‘Double A’ Arn Anderson has spoken out about the infamous John Cena STF and revealed why the hold was applied without the necessary pressure to make it seem legitimate.
Former WWE Champion John Cena is a polarising figure in professional wrestling, the marmite of the industry with people either loving him or hating him. Those who fall into the latter category can name a hundred things why they found the star unbelievable between the ropes with his array of wrestling holds being near the top of the list.
While his Attitude Adjustment was fully legitimate and impactful, it was Cena’s second finishing manoeuvre, the STF – once the STFU – which came under much scrutiny from both the paying public and those backstage with Stone Cold Steve Austin being a major detractor of the move.
In the past, fans had seen other performers apply the hold and its many variations with an eye-watering brutality where it appeared they were as good as choking out their target. John Cena’s, however, appeared to have zero pressure with visible gapping between his hands and the opponent’s throat.
Now, ‘The Enforcer’ has taken to his ARN Podcast to answer a question from a listener about the hold. When asked if he or anyone else talked to the talent about how to apply the move properly, Anderson had a surprising reply:
“I gotta feeling that, err, when he first put it on – and I gave him the move ’cause I saw it in Japan. It was [Masahiro] Chono’s finish move. […] I thought it was a tremendous finish. Y’know you’ve trapped the guy’s leg, his knee is bent uncomfortably and then you reach up and you hook him around the jaw. Apparently he did snug it up when he first started using it and some guys said, ‘Hey man, you’re choking me out! You need to loosen up’. Just from that moment forward John would have said, ‘Oh man, that’s not my intention’, and he would have loosened it up and it would have stayed loose. That’s the only thing I can figure. It never jumped off the page to me.”
Regardless of his application or people’s opinion of it, John Cena persevered with the hold winning and retaining countless world championships in World Wrestling Entertainment.
Currently, the leader of the Cenation is in Vancouver, Canada, filming the HBO Max Suicide Squad spin-off, Peacemaker.
Credit for the interview: ARN Podcast