Anthony Carelli, better known by his ring name Santino Marella, is a Canadian professional wrestler, former mixed martial artist, and actor.
In WWE, he held the Intercontinental Championship twice, the United States Championship once, and the WWE Tag Team Championship once (with Vladimir Kozlov). He was also the only man to participate in both the men's and women's Royal rumble matches.
In the spring of 2005, Anthony Carelli signed a developmental deal with World Wrestling Entertainment, and was immediately sent to Ohio Valley Wrestling.
Cornette's replacement as OVW booker was Paul Heyman. Heyman gave Carelli a new gimmick, that of Boris Alexiev, a Russian shootfighter. The wrestler's debut with the new identity took place on April 15, 2006, accompanied by manager Mr. Strongko. He began to emphasize his own fighting style by using stiff strikes and specializing in submission moves.
Carelli signed a developmental deal with WWE on August 11, 2006. On January 24, 2007, he won the OVW Television Championship by defeating Mike Kruel and Shawn Osbourne. Kruel regained the title on February 7, 2007, only to lose it again to Carelli on March 14, 2007. Carelli's second reign as champion ended on March 17, 2007, when he lost a match to Shawn Spears.
The ring name with which he decided to fight is in honor of the WWE Hall of Famer Gorilla Monsoon, also of Italian origins and whose real surname was precisely Marella.