Arn Anderson recently reminisced on his YouTube channel, The Arn Show, about working with Brock Lesnar when he was first called up to the main roster. Arn mentioned that early on, as Brock was trying to figure out his character, Arn would sit back and try to figure out how to make Brock look as vicious as possible. He also noted how once Brock figured things out from a creative standpoint, he took total control of his own character and segments.
“Well, I worked with Brock a lot when he first got pulled up and he was trying to figure out who he was,” Arn said. “When you have the unlimited ability like he does, and aptitude for this business, I could sit back and just picture stuff for him to do to guys – vicious stuff, and aggressive stuff, and utilizing his strength and athletic ability.
“As he got more in control of his character, and got more confident in his work and all those things, and as he developed the relationship that he had with the company, he was and pretty much captain of his own ship,” Arn added. “He came up with whatever he wanted to do that day. He came up with it. He had sole custody of that character, but I did get to help him out in his infancy, and I helped teach him the business.”
Lesnar has not appeared on WWE programming since losing the title to Drew McIntyre at WrestleMania 36 in April. It was reported in August that Lesnar’s contract with WWE officially expired and he is free to field offers from wherever he sees fit.
Arn also recalled who he feels like might be another superstar that WWE missed on. He said he felt like Santino Marella could have been a force to be reckoned with given his extensive background prior to professional wrestling. Arn recalled initially being furious over Marella doing comedy bits, but admitted that after he saw him perform a couple times, he quickly changed his mind.
“Santino Marella was a Russian prior to being Santino Marella, and had a pretty mature background as far as– I don’t remember exactly what it was,” Arn said. “Whether it was judo, or wrestling, or maybe it was some of all of it, but we didn’t know that he was a pretty bad apple. But he was destined to go nowhere until he came up with this character, and the first time I saw it, I almost hit the ring and beat him up myself because I hated it so bad. But I stepped back.
“I talked to a couple of guys that night that I trusted their opinion,” Arn said. “They said to give this thing a chance. This guy’s got a grip on this character, and after about the second night of watching this, I was absolutely rolling because you had to just accept the fact that this guy has found his niche. And it’s 360 degrees from where it was prior to this, and he just was so entertaining. It was so much fun.
“That’s another guy that I think they might have missed the boat on,” Arn added. “He should’ve got a little bit bigger push, but it was just hilarious and it was just accepting something that I wouldn’t have come up with. I couldn’t have pictured that guy in a thousand years, but he did, and he made it work and he was very successful with it.”
Marella last appeared on programming as Santina at the 2020 Women’s Royal Rumble, and he went on to say that he was initially hesitant to return as Santina but wanted to do whatever the company thought was best. He said although he was battling an illness, he was happy with the moment overall.
“Talent relations called me and asked if I was available,” Marella said. “I said sure because of my past significant Royal Rumble moments. In the beginning, I wasn’t too sure about coming back as Santina, but it was whatever they wanted, so I was going to do it to the best of my ability. Two days before, I actually got sick and I decided to tough it out just to get through the day. It was a good moment overall.”
Marella also previously mentioned that his in-ring days are most likely over, but he does aspire to be a commentator – though not as the Santino Marella character. He noted that while he prefers to work for WWE, if they do not have a spot for him, he would go elsewhere to find employment.
“I do want to go back into the business, but as a commentator,” Marella revealed. “I would have to be Anthony Carelli because I don’t want to do commentary as Santino. I think there are going to be opportunities for me post-COVID with one of the major companies. I always want to go to WWE first because they changed my life and I’m loyal, but if they don’t have an opportunity, I’ll go somewhere else.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit The Arn Show with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Mehdy Labriny contributed to this article.