A pinfall, a pin, or a fall (the first term most commonly used in wrestling) is a victory condition in various forms of wrestling that is met by holding an opponent's shoulders on the wrestling mat for a prescribed period of time.
In wrestling, a pinfall is a common method of winning a match and typically must be held for a count of three by the referee (though the staged and entertainment-based nature of the sport makes this a somewhat ephemeral requirement).
The purpose of a pinning maneuver is to hold the opponent's shoulders against the mat for a count of three. The count is broken (a near-fall) if the opponent manages to raise one or both of his shoulders off of the mat, commonly by kicking out (throwing their legs up to cause their shoulders to rise from the mat). In some positions, a wrestler may bridge (arching their back so that only their feet and the top of their head are touching the ground) to put more of their weight on the pinned opponent or to prop themselves up from being pinned.
Sometimes, an attacking wrestler may (illegally) hook the opponent's tights for extra leverage. Another popular illegal tactic of heel wrestlers is to attempt a pin close to the ring ropes so they can prop their legs up on the ropes to gain additional leverage, putting more weight on the opponent.
Types of pinfalls
The attacking wrestler stands back-to-back with their opponent and hooks both of the opponent's arms. They then lean forward and drop to their knees, sliding the opponent down their back so that their shoulders are against the mat and their chin is against their chest. The attacker holds the opponents arms down with their own arms for the pin.
The bridging pin typically takes place after a German suplex. The attacking wrestler maintains the waistlock hold and bridges his back so that only his feet and head are touching the mat. The opponent's lower body is raised leaving his shoulders touching the mat. If the attacking wrestler doesn't properly raise his own shoulders, then they may pin themselves as well.
Also known as a lateral press, cross press or simply as the basic pin. With an opponent lying face-up on the mat, the attacking wrestler lies face-down across the opponent's chest to hold them down. Sometimes, when both wrestlers are (kayfabe) exhausted or badly hurt the attacking wrestler will cover with just an arm or lie down face up rather than face down.
The term floatover (when in reference to a pin) refers to an attacking wrestler using the momentum of a throw or slam they are performing to propel themselves over the opponent into the lateral press position.
The attacking wrestler lies across the opponents chest and hooks a leg with the arm on the opposite side (left leg with right arm or right leg with left arm). Holding the leg gives the attacker greater leverage and makes it harder for the opponent to kick out. This was derived from the inside cradle and outside cradle in amateur wrestling.
An attacking wrestler hooks the arms of an opponent, by grapevining their legs around one arm and their arms around the other. This positions the attacking wrestler horizontally across the back of the opponent and forces the opponent's arms out like a crucifixion. The attacking wrestler then lowers their bodyweight so that the opponent is brought drown to the mat backwards and is forced on to his own shoulders in a pinning position with his legs in the air.
A variation on the standard crucifix, the Crucifix bomb, or Crucifix driver sees an attacking wrestler violently force their bodyweight downwards to throw the opponent into the mat with greater impact.
The Delfin Clutch, named and innovated by Super Delfin, has an attacking wrestler crossing the arms of the opponent across their own chest while they're lying on their back on the mat. The attacking wrestler then kneels down on one knee on the opponent's arms, pinning the opponent's shoulders down to the mat. The attacking wrestler then grabs the opponent's legs, crosses them, and places them under one of their armpits, bending the opponent to a pinning predicament.
The Gannosuke Clutch, named and innovated by Mr. Gannosuke, has an attacking wrestler facing the opponent, grabbing their arm, twisting it into a modified hammerlock and then performing a front somersault while holding the trapped arm in place as well as legsweeping the opponent's near leg, rolling the opponent backwards while the attacking wrestler keeps the hammerlock applied while also holding the opponent's near leg down with their own leg. This move is also known as an arm trap somersault cradle.
The Gedo Clutch, named and innovated by Gedo, has an attacking wrestler sit kneeling on the back of an opponent who is lying face down and facing the same way. The attacking wrestler then grabs the opponent's arms and lifts them over their thighs, similar to a camel clutch. The attacker then grabs hold of the opponent's head and pushes it down and forward between his legs, while leaning himself forward onto his stomach, flipping the opponent over onto their shoulders, with the attackers legs pinning the opponent down to the mat. This hold is technically known as a double leg nelson.
The hold has the opponent wrestler lying on their back. Standing at the feet of the opponent, the attacking wrestler then lifts the opponent's legs from behind the knees. Still gripping the opponent's legs, the attacking wrestler then flips forward, over the opponent, and plants their feet on the mat while bridging the back to add leverage.
A variation of the jackknife hold, known as the figure-four pin, has the attacker placing the opponent's legs in a figure-four position before executing the bridge.
Also referred to as la casita or as bandito, this move's technical name is arm wrench inside cradle pin and it is performed with the opponent on their hands and knees. From this position, the attacking wrestler stands next to the opponent's hip, grabs one arm and applies an armbar. The attacking wrestler then steps over the arm with his inside leg so that he is facing away from the opponent. The attacking wrestler continues his turning motion and dives forward over the opponent, rolling onto their side. The barred arm acts as a lever, flipping the opponent over the attacker and onto their back. The attacker hooks one or both legs as the opponent goes over and holds for the pin.
The attacking wrestler stands to the side of his opponent, who is on their hands and knees. The attacker hooks one arm around the opponent's neck and one between the legs, and rolls over the opponent. The attacker lands on his back or side, and the opponent is flipped so that their shoulders are pressed against the mat.
Named after Pat O'Connor. The attacking wrestler holds their opponent in a waistlock and rolls backwards along with them. The opponent then lays with their upper back in the mat and their legs in the air while the attacking wrestler sits down on the back of their knees while pinning them. The attacking wrestler will often push the opponent into the ropes or the turnbuckles before rolling backwards. A bridging variation of the move exists.
This move is often used to set up other moves. For example, Doug Williams' finisher, the Chaos Theory, sees him perform an O'Connor Roll and a german suplex in one fluid motion, and SANADA often uses the roll to set up the Skull End.
It's common for the wrestler suffering the O'Connor Roll to counter it with an O'Connor Roll of their own, either by using the momentum of the backwards roll, or by pulling their opponent backwards after they sat down.
Similar to a rana, except that the attacking wrestler is standing, bent over the opponent with both legs hooked pressing his weight down. This pin is typically the result of a powerbomb. Toshiaki Kawada, who learned the original move from Genichiro Tenryu, later innovated a variation where he slides forward and lifts his legs off the mat, putting his full body weight on top of the wrestler and thus pinning their shoulders more firmly against the mat.
In the Sunset flip version the opponent is lying shoulders down on the mat, almost completely flat on their back, with the attacking wrestler applying the pin sits below the legs of the opponent and uses their own legs to cover the opponent's shoulders or arms, and hooks both legs around the thighs to force their weight down to the mat.
The other variation which usually results from a hurricanrana sees the one performing the hurricanrana sit on the opponent's chest and hook the opponent's legs behind them whilst hooking their arms with their legs. This variation is the same hold just with the attacking wrestler on top.
This interchangeability often sees a spot where the wrestlers change their weight distribution to move from one pinning hold to the other for a succession of near falls.
The attacking wrestler rolls their opponent back so that the opponent's legs are above their head. The attacker wraps his/her arms around the legs and presses down to pin the shoulders.
The most common type of roll up is the school boy where the attacking wrestler drops down behind the opponent and puts one arm up between the opponent's legs to pull the opponent over the attacking wrestler so that they fall flat on their back. At this point, the attacking wrestler would stack the fallen opponent on their shoulders for the pin. Often when female wrestlers use this move, commentators will refer to it as a school girl.
The roll-up is often used to pick up sneaky wins due to it being performed from behind an opponent at any time. The roll-up is also a popular pinfall move for heel wrestlers, who often secure the hold by using the ropes, or pull on the opponent's tights, for leverage.
The attacking wrestler sits down with the legs of the opponent hooked over their shoulders so that the legs and lower body of the opponent are elevated while their shoulders and upper back are in contact with the mat. The arms of the opponent are sometimes pinned beneath the legs of the attacker. This hold results from numerous throws, including the sitout powerbomb, the spin-out powerbomb, and the sunset flip.
The Small package or Inside Cradle is a pinning maneuver where the attacking wrestler applies a front facelock on the opponent, falls backwards while turning, hooking the opponent's far leg with their legs and the opponent's other leg with their free arm, ending up on top of the opponent, pinning their shoulders against the mat.
In this pinning technique, the attacking wrestling stands with their feet on either side of an opponent who is lying face-up on the mat. Then the attacker kneels across the opponent's chest facing their head, with each knee beside the chest. Sometimes the attacker sits on the opponent's chest for greater pressure. There is also a reverse variation in which the attacker is facing the opponent's feet.
The Shoulder straddle pin is typical variation of the straddle pin. It sees the attacker kneeling on the opponent's shoulders facing the head, pinning them on the mat.
In another variation, the attacker sits on the neck or face of the opponent with or without the knee on the shoulder. Primarily called a facesit, it is used mostly by heels or in mixed wrestling to entertain the crowd, and is an effective method of dominating an opponent by controlling their sight and breathing during a pin.
This move commonly sees an attacking wrestler dive over an opponent who is facing him/her, usually bent over forwards, catching the opponent in a waistlock from behind and landing back-first behind the opponent. From that position the wrestler rolls forward into a sitting position, pulling the opponent over backwards and down to the mat so that he lands on his back into a sitout pin position. Suicide performs this move in a tilt-a-whirl fashion which is called the DOA.
While being held on the shoulders of an attacking wrestler in a position where this second wrestler is straddling the head of the attacking wrestler while facing in the other direction; as if they were riding off into the sunset.
Also known as the Mexican Rolling Clutch Pin. The attacking wrestler jumps onto their opponent's shoulders from behind and rolls forward. As the attacker flips over, they hook the opponent's shoulders with their legs, flipping the opponent over onto their shoulders. The attacker hooks both of the opponent's legs to hold them in place for the pin.
- The Professional Wrestlers' Workout & Instructional Guide - Harley Race, Ricky Steamboat, Les Thatcher, and Alex Marvez pg. 76