• Matt Dod

Gogoplata Through Hell's Gate



Hell’s Gate

Have you ever dressed up as an 80s style rapper for Halloween? If you have, then by wearing a comically over-sized necklace, you’ll be aware what a burden having something large and heavy hanging from your neck.


Times that by about a billion and now you’re somewhere close to feeling the conscious crushing submission move, Hell’s Gate.


In this video, I will take a look at The man who first used the move in pro wrestling to undeniable and devastating results.


I will also explore how the Undertaker used the move amongst others in the world between the ropes.


But first, I want to take a look at this brutal moves origins in the world of mixed-martial arts.

For the video about this subject, go here: https://youtu.be/s_ns29xhMUU


Mixed Martial Arts



In the viscious world of mixed martial arts, submission moves are used by it’s skilled technichians with the aim of causing extreme amounts of pain, disclocating joints or even causing complete loss of consciousness. One particular move, albeit a rarely used weapon in most practioner’s arsenals is the gogoplata foot choke or piroplata. A move that aims to complete all three of these deadly ways to finish a bout.


Mixed Martial Arts Wiki states: The gogoplata is executed from a guard, commonly from a "rubber guard", where the legs are held very high against the opponent's upper back. The fighter then slips one foot in front of the opponent's head and under his chin, locks his hands behind the opponent's head, and chokes the opponent by pressing his shin or instep against the opponent's trachea.”


The move has been used in martial art forms such as Kodokan judo and Brazilian jui-jit-su


Since martial art legend Elvis Sinosic performed the first ever gogoplata at an event known as Cage Combat in 1997 the decisive shin choke has since been used to claim victory by Ryusuke Uemura in a Grand Prix in 2005.


After winning two consecutive victories with the formidably submission move, heavyweight competitor Brad Imes went under the monicker of Mr. Gogoplata.


The most famous use of the move came by controversial MMA fighter Nick Diaz who used the gogplata to choke out Takanori Gomi at the Pride 33 event. A decision that has since been overturned because Diaz failed a cannabis drug test. Imagine being stoned when you did this.



Undertaker



Arguably the most important man to have ever laced his boots and stepped into the squared circle. The Undertaker’s move set is every part as iconic as his long leather coat or the lighting which he seemingly has some sort of ethereal control over.


If he wasn’t dropping his foes on their heads, or flying off the top rope to deliver a ferocious chop – you’d often find The Undertaker attempting, and often succeeding to win matches with his version of the gogoplata submission.


Nothing the Undertaker ever did in his career could be considered ordinary – he is a half giant half undead zombie half wizard half grave keeper man after all - Pro wrestling is in no small part, about bravado and showmanship and the Undertaker added this in shovel loads, even when it came to his version of the submission move.


Pro Wrestling Wiki states: The move is performed by a wrestler putting their right shin on their opponents throat, and both palms of their hands on the back of his head. Laying back and squeezing to draw the air from the opponent with the intention to force them to tap out or pass out.


When it was first introduced into WWE on Smackdown in January 2008, when the Undertaker would use the move on his unwitting opponents, it proved so powerful that it caused them to cough up blood before losing consciousness.


This, was seemingly too much for then Smackdown general manager Vickie Guerrero who banned the move from being used on her show. The Undertaker being the badass that he is, decided to continue to use the move in defence of his World Heavyweight Championship.


When The Undertaker faced off with fan favourite CM Punk at The Breaking Point pay-per-view – Theodore Long overruled the referees decision when CM Punk lost to The Undertakers submission – citing Vickie Geurrero’s ban of the move as the reason. The fans and me at home – were losing our minds.


And this is where the Undertaker & WWE as a company excels. By banning the move – it draws controversy and by extension attention to the move. Entertainment Fans want to see banned films, they sometimes become cult classics, especially in the era before the internet– wrestling is no different.



And it worked. By the time the Undertaker added the move into his full time arsenal in 2009 – with the name ‘Hell’s Gate’ perfectly fitting his character. The move was already cemented in pro wrestling folklore. It was horrific seeing such a giant athlete coil around his opponent and literally choke the life from them.


Even the mighty and near undefeatable Brock Lesnar succumbed to the Hell Gate submission at Summerslam in 2015, but not before Brcok defiantly threw up his middle finger.

Outro


With the Undertakers retirement from in-ring competition, he takes with him his version of one of pro wrestling history’s most realistic moves. One that was taken from the reality of mixed-martial arts and sprinkled with Mark Callaway’s special brand of magic and showmanship.


Other wrestlers may go on to perform the submission in honour of the Undertaker as no doubt most who enter into the wrestling business will be influenced by this great man in one way or another.


That being said, the Hell’s Gate is in the elite group of moves which will rightfully be synonymous with one man – The Undertaker.


For the video about this subject, go here: https://youtu.be/s_ns29xhMUU


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