WWE fans in Toronto were given some unexpected news from Santino Marella. After intermission on the Toronto house show Santino (real name Anthony Carelli) came to the ring in street clothes and announced to the live audience that he has suffered another neck injury and has been forced to call an end to his in ring career. He stated that he may remain with the WWE in a non-wrestling capacity but regretted that he would never get to wrestle coming from his actual hometown of Toronto, Ontario. Technically he is a native of Mississagua, Ontario where he opened a gym in July 2013 called “Battle Arts Academy” a training center for pro wrestling and mixed martial arts.
Edge (Adam Copeland) also had his career cut short by neck issues and was forced to retire as the World Heavyweight Champion after Wrestlemania 27 in 2011. Marella joins a long list of wrestlers that has had end their career due to neck injuries that includes even one of the WWE’s greatest stars “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. It does make you even more concerned for what the future is for Daniel Bryan, who has had his well documented issues recovering from a recent neck surgery.
While we wish Santino all the best in his future it did make something else suddenly make a lot more sense with his announcement.
Damien Sandow had started working strange and bizarre comedic based gimmicks every week. Many fans insisting this was a burial of Sandow by the powers that be in the WWE. It would appear with this news of Santino’s condition that Sandow’s role suddenly makes a world of sense. He started doing these comedy gimmicks at or near around the time we last saw Santino competing in the ring. It would appear that he is the replacement for Santino’s comedic role with the company.
Some may not be happy with this and feel Sandow deserves much more. I would suggest though, this does give him a secure role in a time where job security in the WWE is at a low point these days. Also consider last week: although Sandow ultimately was “squashed” by The Great Khali, he did interact with Stephanie McMahon. It is not many wrestlers that get to interact with Stephanie who is obviously one of the top people in the company in reality and in story line.
When this first started I shared fans concern for Sandow and what they were doing with him. Over time though, I came to enjoy his antics and actually didn’t see the role as a bad thing for him now with the knowledge of Santino’s status everything seems to make complete sense for what has happened with Sandow.
Santino and his run in the WWE is proof of how the role he played as the comedic character can offer a long run in WWE. It does limit the level that someone can achieve in terms of titles and status in the company. It still is a vital and important role that takes a ton of talent to perform. Sandow in this run has committed 100% to every crazy role they have given him with perhaps his best performance last week as he took on the role of being Vince McMahon.
You might not be happy with things but at least there now seems to be some logic as to what has been going on with Sandow.
I am sure that I am joined by my colleagues here at Between the Ropes in wishing Santino (Anthony Carelli) the best in his future. In addition, thank him for the many laughs he provided in his in ring career with the WWE. Sandow, if he is half as successful, should have a long career in the WWE in this role if he wants it. He has proven that he is very skilled at these comedic type situations over his WWE career to this point.