions and fast-pushed superstars that has had many IWC fans disgusted. Most notably seen in many Miz, Swagger and original Nexus matches. Probably the best use of this is a heel stable trying to gain creditability as hated. (Miz vs. Jerry "The King" Lawler, TLC Match) (Corre vs Miz/Cena II)

Dusty Finish:
Named after Dusty Rhodes, these matches end in double countouts, double DQ, or any kind of draw format that allows the champion to keep their title. These are probably the most sketchy of all finishes, because if they are done properly it can do wonders for a feud, but if not they can absolutely crush it. (Kane vs Edge, WHC Match)

Injury Finishes:
Injuries happen, and can lead to unfortunate results, this has happened twice in prominent Edge feuds (Matt Hardy, Randy Orton) which has led to matches ending prematurely. This obviously leads to unfortunate results in nearly all cases as everyone (fans, storylines etc.) is left without "closure". While not anyone's fault really, it usually kills the storyline either figuratively or literally.

Audible Finishes:
Audible finishes are usually accidents or quick changes to overcome a screw up. Examples include Hardy vs Sting, TNA Championship, Vince Russo's WCW Championship when the cage broke from Goldberg's spear, and I'm willing to put money on Batista's and Rock's royal rumble victories (Batista/Cena Draw, Rock touching floor). Depending on the severity and the audible called by the company these can be horrific (Hardy/Sting), to neutral(Miz eliminating Cena at Rumble 2011), to actually helping a storyline (Big Show trying to prove Rock touched the floor)

Squash Finish:
Pretty Self Explanatory, here comes monster heel or really pissed off superstar, here comes weak nobody or skinny guy. Heel smashes Face. (Pun Intended) (Sheamus vs Jamie Noble, Koslov vs Local Jobbers, Triple H [2011 return] vs [ironically] Sheamus) Can bury a up and coming superstar who was on the receiving end, while not really doing much for the monster unless they are a face. Possibly the most overused poor match result in WWE storylines.

Give Up Finishes:
These are done almost always by a heel who just gives up in a match against a face, this is usally done by just getting counted out, or intentionally disqualified to keep a title. These are best used as "intermediate" pieces to a storyline on TV Tapings, but are horrific in PPVs. (Sheamus vs Orton [Summerslam], Jericho vs Batista [Cyber Sunday])


Valiant Effort:
These are matches that the losing superstar goes above and beyond, and truly busted their tail, and gained a lot of respect from the fans, and is considered to be nearly equal of a push as a victory. Despite not winning the match, the match can be used as an example of a superstar really honing their craft or as a resume piece to include in debates. (Daniel Bryan vs. Chris Jericho) (Cena vs Angle)

Poor Effort:
Effort where the victor was obviously carried through the match by a far superior superstar or one who didn't try all that hard and was considered slacking. There are other possibilities that fall under this umbrella. (Khali matches, Kizarny Debut, many early Cena matches)

Put Over Effort:
A match where the known better superstar loses, considered to be a sign of respect from a veteran to an up and comer if the superstar has put forth what is considered to be a decent effort to look to a "Mark" that they tried their best. (Triple H vs Batista/Cena [Wrestlemania 21 & 22], Christian vs E. Jackson [ECW Finale])

Neutral Effort:
The Standard Match, neither helps nor hurts in most situations.

Well it's all I could think about, I know I'm missing some. Either way feel free to tell me I'm an idiot below.

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Tags: finishes, wwe
Thoughts and Opinions


  1. KSTornado's Avatar
    Pretty good. Only thing I would change would be your example of a "Valiant Effort". I would use the Stone Cold vs Bret Hart match as an example where Austin passed out in his own blood. That match ended up giving Austin a serious push as well as garnished him much respect from the fans. Still one of my favorite all time matches.
  2. miraistreak's Avatar
    >>Stone Cold vs Bret Hart
    I was trying to stick with modern examples, but yes that was a perfect example.

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