Former WWE Star Santino Marella Discusses Daughter Arianna Grace Being In NXT

After spending 11 months on the sidelines with a torn ACL and meniscus, Arianna Grace made her official return to in-ring action at a "WWE NXT" live event in September 2023. In the weeks following, Grace was reintegrated into "NXT" programming, where she continued forth with her pageant queen gimmick as "Miss NXT." During a recent interview with "Developmentally Speaking," Grace's father, former WWE Intercontinental Champion Santino Marella, shared his thoughts on seeing her on WWE television.


"She's already featured on NXT every week and she'll just continue to do more and more," Marella said. "I'm hoping [in] 2025 maybe we see her somewhere on Raw or SmackDown. She just has to get more reps and more matches and more matches. She wouldn't be ready to go have a match with Charlotte [Flair] at WrestleMania, but if she's on the screen with Charlotte in a pre-tape [segment], they look like they're in the same league. That's really important — the perception of someone being a superstar. The wrestling will come."

Following a four-year tenure in the independent wrestling circuit, Grace inked a contract with WWE in early 2022, where she was assigned to WWE's developmental brand of "NXT." While a knee injury placed her on the shelf for nearly a year, Grace does hold the distinct honor of being the only woman to compete in two "NXT" Women's Breakout Tournaments — 2022 and 2023, respectively. 2023 turned out to be the more successful showing for Grace, as she birthed a semi-final position after defeating the ever-energetic Brinley Reece in the opening round.


If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit "Developmentally Speaking" with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.