When I was just a little wee lad, I use to be a mark for damn near every submission hold I would see applied in a pro wrestling ring. And seeing as I grew up with three brothers in the house, we naturally tried about as many as we could at home.
Even if they kept telling us not to.
Doing so fostered a period of growth as a fan of the sports entertainment world, namely the fact that we figured out what holds were effective and actually worth taking the time to learn to apply compared to those that were not.
For example, the sleeper hold can actually put people to sleep. The Figure Four Leglock hurts like hell, depending on how sadistic the person is who is throwing it on you. And the Sharpshooter can cause pain but it's mostly harmless.
The one I hated most? The Full Nelson. I'm not sure there's a single submission hold out there that makes one feel any less powerless. Quite frankly, it's embarrassing.Of course, once I became a fan of mixed martial arts and started studying jiu-jitsu I quickly came to realize how far I had been led astray.
The Undertaker began using a variation of the move in January 2008 on SmackDown, which would cause opponents to spit blood from their mouths. SmackDownGeneral Manager Vickie Guerrero would later kayfabe ban the move for the protection of the other wrestlers and strip The Undertaker of the World Heavyweight Championship as punishment for its use, an unprecedented move.
The move, now called the Hell's Gate, has since become a regular part of Taker's matches.
During the World Heavyweight Championship match at WWE Breaking Point, Theodore Longoverruled CM Punk's submission to the move and forced a continuation, citing Guerrero's ban. The ban was eventually lifted in 2009.
At WrestleMania XXVII, The Undertaker applied Hell's Gate to Triple H during their match. Triple H eventually submitted, winning The Undertaker the match and extending his undefeated WrestleMania streak to 19-0.
The wrestler stands over the opponent who is lying on the mat face up and grasps a leg of the opponent. The wrestler then does a spinning toe hold and grasps the other leg, crossing them into a "4" (hence the name) as he does so and falls to the mat, applying pressure to the opponent's crossed legs with his own. This variation is the most famous version, made famous by Ric Flair and innovated by "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers, and is also the finisher of choice for several legends like "The Hammer" Greg Valentine, "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes, and Jeff Jarrett among many others.
With enough strength and willpower, the wrestler on defense can flip himself (and also their opponent) over onto their belly, which is said to reverse the pressure to the one who initially had the hold locked in. If the referee is distracted, heel wrestlers may grab onto the ropes while executing the move to gain leverage and inflict more pain.
An modified variation exists more recently used by Shawn Michaels where the wrestler takes one of the opponent's legs, turns 90 degrees, then grabs the other opponent's leg and crosses it with the other, puts one foot in between and the other on the other leg, and then bridges over. A wrestler may counter the figure four by rolling over on to their stomach, which applies the pressure on the original applier's legs. This counter to the figure four is often called a modified Indian deathlock or sometimes referred to as a sharpshootervariant. While the hold applies pressure to the knee, it actually can be very painful to the shin of the victim.