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The Sharpshooter, originally named Sasori-gatame, Scorpion Hold in English[1], is a professional wrestling submission hold. The move is also known several other names: cloverleaf leg-lace Boston crab, standing inverted figure four leglock, and, the most commonly-known alternative, Scorpion Deathlock. Despite its original Scorpion Hold name, the move is still commonly known by its Bret Hart-given nickname Sharpshooter. Despite Japanese professional wrestler, Riki Chōshū, being given credit by fans with the creation of the move,[2] the move is generally associated with Canadian Bret Hart.[3]

The Sharpshooter hold begins with the opponent supine on the mat with the applying wrestler stepping between the opponent's legs with his/her left leg and wraps the opponent's legs at shin level around that leg. If the applier decides to cross the opponent's legs around his right leg, he has to cross the opponent's right leg over their left, or, otherwise, he has to cross his opponent's left leg over their right. Holding the opponent's legs in place, the wrestler then grabs the opponent's leg which he has crossed over the other and steps over him, flipping him over into a prone position before leaning back to compress his lower back.


History and variations

While Bret "The Hitman" Hart is the wrestler with whom the Sharpshooter is most often associated, Ronnie Garvin and Sting were the first wrestlers to prolifically use the hold, which was called Scorpion Deathlock.[4] In Hart's autobiography, he noted that prior to his first major singles push, Pat Patterson asked if he could do a "Scorpion Death Lock", which he did not know at the time. Hart revealed that the only person in the locker room who knew about the move was Konnan, who taught the move to Hart.

Hart alone has demonstrated various methods of performing the Sharpshooter - when an attacking wrestler performs a leg drop to the chest which Hart will block, cross their legs and flips them onto their stomach while he stands up, thus completing the move. Natalya Neidhart performs a slight variation where she crosses her opponents legs differently, and tucks both ankles in her armpit, putting more pressure on the knees. Edge used variation he dubbed the Edgecator, where instead of stepping over an opponent, he would simply kneel to the side and apply pressure on the lower back and legs. He now uses the regular sharpshooter.

Bret's brother Owen Hart also used the Sharpshooter as his finishing move but he would always lead with his right leg where Bret always favored his left.


The Sharpshooter has been known for its use in screwjobs during matches. The first was the Montreal Screwjob, which occurred at Survivor Series in 1997 when Shawn Michaels applied Hart's own Sharpshooter on him. Vince McMahon double-crossed Hart by ordering referee Earl Hebner to ring the bell and award the match to Michaels, despite Hart never having submitted.

This moment would be referenced within kayfabe through various future events; McMahon made the same action at the next year's Survivor Series in 1998, though it was part of a storyline, during the "Deadly Games" tournament final between The Rock and Mankind. He ordered the referee to ring the bell as The Rock had applied the move to Mankind, despite Mankind having not submitted. The Rock was awarded the match and the vacated WWF Championship. Another occurred on March 18, 2006 edition of Saturday Night's Main Event, during a Street Fight between Shawn Michaels and Shane McMahon. McMahon had applied Sharpshooter on Michaels, who never submitted to the maneuver but Vince ordered the referee to award the match to Shane McMahon and stated that Shawn Michaels has screwed Shawn Michaels[citation needed]

It should be noted that the use of this move by heels especially during pay-per-view events usually garners heat from the audience. This is most notably the case for events held in Canada.

See also


  1. ^ Chris Benoit (applying), Great Sasuke (receiving), Tazz (commentating). (2004). Hard Knocks: The Chris Benoit Story. [DVD]. World Wrestling Entertainment. 
  2. ^ Heard, Robert (2007-11-27). "Japanese Wrestling Moves". Wrestling 101. Retrieved 2009-07-25. 
  3. ^ Bret Hart. (2005). Bret Hart- Hitman: The Best There Is, The Best There Was, The Best There Ever Will Be. [DVD]. World Wrestling Entertainment. 
  4. ^ Ross, Jim (2009-07-05). "Sting used the Scorpion Deathlock before Bret Hart". JR's BBQ. Retrieved 2009-07-25. 




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