Happy Holddays

The twelve holds of Christmas! Here are my current favorites, illustrated from the rich treasure trove of BG East's Arena. My main criterion is that the hold has to be hot even if performed by two men in business suits. Tight and barely-there trunks (and loincloths!) only enhance the experience. Naked, even better.

The armbar, my personal favorite (I don't know why), here illustrated by Cruze on Max Dare in Hard Pros 3 (the knee to the head is a definite plus)

The side headlock, a very close second, with Patrick Donovan vigorously applying the same on Justin Pierce in Gazebo Grapplers 2

The cradle--I appreciate all kinds of decisive finishers, knockouts and submissions included, but in my mind nothing tops a solid pin--here Tyler Reese does the honors on Ricky Martinez in Ringwars 10

The figure 4 headlock, in which Tommy Tara feels the crush of Mike Columbo's mighty thighs in Fantasymen 23

The figure 4 leglock--in Hard Pros 2 Max Dare cranks a totally defenseless Wade Cutler

The Boston crab hold--the irresistible Mikey Vee serves up some fresh Brad Rochelle in Fantasymen 17

The camel clutch--Aryx Quinn tests the stretch of Ricky Martinez in Jobberpaloozer 6: Rubber Meets the Mat

The choke, a choke, any choke, though the "rear naked" variety always sounds the best--Shane McCall extinguishes Jeff Jordan in X-Fights 23

Bodyscissors, which, surprising even to me, I prefer to the headscissors--perhaps Mitch Colby is trying to explain why to Cole Cassidy in Ringwars 15

The bearhug was the first hold I loved--chest to chest, tummy to tummy, victim's knees clamping the victor's hips, please--and it still grips me: in The Contract 8 Braden Charron gives some to Brad Rochelle

The piledriver--clean, dramatic, sexy, and decisive--Tyler Reese tacks Brendan Byers' forehead to the mat in Florida Fights 1

The full nelson, mostly when it's paired with a bodyscissors, as here in Backyard Brawls 5 with Bobby Horton, fresh out of the swimming pool, getting squeegeed by Mitch Colby


  1. I like the McCall and Colby pics.

    I'm sorta surprised that neither you nor Bruno and Bard didn't have a Mayan Apocalypse feature. WA did, but not quite what I'd want to see.

    What a great theme! The nastiest grapplers with absolutely no-holds-barred (after all, no tomorrow, no consequences) for a world-ending card. Ah well, an opportunity missed!


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