WWE WrestleMania 28 Results: Should Santino Marella Have Had a Bigger Match?

Graham GreenleeCorrespondent IApril 2, 2012

Santino Marella led Team Teddy into the six-on-six tag team match at last night's WrestleMania 28 in an effort to win control of both Raw and Smackdown brands for Teddy Long.

By the time the match was over, John Laurinaitis had become the new General Manager of WWE Television.

While the match itself was a disservice for most its participants who were lucky to get one or two big spots, it was especially a waste for Marella, who has truly blossomed as a performer over the last 12 months.

Marella has been playing the part of the WWE's clown prince for the better part of the last five years. While he does this brilliantly, he is also an excellent technical wrestler who rarely gets to show off his true in-ring abilities.

It's true that Marella is a two-time Intercontinental champion and a former Tag Team champion (with Vladimir Kozlov), but it wasn't until recently that Marella began to be booked with some consistency as a serious competitor in the ring.

Although he was a last minute replacement for Randy Orton (via battle royal), Marella's showing at Elimination Chamber proved once again that he could juggle comedic spots with aggressive wrestling when given the chance.

Not only did Marella place second in the Smackdown Chamber match, but he also appeared as a threat to Daniel Bryan's victory with several near pins.

Since Elimination Chamber, Marella has become the United States Champion in a rather surprising booking against Jack Swagger, and has seen an increase in screen time as a key player in the General Manager feud. 

His United States title and WrestleMania booking may be enough recognition, but like many of the other participants in the "Team Teddy vs. Team Johnny" match, Marella could have easily been featured in a match of his own.

A United States Championship title defense as either a traditional one-on-one bout or a Fatal Four Way match with recent champs Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger and Zack Ryder would have made better use of its participants.

As it stands, Marella came out of WrestleMania looking the strongest amongst the 12 men involved in the tag match.

During the match, he was able to perform his Sailor's Salute top-rope dive as well as landing the Cobra on The Miz. 

Marella also had an opportunity to make good use of his comedic chops in a backstage segment involving Mick Foley, Ron Simmons and Deadliest Catch personality Captain Keith Colburn in an amusing, if awkwardly placed, cross-promotion skit for Colburn's show.

Nonetheless, Marella's booking at WrestleMania 28 did no favors in raising his profile as a serious wrestler or in building the prestige of the United States Championship title that he holds.

Given the year Marella just had, he deserved better.