Former WWE Superstar Santino Marella recently spoke with Hannibal TV and spoke at length about his infamous showdown with Jim Cornette while in WWE's developmental system years ago. Below are some of the highlights from the interview.
On the feud with Jim Cornette that led to Cornette slapping him:
"I just finished a month in the beginner's class, so I just went to the intermediate class. The intermediate class goes to the shows and they kind of go out to help and stuff, so he thought I was in that class. The Boogeyman debut his new costume and he was having a big wardrobe malfunction, the hors were sliding, it was hot so the makeup -- he didn't perfect it yet, you know? So Cornette was getting frustrated, some people were laughing. I was sitting near an exit door so I thought he was gonna go -- no I didn't know he was gonna go through the exit door. I'm sitting there and my daughter is in front of me, and he turned to me. I thought he was just gonna scare my daughter, for doing me a favor or a solid you know? Just give her a great experience of getting scared by The Boogeyman. So I had a smile on my face and he just lost it. He came up to me in the back and said 'You think this is a joke?' Then f-bomb, f-bomb, then slapped me. I couldn't do anything back to him, he knew that. He took advantage of the fact that if I'm a young up and coming guy in the business, I'm not gonna punch out Jim Cornette. Obviously, right? I'm Canadian, I would've been kicked out of the country I imagine, they would've called the police 'this guy assaulted this guy.' So I really had no choice but to not do anything, I sucked it up. I lost a little sleep over it back then, but by doing that to someone and taking advantage of someone, the punishment is that he kind of showed who he was. He's that guy, the guy who would take advantage of someone who wouldn't do anything bad."
On if that incident is what got Cornette fired from WWE:
"Really he was gonna be fired anyway, that was just the straw that broke the camel's back and that gave them a reason to expedite it. He's a lose cannon, he threatened guys, yeah he was pretty bad."
On whether or not The Boogeyman was mad at him:
"No Boogeyman wasn't mad at me, he says that but I talked to Marty after and he's like 'I wasn't mad at you man' and I said 'I didn't think you were.' He was frustrated, he was upset because of what happened but -- yeah Marty never did."
On if WWE called him to apologize for what happened:
"Oh yeah, talent relations called and said 'That's not how we treat our talent, we want it to be a positive and nurturing environment, and they handled it professionally. I wasn't too mad at the time, it wasn't gonna stop me, it wasn't gonna get in my way."