The Stepover Toehold Facelock, popularly known as the STF, has been John Cena's trusted submission finisher for years. The Cenation Leader started using the move a few years after his WWE debut, and it has now been revealed that he received heat for the way he applied the hold. Stone Cold Steve Austin had advised Cena to tighten up the STF several years ago.
I gave him the move: Arn Anderson reveals his role in John Cena's STF
Arn Anderson revealed that he gave John Cena the move. The AEW personality first saw the maneuver performed in Japan by Masahiro Chono. The legendary Japanese innovator mastered the STF - a move invented by the iconic Lou Thesz, and Anderson felt it would have slotted right into Cena's arsenal of moves.
"I got a feeling that when he first put it on, and I gave him the move because I saw it in Japan. It was Chono's finishing move, right?"
The former WWE producer revealed that the 16-time world champion had heat backstage for having an undesirably tight hold on his opponent's neck in the STF.
Arn Anderson stated that guys from the locker room told Cena to 'loosen up a bit' as they legitimately got choked out while being in the STF.
"Well, yeah, I thought it was a tremendous finish. You trap the guy's leg. His knee is bent uncomfortably, and then you reach up, hook him up around the jaw. Apparently, he did snug it up when he first started using it, and some guys said, 'Hey man, you're choking me out. You need to loosen up', and just from that moment forward, John would have said, 'Oh, that's not my attention.' He would have loosened it up and stayed loose. That's the only thing I can figure out. It never jumped off the page for me."
The STF added a much-needed freshness to John Cena's move set when he first introduced the STF over a decade ago. While the likes of Steve Austin and many others would have complaints about John Cena's restrained STF, the superstar himself needed to make the change for his opponent's safety.
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