Ass Kicking Pose: Wrestlers used to just laugh at or ignore Santino's bend wrist elbow in palm pose until he dropped William Regal with the cobra. Since then, wrestlers have rightly feared it.
Big Ol' Unibrow: It started out minor and a sign of evil when he turned heel but started letting it grow out while he dated Maria, making it comedic.
Boisterous Bruiser: During his second run as intercontinental champion is where he really picked up these tendencies and kept them up until his prolonged feud with Sheamus, whom Santino became afraid of.
On the September 3, 2007 Raw, he was cutting a promo when ECW's "Hardcore Icon" The Sandman came down to the ring. Santino said, "Oh my God, you're jealous because I make-a love to beautiful Maria and you (in re: Sandman's Singapore Cane) ... you make-a love to your stick!," and Sandman hit him over the head with the cane.
On the October 22 and October 29, 2007 episodes of Raw, he actually cut promos mocking "STONE COLD" STEVE AUSTIN and his movie The Condemned. Austin showed up on the November 5th show, and after correcting Santino's mangling of Austin's CatchPhrases, Santino said that he couldn't put himself through watching the movie again, and, of course, Austin stunned him.
Dumbass Has a Point: Santino may have been a sideshow joke of an intercontinental champion, but he did have a point about how important the title should be versus how WWE treated it.
"You see, Goldilocks is merely champion of one country, the Nited States. Santino Marella is the champion of all the landmasses that protrude above the sea level, also known as continents. Which means Santino Marella is the champion of PLANET EARTH!"
Early-Installment Weirdness: Had a Russian shootfighter gimmick in OVW as Boris Alexiev. Even in WWE he started out as a much more serious character, known for feuding with Umaga. His comedy heel turn came about because people did not buy it.
Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: In a battle royale event, after saving himself from being eliminated by Triple H and John Cena, he attempts to clothesline them both...resulting in his immediate fall to the floor. After he gets back up, he decides the best course of action is to grab himself by the collar & waistband, and eliminate himself. The in-ring action stops for nearly a minute as everyone is too busy either laughing, or trying to figure out if that actually just happened.
Straight Man: Beth Phoenix, Kozlov and Tamina served as this to him.
Stay in the Kitchen: What Santino devolved into during his feud with Maria Kanellis, blaming the presence of WWE divas on him not being a part of the Money In The Bank Ladder match and telling them all to go home.
Theatrics Of Pain: Part of the reason some fans consider Santino too much of a joke to hold the US Championship even after he's shown his wrestling ability is because he convincingly sells every single piece of damage he receives during a match, for the rest of the match, which is something basically nobody in the WWE roster does anymore, making him seem weaker than everyone else.
Took a Level in Badass: Right around when he teamed with Kozlov. Then in February '12, he wins the Battle Royal to get Randy Orton's spot for Elimination Chamber, gets down to the last two wrestlers in the Smackdown Chamber (The other being Daniel Bryan) and weeks later wins the US Championship against Jack Swagger.
Wedgie: Gave one to Ricardo Rodriguez before eliminating him from the 2012 Royal Rumble.
Worked Shoot: He challenged Jim Cornette on a Radio show after Cornette had been released by WWE for slapping him and Santino had been called up to the Raw roster. note Both elements were key, because WWE, showing a tremendous amount of foresight, "released" Cornette even though he was still the owner of their developmental league OVW, so as long Santino was still in developmental this measure did absolutely nothing to keep Cornette from slapping him again if he so felt like it. All it really did was allow their developmental company to expand its services to others, which it eventually did. No one really bought it, Jim Cornette being an old man whose slap probably did not even hurt him. It was more likely in response to the constant take thatsTNA, who Cornette went to work for, gave WWE.