What's the story?
Santino Marella came out of retirement for one last match this past weekend, teaming up with Chavo Guerrero Jr. for Destiny Wrestling in Toronto. Santino gave a speech after the match, confirming that it will be the last time he competes in the squared circle.
In case you didn't know...
Santino Marella came out of absolutely nowhere to become one of the most entertaining and popular WWE superstars of an entire generation. Santino, real name Anthony Carelli, made his debut as a fan in the crowd on WWE RAW in 2007. Santino was picked out of the crowd by Vince McMahon to face then-Intercontinental Champion, Umaga.
An interference from Bobby Lashley led to Santino winning the Intercontinental Championship on his first night, the first of many titles to come for The Milan Miracle. A series of neck injuries eventually ended Santino's career, with his retirement being announced in July 2014.
The heart of the matter
In the three years since announcing his retirement, Santino Marella has only wrestled a couple of comedy matches for Japanese promotion DDT, albeit matches that were more about storyline advancement than anything else. The Italian Stallion had always expressed regrets that he wasn't able to retire on his own terms.
The Destiny Wrestling show in Toronto this past weekend gave him exactly that chance. The show took place in Santino's own gym and was attended by his friends and family, giving The Milan Miracle the chance to say goodbye to the professional wrestling world in the right way.
Santino came out of retirement to wrestle one last match on the show, teaming with Chavo Guerrero Jr. to take on RJ City and Stone Rockwell, along with Scott D'Amore. Santino gave an out of character and emotional speech following the match, confirming his retirement.
Santino Marella may be gone but Anthony Carelli is a very busy man indeed. Carelli is the owner of Battle Arts Academy in Ontario, a huge gym that serves as a mixed martial arts training centre for all and sundry.
Carelli is also an analyst for Canadian sports channel Sportsnet 360, among other things.
Not many competitors get to bow out on their own terms, let alone the ones who are forced to retire early because of injury.
The video of Santino's retirement speech is touching, to say the least, and I can only wish the Italian Stallion the best for the rest of his professional career.Published 29 Aug 2017, 10:58 IST