The Sharpshooter, originally named Sasori-gatame, Scorpion Hold in English, is a professional wrestling submission hold. The move is similar to several other holds: cloverleaf leg-lace, Boston crab, standing reverse figure-four leglock, and, is also known by several other names, the most commonly known alternative being Scorpion Deathlock. The move was invented by Japanese professional wrestler Riki Choshu, and it was popularized by Sting who mostly does the standing variation rather than the sitting variation, but it is generally associated with Bret "Hitman" Hart, who used the move extensively in his WWF career and gave it the now most commonly used name, the Sharpshooter.
The Sharpshooter hold begins with the opponent supine on the mat. The applying wrestler (A) steps between the opponent's (O) legs with their own left leg and wraps O's legs at shin level around that leg. If A decides to cross O's legs around A's own right leg, A has to cross O's right leg over O's left or the left leg over the right. Holding O's legs in place, A then grabs O's leg which he has crossed over the other and steps over O, flipping O over into a prone position before leaning back to compress O's lower back. This move is used more commonly by Canadian wrestlers, typically in Canada, to give A a bigger crowd reaction, since the move is associated with Bret Hart and the Hart family.
History and variations
While Bret "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 in North America, during which time it was called the Scorpion Deathlock, deriving from the original Japanese name. 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 was familiar with from Japan, but did not know how to execute. Hart revealed that the only person in the locker room who knew how to execute the move was Konnan, who taught it to Hart. Its name was based on Hart's "Hit Man" nickname (from the underworld slang hit, murder). In WWF publications of the era, Bret's father Stu Hart, long known as a trainer in the game, was generally given credit for devising the move. Retired WWE superstar Edge innovated a variation where he would apply the hold normally, only to face the opposite direction and kneel on the opponent's legs.
The Sharpshooter was infamously used in the Montreal Screwjob at Survivor Series in 1997. 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 repeated the action at the next year's Survivor Series in 1998, as part of a storyline, during the "Deadly Games" tournament final between The Rock and Mankind. Another occurred on the March 18, 2006 edition of Saturday Night's Main Event, during a Street Fight between Shawn Michaels and Shane McMahon.
Scorpion Cross Lock
The hold sets up the same as the Sharpshooter, with the opponent supine on the mat with the applying wrestler stepping between the opponent's legs with his/her right leg and wraps the opponent's legs at shin level around that leg. However, instead of stepping over the opponent to flip the opponent, the applying wrestler flips the wrestler over from left-to-right, keeping the opponent in front of him/her. The applying wrestler then leans over the opponent and grabs his/her arms, applying a double chicken wing to the opponent. The applying wrestler then squats back, lifting the opponent's torso into the air. The move was used by Bull Nakano and later used by current WWE wrestler Paige.