Santino Marella was a recent guest on the Steve Austin Show, where he talked about several topics, including how a certain chinless underdog is giving some of his undersized students an oversized dose of false hope.
Marella, also known as Anthony Corelli, runs a wrestling training school called Battle Arts Academy in Mississauga, Canada. Marella was never a super-heavyweight himself, but he says he has to keep his smaller students' expectations in line with reality.
"I have a couple of kids who are great, talented, 5'11", 6'0". You can't walk around and show up at 160 (pounds). You can't show up at 138 (lbs). Just, you're going to get hurt and I'd be doing you a disservice if I said you wouldn't. And I've become brutally honest with these guys."
Marella continued, "there's guys like, right now, James Ellsworth or Spike Dudley, and just having them keep that hope alive, so there is a chance because those guys have been there and from time to time they get these little, scrawny guys and it sets up a lot of these kids for disappointment."
Marella has trained in judo since the age of nine, so he knows the difference between a shoot fight and a professional wrestling match, but he worries that some of his students don't get it. There were a few guys that Marella worked alongside during his time in WWE, that he believes wished that it was a shoot fight, because if it was, they'd have been champion:
"Shelton Benjamin comes to mind. Bobby Lashley, like, tough guys, badass, wicked wrestlers, and in the back of their head, I could tell they wanted to say, 'if this was real, I would be the champion,' but it's not real. It's entertainment. And I had a coach called Rip Rogers. And Rip said, 'take all them Goddamn judo bulls--t and leave it at the door. This is phoney bulls--t and if I said someone's going to hit you in the head with a feather and you get knocked out, guess what. You get knocked out. It's just as phoney when you win as when you lose.' And it's exactly what I needed to hear."
That's all Marella is trying to do with these wanna-be Ellsworths--tell them what they need to hear.