The Boston crab is a professional wrestling hold that typically starts with the opponent laying supine on the mat, with the wrestler standing and facing them. It is a type of spinal lock where 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. This often sees the attacking wrestler perform double leg takedown while remaining upright with the opponent's legs hook so they can be turned into the Boston crab.
The original name for the maneuver was the backbreaker, before that term became known for its current usage.
In modern wrestling, the Boston crab isn't treated as a lethal submission maneuver, even though it was considered a match-ending hold in the past, used by such wrestlers as Rick Martel in the AWA and WWF and Nobuhiko Takada in the original Japanese UWF.
Many different variations are used today, including the Elevated Boston Crab used by Chris Jericho, who calls it the Walls of Jericho. Jericho's original version while in WCW (known then as the Liontamer) involved placing his knee in the small of his opponent’s back, thus further wrenching the neck and delivering more pain. Jericho would later alter the move not long after arriving to WWF/E, however, and now the move is a higher version of the Boston Crab.
This move involves a wrestler hooking each of an opponent's legs in one of his/her arms, and draping the opponent over the top rope, at this point the wrestler would hook the arms of the opponent with his/her legs securing the hold.
As this move involves the use of the ropes, and allows the opponent to touch the ropes (which forces a wrestler to break a submission hold), this hold must usually be broken before the referee completes a five-count
The Tarantula variation of this move (mainly used by Yoshihiro Tajiri) involves the wrestler hooking an opponent's arms around the top rope and legs around the bottom rope, so the move is performed upside down.
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