Your right about the small joint manipulation but a simple wrestler would kill an aikido expert.
The only illegal Aikido techniques are bending fingers back, poking eyes and nut-sacks-- so it seems Aikido-masters can only fight like little kids, wow SO amazing and mysterious.
Wrestling requires you to pull no less than four fingers at a time, since otherwise you'll just dislocate a finger, and it's more about inflicting pain than using leverage-- so it becomes simply an ego-contest, which can just get messy; like once in a wrestling match, I got both my middle-fingers hyperextended, and could have given up-- but instead I just went ego, and didn't care about the pain, and was able to win-- but I had two useless hands for about a month after that.
And if a person was in a life-or-death struggle, it would be even messier-- it doesn't prove anything about who would win.
So when an okidoki says they can win a fight by twiddling your little toe etc, just realize that there's a slight difference between avoiding pain, and avoiding DEATH-- i.e. it's JUNK-SCIENCE. In reality, the only sure way to stop an attacker is to either cut off the oxygen to the brain, or destroy the central nervous system-- so unless you can brain somone with a punch, it's best to go for the choke, or at least bend a knee backwards.