March 8, 2008
Marella: 'Every boo is a cheer to me'
By TIM BAINES - Ottawa Sun

Santino Marella waves to the crowd at a WWE Fan Axxess tour stop in Toronto.
Photo by Mike Mastrandrea

On TV each week, Santino Marella is fiercely jealous of his "girlfriend," Maria, who we will soon see in all her naked glory in an April Playboy spread ... but away from WWE, he's Anthony Carelli, a Mississauga, Ontario boy.

"A lot of my friends say they see a lot of me in Santino," he says with a laugh. "It's me without the restrictions. (In real life), I'm still Santino, just not the heel/jerk Santino."

He says he loves the character he was given after being Boris Alexiev in OVW.

"With Santino, there was a getting-to-know-you process," he says. "I went from a character, Boris, who had no sense of humour, who was impervious to everything, to this.

"It seemed like it was a little bit forced for me to play a babyface. And you can't forcefeed something on the fans or they turn on you."

The Canadian kid, who just oozes arrogance every time he gets on the microphone, is happy to be part of the pageantry that is WWE.


"Every boo is a cheer to me," he says.

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