Former WWE superstar Santino Marella took some time to speak with Alicia Atout during Impact Wrestling's Behind the Lights show. During the interview, Marella gave listeners his candid opinion on both intergender wrestling and transgender athletes competing in sports.
On April 4, Impact Wrestling has set up an intergender match at United We Stand that sees Tessa Blanchard facing Joey Ryan one-on-one. Marella believes that matches like these give women an inflated sense of strength when in everyday life, and therefore, intergender wrestling may be hazardous to their safety.
"If there's a girl out there that says, 'This guy's giving us attitude, I'm gonna step in and fight this guy because I saw that women can fight men, because of intergender wrestling,'" Marella began, "And she goes out there and lips off, and this guy's a mental case, and he just cracks her with his fist and shatters her face, an orbital, and busts her lip…She wouldn't have done it — perhaps — beforehand, because she didn't get this inflated sense of confidence because of intergender wrestling."
Marella thinks it's socially irresponsible to be featuring these men vs. women bouts on a massive, televised scale. The former WWE Intercontinental Champion then mentions how the news likes to exaggerate the severity of the issues between men and women, as well as different races.
"We're not at war, men and women are not at war," Marella stated. "The media would like you to think that. If I wanted to drive a wedge between society, well, there's 50/50 right there - men and women. Let's make them hate each other and guess what? We divided half the people. We have to learn to think for ourselves...No one hates anybody. We're misinformed, even the racism."
Santino then gave his take on transgender athletes joining pro wrestling, MMA, and other competitive sports.
"There's cases now in MMA and wrestling where there's trans girls that were born boys that are beating the s--t out of females and that's wrong," Santino said. "If you're a guy — born a guy — and you become a woman, you're accepted everywhere, but in the field of actual competitive sports, there has to be a barrier. And the barrier is based on, you were born a God da-- man. You're accepted as a human being, and as a person, and you are loved in every single way, except it's not fair that you compete against women in sports because you were born with different physical biological attributes. And we have to be realistic about it, and we also have to not be so sensitive."