On Sunday July 6, popular WWE superstar Santino Marella announced in front of a live crowd in Toronto that he is retiring. According to a report by WrestlingInc.com, Marella stated that a third neck injury is forcing him to retire from being an active competitor. However, Santino is hoping to remain with the WWE in a non-wrestler role.
Real name Anthony Careli, the 35 year old Santino debuted on WWE RAW in April 2007. His legacy will be remembered as one of comic relief rather than a stellar in-ring career. Santino was often called on to be silly and provide the WWE Universe with laughs. Santino did his job admirably as he was beloved by the fans and respected by his peers. He will also be remembered for his "Cobra" finisher where he put a sock on his hand and struck his opponents with it.
In addition to announcing his retirement, Santino also proudly stated to the live fans in Toronto that he was really a Canadian, according to WWE.com. Marella spent the last seven years portraying an Italian from Italy.
Santino held the WWE Intercontinental title twice, the tag team titles once and was also a United States champion. His power walking to the ring will go down as one of WWE's most memorable entrances and his departure from in-ring competition will leave a void.
Fortunately for the WWE, there is one superstar who appears to be heading down a path of filling Santino's comical void. Damien Sandow has been seen over the last few months portraying various characters on live WWE television and making a fool of himself before quickly losing a wrestling match.
On last week's episode of RAW, Sandow was dressed up as Bruce Springsteen and quickly lost his match to Rusev. This continued a streak of losses that doesn't seem to be ending anytime in the near future. Sandow's current comical status has many WWE fans wondering what he did to deserve this treatment.
In light of Santino's retirement, there's a great chance that Sandow will pick up the ball and run with it.