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#FinisherFriday: Strike of the COBRA!


Welcome to another edition of #FinisherFriday! This is Wreddit_Regal bringing to you an analysis of Santino Marella's finisher.

In his decade-long career with WWE, the Milan Miracle has captured the hearts of young and old with his dialogues, power walk towards the ring, the trumpet march after a victory, and his infamous finisher, the Cobra.

As ridiculous as it looks, this move paved the way for Santino in his march towards US and Tag Team gold. Striking here and there, the Cobra has definitely gained a reputation (good or bad) as one effective maneuver. But leaving the introductions behind, let us pick apart the move one by one.

The mechanics of this move are as follows:
  1. Santino extends his right arm perpendicular to the canvas, and supinates the right hand (wearing the sleeve or "skin" is optional)
  2. He makes the "snout"
  3. He raises the forearm 90 degrees
  4. He rotates the snout forward
  5. He says the magic word "COBRAAAAAAA!"
  6. And proceeds to strike the opponent

GIF via Tenor.com

GIF via Imgur.com

Pretty straightforward eh? Now, let us examine the pros and cons of the move.

PROS:

1. It can be used with or without the snake skin
2. It has a short refractory period, hence the ability to strike multiple opponents in a short amount of time:


3. The Cobra can also strike on limbs, which causes almost immediate paralysis:


4. Santino CAN use the Cobra on both arms SIMULTANEOUSLY, provided that someone could set up the other arm for him:


5. The Cobra can also spit its venom (or whatever you wish to call it) on an unsuspecting enemy, the effects of which are similar to getting hit by green mist:



CONS:
1. It has an unusually long loading time before Santino could actually use the move, thus giving the opponent ample time to avoid or counter the move:


2. The Cobra isn't really invincible once ready to use. An opponent can hit the Cobra mid-strike and deal substantial pain to Santino:


3. The Cobra can actually be forced against its will through the age-old practice of snake charming:


4. Larger and stronger wrestlers can catch the Cobra by the throat mid-strike, and direct the path to Santino, incapacitating himself in the process:



Now that we have listed its pros and cons, let us analyze how the Cobra deals damage:

  • A forceful strike in the throat can cause the trachea and larynx to spasm, and close off. A blocked trachea can immediately deprive the body - and brain - of oxygen, and may cause unconsciousness in a few minutes.

Image via shutterstock.com


  • The point of impact (the Cobra's snout) is significantly smaller than the normal fist, which means an absurdly amount of damage concentrated on one small area. Should the Cobra strike the chin, it is automatically deemed a knockout blow. (How Santino manages to not get his fingers broken after every Cobra baffles me to this day)
  • Some have also theorized that the Cobra strike mechanics are similar to the Vulcan nerve pinch, which deals immense pressure to the trapezius nerve bundle, causing unconsciousness-inducing pain to its recipient (although in Santino's case, the most logical areas to hit are: above the temple, to induce an acute case of trigeminal neuralgia, and on the mastoid process, where there are lots of nerve fibers to hit and cause pain)

GIF via Gfycat.com

Image via RHUncovered.co.uk

Image via Annalsofian.org

Fun fact: The only instance of an opponent clashing head-on with the Cobra and not suffering any adverse effects was when Mick Foley and Santino squared off in the Royal Rumble:


And there you have it, the Cobra deconstructed! I sure had fun making this article, and I hope you had fun reading it too. What finishers do you want to be analyzed on future FFs? Let us know in the comment section below!

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