Making A Finisher: Victoria's Widow's Peak

A finishing move in the world of wrestling is crucial. Something that can make or break a pro wrestler, often the coolest looking moves don't click, while something as goofy as "The People's Elbow" becomes iconic. Each wrestler has a different method to their madness when landing on their signature, match ending match up. In this series, "Making A Finisher," Fightful.com will go in depth with wrestlers as they explain their moves, discuss how they were developed, who took it the best, the worst, why they stopped doing some of them, and the psychology behind them.

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For many wrestlers, what they finish a match with is integral in making a first impression. A wrestler can look great, perform great, and get a significant push. If their signature move falls flat, sometimes they do as well. Fortunately for Lisa Marie Varon, then known as Victoria, her character was enough to get her through the first few months in wwe.

She showed up in July 2002, and became Women's Champion by November. However, in her crowning moment, she won the title with a snap suplex. That wasn't going to cut it. It didn't have to for much longer, as the next night, she debuted her new finisher: The Widow's Peak.

"I cannot take credit for that, though, Sean," she told Fightful.

The move actually didn't come from Victoria herself. It was the ever-helpful Molly Holly who suggested that she use it. However, it wasn't Molly that came up with the move. In a surprise answer, it was actually an teenaged indie wrestler who innovated it, at least to the point Molly saw it.

"Molly Holly saw an independent wrestler, I’m not gonna say his name yet, do a move. She came back and said, “Victoria” –we don’t call each other by our real names, by the way— “There’s a move that I think you should use as your finisher.” Because I was a big girl and I was one of the girls that could pick up everybody. So, you won’t be able to do a finisher on everybody. She said, “Okay, put me here, flip me over, grab my neck, I’m gonna hook my legs, and drop to your butt.” I’m like, “What?” I dropped to my butt and everybody was out in the arena, like kinda going over spots. Not rehearsing, but placements in the ring when people have promos and stuff like that. So, we’re all text messaging or on our phones in the arena. Vince saw it, looks, and Molly goes, “Vince, do you like that for Lisa’s finisher?” He goes, “Are you okay?” She says, “Yeah.” He goes, “That’s great.” That was my finisher... and she saw Roderick Strong doing it."

Roderick Strong ended up doing well for himself, though. He became the "Messiah of the Backbreaker," and continues to impress on WWE programming to this day after runs in both TNA, New Japan and Ring of Honor. Victoria told us she's very gracious for both the innovator of the move in Strong, and Nora "Molly Holly" Greenwald for passing it along to her.

"I cannot take credit for that move. Roderick Strong, he is an awesome wrestler. He’s mesmerizing to watch in the ring. He has a gift. To get that finisher, and Molly being so freakin’ generous to give it to me when she could have easily taken it for herself, you know what I mean? She’s so giving, I’m telling you. She would help you out like, “Hey, I have this other idea.” I was not one to say, “I need to get more shit in.” She’d said, “You need to get more stuff in. You need to beat me up more, do more stuff to me.” At the time I was a rookie. The more you beat up someone, their comeback is going to mean more. I was very new to the psychology, even though I had great trainers. It’s a hard concept because people who have wrestled longer than you have; you don’t want to step on anybody’s toes. Thank you to Nora Greenwald and Roderick Strong for that finish. Honestly, it put me on the map with that finisher," she said.

Later on down the line, Roderick Strong would approach Victoria. Their time in WWE missed by almost eight years, but she was still able to express her gratitude.

He was young. I remember him at one of the hotels. He was in the lobby. A lot of people were waiting in the lobby to check in and stuff like that. He said, “Victoria?” I said, “Yeah, how are you doing?” He said, “I’m Roderick, I’m the one that came up with your finisher.” I was like, “Oh, my God, give me a hug! You put me on the map. Thank you so much. I can’t believe it.” I said, “Thank you.” He was a young kid. I don’t even know if he was fourteen years old, I’ll be honest with you. He was a baby.

For reference, Strong would have been a fresh-faced 19 year old at the time Victoria adopted the move.

The Widow's Peak instantly became one of the most devastating moves in all of wrestling. After her championship win, Victoria debuted the move on the following night's WWE Raw. It made an instant impression thanks to the first victim, and Molly herself.

"The first person to take it: Stacy Keibler," Victoria recalled. "Molly, of course, came out to show, “Here’s what you do, here’s where you put your legs.” It’s actually easier for the one taller to take it because their knees are closer to the floor, if you notice. So it’s not as jarring on your knees. She sold it awesome; she’s really good at selling. That’s why she’s got that babyface sympathy. She made it look amazing."

To this day, the move is synonymous with Victoria, and she seems to be okay with that.

"Every time I do that move, that’s all they want to see. I can go to an indie show and do all these spectacular moves, but once I hit that freakin’ Widow’s Peak, that’s all I need to do. Everybody’s waiting and waiting and waiting," she said.

The move itself starts off in a standing scissors, but upon first glance, you have no idea what's coming. Typically a powerbomb or piledriver follows from that spot, but Victoria flips her opponent back into a Gory Special. Following, she grabs her adversary by the throat, and drops to her own backside, leaving multiple points of impact and a stunning visual for the audience. Part of that visual, according to Victoria, is the hair -- something she almost didn't have if a WWE Hall of Famer had his way.

"Yeah, their neck is going {audible pain}, and then they’re landing on their knees and their back is arching, right? How I came up with the name, Sgt. Slaughter—I remember this is the first time I ever said no to the company—they wanted me to shave my head to be like Demi Moore in G.I. Jane and do an army thing. I am not Demi Moore, and I will not pull off this bald head and be sexy. I know I won’t and your hair helps you sell. When someone hits you, especially a girl and you {Victoria whips head around}. It makes the impact [look better], and protects your face if someone hits just a little bit, you still can make it look like a million bucks. Not to expose the business too much," Victoria said. "I’m said, “No, no, no. My finisher’s called Widow’s Peak after my widow’s peak point on my hair.” I came up with it like {finger snap} that. That’s how I came up with my finisher name. I called it Widow’s Peak after my hair line. I just didn’t want to shave my head. I went to Fit and I go, “I don’t want to do this, how do I say no? I don’t want to be a poor sport or be someone that’s not easy to work with.” A lot of things go in your head, “Am I going to get fired for saying no to Vince?” I still tell Sgt. Slaughter every time I see him at appearances, “I can’t believe you wanted to shave my head.”

With the impressive aesthetic nature of the Widow's Peak, and the varying degrees of experience in women's wrestling at the top levels for the decade Victoria was in the limelight, not everyone was comfortable getting wrecked.

"People were terrified to take it, but again we’re all terrified to say no. You never say, “No, I’m not going to do that.” Or say, “Hey, I’m not really good at that, can you show me it? I’ll take it, I don’t want to say no.” So, that was my finisher, no one could to say no. If you have somebody else in there, especially get one of the guys to do it, “Here, Lisa, do it to me. We have to show her.” To show how easy it is to take. It’s the selling, and grabbing my wrist to prevent you from sliding and hitting my shoulder. But, I don’t recall anybody saying, “I don’t want to take it.”"

Even though she had a devastating finishing move, Victoria didn't stop innovating. Briefly in 2004, she used a sitout inverted front powerslam. There was another called the Spider's Web. But some veteran advice led to her making one a signature move, and abandoning another.

"I got that from [William] Regal. I wanted to use that as one of the moves, but they said, “If you have her in the powerbomb—” this is why it was not used “—you have her in a powerbomb, why don’t you go for your finish? She can’t get up from your finish. Why are you gonna give her this big move, but it’s not your finish?” I executed that move so well. I was loving it. People were MySpacing and tweeting at that time, “'I want to see that move again,' and I wasn’t able to do it. I forgot about that move. Also, that spinning side walk slam, I called it the Spider-Web? I got that from Crash Holly. Every person that I gave it to said, “That’s the funnest move ever.” I said, 'Just make sure you half sell when I give it to you, because I kind of land on top of you, my body weight. So, just go {Victoria exhales hard}, so you don’t get the wind knocked out of you.' If I have them in the powerbomb and over my shoulder, why not go for my finish? That was the psychology about it? Why would you flip them back over when you already have them there for your finish? Might as well finish them off, they can’t get up. I had a lot of back and forth with Fit Finley about that. But, we could talk to Fit Finlay about personal stuff, he would always go and talk to the girls. He would have to explain to us, be very gentle about stuff. He was an amazing trainer. That guy, frickin’ a, man. He is god in the wrestling scene," said Victoria.

The Widow's Peak was Victoria's. She's been gone from WWE in over a decade, and still nobody has picked up the impressive move. It's forever associated with her. So which does she consider the best? One in which she was wearing less than ideal attire to pull off. It even led to the recipient getting a little hurt along the way.

"If you have a chance to show it on your clip later, it was Christy Hemme. When I lost the bathing suit contest, remember? That’s when I turned back heel. I was uncomfortable being babyface. I was not comfortable at all begging people to cheer for me. I’m better as the bad guy. She took it and she wanted to make it look so good that she put all her energy—and you can see from the side, her back arches. She’s very flexible, she has lordosis. So, her back sways more. She’s super flexible. She was like, “Ooh, I tweaked my back a little bit.” She wasn’t out for work. When I saw it, I went {audible shock}. I was like, “You didn’t have to arch that much.” She said, “I wanted to make it look good, it’s your finisher,” and stuff like that. It looked painful. She did tweak her back a little bit," Victoria remembered.

The move went so well, that it almost went too well. Victoria flipped Christy Hemme over so hard, that it almost accidentally ended in a Gory Bomb, a move that includes over rotation from that spot, and the opponent landing face down

"Don’t forget she weighed, what, a buck-oh-five or something? There are some girls that are so light I forget. Some people are heavy, so I’m used to {audible grunt} and lifting them up. Then I forget they were so light, they’d almost over pass me. I would have to take a couple of steps. She’s also super light, so she’s helping me," said Victoria.

Victoria is well aware of the impact and impression that the Widow's Peak made, and she's gracious that it got passed to her in 2002.

"I love my finisher. Thank you, Roderick Strong and Molly Holly," Victoria closed.

Past editions!

Gangrel's Impaler DDT

Adam "Hangman" Page's Dead Eye

Damien Priest's South Of Heaven Chokeslam

Stevie Ray's Slapjack, Harlem Heat's Harlem Hangover

"Switchblade" Jay White's Blade Runner

Christopher Daniels' Angel's Wings

Magnum TA's Belly-to-Belly Suplex

Mick Foley's Mandible Claw

Darren Young's Crossface Chickenwing

Abyss' Black Hole Slam

Raven's Evenflow DDT

Rob Van Dam's Van Terminator

Arn Anderson's Spinebuster

Kevin Owens' Stunner and Steenalizer

Victoria's Widow's Peak

Dakota Kai's Kairopractor

Bad Luck Fale's Bad Luck Fall

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