How Vince McMahon nearly called an audience for a massive World Championship victory

Vince McMahon was known for changing his mind in an instant during his decades in charge of the WWE. This has even led to a few rare instances where he made an audible noise in the middle of a match about who would win. There was even an occasion where McMahon was reportedly about to call off a sudden audible signal that would see WWE comedic star Santino Marella win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, but backed out.

Said game came on the 2012 Elimination Chamber pay-per-view as Daniel Bryan (now Bryan Danielson) defended the gold against Marella, Wade Barrett, Cody Rhodes, The Big Show and The Great Khali. In the iconic final few moments of the match, Marella hit his Cobra finisher on Bryan, coming within an inch to hold him for three counts. Bryan would survive and force Marella to surrender, but lost the title to Sheamus in seconds WrestleMania XXVII about two months later.

“Yeah, it’s funny, one of the things I’m most known for is being a split second away from the World Champion… I talked to Pete Dunne, and now they’re actually calling it the ‘Santino -spot’…everyone around the world watching that pay-per-view was like “oh sh*t, this guy’s gonna win”, and we’ve got everybody. We’ve got everybody!” Marella recently said on the A2theK Wrestling Show (h/t Sportskeeda).

“Man, even at the end when he had his last move on me, and I fought for it, I swear I still thought there was a chance, you know?… Mike Chioda was in gorilla and he was watching Vince [McMahon] and he was like ‘man I swear he was this close to calling it right away and changing it’… it would have been crazy.

WWE Survivor Series WarGames Map

  • Men’s WarGames Match: Roman Reigns, The Usos, Solo Sikoa & Sami Zayn vs. Drew McIntyre, Kevin Owens and The Brawling Brutes
  • Women’s WarGames Match: Bianca Belair, Asuka, Alexa Bliss, Mia Yim & TBD vs. Bayley, Dakota Kai, Iyo Sky, Nikki Cross & Rhea Ripley
  • SmackDown Women’s Championship: Ronda Rousey vs Shotzi
  • AJ Styles vs Finn Balor

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