John Cena Played Major Role In Success Of Iconic WWE Finisher

John Cena picking up The Rock for an Attitude Adjustment

John Cena has many moves that could be considered iconic, including the Attitude Adjustment and Five-Knuckle Shuffle which can blow the roof off when he brings them out. As it turns out, he also played a part in the success of another popular finisher.

During a new interview with Chris Van Vliet, former WWE star Santino Marella discussed the origins of his bizarre Cobra finisher, which saw him put a snake-themed glove over his hand and jab his opponent in the throat to take them down.

Marella says he learned the move from someone he met while in Japan.

“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.

Later, he began using the move during his matches on live events to a good reaction from the audience.

“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.

Santino then revealed that it was John Cena who encouraged him to keep using it. Afterwards, it caught the attention of Vince McMahon, and the rest is history.

“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 day 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.”

John Cena to face Austin Theory at WrestleMania 39

While we aren’t likely to see The Cobra at WrestleMania, there’s a good chance Austin Theory will get an Attitude Adjustment at WrestleMania 39 when John Cena challenges him for the United States Championship.

Despite Cena’s initial reluctance, the match was made official on the March 6th edition of Raw.

H/T to Fightful for the above transcription.