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Santino Marella disapproves of intergender wrestling, gives opinion on transgender athletes

Tessa Blanchard Joey Ryan Impact Wrestling

Impact Wrestling recently set up an intergender match for their United We Stand event featuring Joey Ryan and the former Knockouts Champion Tessa Blanchard. Anthony Carelli, known in the WWE as Santino Marella, has been working with the company for a few years now, and currently co-hosts Pro Wrestling Chat with Alicia Atout each Wednesday at 4 PM ET.

On the most recent edition of the show, Carelli revealed how he felt about intergender wrestling.

If there’s a girl out there that says, ‘This guy’s giving us attitude, I’m gonna step in and fight this guy because I saw that women can fight men, because of intergender wrestling,’ and she goes out there and lips off, and this guy’s a mental case and cracks her with his fist, shattering her face, an orbital bone, busts her lip…

She wouldn’t have done it, perhaps, beforehand, because she didn’t get this inflated sense of confidence because of intergender wrestling.

Atout agreed with Carelli, bringing up the example of Brian Cage vs Taya Valkyrie, stating that it’s completely unbelievable.

Carelli went on to say that major news outlets tend to exaggerate when it comes to gender or race issues, believing that they’re just trying to divide the people.

The media would like you to think that [we’re at war]. If I wanted to drive a wedge between society, well, there’s 50/50 right there – men and women. Let’s make them hate each other. And guess what? We divided half the people. No one hates anybody. We’re misinformed, even with racism.

Finally, Carelli tackled the issue of transgender women competing in competitive sports like MMA.

There’s cases now in MMA and wrestling where there’s trans girls that are beating the s*** out of females, and that’s wrong. If you’re born a guy and you become a woman, you’re accepted everywhere, but in the field of actual competitive sports, there has to be a barrier. And the barrier is based on, you were born a God d*** man.

You’re accepted as a human being, and as a person, and you are loved in every single way, except it’s not fair that you compete against women in physical sports because you were born with different biological attributes.

We have to be realistic about it and also not be so sensitive.

Carelli got a lot of feedback from this statement in particular and took to Twitter to respond, stating that he had no problem with trans women facing women in professional wrestling.

If you’d like to check out the full episode, you can go to Impact Wrestling’s Twitch video library.


  • Brian

    If you can get Brock Lesnar to agree to have SRS, take estrogen 2 years, probably lose 100+ lbs in muscle mass, and still compete in the women’s division, then you have an argument.

    Oh, and by the way, women on steriods are not allowed in the Olympics either.

    I’m guessing still having 30% testosterone would violate the proposed IOC limits also, so your ridiculous example just shows how stupid you are about transgender people.

    No one undergoes that transition for competitive gain. The fact that you clearly think someone would actually go through that process for anything other than the reason they do clearly shows your lack of intelligience.

    No transgender athlete has ever qualified for, much less competed in an Olympic games.

  • gar216

    You are delusional. Brock Lesnar has never won an Olympic medal. Supress his testosterone by 70% and he will still have double the limit of an average female on steroids. By your logic Brock can fight women in this scenario. You are delusional.

  • Brian

    Nothing there in your link. Testosterone levels occur in genetic females as well. The IOC is trying to pass regulations for the amount of testosterone in female athletes now.

    Simple fact is no transgender athlete has ever won or medaled at any international level sporting event. Thus any concern over transgender athletes having some ‘advantage’ over genetic females simply doesn’t exist.

  • Keith Learmonth

    By the same logic, though, if a dude decides he can fight because he saw dudes fighting dudes in wrestling, and gets smashed because he tried to fight a tougher dude… how is that different from Santino’s scenario where the same thing happens to a woman?

    I think the moral he should be peddling is “Don’t take wrestling as a realistic combat style, regardless of what’s in your pants”.

  • rob

    Santino is 100% right on this

  • Darrin Tyler

    Its scripted. So, wtf is the problem?

  • Brian

    Being transgender is no more a mental issue, than being gay is one.

    If that was the case, the treatment for it would be physiological, not medical.

  • Brian

    Many incidences? Name one. No transgender athlete has ever won a gold medal, much less medaled in any Olympics or major sporting event.

    No transgender athlete has ever won a major sporting event, world wide. Period. No professional or amateur boxing or MMA championship either.

    Obviously you can’t read, as you would know taking female hormones decreases muscle mass and bone density. But don’t let that fact stop you from your rhetoric.

    And when did you become the ‘morality’ police?

    The cycling event your referring to was a 35-44 year old competition. Hardly Olympic calibre.

  • Rinn13

    Sorry, but that is categorically false. There are already MANY instances of trans “women” excelling in women’s sports, BECAUSE they have more muscle mass and bone density, etc. Taking hormones do not change the fact that EVERY single cell of your body is MALE. You cannot alter your chromosomes, period. How do I know this? Because many feminists have been in a tizzy over instances of trans “women” excelling over actual, biological women in various sports. There was one incident in particular, where a trans won a cycling race, and the women who took second and third had to congratulate “her” and act happy and accepting about the fact that they just lost a race to a man.

    Being Trans is a mental issue, plain and simple. That is medically and scientifically verified. All the plastic surgery and hormone treatments on earth will not ever make a man a woman, or vice versa. Those are simple scientific, biological facts. And women, biologically, are designed NOT being as (on average) big, strong, or fast as men. That is how nature made humans. There is no arguing that, it is long-time proven and accepted medical fact. That being said, allowing trans athletes to compete with “biological females”, should be seen in the exact same light as using steroids.

    It’s one thing to not bully or torment trans people for their affliction. It’s something else entirely for society to be expected to, in essence, pretend that blue is actually yellow, so to speak. As if we’re stupid, and as if actual, fact based hard science doesn’t matter. And that goes doubly for athletics, which are supposed to be fair and balanced. Women compete against other women for a reason, and it isn’t morally right, no matter how some people try to twist it, to allow trans “women” to compete against actual women. Period.

  • Brian

    The facts simply don’t back up any advantage for transgender females competing against genetic females. Plain and simple.

    The International Olympic Committee has rules for transgender athletes, and if it’s good enough for them, Marella needs to shut his uniformed mouth.

  • Brian

    Once again, do your research before making stupid uniformed comments. Transgender athletes who take female hormones (which are required to compete) lose muscle mass and bone density, thus in many incidents, become less strong than genetic females.

  • Soulshroude

    Why does Joey Ryan keep popping up, he’s a straight hedro male just trying to play a “taboo” role. If he’s trangender… than the entire world is STUPID.

    These obnoxious storylines for the LGBTQ community are down right insulting toward that community. It feels like the entire wrestling world is laughing and mocking that community.

    I’m neither for nor against this, but this sick display of vanity is just … egregious.

  • Unique

    I thiiiink you may have missed his point. A transgender person still holds the genetic attributes of the gender they were born as. In wrestling it doesn’t matter because it’s entertainment, as santino said. In competitive sport….do you really have an argument for someone born with male genetics competing against someone born with female genetics?

  • Brian

    There’s never been a transgender athlete that’s EVER won a major championship, amateur or professional.

    The facts simply don’t back up what he said. Typical uniformed bias by someone who’s not informed of the facts.

    The example he stated, was one fight, with one fighter, that happened ONCE. If they banned every MMA fighter who broke someone’s facial bone, there would hardly been any of them left.

  • Unique

    What’s stupid about what he said?

  • Brian

    Marella needs to read and educate himself before making such stupid statements.