There’s something special about submission moves in a match. It’s one thing to pin your opponent, but it’s an entirely different matter to make them hurt so badly that they have to tap out, quitting the match to avoid further pain. that being said, I’d like to take a look at five of my favorite submission moves of all time, in no particular order.
I think what I like about this move so much is how legitimately dangerous it can be. Many submission moves in the world of wrestling look dangerous, but for the most part are quite safe. I’ve put friends of mine in the Sharpshooter many a time with almost no effect whatsoever. However, the Kimura Lock comes not from wrestling, but from true MMA. It’s an honestly dangerous move that can seriously hurt somebody’s arm, so not a lot of selling is needed to make that move look like a threat to anybody’s arsenal, especially coming from a physical beast such as Brock Lesnar.
Putting the Anaconda Vice on this list has to do with the same reason I put the Kimura lock on this list- it’s a seriously dangerous move! However, I won’t get into that, as I already discussed the merits of MMA submission moves in a wrestling world. The other reason I like this move is because how flawlessly it fits into a combo, making it twice as deadly. It can be hit as a singular move, or it can follow the high knee and bulldog combo in a flawless, beautifully flowing combo. Being both deadly and versatile, the Anaconda Vice is definitely a force to be reckoned with.
As I’ve told WNW writer Kendra, there have been very few people who have been able to take a move simple enough to be a rest hold and turn it into a believable, devastating finisher. Only Chris Benoit, John Cena, and Daniel Bryan have, in my opinion, have brought any credibility to the crossface, but even though Benoit had the most intensity in his crossfaces, my personal favorite was Bryan and his Lebell Lock, currently known as the Yes! Lock. What really sells me on Bryan’s version is the way he ties up the arm, and not just holds it. Where a normal crossface puts pressure on the face and neck, the Yes! Lock also puts pressure on the elbow and shoulder, making it harder to roll out of or reverse.
Ok, I’ll have to admit, I have two reasons for liking this move. First off, AJ’s gorgeous, and if there was even the slightest chance in hell she’d ever put me in this move, I’d take it in a heartbeat and spend the rest of my life tapping out! That being said, it’s actually a very creative submission that reminds me a little bit of Tajiri’s Tarantula, but center ring instead of using the ropes, which requires much more flexibility to maneuver around your opponents body the way she does.
There’s so much I can say about this move, but I’ll tone it down a bit since I already touched on MMA moves in wrestling. I’m not positive if anyone’s seriously used the Gogoplata as a serious move in wrestling before, but the move and renaming fit the Undertaker perfectly as a deadly finisher. I’ve always known the Undertaker to be a power player, but until he broke out Hell’s Gate about six or seven years ago, I’ve never figured him to be much of a submission kind of guy. Also, it’s well known that Mark Calloway is a big fan and part time practitioner of MMA, so to see him incorporate some of what he learned without changing his character has been a great addition to an already incredible character.
I know this is a 6th addition to a top five list, but I feel like I have to make a bonus slot, because there’s one all time classic I feel should be addressed, and that’s the Figure Four. Made famous by two time WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair, the set up and execution of the Figure Four was as recognizable as the same for the Rock Bottom or Sweet Chin Music. I’m unclear on the origins of the Figure Four, but I’m well aware of the notoriety given to it by the Nature Boy, and there are few wrestling fans of my generation who didn’t grow up cheering with the best of them whenever “Naitch” locked it in, almost always forcing the victims to tap. Many, including The Miz, have attempted it, but in my eyes, the only true wielder of the Figure Four will always and forever be Flair.