Couture's Championship Profiles: WWE Intercontinental Champion Santino Marella
By James E. Couture
Folks, it seems like WWE booked Monday Night Raw just for me, James E. Couture. Now, most of the time I spend my few sentences each week waxing nostalgic for the crappy champions of yore, but did you know guano-insane choices for title holders exist to this very day? Unless you're living under a rock, or, y'know, have a real life, you know that Monday night marked the end of the Umaga era as Intercontinental Champion. But in its place, a new era has begun. An era in which any fan, willing to shill out 75-100 bucks (or like, 54 euros) to sit ringside, and in shape comparable to a professional athlete, can hold WWE gold, and not even the much maligned Hardcore Title. No, this IS Santino Marella, Intercontinental Champion!
On April 16, 2007, young Santino awoke in North Candelabra, or Calabria, whatever, not knowing that by day's end he'd be mentioned in the same breath as Pat Patterson and The One Billy Gunn. He just thought he'd be going to an arena to listen to people talk in a language he may or may not understand and cheer when a "good guy" raises his voice and points (Yay!).
But Vince McMahon had a different idea. Using his limitless power as Chairman of WWE, pseudo Raw GM, one-man Championship Committee and pontificate of the Methodist Church, he laid an open challenge to ANY man to face Umaga for the IC title. Apparently, though, the Raw locker room was fully of guys too scared or too cool (but not Brian Christopher) for the champion. I mean, Viscera was probably finishing off a 55 gallon drum of ravioli and Val Venis? I'm pretty sure he's in a position to pass up a free title shot.
Eitherway, the onus was on Marella. Decked out in his now trademarked (and available on WWE Shop) brown shirt and red shoes, he looked more like Ryan Stiles than A.J. Styles. Still, he rocked the Samoan Bulldozer with swift thigh kicks and a schoolboy. Still, somehow Fat Facepaint Man battled back with headbutts and bellyflops. When all seemed lost in this No Holds Barred Match (I did mention it was No Holds Barred, right?) Raw Jr. World Champion, er, ECW Champion Bobby Lashley stormed to the ring and blasted Umaga not once, not twice, but thrice, then speared him like a hot knife into a brick wall. One "Santino Toss" by Lashley and a double pin later and we have a new Intercontinental Champion.
But what now for the IC Champ? On ECW we learned he's "actually" training to be a wrestler in "Canada", wherever the hell that is. You couldn't SCRIPT something like that. Given that he is apparently the most fortuitous person in sports entertainment, will he continue his improbable run? Will he make it past his first title defense? Is he screwed eitherway because a) the ol' "too much, too soon" adage and/or b) his character dictates that he suck it up in the ring for the first part of his WWE tenure?
Well, until the Tampa Bay Devil Rays finish somewhere besides last in the AL East, I am, in fact, James E. Couture.
And, hey, support your local indy wrestling.
|© 2005-2007 All content contained here Copyright 2006 by James Guttman *** World Wrestling Insanity and ClubWWI are not affiliated with any wrestling promotion.|