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Santino Marella
Ring name(s) Boris Alexiev[1]
Johnny Geo Basco
Santino Marella[1]
Santina Marella[1]
Billed height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)[2]
Billed weight 227 lb (103 kg)[3]
Born March 14, 1979 (1979-03-14) (age 31)[4]
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada[2]
Resides Paterson, New Jersey
Billed from Russia[1] (OVW)
Calabria, Italy[1][3] (WWE)
Paterson, New Jersey[1] (WWE)
Trained by Ohio Valley Wrestling[1]
Debut 2004

Anthony Carelli[5] (born March 14, 1979)[4] is a Canadian professional wrestler[5] best known as Santino Marella in World Wrestling Entertainment. He has also wrestled as Santina Marella, the "sister" of Santino. He is currently wrestling on the Raw brand.[3] Since competing for WWE, he has become a two-time Intercontinental Champion[3][5] and is the current reigning WWE Miss WrestleMania Champion having held the prestigious title twice in his career.


Before wrestling

Carelli, an Italian-Canadian, was born in Mississauga, Ontario and attended Elizabeth Simcoe P.S. in Canada. He was a mixed martial artist in Japan for several years before moving to the United States in May 2005 to learn to become a professional wrestler.

Wrestling career


Ohio Valley Wrestling

In the United States, Carelli took wrestling classes at and worked for the Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) a developmental territory for the national World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). Upon joining OVW, Carelli was given the ring name Johnny Geo Basco. While there, he was involved in an infamous incident with Jim Cornette, the company's head booker and part-owner. After a storyline where he was supposed to act afraid of the Boogeyman but instead laughed, Cornette yelled at and slapped Carelli,[5] leading to Cornette being removed from his position as booker of OVW by WWE.[5][6][7]

Paul Heyman was appointed OVW booker to replace Cornette and changed Carelli's ring name from Johnny Geo Basco to Boris Alexiev, giving him a Russian shoot fighter gimmick.[5][8] As Alexiev he made his debut on April 12, 2006 along with his manager and "comrade", Mr. Strongko.[9] With his new gimmick he was booked to dominate opponents with stiff strikes and submission style wrestling,[10] including a 10-second win over a wrestler named Dewey.[9] He signed a developmental deal with WWE on August 11, 2006,[8] and continued working in OVW.

On January 24, 2007, Alexiev was booked to hold the OVW Television Championship, defeating Bad Kompany (Mike Kruel and Shawn Osbourne) who were holding the title simultaneously. He dropped the title back to Kruel on February 7, but got it back on March 14. His second reign lasted for three days, as he dropped it to Shawn Spears on March 17.[11] He was called up to the active roster a month later.

World Wrestling Entertainment (2007–present)

Debut (2007)

He made his main-roster debut on the April 16, 2007 edition of WWE Raw in Milan, Italy, as a planted fan named Santino Marella. Marella's debut, in which he took the WWE Intercontinental Championship from Umaga in a No Holds Barred match after interference from Bobby Lashley, resulted in both that night and Santino himself being dubbed "The Milan Miracle".[12][13] The surname Marella was chosen for the character in honor of WWE Hall of Famer Gorilla Monsoon—real name Robert Marella—and was given to Carelli shortly before the trip to Italy.[5] The next day posted a profile on Marella with a fictional background saying he was an Italian national who moved to Canada as a child and returned to his native country a few times each year to visit family. It further stated that he moved to the U.S. to begin training with the goal of breaking into professional wrestling, and ultimately WWE.[3]

Santino Marella and Maria.

Shortly after gaining the Intercontinental Championship, Marella started a scripted rivalry with Chris Masters, narrowly retaining the title over him in his first defenses.[14][15] He held the Intercontinental Championship for three months before dropping it back to Umaga on July 2,[16] after having just defeated him at the June 24 Vengeance: Night of Champions pay-per-view by disqualification when Umaga stopped listening to referee's instructions and continued punching Marella.

After losing the title Marella's character became increasingly villainous; he was depicted as possessive and jealous of his girlfriend WWE Diva Maria. Over several weeks they appeared together in a series of segments on Raw, including two mini "game shows" hosted by General Manager William Regal which resulted in retired wrestler Ron Simmons winning a date with Maria, much to Santino's dismay.[17][18] At the same time Marella, began a campaign of bashing the WWE Films production The Condemned as its DVD release neared.[19] He was eventually confronted by the film's star, Steve Austin, who argued the film's merits before delivering a Stone Cold Stunner to Marella and soaking both him and Maria down with a hose from a Budweiser truck.[20] During the Austin program, Marella repeatedly mocked Austin and mangled the English language and his catchphrases in promos,[19] giving his character a new humorous bent.

After a short program with Jerry Lawler,[21][22] he was placed into a tag team with Carlito.[23][24] At the same time, Maria was chosen to be pose for Playboy magazine, which was used as part of their storyline. When he was unable to get her to turn the offer down,[25] he attempted to sabotage the cover unveiling, finally pushing Maria to break up with him.[26] At WrestleMania XXIV, Maria was involved in a "Playboy BunnyMania Lumberjack match", during which Santino interfered only to get punched by Jerry Lawler near the end of the match and clotheslined by celebrity Master of Ceremonies Snoop Dogg after the match.[27] Marella's feud with Maria came to an end after she defeated him on the episode of Raw the day after WrestleMania by dropping her head into Marrella's groin. Marella and Carlito began a feud with Hardcore Holly and Cody Rhodes over the World Tag Team Championship. During a title match between the two teams, Roddy Piper distracted Marella, who was then pinned and so lost the match for his team. Due to the distraction, Marella started a rivalry with Piper, including a confrontation on Jimmy Kimmel Live!.

Glamarella (2008–2009)

Marella and Beth Phoenix in late 2008

On the July 14, 2008 episode of Raw, Marella was defeated by WWE Diva Beth Phoenix in a match. Marella issued an open challenge to the entire Raw roster.[28] The angle continued the following week after Marella lost to the returning D'Lo Brown. Marella and Phoenix shared a kiss, both expressing considerable confusion afterwards.[29] In later weeks, they became an on-screen power couple, later called "Glamarella", a portmanteau of "Glamazon" (Phoenix's nickname) and "Marella". At SummerSlam, Marella won the Intercontinental Championship for a second time, when he teamed with Phoenix against champion Kofi Kingston and WWE Women's Champion Mickie James. Phoenix pinned James after hitting her Glam Slam, thus winning both titles for her team per the pre-match stipulation.[30]

During his second reign, Marella started a quest to become the "greatest Intercontinental champion of all the times" by beating The Honky Tonk Man's record reign of 64 weeks, constantly bringing out a status report called the "Honk-A-Meter". At Cyber Sunday, Marella defended the Intercontinental title against the Honky Tonk Man (who won the majority of fan's votes, beating fellow former champions Roddy Piper and Goldust), losing by disqualification.[31] On the November 10 episode of Raw, Marella lost the title to William Regal and thus failed to reign as champion for more than 64 weeks.[32]

At the beginning of 2009, Marella entered the Royal Rumble drawing number 28. He was instantly eliminated by Kane in 1.9 seconds, thus breaking The Warlord's two second record for shortest Royal Rumble appearance at the 1989 Royal Rumble.[33]

Miss WrestleMania and Face turn (2009–present)

"Santina" with Beth Phoenix and Rosa Mendes

Following the announcement of a 25-Diva battle royal at WrestleMania XXV to crown the first-ever "Miss WrestleMania", Marella began a face turn and was placed in an angle in which he expressed his desire to compete in the match. The storyline called for Marella to challenge Mickie James in a match where he had one arm tied behind his back, and if he won, he would gain entry into the match. He lost, however, and, as a result, the following week, in a bid to prove he was eligible to compete, he revealed he was wearing a mankini, but was subsequently attacked by most of the Divas on the roster. Nevertheless, at WrestleMania XXV, Marella won the 25 Diva battle royal, competing in drag under the disguise of "Santino Marella's twin sister, Santina", and last eliminating Phoenix and Melina.[34] On the May 18 episode of Raw Santina lost the "Miss Wrestlemania" title to Vickie Guerrero. Marella won it back at Extreme Rules when he defeated Vickie Guerrero and Chavo Guerrero in a Handicap Hog Pen match. On the June 22, 2009 episode of Raw, the new (kayfabe) owner of Raw, Donald Trump fired Santina, thus ending the storyline. As of late, he has been seen in backstage segments with the night's special guest host. He has also been involved in the feud between Chavo Guerrero and Hornswoggle. On January 27, 2010, announced that Marella will be starring in his own sitcom, with Beth Phoenix and Vladimir Kozlov as his supporting cast.[35]

Personal life

Carelli has a daughter, who is the reason he got involved in wrestling. She was a wrestling fan and Anthony wanted to make her proud.

On May 1, 2008, Carelli was arrested on a DUI charge by police in Tampa, Florida, but was later released on a $500 bail.[4]

In wrestling

Santino Marella as the Intercontinental Champion.

Championships and accomplishments

Santino during his second reign as Intercontinental Champion.
  • Pro Wrestling Report
    • Gimmick of the Year (2008)


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Santino Marella OWOW profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-08-07. 
  2. ^ a b Andrews, Kenai (2008-02-03). "La Vita è Bella for Santino". SLAM! Sports. Retrieved 2008-02-05. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "WWE Bio". WWE. Retrieved 2007-04-18. 
  4. ^ a b c "Individual's Charge Report - Anthony Carelli". Hillsborough County Sherriff's Office. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g The LilsBoys (2007-12-06). "The man behind Santino". The Sun. Retrieved 2007-12-07. 
  6. ^ Waldman, J. (2005-07-08). "Jim Cornette released from WWE". Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2007-04-16. 
  7. ^ Milner, J.. "The Boogeyman". Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2007-04-16. 
  8. ^ a b Pollock, J. (August 11, 2006). "Friday Update". The Fight Network. Archived from the original on 2007-12-22. Retrieved April 16, 2007. 
  9. ^ a b "OVW results - 2006". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2007-04-18. 
  10. ^ "Boris Alexiev profile". Archived from the original on 2007-02-05. Retrieved 2007-04-16. 
  11. ^ a b "OVW Television Championship". Retrieved April 17, 2007. 
  12. ^ "Santino Marella's first reign". Title histories > Intercontinental. WWE. Retrieved 2008-01-04. 
  13. ^ a b "Santino Marella". WWE. Retrieved 2008-01-04. 
  14. ^ "Raw results - May 7, 2007". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-01-04. 
  15. ^ "Raw results - May 14, 2007". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-01-04. 
  16. ^ "Raw results - July 2, 2007". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-01-04. 
  17. ^ "Raw results - August 6, 2007". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-01-04. 
  18. ^ "Raw results - August 13, 2007". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-01-04. 
  19. ^ a b "Raw results - October 8, 2007". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-01-20. 
  20. ^ "Raw results - November 5, 2007". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-01-04. 
  21. ^ "Raw results - November 12, 2007". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-01-04. 
  22. ^ "Raw results - November 19, 2007". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-01-04. 
  23. ^ "Raw results - December 17, 2007". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-01-04. 
  24. ^ "Raw results - December 31, 2007". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-01-04. 
  25. ^ "Raw results - January 21, 2008". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-04-22. 
  26. ^ "Raw results - March 3, 2008". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-04-22. 
  27. ^ Rothstein, Simon (2008-01-04). "Celebs star at WrestleMania". The Sun. Retrieved 2008-04-22. 
  28. ^ Sitterson, Aubrey. "Anarchy in NC". WWE. Retrieved 2008-07-17. 
  29. ^ Sitterson, Aubrey (2008-07-21). "Civil unrest". WWE. Retrieved 2008-07-22. 
  30. ^ Plummer, Dale; Tylwalk, Nick (2008-08-17). "SummerSlam comes close to 'blockbuster' status". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. 
  31. ^ Adkins, Greg (2008-10-26). "Combo Italiano". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2009-03-02. 
  32. ^ Sitterson, Aubrey (2008-11-10). "Union jacked". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2009-03-02. 
  33. ^ "Facts & figures". WWE. Retrieved 2009-01-26. 
  34. ^ Plummer, Dale (2009-04-06). "Wrestlemania 25: HBK-Undertaker steals the show". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2009-04-06. 
  35. ^ "Santino sitcom?". 2010-01-27. 
  36. ^ "Santino Marella". WWE Kids. Retrieved 2008-12-04. 
  37. ^ Shields, Brian and Kevin Sullivan (2009). WWE Encyclopedia. DK/BradyGAMES. p. 265. ISBN 9780756641900. 
  38. ^ a b "WWE Superstars results on August 6, 2009". 
  39. ^ a b Plummer, Dale (2009-05-18). "Raw: Batista, Flair stand tall over Legacy". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
  40. ^ a b "WWE Raw results on June 8, 2009". 
  41. ^ "Santino Marella's first reign". Title histories>Intercontinental. WWE. Retrieved 2008-01-04. 
  42. ^ "BMI: Johnston James Alan". BMI. Retrieved 2008-01-21. 
  43. ^ Clark, Ryan (2008-09-18). "The Complete 'PWI 500' List For 2008". Pro Wrestling Illustrated. Retrieved 2009-03-10. 
  44. ^ [ "WWF/WWE Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship"]. Wrestling-Titles. Retrieved 2008-01-04. 

External links

Simple English

Anthony Carelli
Ring name(s) Boris Alexiev
Johnny Geo Basco
Santina Marella
Santino Marella
Billed height6ft 0in
Billed weight220lbs
BornMarch 14, 1979 (1979-03-14) (age 31)
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada[1]
ResidesLouisville, Kentucky, United States
Billed from"Russia" (OVW)
Calabria, Italy (WWE)
Paterson, New Jersey (WWE)
Trained byOhio Valley Wrestling

Anthony John Carelli (born March 14, 1979) is an Canadian professional wrestler. He currently works for World Wrestling Entertainment on their RAW brand as Santino Marella.

World Wrestling Entertainment

Carrelli made his WWE debut on the April 16 edition of WWE Raw under the name of Santino Marella. He won the WWE Intercontinental Championship after Umaga was attacked by Bobby Lashley. With this, he became one of a few superstars to win a title in their first match.[2]


  1. Cite error: Invalid tag; no text was provided for refs named SLAM.21_interview
  2. "Santino Marella". Mahalo. Retrieved 2010-02-23. 


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