Wrestling holds include a number of moves used by competitors to immobilize their opponents or lead to a submission. Also known as stretches (or submission holds), these techniques are employed to weaken an opponent or to force him or her to submit, either vocally or by tapping out: slapping the mat, floor, or opponent with a free hand three times. Moves are listed under general categories whenever possible. Chokes, although not in general stress positions like the other stretches, are usually grouped with stretches as they serve the same tactical purposes.
In public performance, for safety's sake, stretches are usually not performed to the point where the opponent must submit or risk injury. Likewise, chokes are usually not applied to the point where they cut off the oxygen supply to the opponent's brain. A notable exception is Japanese shoot-style wrestling, in which wrestlers are expected to apply legit submissions to end matches. While some stretches rely entirely on the acting ability of the opponent to sell them as painful or debilitating, many are legitimately effective when fully applied. They should not be attempted without proper training and supervision, as there is significant risk of serious injury.
Head, face, chin and shoulder
The wrestler sits on his opponent's back and places both of their arms on his thighs, then reaches around their head and applies a chinlock. The wrestler then leans back and pulls the opponent's head and torso. A camel clutch can also refer simply to a rear chinlock while seated on an opponent's back, without placing the arms on the thighs.
It was invented by Salvador "Gory" Guerrero, who gave the move to his tag team partner, El Santo, who then popularized its use. It was first known as the La de a Caballo ('on horseback'). Arabic wrestler The Sheik used it as a finisher, giving it the name Camel Clutch. In the 1980s Iranian wrestler The Iron Sheik popularized it as well.
Scott Steiner began using a standing variation of the camel clutch—applying more pressure to the neck, instead of the torso as with the normal camel clutch—as a finisher during his time with the nWo it was dubbed the Steiner Recliner.
Camel clutch sleeper hold
In this variation of the camel clutch, a wrestler sits on the back of an opponent while they are laying face down on the mat. Instead of putting the opponent in a rear chinlock, they put him/her in a sleeper hold.
Chickenwing camel clutch
A wrestler stands behind an opponent and applies a double chickenwing. The wrestler then forces the opponent face-down to the mat, sits on his back, and pulls backwards, stretching the opponent's neck and upper body backwards.
Inverted Facelock camel clutch
Also known as a Dragon Clutch, an inverted facelock camel clutch sees the wrestler stand behind their opponent and apply an Inverted facelock. They then force the opponent to the mat face down, sit on their back, and pull backwards, stretching the opponent's neck and upper body backwards.
Leg hook camel clutch
Essentially a regular Camel Clutch, but before the wrestler locks in the chinlock, he pulls the opponent's leg backwards (as in the single leg Boston crab), and tucks it under the wrestler's underarm, then continues to perform the typical camel clutch, applying more pressure to the lower back with the leg's new position. The move was popularized by Dru Onyx, he named the move The Gangbang
Leg-trap camel clutch
The attacking wrestler stands over a face down opponent, facing the same direction. The wrestler first hooks each of the opponent's legs underneath his own armpits as if performing a reverse Boston crab, the wrestler then reaches down and underneath the opponent's chin with both hands applying a chinlock, finally leaning back to pull up the opponent's head and neck.
Another version of the move is similar to a wheelbarrow facebuster but instead illegally pulls the hair of the opponent while leaning back to pull up the opponent's head and neck.
Also known as a rear chinlock this hold sees an attacking wrestler lift his opponent, who is lying on the mat face up, to a sitting position. The wrestler then places his knee in the opponents back and grasps the opponent's chin then either pulls straight back on the chin or wrenches it to the side. However, this hold is dangerous, it could strain, or even snap the tendons in the opponent's neck.
A variation of the hold, called the reverse chinlock, sees the attacker kneel behind a sitting opponent and wrap around one arm under the opponent's chin and lock their hands. Similar to a sleeper hold, this can also be done from a standing position.
Another variation of this hold, referred to as a bridging reverse chinlock, sees the attacking wrestler kneel before the opponent and grasp their neck into a reverse chinlock, before flipping forward to plant their feet and bridge their back adding additional pressure to the opponent's neck and upper back.
Chinlocks are commonly used as a rest hold, when two wrestlers wish to save energy or don't know what to do next.
Popularly known as the Iron Claw and sometimes known as a head vice or skull clutch, the clawhold was a finishing hold of Teutonic heels, Fritz Von Erich and his sons David, Kevin, Kerry, Mike, and Chris as well as Baron Von Raschke. The claw was a squeezing of the skull, by curling one's finger tips in using primarily the last two knuckles of the finger, thereby applying five different points of pressure. The focal point is to use gripping power to almost attempt to shove ones fingers into the opponent's head as oppose to just squeezing with the flat of ones fingers. Usually the ref would declare the opponent incapacitated and call the match. A ruthless user of the hold, such as Blackjack Mulligan, could draw blood either by breaking the nose or inducing a hemorrhage.
The Undertaker, while wrestling as "Mean" Mark Callous in the late 1980s, used a variation in which he would claw the opponents jaw rather than head. He dubbed this variation as the Callous Clutch. Both The Great Khali and Brian Adams have also used a double-claw variation. The wrestler performing the hold would approach their opponents from behind and grip their heads with both hands. While in the vise, the wrestler could control their opponent by the temples and bring them down to a seated position where more pressure could be exerted. An illegal variation of the clawhold known as alternatively the Testicular claw, or the Crotch Claw, exists. This variation, as the name implies, sees a wrestler grab the crotch of their opponent and squeeze. Another variation is known as the Stomach claw, which in form is just like the clawhold, only applied to one's stomach.
The armpit claw was a squeezing of the muscle in the front of the armpit with the four fingers dug into the armpit and the thumb pressing into the front of the shoulder. The opponent's arm would bend at the wrist and elbow, and his fingers would curl into a claw. The hold caused great pain, causing the opponent to submit or to lose all control of his arm and hand, at which point the referee would call for the bell.
Similar to a clawhold, the attacking wrestler applies a nerve lock onto the opponent's shoulder(s) using his/her hands and fingers for a submission attempt. It is also called a Trapezius Claw due to the muscle group targeted. One variant may see the wrestler instead lock their hands on the opponent's neck. It is the finishing hold of African wrestling Shaun Koen of the African Wrestling Alliance
Just like the original clawhold, the attacker applies a painful nerve hold to his\her adversary's stomach, forcing them to submit or pass out. If held for a certain period of time the opponent may cough up blood. This hold was used by Freddie Blassie during his career as a wrestler. Killer Kowalski also used this move during his wrestling career.
Popularized by Sgt. Slaughter and also known as a cross-arm lock or cross-arm choke. Later coined as the "Million Dollar Dream" by Ted DiBiase. The wrestler stands behind the opponent and uses one arm to place the opponent in a half nelson. The wrestler then uses their free arm to pull the opponents arm (the same side arm as the one the wrestler is applying the half nelson) and pulls it across the face of the opponent and locks their hand to the wrist behind the neck to make the opponent submit.
Bridging cobra clutch
With the opponent lying face down, the wrestler sits beside the opponent, facing the same way, locks on the cobra clutch, and then arches his legs and back, bending the opponent's torso and neck upwards. Wrestler Delirious is known for using this move, he calls it the Cobra Stretch.
From behind the opponent the wrestler locks his hands together and pulls back on the face of the opponent, pulling the neck of the opponent backwards. The move requires some leverage to be applied, and as such it cannot be applied on a freely standing opponent.
The most common variant sees a wrestler lock one arm of a fallen opponent, who is belly down on the mat with the wrestler on top and to the side, and placing it between their legs before locking their hands around the opponent's chin or face and pulling back to stretch the opponent's neck and shoulder. This variation was innovated by Dean Malenko, and made popular by Chris Benoit as the Crippler Crossface.
A variation where the wrestler just lies on his side on the back of the opponent while applying the crossface was popularised by TAKA Michinoku, who called it the Just Facelock.
Mitsuharu Misawa innovated a seated variation where he hooks an arm of a seated opponent with one of his legs and places his other leg against the back of the opponent to trap him before applying the crossface.
Chris Hero uses an inverted cravate variation as part of his Hangman's Clutch submissions where after locking the opponent's arm he twists his body so the hand positioning is reversed with the right hand on the left side of the opponents face and the left hand on the right side.
Another variation of this move, known as a spinning headscissors crossface, sees the attacking wrestler perform a spinning headscissors before wrapping around the opponent's body and bringing the opponent's arm between the wrestler's legs, forcing them to the ground and applying the crossface hold.
The wrestler bends one of his fingers into a hook, and uses it to stretch the opponent's mouth or nose. An illegal hold under usual rules.
Austin Aries uses a half surfboard variation, called Fish Hook of Doom, where the opponent is lying face down. He grabs one of the opponent's wrists with one hand and fish hooks the opponent's mouth with the other. He then places his knees against the opponent's stretched arm, and pulls back with his arms.
The wrestler faces his opponent, and both are in same position (prone or standing). The wrestler then places his forearm under opponent's chin and armpit on top of it. The wrestler may also underhook his opponent's arm with his free arm.
The wrestler places the opponent in a front chancery and rolls backwards, pulling the opponent over him and onto their back, with the wrestler ending up lying on the opponent. The wrestler then squeezes the opponent's torso with his legs, similar to a body scissors and arches his spinal cavity backwards, pulling the opponent's medulla oblongata forward, and thus applying pressure on the neck and facial region.
The wrestler faces his opponent, who is bent forward. The wrestler tucks the opponent's head in his armpit and wraps his arm around the head so that the forearm is pressed against the face. The wrestler then grabs the arm with his free hand to lock in the hold and compress the opponent's face.
From a front facelock in a sprawl position, the attacker grabs the opponent's wrist with his free arm and steps over his foe, folding his opponent over. Alternatively, you can reach down and grab a seating opponent in a front facelock and sit (sprawl) down fron there.
From behind his opponent, the wrestler slips both arms underneath the opponent's armpits and locks his hands behind his neck, pushing the opponent's head forward against his chest. It can be combined into either a suplex (throwing the opponent backwards) or a slam (lifting the opponent while in the nelson and then releasing).
A full nelson can also be done as a combination of a half nelson maneuver with one of the wrestler's hands and arms holding one of the opponent's arms and the other arm being held by the wrestler's legs (an arm scissors) to complete the nelson.
Another slightly different variation best described as a swinging full nelson is used by Chris Masters dubbed the Master Lock in which he crosses one hand over the other and grip each of his fingers locking them in place to which he then swings his opponent sideways back and forth, creating pressure, thus making much more difficult to simply "breakout" (by brute force alone). Masters garnered attention to his "Master Lock" hold when he was able to bring then-champion John Cena to unconsciousness after a match. Only Bobby Lashley has been able to officially break the Master Lock. (There was an instance at WWE Tribute to the Troops 2006 where a soldier unofficially broke the Master Lock with interference from John Bradshaw Layfield.)
Independent circuit wrestler Ken Patera uses a spinning version of the full nelson which sees him lift his opponents into the air after applying the hold and spins them around in circles to cause dizziness making the move difficult to escape.
An old catch wrestling move, made somewhat famous by Stu Hart, where you put someone in a full nelson while sitting on their lower back or apply the full nelson, muscle them down to their knees and then walk forward until you are sitting on their back.
The wrestler stands behind their opponent and wraps one arm under the opponent's armpit (on the same side) and places the hand behind the opponent's head. The wrestler then pulls back with that side of his body while pushing forward with the hand, bending the opponent's shoulder back and pressing the chin against the chest.
The wrestler stands behind his opponent and bends him backwards. The wrestler tucks the opponent's head face-up under his armpit, and wraps his arm around the head so that his forearm is pressed against the back of the opponent's neck. The wrestler then pulls the opponent's head backwards and up, wrenching the opponent's neck.
Bite of the Dragon
Named by Low Ki, this sees a wrestler stand behind an opponent with the ring ropes between them before grabbing an inverted facelock on the opponent and wrapping his legs around the opponent's body for a body scissors. As the move uses the ring ropes it's illegal under most match rules, and the attacking wrestler has to release the hold before the referee reaches a five count or be disqualified.
Melina uses another variation of this maneuver, rather than holding the opponent in an inverted facelock, she applies a rear chinlock, wrenching her opponent's neck against the top rope.
The wrestler applies an Inverted facelock to a seated opponent and places his far leg between the opponent's legs and pushes his near leg's knee against the opponent's back. The wrestler then pulls the opponent's head backwards with their arms and the opponent's far leg outwards with their leg. This move is also known as Eastern Stretch. It was named after Japanese women's wrestler Plum Mariko.
- The wrestler darts their middle and ring fingers into the soft tissue under the opponent's tongue with their thumb under the chin, squeezing the mandible between them. The move is said to attack a nerve cluster, which both causes intense pain and causes the opponent to reflexively gag until they pass out.
The move was invented by Dr. Sam Sheppard, a doctor who was convicted of his wife's murder, and became a wrestler following his subsequent acquittal and release from prison. The move was later popularized by Mick Foley, using it as his finisher for his Mankind persona. He originally wore a tongue-depressor-like rubber protective covering over the two middle fingers. Later, he would often place a sock puppet known as Mr. Socko over his hand before applying the move; this variant is known as the Socko Claw. The move can also be performed barehanded.
A basic wrestling technique, the attacker grabs his standing opponent in a double underhook, their head tucked underneath an armpit. The attacker then reaches across his opponent's hips with his same leg (if the opponent's head is tucked underneath the right armpit, he will use his right leg) so as to trap their opponent's same leg and prevent their escape. The wrestler then wrenches up and backwards with the applied double underhook.
Also referred to as a head scissors, this hold sees a wrestler approach a fallen opponent and sit next to them before turning onto their side towards the opponent and placing their legs on either side of the opponent's head, crossing the top leg after its gone around the opponent's chin. The wrestler then tightens the grip to choke an opponent by compressing their throat.
Often, however, an opponent will simply place their hands under the knee of the attacking wrestler and push it up over their chin so they can escape. Another way to escape the hold will see the opponent raise themselves to their feet while still in the hold, forcing the attacking wrestler to a seated position. This in turn uncrosses their legs, allowing the opponent to simply lift their head out.
Masato Yoshino popluarized another variation of this maneuver in Japan, where he climbs to the top turnbuckle, and does the neck scissors from the top turnbuckle to a standing opponent. This is an illegal maneuver, so must be broken before a five count. WWE Diva Melina is also known for using this move.
The wrestler stands in front of the opponent while both people are facing the same direction, with some space in between the two. Then, the wrestler moves slightly to the left while still positioned in front of the opponent. The wrestler then uses the right hand to reach back and grab the opponent from behind the head, thus pulling the opponent's head above the wrestler's shoulder. The move is also referred to as the European Headlock, due to its prominence in European wrestling.
The two-handed version sees the wrestler use both hands, and can be referred to as the three-quarter chancery, side head chancery or, most often, the Cravate. This hold is a staple of European style wrestling and technical wrestling influenced by European wrestling. An inverted version of the cravate is used by Chris Hero as part of his Hangman's Clutch submissions in which the hand positioning is the same as a normal cravate but the facelock is connected around the face of the opponent, not from behind the opponent's head, thus pulling the opponents head backwards rather than forwards putting significant pressure on the neck by stretching it backwards and in other directions toward which the neck would not normally bend.
In this hold a wrestler who is facing away from an opponent would wrap his/her arm around the neck of an opponent. This is also called a reverse chancery.
Though this is an often used rest hold, it is also sometimes the beginning of a standard bulldog move.
Short for Stepover Toehold Facelock. Invented by Lou Thesz, and popularised by his Japanese disciple, Masahiro Chono. This hold is performed on an opponent who is lying face down on the mat. A wrestler grabs one of the opponent's legs, and places the opponent's ankle between his/her thighs. The wrestler then lays on top of the opponent's back and locks his arms around the opponent's head. The wrestler then pulls back stretching the opponent's back, neck, and knee.
A slight variation is performed by Chris Hero named the Hangman's Clutch where after locking the ankle he twists his body so that he can place his left hand around the right side of the opponents head and vice versa and then lock the hands to form the facelock, making it resemble the hand position of a cravate. He then pulls down with his arms to stretch the opponent's back, neck, and knee.
The wrestler takes the opponent's legs, bends them at the knees, and crosses them, placing one ankle in the other leg's knee-pit. The wrestler then grabs the free ankle and places its ankle between his thighs. He then lays on top of the opponent's back and locks his arms around the opponent's face. The wrestler then pulls back stretching the opponent's back, neck, and knees.
In the variation known as the Regal Stretch, as named by William Regal, in addition to crossing the opponent's legs, the wrestler reaches under one of the opponent's arms to lock his hands around the opponent's head. This causes the opponent's upper body to twist, causing extra pressure.
Also known as an Inverted STF or Sickle hold this hold is named after The Great Muta, who innovated it. The wrestler first takes the opponent's legs, bends them at the knees, and crosses them, placing one ankle in the other leg's knee-pit before then turning around so that they are facing away from the opponent and places one of his feet into the triangle created by the opponent's crossed legs. The wrestler then places the opponent's free ankle under his knee-pit and bridges backwards to reach over their head and locks his/her arms around the opponent's head.
Short for Stepover Toehold Sleeper and innovated by Masahiro Chono, this hold is a modified STF in which the wrestler wraps his arm around the neck of the opponent in a sleeper hold instead of pulling back on the head of the opponent. It is also used by John Cena, who calls it the STFU and is modified with crossed hands and more elevation than the STF.
A variation exists in which, after applying the STS, the wrestler turns to his side, pulling the opponent on top of him, face up. This was also innovated and popularized by Masahiro Chono, who calls it the FTS.
Strangle Hold Alpha
Essentially a reverse crucifix armbar with neck submission. The opponent is on his stomach with the attacker to his side, grabbing the near arm and pulling the opponent on his side before stepping over his head with the same leg (if the attacker grabbed the right arm, he'll step over with the right leg). Using that leg as leverage, he'll push the opponent's head downwards and drop to his side so that the opponent must support his own body weight on his squeezed neck. The attacker then uses his free leg to complete the reverse crucifix armbar, trying to hyperextend the elbow.
Strangle Hold Beta
Essentially a scissored armbar with neck submission. The opponent is on his stomach while the attacker reaches under one of the opponent's arms, locking his hands together. The attacker then drops to the side opposite that of the arm that they grabbed (if he grabbed the right arm, he will fall on his left side). The opponent will thus be on their back, with one of the attacker's legs under the victim's upper back and hooking their free arm. The attacker throws their other leg over the opponent's trapped arm and then behind the opponent's neck, pushing it forward. The attacker can now roll towards his back, creating more pressure on the neck while hyperextending the opponent's arm across his own chest.
Strangle Hold Gamma
Essentially a step-over armbar with neck submission. The opponent is on his back, wrestler standing to his side and reaching down to grab the opponent's far arm, pulling up. Wrapping his same leg (if he grabbed the left arm, he will use his left leg) around the back of the opponent's neck (against the back of his knee) and bracing his foot against the front of the other shoulder, he steps over his opponent with his other leg, squatting down.
The opponent is seated on the mat with the wrestler standing behind him, straddling the neck with his legs. The wrestler then reaches down and grabs his opponent's leg, pulling up and stretching the opponent's hamstring while compressing their neck.
Figure four stump puller
Same as the stump puller, but the wrestler first bends the opponent's leg over the other knee before pulling up on the straight leg while pushing down the bent leg.
The opponent is face down, the wrestler standing near their head and bracing the opponent's spine along his shin. The wrestler then reaches down and grabs both wrists, pulling up, hyperextending both shoulders.
Step-over Reverse Wing Tearer
The opponent is seated with the attacker standing before him. The attacker steps over his opponent, reaching down and grabing both his opponent's wrists before pulling up, straddling his opponent's neck.
Also known as an arm wrench. The wrestler takes the opponents arm and twists it, putting pressure on the shoulder and elbow.
The wrestler holds an opponent's arm with his arms, pulling the arm across his chest. He is situated perpendicular to and behind the opponent. The wrestler then holds the other arm with his legs, stretching the shoulders back in a crucifying position and hyperextending the elbow.
This technique is also called a cross armbreaker, or jujigatame, a term borrowed from Judo.
A grounded armbar with the opponent lying on his belly, the aggressor lies on the opponent's back, at a 90° angle to him, putting some or all of his weight on the opponent to prevent him from moving. The opponent's arm is then hooked and pulled back into his body, stretching the forearms, biceps and pectoral muscles. Variations of this can include clasping the opponent's hand instead of hooking the upper arm, for extra leverage and bridging out, while performing the move to increase leverage and immobilize the opponent. The move is named after Yoshiaki Fujiwara. Similar to or the same as Ude-Hishigi-Waki-Gatame in judo. This can also be used as a transition maneuver into a Crippler Crossface, etc.
The wrestler wraps his legs around the opponent's head, facing the same way as his opponent. He then grabs one of the opponent's arms and wrenches in backwards, causing pressure on the shoulder and elbow of the opponent. This can often be performed on a standing wrestler.
The wrestler approaches a prone, face down opponent from the side. The wrestler then "scissors" (clasps) the near arm of the opponent with their legs and takes hold of the far arm of the opponent with both hands, forcing the opponent onto their side and placing stress on both shoulder joints, as well as making it harder for the opponent to breathe. This move was popularized by Perry Saturn as the Rings of Saturn.
Known as Ashigatame in Japan and a pumphandle armbar in America. The wrestler sits facing away on either side of an opponent who is lying prone on the mat, with the wrestler's legs scissoring one of the opponent's arms. The wrestler then grabs hold of the wrist of that arm, pulling it upwards, causing hyperextension of the shoulder and elbow.
Satoshi Kojima uses a slight variation where both of his legs are on the same side of the opponent's arm. He calls it the Koji MAX hold.
Short arm scissors
The opponent is on their back with the attacker sitting besides him and grabing the nearest arm. The attacker bends his opponent's arm and reaches through with one of his own. The attacker places one of their legs across the wrist of his opponent, grabbing his own ankle to lock the hold. The attacker pulls up with their arm while forcing the victim's wrist down with their leg, and applying pressure to the victim's arm/elbow.
Tiger feint crucifix armbar
The opponent begins supine, lying with their back on the bottom or second rope and facing into the ring. The wrestler runs towards the opponent and jumps through the second and top rope while holding on to the ropes, then swings around and grapevines the opponent's arms, applying a crucifix armbar.
From behind a seated opponent, the wrestler grabs one of the opponent's elbows and pulls it up and backward toward himself. He then bends the wrist and forces the open palm of the opponent's hand into his chest, putting pressure on the wrist. Named by Barry Darsow.
The wrestler stands behind the opponent and hooks one of his arms so that both wrestlers' elbow joints are snug together and their arms are wrapped around one another. The wrestler then pulls the arm upward against the back of his opponent.
Chickenwing arm lock
In Mixed martial arts this move is known as the Kimura, after Masahiko Kimura. The wrestler lays on top of the opponent's torso, in a 90° angle. He or she then grabs hold of the opponent's wrist with his or her far hand and pushes it behind the opponent's back. He or she then puts his other arm over the opponent's shoulder, reaches under the opponent's arm and grabs hold of his or her other wrist. He or she then uses both arms to pull the opponent's arm behind him or her into an unnatural position, causing pressure. The pressure can cause the other wrestler to guff loud and hard.
This hold is very similar to the Chickenwing arm lock, the difference being that the opponent's arm is bent the other way. The wrestler lays on top of the opponent's torso, in a 90° angle. He then grabs hold of the opponent's wrist with his near hand, so that the opponent's hand is palm up and folded fully, and holds it down. He then reaches under the opponent's arm with his other arm and grabs hold of his other arm's wrist. He then forces the opponent's elbow upwards, bending the arm to an unnatural position.
A chickenwing variation where the wrestler applies the chickenwing to one of the opponent's arms. The wrestler then uses his free arm to either push the arm, and particularly its radius bone, against the face of the opponent to cause pain, or wrap the arm around the neck of the opponent in a sleeper hold. The wrestler may also grasp his hands together in either variation. This hold is closely associated with Bob Backlund who popularized the move in America.
Elevated double chickenwing
This maneuver sees the attacking wrestler hook both of the opponent's arms and then pushes upward on the opponent's back (lower Scapula), lifting them in the air in a torturous manner followed by the opponent being slammed to the mat. Notable users include Jazz, who dubbed it the Bitch Clamp, and Beth Phoenix who follows it with the Glam Slam.
Seated double chickenwing
The wrestler locks both of the opponent's arms into chickenwings, forces him to a seated position, and pushes his chest forward against the opponent's shoulders while pulling the opponent's arms upwards. Also known as the WAR special, from the WAR promotion of Japan where it is a commonly used hold.
Bridging grounded double chickenwing
When an opponent is lying face down on the mat the wrestler locks a double chickenwing on their arms and then performs a forward roll into a bridging position further stressing the hold. This hold is popularly associated with Bryan Danielson, who uses it as a finisher named the Cattle Mutilation, and The Great Muta
The wrestler grabs his/her opponent's arm, pulling it around behind the opponent's back. This stretches the pectorals and shoulder joint, and immobilizes the arm. This is a legitimate controlling/debilitating hold, and is commonly used by police officers in the United States to subdue uncooperative persons for arrest.
A type of suspended hammerlock found in lucha libre as a finishing hold. The attacker puts his opponent in a hammerlock and steps face to face with him, tucking their head underneath his free arm and lifting his foe sitting up on his thighs.
The wrestler grasps the opponent's hand and twists backwards, placing pressure on the wrist. While this can inflict pain on its own, it is most often used as a transition hold, leading into either a hammer lock, an elbow to the held arm, or kicks to the opponent's abdominal area.
Another form of wrist lock sometimes known as a figure four wristlock involves the wrestler (after applying the initial wrist lock with the left hand) threading their right arm through the gap the two arms provide, forming a '4', and providing leverage on the wristlock.
A Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Judo compression choke popularized by Hiroyoshi Tenzan and CM Punk, the anaconda vise is done from a position in which the wrestler and the opponent are seated on the mat facing each other. The wrestler sits on one side of the opponent and using his near arm encircles the opponent in a headlock position and grabs the opponent's near wrist, bending the arm upwards. Then, the wrestler maneuvers his or her other arm through the "hole" created by the opponent's bent wrist, locks his or her hand upon his or her own wrist, and then pulls the opponent forward, causing pressure on the opponent's arm and neck.
In a variation called the Anaconda Cross, the opponent's other arm is also trapped as it is wrapped over the opponent's chest and pinned under the wrestler's arms. This variation was innovated by Hiroyoshi Tenzan.
Arm triangle choke
The wrestler wraps his arms around the head and one arm of the opponent and squeezes, choking the opponent. It is considered legal in wrestling, although it is a chokehold.
Corner foot choke
The wrestler pushes their opponent into the turnbuckle and extends their leg, choking their opponent while using the top two ropes for support. This attack is illegal and results in a wrestler's disqualification, should the move not be broken by a count of five.
The wrestler grabs his opponent's throat with both hands and throttles him.
Figure four necklock
This neck lock sees a wrestler sit above a fallen opponent and wrap his/her legs around the opponent in the form of the figure 4, with one leg crossing under the opponent's chin and under the wrestler's other leg the wrestler squeezes and chokes the opponent.
In an illegal version of the hold, best described as a hanging figure four necklock, the wrestler stands on top of the turnbuckle, wraps his/her legs around the head of the opponent, who has their back turned against the turnbuckle, in the figure 4 and falls backwards, choking the opponent. In most matches the hold would have to be released before a five count. This version is most commonly used by Candice Michelle and sometimes by Ric Flair.
The gogoplata is executed from a guard. Specifically, it is usually executed from a "rubber guard," where the legs are held very high, against the opponent's upper back. The fighter then slips one foot in front of the opponent's head and under his chin, locks his hands behind the opponent's head, and chokes the opponent by pressing his shin or instep against the opponent's trachea. Wrestlers use a modified version, where they just push the shin into the throat in exactly the same manner, instead of grabbing your toes and pulling towards yourself and than causes the wrestlers to bleed from their mouths. This submission hold has been most recently used by The Undertaker, calling it Hell's Gate, which often left his opponents bleeding from their mouths from supposed "internal injuries". Soon officials proclaimed the submission hold illegal and stripped The Undertaker from his World Heavyweight title for his use of this hold. It was later understood that this particular hold is in fact a sleeper choke hold used in jujitsu, therefore was regulated as a legal-used submission hold.
- body scissors with the legs.This move is a favorite of many mixed martial arts fighters. Jun Akiyama uses a modified version which he calls the King Crab Lock. The wrestler applies a front sleeper and proceeds to take the opponent downward and applies a
Half nelson choke
The wrestler puts his opponent in a half nelson with one arm and grabs the opponent's neck with the other. This hold is the judo choke hold known as a katahajime with an added body scissors. This choke was popularized in wrestling by Taz as his finisher the Tazmission.
Koji ClutchThe opponent lays face down on the mat. The wrestler lies face up and slightly to the side of the opponent. The wrestler then hooks their far leg across the neck of the opponent. The wrestler then hooks his hands behind the opponent's head, having one arm pass over their own leg and the other under. The wrestler then pulls backwards with his arms and pushes forward with his leg, causing pressure. The name comes from the man who innovated the move, Koji Kanemoto. This move is commonly transitioned from the Reverse STO. This version was adapted from Christopher Daniels.
With the opponent hung over the second rope, facing the outside of the ring, the attacking wrestler hooks their left or right leg over the back of the opponent's neck. The attacking wrestler then pulls the second rope upwards, compressing the opponent's throat between the rope and attacking wrestler's leg, choking them. This move is illegal due to usage of the ring ropes, and results in a disqualification for the wrestler should they not release the hold before a count of five.
In this variation of the triangle choke, the wrestler sits behind a seated opponent. The wrestler places one of his/her legs under the throat of the opponent and pushes up. The wrestler then holds their ankle with their opposite arm and pulls their leg up. The wrestler then places their free leg on the instep of the leg which is already being used to choke the opponent. The wrestler finally takes their free arm, hooks the opponent's arm which is in the vice, and holds their opposite leg from the knee. The pressure is applied once the wrestler squeezes their knees together. The pentagram choke creates a complete vice around the opponent's neck, and it's name comes from using five sides, whereas the triangle choke only uses three.
Rear naked choke
A grounded version of a sleeper hold with an added body scissors that is derived from Martial arts and more recently MMA. This hold was popularized in wrestling by TNA wrestler Samoa Joe who calls it the Clutch or the Coquina Clutch.
Single arm choke
The wrestler grabs his opponent's throat with one hand and squeezes tightly. A "goozle" is a single arm choke held briefly before performing a chokeslam.
A sleeper hold is generally applied in the following manner:
- The wrestler applying the hold positions himself behind his opponent.
- The wrestler then wraps his/her right arm around the opponent's neck, pressing the biceps against one side of the neck and the inner bone of the forearm against the other side (it also works just as well reversed, with the left arm).
- The neck is squeezed inside the arm extremely tightly. Additional pressure can be applied by grabbing the left shoulder with the right hand, or grabbing the biceps of the left arm near the elbow, then using the left hand to push the opponent's head towards the crook of the right elbow.
- It is usually taught that at this point (or during the process) the opponent should be brought to the ground if not already there. This is said to help avoid the opponent countering the hold as well as allowing the wrestler to have a leverage to apply more pressure.
- The opponent will typically go limp after a time in the hold, at which point a referee would raise the opponent's hand and drop it to the ground three times. If the hands drops three times in a row the opponent is considered unconscious and the wrestler would gain a submission victory.
Also known as the Buffalo Sleeper. The wrestler is kneeling behind a seated opponent. He grabs hold of one of the opponent's arms, bends it backwards overhead, and locks its wrist into his armpit. The wrestler then wraps his free arm under the opponent's chin, like in a Sleeper hold, puts his other arm through the arch created by the opponent's trapped arm, and locks his hands. He then squeezes the opponent's neck, causing pressure. The move was innovated by Hiroyoshi Tenzan.
The wrestler stands behind the opponent who is either sitting or lying down, places the opponent in an inverted facelock, and hooks the opponent's near arm with his free arm. The wrestler then pulls backwards and up, wrenching the opponent's neck. If the opponent is sitting, the wrestler can place their knee under the opponent's back, adding more pressure. This move was made famous from Último Dragón.
The opponent is on his back with the attacker standing near their head, reaching down and crossing their arms before them. The attacker then steps over the arm that's crossing the other and bringing both of his feet on the same side of his opponent (opposite that of the arm that he stepped over), the wrestler performs a forward roll before scissoring his foe's neck with both feet.
Sol Naciente Kai
As the Sol Naciente, but instead of scissoring the neck, the free leg hooks the opponent's near leg behind the knee.
The opponent is sitting while the wrestler is behind the opponentholding the opponent's wrist. The wrestler will apply an armscissor with one leg and a headscissors. then the wrestler clasps his hand, one arm passes through the leg applying the headscissors and the other goes under. The wrestler pulls upwards while his leg goes downwards, appling pressure to the shoulders, head and back. Innovated by Mariko Yoshida.
Also known as the Japanese stranglehold (Goku-Raku Gatame), Criss-cross Stranglehold, or a Cross armed choke. The wrestler sits on the back of an opponent who is lying face down on the mat. The wrestler then grabs hold of the opponent's wrists and crosses their arms under their chin. The wrestler then pulls back on the arms, causing pressure.
Thumb choke hold
The attacking wrestler stands behind an opponent and reaches around the opponent's neck with one arm. The wrestler then extends a thumb and thrusts it into the windpipe of the opponent, cutting off their air supply. This hold was popularized and was dubbed the Oriental Spike by Terry "Bamm Bamm" Gordy of the Fabulous Freebirds in the 1980s. Prior to this, it was known (and to this day still popularly referred to) as the Asiatic Spike and was used by Don Muraco, wrestling as the masked "Magnificent M" in Florida Championship Wrestling.
Tonga death grip
The wrestler darts his/her hand under an opponent's chin and grabs a hold of a pressure point above the throat, squeezing the nerve. This cuts off the air supply and the opponent fades out, yet this is not considered an air choke as it is not squeezing the windpipe. This hold is unique in that it can be used as a sleeper like submission or, should the "unconscious" opponent end up lying on his back, a pinfall. The move was popularised by wrestler Tonga 'Uli'uli Fifita who went by the name of Haku in the WWF and later Meng in the WCW.
The wrestler grabs hold of one his opponent's arms, wraps his legs around the opponent's throat and arm in a figure four and squeezes. Different promotions have different rules regarding the legality of this maneuver. The justification for its legality is that, like a head scissors, it uses the legs instead of the hands to perform the "choke". The justification for its illegality is that regardless of how its performed, it is still a choke. Commonly used in Japanese wrestling promotions and MMA.
Also known as a Neck-Hanging Tree a wrestler grasps an opponent's neck with both hands then lifts them up and then slams them. This is a transition hold for moves such as the two-handed chokeslam and the chokebomb.
A wrestler stands in front of an opponent and locks his hands around the opponent, sometimes with one or both arms of opponent pinned to his sides as a result, squeezing him. Often he will shake his body from side to side, in order to generate more pain around the ribs and spine. Frequently used by powerhouse style wrestlers, this rather simple to apply hold was used by heels and faces alike. Originally innovated in pro wrestling by Georg Hackenschmidt, and popularized by Bruno Sammartino.
Side bear hug
A wrestler stands to one side of an opponent, facing them, and locks their arms around the opponent, linking their hands under the arm of the opponent on the opposing side. The wrestler then brings their arms closer together, compressing the torso of the opponent.
A wrestler approaches a sitting opponent from in front, behind, or either sides. The attacking wrestler then sits next to the opponent and wraps their legs around the opponent, crossing their ankles and then tightening their grip by squeezing together their thighs or straightening their legs to choke the wrestler by compressing their torso. This hold is often used in conjunction with a hold applied to the head or the arms in order to restrain the opponent and makes them want to tap out.
Similar to a bear hug from a behind, a gutwrench hold starts with the opponent doubled over and the attacking wrestler pushing the opponent's head to one side of his legs, he then locks his arms around the opponents waist and lifts the opponent up as though going for a powerbomb so the victims back is drapped over the attacking wrestlers shoulder. This hold is often transitioned into a submission, powerbomb, backbreaker, or suplex.
Back and torso stretches
Also known as a Cobra Twist, this hold begins with a wrestler facing his opponent's side. The wrestler first straddles one of the opponent's legs, then reaches over the opponent's near arm with the arm close to the opponent's back and locks it. Squatting and twisting to the side, the attacker flexes the opponent's back and stretches their abdomen.
From there, the attacker then has a few options on what they can do. They can lock their arms around the victim's neck and pull them upwards. They can use both their arms to push the victim's head and neck down so they are stretched across the attacker's knee. Or they can hook the victim's head or arm with one arm and grind their knuckle or elbow into the victim's floating ribs. The attacker can also use their free hand to grab the victim's side/stomach and apply pressure in an abdominal claw hold.
Often done by heel wrestlers who attempt to grab unto the ropes with their free hand for extra leverage.
Grounded Abdominal stretch
A wrestler can execute an Abdominal stretch before sitting down to increase the pressure (keeping one leg hooked around the opponent's same leg and one leg to brace himself against the mat). He can also start by approaching a seated opponent from behind and reach over the opponent's near arm with the arm closest to the opponent's back, locking it with his other hand before body scissoring his opponent with his legs.
Also known as the Swastika in lucha libre, it is a variation of the abdominal stretch where the free hand grabs the opponent's near ankle, pulling up.
- This typically starts with the opponent on his back, and the wrestler standing and facing him. The wrestler hooks each of the opponent's legs in one of his arms, and then turns the opponent face-down, stepping over him in the process. The final position has the wrestler in a semi-sitting position and facing away from his opponent, with the opponent's back and legs bent back toward his face. Chris Jericho's version is a High-angle Boston Crab more commonly known as the Walls of Jericho.
Bow and arrow hold
The wrestler kneels on his opponent's back with both knees, hooking the head with one arm and the legs with the other. He then rolls back so that his opponent is suspended on his knees above him, facing up. The wrestler pulls down with both arms while pushing up with the knees to bend the opponent's back. Cherry uses this variation quite often.
Racked bow and arrow hold
A variation used by Awesome Kong in which she places her opponent over her shoulders in a torture rack position, pulling forward on the opponent's head with one arm and pulling both legs with the other arm, flexing the back. This variation is known as the Accordion Rack, or La Atlandida in Lucha Libre
Reverse bow and arrow hold
The opponent is laying on his side, with the attacker facing their front. The attacker grabs one of the victim's feet and bends it back so the opponent's knee is bent back. The attacker hooks around the opponents's head with their other arm and squeezes his opponent backwards, attempting to reach both of his arms as close as possible.
This hold, also known as the Gory lock and innovated by Salvador "Gory" Guerrero, sees a wrestler lift their opponent over their shoulder so that the opponent's upper back is across the wrestler's shoulder. Thus, the wrestler and opponent are back to back, facing opposite directions. The opponent's legs are tucked around the wrestler's hips. The wrestler can now apply pressure by applying a chinlock and pressing down. One or both of the opponent's arms can also be hooked for extra pressure. Salvador Guerrero's grandson, Chavo Guerrero, Jr., uses a variation of this move called the Gory Bomb. There is also a variation of the move by starting back to back.
Octopus holdThe wrestler stands behind the opponent and hooks a leg over the opponent's opposite leg. The wrestler then forces the opponent to one side, traps one of the opponent's arms with their own arm, and drapes their free leg over the neck of the opponent, forcing it downward. This elevates the wrestler and places all the weight of the wrestler on the opponent. The wrestler has one arm free, which can be used for balance.
Also known as a surfboard stretch. The opponent is face down with the attacker above him, facing their head. The attacker grabs both arms and stands with his foot in the middle of the opponent's shoulder blades, the attacker then pulls back on his opponent's arms. Alternatively, the attacker can be standing behind his kneeling opponent, still pressing his foot down the middle of the shoulder blades and pulling both arms back (a standing surfboard stretch). There is also a seated variation where the opponent is seated and the attacker presses his knee against their back, shin straight along the spinal cord. In all cases, the same basic principle applies.
The opponent is face down with the attacker placing his feet just above each of the opponent's knees. The attacker then proceeds to bend his opponent's legs up, hooking them around his or her own knees. At this point the wrestler reaches down and grasps both of his opponent's wrists (usually slapping the opponent's kidneys in an attempt to bring the arms in reach), and falls backwards while compressing the opponent's shoulder-blades and lifting him or her off the ground. This can see the wrestler fall to a seated position or go onto his or her own back, lifting the opponent skyward, which will increase pressure on the opponent but put the wrestler in risk of pinning his or her own shoulders to the mat. This last surfboard (where the attacker is lying on his back) is also called La Tapatía or the Romero Special, named after the inventor Rito Romero.
There are also variations of this elevated surfboard where instead of grabbing the wrists, the attacker will perform a chinlock or an inverted facelock instead.
Known as la Campana in Mexico. The opponent is face down with the attacker standing over them. The attacker tucks the opponent's legs against their waist and grabs both the opponent's arms pulling them up and suspending the victim in the air. An easier way of doing this is from a victory roll, where instead of sitting down for the pin the attack will roll through to his feet, hoping past his opponent's waist (still holding onto their feet) and turning them over. This makes it easier to reach down, grab their arms and lift the opponent up into the suspended surfboard.
Sometimes done facing the turnbuckle, forcing the opponent's head to hit against the bottom turnbuckle with each swing.
The Rocking Chair
Known as La Mecedora in Mexico. The opponent is face down on the mat, with the attacker bending both of their legs up and tucking their ankles against his armpits. He then reaches down and grabs both of the opponent's arms before sitting down, "rocking" back and forth and stretching the back.
La Nieblina is a hold employed most famously by Mr. Niebla and Milano Collection A.T. (Paradise Lock). While it is employed by these men as a means to gain a victory via tapout, others utilize the hold simply to trap the opponent in a ball and keep them from maneuvering, allowing the man on the offensive to either recapture his breath or pour on a more sinister offensive maneuver. The move is executed as follows:
The attacker approaches a prone opponent, lying back-first on the mat. He folds the opponent's left arm into their crotch, their left leg over their left arm, their right arm over their left leg (with the wrist and the ankle in alignment), and the right leg over the right arm and left leg at the point where the ankle and wrist are placed together. From here, the attacker rolls the opponent face-first onto the mat, with their legs and arms tied together, sandwiched between the mat and their own body weight. From this point, the attacker may choose to apply pressure by sitting atop the opponent and cranking back on the right leg.
A wrestler will grab the opponent's foot and lift their leg off the ground. Then with one hand grab the opponent's toes or outside of foot, and with the other wrap around the ankle and through the "hole" created and grab his own wrist, essentially putting the opponent's ankle in a Key Lock. Then they will bend the opponent's ankle. This move was popularized originally by Ken Shamrock and later Kurt Angle.
A grapevined variation sees the wrestler applying the ankle lock hold and then falling to the mat and scissoring the leg of the opponent. This stops the opponent from rolling out of the move and makes it harder for him/her to crawl to the ropes but lessens the pressure that can be applied.
Double ankle lock
With the opponent on all fours, the wrestler kneels over their right leg and crosses his feet so as to immobilize the leg. The wrestler then slips under his opponent from the right side, grabbing the opponent's opposite leg. Rolling out, he applies an ankle lock on the left leg while stretching out his opponent. This is known in lucha libre as the Guadalajara Crab
Technically known as an Over the shoulder single leg Boston crab and commonly known as a Stretch Muffler. The wrestler stands over a face-down opponent lying on the ground. He lifts one leg of the opponent and drapes it over his neck. He then uses his arms to force the shin and thigh of the opponent down, thereby placing pressure on the opponent's knee. For a short time, Brock Lesnar used the Boston crab version of this maneuver and called it the Brock Lock.
Tony Mamaluke introduced a variation where he steps over the downed opponent and sits on their lower back as in a half Boston crab, calling it the Sicilian Crab. Último Guerrero uses a variation where he grabs his opponent's corresponding leg and wraps his feet around their neck called the Guerrero Special ll. Shuji Kondo uses his own variation where both his opponent's legs are crossed over the neck called Cat's Cradle.
Also popularly known as a Texas cloverleaf, the wrestler stands at the feet of his supine opponent, grabs the opponent's legs and lifts them up. The wrestler then bends one leg so that the shin is behind the knee of the straight leg and places the ankle of the straight leg in their armpit. With the same arm, they reach around the ankle and through the opening formed by the legs, and lock their hands together. The wrestler then steps over his opponent, turning the opponent over as in a sharpshooter and proceeds to squat and lean back. The hold compresses the legs, flexes the spine, and stretches the abdomen.
The move was pioneered by Dory Funk, Jr., but is most closely associated with Dean Malenko, who used it as his regular finisher. Christian Cage and Nick Dinsmore are other popular users of this hold. Another version of this hold, considered to be an Elevated cloverleaf / Elevated Texas cloverleaf, was used by Eddie Guerrero, which saw Guerrero turn the body of the opponent and place a knee over the opponent's neck, pulling back for more pressure. Guerrero dubbed this the Lasso From El Paso.
Cloverleaf with armlock
An armlock variation of the cloverleaf that is similar to a single leg Boston crab with armlock. This hold begins with a supine opponent lying face up on the mat. The attacking wrestler then seizes one of the arms and proceeds to walk over the opponent while continuing to hold the arm, forcing them to turn over onto their stomach. The wrestler then kneels down on the opponents back, locking the opponent's arm behind his knee in the process. The wrestler then reaches over and bends one leg so that the shin is behind the knee of the straight leg and places the ankle of the straight leg in their armpit. With the same arm, the wrestler reaches around the ankle and through the opening formed by the legs, and locks his hands together as in a Cloverleaf. The wrestler then pulls back so as to stretch the legs, back and neck of the opponent while keeping the arm trapped.
In this variation of a cloverleaf instead of turning around when turning the opponent over, the wrestler faces the same direction as the opponent to squat and lean forward to apply more pressure to the legs, spine, and abdomen. This hold is a finisher of Shuji Kondo, who named it the Gorilla Clutch. Kondo also uses a variation where he falls back and applies a body scissors the abdomen of his opponent. Cheerleader Melissa adds an attack to the hold by stretching the opponent's legs so far that she is able to kick the opponent's head with their own feet.
This variation of the cloverleaf sees the wrestler, after crossing one of the opponents legs over the other in a figure four shape, lock the over leg behind their near knee before placing the straight leg under their armpit and turning over. The wrestler proceeds to lean back pulling on the leg under the armpit. This keeps the over leg, now under, locked while putting pressure on the leg and stretching the legs and back. This hold was popularized by T.J. Perkins, who refers to it as the Figure Four Deathlock.
A variation of the cloverleaf. The wrestler hooks the legs like a cloverleaf but weaves his hands through to clasp his other hand. When the wrestler applies this modified cloverleaf he also hooks the sticking out ankle with his leg [which ever one it is] into his kneepit. Now the wrestler wrenches back like a normal cloverleaf. Innovated by Chris Hero.
With the opponent lying face down on the mat, the wrestler grabs hold of shin of one of the opponent's legs and wraps his legs around the leg. The wrestler then twists the leg, hyperextending the knee. Very similar to the grapevine ankle lock, with the only difference that the wrestler wraps his arms around the shin, and not his hands around the ankle of the opponent.
Commonly used as a counter to an attack from behind. The wrestler flips forward down on to his back, placing his legs around one of the legs of the opponent on the way down, and thus using his momentum to drop the opponent forward down to the mat. The move can be also applied by running towards the opponent and then performing the flip when next to him.
The wrestler forces the opponent to the ground and opens up the legs of the opponent, stepping in with both legs. The wrestler then wraps his legs around the head of the opponent and crosses the opponent's legs, applying pressure on them with his hands. The wrestler next turns 180 degrees and leans back, compressing the spine. This hold applies pressure on the temples, the calves, and compresses the spine. Also known as the D-lock for the capital D formed.
Figure four leglock
The wrestler stands over the opponent who is lying on the mat face up and grasps a leg of the opponent. The wrestler then does a spinning toe hold and grasps the other leg, crossing them into a "4" (hence the name) as he does so and falls to the mat, applying pressure to the opponent's crossed legs with his own.
This move was made popular as the finishing move of "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers, Jack Brisco, Carlos Colon, Greg Valentine and Ric Flair, who sometimes adds to it by twisting his opponents ankle as it is locked in, Ric Flair often uses his hands to elevate himself, causing more pressure on the legs. Also, if the referee is distracted, he will hold the ropes to apply more pain, and at least once when he was part of The Four Horsemen he held onto their hands and they pulled to help him gain leverage.
A wrestler may counter the figure four by rolling over on to their stomach, which applies the pressure on the original applier's legs. This counter to the figure four is often called a modified indian deathlock or sometimes referred to as a sharpshooter variant.
Angled figure four leglockWith the opponent on his back, the wrestler grabs both legs and bends the left leg so that the calf crosses over the right leg's knee, much like a standing figure four. The wrestler then wraps his right leg across their left foot, holding the bent knee in place with his hands before kneeling down.
Crooked figure four leglock
The wrestler using this move stands over the opponent with the opponent face up and grasps a leg of the opponent. The wrestler then turns 90 degrees and grasps the other leg, crossing them as he does so and stepping over the straight leg. He then falls to the mat, applying pressure to the opponent's crossed legs with his own. It is most closely associated with Japanese wrestler Yuji Nagata, who calls it the Nagata Lock. Nagata would salute to signal the maneuver to the crowd before dropping to the mat. There are also standing and spinning versions.
Elevated figure four leglock
Also known as the Nudo Lagunero. The opponent is on his back with the attacker grabbing both of his foe's legs, crossing one of them over the straight leg's knee. The attacker steps over the victim's bent ankle and rests the victim's straight leg on their thigh. The attacker grabs the victim's arm which is on the same side as their straight leg and pulls it across the victim's body and through the "4" in their legs (that is under the victim's bent leg). The attacker grabs the victim's other arm over and crosses it over their body, but over the leg lock. The attacker leans back and pulls the victim up off the mat while keeping their legs locked in the figure four and holding their arms.
Figure Four Leg Slicer
With the opponent on their back, the wrestler grabs both legs and bends the right leg so that the calf crosses over the left leg's knee, much like a standing figure four. However, you lock the bent leg in place with the back of your left leg, reaching over and linking hands through the hole formed by the figure four. Then you fall on your back, pulling up with your bent legs while pressing down with your leg. The effects of this move are similar to that of a calf slicer.
Inverted figure four leglock
An inverted variation exists used by Shawn Michaels, where the wrestler steps through his opponent's legs with his left foot before bending the opponent's right leg underneath the left, behind the knee. The wrestler then drops down, scissoring the outstretched (left) leg with his free leg before grabbing the right foot with both hands so as to apply pressure. Despite the name, this move takes more after the Indian deathlock than it does the figure four (it does not target the rotula by applying pressure using the opponent's other leg in a figure four manner).
Spinning inverted figure four leglockKnown as El Pozo in Mexico where it is the finisher of Charlie Manson and brought to America by Alex Shelley as the spinning/rolling inverted figure four. The opponent in on his back with the wrestling standing by his side, facing away. Grabbing the near leg, he wraps his own leg around so that their shin is tucked behind the wrestler's knee and their hip pressed against his/her shin. The wrestler then grabs the far leg and wraps it in front of the captured leg and through his/her legs so that the foot comes out in front. The wrestler then spins out, turning his opponent on their stomach and locking the spinning inverted figure four.
Kneeling figure four leglock
The opponent is down on their back with the wrestler standing over one of their legs. The wrestler applies a spinning toehold, crosses the opponent's legs and kneels on them. It is commonly known as the Prison Lock or Jailhouse Lock and is sometimes confused with the Indian Deathlock.
Reverse figure four leglock
Also known as the Cruceta Invertido in Mexico where it is more common than the regular figure four. The opponent is lying on his back with the aggressor stepping in between their legs, facing away from their opponent. The aggressor then grabs the far leg of their opponent and bends it in front of the near leg's knee (the one they are straddling over), locking it in place by stepping over it with their free leg. Then the aggressor rolls on his back, pulling down on the opponent's straight leg and turning them over.
Inverted three quarter figure four leglock
The opponent is lying face down on the ground. The wrestler kneels over the opponent's thighs with his left leg between the opponent's leg, then bends his opponent's left leg around his left thigh. After that he places the opponent's right leg over the opponent's left ankle and puts his own right leg under the opponent's left ankle. Finally, he puts both of his feet over the opponent's right foot and presses on it.
This hold was once used as the finisher of Japanese wrestler Oji Sakaharo, and was the first of two leg locks referred to as the Oji-kiru.
Ringpost figure four leglock
The opponent is either downed or standing next to one of the ring corner posts. The wrestler exits the ring to the outside and drags the opponent by the legs towards the ringpost, so that the post is between the opponent's legs (similar to when somebody 'crotches' their opponent with the ringpost). The executor then stands on the ring apron, on the outside of the turnbuckle/ropes and applies the figure four leglock with the ringpost between the opponent's legs. The performer of the hold then falls back while grabbing the opponent's legs/feet, hanging upside down from the ring apron. The ringpost assists the move, creating more damage and leverage to the opponent's knee. This move was invented and popularized by Bret Hart.
Because the performer is out of the ring while he/she has this hold locked in, this move doesn't last long as it usually results in a count-out. This move also uses the ring-post, which is illegal in wrestling, and a 5 count is used which leads to a disqualification.
Standing figure four leglockThe opponent is down on their back with the wrestler standing over one of their legs with one foot placed on either side of the leg. The wrestler plants his foot in the knee of the opponents other leg and then bends that leg at the knee over the top of the first leg forming the figure four. The wrestler then bridges back.
Haas of Pain
A submission invented and named by the Haas brothers Charlie and Russ Haas, this modified inverted reverse figure-four leglock variation sees the wrestler cross one leg of an opponent over the other and stand on the crossed leg, then take hold of the free leg and lay down on his back, raising the opponent's legs up into the air and causing pain to their legs and lower back
Also known as the British Figure Four Leglock. The opponent is on their back, the attacker is facing away from his opponent and has his foot between their legs (often using a legdrop to the knee to initiate the move). The attacker then crosses the opponent's legs as if they were sitting "indian style", far leg crossed over near leg. The attacker will then tuck the shin of the far leg behind his own leg before standing up and turning to face his opponent, locking the maneuver. From there, the attacker can either fall back to apply pressure or reach forwards and perform many upper body submissions instead.
This move can also be initiated from a spinning toe hold, where the attacker then grabs the straight leg and passes it over the bent leg and tucks the shin against his own.
Beware: Wikipedia has confused the Indian Deathlock for the inverted Indian Deathlock and vice-versa! If the opponent is on his back: Indian Deathlock. If on his stomach: Inverted Indian Deathlock.
Inverted Indian deathlock
The opponent is face down on the mat, the attacker crosses the opponent's ankle into the crook of the other knee. The attacker uses the back of their leg to apply pressure to the opponent's leg that is up, putting their leg in between the opponent's entangled legs. The attacker can now fall back to apply pressure on the move, often standing right back up to repeat the attack.
Super Dragon innovated a move known as the Curb Stomp in which he applies a standing inverted Indian deathlock with a surfboard and then lifts his free leg up, placing it on the back of the head of the opponent. He then releases the surfboard and stomps the leg down to drive the opponent's head face first into the mat. Dragon also innovated another variation of this move where he applies the standing inverted Indian deathlock, but rather than using the traditional surfboard he pulls his opponent's hair, face, or mask before stomping the opponent's head face first into the mat. In another variation the wrestler just grabs a hold of the opponent's wrists without putting him/her in a Standing reverse Indian deathlock before stomping his/her head.
Popularized by Jamie Noble, the opponent starts on his stomach with the attacker crossing one leg over the knee-pit of the other and holding that bent leg down by dropping to his side and placing their leg over it (passing that leg through the hole of the "4". The wrestler uses his foot to push the opponent's straight leg backwards and over the bent leg's ankle.
Also called a straight legbar, the basic kneebar is performed similarly to an armbar by holding the opponents leg in between the legs and arms so the opponent's kneecap points towards the body. The wrestler pushing the hips forward, the opponent's leg is straightened, and further leveraging hyperextends the knee.
- Probably invented by Riki Chōshū.
Made popular by Bret Hart and is arguably the most famous wrestling move in Canada. The opponent starts supine. The wrestler steps between his opponent's legs with one leg and wraps the opponent's legs around that leg. Holding the opponent's legs in place, the wrestler then steps over the opponent, flipping him over into a prone position. Finally, the wrestler leans back to compress the legs. Hart's niece Natalya has recently taken the Sharpshooter as a finisher in reference to her father Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart and uncle Bret Hart in the Hart Foundation.
Wrestler Sting uses his own variation of the move calling it the Scorpion Deathlock. While Bret Hart is credited to popularizing the maneuver, Sting has used the move as his submission finisher throughout his career, particularly during the late 1980s long before Bret Hart was using the sharpshooter. At this time, Hart was part of the Hart Foundation as a tag team wrestler and wasn't using the sharpshooter at all.
Spinning toe hold
The wrestler using this move stands over the opponent who is lying on the mat, face up and grasps a leg of the opponent. The wrestler then turns 360 degrees over the leg twisting it inward. A wrestler will repeatedly step over the leg and round again to twist the knee, and ankle joint even more. Popularized by the Funk brothers, Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk, who were taught the hold by their father, Dory Funk Sr..