John Cena is a professional wrestler who has left a significant mark in the world of sports entertainment. Despite his accomplishments, Cena is a polarizing figure among fans and critics alike. In fact, he even encouraged a former WWE Superstar to use an infamous finishing move.
The Leader of Cenation did not initially harbor ambitions of becoming a professional wrestler. In fact, he faced a lengthy and challenging journey before he could ultimately achieve his full potential in the world of professional wrestling.
In the rich history of professional wrestling, there have been several signature moves that have garnered immense popularity among fans, despite not being high-impact maneuvers. Examples of such moves include The Rock’s People’s Elbow and John Cena’s Five Knuckle Shuffle, which never fail to elicit a strong reaction from the audience when performed live.
Another move that was once widely adored by casual fans, although it remains controversial within the hardcore wrestling community, is Santino Marella’s Cobra strike. While some wrestling enthusiasts may view the move as overly gimmicky, it enjoyed immense popularity during its prime among more casual viewers of the sport.
While speaking in a new interview with Chris Van Vliet, Santino Marella talked about the origins of The Cobra. In fact, Marella revealed that John Cena encouraged Marella to use the move.
“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. 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.’ 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.”
Santino Marella is currently working in Impact Wrestling and is happy in his role there. As for John Cena, he is set to challenge Austin Theory for the United States Championship at WrestleMania 39. We’ll have to see how the match will turn out.