Santino Marella now goes by his real name Anthony Carelli on a regular basis and he's traded in The Cobra for his own 15,000 square foot multi-use gym in Mississauga, Ontario called 'Battle Arts Academy.' Carelli recently explained how his gym was of use to Impact Wrestling and how it eventually landed him on the show.
While on Busted Open Radio, Carelli explained how his partnership with Impact Wrestling came about due to the fact that they are now a Canadian-based company and needed a location to shoot their action. Carelli and Impact Wrestling co-executive vice president Scott D'Amore have become good friends over the course of their working relationship which eventually translated into Carelli making an appearance on television.
"Impact Wrestling moved their head office to Toronto," Carelli explained. "I mean we're here, right? It started off as Scott D'Amore has become a very good friend of mine and they need different venues. So I implemented a little OVW in Battle Arts where we have a little arena in the middle of the gym it transforms into an arena it holds 500 people pretty comfortably. Impact started using our venue to do one of their platforms there. They have the Global Wrestling Network and they have Twitch."
Carelli appeared on camera for Impact Wrestling, but he didn't wrestle. Instead, he sent Battle Arts Academy's Dustin Quicksilver to represent his brand. Quicksilver wasn't successful in his match against Austin Aries, but Carelli was happy to let his student fight in his place. Although Carelli isn't ruling out future appearances for Impact Wrestling, a longer storyline with a regular schedule isn't something he's looking for.
"Somehow they got me on [the show]. I was talking to Scott [D'Amore], I really didn't want to appear as a character anywhere, I'm just enjoying everything else. But you have to be determined to make a long answer short. I might do something, I don't know. It might be here or there, I'm not going to be a regular, that's for sure."
Marella was released from WWE in May 2016 after not competed in a match that year due to injury. On August 27 he took the microphone at a Destiny Pro Wrestling event at his Battle Arts Acadamy and retired from in-ring competition following his final match where he teamed up with Chavo Guerrero to take on RJ City and Stone Rockwell.
If you use the quotes in this article please credit Busted Open Radio with a H/T to Wrestling Inc For The Transcription