Former WWE superstar Santino Marella was on IMPACT Wrestling’s Behind the Lights and was asked about intergender wrestling. The company was trying to promote its match between Tessa Blanchard and Joey Ryan at United We Stand, but Marella had nothing positive to say about the type of match.
His main argument was that intergender wrestling could give women an “inflated sense of confidnece.” His hypothetical situation was that there could be “a girl [that decides to fight a man because she saw intergender wrestling], and this guy’s a mental case [that] cracks her with his fist and shatters an orbital one … she wouldn’t have done it [without intergender wrestling].”
He then ties intergender wrestling to transgender athletes by saying that there’s a social responsibility that wrestling has. “If you’re born a guy and you become a woman, you’re accepted anywhere,” said Santino. “[In a competitive sport] there has to be a barrier … it’s not fair that you compete against women in sports because you were born with different physical biological attributes. We have to be realistic about it and … not be so sensitive.”