Santino told about how he came up with his signature move "The Cobra".
Former WWE wrestler Santino Marella explained the origins of his renowned finishing move, The Cobra, during an appearance on Stories with Brisco and Bradshaw. It all started at a pub, according to Santino Marella, with a man named Taro.
Marella said, “I was at a bar, just drinking at a bar. And some guy, his name is Taro, he just showed me this thing where he just transform his arm into this little snake puppet thing. And I didn’t even get it at the time. I looked at my buddy and I go ‘what is that?’ ‘Ah, it’s just a funny thing he does, you know?’ I said ‘okay.’ And then the next time I saw him, he asked me ‘do you remember how to do it? You do this thing, then you hold and you do a little wooden puppet.’ And you know, we laughed about it again and that was it.
“Fast forward like five years, and I’m at a house show in Atlanta. I think I was wrestling Chavo or Carlito. And I said ‘you know what? I’m going to try something in my comeback. I’m going to do jab, jab, jab, this arm transformation, hit you with it, turn away, and I’ll do a schoolboy.’ And it’s funny, I used to call it the ‘Schoolboy From Hell’ actually. So I did it at a live event. I told John Cena, I said ‘hey watch this, I’m going to try something.’ And I did the Cobra and the audience laughed, like, the first time. I stood there, made this face, did the whole thing, hit him with it, rolled him. I came back and he goes ‘I would keep that if I were you, that was funny as hell.’”
Santino Marella would keep using the move-in-home events until Vince McMahon encouraged him to utilize it in a RAW bout. Even Marella was somewhat aback by how swiftly supporters embraced the change.
Marella said continuing, “Regal bumped off it to cover. That was the first time it kind of became a finishing maneuver, you know? It was only on live events. And then one day I was at RAW, and Ricky Steamboat was the producer. I was wrestling Zack Ryder and he goes ‘you’re going over with the Cobra.’ And I’m like ‘Cobra?’ He goes ‘yeah, Vince wants to see the Cobra.’ And I’m like ‘Vince knows about the Cobra?’ And he goes ‘yeah, he’s been reading the reports and he wants to see the Cobra.’ I was like ‘ah okay.’
“Anyway, I did the Cobra. Three weeks, it took three weeks of doing it on television before I would gesture for it. And I remember almost being blown away like in shock. I would see in the corner, like in my peripheral vision, the audience jumping out of their seats, like, screaming. For the Cobra? Are you guys okay? You guys are settling. There’s not really much to it, you know?”