Ring of Honor’s Maria Kanellis sat down with Women’s Talk Wrestling to talk about women’s wrestling. Kanellis shared what she wanted to see from women’s wrestling and the performers.
“I want them to have more well rounded characters,” Kanellis said. “I want to know more than just one thing. I want to know about what your family is like or what motivates you and I don’t want to just see one thing all the time on screen and that’s that. I’m really tough. Like, I want more well rounded characters. I want there to be some internal conflict sometimes when it comes to these all these different storylines that are going on with women’s wrestlers.
“So I think that’s the step. And of course, there’s also the fact that I think just as much money should be put towards women’s wrestling, marketing, women’s wrestling as the men’s wrestling. So if we can think on the business side, let’s put as much money into marketing, women’s wrestling as we do them in.”
Since returning to ROH, Kanellis has spearheaded a tournament to crown the inaugural ROH Women’s World Champion. Kanellis was asked what her and ROH are hoping the tournament will highlight with their women’s division.
“Different styles of wrestling because that’s what Ring of Honor is about,” Kanellis said. “It’s about athleticism and it’s about sport at the end of the day. Ring of Honor will always be about sport. And so these women have to not only be great within the ring, but they also have to have something outside the ring as well. It’s a team environment and Ring of Honor, it’s always had a great backstage feel. So when we are crowning a Women’s Champion, we are crowning an entire team. Yes, there will be one champion. But that champ only gets there by defeating a lot of great women.”
Focus then turned to Kanellis’ last run with WWE. She revealed that she had been told by a recently fired WWE higher up that the all women’s PPV Evolution was never going to happen again. Since leaving, Kanellis believes it will happen again due to fans wanting it so much.
“I was told it’s never happening again,” Kanellis said. “That was from Mark Carrano, that it will never happen again. And I mean, now I’m sure because there is such a buzz about it, I’m sure they’re gonna try and find a way of doing it again. But as far as I knew, when I left the company, Evolution was never happening again. And I think the reason why they did it the first time was more of a PR stunt than it was a real action. A real statement about women in wrestling.”
One of Kanellis’ mentors in wrestling has been Paul Heyman, who she worked with in WWE and when she first started in Ohio Valley Wrestling. Kanellis revealed Heyman allowed her to sit in on production to learn about the behind of scenes of wrestling.
“I don’t know if it was one conversation or more,” Kanellis said. “But he always had a way of finding out which direction you really wanted to go into, even though it might have been something that was like a secret to the world. But he always had a way of getting those things out of you. He knew years ago that I wanted to do more behind the scenes in wrestling, and that I loved being able to write into book and that kind of stuff. So he would allow me to come and see what the show was going to be for Ohio Valley Wrestling, which was like a huge influence on me.”
Finally Kanellis was asked who were some potential dream matches for her. She named a retired WWE star, the former WWE RAW and Smackdown Women’s Champion and the current Impact Knockout’s Champion as women she would’ve loved to wrestle.
“I would have loved to wrestle Becky,” Kanellis said. “I think Becky embodies everything that women in wrestling want to be at this point. Like she’s just so she’s strong in her belief she’s strong and she never questions herself when she’s out there. Deonna has that quality to where they’re just they’re solid in the ring. It’s like they are they are one with the ring. And I love that. So just to had a match with her would have been incredible, Paige is another one. I know that one can’t happen, but like, she’s another one that like she just Alright, I’m pale. I’m doing it. You know, like, everyone else is wearing spray tan and she’s just like, I don’t think so.”
You can watch the full interview below.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Women’s Wrestling Talk and provide a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription