Santino Marella (Anthony Carelli) has signed with Impact Wrestling.
The promotion made the official news on Sunday after Marella was introduced as Impact’s new Director of Authority at Hard To Kill. He replaces Scott D’Amore in the role, who in storyline was injured by Bully Ray on Thursday’s show.
Impact filed to trademark the name “Santino Marella” last month.
Marella first appeared for Impact in 2017 when he hosted a Twitch show, Behind the Lights, for the promotion. He also cornered a student from his BattleArts Academy, Dustin Quicksilver, at an Impact television taping on July 23, 2018. Additionally, Marella has done commentary work for Impact, including during the main event of Sacrifice 2018 between Moose and Heith.
Marella was voted Best Gimmick for both 2007 and 2008 at the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Awards.
Marella is a co-founder and judo instructor for BattleArts Academy in Mississauga, ON, Canada. A second location for the academy was recently opened in Beaverton, ON, Canada as well. He was named an official ambassador for Judo Canada in 2019 and does commentary for the International Judo Association.
During his time in WWE, Marella was a two-time Intercontinental Champion, one-time US Champion, and once held the WWE Tag Team Championships along with Vladimir Kozlov.
Marella’s daughter, Bianca Carelli, now performs as Ariana Grace in NXT. She hasn’t wrestled since October 4, 2022, after suffering a torn ACL.