Former WWE Superstar Santino Marella was revealed to be the temporary authority replacing Impact Wrestling's Executive Vice President Scott D’Amore at tonight's Hard to Kill event. A mainstay of professional wrestling, his first authoritative role will be under his iconic gimmick name.
Marella’s official title is Director of Authority. The crowd-favorite has already made an 'impact' with his powers by restarting the match between Moose and Joe Hendry for the Impact Digital Media Championship at Hard to Kill. Initially, Moose won the bout after capitalizing on a low blow, but Santino condemned the 'cheater,' and the rematch led to Henry retaining his title.
Santino Marella sporting his original gimmick from almost a decade ago raised many questions. Besides being a teaser of an in-ring return, fans were curious about how WWE gave naming rights to Impact Wrestling.
Real name Anthony Carelli, Santino Marella, had a memorable run in WWE. He is a former Intercontinental and United States Champion while also holding other accolades. His career in that promotion spanned from 2005 to 2016, following which he was let go due to an injury.
The original “Santino Marella” trademark was from 2007 to October 2021. The company had another trademark from 2010, but it was abandoned in October 2014.
His last appearance in the promotion was as 'Santina Marella' in the 2020 Women’s Royal Rumble Match. Thus, Impact Wrestling didn't infringe on any WWE rights.
According to Fightful, Impact Wrestling's parent company Anthem Wrestling filed to trademark the name "Santino Marella" on December 19, 2022. The 48-year-old wrestling veteran made sporadic appearances in the promotion before becoming Director of Authority, engaging in commentary and playing a side character to rivalries.
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Impact Wrestling's Director of Authority, Santino Marella's daughter is a WWE NXT Superstar
Following in her father's footsteps, Marella's daughter Bianca Carelli made her wrestling debut in the indies in 2018.
Her performances impressed the higher-ups in WWE, and she joined the developmental brand in 2022, gaining a victory on her debut against Amari Miller.
Bianca Carelli performs under the moniker of Ariana Grace. The Iron Princess started as a solo act but has reverted to being a tag team specialist. Her last appearance was in October 2022, when she picked up a knee injury and has been absent ever since.
Grace tweeted about her recovery and affirmed that this would be her year, even though the injury might take some time to heal.
Anthony Carelli told a 10-year-old Bianca to cut a promo. Check what happened next.