It will forever be known as the "Milan Miracle." On the night of April 16, 2007 in the Milan, Italy, Mr. McMahon issued a challenge to anyone in the audience to battle the reigning Intercontinental Champion, Umaga, in a title match. As expected, no one was itching to face the Samoan Bulldozer.
Enter Santino Marella.
Marella, perched in the front row, not only volunteered, he also got off to a surprisingly quick start. Quick enough, in fact, that Mr. McMahon changed the bout to a No Holds Barred Match. Under those rules, it appeared as if Umaga would destroy Marella, but ECW World Champion Bobby Lashley intervened. After the ECW Champion nailed the Samoan Bulldozer with a chair and a vicious spear, he dragged Marella over and placed him on top of Umaga. The Italian became the new Intercontinental Champion in one of the most improbable moments in Raw history.
In the months that followed, Marella attempted to defend his title, but he endured a series of savage beatings at the meaty hands of a vengeful Umaga. These humiliations seemed to unleash an obnoxious side to Marella, as if he were overcompensating for the losses. He emerged as an obnoxious, yet hapless, loser, quick to boast about unfulfilled accomplishments. His outspoken, caustic bragging was often directed at fellow Superstars, such as "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and Val Venis, but his bark always proved worse than his bite.
Today, whether loved or hated by the WWE Universe, he still innocently entertains them.