Being a second-generation star in professional wrestling comes with it’s benefits and it’s detriments. In the case of Bianca Carelli, however, the former outweighs the latter by a wide margin. The daughter of former WWE superstar Santino Marella, Carelli has not only had the opportunity to travel with her father throughout his career but train with him at Ontario’s Battle Arts Academy.
We chatted about her father’s training as part of our recent chat for Love Wrestling, as well as Santino’s recent tweet directed at the WWE’s top brass drawing attention to his daughter.
“What you feel differentiates him as a trainer?” I asked Carelli early in our interview. “I feel he might be, and because he’s done so well with a lot of the quote-unquote comedy stuff before, maybe he does get overlooked [for] just how good he was as a pro wrestler. You don’t win the Intercontinental Championship on your debut if you aren’t! Is he may be under appreciated in your experience. But then, again, what what makes him a great trainer? Is that all that stuff you said before, something different?”
“That’s cool. I like that question,” the second-generation star began. “Obviously my dad’s always been hilarious. He’s a funny guy. And so, for him to have a character that really shows off how funny he really is, I really appreciate that. That’s what makes him kind of different, maybe, then other wrestlers is that he’s great on the mic, he’s charismatic, he’s fun. As much as Santino’s goofy, it’s really similar to my actual dad, Anthony. Anthony and Santino are very similar.”
“But,” she pivoted, “at the same time, my dad’s been an athlete his whole life. Wrestling, Judo football, he was on the Canadian national team. He’s gone across the world with judo. He’s an athlete, and he’s a fast learner. He trained under Rip, right, so he has great psychology. When he was at OVW, his character was actually a Russian guy, and his fight style was more like Sambo, badass, and he was great at that, too. That’s one thing that’s really good about my dad is he’s versatile, and he’s naturally a talented athlete.”
“I mean, I wouldn’t say that he didn’t – like, maybe his wrestling style was overlooked,” she concluded. “Maybe by fans who have an untrained eye and can’t actually realize how fluid he is. How awesome he is. His arm drags, his hip tosses, everything. Even the way he takes moves is so well executed. He’s well trained, he’s a good athlete and I’m happy to learn from him. Not just as his daughter, but just in terms of the knowledge that he offers as a coach. It’s unbelievable knowledge.”
A Star in the Making
Of course, it’s not just in the training aspect that Marella has attempted to help his daughter. Two weeks ago, Marella tweeted a photo of his daughter directed at WWE management highlighting her abilities both inside-and-outside of the squared circle.
“When your dad’s tweeting out stuff at this point, saying, ‘hey, WWE, hey, Triple H, Stephanie McMahon. This is my daughter, she’s a f**king star,’ pay some attention at this point, right?'” I asked her near the conclusion of our interview. “It’s gotta mean a lot when he’s saying that sort of stuff because again, it’s assuming on my end, but he wouldn’t be sending that out unless he believed it, right? What’s it mean to you to see him, to use the wrestling phrase, going out and putting you over like that?”
“You know what, it did mean a lot. It really, really did,” she responded. “When I first saw it, I was like any kid when their parent is like, ‘this is my child.’ You’re gonna be like, ‘Mom! Dad.’ So, at first, I was like, ‘oh, my God, dad!’ And then, I was like, ‘awe, dad!’ He is a very emotional guy, my dad, but he will not often say how he feels, you know? I feel like that’s most men? It’s maybe changing now, I like that.”
“It’s getting better, but you’re still tending towards the right side of things,” I agreed.
“Yeah. So, to see that, I was like, ‘okay, he’s proud of me.’ It was a nice moment to realize [that] wow, my dad has seen my growth. Of course, he has, and he’s seen the work I put in, and he’s proud of me. I kind of just felt like, ‘yeah, I’m a good kid. Good job!’ So it was nice, and like you said, he is almost – I wouldn’t say taking a chance, but kind of! He’s taking a chance on me like, ‘this is my daughter, here she is. I endorse her.’ I already don’t want to disappoint anyone, especially myself. But, that does kind of put something on me to say, you know what, here we go. He thinks I’m ready. I think I’m ready. Let’s do this full force. That’s why I woke up at 6 am on my Saturday, the weekends don’t exist anymore!”
Please credit Spencer Love/Love Wrestling with any of the above transcriptions.