Santino Marella has announced that he is retiring. Many fans have stated that they never were his biggest fan, but Santino holds a special place in my heart! I'll always remember some of his biggest moments during his time in WWE.
When I started watching wrestling in late 2009 and into 2010, I was one of the average fans who enjoyed the comedy segments. And the "king of comedy" in WWE was none other than Santino Marella. I'll never forget the Tea Time with Santino segment that featured Sheamus. It's one of the early things I remember when I started to become a wrestling fan.
Santino isn't just entertaining during goofy backstage segments, but Santino is entertaining in the ring. The first time I seen Santino Marella live was during the Superstars taping before Raw in March 2011 in St. Louis. Santino and Vladimir Kozlov beat The Uso's during the taping. The second time I seen the master of the cobra was at a live event in Springfield, IL last September when he beat Damien Sandow in the opening match.
Santino is one of those guys that you think will never win the WWE or World Championship, but he surprised many when he almost did a couple times. The first one that many remember is when Santino nearly won the Royal Rumble in 2011! Can you imagine what would've happened if Santino won the Royal Rumble match and faced Edge or The Miz at WrestleMania? I actually watched Elimination Chamber 2012 and I was convinced Santino Marella was walking out the World Heavyweight Champion after he hit Daniel Bryan with The Cobra.
Early 2012 saw the United States Championship get treated like a joke. I was a fan of Zack Ryder and was fine with him being US Champion, but I was so puzzled when Jack Swagger won it. At that point, I didn't care who was champion, as long as it wasn't Swagger. (I even hoped Justin Gabriel would've won at Chamber that year.) But after seeing Santino Marella working in the upper midcard and entertaining me, I was pleased to see him win the United States Championship. He had a lengthy reign that many won't remember, but I'm glad he was able to hold some gold.
So I may be in a small group of people that actually enjoyed and appreciated what Santino did in and out of the ring during his time in WWE. (But seriously, how could you not smile when he cracked a good joke or mispronounced someone's name?) WWE is about being family-friendly and has been PG for awhile now. Not everything is going to be serious; a little bit of comedy is good.
I think of Santino kind of like a veteran. He never seemed to complain about his midcard act, and helped younger talent in the last few years. It's very unfortunate that he has to retire due to an injury, but he has projects going on outside of WWE so he'll still be busy and hopefully we see him on TV in some other way since he can't wrestle.
So we have now seen Vickie Guerrero and Santino Marella leave WWE in the last month. Vickie left on her own terms, while Santino was kind of forced to quit. But is this just the beginning? Big Show, Mark Henry, Christian, and Rey Mysterio are just a few guys that have dealt with nagging injuries and are some of the older stars left from the Attitude Era. It seems that this "reality era" really is here.
Well there's my ramble for this week. I will miss Santino. This unique character has had quite the career. I mean, who can say they won the Intercontinental Championship in their debut match, held the Tag Team and United States Titles, and was Miss WrestleMania? Good luck Santino with your life outside the crazy world of WWE!