Professional wrestling holds include a number of set moves and pins used by competitors to immobilize their opponents or lead to a submission. This article covers the various pins, stretches and transition holds used in the ring. Moves are listed under general categories whenever possible.
An element borrowed from professional wrestling's catch wrestling
(or submission holds
) are techniques in which a wrestler holds another in a position that puts stress on the opponent's body. Stretches are usually 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.
Many of these holds, when applied vigorously, stretch the opponent's muscles or twist his or her joints uncomfortably, hence the name. 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 locks
A Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Judo compression choke popularized by Hiroyoshi Tenzan
and CM Punk
, the anaconda vice (also spelled 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.
The wrestler sits on the back of his opponent, who is face down on the mat, and places the arm or, more commonly, both arms of the opponent on his thighs. The wrestler then reaches around the opponent's 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 the back of an opponent, 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 lying on the mat face down. 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
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 opponents 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 opponents 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.
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, sometimes by the same effect as a sleeper hold. One variant may see the wrestler instead lock their hands on the opponent's neck. Another variation may see the wrestler mount an opponent on their back and apply the hold for either a pinfall or a submission.
Just like the original clawhold, the attacker applies a painful nerve hold to hisher adversary's stomach, forcing them to submit or pass out. If held for a certain peroid of time the opponent may cough up blood. This hold was used by Freddie Blassie
during his career as a wrestler. Killer Kowalski
has also used this move during his professional 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.
In the aftermath of the Benoit family homicide, other WWE wrestlers have begun using the crossface as a regular move, such as Shawn Michaels and Triple H.
Chickenwing over the shoulder crossface
A variation of a crossface
in which a wrestler goes to a fallen opponent and places one arm over the wrestler's nearest shoulder before applying the crossface where the attacking wrestler locks his/her hands around the opponent's chin (or lower face), then pulls back to stretching the opponent's neck and shoulder. This move is currently used by TNA wrestler Alex Shelley
, calling it the Border City Stretch.
This move can also be used instead of a facelock or sleeper in a regular or cross-legged STF.
This move is not to be confused with the Crossface chickenwing.
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 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.
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.
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 persons 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 professional wrestling and technical wrestling influenced by European professional 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.
A wrestler stands behind their opponent and places one of the opponent's arms in a half nelson
and then places the opponent's other arm in either a hammerlock
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.
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
The wrestler wraps his legs around the opponent's head, facing towards the 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.
Kensuke Sasaki crosses his legs before applying the head scissors with his shins on an opponent who is lying down on the mat face down. Sasaki then turns to his side, forcing the opponent's body of the mat, causing extra pressure, as the opponent has to support his bodyweight on his squeezed neck. He calls this variation Strangle Hold Alpha.
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.
Yuji Nagata uses a variation as one of his Nagata Lock submissions, where he combines this move with a crossface.
Known as Ashigatame in Japan
. The wrestler sits 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.
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.
Sitting 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 professional 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 the exact same manner, instead of grabbing your toes and pulling towards yourself and than causes the wrestlers to (kayfabe) bleed from their mouths. This submission hold has been most recently used by The Undertaker
, who called it the Deadman's Judgment
The wrestler applies a front sleeper and proceeds to take the opponent downward and applies a body scissors
with the legs.This move is a favorite of many mixed martial arts
In addition to the normal version, Jun Akiyama uses a modified version where he traps the opponent's legs instead of applying a body scissors. Akiyama calls this variation the King Crab Lock , effectuated by in the end of the struggles also Finisher of Ricky Landell.
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 professional wrestling by Taz
as his finisher the Tazmission
The 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 and later Mike Baugh though the latter refers to it as the Moonlight Clutch.
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.
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 wrestler may use his or her free hand to grab the wrist of the choking hand to further apply pressure. The Undertaker and Kane usually do so before a choke slam or piledriver.
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.
A dragon sleeper with body scissors is sometimes referred to as a Beast Choker as named by Dan "The Beast" Severn.
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
. This move was commonly used as a regular submission move and finisher by The Undertaker
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, 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
, or suplexa
very strong hold.
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, flexs the opponent's back and stretches their abdomen.
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. Awesome Kong
uses a variation in which she places her opponent over her shoulders in a reverse torture rack position. Then she pulls forward opponent's head with one arm and legs with the other arm, flexing the back. This variation is known as the Accordion Rack
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.
The 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.
Popularized by Antonio Inoki in New Japan Pro Wrestling, the Japanese name for the move is the manji-gatame (inverted swastika hold).
The surfboard hold first sees a wrestler stand behind a fallen opponent, who is lying stomach first to the floor. The wrestler places one foot down just above each of the opponent's knees and bends his or her legs up, hooking them around his or her own knees; at this point the wrestler grasps both of his opponent's wrists (usually slapping the opponent's back 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.
Another version of a surfboard which is most often applied by a standing wrestler against a prone opponent -- but may also be applied by a seated wrestler or against a seated or kneeling opponent -- sees the wrestler grasp both of his opponent's wrists, while placing his or her foot or knee on the opponent's upper back, pulling back on the arms to compress the opponent's shoulder blades.
The surfboard is also called La Tapatía or Romero Special, named after the inventor Rito Romero.
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 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.
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, Carlitos Colón, 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.
An inverted variation exists more recently used by Shawn Michaels where the wrestler takes one of the opponent's legs, turns 90 degrees, then grabs the other opponent's leg and crosses it with the other, puts one foot in between and the other on the other leg, and then bridges over.
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.
Inverted figure four-ankle lock
This submission hold involves a combination of the Figure-Four Leglock and the Ankle lock. However, instead of locking the opponents legs in a "4" shape, the attacking wrestler crosses one of the opponent's legs over to the other and applies pressure on the opponent's crossed leg with one of his own and at the same time uses a key ankle lock submission grapevine on the other leg.
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.
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.
Modified figure four leglock
This version, used by Shawn Michaels
and innovated by Jamie Noble
, who dubbed it the Trailer Hitch, is a variant which sees the opponent face up with the wrestler grabbing the opponent's legs, puts his own leg through it and twists them as if doing a sharpshooter
, but instead puts his other leg on the foot of the opponent nearest to him, drops down to the mat and applies pressure.
Reverse 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 falls to the mat, applying pressure to the opponent's crossed legs with his own.
Even though the move is called a reverse figure four leglock the wrestler is only turned 90 degrees, making the term side figure four leglock more appropriate. However reverse figure four leglock is the most common name. 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.
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 professional wrestling, and a 5 count is used which leads to a disqualification.
Standing figure four leglock
The 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 wrestler lifts up a leg of a face-up opponent and walks one of their legs around the other leg before dropping to a kneeling position, thus locking the opponents leg behind the wrestlers knee. The wrestler then reaches over and grabs the opponents far leg and places it on top of the trapped foot of the opponent. The wrestler then performs a forward roll while maintaining the hold. This forces the opponent onto their chest while the wrestler ends in a sitting position facing the same direction as their opponent. From here the wrestler can reach forwards and perform many upper body submissions as well.
A standing version can also be applied which sees a standing wrestler place one of his legs between the legs of a face-down opponent and then bends one leg behind the leg of the wrestler, placing it on top of the knee pit of the opponents other leg. The wrestler then picks up the straight leg of the opponent, bends it backwards to lock the other leg in the knee pit and places the foot in front of the shin of the standing leg in the knee pit, thus locking the leg.
Super Dragon innovated a move known as the Curb Stomp in which he applies a standing reverse 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 reverse 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.
Inverted Indian deathlock
With the opponent on his back, the wrestler standing beside him, sits with his leg over and between the opponent's legs (often using a legdrop to the knee). Then places the opponents far leg in the knee-pit of the near leg, finishing the submission by putting the opponents ankle on top of his own ankle and rolling both onto their bellys and pushing back with the wrestlers 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 when Hart was part of the Hart Foundation as a tag team wrestler and wasn't using the Sharpshooter during this time.
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
Some holds are meant neither to pin an opponent, nor weaken them or force them to submit, but are intended to set up the opponent for another attack.
This is when a wrestler holds both the opponent's arms under his own, from here the opponent is left prone and unable to counter or move away from the wrestler. Al Snow
was known to deliver a series of headbutts
from this position, while other wrestlers use this to secure a suplex
Technically known as a double underhook. The wrestler and the opponent begin facing one another, with the opponent bent over. The wrestler approaches the opponent and reaches under the opponent's shoulders, then threads their arms up and around the opponent's torso, with their hands meeting in the middle of the opponent's back or neck (essentially an inverted full nelson hold
). The hold in itself is not a submission move, and is more commonly a set up for various throws, drops or slams
, but it can be applied from various positions that cause it to become one. Mick Foley
would commonly use the butterfly to execute a DDT.
When the opponent is seated on the mat while the wrestler applies the butterfly hold it is known as a butterfly lock. Matt Hardy uses a variation called the Scar where he applies the double underhook and then wraps his legs around the torso of the opponent, in a body scissors.
The wrestler stands in front of and facing a bent over opponent and places them in a gutwrench waistlock. The wrestler then flips the opponent up and over so the opponent is lying face up on the back of the wrestler. The wrestler then moves his hands to the upper arm or wrists of the opponent, holding them in position, and spreading the arms of the opponent (as though they were being crucified
). This is mainly often a set-up for a Crucifix Powerbomb
The wrestler stands in front of and with their back to a standing opponent. The wrestler then leans backwards and seizes the opponent around the waist, pulling them forward and upwards so they are lying across the shoulder of the opponent, facing downwards. The wrestler then takes hold of the upper arms or wrists of the opponent and spreads them, holding the opponent in place.
A transitional hold in which an attacking wrestler hoists an opponent up onto their shoulders so that they are both facing in the same direction
It is often used to set up various drops and slams in singles competition. However it is more often used in double team maneuver, in which another wrestler uses flying attacks to knock opponents off the shoulders of the wrestler. (See Doomsday Device.)
Like many transition holds, the defensive wrestler often uses the position to perform a variety of counter moves, most notably the Victory roll.
The wrestler bends over with the opponent standing to the side of the wrestler. The wrestler then pulls the opponent's arm over his/her farthest shoulder and distributes the wrestler's body over his/her shoulders while having the other hand between and holding onto one of the opponent's legs and stands up. The opponent is draped face-down across the wrestler's shoulders, with the wrestler's arms wrapped around from behind. It is a key component of several throws, drops and slams.
There is also a variation,in which the opponent is held diagonally across the wrestlers back with their legs across one shoulder and head under the opposite shoulder (usually held in place with a facelock). There is a third variation in which a wrestler lift his opponent across his shoulders and then proceeds to slam his opponent to the mat.
A transition lift many throws, drops and slams
can be performed. It became a popular technique for larger and stronger wrestlers as the lift is seen to emphasize their height and power.
A set up for many throws and slams, this sees the attacking wrestler put a bent at the waist opponent to one side of him, reach the near hand around and lock his hands around the waist. A common move out of this transition can be a powerbomb.
Lady of the Lake
This is a move used to trick an unsuspecting opponent. The wrestler sits down, crosses his or her legs, tucks their head into their chest and wraps one arm around their ankle (so they are effectively rolled into a ball). The wrestler then extends their remaining arm between their legs and then waits. The opponent, ostensibly confused, normally takes the offered hand, at which point the wrestler rolls forward and into an arm lock
. This move can be easily countered into an entanglement submission hold.
The Lady of the Lake is an old British wrestling technique where it was most useful in the context of classic rules that limited attacking a downed opponent. The move is often called the Johnny Saint Special in reference to British wrestler Johnny Saint who popularized the hold which was invented by his mentor, George Kidd.
The wrestler sits on top of the opponent's torso, facing their head, with his legs on either side. When the opponent is facing down the position is referred to as back mount
. Various strikes to the opponent's head are often performed from this position.
The wrestler stands behind his opponent and bends him forward. One of the opponent's arms is pulled back between his legs and held, while the other arm is hooked, then the wrestler lifts the opponent up over his shoulder. From here many throws, drops and slams
can be performed.
Facing his opponent, the wrestler reaches between his opponent's legs with one arm and reaches around their back from the same side with his other arm. The wrestler lifts his opponent up so they are horizontal across the wrestlers body. From here many throws, drops and slams
can be performed.
The wrestler stands facing the opponent. The wrestler bends the opponent down so they are bent facing in front on the wrestler's body. The wrestler reaches around the opponent's body with their arms and lifts them up, spinning the opponent in front of the wrestler's body, often to deliver a slam or most commonly a Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker
Usually performed on a charging opponent, this can also be a transition hold for counter attacks that sees the wrestler (who is being tilt-a-whirled) hit many throws and drops like a DDT or headscissors takedown. This variation was made popular by "Flyin'" Brian Pillman.
This move is achieved when a wrestler wraps a forward facing opponent's legs around his waist (either by standing behind an opponent who is lying face-first on the mat or by catching a charging opponent), then the wrestler would apply a gutwrench
hold and lift the opponent up off the ground into the air, then either continue lifting and fall backwards to wheelbarrow suplex
, or forcing the opponent back down to the mat to hit a wheelbarrow facebuster
This can also can be a transition hold for counter attacks that sees the wrestler (who is being wheelbarrowed) hit many throws and drops like a DDT or a bulldog and rolling pin combinations.
This is an evasion which sees the wrestler doing a "Matrix" (bending over backwards into a standing bridge, such as when Neo
does a similar move near the end of the first Matrix
movie) to avoid a clothesline or any other attack. This move was popularized by Elix Skipper
during his run in WCW
and later Trish Stratus
during her run in WWE
which it was called the "MaTrish"
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.
Collar-and-elbow tie up
This is a stand-up grappling position
where both wrestlers have a collar tie
, and hold the opponent's other arm at the elbow. The collar-and-elbow is generally a neutral position
, but by pushing the hand on the elbow up and towards the inside of the opponent's arms, a controlling wrestler can turn an opponent into a belly-to-back position. Alternatively, if a controlling wrestler pushes forward while releasing the collar tie they can wrap their extended arm around the head of their opponent back round to their own other arm to sinch in a side headlock
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 takes hold of a supine opponent's legs and pivots rapidly, elevating the opponent and swinging the opponent in a circle. The wrestler may release the hold in mid-air or simply slow until the back of the opponent returns to the ground.
Skin the cat
Popularized by Ricky Steamboat
, this defensive maneuver is used when a wrestler is thrown over the top rope. While being thrown over the wrestler grabs the top rope with both hands and holds on so that they end up dangling from the top rope but not landing on the apron or on the floor. The wrestler then proceeds to lift their legs over their head and rotate their body back towards the ring to go back over the top rope and into the ring, landing in the ring on their feet. WWE wrestler Shawn Michaels
has been known to use this maneuver on a number of occasions, most notably using it to win the 1995 Royal Rumble
, also as a reversal when he is Irish whipped to a turnbuckle, most commonly followed by a clothsline.
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(TNA iMPACT) 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.
Tree of Woe
This involves a wrestler suspending an opponent upside down on a turnbuckle, with the opponent's back being up against it. To do this the opponent's legs are then hooked under the top ropes, leaving the opponent facing the attacking wrestler, upside down.
Often an attacking wrestler will choke, kick, or stomp the opponent until the referee uses up his five count. The technique is also used to trap an opponent while the attacking wrestler runs at them and delivers some form of offensive maneuver, such as a running knee attack or a baseball slide.