Maria Kanellis Talks Signing With ROH, Turning Down TNA, Problems In WWE & More

WrestlingINC: When you made your appearance at "ROH Final Battle" last year, did you think it was going to be a one time thing or did you get the feeling that you were going to be more involved?

Maria: I had a feeling I was going to be there more than once.

WrestlingINC: Since you've left WWE, it seems like their Diva's division has deteriorated. You see more women quitting than in the past. Did you see a gradual disinterest in the division while you were there?

Maria: I just want to say that AJ's doing a tremendous job. She's absolutely amazing. She was given the ball and she's just running like hell with it. I don't think she's the only girl that could do it. I think that Beth [Phoenix] could definitely do something with it. I think there are a couple of other girls like Natalya that could run with the story.

But, when I was there, I just remember that me and Michelle [McCool] -- and Melina -- we all were fighting so hard to keep that Diva's division together. We were working so hard to make it bigger and better. And Beth was, too. We were all a very cohesive unit on that one subject.

After I left, it was me and then it was Mickie [James]. Soon after Mickie, it was Michelle and she left on her own. Then, soon after than, it was Melina and then Jillian. Maryse just recently left. Then it was the Bella Twins. Gail Kim -- oh, my gosh. Maxine... I didn't really know her I was really there. And, I think that every one of the girls that I've mentioned had something else in their life that made them realize that since WWE wasn't going to allow them the time or the place to do something that they're passionate about, they were going to go out and fulfill that passion elsewhere.

Mickie had music. Jillian had recently gotten married. Michelle got married. Melina got released, but you go down the list -- The Bella Twins have all these opportunities in acting. Maryse has modeling, she been a huge star in Canada. But, you go down the list and WWE could have used all these talents that these girls have and make their product even better. But, they want to ignore that these women are tremendous and can be tremendously successful and use their mainstream impact within the company. I find that extremely stupid.

Who in their right mind does not use the extra eyes that could be on these girls within their own company? It's an ego trip and I am not a fan of ego trips. So, what I'm hoping that they do with AJ is the same thing they continue to do in the future with other girls.

WrestlingINC: You never know, it's hard to tell. You always see those false pushes given.

Maria: Exactly. I knew they were going to do it. As soon as Kelly Kelly was out of the picture a little bit, I said, 'I bet you they were going to push someone else a bit and drop the ball.' Then, they started pushing AJ. That's what they do every single time. Who knows what's going to happen with Kelly? She's extremely happy with her boyfriend and they might be making bigger plans in the future.

WrestlingINC: I guess it's not just a problem with women. There's a lot of men that are given these pushes and then they're taken away. Then, no new stars are ever created.

Maria: They say it's lonely on top and it is lonely on top. But, there are so many balls dropped with guys like Carlito. When you see him in the ring -- and I've seen him in the ring on the indies millions of times -- it's like, 'Oh, my God. This guy could be making so much money for WWE.' But, they didn't. He did make tons of money. His t-shirts were one of the top sellers for a long time. Why not go with that?

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