Skip to main content

#FinisherFriday (1/20/17) : The Three I's of the Ankle Lock



Hello there folks! GCP here, and you're not wrong, it is indeed a Friday today. I've asked my kalbro and regular #FinisherFriday author Mark, if I could take the helm of the column just this week. Something monumental has just been announced recently, and if you've been tuned in to any wrestling news source, you'll know what I'm talking about.

WELCOME HOME, KUYA KURT! WE MISS YOU SO MUCH!!!

Yes, ladies and smarks, Kuya Kurt is coming home to the WWE as he headlines the 2017 class of The Hall of Fame. Please wait as I gently dry my happy tears.

Alright, with that out of the way, let's get to the meat of things. What I wanted to talk about was none other than Kurt Angle's most famous finisher, the Ankle Lock. Yes, in his early career in the WWE, he used the Angle Slam (originally the Olympic Slam) to annihilate his foes, but when he needed a change of style that he ultimately relied on to give him that winning edge.

It only seems apt that the Ankle Lock should be explained through Kurt Angle's infamous Three I's: Integrity, Intensity, Intelligence. After all, it was after adopting the move that the Ankle Lock soared into popularity, with Angle being the de facto face that comes into mind when someone talks about the move in the WWE. 



HOW THE ANKLE LOCK WAS BORN


The Ankle Lock was originally popularized by Ken Shamrock, himself a submission specialist during his MMA career. Having been known to have a dangerous heel hook, with nine of his 23 submission wins coming via leglocks, Shamrock needed his own new move to take on the world of pro wrestling. And thus, the Ankle Lock came into the spotlight. There's no denying that the finisher was developed by a man who knew leglocks inside-out. And not just any man, if you will. He was, at one point, The World's Most Dangerous Man. This is Integrity.

Ken Shamrock's Ankle Lock, which he favored applying from a kneeling position 

WHAT EXACTLY IS THE ANKLE LOCK?



The move itself is a toe hold variation where a wrestler uses one hand to secure the toes of a prone opponent. The other arm loops around to create a pocket to wrap the joint and then grabs his own wrist to secure the hold. To apply more pressure, the wrestler rotates his upper buddy in the direction opposite to where the toes of the targeted leg are pointing. To provide an even more secure ankle lock, the wrestler can opt to scissor his legs around the target leg to initiate a grapevine ankle lock.


This is meant to prevent the opponent from crawling towards the ropes due to having to drag the entire weight of the wrestler just to move forward. This is by no means a timid move, as you can see the sheer force in the face of the wrestler as he watches his opponent try to squirm out in agony from the lock, often in vain. What ever trade-offs may be made in terms of leverage, they're more than made up for by completely immobilizing the opponent. This is Intensity.



WHY DOES THIS MATTER?


An attack on the ankle area severely affects the mobility and power of the person on the receiving end. Anyone who has experienced even the slightest of sprains in that joint know what a pain it is to walk around or put pressure on the affected foot. It becomes increasingly hard to run, turn, jump, or lift heavy objects when one of the supports of your body become injured. More so, it is practically impossible to keep off the foot without the aid of crutches or a wheelchair.



Even if, for some strange reason, the opponent gets to break the hold, the damage is done. The main tool of the smaller, more agile wrestlers is now compromised due to decreased mobility. Heavier guys will have to contend with placing their entire weight on one foot, thereby also reducing the power of their moves. The Ankle Lock truly is one of wrestling's great equalizers, no matter what the weight class is. 


It's a move that chips away at the opponent even if unsuccessful at obtaining an immediate tap-out. It's a smart move, calculated to prepare for the long run if needed, which basically explains why wrestlers like Angle tended to spam the move even in the early goings of their matches. It's basically a form of insurance in case the match goes on for quite a bit. Every attempt tilts the outcome towards the side of the one applying it, be it now or later on. This is Intelligence.

And that's the breakdown, smarks. The Ankle Lock is a devastating move that has made many wrestlers, up-and-comers and legends alike, tap out in its wake. Kurt Angle said it himself that when he adopted the move, it did wonders for his career. Frankly, Kuya Kurt, you did the same for that move.

Who do you think did the Ankle Lock best? And where do you think it ranks in the all-time pantheon of great submission moves? Let us know in the comments below!

*****

George Pastor writes our weekly #WTFWednesday column as well as all things MMA-related. He got into judo because it was the closest sport available where it was perfectly fine to slam someone without getting expelled.

Comments

Trending This Week

Can Crystal Become The First Wrestling Queen of Asia?

PWR Live: Oktoberplex—The Official Smark Henry Review

Basti No. 5: Who Will Be Team Sebastian's Fifth Man at PWR Vendetta?

SmackDown RunDown Live (10/10/17): Why, Sami, Why?!

The Smark Henry RAW Report (10/9/17): Reunited And It Feels So Good