Santino Marella on working with Vince McMahon, how being Italian led to his WWE debut, looks back on his incident with Jim Cornette

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On the Jim Cornette incident: Jim Cornette was upset because of The Boogeyman malfunction. Cornette was really pissed some people were laughing and this was like his big debut basically I have a smirk on my face because I thought The Boogeyman was going to scare my daughter so Cornette thought I was being disrespectful so he called me to the back and slapped me in the face.

On his WWE debut: I got signed in August in 06. I went home for a few months to get my work visa. I was on my way to Elizabethtown, Kentucky for a live OVW event I get a call from the office they were saying “You’re Italian, right?” I said, yeah, my dad’s from Italy and they are like “Can you speak Italian?” I said yeah, so they bought it flew me down and I made my debut two days later.

On how he got his comedy gimmick: They lost faith in the gimmick so they turned me heel. When I did the heel voice with the accent I guess so much more personality came out of it and Vince loved it.

Working with Vince McMahon: I love Vince. Vince is the man, he doesn’t even know how much of a mentor he is to me. When I watch him work and the hustles he has it’s unparalleled it’s amazing. He’s just the man.

On his WWE release: I wasn’t negatively affected at all. It was like thank you very much that’s the end of one chapter it was awesome, it was amazing. I wasn’t released the contract just ran out and they just opted not to renew it.

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