Santino Marella Recalls Injury That Ended Wrestling Career

Santino Marella

Santino Marella has discussed how the injury which would eventual end his active wrestling career progressed, as well as how he moved on after WWE.

A former two-time Intercontinental Champion, Santino Marella was released by WWE in May 2016. In the months leading up to this he hadn’t made many televised appearances, and he retired from full-time action in the year of his release.

In a recent interview with The A2theK Wrestling Show, Santino Marella talked about how it was the second phase of his cervical fusion surgery which led to things being “messed up” and him being unable to return.

It was my neck surgery. So I had my first cervical fusion. I had a double cervical fusion right off the bat. The goal was to come back and then a few months after, they noticed that one of the screws was coming out. Then at the end, at the three-month mark, one screw had completely come out, and one had come halfway out.

So they had to go back in and take out the titanium. I think going back in the second time, kind of messed things up, cutting through the scared tissue. I just never got well enough to a point where I can come back and wrestle on a full-time basis. I can have a match here and there, but not to do it properly, on a full time basis.

Santino Marella continued, explaining how he was happy to go home and move his life on after WWE.

To be honest, I was kind of over it. I just wanted to come home a little bit. I opened up Battle Arts Academy in 2013. I actually retired in 2016. So, the last two years was me trying to get back in shape. Not physically, my neck and my back, to get back in shape to be able to come back and perform but it just never happened. It was all good.

I had a very full life before WWE and I’ve had a very full life after WWE. It was a great chapter. Absolutely an incredible chapter. Up until the point that I retired, it was a quarter of my life, right?

Marella’s first reign with the Intercontinental Championship came in 2007 when he won the title from Umaga in his home country of Italy. His second reign would start at SummerSlam 2008, where he won the title in a mixed tag team match alongside Beth Phoenix where they defeated Kofi Kingston and Mickie James.

With thanks to SEScoops for the transcription.