Former WWE Intercontinental Champion Santino Marella spoke to the Two Man Power Trip Of Wrestling Podcast recently, talking about his time in WWE. You can check out highlights below, and the full interview at this link.
Was playing Santina at WrestleMania 27 and competing in a "Divas" match detrimental to his character:
"I'm always up for a challenge and when you get a role like that some people would be concerned like "oh GOD" this is the end of his career because once you dress like a woman that's it. I thought I was going to do a good job and knock this out of the park, do a good job and kind of reverse the joke. Well like if the joke was supposed to be on me well I did a good job it's like I got praised for it. I know the girls were pissed. But I was given the job by the boss and you just do the best you can."
Having heat with the Divas locker room for "taking a spot":
"I guess the girls always have something to prove in regards to their place in the industry because they want to be viewed more and these days they are very technical and very smart, they are awesome performers but they have that unspoken association to back in the day when it was just like a hot chick so they are constantly working hard to gain respect in the industry. At that time I wasn't making a joke out of women's wrestling but I was in women's wrestling and making a joke. But it wasn't about women's wrestling it was more about Santino. I hope the girls were able to distinguish between the two because they are an integral part of our show and they do the exact same stuff as us and they travel, they work out and take bumps they do the exact same stuff we do."
See Also: Santino Marella On Fans Complaining About Roman Reigns, How His Neck Is Doing, CM Punk, More
Being paired with Emma briefly:
"At that point I was pretty established and she was a pretty up and coming young girl and was really sweet and very funny. It was kind of for her to get her going but she was just taking the ball and running with it."
Creating the Cobra finisher:
"There was a guy who showed me this cobra move a long time ago at a bar in Japan and I just did it one time and tried it in a match and I asked John Cena to watch and tell me what he thought of it and when I came back because the crowd laughed immediately when I did it we kept it and it just took on a life of its own. It's an entertaining move. It's a little bit silly but the people loved it so you gotta give them what they love."
Is John Cena the leader of the locker room or the "captain of the ship";
"Well, he definitely was the locker room leader. But what happens is when guys like get their own bus they are not in the locker room anymore. He has his own bus, Randy has a bus, Big Show has got their buses and you literally don't see them in the locker room because they have a different bus. But on European tours he's still in the locker room, but that being said he was definitely the locker room leader or at least I saw him like that and the reason I saw him there was because of his work ethic and he is just a good guy, really good principles and morals and values. Just a standup guy and he works so damn hard. You could not be but awe inspired that this guy can just go and go and go and not complain or whine and he leads by example and that is what a real locker room leader is supposed to be."
Do Superstars that have the private buses feel above being in the locker room:
"No, if anyone could afford it they would have one too. It's an investment in your career. You are pro-longing your career because they have high quality mattresses and they sleep on the same one every night. They've got their fridge and their kitchen so they can make their smoothies and they can take care of their nutrition better than us because we actually have to search around for an IHOP and get some egg whites. If John Cena or Randy Orton are putting asses in seats in which I am benefiting from because I am on the same show well then I want my stars and my headliners and main events to be healthy because the more they put asses in seats, the more I get paid. That's the opinion of the wrestlers in the locker room if you take care of the guy in the main event then he has some leeway because he's feeding your family."
Were Santino and Vladimir Kozlov underused by WWE in singles and as a tag team:
"Was I underused? No. I was on TV for many, many years and yes I wasn't the tough guy but I'm also 5'10'' and I know you can have bad asses at that size that could kick everyone's ass like Benoit and Malenko and Eddie they were tough guys and had the ability and Kurt Angle for sure. Kozlov was almost such a monster that it was actually not going to be believable because I can't do anything to him, he's a monster. He's a 300lb, ripped, SAMBO machine and if at one point in a match I am going to be on him and I have the advantage then it looks fake because I can't hurt this guy. Guys like Shelton Benjamin, with what he did when you had any offense in a match it looked like just your turn because it was so obvious that he could easily dominate you physically because of his physical abilities. But I think pro wrestling is evolving to a point where we can utilize these guys now that have this shoot background because guys are doing triangle chokes and arm locks and Kimora's. They are able to work a little more realistically. With Kozlov every time there is a big monster like Rusev or Kozlov once they lose it's just like a glow stick that doesn't glow anymore it's just a stick. It's tough to keep these monster guys fresh once they have lost because they lose their whole mystique."