The time has come to bid adieu to the green sock puppet that WWE superstar Santino Marella comically refers to as “the Cobra.” The 35-year-old, over-the-top “Italian” (Marella is actually from Mississauga, Ontario, Canada), announced he’d be retiring from the squared circle because of a third neck injury. He made the announcement at an un-televised house show in Toronto over the weekend, according to multiple reports.
The star’s choice of where to announce his retirement is more surprising than the retirement itself, though. In the last couple of weeks, Marella has been openly talking about retiring, as well as concentrating on a new business. Marella, whose real name is Anthony Carelli, opened a pro wrestling and mixed martial arts training school called Battle Arts Academy in Toronto in 2013.
However, just because Santino will no longer wrestle, doesn’t mean he’ll never be seen in the WWE again. CageSideSeats.com reports that during the show:
“He did…imply that he would be staying with WWE in a non-wrestling capacity. Santino is a frequent host of YouTube segments and bumpers on WWE Network, does commercial work for the Stamford, Connecticut, based company such as the Twisted Tea in-show advertisement on the June 30, 2014 Raw and has recently been a spokesman for an anti-bullying campaign with sponsor Juicy Drops.
Marella teased that he could be a candidate for the open General Manager positions on Raw and Smackdown, vacant in story due to The Authority’s firing of Brad Maddox and Vickie Guerrero, before leaving to loud applause and ‘Santino’ chants.”
Santino has been on the WWE’s main roster since 2007.