Superstars which wrestling or mixed martial arts backgrounds find it easier to mark their feet in WWE. Because in wrestling or grappling, the movements are highly agile and wrestlers look forward to applying a lock or a hold quickly to their opponent. However, in pro wrestling, we don’t see that type of brawling. Regardless of that, few superstars have been brilliant with submission manoeuvres. So, let’s take a look at the 10 submission specialists in the history of the WWE.
The Top 10 Submission Specialists in the History of WWE
10. Chad Gable
Chad Gable is a surprising name on the list. However, he’s one of the most underrated superstars in the company. From strength to technique, he has always given his best in the ring. The former Olympian is currently one-half of Alpha Academy. Moreover, former Olympic Gold Medalist Kurt Angle is a great admirer of Chad Gable. The superstar has also adapted his idol, Kurt’s Ankle lock as his submission move.
9. Ric Flair
The absolute heel, Ric Flair was a submission specialist. He’s fairly the pioneer of Figure Four Leg Lock and now his daughter, Charlotte Flair uses a variation of the submission, named Figure Eight. The Nature Boy’s contribution to the wrestling business has been really major. Hence, he finds a place on this list.
8. William Regal
William Regal is a wrestling mastermind. It feels like he’s made for the pro-wrestling business. Regal has never got the credit he deserves. He has been great as a wrestler, and also as a development coach. He has also worked as the manager of certain superstars too. Regal was a gifted grappler in the ring, in addition to his submission skills, especially his “Regal Stretch”.
7. Chris Benoit
After what happened in the end for Chris Benoit, not everyone in the WWE universe admires him. But leaving that out, he was a great in-ring star. It’s fair to say that he was one of the best technicians as well as submission specialists in the history of the promotion. Whenever Benoit got his grip with “Crippler Crossface” on his opponent, it was the end of the match. The move also helped him win the World Heavyweight Championship in the main event of WrestleMania XX.
6. Ken Shamrock
Ken Shamrock’s mixed martial arts background made him a great grappler who’s good with submissions. He quickly reached the heights in the company that many wrestlers can only think of. Shamrock’s preferred submission move was also the iconic Ankle Lock. But because of terrible booking by the promotion, his career ended too soon.
5. Owen Hart
Owen Hart’s pro-wrestling career would have been bigger but in 1999, he lost him while he was trying to perform a stunt entrance. Before the tragic incident, Owen Hart was seen as one of the most talented superstars on the roster for the promotion. His feuds with Stone Cold Steve Austin and Bret Hart will always remain iconic. Moreover, his submission moves made him more lethal.
4. Bob Buckland
It’s fair to say that Bob Buckland is an underrated WWE legend. In the 70s, he was the face of the company. He is just the second superstar in the history of WWE to keep the title for 2,000-plus days, other than Bruno Sammartino. In his second run, he was a ruthless heel who helped Hulk Hogan get on the top. His Crossface Chicken Wing submission helped him win a lot of matches, especially as a heel.
3. Daniel Bryan
During his whole WWE tenure, Daniel Bryan was always the underrated guy who was adored by fans. From team Hell No to the Yes Movement, Bryan always displayed his magical skills in the ring. He was never seen as a champion in WWE because of his size but he has always been a top grappler and submission specialist in the company. He currently works under his real name, Bryan Danielson in AEW.
2. Bret Hart
Another technical wizard, Bret “The Hitman” Hart finds the second spot on the list. The Hitman is one of the most important figures in the history of WWE. During his career, he gave the audience several five-star matches. The Hitman’s Sharpshooter is known as one of the greatest submission moves in history.
1. Kurt Angle
Kurt Angle is originally a mat wrestler. He has also won an Olympic gold medal in past. Hence, there is no argument against his technical brilliance in the ring. Many athletes have tried finding a career in pro wrestling and many of them failed. However, the most successful crossover athlete in history is surely Kurt Angle. From his very first match in WWE, Angle adopted a unique heelish persona.