Santino Marella thinks his in-ring days are behind him at this point in his career.
Since 2014, Santino Marella's career in the squared circle has seemingly winded down year by year. Marella, who last competed for WWE in 2014, has only wrestled in select independent promotions in recent years as the in-ring chapter of his career is seemingly coming to a close sooner rather than later.
In a new interview with Fightful, Marella talked his busy schedule and how it is prevented him from making a full-time return to the business.
"That’s a good question. Well, once I opened Battle Arts, you’re there seven days a week, right? So it wasn’t even much of a choice. I was coaching, taking my judo athletes to tournaments on the weekends, putting on shows, kid’s birthday parties. I was working seven days a week, actually. I was doing some commentary for the World Judo Tour and helping out with [Destiny] and stuff like that. So anyway, I ended up being more busy than I ever was in WWE and so that was one of the reasons. Then COVID happened and so now I have business partners. So the load is a lot lighter and I moved up north. So now that I’m able to come out and go do some stuff. The stuff I go do now, I have fun again."
Marella then went on to say that he mainly wrestles for fun these days, noting that his full time in-ring days are behind him.
"No, I don’t really have a whole lot of interest in wrestling too much, to be honest. I enjoy doing commentary and maybe in the future you’ll see me somewhere as a color commentator, producer or something like that. My wrestling days are definitely behind me in terms of a career. I do it for fun. But I’ve got two small kids at home and I’m staying home and enjoying that as much as possible."
Marella also noted he has been struggling with back and neck issues, which is another factor in preventing him from making a full-time return.
"Yeah, I had neck surgery. No, I don’t wrestle very much, to be honest. Recently it’s been a lot of local Canadian stuff. I do like to get out and do stuff in Canada. I couldn’t do this on a full time basis, that’s for sure. I have back issues and neck issues. But I am pretty meticulous with my rehab—sorry, ‘pre-hab.’ A lot of stretching, hydration, inversion, strengthening my neck. I train like twice a day. Health is wealth, right? I just want to be as healthy as possible."
In 2022, Marella has been more active in the ring than any other year since leaving WWE. This has included matches that saw him team with the likes of Ricardo Rodriguez and Sonny Kiss.
Elsewhere in the interview, Marella discussed his daughter, Arianna Grace, and her current health status. To learn more, click here.