I’ve been sitting at college talking with my friend Jack about wrestling and I was trying to convince him to let me put him in the Black Widow, a modified octopus stretch-style submission move made famous by the current crazy-ass Divas Champion, AJ Lee. This led me to thinking… “what are some of the great submission moves in wrasslin’ history?”
Alas, here I am listing them. Nothing more SolSat than a top list! NOTE: For all the wrestling purists that may read this, if I am not listing the “original” user of the submission, don’t shoot me. I am just naming the first person or people that comes to my head.
10. Inverted Muta lock by Melina, Emma, AJ Styles, etc.
The first time I saw this baby was when Melina debuted it in a match against Maria as a new finisher in 2007. I’m always wowed with Melina’s offense but this one took the cake. In what is, basically, a flashier-looking STF, when one executes this submission perfectly, the opponent’s legs cannot move, making it even more effective. I would know, I put this one on my friends all the time.
9. Anaconda Vice by CM Punk
I’m one of “those” CM Punk fans who think that anything he does is gold, but even with my bias aside, the Anaconda Vice is one sick submission hold. Originally a Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Judo compression choke, Punk has used this baby as his primary finisher in the beginnings of his WWE career before using it sparingly after the introduction of the GTS.
8. Black Widow by AJ Lee
I don’t know makes this submission more exciting (and deadly) to watch: the way AJ transitions into it with a headscissor whirlybird, the crazy-white-girl face she makes when she’s sinched it in, or the fact that she’s screaming “TAAAPP OOOOUUTT” when it’s in. Either way, I am not a big AJ fan but I am definitely a big Black Widow fan.
7. The Von Erich Claw by the Von Erich Family
The Iron claw was perhaps made most famous by the Fritz Von Erich and his children (and grandchildren). What looks like just a simple head-squeeze, if done by someone with hands as large as the late Kerry Von Erich, this hold could possibly harm you to a very grievous extent. My favourite version of the claw? Lacey’s, of course.
6. Texas Cloverleaf by Dean Malenko
Dean Malenko is probably my favourite wrestling technician, and the Texas Cloverleaf is one of the reasons why. Originally just called the “cloverleaf” hold, innovated by Dory Funk Jr., it was Mr. Malenko who popularised the submission move before passing it down to the likes of Sheamus and ODB. It’s also noteworthy to mention that Malenko is a favourite because he was featured a bit in one of my most favourite WWE feuds ever – Terri Runnels vs. the Kat.
5. Pin Up Strong by Natalya and Beth Phoenix
I can’t even begin to explain what this submission technically is. It’s like a modified surfboard type submission but with the legs locked kind of thing… either way, this nifty little move which I am assuming was invented by Natalya was used by the Divas of Doom for a short period of time. It hasn’t been since since the era of DOD and I am assuming it’s because it “looked too deadly for a Diva to do.”
4. LeBell Lock (Yes!/No! Lock) by Daniel Bryan
Popularised by a famous wrestler whose name I am legitimately terrified to say or write, it is now the trademark finisher submission move for Daniel Bryan, or Bryan Danielson, as it were. Let’s face it, though, anything Daniel Bryan does looks amazing. so it’s no surprise that the Yes/No/Maybe Lock looks as deadly as it does.
3. Figure Four Leg Lock by Ric Flair and the Miz
Made famous by the legendary Ric Flair, I will always remember how painful this leg lock is when my brother put it on me when I was about 7 and I screamed at him to get off because it was legitimately killing. In an effort to gain sympathy for the natural-heel-turning-face Miz, Ric Flair passed down his signature submission to the brash Cleveland native and thus, the legend of the Figure Four Leg Lock remains!
2. Lion Tamer (Walls of Jericho) by Chris Jericho
A simple yet effective submission move, the Lion Tamer is probably coloquially described as a “more intense version of the Boston crab.” Chris Jericho has a way of contorting his opponent’s bodies in such gruesome ways that even I, a flexible ex-dancer, cringe. When he puts his knee on the back of his opponent’s head when locking in the Walls of Jericho, tap out. It’s game over.
1. Sharpshooter by everyone who has ever trained in the Hart Dungeon, The Rock, etc.
As synonymous as the Von Erich Claw is to the Von Erichs, the Sharpshooter is synonymous with the other most popular wrestling family, the Harts. It acts as an heirloom of sorts as it has been passed down the generations and is currently used by Natalya Neidhart and her husband, Tyson Kidd. This is my favourite submission mainly because of the reaction it gets when locked in – as soon as those legs are crossed, the crowd goes wild.Aaaaaand Bobsuruncle. My back hurts just looking at those pictures. I need to go lie down. If you ever find yourself in a sticky situation, just lock in one of these bad boys and you’ll be sweet. Take care!
– by Noah La’ulu