The in-ring career of Santino Marella could be coming to a close, according to comments The Milan Miracle made at a WWE Live Event in Toronto Sunday.
Dressed in street clothes, Marella - a decorated former Intercontinental, United States and WWE Tag Team Champion - addressed the WWE Universe from the middle of the ring inside Toronto's Ricoh Coliseum. He explained that he's experiencing issues with his neck - "for the third time" - and stated that between his age and the injury, "this might be the end of Santino Marella in a WWE ring."
Marella, who underwent neck surgery earlier this year, indicated it wouldn’t be the last time WWE fans see him, noting he’d like to stay involved and try other positions, such as General Manager. He also bemoaned the fact he was never “introduced properly [from Ontario, Canada].” In fall 2013, Marella, who has close ties to the region, opened the Battle Arts Academy, which is a wrestling and mixed martial arts school, in Mississauga, Ontario.
Best known for putting smiles on the faces of WWE fans, Marella refused to leave the ring on a sad note Sunday, concluding with a heartfelt message.
“I just wanted to say to you, once and for all, that I’m one of you guys,” he said, proudly patting his chest.