10 Deadliest Wrestling Submission Holds Ever

Many are impractical and some are downright goofy, but every single one on this list was guaranteed, at some point or another, to get a pop from the crowd.

€œAll I saw was a flash of an arm and a hook of a neck, and then a human constrictor wrapped around its prey. A human constrictor wearing a mask of bright crimson, so thick and so wet that it stood in bright contrast to the whites of his eyes. Eyes that were calm. My father was hooked around Baskin in a sickening way. A way that held the man€™s body at angles that bodies won€™t go. But the sounds. The sounds I think were the most sickening of all. Low guttural wheezes from way back in his lungs. Animal noises from a prey that was done€. €“ Excerpt from Tietam Brown (2003) by Mick Foley. Despite the scientific, ground-based mat game indicative of €˜old school€™ pro wrestling going the way of the dinosaur over the last 20 years or so, amateur-style holds and reversals of holds are still a vital part of any serious pro wrestler€™s training. Most professional matches still begin with a lockup and a great many still end in submission, no matter how many closed-fist punches and triple somersaults are performed in between those two events. A submission victory is, in a very obvious sense, the dramatic re-enactment of a very primal thing. In legitimate, or €˜shoot€™ wrestling, grasping your opponent and inflicting unimaginable pain upon him is pretty much the aim of the game. It is the ultimate test, one man pitting his will, mettle and skill against another€™s. To the winner goes pride, whilst the loser limps home in disgrace... However, this article isn€™t really about €˜legitimate€™ wrestling holds. In a real fight, you€™re highly unlikely to be able to use pro wrestling staples such as the sharpshooter, figure four leg lock, Mexican surfboard or tarantula rope stretch. However, a correctly applied front facelock, chokehold or armbar stretch can effectively end almost any fight against anyone. Of course, pro wrestling is a show, an exhibition, a demonstration of athletic prowess and, above all, a story being told. Therefore, the holds are flashy, designed to look good on camera and to illicit an emotional response from you, the viewer. Over the years, countless performers have used these holds to win countless matches and, as a result, all of them have a great deal of value attached to them from a ring psych standpoint. Many are impractical and some are downright goofy, but every single one on this list was guaranteed, at some point or another, to get a pop from the crowd and was (or is) easily capable of ending any worked match situation. Here€™s 10 of the best...
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I am a professional author and lifelong comic books/pro wrestling fan. I also work as a journalist as well as writing comic books (I also draw), screenplays, stage plays, songs and prose fiction. I don't generally read or reply to comments here on What Culture (too many trolls!), but if you follow my Twitter (@heyquicksilver), I'll talk to you all day long! If you are interested in reading more of my stuff, you can find it on http://quicksilverstories.weebly.com/ (my personal site, which has other wrestling/comics/pop culture stuff on it). I also write for FLiCK http://www.flickonline.co.uk/flicktion, which is the best place to read my fiction work. Oh yeah - I'm about to become a Dad for the first time, so if my stuff seems more sentimental than usual - blame it on that! Finally, I sincerely appreciate every single read I get. So if you're reading this, thank you, you've made me feel like Shakespeare for a day! (see what I mean?) Latcho Drom, - CQ

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