Santino Marella Shares The Backstory On How He Started Doing The Cobra
Santino Marella opens up about his famous signature maneuver, The Cobra.
The former WWE star and current IMPACT producer/talent spoke about the Cobra during an interview with Chris Van Vilet, which includes backstory on the moves’ origin, and how it went from a House Show act to a mainstream phenomenon. Highlights from the interview can be found below.
On first learning to do the cobra:
I was in Japan, for most of 2004 I was living in Japan. After the shows there, we all go to the bars and restaurants. There was a gentleman named Carl who was friends with my coach Mr. Ishikawa and he was just sitting at the table and he showed me this thing where he transforms his arm into this little kind wooden puppet type thing. I remember looking at Mr. Ishikawa and going ‘I don’t get it, what is that?’ He was like ‘Oh, it’s just a funny thing he does.’ He made me try it and the next time I saw him he’s like ‘Do you remember how to do it?’ and that was it. It was just a little funny thing between us.
How he started doing it at WWE house shows and had John Cena tell him to keep doing it:
I’m guessing about five years later, I believe it was in Atlanta. I was wrestling either Chavo or Carlito, I said ‘Hey, I’m gonna try something during my comeback.’ So it’s like jab, clothesline, punch or whatever and then I stop and do the transformation to my arm and hit him and he turns away into a schoolboy. Without seeing it on TV, the audience immediately laughed. Cena, I always sat beside Cena, I came back through the curtain and he was like ‘I would keep that if I were you, that was funny.’
When Vince McMahon found out about the cobra:
I was doing it only on live events and then one I go to TV and Ricky Steamboat was my producer. I was wrestling Zack Ryder and [I was] going over with the Cobra, Vince wants to see the Cobra. I’m like ‘Vince knows about the Cobra?’ He was like ‘Yeah, he reads the reports.’ But the Cobra was crazy. Like in three weeks, really quickly, I would gesture for it and I would see in my peripheral vision the entire arena jumping up and I’m like ‘Really?’ Okay, they like it, I mean I didn’t find it that spectacular, but they loved it. I think we did it for a year without the sleeve and then we introduced the sleeve.
In a separate interview, Marella spoke about his new venture in IMPACT and getting to work with their talented roster. You can read about that here.
(H/T and transcribed by Fightful)