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.
Fridge Brilliance: The Cobra looks like a Finger Poke of Doom at first, until you realize it's a high velocity poke to the throat. Maybe it won't knock a guy out, but stunning him for three seconds is actually quite plausible.
Defeat Means Friendship: Vladimir Koslov found humor in beating him up. Santino suggested they form a tag team but they didn't officially become one until Koslov had spent a lot more time beating him up.
The Usos have gain some level of respect for him. They at least like him better than JTG.
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 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.
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.