Santino Marella’s “The Cobra” is one of the most devastating and recognisable finishing moves in WWE history. However, it is hard to believe that he had to be convinced, by a WWE legend no less, to keep on using the move in his matches as a finishing move.
Santino Marella made a rare podcast appearance when he was a guest on the Stories with Briscoe and Bradshaw podcast to discuss his WWE career. Marella originally explained, in full character on Talk is Jericho, that he was taught the move by a wise-old Japanese man in a bar in Japan. While that was clearly a fantastical telling of his discovery of the move, it did have some roots in the truth.
“Well, I was drinking at a bar and some guy showed me this thing where he would just transform his arm into this little snake puppet thing,” Santino Marella revealed.
“I didn’t even get it at the time. I looked at my buddy and said, ‘I don’t get it. What is that?’ He said, ‘It’s just a funny thing he does.’ Then the next time I saw him, he asked me ‘Do you remember how to do it?’”
“Then like, fast forward five years, I’m at a house show in Atlanta, and I think I was wrestling Chavo or Carlito. I said, ‘I’m going to try something in my comeback. So I’m going to do like, you know, jab, jab, jab, this arm transformation thing, hit you with it, turn away, and I’ll do a schoolboy. It’s funny. I used to call it the school boy from hell, actually. So I did it at a live event. I told John Cena, ‘Hey, watch this. I’m gonna try something, and I did the Cobra. The audience laughed.’”
“I came back and he goes, ‘I would keep that if I were you. That was funny as hell,’ and so I just did it on the live events. It was always Cobra into the schoolboy from hell.”
“Then one day, Regal bumped off the cover, so that was the first time it kind of became like a finishing maneuver, but it was only on live events.”
“Then one day, I was at RAW. Ricky (Steamboat) was the producer. I was wrestling Zack Ryder, and he said, ‘You’re going over with the Cobra. Vince wants to see the Cobra. He’s been reading the reports and he wants to see the Cobra.’ Okay. I did the Cobra, and in three weeks, it took three weeks of doing it on television, before I would gesture for it.”
“I remember almost being blown away, like in shock that I would see in the corner, in my peripheral vision, the audience jumping out of their seats. They were screaming for The Cobra. I did it for about a year without the sock. Then, you know, we developed some merchandise for it.”
Who Kicked Out Of Santino Marella’s Cobra
Santino Marella used the cobra to great effect during his run. He almost won the 2011 Royal Rumble with the move, before being tossed out last by eventual winner Alberto Del Rio. It was such a powerful move that only one man EVER kicked out of it in WWE.
This was Daniel Bryan, who defended his World Heavyweight Championship inside the Elimination Chamber in 2012. Perpetually seen as a joke, Santino managed to be the last man in the match alongside Bryan. Somehow he managed to hit his devastating move on Bryan, which nobody had ever kicked out of before. Fans actually believed Santino Marella was about to become a world champion in the WWE.
Then, to the shock of everyone, he kicked out. Daniel Bryan went on to win the match but nobody could ever forget the pop when Santino Marella and his cobra almost won the World Heavyweight Championship in the WWE.
He recently spoke again about that moment on Cafe De Renee, which you can watch below.
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Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.