Santino Marella has spoken on his recent altercation with Jim Cornette.
Marella, real name Anthony Carelli, issued a lengthy statement into The Fight Network’s Live Audio Wrestling to give his side of the story and set a few things straight regarding his history with Cornette.
The story goes that when Marella was working in Ohio Valley Wrestling in 2005 (which served as a WWE developmental promotion at the time), he broke character by laughing at The Boogeyman during a live show. The wrestlers, who were acting as fans, were told to act scared of The Boogeyman, so Marella’s reaction did not go down well.
Cornette proceeded to slap Marella backstage, which ultimately cost Cornette his job with WWE. The two apparently did meet again until a wrestling convention this past weekend in Detroit.
At the convention, Marella and Cornette had a heated altercation that was caught on camera by a fan.
The lengthy statement traces the story all the way back to that fateful night in OVW. Marella claims that he was at the show primarily as a fan, and wasn’t aware of any preferred reaction to Boogeyman. He was an excited father looking forward to his daughter being a part of the show, and Cornette subsequently took advantage of his naivety with the assault.
“He knew I couldn’t do anything; he took complete advantage of the situation and he assaulted someone, period,” Marella wrote.
Marella goes on to talk about his career as a comedy wrestler, a style of pro wrestling that Cornette has derided on a number of occasions, before bringing the statement back to the contentious incident in Detroit. Marella states that the two were sitting close to each other before meeting in a hallway, where Marella attempted to make peace only for Cornette to immediately bring up the OVW incident.
“I said to him that I was hoping we could walk away from this with a newfound respect for each other… He laughed and said he had no respect for me, called me a joke and that he should slap me again”
Marella finishes by apologizing to the fans at the convention and commenting on the fleeting nature of the wrestling business.
Here is his statement in its entirety.
Hi everyone, ok so here’s my one-and-only official statement regarding Cornette. He can definitely dish it out so lets see if he can take it too. You will soon identify a reoccurring theme here, he’s complete bullshit, from head to toe. My original stance from day one was to just let him rant and NOT to stoop to his level, and I tried to for a long time, but sometimes a brother gots to set things straight. Its important to note that Cornette has been lying for so long about all this stuff that he actually believes it like an actually memory. Some would say he’s a good bull-shitter. But it’s actually called being a compulsive liar.
12 years ago I moved to Louisville to train at OVW, after a month of the beginners class I was invited to the intermediate class where I would train with the legendary Rip Rogers. At that time I was also invited to come and watch an OVW TV taping. Upon arrival to my first ever TV taping I was told I could sit in the student area in the audience. Keep in mind I’m with my daughter and simply a member of the audience, or so I thought.
The show starts, its great, and then there’s the debut of the bogeyman who was supposed to leave the arena through an emergency door directly behind us, no one gave me the 411, so as bogeyman was leaving he turned right towards us and I thought he was gonna do me a solid and scare my daughter thus creating a memory that she would never forget, so as a dad I was pretty stoked, and yes I was definitely smiling. The bogeyman then jars the guard rail, we all run, and he exits out the door. It’s all on YouTube if you care to see it. Actually I encourage one to do so, so you can see for yourself that I’m not laughing. Hence BS #1. There was never any agenda to the whole thing. I wasn’t trying to be anything other than a fan. I wasn’t part of the show, heck it was my first time there for show. Gosh when I look back now I was so green to everything but I was definitely enjoying a pro-wrestling show with the rest of the audience. The eagerness, the learning, the dedication, they’re all fond memories.
I’m then summoned to the back where Cornette is flipping out and proceeds to slap me several times. He claims 17 but lets just call that Bullshit #2. I had no idea what he was even talking about. I remember saying just that, which of course got him even more mad. I remember him saying “you are nothing in this business”, and I’m like yeah no shit I literally just signed up here a month ago lol. He knew I couldn’t do anything, he took complete advantage of the situation, and he assaulted someone, period, and probably should have been arrested and charged for that matter. He acted completely unprofessional and very much disrespected the business he claims to love, I say claims to love cause all he ever does is go on completely negative rants about various aspects and his personal opinions. All that hatred and negativity must be such a heavy burden to carry around all the time. He has become his own prison sentence, left to marinade in his own negative filth. Thank God he has become a non-entity and quite frankly irrelevant for some time now. His overall contribution to the industry has been quite damaging and by no means, is he an authority. He was merely tolerated and permitted, by real men, to be around the business during one of the best eras in history. Hey don’t get me wrong I’m not an authority either but I’ve been around great men in this business that truly are and trust me he is NOT on that list. Most people in the industry generally think him of as an asshole and loser today. Most, but not all. There are those few that do like him and that’s 100% fine by me.
He also said that Bogeyman was furious at me and wanted to kick my ass, so years later and after I got to know Marty pretty well I asked him about that night and he said he was just upset at his “wardrobe malfunction”. They failed to calculate the effect that the ring lights would have on Bogyman’s makeup and it was proving to be an issue. Thus the original source of that segment’s frustration is what I always thought. So what are we at now, BS #3?
Cornette was subsequently fired and pretty much resented me ever since. I don’t hate him. I don’t hate anyone but he was in the wrong and everyone knows it, especially him. That is why he so desperately tries to put me down and make excuses as to why he acted the way he did. The answer is simple Jim, because you are and insecure poor excuse of a man.
I would get asked about it from time to time but mostly down played it as it really didn’t bother to too much. I’ve endured much more than a slap, or 7, in my life. I actually do have a few friends in the business that still like Cornette so I thought that perhaps we could have had a good working relationship if things had been different. I was not opposed to learning from him, in fact I regret not being able to. I was taught to respect my elders in life in general, and my seniors in the pro-wrestling business, and until this moment I have.
Fast forward 10 years and I’m now forced to retire due to 2 neck surgeries. My WWE career was a dream come true, an amazing 10 year chapter in my life, and I am forever grateful to all the fans all over the world. I sacrificed everything important to me and risked it all to make it. I gave it more than 100% and am quite proud to say that I made it on my own merit. When I got hired almost 2 years after the incident and thanked Johnny Ace for not holding the incident against me he didn’t even know what I was referring to. I had to actually remind him, which was nice cause it reassured me that my employment was by my own hand. So trying to say that I was gifted my job is a big pile of BS, #4 in fact, and Cornette knows that too. I get it, it’s quite simple, he’s just trying to press my buttons and stay relevant. However it’s the time I spent away from my daughter that I will not allow him to diminish.
My intention was not to be a comedy wrestler, (check out my Boris Alexiev videos on YouTube) but I was given a once in a lifetime opportunity and I ran with it, just like anyone would do in my position. Looking back I actually love the fact that I was able to bring laughter into people’s homes, and for so many years. It’s entertainment. It’s my absolute favorite thing to hear from fans, that I made their family laugh. I think laughter is the greatest indicator of having a good time. I don’t know if he was just jealous because he was not athletic enough to make it in the ring as a wrestler or what, but he’s definitely made some poor comments over the years. I actually heard through a pretty good source that he can’t even cast a fishing rod. Now that’s uncoordinated. You might as well hand your balls in if you can’t cast a fishing rod. Look I’ve been given the stamp of approval by people that actually matter so I’m able to rest well at night when it comes to my in ring ability. Sorry buddy but comedy is an essential component of Sports Entertainment. Honestly shouldn’t you actually know that? And btw Kay Fabe was ruined long before I ever laced up my boots. I too wished it hadn’t been, but it is what it is. We work with what we have, whenever we get our chance to do so. The business has evolved, and it will continue to evolve. Those that can’t adapt, can’t evolve, get left behind. And please don’t hate on WWE, it makes you look really pathetic. Vince has done a million times more for this business than you will ever be credited for. Bottom line is he is one of the most successful people in the world, and well you are definitely not Vince. Put it this way, when I grow up I wanna be like Vince, but if I ever end up like you, I will consider my life a failure.
Little does Jim know that all those countless negative comments and rants just make him look like an unconfident bitter person that has no class. That is why I never made a big deal about it because he was already doing a great job of tarnishing his own legacy. He shits on the comedic component and my in ring ability but duh I’m from OVW so he’s actually shitting on himself and the company that he partly owns. He’s also shitting on his “friends” Rip, Danny, and Al, that all had a hand in my development and training, plus I can list off many great and iconic comedic wrestlers, 1st and foremost however is the late great Bobby Heenan. Now you try and tell me that he had no place in wrestling and well I would have to say that you really don’t know as much as I thought you did about Pro-Wrestling Mr. Cornette.
So one day I see that I got a voicemail from my friend Josh in Tennessee, then I get a text saying “omg I’m so sorry I didn’t know he was going to do that” then I get a call from Josh and he’s all upset about Jim Cornette tricking him in to calling me and then taking the phone from Josh and going on one of his classic rants. Keep in mind I’m still in bandages fresh out of neck surgery so yeah I’m a little shocked that he could actually stoop this low.
So I mention the message he left in my shoot interview with Rob Feinstein and after it circulated a few people left messages for Cornette on social media letting him know what they thought of what he did. So now his panties are all bunched up, yet again, and he goes off on his podcast actually denying the whole thing. A blatant lie told to all of his loyal listeners, BS #5. I guess he was ashamed of what he did so he just pretended it didn’t happen, and then proceeds to say again it anyway, lol, duh you just stooged yourself off shmarts. Anyhow no skin off my back, it is what it is, and then he proceeds to call me midget, goof, etc. lol come on Jim you are known for a tennis racket, please tell me you are kidding me when you call me a clown, you were a red nose shy of being the biggest clown in wrestling history. I think they call that “projecting”, like when he accuses me of disrespecting the business, when in reality its all he ever does. He also stated that he will slap again the next time he sees me.
Fast forward to the Cobo Centre in Detroit last Saturday and his table is just 2 tables down from mine, so I know at some point we will have a chance to meet, as in actually meet, for the first time, since I don’t consider our first interaction an actual meeting, because no greetings and pleasantries were exchanged etc.
As I’m heading back down the hallway after I got a bite to eat, its Jim and I walking straight towards one another and no one is around, what a perfect opportunity to talk it over and hopefully hash things out. I say Hello sir and I extend my hand to shake hands. After all why not, peace is better then enemies right? Its funny he looked shocked to hear my real voice, lol, mark. He then proceeds to try to tell me about what happened 12 years ago like I wasn’t there lol, insults me, disrespects me, and then tries to walk away. I remember being disappointed in how poorly he was dressed that day. He made no effort at all to make himself presentable to meet his fans, visibly dirty clothing and in poor health I actually felt bad for him, until he decided to be a piece of garbage once again. I said to him that I was hoping we could walk away from this with a new found respect for one another after possibly talking it out, and that I always regretted not learning from him. I always hope for the best in people, like my mom. He laughed and said that he had no respect for me, called me a joke, and that he should slap me again, that’s when I said to myself fuck this guy, there is no way in hell he’s going to punk me off after what he did all those years ago, so I said “do it” “please”, “slap me again and see what happens” trust me Jim it was not so that I could “sue” you. That’s what you see in the video. Me cutting him off and saying “do it then”. You cant make a claim like that and then walk away, at least not where I’m from. It was at that moment that I saw his true colours. He tried to run away and actually cried out for security. I guess his wrestling instincts kicked in because he was a classic heal, brave guy when back up is around, but when its just him and the baby-face alone at the end, he begged off. What happened to slapping me the next time you saw me Jim? Then when he saw a fan and or security personnel his mock bravery started to kick in and he started to put on a show, Cornette style. He was a complete bitch as I expected he would be, if it ended up going down this way, and when it was just the 2 of us, nose to nose, eye to eye, quite frankly a coward. And believe you me I called him those exact words to his face “coward” and “bitch” and all he did was turn another shade of red. He knows in his heart that I saw it in his eyes. He can never say anything about it again because he backed down after shooting his mouth off so that’s BS # shit I lost count. He also said publically that he decided to leave when we all know he was kicked out, escorted out in fact. Taken out like the trash that he is. So don’t forget to add another one to the BS list. It was the perfect ending, the bully got what he deserved in the end.
Sorry to all the fans that came out to the convention and show. I really tried to put it all behind us. Cornett had other plans. Sometimes we just have to take a stand.
I hope the show was still a blast, well I’m sure it was because there were a great bunch of guys performing that night!
So I now get to have some closure from the original incident. I get to return to my wonderful Canadian life, and come home to my hot Polish fitness model wife. This week we are going camping up north to enjoy the beauty of mother nature, kayaking, hiking, fishing etc . . . . . let me guess you’re gonna go on a few rants this week. Truly pathetic bro, sad, but hey enjoy them cause for a brief moment people are taking about you. And we all know how important that is to you. In the wrestling business you are always one headline away from having your spotlight taken away. And since the shield has reunited . . . .well I guess its gone.
Sincerely (so help me Jesus)