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Santino's title history is no laughing matter

Intro

That Santino Marella is a funny guy. From the booty-shaking power-walk, to the trombone dance, to The Cobra itself, the new United States Champion’s unorthodox comportment has always tickled the funny bone of the WWE Universe.

The joke was on Jack Swagger, however, when, in one of the biggest upsets in WWE history, The Italian Stallion surprised the former World Champion with a rollup last week on Raw SuperShow to snatch the United States Title from The All-American American’s clutches. The defeat left Swagger shell-shocked, as did the rematch the following Friday, when Santino again evaded his enemy inside a steel cage to retain the hard-won title.

But maybe Swagger shouldn't have been laughing in the first place: for all his quirks (and make no mistake: he is quirky), Marella has one of the more formidable championship records of any Superstar in WWE. In fact, of all the current titles available to him, the only ones he hasn't won are the World Titles, and he came awfully close to taking Daniel Bryan's World Heavyweight Championship in the 2012 SmackDown Elimination Chamber Match after outlasting perennial contenders Big Show, Cody Rhodes and Wade Barrett, as well as former World Champion The Great Khali. With a history like Santino's, it's no wonder SmackDown GM Teddy Long picked him to captain Team Teddy at WrestleMania XXVIII in just under three weeks, where Long's team will face off with Interim Raw GM John Laurinaitis' handpicked squad to decide the leadership of Raw and SmackDown.

So, with the future of SmackDown in the Stallion's capable hands and the U.S. Title around his waist, WWE.com presents a fond look back at Santino’s championship history with photos and videos from each victory. Laugh if you dare, and watch him take it to the bank.

“The Milan Miracle” – April 16, 2007

Santino Marella, Vince McMahon's hand-picked opponent for Umaga, shocks the Milan, Italy, crowd and the WWE Universe by winning the Intercontinental Championship in his Raw debut.

Santino came from the same humble beginnings as many a Superstar before him: he was a fan. And a lucky one, at that: not only did he score ringside seats to Raw in Milan, Italy, but Mr. McMahon himself plucked Marella from the WWE Universe and set up an impromptu match between Santino and the Intercontinental Champion, Umaga. Not short on gumption even then, Santino accepted The Chairman's challenge and, with a little help from Bobby Lashley, pinned the Samoan terror to capture the Intercontinental Championship. And he wasn't even officially a WWE Superstar yet. ( PHOTOS)

Power Couple - SummerSlam 2008

Kofi Kingston joins Mickie James against Santino Marella and Beth Phoenix at Conseco Fieldhouse on August 17, 2008 in a unique title opportunity for the Intercontinental and Women's Championship.

It was certainly a bizarre situation when Santino and his then-girlfriend, Beth Phoenix, took on Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston and Women's Champion Mickie James in a "Winner Take All" Intergender Tag Team Match where both titles were on the line. Thanks to "Glamarella's" crafty teamwork, Phoenix was able to capitalize and administer the Glam Slam to James while Santino incapacitated Kingston, scoring a pair of his and hers championships for the happy couple. ( PHOTOS)

Santino Strikes Back - December 6, 2010

During John Cena’s brief ouster from WWE at the hands of The Nexus, the WWE Universe was clamoring for another Superstar to step up and defy the faction's tyranny. The first strike came from an unlikely spot, during a Fatal 4-Way Tag Team Match for the WWE Tag Team Championships. Santino & Vladimir Kozlov outlasted The Usos and the team of Mark Henry & Yoshi Tatsu to make it one-on-one against Nexus members (and incumbent champions) Heath Slater & Justin Gabriel. After a brief distraction from Cena, who scrambled out from under the ring, Santino felled Gabriel with The Cobra to relieve The Nexus of their championships. ( PHOTOS)

All-American Upset - March 5, 2012

Raw: Santino Marella vs. Jack Swagger - United States Championship Match

Among the many casualties of the power struggle between SmackDown GM Teddy Long and Interim Raw GM John Laurinaitis was Jack Swagger's United States Title, lost to Santino after The Italian Stallion took advantage of a ruckus outside the ring to trap Swagger with a schoolboy pin, claiming his fourth title in WWE. ( PHOTOS)

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