Santino Marella isn’t a name you see interviewed all that often, even though he was a WWE staple for nearly a decade, often getting as much TV time as the serious main-eventers. Well, the Two Man Power Trip podcast recently sat down with Santino (real name, Anthony Carelli) and it turns out the real Santino is a fairly straight-shooting kind of guy.
The Santino character was cartoonish to say the least, at times bordering on insenstive, but according to the man himself, the character came from a surprisingly honest place.
“The character of Santino is interesting to my friends and family, because it’s a combination of people from where I live. A lot of me and my friend’s parents, they all immigrated to Canada. They’re Greek and Portugese and Croatian, and all our parents have these funny accents and expressions. So, Santino is sort of a combination of these butcher jobs of the English language.”
Santino also got into the origins of The Cobra…
“There was a guy who showed me this cobra move a long time ago at a bar in Japan and I just tried it in a match. I asked John Cena to watch and tell me what he thought of it. When I came back because the crowd laughed immediately when I did it we kept it and it just took on a life of its own. It’s an entertaining move. It’s a little bit silly but the people loved it so you gotta give them what they love.”
Speaking of Cena, what were Santino’s thoughts on Big Match John? Was he as much of a locker-room leader as he could or should have been?
“Well, he definitely was a locker-room leader. But what happens is when guys like get their own bus they are not in the locker room anymore. He has his own bus, Randy has a bus, Big Show has got their buses and you literally don’t see them in the locker room because they have a different bus. But on European tours he’s still in the locker room. That being said he was definitely the locker room leader, because of his work ethic and he is just a good guy. Really good principles and morals and values.”
Finally, what did Santino have to say about his infamous run as “Santina,” which led to him being crowned the first (and thus far, only) Miss WrestleMania?
“I’m always up for a challenge. When you get a role like that some people would be concerned like “Oh GOD”, this is the end of your career, because once you dress like a woman that’s it. I thought I was going to do a good job and knock this out of the park. I know the girls were pissed. But I was given the job by the boss and you just do the best you can.
At that time I wasn’t making a joke out of women’s wrestling, but I was in women’s wrestling and making a joke. But it wasn’t about women’s wrestling it was more about Santino. I hope the girls were able to distinguish between the two because they are an integral part of our show and they do the exact same stuff as us and they travel, they work out and take bumps they do the exact same stuff we do.”
Santino covers a ton of other stuff in the interview, including winning his first IC Title in the “Milan Miracle” and being paired with Emma. Also, it’s just super weird to hear Santino talking in his regular, Canadian guy accent for half-an-hour. I totally suggest you check out the full interview at the link below.