Inside Story On Santino Marella’s Road To RAW

Ryan Clark

WWE’s plan to treat Santino Marella as an underdog/giant killer character has special significance given Vince McMahon’s reaction to a storyline Paul Heyman proposed last year, reports the Wrestling-Observer Newsletter.

Last year, Heyman reportedly pushed for an angle in which Spike Dudley would return with his “giant killer” gimmick, ultimately pinning Big Show at One Night Stand before getting demolished in a rematch. At the time, McMahon said that he was not interested in a storyline that would esssentially “kill the credibility” of the big guys.

Now, however, McMahon is obviously supportive of using that direction to push Santino.

John Carelli, who plays the Santino character, had been on the brink of a WWE call-up twice in the past. The first proposal called for Carelli to join the ECW brand as Kurt Angle’s protege, but Angle’s suspension, which cast doubt on his future as a long-term player, resulted in that angle being nixed.

An angle, very similar to the current one, was then pitched just before Survivor Series. A heel was to issue a challenge to the crowd; Carelli would accept, warning the heel that he was a trained mixed martial arts fighter. The heel would laugh that warning off, only to lose within a minute and then lose a rematch. The ultimately plan would have featured Carelli in a feud with CM Punk. The idea was immediately nixed.

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