Antonio Cesaro def. United States Champion Santino Marella

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August 19, 2012

LOS ANGELES – We’re not sure how you say slobberkocker in five languages, but the surprise was universal when the mouthy newcomer Antonio Cesaro knocked off Santino Marella to claim the United States Champion in the SummerSlam 2012 Pre-Show, streamed exclusively on WWE.com, YouTube.com/WWE and WWE’s Facebook page. (WATCH | PHOTOS)

Santino, who had suffered two previous losses to the self-styled “Swiss Superman,” came out swinging against Cesaro, looking to engage the former rugby star in mat-based technical attacks that frustrated Cesaro in the contest’s opening minutes. The Italian Stallion used his unorthodox offense to stymie Cesaro before the challenger forced The Italian Stallion into the corner and began to go to work with stiff shots to Santino’s midsection.

The Milan Miracle tried to put the contest away quickly, breaking out The Cobra in hopes of finishing Cesaro off, but the multilingual brawler cut Marella off mid-stream, kicking away Santino’s weapon of choice and smothering the champion with a vicious array of headbutts before trapping him in a vise-like headlock. Cesaro tossed Santino away like a rag doll before hubris nearly got the better of him when he retrieved the fallen Cobra and tore it apart like a wild animal, using his powerful muscles to shred the implement to ribbons.

An enraged Marella quickly rallied for his signature hiptoss/headbutt combo and seemed to literally pull victory out of his rear end when he retrieved a spare Cobra from inside the back of his singlet. The sultry Aksana slinked up on the apron, though, and distracted Santino just long enough for Cesaro to strike. The challenger wrenched Santino up for the Neutralizer and planted him upon the mat, securing the three-count and the stars and stripes title for himself. (EXCLUSIVE: CESARO REACTS)

Cesaro will surely have many things to say in many different languages, perhaps we can sum it up succinctly, in the language of the former champion himself: la vittoria era suo.

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