Even though Maridueña is clearly loyal to Team Johnny, you’ll never guess who he thinks could have won that original 1984 All Valley Tournament, had things gone down differently. Just for fun, Looper asked him how Miguel might have fared during that same tournament if he had time traveled back to 1984, and he thinks a far more unstable Cobra Kai member might have wreaked even more havoc had he progressed any further.
“I think Dutch [Chad McQueen] is such an unpredictable character that had he made it any further in that tournament, someone definitely would’ve gotten some broken bones,” says Maridueña. “But maybe Miguel could have [won]. I think it could be interesting to think about.”
As fans of the original film may recall, Dutch was Johnny’s right-hand man during the events of the original movie. During an exchange in the Cobra Kai season 2 episode titled “Take a Right,” we learn that he remained a hot-headed loose cannon and that he ultimately ended up in prison — a path that could likely be a reality for Robby (Tanner Buchanan) or Tory (Peyton List) if they remain under the brainwashing tutelage of Kreese.
With season 3 having paved the way for all-out war at the All Valley Tournament in Cobra Kai season 4, we now have Miyagi-Do, Eagle Fang, and Cobra Kai — three different dojos led by three different senseis — with the third being the most potent form of martial arts in all the wrong ways and, arguably, the most dangerous (just ask Dutch). Maridueña is ready to chime in on which of the three dojos he’d support if they existed in real life.
“I think if you want your kid to be part of Kreese’s Cobra Kai, you shouldn’t be a parent,” he tells Looper. “I think Eagle Fang really does, at least for me personally, come from the best place. I think Johnny had some good intentions when he brought back Cobra Kai, but I think there’s a lot of those underlying mantras and underlying messages that you can’t really escape from without creating his new dojo. So, I think Eagle Fang really does come from the best place and he has the best heart. I wish more people thought that way, but I think each dojo has its benefits.”
Cobra Kai season 3 is now streaming on Netflix.