Former WWE superstar Santino Marella recently took part in an interview with CLICKON Sports, and during the chat, he spoke about everything from his in-ring style to his Battle Arts Academy that he currently runs up in Canada. The Milan Miracle seems to be thriving away from the squared circle, although many fans continue to miss his comedic presence from time to time.
On opening the Battle Arts Academy:
“It was a long, tedious process [opening his Academy], and a learning curve, but it’s awesome. We do three Olympic sports – judo, boxing and wrestling, and then we do the whole MMA side and the pro wrestling side, as well as athletic conditioning. It’s quite challenging, but at the end of the day, it’s worth it.”
On a possible MMA career:
“Thank god I made it all the way through university without MMA being so popular. If it was popular when I was in high school, I’m pretty sure I would’ve been fighting from a very young age. It’s a rough life though, man, I’ve got a lot of respect for those guys. They fight for peanuts because they love fighting and ultimately want to get that big pay day one day.”
On hobbies outside wrestling:
“One thing I always wanted to do, and I’m now doing, is hunting, fishing, camping and just really enjoying the outdoors. These are things I’ve always wanted to do, but of course being on the road for the last 10 years meant I couldn’t do it.”
On his original gimmick Boris Alexiev:
“When I was training I really liked guys like Dynamite Kid, Tiger Mask, Dean Malenko, Chris Benoit and Kurt Angle. They were a little shorter aswell, and I just kind of saw myself wrestling like that. It manifested itself into Boris, but the opportunity came up to become Santino so I had no choice. You never know when these opportunities are gonna come, or if they’re gonna come.”
On wrestling different styles:
“When you’re imagining your career it’s all about these moments when you’re completely spent, struggling to your feet for one more desperation manoeuvre or submission, that’s the kind of wrestling I really wanted to do. Don’t get me wrong, I was very happy bringing laughter into people’s homes, but I would’ve enjoyed some classic knock ‘em down drag ‘em out type matches to try and showcase my wrestling skills.”
On dream matches & Randy Orton:
“I wrestled myself into a corner a little bit, because people really enjoy the comedy and expect to see the comedy. I couldn’t have had those really genuine feuds, because they’re often not funny. I would’ve liked to have had more matches with Randy Orton, because he’s a good friend of mine too and we could’ve had some fun.
He works very hard behind the scenes, he’s very meticulous about his training and his physio. He is a product of this business, and he invests in himself to keep active and keep himself healthy – and it pays off. He seems like he could be around for the next 10 years if he wanted.”