Santino Marella Explains How He Can Use Ring Name Outside WWE

Anthony Carelli, better known to wrestling fans as Santino Marella, made his return to Impact Wrestling at the Hard To Kill pay-per-view event on January 13. Marella was introduced as the "Director of Authority," and in his first act, he restarted the Impact Digital Media Championship match between Moose and Joe Hendry.

Fans have expressed surprise over Impact Wrestling being able to use the Santino Marella name, as it was a WWE trademark. Appearing on "The Dave Van Auken Show," Marella explained how he's able to use the name.

"Scott [D'Amore], as a habit, when he gets former WWE guys, he goes and checks the trademarks," Marella revealed. "Just has a habit, and he found in 2021 WWE did not renew the Santino Marella trademark. So, Scott jumped on it. Impact Wrestling now owns the Santino Marella trademark. So, that's why a lot of people, when I came out and said, 'I am Santino Marella,' they were like, 'Woah, how is he able to use that?'"

Marella joked that being able to use the trademark was almost a bigger story than actually appearing for Impact Wrestling again. He also said he feels he wasn't gone long enough to be forgotten, but he was away from the ring long enough to make his return matter.

Marella said he was happy to be interacting with the crowd for the first time in six years. He said the positive reaction from fans inside Center Stage in Atlanta, Georgia instantly relaxed him. He also praised Impact Wrestling and the talent for putting in the work.

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit "The Dave Van Auken Show," with a H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.

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