Sam, I know the feeling. I just got back from a free training session. I dont like recieving that one and shiho nage!
"Those who are skilled in combat do not become angered,
those who are skilled at winning do not become afraid.
Thus the wise win before the fight, while the ignorant fight to win." -O Sensei Ueshiba
Kote Gaeshi does have a pin element as described by brandeissansoo... My sensei's website has a few clips showing (nice and slow) the basic aikido elements - one of which is Muna Dori Kote Gaeshi...
kote gaeshi is generally a waste of time. side wrist(nikyo),chicken beak(wrist flex),and sankajo(forearm spiral) are much better for breaking and controlling. kote gaeshi usually only works on those who are unfamiliar with it. it is easy enough to neutralize by pulling your elbow into your hip. wrist locks suck as attacks because they require to much setup and the establishment of an oppositional lever to be effective. it is much easier to grab the fingers to establish influence over the wrist,then extend control to the elbow. wristlocks work well as a response to close quarter seizing attempts,when there is some momentum to work with and the assailant establishes the leverage base.
Maybe it depends on the type of kote gaeshi?
I've done it with three distinct type of energy:
1) downward, turning spiral with a back facing-- definitely more of a throw to pin
2) straight down and back with the fingertips pointing toward uke's body, more of a backwards step than a facing -- again more of a takedown to pin
3) energy down and directly to the side. Fundamentally, the hand just loops. This one I seldom practice because it's unclear how you'd fall out of it. Pretty much, it's a break.
While I'm not especially enamored of wrist locks, I think it's a useful technique. In fact, I'd say it's particularly useful if the opponent is kind enough to hold onto something providing you additional leverage or if you've been kind enough to pound him a bit before applying the technique.
As an aside, I think the question's a tad restrictive since pretty much every technique can be done with a controlling or a destructive attitude.