Anthony Carelli also known by his ring name Santino Marella.
Anthony Carelli, better known by his ring name Santino Marella, is a Métis professional wrestler who was signed with the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) for eight years until his recent retirement.
A proud Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) citizen, Carelli has had a very successful career as a professional wrestler, a career he believes would not have been possible without the assistance of the MNO.
Born and raised in Mississauga, Ontario, Carelli began his journey to stardom in 2006 after training at Ohio Valley Wrestling, an American developmental wrestling promotion for the WWE located in Louisville, Kentucky. A renowned institution, Carelli was able to attend thanks to assistance provided through MNO’s Education and Training programs. The MNO Métis Training Purchase Program provided funding which paid for Carelli’s tuition and also assisted with his living expenses while training in the United States. As the institution was outside of Ontario, Carelli was required to provide a supplemental essay explaining why this American institution provided better offerings than Canada.
“The school offered the best instruction and direct access to the WWE so I knew I would be in front of the right people,” explained Carelli. “I wouldn’t have been able to afford my training or at least survived the whole year without the assistance of the MNO as I was unable to work in the United States.”
Shortly after training, Carelli’s dream came true as he was hired by the WWE as a headlining wrestler. As a sports entertainer with the WWE, Carelli was able to showcase his talents to the world live in the ring and by being featured on the WWE Monday Night Raw television program since April 2007.
“MNO programing worked for me and I could not have achieved what I have without the jump start they provided,” said Carelli.
Not only is Carelli a professional wrestler, he is also an entrepreneur. Wanting to provide the same quality training he received in the United States, in 2013 Carelli founded his own coaching and training centre in Mississauga called Battle Arts Academy. The centre is a 15,000 square foot state of the art, multi-use facility which provides an elite level of coaching and training in mixed martial arts, professional wrestling, and strength and conditioning. Thankful for the support the MNO provided when beginning his career, Carelli is offering MNO citizens a reduced rate to attend his facility.
“The MNO was so helpful to me that I want to pay it forward and help provide young inspiring Métis athletes the same opportunity I had,” explained Carelli. “I want to give the gift of fitness for a very reduced rate.”
A two-time WWE Intercontinental Champion, one-time WWE United States Champion and a one-time WWE Tag Team Champion, there is no doubt that Carelli has had a very successful career. After a third neck injury, Carelli declared his retirement from the WWE on July 6 and plans to continue training youth at his Mississauga facility.
Carelli is yet another shining example of an MNO citizen achieving their highest potential.