In a surprising turn of events, WWE superstar Santino Marella came out during the WWE house show in Toronto and told the crowd that he was likely retiring from professional wrestling. This really came as a shock to the crowd, especially since Toronto is Marella’s actual home town. According to PWInsider on Sunday, the Santino retirement is due to a third neck surgery.
Santino came out after the first intermission break of the house show in street clothes to make the announcement. He said he really wanted to compete in front of his home town fans, but the recent neck injury he suffered looks like it will end his career. He said that he is not finished with the business of professional wrestling and will still be around, but not as an active competitor.
This is another high profile neck injury of a WWE superstar. Fans will remember that Edge had to retire after numerous neck injuries caused him to lose feeling in his arms and doctors told him that if he didn’t retire, he would end up crippled. More recently, Daniel Bryan had to have his neck operated on and he still hasn’t regained full strength in his arm.
Santino Marella started his career in the WWE during a tour of the U.K. when he came from the audience to meet an open challenge by Intercontinental champion Umaga. Marella came from the audience and, thanks to the assistance by Bobby Ashley, he beat Umaga and became the Intercontinental champion. Since that time, Santino has been portrayed as a comedy act, despite his legitimate MMA background, and has been one of the more popular WWE stars.
PWS reported that Santino Marella had done a recent interview where he hinted a retirement. He mentioned his lack of size and how a lot of the younger talent was bigger and stronger. He said his career was winding down, and the neck injuries had to play a part in those comments.