Santino Marella has explained why he forced to retire unexpectedly, after his career ended due to injury in 2014.
The former Intercontinental Champion was a fan-favourite during his 7 year spell with the company. He debuted as a fan in Milan watching Raw, who was brought from the crowd to take on the Samoan Bulldozer Umaga. With the help of Bobby Lashley, he managed to not die and in fact won the match, wowing the fans and earning the moniker of “The Milan Miracle”.
He went on to have a very successful career in the WWE. He won multiple titles in the company, becoming a Intercontinental, United States and Tag Team Champion, as well as a controversial victory in the all-women’s battle royal at Wrestlemania 25, dressed as his “sister” Santina Marella.
He had two close moments of main event glory in his career, coming moments away from shocking the world in the best way possible. In the 2011 Royal Rumble, he finished second and even celebrated when he threw Santino Marella over the top rope. Sadly, his feet didn’t touch the floor and he promptly tossed the Italian out of the ring, ruining his chances of headlining Wrestlemania.
The year later, he came within milliseconds of winning the World Heavyweight Championship. Inside the Elimination Chamber, he nailed then-champion Daniel Bryan with his patented “Cobra” finisher – which at that point had never been kicked out of. He hurriedly pinned the American Dragon, who somehow managed to get out the pin fall and force the Milan Miracle to tap out.
Sadly, his career would come to an abrupt end in the 2014. His storyline romance with Emma was cut short and he was removed from TV with little fanfare. His legacy will always be as the greatest comedy jobber the WWE has ever seen and I don’t think anybody could argue with that
Speaking on The A2theK Wrestling Show, Santino Marella revealed that multiple neck surgeries were the reasons behind his retirement. He also claimed that he could come back for “the occasional match” but a full-time schedule was completely behind him.
“It was my neck surgery. So I had my first cervical fusion. I had a double cervical fusion right off the bat. The goal was to come back and then a few months after, they noticed that one of the screws was coming out.Then at the end, at the three-month mark, one screw had completely come out, and one had come halfway out.
“So they had to go back in and take out the titanium. I think going back in the second time, kind of messed things up, cutting through the scarred tissue. I just never got well enough to a point where I can come back and wrestle on a full-time basis. I can have a match here and there, but to do it properly, on a full time.”
With the news that he could step into the ring one more time, could a 2023 Royal Rumble appearance be on the cards for Santino Marella? Let us know in the comments or click below to read about his daughter, Bianca Carelli, who currently wrestles for NXT.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.