A brainless brawler of a bot, Stranglehold is the Decepticon equivalent of the stereotypical wrestler, which is rather appropriate, seeing as how he is the reigning Intergalactic Cybertronic Wrestling Federation Champ. Stranglehold has absolutely no qualms about cheating and will do anything to win. Stranglehold turns into a rhino, has a shell that resembles a giant human gladiator, and carries a gun that saps the strength of its targets, making them too weak to fight back. Just how he likes them.
- French name (Canada): Prisegorge
- Italian name: Demon
Marvel Comics continuity
After the Time Wars, Stranglehold was chosen to be part of the Decepticon elite and join the newly reformed Mayhem Attack Squad, led by Snarler and Spinister. Their first mission: hunt down and execute the traitors Carnivac and Catilla, who had joined forces with the Autobot Wreckers on Earth! They caught up with Carnivac in Texas, but the wolf scored first blood by clawing Bludgeon's shoulder. Stranglehold and Octopunch were about to step in for their turn when the National Guard arrived, giving Carnivac time to flee while the Mayhems were distracted. Eventually it was Catilla, not Carnivac, who fell before Stranglehold and the Mayhems, and the Decepticons chose to flee with one kill under their belts rather than confront all the Survivors at once.
Along with Octopunch, Stranglehold remained a part of the Mayhem Attack Squad when Bludgeon took command, when it was sent by Thunderwing to assassinate the Autobot Pretenders; Bumblebee, Grimlock and Jazz. After tracking the Autobots to their secret base, the Mayhems interrupted the Classic Pretenders and Micromaster Rescue Patrol's trip through the trans-time dimensional portal, with all three groups transported to the core of Cybertron. Surprisingly, Cybertron's core contained none other than Primus himself!
Interrupting again as the Keeper told the assembled Autobots of the origin of their race, the Mayhems attacked the Autobots, who were reluctant to return fire in case of awakening Primus. Emerging from his shell, Stranglehold rampaged through the Autobots in his rhino alt-mode, until Jazz set up a meeting between him and a wall.
Stranglehold and the other Mayhems ended up on Earth, and joined forces with Scorponok. They worked for him until the war against Unicron was successfully won, and Scorponok killed.
At this point, Stranglehold's comrade Bludgeon assumed command of the Decepticons, and arranged to leave the Autobots stranded on the dying planet of Cybertron while he and the Decepticons began conquering anew. They basically levelled the planet Klo before the Autobots managed to catch a ride and track them down, flying right into a Decepticon ambush. Grimlock and his surviving warriors fought back though and, with the arrival of Optimus Prime and the Last Autobot, the fight turned against the Decepticons. Stranglehold stood next to his leader as he swore vengeance and then slunk away into exile.
Marvel UK future timelines
In 1990, Megatron accused Bludgeon of being a traitor to the Decepticon cause. Allowing him a trial by combat, the Decepticon leader sent Stranglehold, Octopunch, and Warmonger out to face him in battle. After Octopunch struck first, Stranglehold attempted to ram Bludgeon in his rhino mode, but ended up knocking himself out when Bludgeon nimbly stepped aside. Eventually, Megatron identified Warmonger as the true traitor, and executed him instead of Bludgeon.
Expecting Carnivac to make an ill-conceived attempt at retribution, the Mayhem Attack Squad bunkered down on a small tropical island to wait for their prey to come to them. Carnivac turned the tables on them, however, and managed to kill half the Mayhems before it was all over. To add insult to injury, Stranglehold, Bludgeon and Octopunch were taken into custody by the Autobot Earthforce at Carnivac's insistance, instead of being allowed to die gloriously in battle. Inferno, Stranglehold staged a distraction in their cell which gave Bludgeon enough time to telekinetically retrieve his katana, stabbing the guard in the back and gaining them their freedom. The Mayhems were then hired by Megatron and Shockwave to assassinate their usurpers, Starscream and Soundwave. They ultimately failed when Swoop and Sludge of the Dinobots joined forces with the Decepticons because they needed Starscream alive for their own reasons.Guarded over by the Autobot
Another Time and Place
In the Decepticons' next venture, Stranglehold joined Bludgeon in an attempt to bring Megatron back to life. Tracking the Dinobots to Hydrus Four, and the miraculous energy source known as Nucleon, Stranglehold and the Decepticons captured the Autobots and made ready to restore Megatron to his full glory. Stranglehold was seen worshipping on bended knee before Megatron's slowly recuperating body. When the Autobots attacked, Stranglehold charged into battle in rhinocerous mode (he's really the only Mayhem who LIKES transforming, isn't he?). However he fared personally, though, the Decepticons were defeated.
Stranglehold joined Bludgeon and his troops in raining destruction on Earth, hoping to draw out Optimus Prime and the Autobots. Jhiaxus's troops, which resulted in the Pretender being reduced to a puddle of slag by acid bombs.He was later ordered by the revamped Megatron to attack
- Stranglehold (Pretender, 1989)
- Accessories: Gun, large gun, helmet, backpack
- Stranglehold's inner-robot transforms into a rhino with an orange body and green limbs, while his shell resembles an intergalactic sci-fi wrestler/barbarian/Freddy Mercury. Like the other smaller humanoid 1989 Pretenders, Stranglehold's shell includes an accessory that is an integral part of his inner robot: the combined back and tail of his rhino alt-mode (in a delightful shade of neon pink), which attaches to the upper left arm of his outer shell as a small shield. Stranglehold also includes a small orange gun for his inner-robot to hold or plug into his alt-mode backpiece, and a large white rifle and helmet for his shell.
- At least according to Cybertronian: The Unofficial Transformers Recognition Guide, Stranglehold's shell resembles Welcome Back Kotter star Gabe Kaplan. Stranglehold's shell is also one of the few overtly human instead of monster/inhuman themed Decepticon shells.