The five best submission wrestling moves are devastating holds used to make the victim tap out and give up based on the pain inflicted. Many of these moves are real pressure holds that can cause serious damage if applied with full pressure. Some are also used in legitimate fighting sports such as MMA fights.
- Crossface – This submission wrestling move was made famous by Japanese wrestler Kaz Hayashi and American star Chris Benoit. The attacker positions their opponent on their stomach, lying on the mat. The attacker moves to the side of the victim and then positions their arm around the opponent’s face. The attacker then clamps his hands and then pulls back, applying intense pressure to the opponent’s neck.
- Ankle Lock – This submission wrestling move was made popular by former MMA star Ken Shamrock and former Olympic Gold Medalist Kurt Angle in the WWE. The move can be applied regardless of whether the opponent is lying on their back or stomach. The attacker grabs one of the victims’ legs by the ankle and proceeds to twist it. The move is also used in MMA fights and can legitimately break the ankle if applied with enough pressure.
- Rear Naked Choke – This is another of the submission wrestling moves influenced by MMA fights. The attacker stands behind the victim and then reaches under the opponent’s arm and places their arm under the throat. The attacker then brings his other hand around, locks them and the wrenches back and begins to choke out the opponent.
- Scorpion Deathlock – This is a leg lock submission wrestling move that was used by Sting as well as by Bret Hart, renamed the Sharpshooter. With the opponent lying on their back, the attacker lifts his legs and steps between them. He then takes the opponent’s legs and wraps them around his leg, holding them in place with his arm. The attacker then steps over, turning the opponent onto their stomach and then leans back to apply pressure to the back.
- STF – This submission wrestling move is a step over toe hold that turns into a face lock. It is used in the present-day WWE by John Cena. With the victim on the mat, the attacker holds one of his opponent’s legs, steps between them and then bends it so their shin is pressed against the attacker’s thigh. The attacker then turns the opponent to their stomach, with their legs scissored and applies a crossface.