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WWE News: Santino Marella competes in Judo tournament

How well did this former WWE star do in his first event in 19 years?


The Milan Miracle
The Milan Miracle

What's the story?

It's been three years since Santino Marella retired from WWE, but he has certainly been keeping busy. He's not only been working as an analyst for the Canadian sports channel Sportsnet, but he's also founded his own combat sports gym, Battle Arts Academy.

While a neck injury has prevented him from physically competing, he recently decided to take the dive back in and compete in his first judo tournament in 19 years,

In case you didn't know...

While Santino mostly played a comedic character during his run with WWE, he actually came into the company with an extensive background in Judo. In fact, while training in OVW — WWE's developmental territory at the time — he worked as Boris Alexiev, a Russian mixed-martial artist gimmick,

The heart of the matter

Marella posted the following on his Instagram account just a few days ago:

"[O]n a whim I decided to fight this weekend at the Asahi annual tournament in the open weight category"

Marella fought three matches - winning three and losing the fourth on a technicality - and walked away from the tournament with a bronze medal... and a lot of bruises. Not bad for a 43-year-old guy with two neck surgeries.

What's next?

It's probably safe to assume that Santino won't be diving back into the competitive end of the martial arts pool again anytime soon. It probably did bring a lot of eyes onto his sports combat school, however, so there's a good chance we could see him take on the occasional event here and there.

Author's take

A recent edition of WWE.com's "Where are they now?" featured Marella showing host Renee Young around his school, and he seems to really enjoy what he was doing. I hope he continues to have great success outside of his wrestling career.


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