Santino Marella Does Not Understand Recent WWE Decision

WWE NXT superstar Arianna Grace made her debut in the WWE in April, spending time in CCW and NWA before deciding to follow in her father's footsteps of chasing the WWE dream. Many may be wondering which WWE star was her father. Well, Arianna is the daughter of former WWE comedic wrestler, Santino Marella. Grace went by the name Bianca Carelli, which is her legal name, before coming to NXT.

From Bron Breakker not being allowed to use the Steiner name to Ava Raine not being allowed to embrace the last name she shares with her father, The Rock, Dwayne Johnson, WWE has made it their goal to remove the lineage from talent's names and rename budding stars.

Santino Marella spoke about WWE's stance on iconic last names and why he disagrees with it while he was a guest on the "Monday Mailbag with Mike Chioda."

"I wish someone could explain the logic behind it," Marella said. "It's fine, if my daughter was 'Arianna Marella,' I don't see a problem with that. They started that at first with Curtis Axel, Mr. Perfect's son, but everybody knew who he was. I think there's some equity in being the second generation, but it's great for her too because when you're a second or third-generation wrestler, it's really important for them to know that they've earned this and they're not just getting a free pass because of who their parents are."

Another iconic, second-generation superstar is Cody Rhodes. Marella spoke about his time working with the son of "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes and detailed how he handled being a second-generation talent.

"I remember being with Cody [Rhodes] at OVW and the worst thing you could ever say to Cody, the most hurtful thing you could ever say to him was that, 'You don't deserve this, you're only here because of your dad,'" Marella said. "I saw someone say that to him once and I felt so bad for him. I think that's why he always goes the extra mile, above and beyond, because without a shadow of a doubt, he knows he made it on his own merit."

The exception to the rule, however, has been Charlotte Flair. The former SmackDown Women's Champion has been fully able to embrace her role as the daughter of Ric Flair all while under the WWE umbrella. Marella finished the conversation by describing a conversation he had with his daughter about Charlotte where he told her nobody thinks Charlotte is who she is "because of her dad."

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Monday Mailbag with Mike Chioda with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.

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