WWE SummerSlam Pay-Per-View
Sunday, Aug. 17, 7 p.m.
Tickets at the Conseco Fieldhouse box office, TicketMaster locations, 317-39-5151 or www.ticketmaster.com
When it comes to height and weight, Anthony Carelli is definitely not one of the bigger World Wrestling Entertainment Superstars. But when it comes to the ego of his WWE character Santino Marella, well, that’s an entirely different matter.
At 5-foot-10 and 227 pounds, Carelli often finds himself in the ring with much larger and stronger opponents. But as Marella, he considers himself among the biggest in the business.
During a recent conversation, Carelli — in character as Marella — talked about his life and career in the WWE.
NUVO: After a few run-ins with WWE Diva Beth Phoenix, you find yourself kissing her. Compare your first Beth Phoenix kiss with the busses you planted on Maria [another WWE Diva].
Marella: Well, Beth’s lips are so very nice. They felt good. If we ever have some tongue action, then she and Maria will be on the same page!
NUVO: In 2007, you debuted on WWE “Raw” as a “fan” who wins the Intercontinental Championship from Umaga [a 6-foot-4, 378-pound heel/bad guy]. How would you describe your first year in the WWE?
Marella: It’s been everything I thought it would be. I knew that if I was given the chance, I could be, and have become an international superstar in the making!
NUVO: You’ve lost more matches than you have won …
Marella: (interrupting) My won-loss record is not an indication of my true ability.
NUVO: So the best and worst parts of being a WWE Superstar are …
Marella: The best part is going to different countries that are far away, places where the people still cheer for Santino Morella. The worst part is waking up at 3 or 4 in the morning and having to try not to wake up the woman that I’m with!
NUVO: You’ve been in the ring with some WWE legends, including “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. Are there any other WWE Superstars you’d like to go up against?
Marella: I’d really like to wipe that smirk off the face of John Cena, but he has that stupid move the FU; I don’t want to be a victim of that one! Then there’s Batista, but I want nothing to do with him because he IS an animal!
NUVO: You did team up with Carlito [another WWE Superstar] for some tag team matches. What happened to that situation?
Marella: Carlito, he was a good friend of mine. But he was so often misunderstood. Maybe I’m selfish — not maybe — I AM selfish. I prefer the spotlight to be on just me!
NUVO: Misunderstood? It sounds like the same could be said of you. Any idea why you’re not very popular with the fans or other Superstars?
Marella: It’s jealousy, no doubt about it. I’m an Italian international playboy, and everyone wants to be like me! It’s been that way my whole life.
NUVO: Any idea what you’ll be doing at this year’s SummerSlam pay-per-view in Indianapolis?
Marella: I’m sure they’ll find something entertaining for me to do. After all, I AM Santino Marella!
NUVO: Have you ever been to Indianapolis?
Marella: I like Indianapolis. One of my wrestling mentors, Rip Rogers, he lives in Indianapolis.
NUVO: Well Santino, thank you —
Marella: (interrupting again) You know, this girl, she can sleep through anything, including this interview! I think her name is Monica. Let me check [muffled conversation], yes, her name is Monica!
Marella and Phoenix will face current WWE Intercontinental champion Kofi Kingston and WWE Women’s champion Mickie James in a “winner-take-all” mixed tag-team match at this year’s SummerSlam on Aug. 17 at Conseco Fieldhouse.