The Italian Stallion rides again!
LAFAYETTE, La. – He might have been out of action due to a shoulder injury sustained in a car accident back in September, but Santino Marella showed very few signs of ring rust when he returned to action on WWE Raw SuperShow this week and defeated the devious Jinder Mahal.
That triumph was incredibly exciting for the former WWE Tag Team and Intercontinental Champion, but The Italian Stallion seemed to savor his reunion with the WWE Universe even more than his impressive upset victory. (PHOTOS)
“The people, they gave me so much love and I really missed them,” Marella told WWE.com in his characteristic heavy accent on Monday night. “I can’t even explain the real feelings. I didn’t want to start crying, because I was about to fight Jinder Mahal, but it was very emotional for me to go out there and hear them respond like they missed me, because I missed them. Anyways, it was nice to get the cover on Mahal and I hope my shoulder will continue to improve as I do my P90X workouts.”
The Calabrian Superstar was sidelined with a separated left shoulder due to an automobile accident in his current hometown of Toronto, Canada, on Sept. 1. As Marella trained to get back into fighting shape following the incident, even menial tasks proved daunting. Fortunately, he wasn’t alone on his road to recovery.
(MORE ON THE ACCIDENT)
“Getting dressed was a little difficult,” Marella explained. “My Croatian model/actress girlfriend had to massage my shoulder many nights, but she’s the best. Hello, Lucija! The inflammation is down and the joint is healing so I can return to being a top athlete.”
Due to the shoulder injury, many WWE Universe members have speculated if Santino’s dreaded Cobra maneuver would be affected. As we all saw on Monday night, the serpentine strike is alive and well.
“The right arm is the Cobra arm,” Santino said reassuringly. “But the left arm does play a role – it helps load it like a gun.”
Santino was among the Raw Superstars that voted “no confidence” in Triple H’s leadership, citing an unsafe working environment on WWE Raw SuperShow. Despite his decision, and although he was injured for several weeks of The Game’s tenure as Chief Operating Officer, Santino nevertheless sympathized with The Cerebral Assassin’s situation.
“Personally, I like Triple H. He’s a very smart person,” Marella said. “But you have to remember, to run this company, you’re not dealing with the typical situations. This is very difficult.”
As for Santino’s own plans now that he’s back?
“I don’t want to say that I’m going to steamroll the competition … but I’m going to steamroll the competition,” Marella said with a laugh. “I want to hopefully one day get the Intercontinental Title back because that was my favorite one ever.”
In order to accomplish that lofty goal, The Italian Stallion would need to defeat reigning Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes, who recently named Santino as one of the Superstars who tarnished the prestigious prize’s legacy in recent years.
“[Rhodes is] scared, because I beat him many years ago in competition and he’s always had a grudge to me,” Marella said in his broken dialect. “Hey, put your title on the line, pretty boy, and I can beat you. Your mask won’t protect you from the Cobra!”
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Was Santino Marella’s return victory a surprise to you? Do you think the Italian Superstar’s Intercontinental Championship reign “tarnished” the title’s legacy, as Cody Rhodes said? Share your thoughts with the rest of the WWE Universe on Facebook and Twitter.