Current WWE Superstar Mike Kanellis was a recent guest on Swings & Mrs in which he spoke openly about his career so far in WWE, and his thoughts on NXT becoming a third brand since its debut on Wednesday nights on the USA Network.
During the interview, Kanellis looked back fondly on his WWE main roster debut with wife Maria at Money In The Bank 2017. Kanellis says he believes his debut had a lot of impact with the fans because he was brought straight up to the main roster instead of working in NXT beforehand.
“It was really cool for me,” Kanellis explained. “The whole build up was interesting because we had been signed three months prior to our debut and we were just sitting at home. We signed in March and we didn’t debut until June. WWE was trying to think of what to do with us, but I almost didn’t sign. I nearly went back to TNA as it because they offered me a deal which was really good money, so when I reached out to WWE I was going back and forth and I said I couldn’t take any less money than what TNA was paying me. They finally came back with a matched deal and said that they would put me on the main roster – I couldn’t say no.”
“They came up with the idea of me coming in with Maria’s last name and they wondered if I was ok with that, but I didn’t care. I just wanted to be me and wrestle. I mean Dolph Ziggler got over with a name like that, if you’re good enough you can get over – if you’re used that is and I was not.”
Kanellis points to his debut, straight away on the main roster, as something which he believes WWE should do more of, adding that most of the talents who have gone through NXT haven’t needed the polishing that the platform of NXT has afforded them. Kanellis does however understand that now NXT has moved towards a third brand since its move to Wednesday nights.
“I wish they would go back to that,” Bennett said when asked if some talent should come onto the main roster straight away. “I wish they wouldn’t be so stubborn that talent have to go to NXT, there are a lot of talents which don’t need to.
“I know NXT is different now, it is it’s own brand, and Triple H has gone on to say that it’s no longer a developmental brand. That seems to be the way they’re going with it. This is good because most of those guys on TV dont need any polishing or experience, they’re ready to go. That’s why when AJ [Styles], Karl [Anderson] and [Luke] Gallows debuted it was exciting and fans didn’t know what they were going to see.”
Kanellis hit the headlines recently when back in October he requested his release from WWE publicly on social media. Since that time, Kanellis has been at home spending time with his wife and daughter.
“I thought it would be awful in all honesty,” Bennett said. “But it’s not been too bad to be honest, I’ve gotten time to spend with my daughter, with Maria especially since she’s almost due to have our second baby. it’s been nice because the last time, when we had Freddie, it was 22 hours ad then I had to go to WrestleMania.
“So it’s been nice to have downtime and be with my family. From a career standpoint it’s boring because I like to do stuff and I like to move and constantly on the go – my life has always been that.”
“But I’m trying to be present in the time and not focus on time I can’t control.”
If you use any of the quotes from this article, please credit Swings & Mrs with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.