'Uncle' > 'Uncool'

Originally posted 1-8-03

Hello, my intended...

It seems that there's actually been speculation amongst the typing chimps at WWe regarding the effectiveness of submission holds... Yeah, like they know or something. The general consensus, judging from the dearth of submission finishers in use, is that submission holds are 'lame' and the fans lack the patience to sit through two guys cranking each other's pivotal joints. This is probably because the average fan has NO IDEA of the processes involved in such things, or similar 'cause and effect'; which is because the writers would rather concentrate on stuff like Hungry Hungry Hippos and similar drek.

HOWEVER, lucky for you Mr. Bobo Quite Fiendish Esquire has EXTENSIVE knowledge of grappling and submission wrestling, and actually CAN comment with some degree of knowledge on 'shoot-style finishers'. One of the reasons I'm so 'anti-violence' is that I know for a fact PRECISELY how FRAGILE the human machine is to strategically placed stress - as well as how little force it takes to inflict it. I shall try to give you a force 'ballpark' regarding these holds to better help you understand the DANGER their use presents, and thus give them more 'teeth' than stuff like a Uranage...

  • Angle-Lock - This is actually a legit submission hold, and the flows into and out of it are usually no less than spectacular thanks to Angle's immense skill and accepted legitimacy. Admittedly, there are at least (from a shoot perspective) forty different ways to counter this hold. But the great thing is that you get to see them. Angle is without a doubt the best thing they have going, and he elevates the other talent. Everyone looks that much better when they manage to find a way to escape/reverse this submission. Mind you, if they're not careful, they can take the teeth out of this hold by making TOO many different dudes get out of it, but as long as they do it in moderation, this the the Figure Four Leglock of this generation. Grade: A-

  • Drawback: Aside from the noted abundance of reversal and escape options, there is something I must give redress regarding this 'Finisher'. Unlike the Figure Four or many other 'old-school' submission holds, the Angle Lock is the MOST DANGEROUS to be attempted by anyone not VERY competent in its application. You can ruin someone FOR LIFE with less force than it takes to open a jelly jar. Parents, this is where YOU come in. If you don't like the idea of paying for a set of steel pins for Junior, or that he'll ALWAYS have that limp; then you're gonna have to get pretty proactive. Other holds are indeed dangerous in 'play' and similar mimicry, but this one is tantamount to a loaded gun in the toychest.

  • Crippler Crossface - Combination of an armbar and chinlock from a prone position, this move is not quite as feared as the Angle-Lock considering the difference in 'perceived legitimacy' between Benoit and Angle. This is in error. Moreover, the sheer ease of application in this hold makes it JUST as dangerous as Angle's - especially considering (as they'll tell you) it can be applied from almost any position/vantage. It is further increased in effectiveness by there being pretty few ways out once you're in it. The greater danger is not the move itself, however, but rather the initial application (generally a side-armbar takedown), which can easily dislocate a shoulder, hyperextend an elbow and break a jaw/bridgework in one smooth motion. If you had any idea how many fights I've been in that lasted one punch and one drop because of this simple move, you'd understand the level of respect it deserves. Applying it requires less force than it takes to pull your chair away from the table before you sit down to dinner. Grade: A

  • Drawback: There are very few downsides to this move, hence its higher ranking. The 'focus' of it is generally the crossface aspect, as Benoit 'cranks back' on the victim stressing the neck area. It's pretty much academic from a 'shoot' perspective, since the guy's already a wreck once he's hit the ground. If the victim can get a leg under himself to 'push up' with, the whole deal could be neutralized. Further, someone that is possessed of a higher center of gravity than the person applying the hold (and let's face it, that's almost everyone when you're Benoit) can completely negate things by stepping forward with the leg on the same side as the guy applying the hold. You only have one chance, mind, but as holes go it's a big one.

  • Walls of Jericho: This is another fairly dangerous one, as PROPERLY executed the stress is on three main areas, the lower legs, the lower back, and the neck. Jericho makes it look like he's 'setting back' when in reality he's supporting them. To an untrained eye, it's a pretty vicious presentation as holds go. If one actually 'set back' with this hold, however, the neck would be forced to bear the brunt of the pressure - which means the pain in the legs and back will go away forever inside of five seconds. Jericho knows what he's doing, and is cognizant of what could happen if he fucks up - which is why he'll sometimes use a Boston Crab instead (though Ross will still call it the Walls, because he's a moron) on guys he's not so sure he can 'hold up'. All things considered, you can destroy someone with little more than the effort it takes to lift a bag of groceries. This is better used as a counter-hold against people Jericho's size, who love to do 'ranas and anklescissors than as something with actual build towards, since it's too easy to thwart from a 'cold' start. Grade: B-

  • Drawback: Because of the complexity of this move, it's pretty darn easy to stop/counter - as you've doubtless seen happen a million times already. As fierce as it is, grabbing the guy's ankle stymies it, since then he can't 'turn you over'.

  • Sharpshooter: This move has alot of respect, but for me it's up there with the Walls as being 'too complicated' for effective usage. It's basically another Boston Crab variant, only with the opponent's legs crossed/tied around one of your own legs. This does cut down on one's reversal opportunities, though, which gives it a higher rank than a 'standard' Crab. In truth, you can hyperextend one's opponent's knees into oblivion across such a 'hard fulcrum' as your own upper thigh, but the focus of the hold is the 'lower back', which - while it does have some effect there - is not as immediate unless you sit down 'deep'. Grade: C+

  • Drawbacks: Letting the Rock use it... Heh. Actually, the problems inherent in allowing both your opponents legs a focus on your hip with your back to them are myriad. You have ZERO leverage before you turn them over, and if they let you do it (which we all know they do) then you're lucky.

  • Boston Crab (Full or Half): This hold is so common that it's used as a 'weardown' more than as a 'Finisher'. It's prevalence is no small part due to it's general effectiveness in 'telling a story' as well as causing mad damage to the lower back. We've all seen this and we're pretty unimpressed with it, despite the fact that you can tear someone in half with the force usually employed by simply sitting down. Grade: C

  • Drawbacks: I'm going to tell you a secret. We've all seen the guy 'push up' to relieve the pressure and then 'toss' the guy off him with his leg strength, right? That's bullshit. There's only one effective counter to a Boston Crab, at least in my experience... Ready? You do the 'push up' as before, and the guy is gonna lean back expecting you to try to force him forward with your legs 'like on TV'... When you feel him do that, tuck your head in and roll forward. You know what happens? The guy drops STRAIGHT onto the back of his dome in what I like to call 'The Boston Piledriver'. Naturally, this is ridiculously dangerous for the guy applying the hold, which is why they use the 'escape' we're all familiar with from TV.

  • Steiner Recliner: I hesitate to list this one until they let the guy work a match or two, but since he's here and he uses it, it's listed. How can I say this delicately? It sucks. It's a simple mounted chinlock. There are so many ways out of this move that it's hardly worth using, and we're expected to believe that the guy makes people tap out with sheer gorilla strength? Then again, that's not exactly suspension of disbelief, considering... But come on, he doesn't even pull back on it. You know why it's called a Recliner? Because it's by Lay-Z-Boy. Technically speaking, you can cause some pretty bad damage if you pulled back on his head with your hips as the fulcrum, compressing vertebrae with less force than it takes to put on your pants. If he did that, it would rank a bit higher, but as it is? Grade: D-

  • Drawbacks: Both arms free, both legs under me... This dope goes for a BIG ride. Honestly, a mount position such as that is the START of a wrestling match, NOT a finish, and a guy with his amateur credentials should know better. Holla if you hear me.

    We'll stop it here since I don't want this thing to run too long... As was covered, there are very few submissions in general use mostly because they're of the opinion at the WWe that it slows down the action and us fans want our spots fast and furious... Dumbasses. Submission holds, while ugly dangerous when used 'as intended', are the safest spots for the workers in general. Bumping is fine and all, but it's not the World Bumping Entertainment, now is it? No, clearly not. Hopefully, I've helped you better understand what it is you're seeing, as well as shut up alot of people that presume to scoff at 'lame' things like submission holds.

    Powerbombs are nice and all, but it's just a throw/drop onto the back. You might get the wind knocked out of you, but otherwise (unless your opponent is a REAL klutz) there won't be any lasting effects... Submissions, conversely, not only damage you while you're in them, but if you're not careful you STAY damaged. For Life. Let's see; knocked silly once or crutches and wheelchairs... Which seems 'lame' from an effect standpoint now?

    See, and they say you wrestling fans can't learn anything... Showed them, didn't you?

    You're welcome. See you SOON.