In the WWE’s format of televised entertainment, there is little space for slow burning submission contests to play out comfortably. Unless the match is an anticipated headliner, it usually does not last long.
In order to demonstrate a performer’s dominance, the suspense is bypassed for the spectacular. Though matches take twists in their storytelling, certain characteristic moves are so determined as to ensure the applier’s victory within a short period, making them look dominant and exceedingly skilful.
Because spectacle forms such a fundamental part of WWE programming, impactful offences are intrinsically linked to a performer’s character. This is even more so with those submission manoeuvres which are written as being impossible to counter.
Almost every time, this has to do with the character of the performer. Submission holds, therefore, are exaggerated so that they look painful in true entertainment fashion, rather than actually being so.
Here then, are five of the most painful looking submission moves in WWE history:
The devastating predecessor to the Walls of Jericho has been gradually discontinued after Jericho’s move to the WWE. Its disuse was a result of Jericho feuding with performers of a larger build as compared to fellow Cruiserweights back in WCW, as well as a change of gimmick from the Lionheart to Y2J.
A re-fashioning of the Elevated Boston Crab, this move required Jericho to not only wrench an arched opponent by the leg but also to thrust a solitary knee upon their neck or back, with the weight of his entire body on a single, delicate point.
Also read: Top 10 Submission Moves in WWE History
The danger of such a modification entailed caution on Jericho’s part, particularly with heavyweight performers on whom the required manoeuvrability was difficult. Besides, it is never easy to forge the effect of driving one’s knee on another’s neck especially while balancing their bent body in an Elevated Boston Crab position.
Even though there have been moments inside the WWE ring when Jericho has showcased the lethality of this move, continued use will never be on the cards.