Jenni Santana talks Finding Out She’s Tito Santana’s Biological Daughter, Them Not Establishing a Real Relationship, more

May 5, 2022 - by James Walsh

Show: Wrestling Epicenter
Guest: Jenni Santana
Date: 05/04/2022
Your Host: James Walsh

ARRIBA! The bilogical daughter of WWE Hall of Famer “El Matidor” Tito Santana, the lovely and talented Jenni Santana, stopped by the Wrestling Epicenter to tell her amazing story – Finding out her father is a World-Famous pro wrestler when she is a grown woman with children of her own! She tells her story concerning her love of combat sports, how she found her way into pro wrestling, and her goals within it. Plus, we discuss, in detail, the reaction of Tito’s side of the family to her letter revealing her shocking revelation.

A great interview with a promising young lady who has a good head on her shoulders!


On finding out Tito Santana is her father:
“I only found out a few years ago that he (Tito Santana) is my biological father. I was already into Martial Arts heavily. Then I did the interview with Hannibal and he asked if I was interested in trying professional wrestling. I was like, “Yeah! Why not?”

On how Tito reacted to the news:
“At first, he wasn’t very receptive. I had talked to his sons and we had a conversation. It wasn’t very… I mean, I can imagine that it was a shock. Here it is, how ever many years later, and this grown person with children of her own doesn’t quite show up on his doorstep but is kind of, “Hi, here I am!” (laughs) I wanted to approach it gently. I know he has a family of his own. And, it wasn’t like I had known for a long time – I was finding out right around the same time that he was. I had suspicions when I was younger… There wasn’t really DNA so there was nothing that I knew for sure. Time went on and I hadn’t really thought about it until a few years ago.”

On if she has had direct contact to Tito:
“We had a conversation and we had talked about getting to know each other and meeting up. And then, I don’t really know what happened. It just kind of went silent. So, I’m not really sure. Eventually, hopefully, we’ll get to know each other more.”

On the emotional struggle of deciding to contact Tito:
“It was tough because I was coming at it from a place where I didn’t want to cause any rifts or struggles in whatever situation he has. Some people love new news and others do not! (laughs) I didn’t have any idea how he was going to take it. I didn’t even know how I felt about it. But, I guess the deciding factor was my grandmother. I had a sit down conversation with her. I told her I was thinking of reaching out (to Tito) and she told me, “I watch these shows all the time like Long Lost Relative. They end up having these great relationships!” She said, “If I had someone reach out to me, especially you, I would be so happy and would want to get to know them.” She’s like my biggest fan! (laughs) But, it is not like we’re young. Tito has been married for 40 years or something like that. It is not like it is a delicate new relationship. Something like this could cause more rifts when you’re just starting out and you’re younger in life and in your relationship. But, he’s older in life now and when you’re older in life, you have more life experiences. You have more solid foundations and relationships. So, it really shouldn’t rock anything too hard.”So, I decided to go for it! Also, my chiropractor and his wife had a similar situation where she had found out who her biological father was. When she contacted him, this guy (her biological father) literally drove across the country as soon as he hung up the phone to see her. So, when you hear that happen, I guess you have that hope. You don’t have a personal connection but you do have that DNA connection, that blood connection… And, Tito and I do have a lot of similar things that happened to us in life. He’s very athletic, I’m very athletic. He succeeded in wrestling. I’ve succeeded in Jujitsu. He works for a high school. I was working for a high school and in education. There’s a lot of connections instead of just the DNA. So, not that I had hoped… But, I thought, “Lets give this a shot!” It didn’t actually turn out like that. (laughs) But, You can’t control everything.”

On her hopes for her relationship with Tito:
“I’m not going to push anything. I mean, I’m here. I’m not going anywhere. That isn’t going to change. But, I hope over time that we can connect more. And, I’ll hope for the best. But, you know, I’ll prepare for anything.”

On speaking to Tito’s sons, her brothers:
“I have spoken to them. We have stayed in contact, one of them more so than the others, but it is very hard. We’re all adults. We get very busy. But communication is so important – Open and honest communication is so important. So, the fact that I can have that with them, I’m very appreciative.”

On having Tito’s facial features:
“(laughs) Yes, physically, we do look very similar! It is one of those things you can’t un-see!”

On how pro wrestling has impacted her life:
“Wrestling has always been a part of my life. No, I didn’t grow up with Tito so I wasn’t backstage at wrestling events. But, I was wrestling since I was about 3 years old. I grew up with a few older Uncles and they were heavily into wrestling. They had been to matches, they had been in the ring. For me, it was natural! We always had matches in the backyard. I would be bodyslammed over my head. We would do tag team matches! Then, as I got older, we even had our own wrestling organization in the basement with our own cardboard belt. (laughs) So, wrestling was always around me. But, not the backstage aspect. I guess you could say I was more just a fan of wrestling growing up.”

On her athletic background:
“I was always physically active. I did gymnastics when I was younger until I got too big – I grew way too tall. In high school, I took up karate which was awesome. It was kind of like boxing and a kickboxing mix. My coach was an ex-NAVY Seal so I learned a lot of great stuff both physically and mentally. I got to brown belt in karate. Then, UFC came out! And, I was watching it and was like, “What is this? This is awesome!” But, I was from a small town. So, Brazilian Jujitsu wasn’t something there were any schools for. And, even if there was, I don’t know how up to par they would have been. I’m sure it is different now. In fact, I know there are a few schools now that are really good. But, we happened to move to Las Vegas – the fight capitol of the world! There are a lot of Jujitsu schools here with a lot of very successful people. My coach is Fredson Paixao, a former 5 time World Champion. His coach was Osvaldo Alves. For those who love this sport, being a part of that legacy is truly awesome.”

On Jujitsu being different from wrestling:
“I’m still heavily involved in Jujitsu. I will always be involved. I will be like 90 crawling out to the mat to compete. That’s my goal! (laughs) I think the main thing that in Jujitsu, you’re trying to break your opponent’s arm or hurt your opponent. And then, in pro wrestling, which looks just as brutal or maybe even more brutal, you’re actively trying not to hurt your opponent and your goal is to work together sometimes and stay safe – Staying safe is one of the most important things. That was kind of the biggest switch for me, I would say. The other thing is in Jujitsu, you play down your injuries so they do not know your vulnerabilities but in wrestling, you play up your injuries so that the crowd can see it and react to it.”

On how she’s adapting:
“I’m getting there. My trainer here at Future Stars of Wrestling is Sinn Bodhi. He’s so amazing and his coach was Jake “The Snake” Roberts. So, once again, just being part of that legacy is amazing. But, to have his (Sinn’s) knowledge has been great and to have him not only teach me but critique me has helped me get so much better in such a relatively short amount of time. I still have a lot of work to do! (laughs) But, he’s allowed me to grow so much faster than somebody who doesn’t have the opportunity to learn from someone so great.”

On learning by watching:
“I was in a car accident a few years ago and I wasn’t able to do Jujitsu training for quite some time. But, I would still go and watch and learn just by watching the body movement. With him (Sinn), I am able to watch him train or his matches learn even if I’m not physically training. Just to see him in a match, how he acts, his whole thing, everything has a detail and a purpose. From someone who is new, you just don’t think about it. But, to him, everything comes so naturally.”

On what she has as her goals for pro wrestling:
“You know, I get asked that a lot. This has been such a whirlwind and I’m so grateful to have been accepted into this world. The sky is the limit! I have to enjoy it. And, right now, I’m loving it. But, I don’t really have any expectations. I also get asked what my dream matches would be – Charlotte Flair! 2nd generation athlete, she’s a great athlete. We have a lot of similarities there. My second one would be Ronda Rousey. She’s from a Judo background, I’m from Jujitsu. Do I think I’ll ever be at that level? I don’t know. Being realistic, I’m just starting out. Yeah, my head is in the clouds. But, I’m really just starting. I’m just loving this journey so far. We’ll see how far it goes!”

On having two children:
“My family is so close. We’re very supportive of each other but we’re also very real with each other. There will be no time ever that I would get my head in the clouds or get stuck up about anything because they (her kids) would be the first ones to knock me down. (laughs) That’s awesome! It will keep me very grounded. My daughter is awesome about it (her wrestling). I’m trying to get her to train with me. And my son, he’s a huge wrestling fan! I did a show for World Class Pro Wrestling and they did a poll about what wrestler you were most excited to see. I forget if I was first or second in that poll but we saw it and he thought it was hysterical. Mick Foley was the other one! He was like, “What are these people, crazy? They’re comparing you to a legend!” He’s very supportive, but he keeps me grounded. He grew up watching this (wrestling) but he also grew up with me. So, he just doesn’t see me on that level. I could end up the biggest star in WWE and he would be like, “What are these people thinking?” (laughs)”

On meeting legends who know her dad:
“I’ve done WrestleCon and other events with legends. I’ve been around Kevin Sullivan a lot for various reasons. He tells me things. I’ve also done WrestleCon with guys like Bushwacker Luke, The Honky Tonk Man… They tell me stories but not just stories about him but about themselves in their prime. I love hearing those stories.”

On if she’d like to ever do a match involving Tito:
“That would be great. People love that. Right now, you see Rey Mysterio and his son on TV and people love it. Obviously, there would have to be a lot of things worked out first. But, for the fans, people love that kind of story.”

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