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Pro Wrestling

Santino Marella Set to Open Wrestling and MMA School

Courtesy of Wrestling With Pop Culture

WWE funnyman Santino Marella announced on Twitter that he will be opening a pro wrestling and mixed martial arts school. The Battle Arts Academy is set to open on June 1 in Toronto.

He announced plans for this last week. Last night, he gave everyone a preview of what’s to come:

Battle Arts floors are poured!Walls are next! twitter.com/milanmiracle/s…

— Santino Marella (@milanmiracle) May 12, 2013

For those unaware, Ontario is actually where Marella began his wrestling career. He wrestled under the name “Johnny Geo Basco” as he worked for various Canadian indy promotions in the early 2000s. It wasn’t until 2005 when Marella started wrestling in the States, beginning with Ohio Valley Wrestling.

At OVW, Marella wrestled under the name “Boris Alexiev” and was given a Russian shoot fighter gimmick. During this time, Marella regularly executed the triangle chokehold we often see in MMA.

He has a judo and wrestling background from high school, but nothing known after it except for pro wrestling.

Marella has been taking more time off from WWE appearances recently than normal. Working on this academy breaking ground and opening could be reason we haven’t seen much of him as of late. Whatever the reason, Marella will have more work to do in wrestling when his in-ring career ends.