The Washington Post

WWE star Santino Marella retires after suffering a third neck injury

WWE Superstar Santino Marella at a Juicy Drops anti-bullying campaign. (Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Bazooka Candy Brands/Topps)

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. 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.

Marissa Payne writes for The Early Lead, a fast-breaking sports blog, where she focuses on what she calls the “cultural anthropological” side of sports, aka “mostly the fun stuff.” She is also an avid WWE fan.
Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Close video player
Now Playing

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.