The Second Coming of the Clawhold

Viggo vs Ronaldo, Hunkbash 18 (BG East)

Viggo's sophomore video for BG East and Ronaldo's debut is a sure-as-shootin' clawhold revival, along with a few other classic but too rarely seen bodily assaults. I hate seeing the same old wrestling holds trotted out over and over and run into the ground, but I do like it when wrestlers dust off some of the all-but-forgotten oldies as a nod to tradition.

There's probably a good reason for letting the clawhold (or nerve pinch) drift into obscurity. For one thing, it's one of the most obviously kayfabe holds in professional wrestling. I'm not sure I ever bought into it, and I am one of the most gullible fans you're ever likely to meet. But it is also one of the sexiest holds, and not just because of the distinguished line of wrestlers who have employed it: the Von Erichs, Baron von Raschke, Blackjack Mulligan, the Wild Samoans, Mankind, and The Great Khali. In every case, the claw represented exotic and unrestrained savagery on the one hand and a salute to science on the other. More importantly for me, it makes for some intense and prolonged body contact, too.

A sudden out-of-nowhere attack on the tan and well-built rookie identifies Viggo as the heel, despite that hard-to-hate baby face of his. Psyching out his opponent is only part of the heel's strategy. Viggo draws upon an array of villainous moves--hair-pulling, chokes, and viselike scissor holds among them--to which he adds unambiguous displays of sadistic delight in the resplendent Ronaldo's agonies. Tucked between Lazlo Kohl's bitch-slapping of the ever-suffering Biff Farrell and Jonny Firestorm's award-winning evisceration of Calvin Haynes, Viggo vs Ronaldo is a gem not to be overlooked--especially if the sight of fingers kneading sweaty muscle does for you what it does for me.


  1. Damn, I love a good claw. Face, pec, shoulder, bulge ... they're all great. Star Trek and martial arts movies sold me on the whole power of nerve points, so I'm a believer! It's an especially great way that small guys can take down big guys.

    The only time I really can't buy into it is the ab claw with these guys with chiseled midsections. The fingers can't sink in. You need a softer belly for that one, but otherwise, I'm all in for the claw.

    1. My favorite is an iron (skull) claw when the wrestler straddles his opponent's waist against the corner ropes or on the mat, clasps his clawing wrist with his free hand, and bears down hard on the poor sucker on the other end. The longer this hold lasts, the better. In fact, I think the ref should have to physically pry the attacker loose.

  2. I remember once seeing an ab claw applied and held in exactly the sitituation of the last Image, an OTS backbreaker. I don't recall who it was,, I just thought it was amazing!


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