"The Cobra was a question mark.
A master of multiple arts, including
skills enough to make Norris proud,
he was often overlooked and
disrespected. Good. If you don't see
the snake, it will kill you before long."
Santino Marella is an odd choice as a replacement for Orton. Going from The Viper to The Cobra isn't exactly a great marketing ploy at first glance but consider a few things with Marella before writing him off.
Marella has been in the WWE for a long while now. As a comedy act, he's used in situations where a chuckle will gain more mileage then intensity or if a heel needs to gain some heat by squashing a sympathetic guy.
But he's also a two-time Intercontinental Champion and had a Tag Team Title reign with Koslov. The Milan Miracle has some hardware to backup his run in the WWE.
Still, his inclusion is an odd choice, but the WWE could be of a few thoughts about this. The automatic assumption is, to me, a swerve of some sort. There are a few wrestlers such as Del Rio and Christian who are back from injury. Both men are heels, so it's plausible to see Santino get a beat down from either man to force their inclusion into the match.
The second one is we could be seeing a bit of a push for the WWE's resident funny man. Santino is over with the younger demographics and has some sympathy from the older fans. They know him, know the crap his character gets put through and the fact he was in a nasty car wreck that sidelined him for a while doesn't hurt in that regard.
As you might recall last year, Marella was injured in shoulder in a car accident that sidelined him for a month. There was some fear that Santino would be released as a result, but the WWE posted a story on their website about it. To me, that screams "Nope. Not happening."
The other option to consider, and this isn't outside the realm of possibility, is Santino could win this.
Put the pitchforks away! I'm just hypothesizing.
In any case, WrestleMania 28 promises to be a heavily dramatic affair at the top of the card.
The Rock vs. John Cena match could become heavily emotional for a number of reasons. Jericho vs. Punk, assuming it happens, is liable be a heavily cerebral build and match. Triple H vs. Undertaker will have a combination of both.
The WWE could use a break from top of the card. Sheamus needs a match. A feud between the two could be relatively fresh. Santino tends to be a bit underrated in the ring. The match would be a hit with the kiddies.
Just saying that anything is possible. I have a greater chance of getting struck by lightning, but it's possible.
Put the torches away. Please?