The Boston crab is a professional wrestling hold that typically starts with the opponent laying supine on the mat, with the wrestler standing and facing them. It is a type of spinal lock where the wrestler hooks each of the opponent’s legs in one of his arms, and then turns the opponent face-down, stepping over him in the process. The final position has the wrestler in a semi-sitting position and facing away from his opponent, with the opponent’s back and legs bent back toward his face. This often sees the attacking wrestler perform double leg takedown while remaining upright with the opponent's legs hook so they can be turned into the Boston crab.
The original name for the maneuver was the backbreaker, before that term became known for its current usage. In modern wrestling, the Boston crab is not treated as a lethal submission maneuver, even though it was considered a match-ending hold in the past. The only exception is when the hold is applied by Chris Jericho, who uses the elevated variation of the Boston crab as his finisher which he calls the Walls of Jericho. He also uses another version of the maneuver that he dubbed The Liontamer, where he drives a knee into his opponent's back while performing the move to make it more painful.
Boston crab with kneeEdit
Similar to a normal Boston crab, this move sees the wrestler use a single knee to add additional pressure by pressing it into the opponent's back. An elevated position exists. But if they reverse this finish they will slowly fall out of the remover and land on the outside section
Cross-legged Boston crab Edit
This variation of a normal Boston crab sees the attacking wrestler get a hold of both of the opponent's feet, then crossing both legs over before tucking both legs under its opposite armpit (i.e. left leg under wrestler’s right armpit). After completing this, the attacking wrestler turns the opponent face-down, stepping over him/her in the process to secure the hold.
Elevated Boston crabEdit
Similar to a normal Boston Crab, this move sees the attacking wrestler stand farther back. The step-back allows additional pressure to be placed on the opponent's back from the higher angle, hence the name. This version has been popularized by Chris Jericho, which he calls "The Walls of Jericho".
Inverted Boston crab Edit
Also known as a Stump Puller, a wrestler grabs the leg of an opponent lying on his back while standing over his opponent, steps in front of his opponents arms, and either remains standing or falls backwards stretching the leg back. This move can be used as a pin as well as a submission menuver.
Rocking horse Edit
This Boston crab variation sees the wrestler lock the opponent in a standard version of the hold before lifting them off the ground by their arms (while still in the hold), and rocking them back and forth, putting additional pressure on their back.
Single leg Boston crab Edit
Also known as a half Boston crab or a half crab, a move that typically starts with the opponent on his/her back, and the attacking wrestler standing and facing them. The attacking wrestler hooks one of the opponent's legs in one of his/her arms, and then turns the opponent face-down, stepping over him in the process. The final position has the dominant wrestler in a semi-sitting position and facing away from his/her opponent while the opponent is lying face-down and their own leg bent backwards toward his/her head. A variation with the attacking wrestler kneeling side-ways while having the leg hooked can be performed.
Single leg Boston crab with armlockEdit
The attacking wrestler approaches a supine opponent and seizes one of their arms before walking around the opponent's head to their other side, thus forcing the opponent to roll onto their stomach. The wrestler then kneels on the back of the opponent, clinching the opponent's arm behind their knee, and applies a single leg Boston crab.
Rope hung Boston crabEdit
This move involves a wrestler hooking each of an opponent's legs in one of his/her arms and draping the opponent over the top rope, at this point the wrestler would hook the arms of the opponent with his/her legs securing the hold. As this move involves the use of the ropes, and allows the opponent to touch the ropes (which forces a wrestler to break a submission hold), this hold must usually be broken before the referee completes a five-count. Yoshihiro Tajiri innovated this move and calls it, Tarantula.
John Soulmetal uses a variation of this move, known as a Rope hung Cloverleaf, which sees the wrestler apply the Rope hung boston crab, but rather that keeping the move as a boston crab, the wrestler flows the move into a cloverleaf.