Audio: Santino talks injuries, WWE release, the cobra, and more

Jun 12, 2016 - by Steve Gerweck

Recap of Santino Marella on In Your Head Wrestling Radio, 05/31/2016

Host Jack E. Jones welcomed Anthony Carelli, better known as WWE Superstar Santino Marella, to IYH Wrestling Radio.

Highlights included the following:

– Your release from the WWE, was it primarily due to your injuries?

“Yeah, probably; I can’t wrestle anymore. Of course, I could’ve done stuff on the mic as a general manager, manager, commentator, whatever, but I guess they didn’t see it that way or maybe there’s nothing going on right now. But they were pretty clear about this is just a Level 2 contract, and I can still do stuff on the (WWE) Network. My goal is to have a developmental territory up in Canada here so we can get the Australian guys, and the English guys, and the Canadian guys and do a whole new NXT-North type thing.”

– What are your thoughts on the WWE once again doing a brand-split and the need for new talent?

“They have the talent, but the talent isn’t being seen because when the top guys are on both programs you never see those mid-card guys. Now that there’s going to be two brands, you can get those even entry-level guys because they need entry-level guys on each show; up and comers and mid-card guys not just all main eventers. So it’s really going to allow for more of a fair opportunity for guys to rise to the top, and hopefully it will be on crowd reactions.”

– What are your thoughts on the wrestling saying “Funny = No Money”?

“Well, there has to be funny in every single show. There have to be dramatic moments, there have to be funny moments, there have to be exciting moments; if there’s no funny it’s all just monotonous and the same. That’s why I was lucky; nobody else was competing with me for that spot, but that’s why I was in the WWE for ten years because you have to have that comedy element. The thing is, yeah, you’re not going to be the heavyweight champion, but you’re going to have a job for ten years. I’ll take that.”

– Do you think the Santino character could have been a main event guy?

“Yeah, at the end of the day it’s whatever you want to write. If somebody wrote in a storyline and said Santino took ninjutsu lessons and now he’s a badass, it would take three weeks before everyone would completely believe that I was a badass. People have a short memory when it comes to programming and you could totally change your character and be a certain way in no time. I wanted to do a hypnosis gimmick, where I was indestructible and (would) beat up everybody…and then of course when he loses his hypnosis he’s weak again. Then he realizes that it was actually him all along; he had the potential and all that kind of stuff, just like a kids’ TV special or cartoon, learning that lesson that it was you the whole time. Yeah, you can do anything, but I enjoyed making people laugh and having fun.”

-When you invented the Cobra, what were some of the other guys’ reactions to it and when you first did it and got the reaction from the fans what was it like?

“I was at a house show and I was wrestling Carlito, and I just leaned over to (John) Cena before my match and said ‘Watch this, I’m going to try something in my match’. So during my comeback I was giving him clotheslines, jabs, whatever, and as he was selling out I put my arm out did the Cobra and hit him. The audience had never seen it before, but they laughed immediately. When I came back through the curtain, he said I would keep that if I were you. We kept it, and basically I would only do it on live events; I’d never do it on TV. Then one time I was having a match, I think Ricky Steamboat was my producer, and he goes yeah, you’re going to go over with the Cobra. He says Vince (McMahon) wants to see it, he’s heard about it from reports on all the live events. So we did it, and he loved it, and that’s it; the Cobra was born.”

Other topics discussed included:

– Did his judo background help him in professional wrestling?

– What are his memories of the incident in OVW with Jim Cornette?

– If he could manage a current WWE superstar, who would it be and why?

– Did he feel it was too much, too soon beating Umaga in his debut?

For information on his multi-sport training facility in Toronto, Battle Arts Academy, go to

This interview is available for listening at

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