Maria Kanellis Talks Getting Her Break, Working For WWE, Her WWE Release & More


WrestlingINC: You did great on that show. Do you feel like you helped the company out since you represented the business so well. I think a lot of people that don't watch wrestling have a certain stereotype of what wrestlers are like. I think you kind of shattered that stereotype when you were on that show. Do you think you got any appreciation for that?

Maria: I got no appreciation for it whatsoever. I went on that show completely -- this was not who anybody expected me to be. I have old ladies in supermarkets grabbing my arm after I had done the show and saying, 'Oh, my gosh. I loved you so much on it. You were so good, you were so smart.' They've never seen wrestling before, they just saw me on Celebrity Apprentice. Which was being seen by 10 million people per week.

So, when it came to them giving me my new contract and I didn't want to sign it -- I wanted my lawyer to look over it -- WWE just did not see me as a smart girl. They saw me as a stupid girl and they wanted me to be a stupid girl. When I broke that and I changed into the person that I actually am, they hated it. That's when I got that phone call on Saturday.

WrestlingINC: Did you have any idea that they were probably going to release you? You had just started an angle with Matt Hardy, so it seemed very out of the blue.

Maria: It was out of the blue. My discussion with John Laurinaitis went like this: 'Are you going to sign the contract?' It was the same contract that I signed when I was 22-years-old and had never been on television before. Everybody gets a raise, even a bus girl. They had given me a raise, but because I didn't sign it right away, they took that contract from me and gave me a different contract. The contract was exactly the same as when I started.

So, I said, 'No, I'm not going to sign that contract. And yes, I want my lawyer to look at it.' I knew that they were probably going to release me. But, see, that's the thing: If I was a guy, that wouldn't have happened. But, because I was a girl that stood up for what I believed in and I'm not going to be caught in a hot tub with the office and I'm not going to be caught being shady -- but I will be there working every single day, I will be doing every single media thing and I will go on Celebrity Apprentice and do a good job -- because I'm that kind of girl, they didn't want to re-sign me.

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