Pro Wrestling's Top 10 Submission Holds
The moment my grandfather introduced me to professional wrestling is one that I will never forget.
May, 27 1989 Saturday Night's Main Event—Hulk Hogan vs. The Big Bossman for the WWF Title in a Steel Cage Match—I was instantly hooked.
Growing up in the Hulk-a-mania era, pro wrestling was all about the glitz, glamor, and sheer size. As I grew a bit older I realized that technical ability in the ring was much more fun to watch than any Hulk Hogan match could ever be.
I began to develop an affinity for submission holds.
The idea of not just hitting your opponent so hard that they couldn't kick out from a three-count, but putting their body in a position of such pain that they would have to utter those dreaded words... "I Quit".
These are the 10 Submission Holds that have made my stomach turn, please feel free to comment, or share holds that I may have omitted.
And don't worry, the Khali Vice is not on the list... Enjoy!
Number 10 - The Boston Crab
Famously Used By: Chris Jericho, Rick Martel, Pedro Morales
AKA: The Walls of Jericho
A classic, simple submission hold, the Boston Crab is very effective. While many wrestlers have this hold in their arsenal only a few have the ability to slap it on from many positions and finish off an opponent.
Number 9 - Million Dollar Dream / Cobra Clutch
Famously Used By: Ted DiBiase, Sgt. Slaughter
This version of a sleeper hold is so much better than the traditional sleeper. With taking away one arm of the victim, you take away a number of counters. Slaughter and DiBiase both gained great success with this move as their bread and butter.
Number 8 - Crossface Chickenwing
Famously Used By: Bob Backlund
Is anyone creepier than Bob Backlund? His short stint in the 90's, terrorizing Bret Hart and even briefly reclaiming the WWF Championship was definitely strange.
However, it introduced a very painful submission hold to a new generation of fans, and it became one of my favorites to sneak up behind a friend with.
Number 7 - Cloverleaf
Famously Used By: Dean Malenko, Dory Funk, Jr.
AKA: Texas Cloverleaf
I first saw this move as performed by the "Man of 1000 Holds" Dean Malenko. Malenko was such an outstanding mat technician, and this finishing maneuver was something to behold.
Number 6 - Stepover Toehold Facelock (STF)
Famously Used By: John Cena, Masahiro Chono, Irwin R. Schyster
AKA : STFU
You can say all you want about John Cena's technical wrestling abilities, or lack thereof, but he is getting much better at executing his STF from various points in a match.
John Cena aside, this move is awesome, the victim is broken down and completely incapacitated. The only chance for escape is a rope break or submission.
Number 5 - Anklelock Submission
Famously Used By: Ken Shamrock, Kurt Angle
Whether it was Angle's Standing version, or Shamrock's Reverse Ankle Lock, I shudder whenever I see this move applied. If you have ever rolled your ankle you know how painful and unpleasant it can be... now imagine a professional wrestler rolling it for you. I always wait to hear the SNAP!
Number 4 - Crossface
Famously Used By: Chris Benoit
AKA: Crippler Crossface
Chris Benoit was the epitome of a technical, mat-savvy wrestler. It was so fitting that his finishing hold was a painful submission hold. "The Canadian Crippler" was no joke in the ring, and that's all I will say about that.
Number 3 - Gogoplata
Famously Used By: The Undertaker
AKA: Devil's Gate
This modified Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu hold is new to professional wrestling, but it is definitely fun to watch. The Undertaker has put out numerous opponents with the formerly "unknown submission".
Number 2 - Figure Four Leglock
Famously Used By - Ric Flair, Tito Santana, Greg Valentine, Jeff Jarrett
Kurt Angle's face in this photo says it all - the figure four HURTS.
I'm sure many of us as wrestling fans have tried this classic hold out on a friend or younger brother. Ric Flair will forever be remembered for his perfect execution of this hold.
Number 1 - Sharpshooter / Scorpion Death Lock
Famously Used By: Bret Hart, Sting, Owen Hart
Invented By: Riki Choshyu
They say that imitation is the greatest form of flattery. Bret Hart and Sting both learned their signature move from watching Japanese professional wrestling.
Since Sting and the Harts mastered the hold and made it famous in the United States, a few other famous superstars have added it to their repertoire such as The Rock, Shawn Michaels, Natalya Neidhart, and Shane McMahon.